Colorado History and Genealogy Project

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Pueblo County Colorado ~  1870

This valley county lies on each side of the Arkansas River, and is bounded, north, by El Paso; east, by Bent and a corner of Greenwood; south, by Huerfano; and west, by Fremont. It is one of the finest agricultural counties in Colorado, containing over 1,200 square miles of exceedingly fertile land, and including, within its borders, several of the richest valleys yet brought under the hand of the husbandman, west of the Mississippi. The numerous tributaries of the Arkansas, principal of which are the Fontaine qui Bouille, St. Charles, Chico and Greenhorn, cut up this county into a series of valleys, with intervening mesa or table-lands, most of which can be easily irrigated. These undulated uplands form excellent natural pastures, all the year round, for stock, while the valleys are readily cultivated, and yield immense crops of vegetables and grain. Eastern and Northern travelers here first meet with those large ranches, so common further south, on which native Mexicans are employed to perform all the the labor. Some of these farms contain several thousand acres, and, in several instances, fifteen hundred acres are in cultivation on a single ranch. The Mexican laborers occupy these lands as tenants, and, in case of the larger farms, are so numerous as to constitute, each, a hamlet of several hundred souls.

The county contains a population of over three thousand, and is rapidly increasing. Agriculture and stock raising are the chief pursuits, and both yield large returns to the industrious husbandman. Stock raising has recently been attracting more attention than farming, and may now be fairly stated as the leading pursuit of this county. The vast mesas lying between the streams furnish pasturage for more cattle and sheep than it will be possible to produce for many years to come.

There are two military posts in Pueblo County, Fort Reynolds, at the junction of the Huerfano and Arkansas, and Fort Lyon, near the mouth of the Purgatoire or Las Animas.

Water-power abounds along the various streams, and will, some day, form an important element in the industries of the Arkansas valley. The chief town of any importance in the county is Pueblo, which is the county seat, and is beautifully situated on the Arkansas, just above the mouth of the Fontaine qui Bouille. Pueblo has long been known as a distributing centre for the Mexican trade, and a rendezvous for the various stage lines traversing Southern Colorado. It is a thriving town of nearly 1,000 inhabitants, and, next to Denver, is growing more rapidly than any other town in the Territory. Already it possesses good schools, several fine churches, and numerous elegant private residences. The Colorado Chieftain, a weekly newspaper, is published here, and merits the praise of having made itself decidedly the best local paper in Colorado.

When this county shall possess an outlet by rail, which it will shortly have, either by direct connection with the Kansas Pacific at Bent's Fort or Kit Carson, or by means of the Denver and Santa Fe line, which is now season, its trade and prosperity will increase a hundred fold.

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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