Francis J. "Frank" McQuiston was born in Pennsylvania where he operated a furniture store in the town of Erie. He and his wife later moved to Minnesota. McQuiston first came to Colorado in June 1859. He settled in the area then known as Ralston Crossing (near present West 65th Avenue and Indiana Street in Arvada) and brought his wife to Colorado in 1863. McQuiston farmed, invested in mining properties in the Central City area, was one of the first bee farmers in Colorado (1863), was one of three original planners and builders of the irrigation ditch later known as the Church Ditch (1864) and served as Postmaster at Ralston (1868 to 1870).