Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Earliest Burials in Fairview Cemetery, with a little genealogy thrown in

This article identifies some of the earliest burials at Fairview Cemetery, but it also shows how the census and other records can help you track families, one piece of evidence at a time.

Florence Faith was the daughter of Samuel John Liston and Hulda Mable Imes.  She was born in Colorado and died there are at the age of 9 months in 1875.  Her father Samuel appears on the 1870 census in Fountain as a farmer, with $2000 in land and $750 in personal property.  He was single and seems to be living south of the Lock family along Fountain Creek.  Samuel was born in Ohio in about 1833.  By 1880, he had married and then moved his family back onto the plains of Sedgwick County, Kansas.  

From the Mormon website, we learn that Samuel and Hulda married in Fountain in September 1871.  Hulda was the daughter of Moses Imes and Mary Davis, and was born in Iowa in 1852. Hulda's son Willie was born in Colorado in July 1872, and Pearl was born there in 1876.  Between these two children, they lost Florence. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fountain - Main Street

Of the many older houses along Main Street, a number were built by LA Toothman.  The county assessor [ ] dates these between about 1910 and the mid-1920s.  The owners of each house over time are not known.  Other houses in town attributed to him, based on interviews, include 214 S Fountain, 316 N Main and 316 W Illinois.

Nettie Toothman's Home Cafe, Fountain
ca. 1920-30s

Pioneer Essay July 1976, Security Advertiser & Fountain Valley News
by Clarissa W “Toots” Toothman Wilson

This essay is not, by any means, all in chronological order.  The events have come to my mind and, since I am not sure of all the dates, I have just written about them. 

My father, Louis A Toothman, came to Fountain from Mount Hope, Kansas, in 1895.  Since he was a carpenter, he built a few houses and then returned to get my mother, Nettie P (Haskins) Toothman, and my sister.  They came back to Fountain in the Spring of 1896.  My eldest sister, Mrs. Coral Miller of Colorado Springs, was six months old at the time.  In 1900, another sister, was born in Fountain, Mrs. Daisy Torbit.  My brother RB was born in 1902.  I was born August 3, 1910 at 310 W Illinois.  The cottonwood tree at the east corner of the yard was planted by the parents the day before I was born.

RB and Toots Toothman, 1914

Friday, June 3, 2011

The County Poor Farm

The El Paso County Poor Farm was built in 1900.  It was located where Bear Creek Park is today, north of the community garden.  I found additional information on this early social service on..

LG Niles served as the Poor Farm Superintendent for a time, and his wife Catherine was the matron.  She died at the county farm while they were working there, and her daughter completed the remainer of the term as the matron.  LG's granddaughter Donna Koop furnished these photographs of the county farm.  The family believes that he served two terms at the farm, during the 1930s and 1940s.

Grandma Niles

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Churches of Fountain, Colorado

The 1871 plat of the town of Fountain shows two churches, or at least the lots reserved for them.  One may have been a Society of Friends or Quaker meeting house.  More detail and the interesting 1871 diagram can be found on the About Town page.

These Daily Rocky Mountain News articles, found in an online historic newspaper index (ask your librarian how), show that a Friends meeting house had been built in Fountain by 1875.

Dec 5 1875

Jun 1 1875

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Last Run of the D&RG 638

Coal powered steam engines were phased out in the early 1960s.  This photo was taken in Fountain in December, 1962 and shows the last run of the D&RG 638, as it passed through town.  The engine was donated to the town of Trinidad.  Read more about this in the Dec 17, 1962 article in the Gazette, found on the Pikes Peak Newsfinder index at

Friday, May 20, 2011

Why do so many people think Fountain is haunted?

The blogger service allows me to see what you are searching for when you query google or another site for information, and are directed to this website.  A number of searches each week are related to ghosts and murders.  Now historically there were not many murders here, but there were a number of tragic deaths.  These deaths can likely be attributed to the times and not the place, and with changes in modern medicine and safety, such events are less likely to occur.

Weekly Gazette Sep 26, 1901

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What is a chivarii? and other fun photographs

"Back in the old days"... when a couple was married, their friends would host activities to celebrate the wedding.  True, these events were often planned to keep the new couple apart for the day, and the evening, but it was all meant in fun.  I've heard of grooms being kidnapped.  What other stories have you heard?

Here Tobie Wells pushes his new wife Jill down Main Street in a wheelbarrow.  With any luck, and a beautiful smile, well wishers gave her nicer gifts than the customary toilet paper!
[Fountain Valley News Aug 15, 1973]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The cause of all her troubles…

Anna K. Pettingill is buried in Fountain’s Fairview Cemetery.  A tall monument marks the family plot and bears the names of Anna, James Arthur Pettengill and Gertrude Lawrence.  Who was Anna?  The monument notes that she was born in 1859 and died in 1896.  James died in 1902 and Gertrude in 1950.

Anna Pettengill was not found on the federal census, though this is not surprising as she died before the 1900 census and may not have been married at the time of the 1880 census.  A review of historic newspaper indexes provides the details.  Anna had been married to AM Pettingill, and after several unhappy years, secured a divorce in early 1896.  She committed suicide, leaving four children. 

Denver Evening Post, (Denver, CO) Monday, March 23, 1896

An article published the same day in the Post’s rival, the Rocky Mountain News, relates that:

…since her divorce was finalized in January, Anna had plotted to take her life, but had been stopped by her friends.  Mrs. Steen, a boarder, had grown accustomed to these suicide threats.

The inquest into Pettingill’s death, reported in the Rocky Mountain News on March 27, 1896, reveals a more suspicious circumstance.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fearful Wreck Narrowly Averted and other train deaths

Rocky Mountain News Dec 10, 1897

Weekly Rocky Mountain News
Sept 15, 1898

The Fountain Herald - 1888 and 1903

Rocky Mountain News 6-7-1888
 Soon after the great explosion of 1888 and the destruction of the AT&SF depot, the D&RG was petitioned to build a depot in Fountain. 

Note that person requesting this was Mr. Reed, secretery of the Fountain Town and Improvement Company.  If he could secure a depot northeast of town, he would be better about to sell his new town lots there.  

The Fountain Herald 1888

Although the source of these news items is not known, it is likely that an issue from 1888 was reprinted in a later newspaper (after 1936) and comments added.


Residential lots and garden tracts in Warren and Hop- a Fountain addition, were being sold for $100-200 each by FJ Warren in the Ames Bldg.

The Fountain City Investment Company has 400 lots, which sell for $50-75, and several 2-5 acre tracts.  Business lots are $100-250.  Offered by JC Denny.

Curtis and Patton of Colorado Springs were advertising lots in the Hutchins Addition.  Joseph Patton is the agent, with an office in Fountain just west of the Santa Fe tracks on Missouri.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pikes Peak News Finder

Did you know that the Pikes Peak Library has indexes of local newspapers, dating back to 1872, online?  The Security Advertiser and Fountain Valley News index currently includes 1958 to 1972.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Marguerite Spicer Bulkley

Marquerite's papers, which contain stories about Fountain and sketch maps of early residences, are housed in the Carnegie Library/ Special Collections Department at Penrose Library, Pikes Peak Library District.  These are being transcribed by a guest editor, who will also contribute stories here from time to time.  These will be posted on the Bulkley research page file.  For more information see:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fountain vies for the honor of State Capital

1881 Denver newspaper article
 Since the 1970s, local newspaper articles have mentioned that Fountain was at one time in the running for state capital of Colorado.  It is said that in 1859, a meeting was held in Fountain to organize a state government in the Pikes Peak region, and that in 1888, Fountain vied for political prestige as capital city.  The explosion destroyed Fountain's chances of becoming a new state capital.

I have been unable to find any documents supporting this claim, but neither have I found any documents against it.  Since none of us were there, we may never know.  Here is what I learned in the process of researching this article.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

News from 1872

In the April 6, 1872 issue of Out West, appeared this article, meant to entice easterners to migrate to the Territory.  “Colorado: Pure air and healthful climate; no fevers, consumption, asthma, bronchitis, &c. yield to the influence of this climate, if not too deeply seated; Cattle may be fed and fattened exclusively on wild grass, but should have shelter and a month’s hay provided for each Winter; soil good, but requires irrigation; crops good where irrigated with a good home market at hand in the mines, which are steadily expanding; timber scarce; Coal abundant; probably the best location for Wool-growing on the Continent; daily communication by railroads with St. Louis on the one hand, Omaha and Chicago, Salt Lake and California on the other; settling rapidly.”

A week later, readers were met with this chilly description.  “One of the ‘worst storms ever known’ visited Colorado on Sunday last.  The amount of snow which fell was not very great, but it was so exceedingly fine and driven by such a resistless wind that it penetrated every crack and crevice which it could find, and was blown into huge drifts.  The storm gave nearly all the Railways much trouble.  It is hoped, however, that it was the closing storm of the Winter.”

It seems the Ute Indians had their own explanation for the heavy snows of that spring.  On April 20th it was reported in the same newspaper “The Ute Indians are strangely a superstitious people.  A few days ago a party of chiefs and sub-chiefs, headed by one called by the whites “Dutchman,” called at the house of Mr. Curtice, the Ute interpreter, and laid a case before him as follows:  The late snows of the spring have killed off a number of their ponies and caused them a great deal of inconvenience in various ways.  With their customary superstition they attribute it to the white man’s innovations, and beg the Indian Agent in Denver, Major Thompson, to have the whites stop sending up ‘their water-spouts and little red balls.’  This interpreted means a cessation of water-throwing by means of the Holly Water Works and the sailing of red rubber-balloons by the boys.  They have observed these things during visits to Denver, and are firm in their belief that they are storm-breeders, and thus responsible for the recent snow-storms.”

The next week, the paper published a warning regarding the effects of heavy snows in the mountains.  “Persons who have but lately returned from the mountains say that the snow fall there has been very heavy during the past winter, and the indications are that we shall have some heavy floods this spring.  The St. Charles is now on a ‘big bender;’ the Fontaine is making a move in the same direction, and pretty soon the old Arkansas will get too important for its banks, and swell out on a grand scale.  People residing on the banks of those streams should take time by the forelock, and prepare for flood.”

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lincoln Trading Post, Barlow and Sanderson and ranches of the lower Fountain Valley

In the 1860s, there was a general store known as the Lincoln Trading Post on the stage coach road south of Fountain.  This stood near Little Buttes, where Old Pueblo Road forks either across Fountain Creek or east to Hanover.   

Andrew Lincoln and his business partner James C. Woodbury purchased land together near the Buttes, and in fact the Buttes railroad station on the Denver & Rio Grande line was on Lincoln's land in section 33 of T16SR65W, on the east bank of Fountain Creek.   [Today only the station foundation remains along the tracks.]  A Feb 2, 1878 Gazette article lists the transfer of their land in sections 32 and 33, and adjacent land to the south, from AG Lincoln to Alice Royce for $2500.  However in May 1881 this same land was sold back, from Phineas Royce to Sophie Lincoln, for $3000.  

This copy of the 1864 survey map from shows the trails in use, with the D&RG railroad line put in in 1872 (the straight line in sections 28 and 33), and land that was claimed prior to the survey by Owns (sic), Geiser and an unnamed party in section 33.  There also appears to be  a ditch in section 29 across Owns' land.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bulkley Maps of Fountain

Marguerite Bulkley's files contain maps of Fountain, as she remembered it and had heard about it from her family.

These can be found on the Bulkley Page at right.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dreadful Disaster- the 1888 wreck

The following are notes from the Pueblo Chieftain and the Colorado Springs Gazette on the 1888 explosion.

The morning edition of the Pueblo Chieftain on May 15th, 1888 offers some details on the town of Fountain that were not noted by other reporters.  It mentions the blacksmith shop of CW Sells (likely Cells), the frame structured school wioth a portion of the walls standing, and the badly damaged Mitchell House- a frame and adobe hotel.  The Fountain Hotel, about 1/2 mile from the blast, was also badly damaged.  The car of powder that exploded contained 17000 lbs of No. 2 Giant, being shipped to Leadville.  The blast destroyed two engines, 14 railroad cars, and the mail and baggage car.

Colorado Springs Gazette
Tuesday May 15, 1888 page 1 [Note that much of this article, as found in an historic newspaper database online, is illegible.]

Location of 1888 Explosion
On Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe railway south of Illinois Avenue
Depot probably stood just south of car lot on right side of tracks

Number 4486

Fountain village, situated 12 miles southeast of the city, was the scene of a terrific catastrophe early yesterday morning, which finds no parallel in the history of the county. The loss of life was comparatively small considering the magnitude of the ca the catastrophe but the damage cannot be accurately estimated.

An Explosion

A few minutes after three o’clock yesterday morning the residents of the town were aroused from their sleep by the report of a loud explosion.  The ground shook and the glass in the houses rattled perceptibly. The general impression was __ __ by an earthquake and the rumbling noise ___ ___ the explosion seemed to pass through the city from southwest towards the northeast.  Of course few people knew the exact nature of the deafening noise, but by 8 o’clock the news that a dreadful explosion had occurred at Fountain spread through the city.

May 19, 1888

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mrs. Pearl Taylor- Fountain teacher for 30 years

Mrs. Taylor taught in Fountain schools for 30 years.  Born Pearl Henrietta Grubb in Crawford County, Kansas in 1883, she taught school in Girard, KS before coming to Colorado.  She and her husband, Fred Arthur Taylor, were married at the United Presbyterian Church in the Springs in 1910.  Fred, also a native of Crawford County, served there as the school superintendent.  


Friday, March 18, 2011

Fountain Valley Agriculture: The Land of Enchantment?

The Special Collections of the Pikes Peak Library has a booster pamphlet extolling the virtues of agriculture in the region.  This probably dates to 1908 - 1909 and was likely published by the Colorado Springs Land, Irrigation and Transportation Company.

Woodmen Hall

Woodmen Hall, probably in December 1913
Woodmen Hall, at 102 N Main and Ohio, on the northeast corner of the center of town, was built in 1905.  Those involved in its construction include SA Wilson and his brother Joseph.  A clipping from the Fountain Museum, possibly from a promotional flyer dated 1906, states that the Gore Mercantile Company was owned by CA Gore and Henry Link.  Gore was the manager, assisted by John Redmond.  The building was built by the local lodge at a cost of $8000.

Joseph and Rosa Wilson
The building has a main room downstairs that has been used as a store for the past 100-plus years.  The hall upstairs was used by civic groups, and to show movies in the 1940s and 50s, though on occasion a movie was projected on the outside wall of the building during the heat of the summer, and people sat in the adjacent lot to the north.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fountain's oldest structure?

Does the first Post Office in Fountain still stand?  Consider these facts:

New York Times

As recounted in Marshall Sprague's history of Cripple Creek, Money Mountain, "In July of '73, Miss Lida Womack sent Brother Bob east of Sunview a few miles to Uncle Ben Requa's general store and restaurant at Fountain, Colorado."  The Womacks lived near Rock Creek along Highway 115.  While at Requa's store in Fountain, Bob Womack encountered Professor Hayden and part of the survey team, who spent several summers in Colorado.

Cassius I. Croft first appears in a Colorado Springs Gazette article in 1874, as the postmaster of the town of Fountain.  In a Oct 24, 1874 article, it recounts how Croft presented Professor Hayden with a human skull, possibly from a Ute Indian.  The burial had been found on a 30 foot tall sandstone column some 10 miles east of Colorado Springs.  

Some History of Fountain from 1887

History of El Paso County: Fountain and Fountain Valley
Excerpts of an article published in the Republic on Dec 30, 1887, authored by G.N.C.  Copy courtesy of the Pioneer Museum

Mr. J.C. Woodbury, the county commissioner for 20 consecutive years, resides south of Fountain and possesses several thousand acres of land, 300 acres under cultivation.  He has 700 head of cattle and 100 horses, and a fine orchard with over 1000 trees.

Colonel C.W. Haynes is the proprietor of Charter Oak Ranch, formerly known as the Jack Brown ranch.  This valuable ranch property includes 400 acres of meadow which cuts about 700 tons of hay annually. Besides cattle, Mr. Haynes is a horse fancier and has a large number of blooded colts.

Messrs. Jacob and David Cell are successful ranchmen with good homes and finely laid out orchards.

Three miles north of Fountain is the fine ranch of E.A. Smith, which has a good house and excellent barns.  Besides ranching, he is an attorney.

Four miles south of Fountain lived Benjamin Hall, an old settler and rancher who raised excellent crops of hay, corn and alfalfa.

The ranch of Chauncey Callaway comprises 2500 acres and is situated about ¾ mile east of Fountain village.  Four hundred acres are cultivated and the remainder is pasturage for cattle.  He cut over 100 tons of corn feed this past season, and added a large barn.

Another old-timer, living a mile north of Fountain, is William Sweetland.  His 1500 acre ranch includes a 100 acre meadow, farm buildings, a 600 fruit tree orchard, cattle and horses.  His ranch contains the ruins of an old Indian fort, with cement walls 80 feet square and 6 feet high.
Mrs. Lock has an excellent ranch of 1400 acres which she handles admirably.  Two hundred acres are a fine meadow and one hundred are under cultivation.  There is a young orchard, cattle and horses, and her hay, corn and oats are heard to beat. 

James Neff has a small but valuable area of land just out of town limits consisting of 14 acres devoted to 100 fruit trees, with some alfalfa and a few acres of vegetables, including cabbage.  He sells these for several hundred dollars annually.   

Among the enterprising stockmen, the Overtons own 5000 sheep, besides many cattle and horses.  They raise their own hay and grain annually.

Mr. Corbin, a pioneer, has a ranch of 2000 acres with about 74 acres under cultivation.  Corn and alfalfa are raised, and an orchard has been planted.  He has 75 head of cattle and 125 horses.

Another Colorado pioneer, Isaac Hutchins, has a pleasant home and surrounding which join Fountain.

O.S. Loomis owns 2500 acres of land, 125 under cultivation, and a fine orchard with over 700 trees, 300 of which bear fruit.  Last season he gathered 100 bushels of apples.

In the 1918 publication History of Colorado Illustrated by Wilbur Fiske Stone we learn more about David Cell:

David L. Cell was born in Wheeling, Ohio, February 16, 1853, a son of Jacob and Sarah E. Cell. In 1856 the father removed with his family to Missouri, and there David acquired a public school education.  He was afterward employed as a farm hand until 1872, when he made his way to Colorado Springs and there worked for an uncle, D. W. Cell, for five years. He subsequently purchased his present ranch of two hundred acres. In 1874 Mr. Cell was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Dean, of Missouri, and to them have been born four children. Joseph, born January 3, 1875, wedded Katharine Gee, from whom he afterward secured a legal separation. They had one child, Blanche. Martha, born July 22, 1878, was married to Silas King and they had two children, Roland and Leona. Gertrude, born May 26, 1881, hecame the wife of Arthur Pettingill, who was killed in a railroad wreck on the Santa Fe. She afterward became the wife of Joe Laurence and resides in Alberta, Canada. Amanda, born May 22, 1883, is the wife of William Higby, of Pueblo, who is a railroad engineer on the Santa Fe, and they have one child, Rose.

Mr. Cell is a member of the Woodmen of the World, Camp No. 230, of Fountain. His political allegiance is given the democratic party.  His farm makes full claim upon his time. 

Fountain History recalled by the 8th Grade Class of 1950

History of Fountain, compiled by the Fountain 8th Grade, 1950
These are excerpts of the 9-page report, copied from the collections of the Pioneer Museum. [with Editor’s comments or corrections in brackets, as this data varies from other stories].  Maps that show these locations can be found among Mrs. Bulkley's maps on the side menu.  
The Ark

The oldest building standing in Fountain is the Ark [on S. Main Street].  M.S. Beach built the second house.  The Ark was built in 1847 [probably 1870s] and was used as a fort [?], inn, stage stop, general store, trading post, and Post Office.  It has a 22-year reputation as a haunted house, and is now an antique store known as the Ark, owned by Mrs. Halcombe.


The building across the street from the Ark, truly the oldest building, was a stagecoach stop.  It caved into Sand Creek.  Amos Terrell built the first house in Fountain in 1860 [early 1860s as he still lived in Iowa in 1860], part grout and part frame.  Mr. Love still owns the Terrell ranch.

The Crab’s lived south of town on what is now the Roy Mundell farm.

The Post Office was established in 1863 in the back of the general store, now the Ark.  It was once in a building where the Agriculture building stands [east of the school] and in the Ames store.  Later it was in Orcutt’s house [W. Ohio], in the back of Martins store [Woodmen Hall],  later in room now occupied by Abeyta’s store [??].  Those serving as Post master have included Henry Hutchin, the father of Mrs. John Wilson, Mr. Al Ames, Grace Hutchin, Loren Gore, Robert E. Love, Vera Chapman (Mrs. Gaut’s sister), Cora Johnson and at present Nellie King.

When Bill Colbert was night marshal he slept in the bank most of the time. Sy Humphrey was next marshal and he walked the street with a 30-30 rifle on his shoulder.  Other night marshals were Mr. Shinner, Mr. Higby Sr., John Skinner and now it is Armstrong. Johnny Lindermood is the officer who was murdered.

One theater was where the pool hall stands.  Various clubs put on plays. There used to be a nice meeting house west of the Catholic Church where the organizations had parties and plays, but now there are no theaters in town. 

In 1948 the city bought a piece of land across from the school which they made into a playground.

A former hotel is the Vernie Swarm residence [Link Hotel at Rack and Illinois].

A.E. Ames came to Fountain in about 1871 and built the house two doors south of the school grounds on Main Street, where he resided until his death in 1903.  He built a store on Main St that faced East, at the corner of the alley just south of the school grounds.  He and son Alvin ran it.  After Mr. Ames’ death, the stock was sold to FE Torbit, who also rented the store for warehouse space for a few years.  In about 1908 Maggie Ames, widow of Alvin, had the store torn down and a 10-room residence built using the lumber.  They lived there until 1910, when they sold the house to the Metcalfes and moved to Pasadena.  James Ames, AE’s oldest son, was a freighter on the West Slope of Colorado.  He disappeared and his bedroll was found with blood on it, and he may have met with foul play. Maggie Ames came to Colorado from Missouri in a covered wagon with parents Mr. and Mrs. James E. Love, and her two older brothers.  She was two years old.  The Reimensniders owned the house in 1950.   

The old Ziser’s drug store is in the Jack Marshall house.

Misc notes:

The feed mill was on Ohio across from the lumber yard.  It may have burned in 1931 and then been rebuilt by Orcutt in 1932; he ground grain into flour.  The business was next owned by Mose, who just sold feed.  It was then owned by Hack Wilson, Scott Ferguson, Conrade, and V.O. Eagle, who is the present owner.

The Chancellors came from Missouri and started the Rocky Mountain Pottery Shop in 1936.

The land on which the Methodist church stands was dedicated on May 21, 1912.  The tabernacle opened on Feb 15, 1915 on the lot on which the Methodist Church was built in 1927 by Rev. Sledge, now of Mississippi.

A Puller beet dump was established here in 1941 and improved in 1942.  It is now operated by T.W. Woods.  In 1922 there was a very old stile beet loading place in Fountain. 

In 1919, an electric plant was planned, and four churches existed in town: the Free Methodist, Methodist, Congregational and Baptist.

The Exchange Grocery was where Mr. Gaunt now had his drug store.                                                               

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Grout Fences and the last Indian attack in El Paso County

Grout Fences Protected Pioneers
By Violette Murphy
Excerpts from an undated newspaper clipping from the Pioneer Museum files.

Helen Sweetland Fickett heard her parents tell about the early days.  Her father William came west with a wagon train and took his first land grant in 1860 near Canon City, though he didn’t settle there.  He met Martha Dawson at a dance in Colorado City, and they soon wed.  They settled in the Fountain Valley, where there was room to raise sheep.  He and a Mr. Randall operated the Sweetland and Randall Ranch. 

In the 1860s, the Comanche and Arapahoe would sweep in from the Plains and raid the homesteads, so William built a stout four room grout house that he surrounded with a seven-foot tall grout fence.  Portholes were built into the fence walls, in case of attack, so that settlers could fire out at raiding Indians.  Grout was a mixture of lime, plaster, gravel and small stones.  It was commonly used for foundations, and less so for walls.

Mrs. Fickett told of settlers who came to stay at their house for a few days when Indians were in the area.  The Sweetlands were never attacked, but the grout fence offered security to those who lived in the isolated homesteads. 

Carl Mathews’ parents came to the Fountain Valley from Elbert in 1872.  They told him of a very large Indian encampment they had witnessed at Spring Valley, on the northeast side of the Black Forest.  These Indians were peaceful and would just visit the homesteaders there to beg for food.  Mr. Mathews said that in 1873 a bunch of Arapahoe tried to force their way into Wierman’s Mill near Monument, where settlers had taken shelter, but they were not successful. 

Mrs. Helen Foster Aiken, 90 years old, was born near Stratton Heights, about ¼ mile east of the South Nevada freeway exit.  Her father, Marcus Foster, took up a ranch near Ivywild before 1869.  Helen heard her mother tell of the day they brought the Robbins boys’ bodies into Colorado City.  The boys Franklin 3, and George 11, were killed by Arapahoe Indians on the same day that Charles Everhart, 17, was killed while out herding sheep on the mesa near Fountain.  This was the last raid in the region.  A granite memorial for the boys was later erected in Boulder Crescent Park and dedicated in 1912.   

[Editor’s notes.  The Sweetland Ranch was about a mile north of Fountain. 
Helen Foster was born in Colorado in 1868, which dates this article to about 1958. 
A 1913 Gazette article dates the massacre to September 1868, and the dedication of the monument to Sept 3 1913.  This states that Everhart was killed at the junction of Cascade, Platte, and the Boulder Crescent, where the memorial was erected.  An 1878 Gazette article places the scene of Everhart's attack near Monument.  The Robbins boys, ages 8 and 11, were out herding sheep on Mt. Washington, in the Ivywild neighborhood, when they were killed.  All three boys were buried at the Pioneer Cemetery.]


Monday, March 7, 2011

Lodges of Fountain

This article is on lodges that have existed in Fountain.

Fountain's Square Dance Club met in the Community Hall in the 1950s

Fountain Herald 1940
Odd Fellows
I.O.O.F., Rogers Lodge No. 175 was having meetings in 1919, twice a month, on the second and fourth Saturday evenings. Officers were: Roy Alford, Grand Noble; D.C. Colbert, Vice Grand; A.I. Gearhart, Secretary; D.W. Vandenburg, District Deputy. They met in the Woodmen Hall on Main Street.

Fountain Valley Grange
Fountain Valley Grange No. 253 was organized June 11, 1915. The objects of the order are to advance the best interest in the financial and social life of its members. At present there are about one hundred members. The meetings are held in Woodmen Hall in the Valley of Fountain on the first Thursday evening of each month. We are always pleased to have with us visitors from other lodges and assure them of a cordial welcome. The present officers of the lodge are; R.E. Love, Master; John Wilson, Overseer; Mrs. Prodoehl, Lecturer; Margaret Wilson, Secretary; S.K. White, Steward; Mr. Jones, Chaplain; Don Colbert, Assistant Steward; Mrs. M.F. Oliphant, Lady Assistant Steward; Will Colbert, Treasurer; Frank Prodoehl, Gate Keeper; Mrs. C.R. Crawford, Ceres; Mrs. Jones, Flora; Mrs. Don Colbert, Ramona; A.L. Gearhart, Business Agent. 

The Jones Family

According to Mrs. Neugebauer, the Grange started the Labor Day Pancake Breakfast, and joined the local Chamber of Commerce when it obtained the caboose for the Mayor's Park. The Grange celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2005.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fountain Schools

In this article, Staff Sergeant Jose Ruben Aragon's name was offered for a new park in Fountain.
The article reads:

Jose, born and raised in Fountain, served in the Air Force. On May 16, 1965, while serving at Bien Hoa Air Base in Vietnam, several 500 pound bombs exploded while B57 Canberra bombers were preparing to take off on a mission.   He remained on the flight line despite fire, exploding ammunition and flying debris. He rescued fellow airmen and cleared equipment. He was credited for saving many lives, but he unfortunately could not save his own. He became the first Colorado airman to die in action in Vietnam.  Jose was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.

In November, 1987, the Fountain Fort Carson Jr. High School, which stood on S Main Street at the time, was renamed in his honor (11/11/1987, Gazette, B 9:1).  Today it is Aragon Elementary School.  For more on the Fountain Schools see the research tab at right.

Fountain HIgh School, built 1954 on Santa Fe Avenue, now the Middle School

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Lock Family

Matthias Lock, originally from the Rhine Valley, left the environs of Quincy, Illinois in 1859 with a wagon train bound for Denver.  He brought his young family to Fountain in 1860.  As this Gazette Telegraph (May 1, 1938) article relates, one building on the Lock homestead still stands. It was built in 1876 of thickly sawn boards, produced at the Fountain Valley’s first saw mill, and was being used as a garage.  Lock’s 880 acre estate included the 160-acre parcel on Fountain Creek, which was preempted, another 160-acre parcel four miles east that was homesteaded, and lands purchased from other homesteaders.  Lock had brought two black lava millstones with him from Illinois, and in 1864 set up a mill about ½ mile south of the Lock ranch headquarters, on the east bank of the creek near the head of Ditch 14.  The mill was destroyed by the Memorial Day flood of 1885, but the millstones were said to be prized relics at the ranch.  Lock was the sole owner of Ditch 15. [Lava from Illinois?]

Monday, January 17, 2011

Good Roads lead to Fountain

This 6-page article was copied from the files of the Pioneer Museum.  It lacks an author or date.  It was typewritten, and then someone edited the story with a pencil, adding two pages of rewrites that are too faint or illegible to read.  I have chosen to transcribe the originally typed material only.  It appears to be a booster article, written to attract settlers, sometime in the late 1930s.  Editor’s comments in [brackets].

The town of Fountain, El Paso County, Colorado, is the first settlement on the Fountaine qui Boille (river that boils), a stream rising in the foot hills of Pikes Peak, flowing down Ute Pass and through the Fountain Valley to empty into the Arkansas River at Pueblo, thirty miles south of Fountain.  In the town limits there is a population of 600 but this is swelled by the thickly settled neighboring land to about twice that number of registered voters.  Down the valley 12 miles from Colorado Springs, the altitude is 500 feet lower that the famous resort, being 5500 feet. 

The Rio Grande laid its tracks thru the town in 1872, the workers boarding at the home of McGee on the land now known as the Potter place.  The Santa Fe built in 1887 on these tracks, these two systems, the Colorado Southern and the Missouri Pacific operate their transcontinental trains.  The Greyhound transcontinental busses and state busses from Denver to Trinidad also pass through the town on US Highway 85, giving transportation facilities equal to those of its neighboring cities to the north and south. The nearest airport is at Colorado Springs but an emergency landing is located just west of town which can be used by private planes when necessary.