“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Golden in Jefferson County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)

A Daring Rescue

A Daring Rescue Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Charles T. Harrell, July 4, 2011
1. A Daring Rescue Marker
Inscription.  During the Gold Rush, Rebecca Judkins and her sons William and Charles built a home near the northeast corner of 11th and Jackson Streets, just a block east of here. Bill Judkins was outside the day of June 6, 1869 when he saw something happen at the site of today’s Parfet Park. The event started in the race waterway going to the Golden Mill at the Ford Street Bridge. The story of what he did made the Colorado Transcript on June 9, 1869:

“A very narrow and wonderful escape from drowning occurred here on Sunday last, to a little son of Mr. D.E. Harrison, only three years old. He was playing beside Barnes’ race, near the upper bridge, when he fell in and was carried down with the swift current to the waste way, through which he was hurled by the force of the current, and down the steep incline, some fifteen feet, to the seething poor below. Here he was whirled around for some moments, by the force of the falling water, and then shot out into the raging current of the river. Providentially, the little fellow was observed when he first fell into the race by Mr. Wm. Judkins, who was on the opposite side of the river. He at once
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started with all possible speed to reach him by way of the lower bridge. Just as he reached it he saw the little sufferer tumbling over the cataract above, and boldly leaped over into the rushing stream just in time to seize an arm of the child was he was rushing past him, beneath the bridge. Although he had been swept down the swift current of the race some 200 yards, and over the steep waste way into the river below, which was boiling and seething with fearful force, and carried some twenty yards further down the main stream before his rescue, it was found that he had sustained no serious injury beyond the amount of water he had swallowed, and was playing around his home as usual an hour afterwards. Mr. Judkins deserves and received the highest praise for the promptness and coolness displayed by him in the trying emergency, which was only equaled by his bravery in unhesitatingly plunging into the forceful current to save the little one. Those who know Clear Creek at high water can appreciate the courage required. An instant’s hesitation and delay would have been sufficient to have carried the little fellow through the bridge, and beyond all human aid.

Background photo: 1871 photo of mill race, Golden Mill, river and Judkins home. Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Collection.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Events
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. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1870.
Location. 39° 45.409′ N, 105° 13.359′ W. Marker is in Golden, Colorado, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Washington Avenue Bridge, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Golden CO 80401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Settler Farm Wife’s Initiative (here, next to this marker); First Bicycle Mishap in Golden (here, next to this marker); Porcelain and Malted Milk (here, next to this marker); Fun on Courthouse Hill (here, next to this marker); Brewing on Clear Creek-Coors History (here, next to this marker); Golden and Clear Creek (here, next to this marker); Gold (here, next to this marker); Irrigation and Farming (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Golden.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 28, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 781 times since then and 43 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on November 28, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 8, 2023