In 1876 President Ulysses S. Grant declared Colorado the 38th State of the Union. This was the 100th year after the U.S. Declaration of Independence so Colorado became known as the “Centennial State”.
In 1901 the Weekly Courier announced that Fort Collins had seven churches and no saloons. “What could be better to recommend the town as a place of residence? Besides its educational facilities are equal to the best in the state.”
An automobile club was organized at the office of Judge J. Mack Mills in 1905. The name of the new club was to be the Larimer Automobile Club and Judge Mills was elected president. The principal objective of the new club was the interest of good roads and dry roads as irrigated roads were especially obnoxious to automobile drivers.
In 1904 C.R. Secord was preparing for publication of a book of photographic views of Larimer County. It was to be a 7×9” size and contain 32 illustrations and sell for 50 cents. Three thousand copies comprised the first edition.
In 1910 the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a monument on the site where the trappers cached their supplies.
In 1902 work had been temporarily suspended on the Masonic Temple. The construction committee condemned the brick wall laid up to that time on the ground that the bricks were inferior. About 80,000 bricks had been laid up to that time and the amount involved was $800. The contractor, M.G. Conley claimed that the bricks were “good enough”.
In 1905 a Good Roads Convention was held in this city for the first time ever. Mayor S.H. Clammer called the meeting to order at the College Chapel. Delegates from Greeley, Windsor, Wellington, Timnath, Berthoud, Loveland, Fort Collins and the surrounding counties composed the audience. “Do it Now” was their battle cry. They wanted to advocate the organization to compel the legislature to appropriate money for the cause of good roads.
In 1908 Miss Jane Addams of Hull House fame spoke at the College Chapel.
The 1912 Weekly Courier reported, “Taboo is put on Objectionable Dances.” The grizzly bear, turkey trot and bunny hug dances were absolutely forbidden in the pavilion at Lindenmeier Lake. Mr. Lindenmeier even posted signs forbidding these outrageous dances!
In 1902 Deputy Sheriff Richart and Marshal Ryckman went up to Stove Prairie and brought back to Fort Collins – Al Graham. Graham was claimed to be insane, having a mania for fence-cutting. He had destroyed William Bosworth’s fence about as fast as it could be put up.
In 1902 N.C. Alford, James B. Arthur and James A. Brown were appointed by three banks as the three directors of the Fort Collins Sugar Manufacturing Company.
In 1902 the Cache la Poudre Irrigation Ditch company began an action against C.C. Hawley, as water commissioner, alleging he has reduced their appropriation of water from 60 feet to 25 feet.
In 1892 the Fort Collins Silver Club was organized. The honorable J.W. Norrell was appointed president with B.F. Stout serving as secretary.
The 1910 census by Marshal Ryckman stated that 365 dogs constituted the canine population of the City of Fort Collins. He added that the amount was 50 less than the census last year. The number included all stray dogs as well as regularly licensed pets and watchdogs owned by citizens throughout the city. It took one week to complete the census.
In 1903 Dr. Nelson received his static machine and x-ray outfit. It was the first medical appliance of the kind to be brought to this town.
In 1899 a pony and dog show visited Loveland but received very small patronage.
In 1902 the delivery team of McMilland and Dotts ran away down College Avenue. In front of the Commercial Hotel they collided with a tree. One horse turned a somersault but neither was hurt, though the wagon was demolished.
The dedication of the Masonic Temple took place in 1902. Several dignitaries from Denver were taking part (including the Senior Grand Warden of Colorado, James R. Killian of Denver) along with grand officers from Greeley, Loveland, Windsor, Longmont and Berthoud.
For Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Greeley in 1902, the C & S has made a special rate of $1 for the round trip. The rate from Loveland and Windsor is one fare for the round trip.
In 1905 work was started on putting a deep basement under the Welch Block, corner of Mountain and College Avenues. The basement would finished off and was to be occupied by the State Mercantile Company.
In 1905 The Poudre Valley Pressed Brick Co. was organized to carry on the manufacture of pressed brick for building purposes. Incorporated with a capital of $100,000, the directors of the company included B.F. Hottel, Frank Stover, James B. Arthur, and others.
In 1905 the interior of the Opera House emerged from the hands of artists who wrought a wonderful change. The ceilings were tinted afresh, a new roof added, woodwork in the interior was tinted in 3 shades of willow green and olive green. The upper third of the wall was tinted in fresh colors ornamented with an 18-inch border carrying Colorado wildflowers. The cove was tinted in cream with wreaths of sunflowers with electric light bulbs projecting from the center of the flowers. The space between the lights and centers bore a pink tint, ornamented with swallows and flowers. The ceiling was decorated in very light canary with flowers, scrolls and balls. The centerpiece in the ceiling was made in seven different tints, ornamented with flowers, scrolls and flowers. A beautiful freehand sketch in oil of the Mount of the Holy Cross adorned the space between the proscenium column and the wall on the right of the stage with a free hand sketch of the Garden of the Gods on the left-hand side. Above the proscenium arch the walls were ornamented with a large scroll showing a banjo and guitar, very true to life. Charles Beffrey of the Fort Collins Wallpaper Company designed the beautiful interior ornaments.
Birthdate of William F. Watrous (b. 1825) who came to Fort Collins in 1871. Watrous was a member of the Board of Trustees at the time of the first waterworks system, which was built in 1882. He was also the first president of the State Board of Agriculture and had great influence in establishing the university. He died in Fort Collins on July 18, 1910.
In 1904, Attorney E.J. Bougton perfected appeals from the decisions of the county court for the plaintiff in 3 cases of the City Vs. Madame Marie Lafitte – first for selling liquor without a license, second for keeping liquor for sale and 3rd for keeping a disorderly house. The fight was upon the constitutionality of the 3 ordinances and the decision of the court of appeals.
Born in 1852, Charles H. Sheldon was one of the best-known businessmen of Larimer County. He grew up in New York on a farm. Like other boys he played hooky, went to the old swimming hole, raided watermelon patches and did other “boy things.” He moved to Fort Collins in 1874 and farmed the area around what is now known as Sheldon Lake.
The first telephone in the city was installed in the courthouse in 1887. On the same day, the cornerstone for Larimer County’s third courthouse was laid. County residents approved $40,000 in corporate bonds in 1886 to build the new courthouse.
In 1899, under the energetic and capable management of T.J. Collins, the county poor farm was being put in shape and the crops on its were magnificent in their present stage of growth. Corn stalks were 10 feet tall with large ears, A fine lot of Hubbard squashes were growing along with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants. The house was “neat as wax” and had seven rooms for the inmates. At the time of this writing there were only 4 inmates and they seemed to be enjoying life fairly well.
In 1887 the city bought from Thomas Connolly, an 8-acre tract of land a mile and a half west of the city limit. Half of the tract was laid out for cemetery purposes and named Grandview Cemetery. Half an acre was dedicated to the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and became known as the veteran’s plot. In later years the bodies buried in the original Mountain Home Cemetery southeast of town were removed to Grandview Cemetery.
In 1904 Madame Marie Lafitte gave bonds in the sum of $5.00 to appear for trial in Justice Cooper’s court on August 19th on the charge of keeping a disorderly house and storing liquor.
In 1905 the Weekly Courier proclaimed, “Fort Collins keeps right on growing in spite of herself. Two hundred dollars an acre for Poudre Valley dirt, four miles from town is not that bad.”
In 1903 the board of county commissioners awarded B.J. Clippinger the job of caring for four flower beds on the court house lawn for 1904 at $65 for the entire year.
In 1910 Sheriff Carlton had spent the day in Loveland returning the previous night on the late training with the bonds of six alleged offenders in his pocked. The charge against them was shooting craps. It was a harmless game unless men wagered sums of money on the result, it them came within the purview of the gambling statute and as such constituted an offense against the peace and dignity of the state. The names of some of the offenders were Frank “Shorty” Briggs and John Considine whose name on the warrant was given as “John Doe Cantankerous.”
In 1915 the Fort Collins Courier Express reported that Charles Lauterbach, first to establish a cigar business in Fort Collins (1882), “drops dead in the lobby of the Brown Hotel in Denver on August 17, 1915 of heart failure.” He was 86 years old.
A bond issue of $19,500 was voted by the taxpayers in 1886 so an 8-room schoolhouse could be built on the corner of Mountain and Howes for $19,000. It was completed in September of 1887.
In 1903 the bricklayers of Fort Collins formed a union known as International Union No. 10 of Colorado. It had 30 members and the hod carriers organized a union at the same time.
This day is the official birthday of Fort Collins. In 1864 Colonel Collins issued the official order for a new campsite. The move was completed in the fall and by October the camps was being referred to as Fort Collins, rather than Camp Collins.
In 1884 the Larimer County Stockgrowers Association was organized in Livermore. It proved useful in facilitating the annual branding and cattle roundups in the county and also served to hunt down and prosecute cattle and horse thieves.
In 1902 Miss Adrienne Roucolle of Fort Collins had a story published entitled, “Spanish Spy or the Wreck of the Powder Mill.” It was accepted and published by the Chicago Ledger.
The order was issued to move old Camp Collins from LaPorte to present Fort Collins site in 1864. Details of soldiers were sent to the mountains to cut logs for buildings at the new Camp Collins. President Abraham Lincoln ordered establishment of a military reservation four miles square in Fort Collins.
In 1905 in County Court, Walter L. Davidson was granted a divorce from his wife Mattie on the grounds of cruelty and dissertion. The couple was married April 1901. The plaintiff claimed that his wife hit him in the head with a mug and cursed at him.
In 1907 new materials for the fire alarm system were installed. The alarm consisted of 25 boxes stationed in all parts of the city, an electrically operated alarm bell, a door opening device and an electrically impelled hitching apparatus.
In 1909 the Tedmon House went out of business. Meal service stopped on the last day of July but roomers were accommodated an additional 3 weeks.
The pioneers celebrated their 50th anniversary in Fort Collins in 1914. Mrs. F. W. Sherwood spoke on the subject of Indians. She said that her husband had a wealth of pleasant experiences with them and they even received a wedding gift from Chief Friday.
In 1906 the county commissioners put a stone crusher into operation and were ballasting the Estes Park road through the big canyons that would materially help in making the road popular with travelers going to Estes Park.
In 1916 horse-hitching racks were being removed from paved streets because of horses fouling the pavement. Other racks were erected along unpaved streets. At one time the streets were lined with hitching racks. A merchant could not transact business with farmers and others unless he had a post or rack for the convenience of the customers. While the streets were fairly littered with these posts, a few special posts received the greater patronage. There was the long rack at the Linden Street side of the old Stover store at Jefferson Street and there was a more limited string of posts at the B.T. Whedbee store at Mountain and College Avenues. If a farmer from one section outside the city wished to know if a certain farmer from another section was in town, he did not go the rounds of the stores until he had viewed the hitching racks to know if the other man’s team was in town.
In 1906 the Stock Judging Pavilion and new horse barns were being planned.
In 1904 Madame Marie LaFitte was given additional fines of $200 in each of the two liquor charges. She has neither appealed nor paid her fines.
In 1872 the First Presbyterian Church was organized.
Cheyenne Frontier Days was held in 1903. In the wild bronco bucking and pitching counted for the championship of the world, the Union Pacific railroad company has put up a saddle valued at $200 to be presented to the rider winning the championship for 1903. Frontier days this year came at the same time the United States and state troops were at Fort Russell, Wyoming for their military maneuvers and the congregation of about 8,000 government and state troops at the Cheyenne fort would add to the interesting sights.
In 1882 Aunty Stone gave a sociable at the Cottage House. Many attended and there was dancing and feasting.
In 1882 The Hook and Ladder Company selected a running team from its members as follows: Frank Spencer (captain), A.M. Nicholas, Ed Schwalbe, Frank Abbott, Elmer McClelland, James Hoyt, A.A. Edwards. R.T. Willetts, Dr. Clark, Jack Hoyt, J.T. Budrow, Fred Warren, M. Dewey, Joe Gosline, and John Douglass.
In 1904 the new Carnegie Library was completed with 2,770 books on hand. The number of books loaned for the year was 19,824 with 965 patrons.
In 1903 Collins Cash Clothing Company celebrated its 11th year. They were going to give a way a $12 overcoat free. They were also offering a special 25% discount. The sale was to continue for two days.
In 1904 Collins Cash Clothing Company celebrated its 12th year in Fort Collins. Over 80 little cakes and 100 gallons of lemonade were consumed. In one of the cakes a small slip of paper was concealed. The winner received a handsome winter overcoat. The store also slashed prices “unmercifully.”
Abner Loomis passed away in 1904. He was the first President of the Board of County Commissioners and was president of the Poudre Valley National Bank.
In 1883 a complaint was made that certain men and boys were in the habit of bathing in the river near private residences, to the annoyance of the occupants. The Marshall was investigating the incident and stated that unless it was stopped, the guilty parties would be prosecuted.
In 1893 F.C. Avery, president of the First National Bank, completed a $4,000 addition to his stone house on Mountain Avenue.
In 1904 a Young Men’s Republican Club was formed. The objective of the organization was to enable the young men to work with the older men for the promotion of party interests. They also wanted to promote the principles of republicanism.
In 1906 the International League of Press Clubs met in Fort Collins.
Spencer Farmer, Rowland Seaman and Ed Consigny organized the Fort Collins Social Club for the purpose of holding dances. They were 40 members strong.
Charles Clay, the much-loved black pioneer of Fort Collins, died in 1910. His obituary, which appeared on the front page of the paper read, “Charlie Clay, the aged colored man, a familiar face to everyone in Fort Collins, gave way beneath the weight of years and infirmities last night and breathed his last about 6 o’clock.
Other Events in August
Newlyweds John and Emily Coy joined a wagon train heading west to California. They found the Cache la Poudre Valley to their liking and filed a homestead claim on river bottomland that was east of what is now known as “Old Town.”
A Fort Collins chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was formed. Among the organizers was Mrs. Charlotte Calista Edwards, mother of A.A. Edwards. Mrs. Catherine W. Collins, wife of Fort Collins’ namesake, Lt. Col. William O. Collins, helped found a WCTU chapter in her Ohio home in 1874.
The fence around the courthouse grounds had been completed. The next thing to be done was to build a courthouse inside of it.
Hotels in Fort Collins were the Windsor Hotel, Tedmon House, the Commercial Hotel and the Red Lion Inn.
The city’s first telephone system was constructed to connect the city hall with the waterworks pumphouse for use in cases of fire, when greater water pressure would be needed.
Keyes Brothers Creamery started up in Fort Collins.
The paper warned that Fort Collins residents need to “pay your dog tax and get a collar for your pup or lose him.” Marshall Webster gave strict orders to slaughter all uncollared canines.
F.C. Avery, President of the 1st National Bank, completed a $4,000 addition to his stone house on Mountain Avenue.
Tedmon House, for years one of the best known hotels in Larimer County, closed its doors. The new owners of the property were the Union Pacific.
Early Fort Collins Women
At the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the founding of Fort Collins (August 21, 1914), Mrs. D. W. Taft spoke about the women in early Fort Collins. In her words, “As I recall, it seems to me they were women of resource and ability, equal to any emergency, able to meet any demand made upon them; that each one had some strong characteristic that marked her individuality. They had the true pioneer qualities that shone. They were always ready and their farm was a sort of show place that all strangers were taken to see and where all were received with open-headed hospitality. I should like to see their lives written up.”
If the pioneer women of the late 1800’s were alive today, what do you think she would feel about the modern appliances that are doing the chores she performed so routinely by hand? Do you think she would be more than happy to have traded the harshness of her life in early Fort Collins for the ease and luxury as we know it today? Do you think she would have been pleased and amazed at the progress we had made or would she simply shake her head in wonder and despair?