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Charles Rothwell tools

Identifier: SC175

Content Description

Thirteen tools previously owned by Charles Rothwell, a member of the Dearfield community from 1911-1917. The tools include two tin snips, t-square, drawknife, flat metal file, gouge chisel, keyhole saw, knife and holster, cross peen hammer head, two buck saws, hand saw, and a hoe. See accession photos for more information.


  • 1911 - 1917
  • Existence: 2022-08-03

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. User is responsible for all copyright compliance. Please contact the Archives and Speical Collections Department for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Rothwell moved to Dearfield, CO with his mother in March 1911 at 15 years old. Charles became a cowboy during his time at the all Black settlement, and his tools denote his work with ranching, farming, and carpentry. Charles Rothwell was drafted into the army in 1918 and took up residence in Denver upon his return.

The tin snips were used to cut sheet metal for roofing. The t-square was used to draw straight horizontal lines, usually for building plans. The drawknife was used to shape furniture made of wood. The flat metal file was used to smooth wood surfaces. The gouge chisel was used to carve grooves into wood. The keyhole saw was used to cut small curves into wood as well as too cut small holes into doors for doorknobs and locks. The knife and holster appear to have been handmade, and would have been used for skinning a hunted animal or as a general handy man's knife. The cross peen hammer head was used for blacksmithing, most likely to create horseshoes and nails. The buck saws were used to cut logs. The hand saw was used to cut wood into different shapes. The hoe was used to cultivate soil for farming.

Information about the history of Charles Rothwell was found in History Colorado's "Lost Highways" and from the Weld County Genealogical Society.

Information about the names and uses of the tools was found at the Bee Family Centennial Farm Musuem in Fort Collins, Colorado as well as on the Smithsonian digital archive.


13 Item(s) (13 tools)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of thirteen homesteading tools used by Charles Rothwell when he lived in Dearfield, Colorado from 1911-1917.


This collection is organized into a single series.

Condition Description

Fair, old and rusty

Processing Information

Chloe Russell, Jay Trask, Melissa Gurney Schultz

Charels Rothwell tools
In Progress
Chloe Russell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Edition statement
Collection was donated by Joanna Picher on 2022-08-03, who obtained the tools through marriage with Lu Picher. Lu Picher was previously married to Margaret Picher, who researched Dearfield and Charles Rothwell.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Northern Colorado Repository

University Libraries
James A. Michener Library L119
Campus Box 48
Greeley CO 80639