El Paso County, Colorado

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: el_paso_county colorado
This page has been accessed 706 times.

Welcome to El Paso County, Colorado History!

... ... ... is a part of Colorado history.
Join: Colorado Project
Discuss: Colorado



Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods
12,000 years ago the first humans were in El Paso County in the Paleo-Indian and Archaic periods on the mountain western slope. [1]
5000 years ago evidence of Paleo Indians and archaic people near Calhan were found in the clay deposits used for pottery and bricks.[1]
1500-1750' s Ute's were in the Pikes peak Region, were called Tabeguache "people off Sun mountain" who followed the game into higher regions in the summer, then wintered in present -day Colorado Springs. They sided with the Spanish against the Comanche and Jicarilla who raided the camps for horses. [1]
Map highlighting El Paso County.
1800's the Arapaho arrived in the Pikes Peak region and lived on the plains. These Arapaho exploited the mountain country for game and contested the Utes control of South Park for the hunting grounds.[1]


1833 Jimmy Hayes is reported to be the 1st white settler as a trader in El Paso County (a "Jimmy's Camp") Jimmy's cabin was a small log lonely cabin located on a river of sand with cottonwood trees around. his water was a spring nearby. He ground grain between 2 mealing stones - in the method of the Indians. Indians did not bother Jimmy, as they could see his bonfire, and knew that meant beads, axes, arms and fire water to trade. Yearly Jimmy left with his pelts that he had exchanged with the Indians for beads, stones, fire water. He would work his way across the plains and later returned with supplies. [2]
Then 11 Mexicans found Jimmy's cabin, saw the beads, etc and murdered Jimmy. When the Indian party arrived at the cabin, they saw the murdered body. They were furious. Their friend was gone. So they trailed the Mexicans and found them sleeping near a Cottonwood, seized the murderers and hung them. That was the end of the 1st white man in El Paso County. [2]

Later a Kansas group of white men camped on the stream near the Garden of the Gods. This flooded one night flooding their camp. They found a cave to take refuge and scratched their names on the walls. [2]
July 1858 John Tierney was exploring the area and mapped the locations. The town of El Paso never existed except on that map, but it should have been labeled Colorado Springs. The residences there were (1) log cabin, a number of tents, and wagons sitting near where Roswell is currently. This was called Red Rock Ranch. [2]
Pikes Peak, part Garden of Gods
Lots in the El Paso community were sold before they had been platted. Colorado City community also was surveyed. Its township was 1 mile wide and 2 miles long from Camp Creek toward the Monument. Organizers were S. W. Waggoner, L.J. Winchester, and R E. Whitsett, M. S. Beach, W.P. McClure, Lewis Tappan, T.H. Warren and E. P. Stout. The earliest deed for Colorado City Company shows 1,280 acres for the Townsite on Aug 13, 1859. [2]
July 1858 gold was discovered in Arapahoe, Kansas Territory near South Platte River in Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory, beginning the Pike's Peak Gold Rush.[3]
Oct 24, 1859 Residents voted to form their own Territory of Jefferson. (mining region residents felt disconnected from the territorial governments of Kansas and Nebraska.[3]
Nov, 1859 Jefferson Territorial Legislature created 12 counties (one of which was El Paso County).
This Jefferson Territory was not recognized by the USA. [3]
Nov 1, 1859 Colorado City, Colorado was founded. Within 1 year it had 300 homes, streams, canons, and springs had the stakes of locators. Wm Campbell, H. Talcott, and John Bley built their cabins and turned the waters of the Fontaine for the aid of the farmers.[2]
This was the beginning of the "Water Rights" which continue today to be of value to farmers. Claims could not be held legally in Pikes Peak region. The El Paso Claim club made claims, since this was a frontier settlement. [2]
Garden of the Gods.
1859 Louis Tappan and friends explored the area, Garden of the Gods (3 miles from Manitou), Colorado. The large red rocks of the Gateway to the Garden of the Gods, are 330 feet high. They may be seen on the landscape for miles. Balanced Rock a 4oo ton mass is another anomaly. The rocks appear as Cathedral temples, gigantic mushrooms, gargoyle sarcophagi, prows of ships, peering faces and stone giants, birds or beasts , all crimson sandstone. [2]
Feb 28, 1861 Pres. James Buchanan created the Territory of Colorado and El Paso County was named one of the 17 counties. Old Colorado City (which is now part of Colorado Springs became El Paso County county seat (not the current Colorado City)..[3]
1861 Congress organized the Territory of Colorado and made the first governor to be Gov. Gilpin. Gov. Gilpin then appointed commissioners to appoint prescincts. Colorado City was the first Territorial capital for Colorado. Its old frame council building still is standing, but is rather dilapidated. Lawmakers met in one room, slept in the 2nd room and had a bar in the 3rd room. [2]
Nov 1, 1861 The Colorado legislature created El Paso County as one of the first 17 counties of Colorado . It was named for the Spanish word for Ute Pass (north of Pikes Peak). Famine hit, with scare provisions, so many miners began to harvest vegetables and grain rather than minerals. After water surveys, farmers felt sure of the water supply. Agriculture became the important interest. Large amounts of land were cultivated for grain. By 1868-3 flour mills began operating.[2][3]
1862-65 Civil war caused the southern trail (the Arkansas trail) unsafe for emigrants. Raiders and guerrillas were in the border areas. The South Plate River route of immigration tended to flow northward. Soon businesses were focusing on the Denver neigihborhood. One man mentioned that Denver had more wagons and mules and most of the whiskey, thus overwhelmed Colorado City, El Paso County.El Paso County provided men to serve on Union side of the War, in 1st Colorado Battery (recruited in Colorado City, with service in Missouri). Denver men (50-60 men) allied with the Confederate cause, using horses from El Paso County. They were captured and brought back.. [2]
Nov 1863 Following a victory in New Mexico, the First Colorado Regiment camped at Colorado City, and the soldiers' presence plus their food forage, horse purchases stimulated the young settlement. The plains Indians had been appearing the homes. A volunteer party of 10 surprised Arapahoes near the Monument and took their weapons and horses and escaped.[2]
Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak
1864 Indians stampeded the horses of soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail. Crops were harvested that year under the protection of soldiers of Co. G, of the Third Regiment. Cheyenne Creek and Monument had a cloud burst, killing 13 people in the wave of water as well as destroying property. Steamboats could have run on Sand Creek. They opened a road for wagons on the Ute's trail with $10,000 improvements.[2]
1868 Eighty Cheyennes and Arapahoes pretending to be friendly Indians murdered some Utes in the mountains, hid in the pine woods, then crept to the Colorado City settlement and stampeded 100+ horses of Mr. Teachout of Edgerton. All White settlers came in to the settlements for safety and the old stockade ..They put up a mound of earthworks near the stockade at Bijou Basin. Fremont had been surrounded in earlier years near Fremont's Peak without water. Eventually the Indians departed escaping a scouting party from Denver.[2]
Sept, 1868 When Indians were camping near Colorado City, Charles Everhart and 2 Robbins boys were killed and scalped. Charles Everhart could not be scalped as he had lost that in Southern America, but he drowned in a well. The Indians drove off the stock from settlers on the Divide, Mr. Walker's farmhouse and store were burned, and 20 people were killed and 500 cattle were driven away without a single Indian victim since settlers did not receive long range rifles from the US government.[2]
1872 a newspaper called"Out West" began which was devoted to Western interests. Soon The Gazette and El Paso County News local news papers. Out West pages died, but the "Gazette" continued to be published. [2]
Cheyenne Mountain Aerial NORAD
1874 Judge Price began a column in his "Mountaineer". The Gazette continued to be published along with its editorials. In 1880 the Colorado Springs "Republic" as a daily evening journal. Its interests are local, also listing a job department and property section.By 1890 Colorado Springs had at least 20 newspapers. Examples: The El Paso "Rigister", the Divide region paper published in Monument.. Manitou "Journal is 4 months/year. [2]
Up to 1878 Utes camped in the Garden the Gods, but that was their last appearance in El Paso Co.[2]
Ute Pass Resorts in the area where earlier Indians on mustangs came down from the mountain parks to drink from the Manitou Springs, and hunters camped. The Colorado Midland trains bring visitors to an area where the hunters camped. After the Midland Railway extended its tracks resorts began and Manitou was an example. Air here is exhilarating, there is more to see of scenery and the world-famous springs can be tried. This lures tourists higher and deeper into the mountains.[2]
Cheyenne Mtn Air Force Station, 50 years
1880's Retreats and resorts were begun on Cheyenne mountain.[4]
1886 Bob Correy hunted, fished and prospected in pioneer days in the area. When the Civilizations reached near him, he sold his squatter claim to Mrs. E. N. Hewlitt who began a cattle ranch. Then Mr. Severy saw the region and envisioned a railroad being built through the area. He organized the Cascade Town Company along with Mrs. Hewlit. Soon cottages were built, a new townsite was platted, waterworks installed along with sewer pipes. They built a $65,000 hotel.[2]
1889 Pike's peak carriage road was built. On this road the summit of the mountain can be reached within 6 hours along one of the most outstanding drives. Cascade Canyon can be found 5 miles above Manitou near Pike's Peak base. It is surrounded is five miles above Manitou, near the base of Pike's Peak. Its crystals falls, parks and springs is a beautiful drive, but steep.[2]
Colorado Springs
On the Midland railroad up Ute Pass, one may encounter Ute pass, then after Manitou, Green Mountain Falls, is 9 miles from Ute Pass on the carriage road. Woodland Park is 5 miles farther up the pass (20 miles from Colorado Springs.[2]
1890 Ute Park began as a new resort, and its hotel named " the Ute" with aw bouquet to celebrate In back of the hotel are 23 miles of mountain roads through the pines to a lake with a fountain spraying 135 feet in the air. [2]
Franceville is a coal mining town located in the eastern part of El Paso County. McFerran is 5 miles NW of Franceville which has good schools, stores, hotels in its coal mining area. [2]
Other interesting settlements in El Paso are Aroways, Bassett's Hill, Big Sandy, Bijou Basin, Cheyenne Peak, Chico Basin, Colorado House, Crystal Peak Park, Easton, Elsmere, El Paso, Divide, Four Mile, Granger, Gwillemville, Highland, Hursleys, Husted, Jimmy Camp, Lake Station, Little Buttes, McConnellsville, "O. Z." Peyton, Petrified Stumps, Quarry, Sidney, South Water, Suffolk, Summit Park, Sun View, Table Rock, Turkey Creek, Twin Rocks, Weissport, Wheatland, Widefield, Winfield and Wigwam.
1890 - 31 water reservoirs were constructed for $100,000. Four partial reservoirs will cost $31,100 cost. Sixty irrigating canals extend 178 uses total length, meaning 3,000 acres of alfalfa, 4,867 acres natural grass, 779 acres seeded grass, and 3,366 acres of crops were grown.[2]
21 gun salute for 9-11 at Cheyenne Mtn.
The county assessor gives the following table as the assessed valuations (for 1890) of cities and towns of El Paso County: Colorado Springs $4,926,930, Palmer Lake $151,530, Manitou $667,000, Green Mountain Falls $55,410, Colorado City $288,105 (this was the beginning Colorado City, Monument $48,815.
1899 the western part was split off to form Teller county. [3]
El Paso County's railroads extend in all directions. It connects with 5 lines to connect El Paso County to Denver, and Pueblo the other 2 large cities. Denver & Rio Grande Railroad connects to the Pacific coast through Colorado. The Midland Railway connects to the Aspen and Leadville mines and various mountain resorts. The Rock Island connects to Chicago, and combines with the Rio Grande to give a route from Atlantic to Pacific. The Denver, Texas & Fort Worth is a direct outlet to Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe through Pueblo reach the East coast and also gives a southern route into California.. The Missouri Pacific connects El Paso County to St. Louis. Pike's Peak Railroad is the highest railroad in the world!![2]

NORAD Portal to Cheyenne Man
1918 Spencer Penrose built the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Highway, Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, a lodge on one of the Cheyenne mountain peaks and a retreat in Emerald Valley..The lodge later became a wilderness Cloud Camp. Emerald Valley contains the Broadmoor Ranch. The Broadmoor owned land on Cheyenne Mountain, which now have luxury homes.. Overlook Colony, begun 1911 is still present. [4]
1940's and Cold War Cheyenne mountain not only has parks, communications network on top, and residences there, bu it has many military operations. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is an underground operations center for operations deep within the granite mountain. There are bomb and even fallout shelters in case of a nuclear bomb.. (This is not a place to welcome a tour).. Later at the end of the cold war, a great deal was moved to Peterson AFB. [4]
Air Force Academy
1980's, 90's Colorado Springs experienced tremendous growth in the 1980s and 1990s. The Air Force Academy is in Colorado Springs.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park and North Cheyenne Cañon Park are at the base off the mountain on the southwest side. An antenna farm on the mountain serves for transmitters for radio, cell phones, TV, and law enforcement.[4]
Map of Waldo Canyon fire progress
Waldo Canyon Fire
2017 Colorado has 64 counties The 2017 census estimate gives population of 699,232 for El Paso County. It is the 2nd most populated county The Census Bureau's 2017 estimate indicates it is the second most populous county (the City and County of Denver's first). The county seat is Colorado Springs, also the 2nd most populous city in Colorado.[3]

Government Offices

Old El Paso County Courthouse

Old El Paso County Courthouse

Current County Courthouse

current Courthouse


mesa (6,008 feet [1,831 metres]) near the eastern base of Pikes Peak, east of Pike National Forest. Founded in 1871 as Fountain Colony by General William J. Palmer, builder of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, it was renamed for the nearby Manitou mineral springs. Growth of the area followed the Cripple Creek gold

topography Mountainous


Agriculture Products:

1888 Fountain Valley where irrigation was available. Dryland farming- wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn, potatoes, timothy, clover, alfalfa.
Fruit -572 bushes of orchard apples, blackberries 150 quarts, currants 5,795 quarts, gooseberries 3.635 quarts, raspberries 2,170 quarts, strawberries 890 quarts, and 59 acres of forest trees.
Dairy: 90,500 lbs cheese and 83,655 lbs of butter..
Honey 132 beehives in the county came 4,125 pounds of honey.
Sheep - 496,600 lbs of wool was shorn.
1886, from 2,665 acres 65,805 bushels were harvested; from 1,021 acres over 30,000 bushels of corn; 18,495 quarts of strawberries; 27,645 quarts of currants; and four tons of grapes.

Adjacent counties

  • Pueblo
  • Fremont

Protected areas


  • El Paso County is included in the Colorado Springs, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area.
  • El Paso County is located in Colorado's 5th congressional district.
  • In 2004, the voters of Colorado Springs and El Paso County established the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) and adopted a 1% sales tax dedicated to improving the region's transportation infrastructure. Together with state funding for COSMIX (2007 completion) and the I-25 interchange with Highway 16 (2008 completion), significant progress has been made since 2003 in addressing the transportation needs of the area.
  • In 2010 and 2014 the county voted pro-marijuana
  • Politics - Since creation El Paso County has voted for the Republican presidential candidate in presidential elections; the last Democratic nominee to win the county was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. The Democratic Party won El Paso County four additional times prior, and the Populist Party won in 1892, with General James B. Weaver.

County Resources

  • Fountain Creek
  • Pioneer Museum
Old El Paso County Courthouse, now Pioneer Museum

  • Blair Athol: Copper Mine in Colorado Springs
  • Air Force Academy
Air Force Academy
  • Fort Carson
  • Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods
  • Cog Railway to Pikes Peak
  • Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods
  • Monument Lake
Monument Lake


Category: Security-Widefield, Colorado https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security-Widefield,_Colorado 14 sq. mi.




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 https://coloradoencyclopedia.org/article/el-paso-county
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 http://hometownchronicles.com/co/elpaso/cohist.htm
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Paso_County,_Colorad
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheyenne_Mountain

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.