A Voice of Colorado Version 2018 No. 88

The documented history of northern Colorado is a challenge for even the most determined researched because, in general terms, historic records can be placed in two very broad categories: Written materials and created image. Because none of the native peoples along the Cache la Poudre River had a written language prior to the arrival of the Euro-American, written records are not available.

Prior to 1800 most written records were the records created by Spanish government officials or religious personnel, each undertaking the task with an agenda, usually of a political nature.

Because the Spanish presence in what is now Colorado only reached to southern Colorado few of the documents produced include reference to the South Platte River or the Cache la Poudre River.

Additional records created by French travelers are also deficient where northern Colorado is concerned: French trappers who were in the Poudre Valley in the early 1800s left few records of their journeys and efforts.

Along with other reasons this explains why ethno-history in the Cache la Poudre area has been insufficiently documented:

• The Cache la Poudre River was overlooked or missed by many early explorers. For example, Lewis and Clark and the Pike expeditions did not come close to the area, and later contacts with the area lacked proper record-keeping.
• The timeframe between the initial settlement by Euro-Americans on the Cache la Poudre River and the removal of Native Americans was relatively short – about forty years. The abruptness caused a deficiency in the preservation of history.
• After the arrival and establishing of settlements by Euro-American a disruption of Native American lifestyle was unavoidable. For example, as noted by historian Ansel Watrous in his extensive history of Larimer County in the early 1910s, by 1861 almost all of the fertile bottom land along the Cache la Poudre had been claimed by settlers. The change in land use led to Native Americans leaving for better lands and it also caused bison herds to move elsewhere.
• Interest in exploiting the region led to the discarding of recording history. By the time a man named Norman Fry arrived to the Fort Collins area in 1889 stories about Antoine Janis, Native Americans, and others had been told and retold until they had become mere gossip instead of valuable historic fact.
• Despite the establishing of Colona (Laporte) in the late 1850s and Camp Collins – which would become Fort Collins – in 1862, no significant historical events transpired in either location and no one thought to record events that would prove worthwhile information later. Additionally, the lack of attacks by Native Americans, the lack of battles, and the lack of treaty meetings along the Cache la Poudre River resulted in a lack of proper record keeping. It was until the water wars of the 1870s between Fort Collins and Greeley, CO. did the area, specifically the Poudre Valley, gain notoriety, providing motivation for documenting the events of the day.


A Voice of Colorado Version 2018 No. 86

It is historically unclear when the Cache la Poudre River first appeared on maps of the American West, and when it was correctly labeled.

A Voice of Colorado Version 2018 No. 85

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith recently announced that he is seeking re-election in the fall of 2018. His announcement was made at the same time four other Larimer County officials made their respective announcements to seek re-election. They included County Surveyor, County Coroner, County Clerk and Recorder, and County Treasurer.

The decision to make the multiple announcements served a purpose: Because of the working relationships in the various departments it was appropriate to demonstrate this successful work environment publicly.

Justin Smith started as a deputy sheriff for Larimer County in 1992, and was first elected to his current position in 2010.

Sheriff Smith also serves as president of the Colorado’s Sheriff’s Association, as a board member of the directors for the National Sheriff’s Association, and as vice president of the board for Realities for Children Charities.

Among his accomplishments during his tenure as Larimer County Sheriff Smith are maintaining a safe and secure jail, improvements to training and equipment for deputies, and collaboration with public safety agencies with the intention of improving service while minimizing costs.

If re-elected, Sheriff Smith will focus on reducing the impact and use of illegal drugs within Larimer County, on protecting the community from cyber-related crimes, and innovating to provide a safer community for all residents of the county.

For more information: larimer.org/elected-officials/sheriff

As noted, several elected officials in Larimer County made their announcement to seek re-election at the same time, including Larimer County Surveyor Chad Washburn, who is seeking a third term.

Mr. Washburn has worked in the land surveying profession for almost twenty-five years, holds his Colorado Land Surveyors license, which he obtained in 2005, and also owns Washburn Land Surveying, in Fort Collins, CO. He was first elected to his current position in 2010, and re-elected in 2014.

As county surveyor he is the official land surveyor of county, and represents the county in boundary disputes.

Among his accomplishments are working with the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder’s Office to digitize old survey records in order to make them more accessible to Larimer County residents.

For more information: larimer.org/elected-officials/surveyor

Along with the Larimer County Sheriff and Larimer County Surveyor, James Wilkerson is seeking another term as Larimer County Coroner. He was first elected in 2014.

As Larimer County Coroner he performs postmortem examinations and testifies in Larimer County courts as a forensic pathologist. His office also determines the official cause of death and the identity of those who die in Larimer County.

Under his direction the Larimer County Coroner’s Office was recently re-accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners.

For more information: larimer.org/coroner

Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers also recently announced that she will seek re-election in the Fall 2018 election. Myers was first appointed to the position in 2013, having worked for the previous Clerk for a decade. She ran unopposed in November 2014.

For more information: larimer.org/elected-officials/clerk-and-recorder

Larimer County Treasurer Irene Josey also recently announced that she will seek re-election in the upcoming election in the fall of 2018. If re-elected it would be her second term.

Prior to be elected Larimer County Treasurer she was chief deputy treasurer for twenty-seven years.

Duties and responsibilities of the Larimer County Treasurer included accurate collections of property taxes, investment of public funds, and distribution of funds to entities that include school districts and municipalities.

Josey was elected president of the Colorado County Treasurer’s Association in 2017 and serves on the organization’s legislative, budget, continuing education, and seminar planning committees. She also serves as an executive board member for The Center for Family Outreach in Fort Collins, and volunteers at Animal House, a no-kill dog shelter in Fort Collins, CO.

For more information: larimer.org/elected-officials/treasurer

A Voice of Colorado Version 2018 No. 84

During the 1850s a United States federal government policy of westward expansion to encourage agriculture, mining, and trade combined with specific actions to bring Euro-Americans to the Poudre Valley in northern Colorado was undertaken:

• The Laramie Treaty of 1851 established tribal boundaries, and granted the United States of America the right to establish roads along the Platte River, military posts in Indian country, and served to negotiate peace between warring Plains tribes;
• The Kansas – Nebraska Act of 1854 developed a legal mechanism for land title;
• The announcement gold had been discovered near Denver in 1858.
• Colona (present-day Laporte) was established by Antoine Janis and other French – Canadians in 1859.

A Voice of Colorado Version 2018 No. 82

Euro-Americans arrived to the area now known as present-day Colorado in about 1820. On July 3, 1920, explorer Stephen Long referenced in a journal record.