County Judge J. Mack Mills drove the first automobile in Larimer County home. He had not previously seen an automobile but had read literature about horseless carriages and yearned to own one. In early July, he boarded a train for Denver, shopped two hours. He then drove his 1902 black Oldsmobile homeward over the 75-mile wagon road, despite rain and mud. He left Denver about 1 o’clock, stopped about two hours at Brighton and Platteville and then stopped in Berthoud in time to give a score of Berthoud people a ride on the flyer before supper. The next morning he headed to Fort Collins.
On August 1, 1905 an automobile club was organized at the office of Judge J. Mack Mills. 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.
Frank C. Miller was born in Fort Collins in 1886. He was one of Fort Collins’ most colorful characters. He attended local schools and opened one of the first local gasoline stations in the Northern Garage on Pine Street. As a western showman and expert marksman he entertained such celebrities as Will Rogers and Buffalo Bill Cody. He also kept a zoo with buffalo, coyote, and other wild animals. One of his most famous tricks was shooting a piece of chalk from a ladies mouth at 25 feet. The trick was made more difficult by covering the sights on his rifle and firing with one hand. He also rode in an open auto with his pet bear in the back seat.
Every Auto Driver in City Must be Licensed – A New Ordinance, June, 1917
The new traffic ordinance was passed in the city. Everyone had to be licensed – at a cost of $1. The new traffic ordinance was as follows:
No license to persons under 15 years of age. License will not be issued to a person with a hand, foot, arm or leg missing and application may be rejected to incompetents or revoked for inefficiency.
Speed regulations are 15 miles in the fire limits, 20 miles outside and 12 miles in alleys.
The use of sirens is prohibited.
Two headlights and a tail light must be used at night when the car is in operation. No lights required when cars are parked at the curb at night.
Engines must not be operated for more than five minutes when a car is left unattended at a curb.
Autos are prohibited from passing a streetcar when the car is stopped to take on or let off passengers and the auto must remain stationary until the passenger has reached the curb or the person is on the car.
Loaded beet pulp wagons will not be permitted on concrete pavements and no pulp wagons shall be left standing at the curb.
Cheryl Miller, February 24, 2007