“A” – On December 12, 1923 the huge “A” which stands on the foothills near Horsetooth Mountain was placed there by Colorado Agricultural College students.
Agricultural Experiment Station – On March 2, 1887 an Agricultural Experiment Station was established at CAC. In 1888 the station started a sugar beet culture that attracted Germans from Russia.
Ancient Order of United Workmen was organized on November 11, 1882.
Assessment – First assessment roll was made in 1865 and Assessor James Smith found personal property in the county valued at $168,107.50. At the time of his assessment, there were 217 horses, 27 mules, 1 ass, 450 oxen, 319 cows, 728 calves and yearlings, 524 sheep, and 21 swine. The assessment roll for 1866 showed that 144 taxpayers were listed. For a period of six years after the first settlement was made in Larimer County, the pioneers escaped the call of the Tax Collector.
Automobile, First in Northern Colorado – A 1902 Oldsmobile owned by Judge Mack Mills.
Automobile Club was organized on August 1, 1905 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 and dry roads as irrigated roads were especially obnoxious to automobile drivers.
Auto Show – On December 4, 1907 Fort Collins held their first auto show. All 40 of the town’s automobiles were brought together for a parade and pictures. However, the parade was short-lived. Unpaved roads with dust ten inches deep caused many of the drivers with their dust-caked hair and eyebrows to drop out.
Bakery – First bakery opened in Fort Collins by Albert Damm, a German immigrant in 1889. In 1902, Dr. Glover, Fort Collins’ Food Inspector requested that all bread baked in the local bakeries be wrapped. Damm’s Bakery and Confectionery at 133 South College boasted that they were “the first bakery in the State of Colorado to wrap their bread.” They also claimed that they were the first to employ an automobile delivery service which, according to their ad, “does away with the filthy handling of lines by a careless driver.”
Bank Building, Brick – In 1874 Mrs. and Mrs. A. K. Yount constructed the first brick bank at Linden and Jefferson. They opened the Yount Bank and money at that time commanded 2% interest per month. Yount, a member of the constitutional convention in Denver, employed Charles Sheldon to manage the bank in his absence. Yount was accidentally killed in 1876 and Mrs.Yount took over and ran the bank after her husband’s death
Bank, First National Bank opened its doors on January 3, 1881 with Franklin C. Avery serving as president.
Bank, First National Bank of Loveland was organized with a capital of $50,000. The bank was to be located in the corner room of the Bartholf Opera House, formerly occupied as a drug store. The bank began business on May 1, 1905.
Bank, Poudre Valley Bank – On September 21, 1898 the Fort Collins Courier reported – “The Poudre Valley Bank is the name of a new institution that will soon be established in our midst under the controls and management of Honorable W. C. Stover and Charles H. Sheldon, two of Fort Collins’ most honorable, conservative and reliable businessmen. They will occupy the new building being erected for them on Linden Street.” The bank opened with a capital of $6,000.
Bar Association, On March 11, 1905 the Larimer County Bar Association was organized during a meeting at Garbutt and Clammer’s Law Office in Loveland. Officers elected included Frank J. Annis, President and Fred Farrar, Vice President.
Barber’s Union was organized July 1905.
Barn, CAC – On April 16, 1902 the new C.A.C. barn was to be located south of the shed used for the Herefords. It was to be devoted largely, if not wholly, to horses. In this case the management put in a fine line of thoroughbreds and used the present large barn wholly for cattle.
Birth, Triplets – Mrs. John Hickey presented her husband with three little girls on December 11, 1905. It was the first time in the history of Larimer County that such an event occurred. The Hickeys came from the East the previous year and purchased a part of the Tombaugh farm, three miles southwest of the town of Fort Collins. They had three other children.
Birthdate of Fort Collins – August 20 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 camp was being referred to as Fort Collins, rather than Camp Collins.
Boarding House – On September 1, 1903 the Kampus Klub, a new boarding house started by the students was opened. Under the management of Mrs. Anna Wallace and Steward Robert D. Mauff, the monthly charge was to be $12 for first class table board. The Klub was located at 646 S. College Avenue, next to the College Grocery.
Boy Scouts in Fort Collins were organized on March 17, 1911. It was said that it was “an organization, the purpose of which was character building for boys between the years of 12 and 18. It was an effort to get boys to appreciate the things about them, and to train them in self-reliance, manhood and good citizenship. During World War I, the Boy Scouts in Fort Collins distributed cards to all of the homes in Fort Collins to give women the opportunity to register for the service so “the government may know what the nation’s strength in women is and to what extent it maybe used in the war.”
Bread Wagon – On February 21 the Cornucopia started a bread wagon in 1884 and they delivered warm, fresh bread daily to the residents of Fort Collins.
Brewery – In 1866 Edward Melinger and Company opened the settlements first brewery – seven years before Joseph Coors opened his brewery in Golden, Colorado.
Brick – In 1870 Henry C. Peterson and Auntie Stone burned the town’s first kiln of brick. The same year, Peterson and his family moved into the town’s first brick home on Lincoln Avenue.
Brick Layers Union – On August 19, 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.
Building, first built – On December 9, 1872 Congress declared the military reservation in Fort Collins open for settlement and immediately formed a colony organization. Many early settlers got involved in trying to get new people here. Franklin Avery surveyed the town and issued a brochure that described the advantages and disadvantages of the new location. The first building built in town was for Judge Jay Bouton.
Burial Site – In 1864 the need for a burial site in Fort Collins came about during the establishment of the Fort Collins Military Post by Lt. Col. William O. Collins. The first burial ground was located about a half mile southwest of the post (present day location of the old Post Office at Oak Street and College Avenue). The Post Cemetery was abandoned in 1873.
Catholic Mass – In 1878, the Reverend Joseph P. Machebeuf celebrated the first Catholic Mass within the city limits of Fort Collins. Previously masses had been celebrated in private homes north of town. This service, by the pioneer bishop of Colorado, was conducted in the Old Grout building.
Cemetery, burial – On November 21, 1887 the first person to be buried at the new Grandview Cemetery was a 3-month old baby named Felix Scoville. He was buried in an unmarked grave. Shortly after this burial, work was begun to remove the remains from Mountain Home Cemetery to Grandview.
Chamber of Commerce – On September 20, 1904 many citizens attended a meeting in the district court for the purpose of organizing a Chamber of Commerce for the city of Fort Collins. Articles of incorporation were submitted, approved and signed. Membership was approximately 150 and by-laws were adopted on September 26, 1904.
Church, First Baptist – In 1881 the First Baptist Church of Fort Collins received its charter, with five charter members. The congregation’s first permanent building was erected at Remington and Olive Streets. A larger building, of local gray sandstone and castellated architectural styles, was dedicated in 1904 and served the congregation until its present church building on East Lake Street was dedicated in 1966.
Church, First United Presbyterian Church – in 1875, the first service of the First United Presbyterian Church in Loveland was held in the old Weldon log school house.
Church, Methodist – On January 9, 1898 the Methodist Church (architect, Harlan Thomas) was dedicated.
Cigar Factory – On March 9 Carl Lauterbach’s Cigar Factory opened for business in 1882. Ansel Watrous, editor of the Courier newspaper, outlined six reasons why Fort Collins’ smokers should purchase his cigars.
Cigar – On October 7, 1882 the Courier announced that “Mr. Carl Lauterbach of Collins Cigar Factory yesterday filled an order for 3,500 cigars from Idaho Springs.”
City Hall – In June 1882 Fort Collin’s first city hall, with belfry and bell, was built on Walnut Street. It housed the fire station on the first floor and city offices on the second floor. The bell was used to sound alarms of fire for both the volunteer and, after 1913, the paid fire department.
Club, Columbia – On January 5, 1893 the Columbia Club, a new literary club was organized. The officers were Miss Maude Bell (president), Mrs. S.F. Darrah (vice-president), Mrs. George Black (treasurer) and Mrs. P.J. McHugh (secretary).
Club, Domestic Science – February 11, 1903 the young ladies of the domestic science department formed a society to be known as the “Domestic Science Club.” It was to be modeled somewhat after the engineering society.
Club, German (Dic Schiller Stunde Club) – On October 25, 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.
Club, Loveland’s Business Men’s Club had filed the proper certificate with County Clerk, Ramer on December 3, 1902. The incorporators were Louis Marley, James B. McDonargh and William Reitzel.
Club, Mandolin and Guitar Club was organized on November 12, 1898 by several young ladies and gentlemen of the city. They met once a week for practice.
Club, Men’s – On October 1, 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.
Club, On the Alert – On September 29, 1902 the younger ladies of Fort Collins organized a club and named it, “On the Alert.” Their motto was “Push Onward, Keep Moving,” their flower was the carnation and the club colors pink and white. Miss Seckner was elected President. The members were planning to study travels in foreign lands with a musical every three months.
Club, Twentieth Century Club – A new club was organized on November 7, 1904 which promised to be one of great interest and intellectual advancement for its fortunate members. Known as the Twentieth Century Club, the meeting was held every two weeks and was limited to 20 citizens. The chosen few would consist of preachers, lawyers, doctors and businessmen – simply all of the “intellectual lights of the city.” Dr. W. R. Thomas was elected the president.
Colorado Agricultural College (CAC) – On September 1, 1879 the first term of the Colorado Agricultural College opened with a small enrollment. The class of 1884 met in classes that were held in Old Main.
Commencement – On June 5, 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 Ingerrsoll 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!”
Cooking Club – On April 22, 1899 a few of the young ladies of the city organized a Cooking Club. They met at the home of Miss Minnie Scott and enjoyed a luncheon of their own cooking consisting of salads, Saratoga chips, buns, pickles, gelatin, cake and cocoa. The remainder of the afternoon was spent having a social time.
County Commissions held their first meeting of the County Commissioners was held in 1868 on November 7.
County Fair – On October 9-11, 1864 the first county fair was held 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.
County Seat – The first meeting in the new county seat Camp Collins was held November 17, 1868. Abner Loomis and James B. Arthur were the only county commissioners present.
Credit Association – On September 1 Fort Collins’ Businessmen’s Credit Association was organized in 1901. Dr. C.P. Miller was elected president.
Dairy – In August 1880, the Keyes Brothers Creamery in Fort Collins had its start.
Daughters of Rebekah Lodge, Delta #25 was instituted on March 30, 1893.
District Court – On October 20 the first general term of the district court was held on the second floor of the Grout Building in 1868.
Ditch Company – On May 25, 1881 the Larimer County Ditch Company was incorporated. The incorporators were: A. L. Emigh (president), Noah Bristol (secretary), F. C. Avery (treasurer), Edgar Avery, N.C. Alford and William H. Avery.
Doctor – In October 1864 Fort Collins’ first doctor Dr. Timothy Smith arrived and set up his practice. He also selected the site for the post hospital.
Election, First City – Held April 3, 1883 Fort Collins’ first city election was preceded by a bitter campaign over the issue of “high license” against “low license” fees for the sale of liquor. At the time there were 13 bars and 3 drugstores which sold liquor in Fort Collins.
Elevator – On May 17, 1914 the elevator in the State Mercantile Building at south College Avenue and Oak Street (the first in Fort Collins) was placed in service.
Elks Lodge, new building – On April 7, 1904 the Elks of Fort Collins occupied their new lodge and clubrooms for the first time. In less than one year, the lodge, with a membership of 200 had bought one of the finest corners in the city.
Estes Park Cottage Association was organized on March 14, 1902. The officers of the newly organized Estes Park Cottage Company were: President T.H. Robertson; Treasurer Frank P. Stover and Franks A. Somerville, Secretary. The capital stock was $50,000 and the object was to develop Estes Park as a resort.
Experiment Station – In 1888 in response to passage by Congress of the 1887 Hatch Act, the Colorado Experiment Station was organized in connection with Colorado Agricultural College, one of the nation’s land grant colleges. The station was required to conduct original investigations on farm crops and other problems or verify studies beneficial to agriculture. It was required to publish bulletins on results of experimental work and to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Substations were established at Monte Vista and Rocky Ford. A further result of the 1887 Hatch Act at Colorado Agricultural College was the establishment of a master’s degree program for students of agricultural subjects. This was in part to the need of Experiment Station specialists for student assistants.
Farmers – In 1862 Mrs. and Mrs. John Coy arrived in the Cache la Poudre Valley. Their farm was located on the Poudre River bottom east of the present city of Fort Collins. They were the first farmers in this area.
Fire Department, Fort Collins was established on November 14, 1888 as an all-volunteer department. Prior to that time there was a hose company at one location and a ladder crew at the other.
Fire Hook and Ladder and Truck arrived on November 25, 1880 from the Caswell Manufacturing Company in Chicago was reportedly, “a beauty.” It was a complete outfit except for a fire engine. No engine was needed because there was no water system in the town at the time. Water was from wells or the water wagon. The new fire truck consisted of a carriage, ladders, a dozen buckets, headlights, lanterns, chain, ropes and axes.
Fireworks – On July 4, 1879, the first fireworks display in Fort Collins was held.
Flag – On July 4 the first flag known to have flown in what is now Larimer County was made by Albina Washburn in 1864. It bears the date July 4, 1864 and has stars in an unusual position. It is displayed at the Fort Collins museum during special occasions.
Football – On January 7, 1893 the first game of the football wars between Colorado Agricultural College (now CSU) and Longmont Academy was held at Longmont. Longmont won 12 to 8. At the time, Colorado Agricultural College’s team was coachless.
Football Field – In 1899 the first football field was Durkee Field. Full of rocks, the students worked on refurbishing it to make it pleasant for the football games. It was located on College Avenue south of Old Main.
Fort Collins Agricultural Colony was organized by a group of people from Greeley and nine more from Fort Collins on October 23,1872. 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.
Fort Collins Civic Improvement League was organized On April 13, 1904. The objective was the improvement of the city in health, cleanliness and attractiveness.
Fort Collins Incorporation – On April 12, 1879 a special election approved a proposal to incorporate the town of Fort Collins under state law. The vote was 40 to 1. On May 16, a town election resulted in the selection of town officers with Ben Whedbee elected Mayor. He had called the election as president of the town Board of Trustees.
Fort Collins Light, Heat and Power Company was organized in October 1887.
Fraternity – In 1906 the first honorary fraternity, Alpha Zeta, was formed at Colorado Agricultural College, to recognize scholarly achievement in agriculture. This was followed by the organization of social fraternities and sororities. Previous student organizations had been literary clubs and professional or technical groups based on the college departments.
Ghost Dance – On December 30, 1899 invitations were sent out for the first annual ghost dance and pow-wow of Shoshone Tribe No. 80 which would be held at the Odd Fellows hall. A jolly time was to be expected by those receiving an invitation.
Good Roads Convention was held in this city for the first time ever on August 2, 1905. 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.
Government – In 1861 after the Territory of Colorado was created and organized Larimer County was created by an act of the first territorial legislature. Governor Gilpin appointed three county commissioners and other lesser officials. Frederick Sherwood, Alfred Howes and John J. Ryan headed the first official government of the county, named after General William Larimer, founder of Denver. LaPorte ws named the county seat in the act.
Granite – On October 18, 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.
Grange – On January 6, 1905 a new grange, to be known as Eureka Grange, was organized at the Plummer School House. L.W. Tresner was chosen Master of Grange.
Grange, The Agricultural College Grange was instituted in December 1892. The Worthy Master was Professor Walter J. Quick; Worthy Overseer, Professor G.P. Gillette; Worthy Lecturer, Mrs. Fowles; Steward, F.L. Watrous and Chaplin, John G. Coy.
Home Rule Charter – On September 16, 1913 the city’s voters in an election on this date approved Fort Collins’ first home rule charter. It substituted a commission form of government for the previous aldermanic form. This called for a council consisting of two aldermen from each of the four city wards. The first commissioners, elected the same day, were Sam H. Clammer, mayor and commissioner of safety, D. C. Armitage, commissioner of public works and Alfred A. Edwards, finance commissioners. An elected committee of 21 members had written the charter. It continued in force until a new charter was framed and approved in 1954. This substituted the present city manager form of government.
Horticulture Society, Larimer County was organized on March 16, 1893. Charles E. Pennock was elected president.
Horse Races – On October 6, 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.
Hospital – In 1906 the first hospital built in Fort Collins at the southeast corner of Magnolia and Mathews.
Hospital Association – On April 21, 1916 the Fort Collins Hospital Association was being reorganized. Incorporators were Drs. P.J. McHugh, E. Stuver, S.T. Quick and W.N. deArmond.
Hotel – In 1870 the Blake House, 200 Jefferson Street, first hotel in Fort Collins (built by George Blake) was purchased by Auntie Stone when she was 77. She changed the name to the Metropolitan Hotel and it later became known as the Cottage House.
Interior Decorator – On April 20, 1893 Frank Dastarac was Fort Collins’ first Interior Decorator and Fresco artist.
Irrigation Ditch – On June 1, 1860 the first irrigation ditch, taking water from the Cache la Poudre River, was built by G. R. Sanderson. It was used to water a farm.
Jail – In 1864 the first county jail, a small log building, was built in Laporte.
Jukebox – In 1891 the first jukebox came to Fort Collins in A. W. Scott’s drugstore – cost 5 cents per song.
Ladies Musical Quartette – On April 5, 1894 a ladies vocal and quartette was organized. Miss Irene Edwards was first soprano; Bertha Pegg, second soprano; Lena Wills, 1st alto and Nellie Lunn, second alto.
Lamb Day – On September 29, 1909 the Fort Collins residents held their first Lamb Day. This was celebrated to let the world know that Fort Collins was the center of the Northern Colorado industry of fattening range lambs for the market. More than 8,000 attended from near and far and over 200 lambs were roasted. The barbecue was set up in the 200 block of West Oak Street. Barbecue pits were dug the full length of the block. Two hundred carcasses were roasted over fires in the pits. Merchants, clerks and CAC students served the slices of lamb, carved by the town’s butchers. Excursion trains brought people from far and near. Farmers came in their horse-drawn rigs from Larimer and Weld counties.
Larimer Abstract and Investment Company – J.T. Budrow, T.H. Robertson, H.D. Humphrey and F.P. Stover organized the Larimer Abstract and Investment Company on October 15, 1902. They had purchased the books and business of the Larimer County Abstract and Title Company. The new company was intending to conduct a general real estate, insurance, loan and abstract business.
Larimer County Fair Association/first county fair – On April 12, 1879 the first county fair was opened on a 40-acre site near that of the present Poudre Valley Hospital. It was under the auspices of the Larimer County Fair Association with capital stock of $3,000.
Larimer Light and Power – On May 5, 1902 the Larimer Light and Power Company was organized with a capital stock of $100,000. They were going to take over the business, plant, franchise, etc. of the Fort Collins Electric Company. Irving Bonbright, Leonard E. Curtis and Franklin Brooks incorporated the company. The company had ordered a 100-horse power high speed engine, a 200 kilowatt generator and a 40 kilowatt generator. The manager, E.C. Allen, gave assurances that a lower schedule of rates would be adopted provided the use of light increased sufficiently.
Law Office – In June 1872 the first law office in Fort Collins opened up in the Grout Building – the law practice of L.R. Rhodes.
Library Association – In 1899 a Fort Collins City Library Association was formed. Its initial inventory of about 800 books was given by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Reverend George N. Falconer of the Unitarian church. The first library occupied rooms in the Welch Block.
Library, Circulating – On July 28, 1905 Wellington organized a circulating library with a membership of 35. The books were to be kept in the Cooper Drug Store.
Library, Public – On August 26, 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.
Lights, electric – On December 10, 1903, one of Fort Collins’ citizens, Myron Akin, reported in his diary that he turned on electric lights in his home for the first time ever on December 10th.
Liquor License – In 1874 an ordinance was passed which prohibited the granting of licenses for selling liquor. Sixty-eight citizens signed a petition in 1874 for the repeal of the ordinance. The trustees voted against the proposition. In 1875, the anti-liquor ordinance was repealed. T.J. Wilson was granted the first liquor license at a cost of $150. He purchased a good building for the saloon with an auditorium on the floor where the famous Hutchinson family, temperance supporters, performed in 1879
Loveland Incorporation – On April 11, 1881, in the petition of Loveland residents, an election was called for on the question of incorporating the town under state law. The issue carried by 50 votes to 1. The formal organization took place on May 11, when a board of town officials was sworn in.
Lynching – On April 4, 1888 Larimer County had their first lynching. Mrs. Eva Howe, wife of James Howe, an abusive alcoholic, was stabbed and killed by her husband as she attempted to flee from their home. A passer-by, Gus Evans, and other townspeople appeared at the scene of the crime and found Mr. Howe reclining in his bed. They took him into custody, threatening revenge. Around 8 PM on the evening of April 5, the city of Fort Collins became totally dark. A gathering of men, some of them in masks, silently gathered at the corner of the jail. Using a chisel and hammer, they broke into Howe’s cell, and dragged him crying for mercy to a derrick near the courthouse. As quickly as he was hung, the crowd dispersed and the lights of the city returned. The group of men who took justice into their own hands, were never identified.
Masons – On September 28, 1870, the Grand Lodge of Colorado granted a charter to Collins Lodge No. 19, Free and Accepted Masons. On October 15, 1870, Deputy Grand Master O.H. Henry organized a lodge under the charter and duly installed its officers.
Massage and Manicure Parlor – January 1, 1902, Mrs. M.W. Burns of Denver opened a massage and manicure parlor at Mme. Eisenhour’s and was prepared to do ladies hairdressing in the most approved modern style.
Mayor – On May 17, 1879 Uncle Ben Whedbee was the first official mayor of Fort Collins. He was a wonderful storyteller, much loved by the children of Fort Collins.
Mercantile – On September 1, 1879 A.B. Tomlin & Co., a new mercantile firm was begun.
Moving Picture – in 1903 Beaty Brothers moving picture show made its appearance in Fort Collins. Their picture machine was the only one in existence, having a diamond lense and they guaranteed that there would be no quiver, shaking or blur to any of their pictures. They had an assortment of over 50,000 colored moving pictures, comic and otherwise.
Music – In September 1901, the Colorado Conservancy School of Music opened with an enrollment of 89 pupils. All the leading instruments were taught as well as voice, singing, and theory and finally piano and organ tuning.
Newspaper – On April 22, 1873, J. S. McClelland, as editor and proprietor, issued the first newspaper, The Larimer CountyExpress. Population of Fort Collins was approaching 500. Mr. McClelland hauled the original press from Cheyenne in an ox cart. The first paper was produced in his office, a small frame shed on Mountain Avenue close to where the Masonic Temple stands today. The purpose of the first paper was to interest people into coming to this area. A year’s subscription cost $2.50. Unfortunately, early copies of the paper were destroyed in a fire. When Henry Crafts bought the Express he found seven years worth of papers stacked in the office. To clear the clutter, he set the stacks on fire and destroyed evidence of the first seven years of journalism in Fort Collins. Our link to the early history of Fort Collins simply went up in smoke.
Newspaper Daily edition previewed on March 24, 1902. Fort Collins began to take on a new life. As evidence of a more rapid and substantial growth in population and business importance, a new daily edition of the Courier newspaper made its appearance and was received with much favor. At first it was a four-page paper with only local news service, but because of its success, within a few months it was enlarged to eight pages.
Newspaper, Loveland – in 1880 Loveland’s first newspaper, The Reporter, was founded by G.N. Udell. He soon sold it to Frank A. McClelland, son of Joseph S. McClelland, founder of the Fort Collins Express.
Old Main – In September, 1879 Old Main was completed and opened to 19 students. On July 27, 1878 formal dedication ceremonies were held at the cornerstone laying of Old Main. Old Main was originally a claim building that had been erected in 1874 to secure Fort Collins’ claim to the college. On this day in 1878, a special train of the Colorado Central Railroad brought Governor John L. Routt and other notables from Denver, Pueblo, Longmont and Boulder. They joined Fort Collins and Larimer County officials and members of fraternal and other organizations in a parade from downtown Fort Collins that preceded the dedication ceremonies. A drizzling rain fell during the parade. A metal box was placed beneath the cornerstone containing copies of the constitutions of the Colorado and the United States, copies of legislative acts pertaining to establishment of the college and copies of Masonic publications. College operations began in 1879.
Opera House, Fort Collins – On February 18, 1905 the opening of the Northern Hotel in 1905 marked the beginning of a new era in the history of Fort Collins. The city took on added prominence as a town in which the hotel accommodations were not surpassed by any other city in the state (outside of Denver and Colorado Springs). Its closeness to the railroad depot made it a popular stopping place for travelers. Opera House, Loveland – On July 4 1884, two of Loveland’s earliest pioneers, Frank G. Bartholf and Edwin S. Allen, founded a partnership to erect Loveland’s first opera house. It was to be located on the site of Allen’s existing frame harness shop, built in 1878. This date in 1884 marked its formal opening, which was celebrated by a grand ball.
PEO – On January 23, 1903 the first convention of the Colorado chapters of P.E.O. were held in the Unity Church in Denver. A state chapter was organized and the delegates elected officers from the eight local chapters. The Fort Collins chapter president was Miss Virginia Corbett.
Peter Anderson and Co. – On January 5, 1893 John Havener formed a partnership with Peter Anderson in the ag implement business. It was to be known as Peter Anderson and Co.
Pioneer Society – On December 29, 1906 the Fort Collins Pioneer Society (later Association) was organized at a meeting of long-time residents. Its stated purpose was to “keep alive the traditions and experiences of the early settlers in the Cache La Poudre Valley. Membership was open to pioneer residents of Colorado and their descendants — a rule since modified.
Post Office – On June 27, 1865 the first post office was opened in town in 1865 with Joseph Mason as postmaster.
Pressed Brick Company was organized on March 18, 1903 by James J. Cooke, J.M.E. Cooke and George W. Cummer with $35,000 capital stock.
Pressed Brick Co., Poudre Valley Co. – The Poudre Valley Pressed Brick Co. was organized on August 9, 1905 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.
Railroad – On June 28, 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.
Railroad, Colorado Center – On October 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.
Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad – July 15, 1911 marked the beginning of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Reading Room – On September 26, 1883 the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) opened a public reading room in the city hall. They reported that the rooms were cozy and comfortable and during the long winter evenings and one could partake in social and intellectual enjoyment. Colorado Agricultural College President, Charles L. Ingersoll spoke at the opening of the reading room and was followed by a quartette composed of several local Fort Collins ladies who sang, “I am Wandering Down.”
Religious Class – In 1867 the Reverend O.P. McMains, a Methodist minister, formed the first religious class in Fort Collins.
Republican Party – On April 17, 1901 a largely attended meeting of enthusiastic Republicans was held at the clubrooms in the Welch Block, for the purpose of effecting a temporary organization of a Larimer County Republican Club. Rooms were tastefully decorated with national colors and pictures.
Republican Women – On May 7, 1924 a chapter of the Republican Federation of Colorado Women was organized at the home of Mrs. E. C. Giddings, vice county chair.
Resort – 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 stingerless 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.
Rustic House – On May 18, 1881 the Rustic House on the Upper Poudre opened. Built by S.S. Stewart, it was a log two-storied hotel. Mr. and Mrs. John McNabb took over the Rustic in 1885.
Sandstone – In 1873 the first commercial production of red and gray sandstone occurred in the hogbacks near the towns of Bellvue, Stout and Arkins. The stone was utilized for buildings and sidewalks in Fort Collins and eventually in Denver, Omaha, Topeka, Kansas City and for buildings at the 1893 Chicago Exposition
School – In June, 1866 the first school in Fort Collins opened up. Mrs. Elizabeth Keays, Auntie Stone’s niece, used Auntie Stone’s cabin for a classroom. Her pupilage soon grew and the school was moved to an abandoned commissary building of the military post. She received a salary of $50 a month.
School Board, Stout School – May 3, 1882 a school board was elected for the new Stout schoolhouse. In November, District 27 was established. Two miles farther south, 25 carpenters worked to complete a depot, a section house and a water tank connect to a 2,000-barrel reservoir. The boarding house was also the first Stout Post Office. It opened in September 1882 and it had 21 rooms on 2 floors.
School, closure – One of the worst snowstorms to ever hit Fort Collins occurred on December 1, 1913. Fifteen inches of snow fell that day and by December 7 there was between 31 and 40 inches. The entire town was shut down for more than a week. School was canceled for the first time in its young history.
School District – in 1870 School District #5 was legally organized and established. The first Board of Director was Peter Anderson. Judge Alfred F. Howes began a movement to build a schoolhouse. A small frame house was used until 1879 when Remington School was built on Remington and Oak.
Settlement – In 1858-60 Antoine Janis and others located a townsite to the west of the present LaPorte and named Colona. The town was the first definite settlement in Larimer County and hoped to become the capital of Colorado.
Settler – On June 1, 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.
Sewer – In 1888 construction of the city’s first sewer line was ordered by the city council. Costing $3,500 it extended from a point on the Poudre River west along Mountain Avenue to the alley west of Howes Street. It was extended in 1891 and 1893 and by 1910 the city’s sewer system totaled 19 1/4 miles of pipeline. This first sewer relieved swampy conditions on Mountain and Laporte Avenues caused by seepage from the Arthur (Town) ditch during the irrigating season.
Silver Club, Fort Collins – On August 4, 1892 the Fort Collins Silver Club was organized with the honorable J.W. Norrell appointed as president with B.F. Stout serving as secretary.
Skookum Days – On October 25, 1915 Fort Collins celebrated their first Skookum Days. “Skookum” was a Chinook Indian word meaning full of pep or coming to life. The yearly event featured a parade complete with floats, buildings were decorated and there was even a Skookum Queen. 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.
Stage Line – On April 21, 1916 a corporation was being formed to merge all the stage lines from Larimer and Boulder counties serving Estes Park.
State Board of Agriculture held their first official meeting in March 1877. William F. Watrous was elected president and Harris Stratton, secretary. The college tax for 1877 and 1878 amounted to about $8,000. This money was spent in the erection of a building, planting a tree nursery and other improvements.
State Legislature – in 1876 during the first State Legislature, Harris Stratton of Fort Collins, who had been elected Sergeant-at-arms of the Senate, drafted the bill creating the State Board of Agriculture as the governing board of the Colorado College of Agriculture. The bill was passed in 1877.
Stockgrowers Association – On August 20, 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.
Sugar Factory, Larimer County – In 1901 the first sugar factory in Larimer county was built in Loveland by the Great Western Sugar Company at a cost of $1 million.
Sugarbeet Factory – The new sugarbeet factory opened in Fort Collins on January 4, 1904 with 60-70,000 tons of beets to work into sugar.
Tedmon House – In April 1880, the Tedmon House, built and owned by Bolivar S. Tedmon, the pride of Fort Collins on Linden and Jefferson Street opened. The first three-story brick building in Fort Collins featured a ladies parlor, a barbershop, a bar, and a bathroom on every floor. Every room was connected to the office by an electric bell. Rates were $2 to $2.50 a day and the customers were given free shuttle service to the railroad depot. It was demolished in 1910 to make way for the Union Pacific buildings.
Telephone – in 1887 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.
Tennis Club – On April 27, 1904 the Crescent Tennis Club was organized.
Theatre, Orpheum – Opening night on November 21, 1907 for the Orpheum Theater, Fort Collins’ second theater on North College Avenue. Two prominent Fort Collins businessmen financed the construction of the theater which was to be part of the Orpheum circuit. Its location was at 163 North College. The main auditorium of the Orpheum was 110 feet deep and could seat 866 people on its mahogany finished chairs. It also showcased a 50-foot lobby. The entire audience sat on the group floor on four inclined planes so everyone in the house had a clear view of the stage. The opening feature was “Squaw Man” at an outrageously high price of $10. Later performances were 50 cents and less.
Traffic Ordinance – The new traffic ordinance was passed in the city In June 1917. 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 taillight 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.
Train – On October 8, 1877 the first passenger train ever in Fort Collins arrived. It was the first run of a passenger train between Fort Collins and Greeley.
Traveling Businessmen – On October 5, 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.
Trolley – In the trolley’s first year, 27,000 people rode it for a 5-cent fare. It debuted on December 28, 1907. The green and yellow cars could hold 44 passengers. Fort Collins continued operation of the trolley system until November 4, 1952. Due to losses of revenue and high repair costs, the streetcar system came to an end. However, with a successful restoration project completed, the new trolley was run again On December 29, 1984, the new trolley was run again with over 9,000 passengers reliving part of Fort Collins’ historical past.
Veterinary Course – On April 16, 1902, the new veterinary science course was a four-year course and furnished the only opportunity for veterinary education in the West. Indications were that a large number of students would register as vets the following year.
Water – Before 1877, residents of Fort Collins hauled their water supply from the Poudre River in barrels. In this year, Ralph Coyte began service by carrying water to homes in a barrel mounted on a travois hauled by a mule. He was paid by the bucketful. A little later another man used a water wagon drawn by horses or mules for the service, charging 25 cents for a barrel or five cents for a bucketful.
Wedding – The first wedding in Fort Collins occurred on December 30, 1866 between Mrs. Elizabeth L. Keays and Harris Stratton. The wedding took place at Auntie Stone’s cabin. Soon after their marriage, they moved to a dry farm and lived there for several years. Mr. Stratton conducted a dairy farm and his butter always took first place at state fairs.
White Child – On October 31, 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.
White Couple – On May 4th, 1868 Lerah Stratton was born in the pioneer cabin known as Auntie Stone’s cabin. Her parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Harris Stratton, were the first white couple to be married in Fort Collins and she was the second white child born here.
Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WTCU) was formed in August 1880. This Fort Collins chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was organized by 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.
Women’s Club – On September 20, 1898 the first meeting of the Woman’s Club was held with a large number in attendance. Mrs. B.F. Hottel was elected president. The topic for the day was “Current Events” which was led by Mrs. Jane Budrow.
X-Ray Machine – On August 5, 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. On May 5, 1899 a group of interested spectators assembled at the rooms of Dr. And Mrs. Tigner at the Linden Hotel to witness the operation of an x-ray machine. All present were granted the privilege of investigating into the mysteries of this wonderful searchlight which penetrated into the depths heretofore unsolved. Several were also given electric treatments and all passed a pleasant evening.
Scorecard of Important Events
(From the January 8, 1908 Fort Collins Weekly Courier)