Drawn to Shawnee
by Carol Slaght Miller

Family history is an interest and curiosity of mine. In recent years our family has learned more about my great great grandfather, Azel Slaght, a founder of "Slaght's" (later Shawnee). Information about Azel led our family to Shawnee, Colorado in the 1990's for a brief drive through. The summer drive through the valley was beautiful. Azel's story in Gary Goodson's book drew us back again this July.

My name is Carol Slaght Miller. I am descended from Azel's son Edwin. I reside in San Jose, California, the place Azel chose to move when he left Shawnee in 1878. We came to Shawnee this July to trace our roots and see where Azel once lived. For this trip, I brought my daughter, Amy Duncan, and my two granddaughters. I made an inquiry with the Shawnee Historical Society and let them know we were coming. When we arrived, we were welcomed warmly by several Shawnee residents at the Tea Room, including author, Gary Goodson and Barbara Behl.

My family and I were fortunate to have Gary Goodson escort us around Shawnee to view Azel's log barn and sawmill. We saw the expanse of Azel's land and took pictures. We were shown the probable location of the Slaght house and the old Slaghts/Shawnee School. Our time with Gary included stories and information about Azel's life here, a look at the historical map of Shawnee and many historical photos. Our recent visit to Shawnee gave us a lot to share back home and brought Azel a little closer to me than his unmarked grave in San Jose, CA.

Courtesy of Carol Slaght Miller is a rare and historic photo of Alice Ward/Slaght/McGuire, wife of Azel Slaght the founder of Slaghts/Slaghts Station/ Fairville, Shawnee, Colorado. 

After Alice and Azel Slaght sold their 640 acre Slaghts Ranch in 1877 to a Mr. Fairchild they left Slaght's/Fairville and the Platt Canyon area of Colorado with their three sons Herbert Slaght, Franklin Slaght and Edwin Slaght moving to San Jose, California; Alice Ward Slaght was later married to a James McGuire by 1880.


Left to Right: Shawnee Historical Society Rhonda Dusatko, President Barbara Behl and Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter), Amy Duncan (gr. gr. gr. granddaughter) and baby Coralyn Duncan (gr. gr. gr. gr. granddaughter of 1860 founder Azel Slaght and Shawnee Historical Society Vince Tolpo.


Left to Right: Shawnee Historical Society Rhonda Dusatko, President Barbara Behl and Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter), Colorado and Civil War historian Gary Goodson, Amy Duncan (gr. gr. gr. granddaughter) and baby Coralyn Duncan (gr. gr. gr. gr. granddaughter of 1860 founder Azel Slaght.


Amy Duncan (gr. gr. gr. granddaughter), Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) Kayanna Duncan (gr. gr. gr. gr. granddaughter) and baby Coralyn Duncan (gr. gr. gr. gr. granddaughter) in front of Azel Slaght's early 1860's log barn.


Gary Goodson & Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) in front of Azel Slaght's early 1860's log barn.


Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) inspecting the back of Azel Slaght's early 1860's log barn.


Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) in front of Azel Slaght's 1868 two story tall sawmill.


Carolyn Duncan (gr. gr. gr. gr. granddaughter) over looking the general area of Azel Slaght's house, hotel, barn and sawmill building sites.


Amy Duncan (gr. gr. gr. granddaughter), Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) Kayanna Duncan (gr. gr. gr. gr. granddaughter) and baby Coralyn Duncan


Amy Duncan (gr. gr. gr. granddaughter), Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) with early photo of Shawnee.


Amy Duncan (gr. gr. gr. granddaughter), Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) in front of the Shawnee School at McGraw Park


Kayanna Duncan (gr. gr. gr. gr. granddaughter), Amy Duncan (gr. gr. gr. granddaughter), Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) in front of the beautiful Shawnee History Marker.


Shawnee Historian Gary Goodson & Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) in front of the Shawnee History Marker.


Kayanna Duncan (gr. gr. gr. gr. granddaughter), Amy Duncan (gr. gr. gr. granddaughter), Gary Goodson & Carol Slaght Miller (Azel Slaght's gr. gr. grand daughter) in front of the Shawnee History Marker.

A Visit Report

A distinguished visit today by Azel Slaght's (1859-1860 founder of Slaghts/Fairville/Shawnee, Colorado)  Gr. Gr. Granddaughter Carol Slaght Miller and her daughter and granddaughter all from San Jose, California. Shawnee founder Azel Slaght is buried in and unmarked grave at Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose, California alongside his son Franklin Slaght and a baby Rodney Slaght.

Shawnee Founder Azel Slaght Genealogy:

Azel Slaght - Edwin Slaght - Oran Slaght Sr. - Oran Slaght Jr.-  Gr. Gr. Granddaughter Carol Slaght Miller 

After a brief Shawnee welcome and Azel Slaght history review, a question and answer session by myself and members of the Shawnee Historical Society at the Shawnee Tea Room; I then took Carol Slaght Miller and San Jose, California family on a Shawnee and Bailey tour of her 1859-1879 Azel Slaght history and heritage. The Shawnee and Bailey "Azel Slaught" tour included Azel Slaght's old 1960's barn now owned by Wayne & Susan Lambert and the Azel Slaght 1860's/70's saw mill building now belonging to Susan and David Carpenter, site of Azel Slaghts barn and saw mill, Azel Slaght's house and hotel site and finally a drive to visit the Slaght's/Shawnee School House in Bailey.  

Gary R. Goodson Sr.
Colorado and Civil War Historian
Former Park County Historical Society
Historic Preservation Chairman. 

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