Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

— George Eliot

1 – The Colorado Central Railroad officially opened its office in 1877.  This was a big event for the residents of Fort Collins.  The morning the track was laid to the depot, a holiday was declared.  All work came to a halt.  Each man congratulated his neighbor upon the arrival of the new railroad.  Now, instead of taking two days to get to Denver, it only took four hours.

1 – Fort Collins’ Businessmen’s Credit Association was organized in 1901.  Dr. C.P. Miller was elected president.

1 – In 1902 papers were filled in the county clerk’s office incorporating the New Providence Club of Fort Collins.  According to the incorporation papers, the object of the said club was to form an association of respectable male citizens of Larimer County for mutual benefit and social entertainment, to lease rooms, purchase land and erect building thereon and to acquire by purchase or otherwise such lands or buildings as shall be necessary to promote and carry out the objects of the club.

1 – In 1902 in Loveland, the first four days of the week saw ten cases of drunk and general cussedness before the police court.  The fines aggregated the sum of $55, which made quite a little revenue for the town of Loveland.

1 – In 1903 at the Colorado Federation of Women’s Clubs held in Colorado Springs, the gavel with which the president opened the convention was the first one the Colorado Federation ever owned.  The gavel was made of black walnut from a tree planted in the Cache LaPoudre Valley in 1863 by our well-known pioneer, Abner Loomis. The gavel was made by a freshman in the Agricultural College shops and was presented on behalf of the college by Mrs. A.M. Hawley of Fort Collins, the second vice-president. In her annual address, president Mrs. Mary C. C. Bradford said the gavel was “a product of Colorado skill so rich in patriotic and educational associations that it should serve as the symbol of the organized and orderly working force of Colorado working women.”

2 – In 1875 sixty-eight people signed a petition to repeal the liquor ordinance.  Town trustees voted the petition down 3 to 1.

2 – At the 1902 City Council Board Meeting the Proposed Ordinance 15 relating to the use of sling shots in the city limits was read once and ordered printed.  Proposed Ordinance 16 relating to spitting in public places was read once and ordered printed.

3 – In 1893 the telephone lines from Longmont were nearing completion.  Throngs of men were busily at work setting poles between Fort Collins and Loveland and also in the city.  The company hoped to complete the line and have it in operation within a month.

4 – In 1902, Carlyle Lamb, the famous Long’s Peak guide, left Estes Park to make his home in Oregon.  He sold his hotel, the Long’s Peak house to Enos A. Mills.  Lamb was one of the best known guides in Colorado, having scaled Long’s Peak more than 200 times in 20 years.

4 – In 1905 Frank Beeson disappeared from Wellington.  He rode County Commissioner Aaron Kitchel’s horse away and also had a considerable amount of money.  He later wrote his parents and reported that he was working in Spokane, Washington.  He said he was interested in returning to Fort Collins and opening a livery stable.

5 – In 1870 G.C. de St. Quentine was given permission to peddle goods in Larimer County, by action of the county commissioners.  This was the first official record of the presence of traveling businessmen in the county.

5 – In 1895 the Lindell flour mill burned down, again.  This was Fort Collins only flour mill and the money loss was $125,000.  This was the second time the mill had been destroyed; the first time being 1886.  The Colorado Milling & Elevator Company owned it.  Ansel Watrous stated that this date was “perhaps the darkest day of the entire decade when the Lindell Mill burned.”  Presumed to be the work of arsonists, the Fort Collins Express stated, “if the fiend that set the fire was hanged, he would meet his just desserts.”

6 – Rohling Brothers opened a store in 1892 in the Andrews Building.

6 – In 1904, the first horse races were held in Prospect Park at the “Gentlemen’s Riding and Driving Club.”  The 3-day event also featured wild west shows and a black cowboy who could throw a steer with his teeth.  Wild horse races and relay races were also featured.

6 – In 1908 the freshmen planned on having a party. The YMCA room was decorated for the occasion, the refreshments were ordered and a squad of freshmen remained on the ground during the supper hour to see that no one bothered things. The sophomore class decided that it would not be proper for the freshmen to have a party as planned, so some 40-50 husky sophomores took possession of things, hog-tied the freshmen who were guarding the refreshments and hid them (the freshmen) away in the basement. Each freshman, as he arrived, was immediately relieved of his girl and she was looked after by the fair ones of the sophomore class while he was stowed away with his classmates. By midnight, about 40 freshmen were tied up and all the refreshments were consumed. The sophomores finally took pity on them and turned them loose. They immediately retreated to the horticulture building for an indignation meeting, swearing that they would be revenged upon the sophomores.

7 – In 1864 Captain Evans, commander of the post, appointed Joseph Mason and Captain Asaph Allen in charge of the post at the new camp, giving them the authority of erecting the building and issuing supplies and goods to the soldiers.  The cabin was erected at the corner of Linden and Jefferson.

7 – The 1882 Courier announced that “Mr. Carl Lauterbach of Collins Cigar Factory yesterday filled an order for 3,500 cigars from Idaho Springs.”

7 – In 1893 the Republican County Convention was held in Fort Collins.

8 – Captain Evans issued a special order authorizing Lewis and Auntie Stone to build a log cabin at Fort Collins to serve as a mess hall for the officers.  The year was 1864.

8 – In 1877 the first passenger train ever in Fort Collins arrived.  It was the first run of a passenger train between Fort Collins and Greeley.

8 – The year 1878 marked the first time a train arrived in Fort Collins.  It was a construction train and it signaled the opening of a new era. 

8 – In 1902 a surveying partying had been out for several days on the route of the new wagon road from Estes Park to Loveland.  Work on the road was to begin at once.   A stage line was to be operated over the road during the next season.  It was felt that the tourist traffic to the park would undoubtedly be increased.  The hotel owners were already starting to enlarge their houses and increase their furnishings in anticipation of increasing patronage.

8 – In 1902 it was reported that the C & S was handling nearly 70 cars of stone per week from the quarries located along the Stout branch.

8 – In 1902 it had been long felt that a light at the college depot was necessary and ought to be supplied.  The evening train usually arrived after dark and it was decidedly disagreeable for those who got off there to stumble around in the dark searching for an elusive sidewalk.

8 – The Loveland sugar beet factory closed in 1902 for lack of beets.  They would start up again as soon as a sufficient number of beets were in the bins. 

8 – In 1908 William Stover, a well-known banker and delegate to the 1876 convention that drew up the state constitution, died in Denver while visiting his son.

9 – General William Larimer was born in 1809.  Larimer County derived its name from this Denver pioneer.

9 – 11 The first county fair was held in 1864 with 300 exhibit entries. It opened on a 40-acre site near the present-day Poudre Valley Hospital.  It had a capital stock of $3,000.  It was a very fruitful and bountiful year for Fort Collins. 

10 – Charlie Clay, one of the most lovable black men was born in Calloway County Missouri in 1810 (or 1828, according to his mother?).  His parents were slaves and he was born into slavery.  He was freed with the rest of his family by Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation.  He worked in Fort Laramie for a while as a cook then came to Fort Collins in 1864.  He later moved to LaPorte where he was hired by William W. Taylor who operated a hotel.  He earned $80 a month and was the cook to General Ulysses S. Grant when he stopped in LaPorte in 1868 to eat.  He had a plethora of occupations including farmer, cook, barber and butcher.  His daughter Lillian was the first black child born in Fort Collins.

11 – The birth date of Norman H. Meldrum (b. 1841).  He was “Boss” of Larimer County politics.  Whatever office he ran for, he won.  He was Fort Collins’ first assessor, was a State Senator, Secretary of State, and Surveyor General.  In 1886 he was elected Lieutenant Governor.

11 – In 1886 the Loveland voters approved a town bond issue for construction of a municipal waterworks and pipeline.  In 1885 the town board had contracted for an artesian well, 2,742 feet deep and costing $14,000.  But the small flow of water was impregnated with iron and other chemical substances and was unpleasant tasting.  Popular demand for a better supply of soft water resulted.

11 – In 1903 W.C. Stover sold his handsome residence at the corner of Remington and Mulberry Streets to A.L. Rohling for $7,500.  It was a large ten-room brick house with all modern conveniences, built in 1887 by contractor Pierce.  Stover had originally paid $11,000 for the home.  Mr. Stover was spending every winter in California and it was thought that he might move there permanently.

12 – In 1819, C. W. Welch was born near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  He came to Fort Collins in 1874 and conducted a general merchandise business.  His very first business was in a rough, pine board building on the corner of College and Mountain and was called “The Corral.”

12 – In 1898 the voters of Fort Collins were told to bear in mind that they had to go to the county clerk’s office in person, accompanied by two witnesses, in order to register for the upcoming election.  The opportunity was to end 15 days before the election.  Those not voting in last year’s election had to register again.

12 – In 1904, 500 season tickets for the lecture course would be sold at $1.50 each.  William Jennings Bryan was to deliver a lecture at the Fort Collins Opera House.

12 – In 1904 a committee from the Empire Grange No. 148 presented a petition to the Board of Commissioners asking that they absolutely prohibit the use of tobacco in the polling places at the next election.  The board stated that it was not within their authority.

12 – William Batterson and William St. Clair with charged with assault and battery on Lady Moon in 1906.  The preliminary hearing was set on this date.  Bail was set at $1,500.  The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

13 – In 1903 high school pupils and third through seventh graders moved into the new high school at South Meldrum and Magnolia Streets.  Contract price on the new building was $30,331 and an additional $3,400 had been spent for the heating plant.

14 – Birth date of George E. Buss (b. 1829).  Two days after President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers for Civil War duty, Buss enlisted as a private in the 14th regiment of New York Volunteer infantry.  After many battles, he was assigned to Camp Collins.  He decided to stay after he was mustered out of service.  He was active in early irrigation development.  He died April 7, 1908.

14 – In 1893 a woman’s suffrage meeting was held and proved a success.  After singing and prayer, Mr. Seckner made a very able and favorable address in favor of the cause.  Only two in attendance did not favor the cause.  Seckner remarked, “We were glad to say they were not Republicans.”

15 – On September 28, 1870, the Grand Lodge of Colorado granted a charter to Collins Lodge No. 19, Free and Accepted Masons.  On this date in 1870, Deputy Grand Master O.H. Henry organized a lodge under the charter and duly installed its officers.

15 – J.T. Budrow, T.H. Robertson, H.D. Humphrey and F.P. Stover organized the Larimer Abstract and Investment Company in 1902.  They had purchased the books and business of the Larimer County Abstract of Title Company.  The new company was intending to conduct a general real estate, insurance, load and abstract business. 

15 – It was planned in 1902 that the C & S railroad company would take up the Stout branch beyond Bellvue.  Superintendent. T.H. Sears said that that part of the road didn’t pay fees for grease used on it and it was only operated during part of the year.  It was thought that if the beet factory was built that the track would remain as far as Bellvue to ship beets in.  However, the entire roadbed is in such disrepair that the train crews were afraid to run over it.

15 – In 1904 the town of Wellington had daily mail service taken care of by acting postmaster J.P. Coffey and his wife.  Between 400 and 500 people were receiving mail at the post office.  Wellington was becoming a “beehive of industry.”

15 – Fancher Sarchet was asked to join E.A. Ballard’s law office.  Their new law offices were at 137 North College Avenue and they started their partnership in 1906 on this date.

16 – Mrs. Elizabeth (Keays) Stratton, niece of Auntie Stone and Fort Collins’ first schoolteacher, passed away in 1922 at the age of 92.  She was respected for all of her many contributions to education in the Fort Collins area.

17 – Margaret O’Dea, namesake of O’Dea Elementary, was born in Leadville in 1886.  She taught for 17 years in Leadville and came to Fort Collins in 1922, where she taught for 31 years, 21 of which were as principal of Remington School.

17 – In 1905 Charles Beffrey at 216 Linden opened a new wallpaper store.  A souvenir was given away on opening day, which was a picture on an aluminum plate of the old town of Fort Collins in 1865, which was said to be a valuable historical keepsake.  Mr. Beffrey did a lot of the wallpaper in the Opera House in the early 1900’s.

18 – Laporte post was abandoned in 1864 and the soldiers moved to their new grounds at Camp Collins.

18 – In 1887 the Fort Collins City Council granted a franchise to the Fort Collins Light, Heat and Power Company involving the right to build a generating plant and operate a lighting system by electricity through all the city’s streets and alleys.  The city agreed to erect 10 arc lights and pay $2,000 a year for their service.

18 – In 1898 the first cars of granite for the Denver mint were shipped from the quarries west of Loveland.  The granite contract proved to be a good advertisement for Larimer county and it was hoped that it might lead to the development of an important industry.

18 – In 1905, J.B. Chevrot, a noted chef, moved to Fort Collins to take charge at the Northern Hotel.

18 – In 1905 Miller Porter, the son of W.W. Porter of Fort Collins purchased the 7,000 acre estate located in Estes Park known as the Dunraven Ranch. The price was $100,000. The Earl of Dunraven purchased the land in 1874 at a nominal figure when it was wild land. The purchase includes the hotel of 60 rooms, a club house, 60 heard of horses, 200 head of cattle and a number of cottages. It was said that Mr. Porter would conduct the property as a summer resort along the lines that it has been managed in late years. When a young man, Lord Dunraven spent considerable time on his property, which he named “the garden spot of the world.” He had not visited in recent years.

18 – In 1905 the Weekly Courier reported that the building activity in Fort Collins was so great that contractors were at a loss where to get men to work on their various jobs.  It was the reason why so many of the buildings in course of construction were so slow being completed.  Many times only two men were working when there should have been a half dozen.  There was such a scarcity of houses that it was common for anyone wanting a house to just purchase it outright in order to be sure to get it.

20 – The first general term of the district court was held on the second floor of the Grout Building in 1868.

20 – In 1902 William Jennings Bryan was to take a hand in the campaign for the Democrats of Colorado.  Fort Collins was to be among one of his stops, where it was planned that he would make a short address.

20 – In 1902 two ordinances were proposed – Ordinance 15 relating to use of sling shoots in the city limits was read once and ordered printed. Ordinance 16 relating to spitting in public places read once and ordered printed.

21 – The Fort Collins Express headlines read, “Odd Fellows are Welcome.”  Fort Collins had decked herself for the Grand Encampment, Grand Lodge and Rebekah Assembly.  The 31st Grand Encampment, I.O.O.F. State of Colorado, convened on this date in 1903.  Almost every business place in town boasted decorations and displays were elaborate.

21 – In 1908 the Weekly Courier reported that there were 4,421 registered voters in Fort Collins, and 2,250 in Loveland. This total registration for the two largest towns in the     county is 6,681 more than 800 votes in excess of the vote cast by the entire county two years ago for governor.

21 – In 1908 the first program for the year of the Fort Collins P.E.O. Chapter was given at the home of Mrs. Newton Crose on West Mountain Avenue. The committee in charge secured a lectured by Miss Rausch on ‘The New Housekeeping” which gave the keynote for the year’s program. The programs is based upon the interest in the complete home, including household economics, music, literature and art. Dainty refreshments were served by the hostess.

22 – In 1903 farmers were cautioned against dropping onions, beets and potatoes on the streets from their loaded wagons as they obstructed traffic, scared horses and upset carriages.

23 – After the disastrous flood of September 6, 1864, Joseph Mason convinced Joe Hanna that the bluffs overlooking the river (adjacent to Mason’s claim) would be an ideal spot for a new site for the troops.  Full occupation of the site came on Oct. 23, 1864 — along with its new name FORT COLLINS.

23 – A group of people from Greeley and nine more from Fort Collins organized the Fort Collins Agricultural Colony in 1872.  They incorporated themselves under the legal title of The Larimer County Land Improvement Company.  Their main purpose was to encourage emigration to the area by establishing a colony at Fort Collins.

23 – In 1903 the corner stone of the new Baptist Church was laid in the presence of a large gathering.  W.A. Ogden, the subcontractor placed the cornerstone, which was a fine block sand stone inscribed with a star and the words “First Baptist Church, 1879-1903.” Two small coins, a bible and copies of the Fort Collins newspapers were placed beneath the stone.  The new structure was to be an ornament to the city.  It was built of white sandstone 66×86 feet, heated by steam and was to cost $10,000, over half of which had already been raised.  A January 1 completion date by the contractors Butler and McDaniels was expected.

24 – In 1905 H.H. Orth and Mr. And Mrs. Thompson had purchased The Pansy Place on LaPorte Avenue.  The company was going to build extensive greenhouses.

24 – In 1910, “Uncle” Ben Whedbee, who Ansel Watrous called “one of the most remarkable of the early pioneers of the Cache La Poudre” died at the age of 98.

25 – In 1905 the Dic Schiller Stunde Club was organized to increase the knowledge of the German language of members.  Mrs. H.J. Livingston was elected president.

25 – A boon to travelers in 1905!  Dr. Fowlers Extract of Wild Strawberry cured dysentery, diarrhea, seasickness, and nausea.  It was pleasant to take and acted promptly, so exclaimed the Weekly Courier.

25 – In 1905 B. Hughes, manager of the Cottage House, advertised the Victoria, a new air suction, dustless carpet sweeper.

25 – In 1915 Fort Collins celebrated their first Skookum Days.  This was a celebration of the completion of the first two blocks of paving on College Avenue.  A paved area was strewn with cornmeal and soapstone powder for dancing and there were also floats.

26 – Colonel William Collins, namesake of Fort Collins, passed away in his home in Hillsborough Ohio in 1880.

26 – In 1893 W.C. Holmes, a Manhattan merchant, purchased the Forks Hotel from Mrs. Clara Denig.  The Forks Hotel was built in 1875 at the fork of the road, which led to the north, and south fork of the Cache la Poudre River.  It did a thriving business as it was on a direct line to Larimer, Wyoming. 

27 – In 1903 nearly 200 Greeley citizens came to Fort Collins for the Harvest Festival.  It was said that the Greeley citizens felt the festival was a total success but the collapse of the grand stand marred some of the pleasure.

28 – In 1903 a Chinese restaurant opened in Dr. McCarrolls’ building on Linden Street.  It was formerly the Crescent Restaurant.

28 – In 1905 John McCarthy purchased a stereopticon and moving picture machine and gave a free exhibition at Hotel Wellington to boarders and guests.  He was getting his machine in running order so he could go on the road in a month.

28 – In 1908 Col. T.C. Ramey entertained Captain S.T. Smith and Col. W.W. Ferguson, both of Denver and State Senator A.V. Bohn of Leadville, three of Colorado’s distinguished Civil War veterans, who arrived in Fort Collins in the morning.  The gentlemen planned to spend the night in Fort Collins and a reception was tendered for them in the evening in the Republican headquarters.  The Grand Army men were cordially invited to attend.

28 – In 1908 the Weekly Courier stated that fourteen wagons would be required to deliver election supplies to the various precincts of the county and one of the wagons was obliged to cover 170 miles, not figuring the return trip, to reach the outlying districts. The long trip took in the precincts along the Laramie River and North Park, the route being via Livermore, thence over the state road to Laramie, down the Laramie to Boswell’s ranch, thence over to Pinkhampton, next to Walden and from there in the most convenient way to Hebron, Rand, Hillard and Pearl. It would require 24,800 ballots to supply Larimer County. The steel election booths were stored with the various precinct committeemen over the county and those for use in the city were in a barn on the lot opposite the court house.

29 – In 1903 an ad in the Courier suggested that Fort Collins residents purchase shares of stock.  They noted that those people who purchased Eastman Kodak share when first offered could now live comfortably without working as a result of the original investment.  Charles Golding-Dwyre was the local agent.

30 – In 1902 a stranger named Canfield stole a watch and a pair of gloves form A.J. Rosennow. The items were taken from Rosennow’s coat which was hanging in the bowling alley.  When a bystander told Rosennow of the incident, he started his pursuit. The thief had a good start and was fleet footed.  Rosennow caught up with him in the weeds near the Corbin-Black lumber yard and choked him into submission.  He led him back to the City Hall and turn him over to the night watchman.

31 – In 1867, Agnes Eurillia Mason was born.  She was the first white child born in Fort Collins.  She was the Grandmother of Colonel Ralph Giddings, a Fort Collins resident and author.

31 – In 1902 the Halloween crowds were out at the college and overturned a few things. A three-wheel buggy was found on top of the spring house, but beyond that, there was nothing unusual done.

In 1864, the population of the Cache La Poudre Valley was increasing.  LaPorte was the proud possessor of a blacksmith shop.  It was a thriving center and the county seat.

In 1864, a two-story log cabin was completed and a housewarming party that lasted into the wee hours of the night was held.  Thus was the beginning of Auntie Stone’s cabin.

In 1864, Fort Collins’ first doctor Dr. Timothy Smith arrived and set up his practice.  He also selected the site for the post hospital.

In 1877, the Colorado Central Railroad established a link to its transcontinental route in Fort Collins.

In 1880 an effort to link Fort Collins with the range and mining resources of North Park was started with formation of the Denver, Salt Lake and Western Railroad Company.  A 10 man survey party made it up Poudre Canyon as far as Chambers Lake before abandoning the effort.  This was the first of several railroad promotional efforts that failed of material results.

In 1881 Dr. T.M. Smith’s wife gave birth to twin girls.  They packed up and moved East.  At the time of his daughters birth, Dr. Smith was 65 years old.  They moved to Virginia in 1882 where he died a few years later.

In 1887 Fort Collins Light, Heat and Power Company was organized.

In 1895 referred to by Ansel Watrous as “perhaps the darkest day of the entire decade” in Fort Collins, the Lindell Mill burned down.  It was the flour mill at the corner of Willow and Lincoln run by Auntie Stone and H. C. Peterson.  It was presumed to be the work of arsonists.  Ranchway Feed is currently at the location.

In 1903 Dr. P.J. McHugh was campaigning for a favorable vote on a bond issue of $160,000 for building a new waterworks system to replace the old one.  He stated the supply of water was not only inadequate in volume but poor in quality.

In 1907 a new fad hit Fort Collins – Roller Skating!  A new rink was scheduled to be completed this month at a cost of $3000.  It had “the best floor that could be constructed” and was surrounded by a 120 x 50′ tent.  One of the owners, F.A. Carleton announced, “We will run the rink on a high moral plane for the benefit of the best people.  There will be a fixed rule against the admission of bad characters.”

In 1914 along with the automobile age came the construction of new roads.  In fact, construction began on a highway following the main branch of the Poudre River.  It was completed in this year and a public picnic was held to celebrate its opening.  On hand were 200 pounds of chicken, donated by Franklin Avery, along with about 100 automobiles.