In 1844 Antoine Janis stuck his claim in the Cache La Poudre Valley and became the first white settler in northern Colorado. In a letter to Ansel Watrous on March 17, 1883 Janis said the streams were very high and the valley was black with buffalo. Janis thought the Poudre Valley was the loveliest spot on earth.
Mr. Cave and Conley began an ice wagon business in 1904, carrying pure artesian water ice for sale.
Elizabeth Keays and her young son, members of a party bound for Fort Collins, reached their destination on this day in 1866. She was the niece of Auntie Stone, who promptly gave her a spare room that gave her a nice view of the hills and the pretty Cache LaPoudre.
In 1904 the people of Wellington were petitioning for a daily mail in place of a thrice-weekly service. It was felt that a community of enough importance to get a railroad built into it ought to have the best of mail facilities. It was reported that they had the prettiest post office furniture.
In 1904, Mr. Lawton, the popcorn man moved his location south of Bradley’s Gallery on South College Avenue. Mr. Lawton was a veteran of the Civil War and an invalid from the effects of a broken breastbone. The paper announced that he was worthy of patronage.
In 1904 Loveland announced that they only had four entries for the Fat Man’s Race to be held July 4. Mayor George Briggs was among he applicants for this unusual race.
In 1860 the first irrigation ditch, taking water from the Cache la Poudre River, was built was G. R. Sanderson. It was used to water a farm.
Abner Loomis offered the city a part of a lot he owned in 1881 in the 200 block of Walnut Street in April for the city hall. The June 2nd issue of the Courier reported “The new city hall will make an important addition to the appearance of Walnut Street. Plans were being drawn for the new city hall. (It was completed May 1882)
In 1893 the third annual commencement exercises of Fort Collins High School were held in the Opera House. There were eight students in the graduating class.
In 1909 the State Board of Agriculture elected Professor C.A. Lory of the college faculty, president of the agricultural college to succeed Dr. B.O. Aylesworth.
In 1911 Mr. Ansel Watrous visited the home of Myron Akin to gather data for his History of Larimer County.
In 1902 Alderman Bucknell of Loveland returned from Denver with the plans for the new C&S station to be erected in Loveland. It was to be built of gray brick on the east side of the track at a cost of $16,000. It contained both freight and passenger rooms, each separate but connected with a covered area. The total roofed space was to be 185 feet long and the total platform about 700.
In 1902 the Electric Light Company was offering a reward of $5 for the arrest of the parties who had been breaking street lamps.
In 1884 the Colorado Agricultural College held its first commencement. The Express reported that the Opera House was filled with the very best citizens of Fort Collins. Every available seat was filled. Each member of the graduating class was required to give an oration. In his speech, President Ingrersoll said, “each of the graduates was born in the state, and are children of Colorado, and the state is proud of them. The door is open, field the world and go forth to work!”
In 1904 the new Baptist Church was dedicated.
In 1875 Clarence Chubbuck, foreman of a cattle roundup in the Big Thompson Valley, was shot and killed by John Phillips, a rancher who claimed ownership of an unbranded steer. Phillips surrendered to Sheriff Joseph Mason. A vigilante posse was formed with plans to take him away from his guards. The posse was foiled after Phillips was lodged in the Old Grout Building in Fort Collins. He was indicted by a grand jury for the murder of Chubbuck and tried before a petit jury in the Methodist Church, which on July 21 found him not guilty.
In 1883 nearly the entire town turned out to witness the final test of the new city waterworks, which was accepted by the City Council. The water supply came from the Poudre River, a short distance west of LaPorte, by means of an open ditch leading to the brick pumphouse. Bond issues totaling $105,000 had financed it.
Bailey Cornwall opened a sample room for wines and liquors on Linden Street in 1893.
In 1916 a marker honoring early pioneers was dedicated during graduation ceremonies for the college class of 1916. The monument was at the insistence of Buffalo Bill who was a good friend of Arthur Patterson.
In 1891 an earthwork, which had been built across the outlet of Chambers Lake by the Water Supply and Storage Company, broke, following a cloudburst. The resulting flood poured down the Poudre Canyon and inflicted great damage there and along the river below.
In 1902 John Zimmerman trapped a young black bear among the hills near his celebrated summer resort hotel at Home and favored the members of the press with a sample roast.
In 1904 the Civic Improvement League met to discuss the cottonwood tree problem in the city. It led to a lively discussion. The cottonwood tree had its friends, but its faults were freely admitted. The conclusion arrived at was that the trees had served a good purpose and it was time to cut half of them down and plant a better variety. At the same time, the League was going to pass a resolution that the City Council pass an ordinance to rid the city of dogs.
In 1864 the Poudre River flooded and swept away Camp Colona. Colonel Collins ordered his camps to relocate a few miles downstream to what is now Fort Collins.
In 1902 the Windsor Leader had this to say about Fort Collins – “A few words about Fort Collins: It is a very beautiful little city, handsomely located with fine, large buildings – public and private – wide clean streets. In a word there is an air of good order, thrift and prosperity that speaks highly for the citizens of that city. The more we see of the place, the greater our admiration.”
In 1874 F.C. Avery, the newly appointed street supervisory, graded Linden Street from Mountain Avenue to Jefferson Street in good style. In addition, he put a bridge near Mr. Loomis’ residence and a new bridge was built under his supervision on College Avenue over the outlet to Canal No. 3.
The Elk Convention was held in Fort Collins in 1908. The city was gaily decorated with lodge colors. The parade was held in the morning followed by a cowboy tournament in the evening.
Birthdate of John Kissock (b. 1874). He came to the Poudre Valley at the age of 19 and engaged in the cattle industry. He was active in civic duties and helped to improve the city. He became known as the Father of the Sewer System. He died August 7, 1927.
In 1903 Frank Cooksie, a roof-painter who had imbibed too much squirrel whiskey and could not find a tree at Long’s Lake, tried to commit suicide. He jumped into a part of the lake about 30 feet deep and had gone down twice when Eugene Turner, the Jefferson Street barber, went in after him and brought him ashore. With the help of others, they broke a barrel with him and drained him out. About as soon as he got in shape, he tried the same stunt again. But this time crowds of fisherman were onto his tactics and he was fished out about as soon as he entered the water. The second bath seemed to cure him.
Charles H. Sheldon, J.E. Davidson, F.P. Stover and Clark Smith all went fishing up the canyon on this date in 1902. They caught one fish apiece and also caught Eugene Browner with a fly hook in the finger.
In 1882 Charles Ingersoll arrived in Fort Collins and took charge as President of the State Agricultural College. He officially assumed office on August 1, 1882.
Sunday School children celebrated Flag Day at the park in 1896.
Fifth district convention of the WCTU was held in Fort Collins in 1905. Programs for the 2-day events were “Mothers Work and Purity” and “Scientific Temperance Instruction.”
It was announced in 1904 that the Civic Improvement League would be offering $10 cash and other prizes to civic minded Fort Collins citizens. A prize could be earned for the greatest quantity of dandelions pulled up by any child under the age of 15. The prize for this feat was two lengths of garden hose. The $10 prize would be awarded for the best shrubbery treatment.
In 1907 Chambers Lake burst and a big flood came down the river causing great excitement but very little damage.
In 1917 the City Council adopted a city ordinance-prohibiting jay walking.
In 1903 the action brought by Marie Lafitte against F.R. Baker and J.P. Ryckman, to recover $5000 damages for false arrest had been discontinued at the insistence of the plaintiff and her attorney, L.R. Rhodes. The paper reported that this action “was a wise move.”
In 1903 the Colorado Springs Gazette reported that out of the 31 graduates of the State Agricultural College, nine were women. They reported that “this opens up an entirely new field for speculation. Are our women, who are now getting into all the learned professions in large numbers, about to become scientific farmers also?”
In 1905 the Great Floto Show Circus was in town. It featured programs such as 500 performers, 285 ponies and horses and llamas and sacred camel. Adults were 50 cents and children were admitted for 25 cents.
In April of 1879, Auntie Stone offers a good dinner to young men who do not enter a saloon for 2 months. She held the dinner on this date for the young men who held up their end of the bargain.
In 1905 the new German Congregational Church was dedicated. The morning services were conducted in German. The church was brick ornamented with brown stone trimmings, 48×65’ in ground dimensions. The cost of building, including furnishings, was $8,000.
In 1874 his neighbor in Estes Park, Griffith J. Evans, mortally wounded “Mountain Jim” Nugent. Evans was arrested and brought to Fort Collins. Nugent died several months later.
In 1904 Messrs. Kenny and Dowdell, contractors, completed the tunnel through Bingham Hill for the new waterworks pipeline. This tunnel is 580 feet in length through solid rock and 4 ½ by 6 feet in dimensions. Four men finished it up in 115 days, making an average of over five linear feet per day.
In 1902 Elizabeth McCarthy of Denver, who called herself “reverend” was arrested on the charge of disturbing the peace by preaching anarchistic doctrines on the street corners downtown. She was released on her own recognizance after spending the night in jail. She was tried the following week and sentenced to $20 and costs. The fine was paid or suspended after she had spent a little time in jail.
In 1884 Commissioner Harbaugh of Loveland reported that the improvements on the Estes Park road were completed. He reported that there was no need for the people of northern Colorado and Wyoming gong to Longmont and further when they now had a good route through Loveland.
In 1874 the Earl of Dunraven was in Estes Park with Dr. Kingsley and other celebrities enjoying the unrivaled natural attractions of the area.
In 1903 Miss Adrienne Roucolle, Fort Collins’ gifted authoress, completed serial work for the Chicago Ledger entitled, “A Wife’s Revenge.”
In 1905 there had been much discussion as to the distance by the new road from Loveland to Estes Park. The distance had been variously estimated from 30 to 40 miles. F.P. Clatworthy felt he had settled the matter. He made the trip in his wheel and the cyclometer registered 34 miles from Estes Park Post Office to the Loveland Post Office.
In 1878 Mariano Modena, the first setter in the Big Thompson Valley (in 1858), died at the age of 66. He was a noted frontiersman who established the Namaqua Stage Station at his home at the present-day site of Loveland.
In 1902 Sheriff Cross had been selling chances at 25 cents each on a valuable cane. The cane, made of paper, was the handiwork of Jake Thomas, a well-known Fort Collins resident who was spending time incarcerated in Canon City. Jake wanted to raise $8 to pay some taxes assessed against him.
In 1894 Alderman Frank Miller was overhauling his fine sample room in the Miller Block on Linden Street, preparing for opening day. Opening day would consist of free lunches and entertainment. The Fort Collins Express reported that “no wholesale and retail liquor establishment in northern Colorado carries a better or finer stock of wines and liquors for medicinal purposes than does Mr. Miller.
In 1904 the first coach over the Fort Collins, Middle and North Park stage line pulled out of Teller and Lulu.
The first post office was opened in town in 1865 with Joseph Mason as postmaster.
In 1877 the Fort Collins Board of Trustees adopted an ordinance granting the right-of-way to Colorado Central Railroad along Mason Avenue. At this time the railroad was being built through the town and its employees were causing disorder through indulgence in liquor. On October 8, the construction train from Cheyenne rolled into town amid the acclaim of enthusiastic citizens. The railroad opened Fort Collins communication with the country at large.
In 1902 the total berry shipments from Loveland amounted to 4200 crates. Notwithstanding the shortage of water, the crop this year will exceed that of last, while at the same time the price will probably average somewhat higher also. The general opinion among growers is that the same ground will not produce so heavily this year as last. The acreage has considerably increased. Larimer County has 169,028 acres irrigated and stands second in area of irrigation behind Weld County, with 216,613 acres. In all there are 1,890 ditches in the state with a total length of 7,374 miles, costing to building $11,568,137 or $7.21 per acre irrigated. The annual cost of maintenance was 34 cents per acre. The income from farms (report from 1899) in Larimer County was $1,970,685 (to Weld’s $3,528,928).
On June 28, 1908 the Lindenmeier Lake resort opened with 4,000 people in attendance. Fishing was good at the lake that day. The ice cream pavilion, with its fine view of the lake, sold ice cream, lemonade and other things that were cooling. The lake featured a diving platform at the end of the pier along with springboards and a toboggan slide for swimmers. There were swings in large numbers and a number of birds and animals were caged, making a good start for a small zoo. There were also shooting galleries for those interested. It was said that the Lindenmeier mosquitoes were of the stinger less variety, although some people had a few welts to prove otherwise. The Fort Collins band gave an excellent concert during the afternoon that added to the pleasure of the great crowds. Crowds returning from the lake never had to wait longer than 15 minutes.
In 1878 Ansel Watrous and his partner Elmer Pelton, began printing the Fort Collins Courier. A Washington hand press and a small supply of printing materials that had been discarded by the Boulder Banner were used. Their motto was: “Home first, the world afterwards.”
In 1882 Professor C.L. Ingersoll, formerly of Purdue, was elected President of the State Agriculture College effective August 1, 1882.
In 1894 shortly after noon, Charles Pennock’s icehouse was discovered to be on fire. The alarm was soon given and all hands fell to work. The fire was extinguished before a great deal of damage was done.
In 1903 the new hospital at the corner of Remington and Magnolia Streets opened for business with Miss Milne of Boulder, as trained nurse in charge. Mrs. Ed McCulloch was to serve as the matron.
In 1904 the telephone girls were taking their vacations and Miss Bell was sick so the local service would not be as prompt as usual. Manager Graves reported that the new girls should be all right within a few days.
In 1904 the Fort Collins Courier reported that the broken lime rock that was being placed on Linden Street was an experiment being conducted by the street committee of the city council. If it was successful, other streets were to be treated in the same manner.
In 1899 the First National Bank received a national Cannon-Breach, screw door burglarproof bank safe, having sold their old safe to the bank at Eaton. This new piece of furniture was one of the latest inventions and is said to be absolutely safe from the attacks of burglars, as the door is screwed in and then locked so that no possible cavity is left into which powder could be blown. It is also too thick to be drilled out in any way.
In 1904 the public library was moved into the new Carnegie Library Building on Mathews Street. The library was to be closed to the public for a few days to accommodate this move.