This manuscript in it’s basic form is a volume of 948 biographies of prominent men and women, all leading citizens of Western Colorado. Western Colorado in this case covers the counties of: Archuleta, Chaffee, Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Lake, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, San Juan, and San Miguel.

Woven in the narratives of it’s people, however, is the story of Colorado. Initial expeditions by European settlers in this area were for trade with the Natives or as a throughfare to California further west. It wasn’t until one of those wagon trains came a man name of Ralston and he dipped his pan into a creek which would later bare his name and pulled out a troy ounce of gold, worth $5 at the time. A decade later, and other miners began to claim the land in the eastern Colorado area. Pushing ever westward in search of the golden dust they eventually found their way into western Coloado. Some of these miners would eventually settle in the area of their mines and became Colorado’s first residents. Some would have their claim luck out and would stay taking up other responsibilities such as ranching, politics, merchandising, etc. In these people’s lives became the story of Colorado – so while this volume is comprised almost solely of biographies, it is also comprised of the history of early Western Colorado.

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Progressive Men of Western Colorado



Title Page to Progressive Men of Western Colorado

Title Page to Progressive Men of Western Colorado

Progressive Men of Western Colorado Gallery

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.