The New International Encyclopædia/Colorado
COLORADO, kōl′ō̇-rä′dō̇ (Sp., colored red) (‘the Centennial State’). A State of the American Union, the twenty-fifth in order of admission. It lies between latitudes 37° and 41° N., and longitudes 102° and 109° W., and is bounded on the north by Wyoming and Nebraska, on the east by Nebraska and Kansas, on the south by Oklahoma Territory and New Mexico, on the west by Utah. Length from east to west, 380 miles; breadth, 275 miles; land area, 103,645 square miles; water area, 280 square miles.
Topography. Colorado lies upon the great watershed of the continent, and is, after Wyoming, the most elevated State in the Union. A number of the most prominent ranges of the Rocky Mountain system traverse the State in a northerly and southerly direction, spreading magnificently over more than half the surface. The eastern section lies in the plain of the great Mississippi Basin, rising gradually from an elevation of about 3000 feet at the eastern boundary to a considerably higher altitude in the west. In the longitude of Denver and Colorado Springs the surface becomes broken by irregular chains of foot-hills. Back of these rise abruptly the lofty ranges of the Rockies. Entering the State from the north, they are called the Medicine Bow Range, and continue south as the Front Range to Pike's Peak, west of Colorado Springs. This is the most famous mountain in the State, but not the highest, being one of a score that range between 14,000 and 14,500 feet in elevation. West of these ranges are three valleys called North, Middle, and South Parks. North Park is inclosed on the west by the Park Range, and is separated from Middle Park by a ridge, extending from the east to the west, called the Divide. The North Platte River rises on its northern slope; on its southern, the Rio Grande. Between the Middle and South parks the Front Range meets the Saguache, the loftiest of them all. For miles its crest towers above the 13,000-foot level, surmounted by the impressive Holy Cross Peak, the Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and other mountains whose heights exceed 14,000 feet. To the southeast the range is continued in the Sangre de Cristo and Culebra, which extend into New Mexico. West of these latter ranges lies another valley called the San Luis Park, while west of this rise the San Juan Mountains. In the remainder of the western portion of the State there is a confusion of broken mountains, plateaus, and valleys, with a general slope to the westward.
Of the many mountain passes, 13 are over 10,000 feet in altitude, the Argentine reaching 13,100 feet. The great valleys or parks above mentioned inclosed by mountains are a distinguishing feature of the scenery. San Luis Park contains 8000 square miles (the most level land in the State, though elevated 7500 feet). Other important valleys are the Arkansas (q.v.), Rio Grande (q.v.), White Grande, and Gunnison. There are over 39,964 square miles of park and valley lands. The North Platte and South Platte unite to form the Platte of Nebraska. The source of the South Platte is 11,176 feet above tide, and its fall in the short distance to Denver is 6000 feet. The Arkansas rises 10,176 feet above the sea in the west central part of the State, rapidly falling to 7877 feet, and flows southeast and east into Kansas, pasing through the ‘Royal Gorge’ cañon, 3000 feet deep. The Rio Grande rises in the Saguache Range and flows through San Luis Park into New Mexico. The largest streams on the west are the Yampah and White, tributaries of the Green River, Utah; the Grand, one of the main affluents of the Colorado; and its tributaries, the Gunnison, Dolores, and San Miguel. None of these streams is navigable. No other State contains the headwaters of so large a number of rivers. From near the centre of the Commonwealth rivers flow outward in many directions, and the waters are distributed in almost equal proportions to the Atlantic and to the Pacific Ocean. The only lake of consequence, San Luis, about 60 miles long and a quarter of a mile wide, lies in San Luis Park, and receives several small streams, but has no visible outlet. The lofty peaks and deep-lying parks are equaled in grandeur by the river cañons; those of the Arkansas, Grand, Black Cañon of the Gunnison, Little Colorado, and Uncompahgre, varying in depth from 1000 to 3000 feet. ‘The Garden of the Gods’ and ‘Monument Park’ are filled with castellated buttes that rise out of green meadows, or with grotesquely shaped pillars and towers of red sandstone, carved by erosion. A large area in Saguache County has been reserved as a State park.
|COPYRIGHT, 1891 AND 1902, BY DODD, MEAD & COMPANY.|
AREA AND POPULATION OF COLORADO BY COUNTIES.
|County Seat.|| Area in
|Archuleta||D 3||Pagosa Springs||1,209||826||2,117|
|Bent||F 3||Las Animas||1,497||1,313||3,049|
|Cheyenne||F 2||Cheyenne Wells||1,787||534||501|
|Clear Creek||E 2||Georgetown||425||7,184||7,082|
|Costilla||E 3||San Luis||1,746||3,491||4,632|
|El Paso||E 2||Colorado Springs||2,134||21,239||31,602|
|Fremont||E 2||Canon City||1,478||9,156||15,636|
|Garfield||C 2||Glenwood Springs||3,049||4,478||5,835|
|Gilpin||E 2||Central City||130||5,867||6,690|
|Grand||D 1||Sulphur Springs||1,873||604||741|
|Hinsdale||D 3||Lake City||1,003||862||1,609|
|Kiowa||F 2||Sheridan Lake||1,780||1,243||701|
|Kit Carson||F 2||Burlington||2,168||2,472||1,580|
|La Plata||D 3||Durango||1,848||5,509||7,016|
|Larimer||D 1||Fort Collins||4,337||9,712||12,168|
|Las Animas||E 3||Trinidad||4,802||17,208||21,842|
|Mesa||C 2||Grand Junction||3,309||4,260||9,267|
|Morgan||F 1||Fort Morgan||1,264||1,601||3,268|
|Rio Blanco||C 2||Meeker||3,249||1,200||1,690|
|Rio Grande||D 3||Del Norte||1,331||3,451||4,080|
|Routt||C 1||Hahns Peak||6,980||2,369||3,661|
|San Juan||D 3||Silverton||438||1,572||2,342|
|San Miguel||C 2||Telluride||1,310||2,909||5,379|
|Teller||E 2||Cripple Creek||551||......||29,002|
Climate and Soil. The high altitude of the State premises a cool temperature; but, save on the higher elevations, extremes are rare, the climate being generally mild and remarkably salubrious. The days are sometimes hot, but the nights are cool and free of humidity. The yearly mean temperature at Denver (5182 feet) in January is 28.2° F.; July, 71.7° F.; Pueblo (4675 feet), January, 28.7° F.; July, 74° F. Frosts do not occur until late in the autumn and disappear early in the spring; but snows are heavy and lasting on the mountains, yet in the low levels are seldom deep, and very soon melt away.
The mean annual rainfall for the State is 14.8 inches. This fall, although light, is well distributed, and in many sections of the ‘Great Divide’ cereals are grown without irrigation. The heaviest rainfall is in the mountains. At Pike's Peak the mean precipitation is 29.7 inches; at Climax (10,304 feet), 34.8 inches. On the plains it is much less. At Denver the mean fall is 14.3 inches; at Colorado Springs (6032 feet), 14.5 inches; at Las Animas (3899 feet), 11.0 inches.
The atmosphere is so dry and pure that fresh meats are preserved by the simple process of drying. The late summer is almost rainless. The climate and air of Colorado are considered of great benefit to asthmatic and pulmonary sufferers, and the charming parks are likely to become the great natural sanatoriums of North America. Thousands of people flock to Denver, Colorado Springs, and other sections of the State to regain their health. The various mineral springs are also adjuncts to the remedial nature of the climate. The hot sulphur springs of Middle Park and Wagon-Wheel Gap, and the hot iron and soda springs of Manitou, Cañon City, Glenwood Springs, and Idaho Springs are famous.
The soil along the river-bottoms is largely alluvial. In the eastern part of the State it is a light loam. In some places siliceous and micaceous substances abound, while here and there clay formations crop out. The forests of the State cover about 10,500,000 acres of land, and are restricted mainly to the mountains.
Geology. The geological structure of Colorado is extremely varied. In the less elevated region east of the Rocky Mountains, Cretaceous and Tertiary strata are exposed in nearly horizontal position and in great thickness. On the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains these strata are succeeded by older sediments, including Silurian, Carboniferous, and Jura-Trias, which are upturned and in places intensely folded. The axis of the mountain system is formed by granites and other igneous rocks, more or less metamorphosed, of Archæan age, with a great variety of later volcanic rocks. On the western edge of the system Paleozoic strata again appear, and are overlaid in the extreme western part of the State by Cretaceous, Jura-Trias, and Tertiary beds. The Carboniferous rocks, unlike those along the Appalachian Mountains, inclose no coal-seams. Coal occurs, however, in great abundance in the Laramie group of the Cretaceous. The great upheavals accompanied by volcanic activity along the Rocky Mountains have favored the formation of ore deposits, some of which are of great economic importance. Cripple Creek on the slopes of Pike's Peak. Leadville, Boulder, Ouray, Rosita, Silverton, Gilpin, Lake City, and Gunnison are important centres of gold, silver, and lead mining. Copper, zinc, manganese, and iron ores also occur in extensive deposits.
Mining. Colorado is best known as a mining State, ranking first in the mining of precious metals, and surpassed only by Pennsylvania in the total mineral output. This is due largely to the State's great productivity of gold and silver ores. Colorado produces twice as much of these two metals as any other State, and more than one-third of the total output of the United States. The production of gold increased in value from $4,150,000 in 1889 to $28,760,000 in 1900. In 1897, for the first time, the gold product exceeded that of California, while the output for 1900 was twice that of the rival State. Silver-mining reached its maximum output in 1892, and then decreased until 1895: since which time it has slightly increased. The commercial value of silver mined in 1900 was $12,500,000. Colorado has for a number of years produced about one-fourth of the total lead output of the United States. The product steadily increased until 1883, when it was valued at $6,000,000; in the succeeding years the annual output approximated $5,000,000 until 1893, when it began to decrease. In 1898 it gave signs of revival, and in 1900 amounted to $7,700,000. Increasing quantities of copper and iron are mined, and the advantage of a proximity to fuel and flux is giving Colorado steel and iron the control of the entire trans-Missouri market. Coal-mines are also rapidly developing, the State ranking eighth in the value of her output of coal, and fourth in the amount of coke produced. Nearly one-half of the coal is mined in Las Animas County, in the south, while an equal proportion of the mineral production is credited to Teller and Lake counties in the central part of the State, including the famous Cripple Creek district (q.v.) .
Agriculture. Colorado, with its extreme elevation and aridity, was long thought to be fit only for mining and grazing. But it has been found possible to utilize many of the watercourses, which are distributed so liberally over the State, for purposes of irrigation, and by this means large portions of the State have been brought into profitable cultivation, the total area irrigated in 1900 being greater than in any other State. Fourteen and three-tenths per cent. of the land surface was included in farms in that year, and 3.4 per cent. or 2,273,968 acres were improved, of which 1,611,271 acres, or 70.9 per cent., were irrigated. During the decade ending in 1900 the actual irrigated area increased 80.9 per cent. The main canals and ditches had a total length of 7374 miles. The largest irrigated area lies to the east of the Rocky Mountains in the north central part of the State. The supply of water is here obtained from the tributaries of the South Platte River. The storage system is being adopted whereby the flood waters of this section are conserved. The Arkansas, Rio Grande, and the other streams are also drawn upon for purposes of irrigation, and every county contains some irrigated land. The eastern plain between the South Platte and Arkansas valleys is one of the least irrigated regions of equal extent in the State. By the application of improved methods, irrigation can be extended to a much greater area than has yet shared its advantages. Colorado is unlike California in that its irrigated area is devoted almost wholly to the less intensively cultivated crops. The value per acre of the product is therefore not so great as in the latter State, while the average size of the irrigated farm is much greater, being 354 acres, of which 91 acres are actually irrigated. Considerably over one-half of the crop acreage is devoted to hay and forage, the acreage of this kind of crop having nearly doubled in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Alfalfa constitutes nearly half of this amount, almost the entire acreage of alfalfa being irrigated. Its yield is very great, and in a large measure it is made to take the place of grain as feed for stock. The acreage in wheat exceeds that of all other cereals combined, and more than doubled in the decade ending in 1900. The flour manufactured from Colorado wheat ranks first in the market. Oats and corn, respectively, rank next in importance, the acreage of the former having decreased and the latter having increased during the last census period. Increasing quantities of barley are raised. Irish potatoes are a very prominent crop in the northern part of the State. Hundreds of car-loads of muskmelons are annually shipped from the Arkansas River region. They include the famous Rocky Ford cantaloups, named after the town of Rocky Ford. The production of sugar-beets bids fair to become an important industry. In the last decade of the century remarkable progress was made in fruit-culture. The apple-trees, which constitute 69.3 per cent. of the total number of fruit-trees, increased during that period from 77,790 to 2,004,890, and the per cent. of increase of other varieties was equally great. The western slope of the State seems to be especially well adapted to the production of superior grades of fruit.
Stock-Raising developed before tillage was attempted, and for some time had almost the whole field to itself. The introduction of mixed farming has not been detrimental to this industry, but, on the contrary, has resulted in an increase in the number of animals raised. What is more, the long-horned Texas steer has given place to one with a pedigree. Large herds receiving little attention are being supplanted by many small herds carefully looked after. For every decade since 1870 the number of cattle has more than doubled. Sheep-raising, which is largely confined to the southern counties, made large gains in the last decade of the century. Horses and mules are raised in sufficient numbers to supply the local needs. The number of dairy cattle is rapidly increasing, and dairying is becoming a prominent industry. The tables appended show the relative importance of the different varieties of live stock and crops and the tendencies in their development:
| Potatoes |
Manufactures. Manufacturing yields precedence to mining and farming, although 4.6 per cent. of the population is engaged in this occupation. But manufacturing is growing, owing to a combination of favorable circumstances, chief of which is abundance of raw materials. This State produces more coal than any other State west of the Mississippi River, and, excepting Minnesota, three times as much iron ore as all of these States combined, consequently a large amount of coke, iron, and steel products is manufactured. The presence of coal makes possible the smelting and refining of copper and lead ores, which has rapidly developed, these ores being imported from neighboring States for such purposes. Further advantage is given the State from the more extensive development of its railways and its position as a distributing centre. In those manufactures in which freight rates are an important consideration, Colorado's great distance from the manufacturing centres of the East is another advantage. The foundry and machine-shop products, which have had a rapid growth during the past decade, consist largely of mining machinery, in the production of which the State holds high rank. An increase in the flouring and the meat-packing industries is a natural consequence of the growing importance of agriculture. The following figures from the census of 1890 and of 1900 show the number of establishments and wage-earners, and the value of the total gross product for these years:
|Increase, 1890 to 1900||......||230||3,005||7,600,638|
|Per cent. of increase||......||57.1||57.2||47.3|
Transportation and Commerce. Colorado has better railroad accommodations than any other Rocky Mountain State. In 1899 there were 4616 miles of track, most of which was constructed prior to 1890. The Union Pacific, Missouri Pacific, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fé, the Denver and Rio Grande, the Colorado and Southern, and the Rock Island Route, with their branches, are the principal railroads. These railroad facilities are important, not only in developing the resources of the State, but in augmenting its commercial importance by making it a collecting and distributing centre for the West. There are no navigable streams.
Finances. In 1900 the total debt of the State was $2,700,000. The total receipts and disbursements for the two years ending November 30, 1900, were respectively $3,199,000 and $3,089,000.
Banks. In October, 1900, there were 40 national banks in operation, with a capital stock aggregating $4,387,000, the outstanding circulation being $3,337,000; deposits, $24,500,000; and reserve, $10,900,000. In July of the same year there were 30 State banks, with $9,800,000 total resources, $1,430,000 capital and $8,100,000 deposits. There were also 13 private banks with $795,000 resources and $524,000 deposits. No savings banks were reported.
Charitable and Penal Institutions. There are an insane asylum at Pueblo and a soldiers' and sailors' home at Monte Vista. The State also maintains homes for its deaf and blind and for its dependent and neglected children. Boards of county commissioners make annual appropriations for the support of the poor, county homes being provided in some counties. There is a State penitentiary at Cañon City. The entire expense of maintaining the institution from 1876 to 1900, inclusive, was $2,296,899. The earnings of the prison during the same period were $516,333. Much of the labor of the convicts has been on roads and irrigation ditches. The State has an indeterminate sentence and parole law. First offenders between the ages of sixteen and thirty are sent to the State Reformatory at Buena Vista, where the cultivation of a farm is the chief occupation. The parole system is used at this institution. The State also has an industrial school for youthful offenders at Golden. It is without ‘locks, bars, and cells,’ and endeavors to treat its wards as students, not as criminals. Each of the charitable and penal institutions is under the jurisdiction of a board of control. The State Board of Charities and Correction is an inspecting and advising body.
Population. Colorado is the most populous of the Rocky Mountain States. The following gives the population by decades: 1860, 34,277; 1870, 39,864; 1880, 194,327; 1890, 412,198; 1900, 539,700, of which only 10,654 were colored. The foreign born in 1900 numbered 91,155, about one-half of whom came from the United Kingdom and Canada. In 1880 two-thirds of the population were males, but with the development of agriculture and more settled conditions of life the population is rapidly becoming normal; in 1900 the male population constituted less than 55 per cent. of the total. There is a marked tendency to segregate in towns, as is usual in mining regions. There are eight places of over 4000 inhabitants, constituting 41 per cent. of the population. Three Representatives are sent to the Lower House of the National Congress.
The principal cities of the State are Denver, the capital, with a population (1900) of 133,859; Pueblo, 28,157; Colorado Springs, 21,085; Leadville City, 12,455; Cripple Creek, 10,097.
Religion. Numerically, the Roman Catholic Church ranks first. Of the other denominations, the Methodist and Presbyterian are the strongest.
Education. Colorado maintains a high standard of education. But six States have a longer school year, and none of these are west of the Appalachians. Seventy-six per cent. of the population between the ages of six and twenty-one are enrolled in the public schools. High school advantages are provided in the towns. The teachers receive higher salaries than those generally paid in the West. Women are eligible to school district boards and may vote at school elections. There is a normal school at Greeley. Higher institutions of learning are: Colorado College, established at Colorado Springs in 1874; University of Colorado, opened in Boulder in 1877; School of Mines at Golden, and School of Agriculture at Fort Collins; Presbyterian College at Del Norte; Denver University; also Rocky Mountain University and College of the Sacred Heart at Denver. There are medical schools at Boulder and Denver. The enrollment for all higher institutions of learning is about 2300. The National Government has an Indian school at Grand Junction.
Government. The Constitution was adopted by a vote of the people August 1, 1876. By a two-thirds vote of each House, a proposed amendment may be referred to popular vote; but amendments must be voted upon separately. A proposal for a constitutional convention may also be referred to the people by a two-thirds vote of each House, and if a majority of the people approve, the next session of the Legislature must provide for such convention. It must consist of twice as many delegates as there are members of the Senate, and the Constitution drawn up must be submitted to the people for ratification. The Constitution specifies a six months' residence in the State as a prerequisite to voting, and authorizes the Legislature to make other time requirements. Either sex may vote at school-district elections, or hold school-district offices. Suffrage rights may be further extended to women by legislative enactment approved by a vote of the people. In the State elections in 1893 the people voted in favor of woman suffrage. An educational qualification may be imposed by law. The rights of citizenship can be denied an individual only during a period of imprisonment.
Legislative. State elections are held on the first Tuesday in October of even years, and the Legislature meets on the first Wednesday of the following January. Senators and Representatives are elected for terms of four and two years respectively. The aggregate number of Senators and Representatives can never exceed 100. No bill can be so altered or amended on its passage through either House as to change its original purpose. Revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. Ordinary expenses only can be included in general appropriation bills. A member cannot vote on a bill in which he has a personal or private interest. Impeachment charges are brought by the House, and tried before the Senate.
Executive. The executive officers are a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney-General, and Superintendent of Public Instruction, the term of each being two years. Their salaries are determined by law, and neither Treasurer nor Auditor can be his own immediate successor. A two-thirds vote of both Houses overrules the veto of the Governor. The Governor may veto any item of a money appropriation bill. He may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and convene the General Assembly in special session. The Lieutenant-Governor, who is President of the Senate, succeeds to the Governorship in case of vacancy, and he in turn is succeeded by the President pro tem. of the Senate and by the Speaker of the House.
Judicial. The judicial power of the State as to matters of law and equity, except as in the Constitution otherwise provided, is vested in a supreme court, district courts, county courts, justices of the peace, and such other courts as may be provided by law. There are three supreme court judges, elected for nine years; the district judges—one or more for each judicial district—elected for six years; and a judge for every county, elected every three years. A district attorney is elected triennially in every judicial district.
Local Government. Three county commissioners (five in counties exceeding 10,000) are elected in every county, the term of office being three years. Other county officers, elected on the first Tuesday in October of the odd years, are: clerk, sheriff, coroner, treasurer, superintendent of schools, surveyor, and assessor. At the same election the small precincts elect one justice of the peace and the constable, and precincts of over 5000 a proportionately larger number. Towns and cities may be classified into not more than four classes, and the powers of each class may be defined by general laws.
Militia. There are two regiments of infantry of 550 men each, a squadron of cavalry with 200 men, and a battery of artillery with 75 men. The males of militia age number (1900) 142,000, 60,000 being liable to military duty.
History. Prehistoric remains, consisting of numerous cave-dwellings and the ruins of extensive pueblos, similar in character to those discovered in New Mexico and Arizona, have been found in southern Colorado. In the second half of the eighteenth century a number of expeditions into the limits of the present State were undertaken by the Spaniards. The most important of these was the one headed by Francisco Escalante, who in 1776 traversed the southwestern corner of the State, and explored the region of the Dolores and Gunnison rivers. But though Spain laid claim to the region, she made no attempt to settle it. The country, a portion of which was included in the Louisiana Purchase (1803), was partially explored in 1806 by Lieutenant Pike, of the United States Army, and in 1819 by Colonel Long. Further exploration was carried on by Frémont in 1842 and 1844, and before the Mexican War fur-trading stations had been built on the Arkansas and Platte rivers. In the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848) Mexico relinquished her territorial rights in favor of the United States. Parties of prospectors and emigrants from Georgia and Kansas entered Colorado in 1858. In 1859 the discovery of gold near Boulder and Idaho Springs was followed by a large immigration and the sudden rise of the mining towns of Denver and Boulder. After sending representatives to the Legislature of Kansas, ‘Arapahoe County,’ as the region was then called, together with lands taken from Nebraska and New Mexico, was organized into the Territory of Colorado on February 28, 1861. From 1864 to 1870 wars were carried on with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. The Utes ceded the mountain and park regions between 1863 and 1880. In 1864 and 1868 unsuccessful attempts at organizing a State Government were made. The final enabling act was passed by Congress on March 3, 1875, and on August 1, 1876, Colorado, the Centennial State, was admitted into the Union. Gold-digging was on the decline in 1878, and many mining towns were being deserted, when it was discovered that from the masses of carbonates thrown aside by the gold-seekers, silver and lead might be extracted. Immigrants flocked to Leadville, and soon the value of the lead and silver output came to be many times that of the yield of gold. As a result, the people of the State, in 1892, declared enthusiastically for the free coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1. Serious strikes broke out among the miners in 1894 and 1896-97, and recourse was had to military force to restore order. From 1876 to 1888 Colorado was Republican in national politics, but in the three Presidential elections after 1888 the silver interests of the State made it decidedly Democratic. In 1896 and 1900 especially, the Democrats, Populists, and Silver Republicans, in fusion, controlled a large proportion of votes in the State.
|A. C. Hunt||1867—1869|
|Samuel H. Elbert||1873—1874|
|John L. Routt||1875—1876|
|John L. Routt||Republican||1876—1879|
|Frederick W. Pitkin||“||1879—1883|
|James B. Grant||Democrat||1883—1885|
|Benjamin H. Eaton||Republican||1885—1887|
|Job A. Cooper||Republican||1889—1891|
|John L. Routt||“||1891—1893|
|David A. Waite||Populist and Democrat||1893—1895|
|Albert W. McIntire||Republican||1895—1897|
|Alva Adams||Dem. and Silver Rep.||1897—1899|
|Charles S. Thomas||Dem., Pop. and Silver Rep.||1899—1901|
|James B. Orman||“““““||1901—1903|
Consult: Bancroft, History of the Pacific States, vol. xx. (San Francisco, 1890); Hayes, New Colorado and the Santa Fé Trail (New York, 1880); Pabor, Colorado as an Agricultural State (ib. 1883); Fossett, Colorado: Its Gold and Silver Mines, etc. (ib. 1880); The Resources, Wealth, and Industrial Development of Colorado (Denver, 1883).