Del Norte Historical Tour

#52. The Wiley House


This home had simple beginnings as a large, four-walled cabin built by Edwin Shaw in 1897.  Judge Jesse C. Wiley then purchased the home and expanded it.  The first floor in the front section of the house is part of the original cabin.

Jesse C. Wiley was born in Illinois on May 22, 1869.  He came to Colorado in 1896 from Springfield, Ohio where he had studied law.  After getting to the Del Norte/Monte Vista area, he taught one year at one of the Swede Lane Schools, and at the same time continued studying law with Judge Bloomfield in Monte Vista.  He was admitted to the Colorado State Bar in 1897, at which time he opened his law office in Del Norte.

On June 29, 1898, he married Mary Bingel; they had six children.

In August of 1914, he was appointed judge of the Twelfth Judicial District, where he served for sixteen years, until the time of his death.  He was known for his fairness, ability, and honesty, and also for being well-versed in “irrigation matters”.

In June of 1926, he formed a partnership with Jack Pickens, and leased a large number of mining claims in the Summitville District.  This resulted in the Little Annie Mine booming again, which lasted many years.

Judge Wiley died at his home on September 4th, 1930.

Daughter Bernice Hersch lived in the home.  It was sold to George McClanahan and used as a bed and breakfast.  It has been sold again and is a private home.