Colorado History and Genealogy Project

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Douglas County Colorado ~  1870

This county lies exclusively in the "plains" division of the Territory. Its southwestern limits take in a portion of the "Divide," which part is well timbered with pine; the balance is entirely valley lands, and well adapted to stock-raising (as the grasses are abundant) and agriculture, with the aid of irrigation. The county is bounded, north, by Arapahoe County; east, by the State of Kansas; south, by Greenwood County; and west, by Jefferson County.

Nearly the entire county, from its southeastern border to its northwestern limits, is traversed by the Kansas Pacific railway. The lands along this road are, at present, but partially improved, and, in fact, this is true of the entire county; and its whole population is trifling, in proportion to its extent and resources. But the completion of this line of railway (during the summer of 1870) has attracted attention to the county, and afforded facilities for its complete development; and soon emigrants, from the less favored farming districts, east, will find comfortable homes in this portion of the "great desert," and make themselves wealthy and the county populous. Coal beds and iron ore have also been discovered in Douglas County, the iron ore very superior in quality and in considerable quantities; but, at present, mining enterprises form no part of the industries of the county. In a country where gold and silver are abundant, but little attention is attracted to the baser metals, especially when that country, like Colorado, is remote from commercial and manufacturing centers, and not densely populated. Hence, the copper, iron and lead of the Territory have, as yet, received but little notice; but the completion of two lines of railway, and the consequent influx of all classes of citizens, will very soon effect a change in the condition of things, and measures will be inaugurated by which our vast wealth of copper, iron and lead will be made available, and contribute their part to the general wealth of the Territory. Until this desired object is effected, the iron ore of Douglas County will not be disturbed, and mining enterprises will form no part of her industries. In the meantime, her present agricultural and stock-raising advantages will be her only source of wealth and population, and these are sufficiently important to make her populous and prosperous.

In the western portion of the county, and on the "Divide," rains fall more frequently than in other locations, and crops can be raised without irrigation; but the greater portion of the county, like the balance of the plains, will not produce without artificial moisture. This can be supplied, readily, at comparatively small expense, as the county is traversed by streams which flow from the "Divide," northward, to the Platte River, of which they are tributaries. Principal among these are Plum, Cherry, Terrapin, Kiowa, Bijou and Beaver creeks. The bottom lands along these are, like those of all Colorado streams, exceedingly fertile and productive. It is along these stream that the greater portion of the population exists, and Douglas has no towns or cities of any importance, although her population is considerable. In addition to the Kansas Pacific railway, the county has the usual good wagon roads peculiar to Colorado; and these, combined, afford every facility tor reaching all parts of the county and adjoining sections, and ample means tor the transportation of her products to eastern and western markets. The altitude of the county is between 3,500 and 8,000 feet above sea level, and the climate, like that of all the plains region, exceedingly healthful.

This undeveloped county officers unusual inducements to colonists who wish to engage in farming or stock raising, and should be carefully examined by such, before making final choice of location.

Rocky Mountain Directory & Colorado Gazetteer

Source: Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer, 1871, S. S. Wallihan & Company, Compilers and Publishers, Denver, 1870.

 

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