COBWEB CORNERS: How they’d compete for the county seat
By Mel McFarland
Back in the 1860s, when this was Colorado Territory, Colorado City was the site of a political meeting. A decision was needed about where the counties would be and which towns would be the county seats.
The first county seat for El Paso County was Colorado City. The name for El Paso County came from Ute Pass, the Ute Indian entrance to the mountains.
Initially, El Paso County was nearly twice the size it is today. When Cripple Creek gold changed the dynamic of the area behind Pike's Peak, that area became Teller County.
In the 1860s, the county had a few settlements, but not most of the ones you hear of today. Only Colorado City and Fountain can be traced to the days before General William Palmer started building Colorado Springs in 1871.
In the fall of 1872, there was discussion about changing the county seat from Colorado City to Colorado Springs. It was decided in a county-wide election that it would remain in Colorado City.
The Colorado Springs people did not give up so easily. Another election was scheduled a year later. This time prominent citizens of Colorado Springs traveled to each community in the county, less than a dozen in all, most of them populated by just a few dozen people. One of the "hot spots" was Fountain. A meeting at the local school gathered more than a hundred residents from the surrounding area. The consensus was that Colorado City did not share the interests of the eastern part of the county. When the new election was held, Colorado Springs became the county seat, largely because of the voters from Fountain.
It is interesting that cities literally fought for the county seat in some counties. In a couple of them, county seat records were even stolen! The county seat in Chaffee county was stolen from Granite by Buena Vista, but Salida won it later in an election!