?MARCELLIN ST. VRAIN
Manager of Fort St. Vrain
Marcellin St. Vrain was born at Spanish Lake, Missouri, on October 14, 1815.
He was the tenth and last child of Jacques Marcellin Ceran de Hault de Lassus de St. Vrain and Marie Felicite Dubreuil.
After attending a Jesuit college in St. Louis in 1835, he went to Bent's Fort where he worked for his older brother, Ceran, of the Bent & St. Vrain Company. He learned how to manage the fort and about the fur trade.
In 1837 he was put in charge of St. Vrain's Fort when it was still under
In 1840 , he married a 13 year old woman known as "Red."
According to verbal St. Vrain Family history,
Red was the sister of the great Chief Red Cloud of the Ogalala Sioux and a
niece of Chief Crazy Horse.
Marcellin and Red had three children, all born at the fort.
Felix born June 17, 1842, Charles born October 17, 1844 and Mary Louise born March 9, 1846.
Some accounts show that in 1845 Fort St Vrain was closed by the Bent & St Vrain Company
and Marcellin moved back to Bent's Fort briefly.
But, if so, he apparently returned to the fort
and ran it on his own soon after.
Later the same year, Marcellin moved to St. Louis. He left Red
and their children under the protection of his older brother Ceran St. Vrain. For several years Red
believed Marcellin would return to her, unknown to her
at first, in 1849 he married Elizabeth Jane Murphy of
It is unclear whether Marcellin ever returned west.
However, he sent for his two sons about 1851.
Mary Louise stayed behind with her mother.
Red took Mary Louise to Mora, New Mexico where she married William A. Branford.
Marcellin died on March 3, 1871.
He was buried in Salem Cemetery in Center, MO.
Mary Louise married John Skelly on October 30, 1863 in Mora, New Mexico and had
Mr. Skelly died in 1879. Mrs. W.A. Branford (Red) died April 12, 1886.
In 1890, Mary Louise married General E.B. Sopris.
Later, at the Generals request, the last names of her children were changed
Mary Louise, her daughter and grandson, attended the dedication of the monument to Fort St. Vrain in 1911.
Mary Louise died on February 14, 1916.
100th Anniversary Celebration of the marking of the Fort St. Vrain Monument in conjunction with Weld County Colorado's 150th Anniversary Celebration September 17, 2011.
Thanks to Noble Energy; Weld County Commissioners; The Town of Milliken; Platteville Historical Society; The Four Forts Tour and Centennial State Chapter, NSDAR.
Information on signs provided by: Joe Pinner & Peggy Ford-Waldo.