Page 1 of 1 Nov 1981 Issue of Colorado Springs Prospector in Colorado-Springs, Colorado

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Colorado Springs Prospector (Newspaper) - November 1, 1981, Colorado Springs, Colorado Local isto Yaj defence cop /colorado10608 of san ids Odd Hood los of <3 Avodia Tinaa am Van Oak Vaa Saai away historical highlights from Early Day newspapers 50 Horgan county vol. 12, no. Ii v a Colorado territory a atm if t r of t to it v Yrtti in Chi photo Courtesy fort Morgan museum. Reminder of bygone Era this 1891 View is looking North from Railroad ave. Into the 200 Block of main Street. The two boys in the foreground Are George Graham Baker and Fred Killebrew. At the extreme left is the Burton Preston Block built in 1889 to accommodate . More a Morgan county Bank and on the second floor county government offices. Across the Street the White one Story building was fort morgans first school House. Fort Morgan a the Early Days Price four bits Brush indians to sugar beets sep. 4, 1884 the following is an extract taken from an article written by or. Ralph Meeker and published in the Greeley Tribune and Sterling news in May last and our reason for republishing it is that it is better expressed than we Quot an ourselves do it 91 embodies All of the main facts in connection with our town and irrigating canal. The prophecy that a new hotel and depot would be built has already been fulfilled and the country has settled up faster than our most sanguine expectations. The following is the extract a fort Morgan is situated Southeast of the Narrows of the Platte River fifty Miles below Greeley and about seventy Miles from Denver. The town proper is directly on the line of the Burlington amp Missouri railway and a Short walk from Deuel the nearest Union Pacific station. With two great railways at its door and the Platte River flowing along its Boundary it is destined to become one of the important towns of Northern Colorado. Irrigation appears on a magnificent scale Here where one finds the most extensive canals in the state. Before going into details a Brief sketch of the country will be pertinent. Years ago a in 1859, when the pikes Peak Gold fever was at its height thousands of miners with their outfits followed up the Platte River to the mountains. The site of fort Morgan was a favorite camping place. An immense Sod Corral on the Banks of the River under the Bluff protected the stores of the Ranchero who had charge of the station. Another Corral was used for stable purposes. Concord stages freight wagons Emigrant trains stopped there for refreshments and Good water. With the exception of the Adobe and Sod stations Twenty or thirty Miles apart along the River the country was a wilderness. Indians and Buffalo roamed the Plains and at night the silence was Only broken by the howl of the Gray Coyote. Fremont the path finder journeyed up this River on his Way to the Pacific and every important Point is invested with historic interest. The great North and South trails of the cheyennes and Sioux crossed the Platte near the Narrows. In those Days the dangers of travel were Many and at any hour the Emigrant might be shot Down in cold blood. Indians followed every train to straggle away or fall behind was death to a White Man. To protect emigrants and the United states mail service the government in 1864, established a military Post on the Morgan Flats which commanded wide views of the country up and Down the River for a Long distance. Captain Mcnitt the present Surveyor of Weld county who came to Colorado from the army about that time says that fort Morgan was the largest Post on the River. Nearly a regiment of men were quartered there supported by a Battery of guns of a calibre calculated to keep the red skins at a distance. When the Greeley Colony came to Colorado in 1870, the country around fort Morgan was still the haunt of indians and Buffalo and it was not until the South Platte Branch of the Union Pacific railway was built to Denver that settlers began to make permanent improvements. In 1881-2, the Burlington amp Missouri railway extended its line from the Missouri River to Denver passing that Fertile Region but not until or. Baker began the great canal did the Railroad people dream that the Barren table lands could be transformed into luxuriant Fields of wheat and Clover. As an example of practical engineering on a larger scale or. Bakery a canal will Bear investigation. The fort Morgan plateau is an immense tract lying above the bed of the River. To get the water on the land it was necessary to begin the canal about fourteen Miles above fort Morgan. The Point selected is peculiarly Well adapted for putting in a head Gate and carrying away the water free from Sand. The Bottom of the River is Rocky making it impossible for sandbars to form at the Mouth of the canal. This advantage alone is Worth thousands of dollars to the Enterprise. Like the Missouri the Platte River is a treacherous Stream and in a very few places can one find Rocky Bottom Between the mountains and Omaha. Having built a substantial head Gate in which were used forty thousand feet of lumber secured by Iron shod piles of Mountain Trees or. Baker proceeded to extend the canal toward the table land taking advantage of the Grade to reach the higher Levels in the shortest possible distance. As the delighted visitor expands his lungs in the free bracing air he experiences the sensations Peculiar to the plateaus of the Andes As described by Humboldt. The landscape is As level As a floor and yet seems far above the world. The stranger instinctively looks around As to gaze upon the Plains below him. This feeling of Altitude exalts the senses and with ale sight of tile Rocky mountains unrolling their showy Chain Only a stupid Man complains of the View from fort Morgan is very Fine. It is just ninety Miles to Long speak where the great Range lifts its mighty Crest far into the sky. On the Quarter sections of the outlying lands houses have been built and in Many instances land slowed for a considerable distance from the town. To appreciate the magnitude of the work already done it should be considered that the settlement was Only begun this Spring. The canal with its present capacity will water about 25,000 acres. In this magnificent Domain or. A. S. Baker owns a Large share of the land and the water. Notwithstanding the exceptional advantages possessed by the town in the Way of railway facilities water Good health and unlimited agricultural resources the founders do not seem very anxious to Force its expansion and instead of Rushing into speculation and the Sale of town lots they Are sowing Alfalfa increasing their herds of blooded Stock and developing the farmlands with remarkable Energy. Miles of laterals sub ditches and wire fences have been made and already the Cactus is giving Way to the verdure of civilization. Still in spite of the attention bestowed on outside improvements the town is making a healthful growth. A sidetrack has been put in a storehouse built and stocked with goods a newspaper projected and a handsome depot promised by the railway company. The ruins of the Oldfort Are still standing on the Banks of the Platte River. Just below the officers quarters is or. Bakery a temporary residence. He Calls the place his horse Camp because of the Large number of Fine horses and other blooded Stock corralled there. There is much in the neighbourhood of interest to the Colorado antiquary. The old pikes Peak Trail runs near the Corral and up the Hill by the ruins of the fort. Thousands of cubic Yards of Earth have been worn out of the Roadway by the wheels and hoofs of the pikes continued on Page 8. Nov. To 1906 while searching archives and records and interviewing pioneers in our Hunt for authentic information for publication in this edition we were fortunate enough to stumble upon the Story of the first beet in Morgan county. We have the Story from Hon. Jud l. Brush next to the beet the principal actor in the Story and its genuineness is therefore established. In the fall of 1867, hostile indians attacked and massacred or. Brushes brother and his outfit at the Mouth of Crow Creek about Twenty Miles from Greeley. Immediately upon receipt of the sad news or. Brush who was at that time brigadier general of the United states army organized a punitive expedition consisting of about forty men for the Pursuit and punishment of the murderers of his brother. The company started from or. Brushes Home ranch on the big Thompson about to of clock in the morning. Everything except actual fighting accoutrements was discarded in order that the Chase after the indians might be impeded As Little As possible. The indians were overtaken after a Long hard Rice and a running skirmish with them ensued several of the latter being killed. As was their usual custom in such emergencies the indians finally scattered in Small parties of two or three each striking out in a different direction. These tactics rendered further attempts at reprisal on the part of the troops useless and about 2 of clock in the morning of the succeeding Day they went into Camp for a few hours rest a As tired and hungry a lot of men As Ever threw leg Over horse. The spot chosen for a Camp was old fort Morgan on the South Bank of the Platte River North of the present town of fort Morgan. The place had been abandoned As a government Post a couple of years previously but was still frequently used by Overland travellers As a stopping place. Side arms and carbines were the Only things carried by the men in their Pursuit of the indians. There was not a morsel of food in the entire crowd and they had eaten nothing since 9 of clock of the previous Day. In his tour of inspection of the Camp or. Brushes foot encountered a soft object sticking out of the ground and in the half Light he discovered it to be a Large beet which had probably taken Root there from seed dropped by previous campers. It found such congenial soil and suitable climate in its new Home that it had flourished and waxed fat and was apparently waiting its Cue to play the part assigned it in the making of a Western Empire. Or. Brush kicked it out of the ground and for a time it constituted the whole commissary department of his Little Force. The beet was boiled until cooked about half through and with appropriate ceremonies was carefully sliced and apportioned to the forty or More ravenous men As their rations for the time being. When Daylight came some cattle belonging to or. Brush were discovered across the River and on of them was Al Etzkor foot urns relieving the minds and satisfying the stomachs of the campaigners. The incident above related gives to or. Brush the Honor of having raised the first beet in Morgan county even though he raised it with his foot and to the Cook of that band of Pioneer Empire makers must be accredited the Honor of having been the first beet Slicer in the South Platte Valley. The Brush Tribune. 172 Pound beet nov. 13, 1885 1 desire to inform the owner of an unbranded red and White steer that i am holding same for damages done to a 172 Pound beet which caused me $15 for labor in mining and hauling from Field. I shall expect settlement in Cash before delivery of animal. A Jas. T. Devin. The fort Morgan times. Photo Courtesy fort Morgan museum. Abner s. Bakersr. In 1874, . Baker a Greeley Pioneer was attracted to the fort Morgan area because of its superiority for agricultural purposes and his scheme for digging ditches to irrigate the land. In 1883 he began construction of three canals and secured land for the location of a town to be named after the old fort a half mile away

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