Irving Howbert to attend ceremony marking OCCHS’ re-release of famed grandfather’s book April 28
A living bridge to Colorado City's earliest days will be present at the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) Saturday, April 28.
Irving Howbert, grandson of the namesake who in 1869 fulfilled county clerk duties in what is now the Bancroft Park cabin and went on to become one of the Pikes Peak region's most respected citizens, will be on hand for a ceremony commemorating OCCHS' republishing of his grandfather's 1925 book, “Memories of a Lifetime in the Pike's Peak Region.”
The free event will start at 2 p.m. at the Old Colorado City History Center, 1 S. 24th St. Copies of the just-printed 298-page, gloss-covered paperback will be on sale. The printer was Morris Publishing of Kearney, Neb. For information about ordering an advance copy, call the History Center at 636-1225.
“This is one of the rarest and most valuable books about the earliest history of Colorado City and the Pikes Peak region,” said Dave Hughes, OCCHS treasurer who helped organize the new 300-copy printing.
The current Irving Howbert, 91, overlapped the life of his grandfather (1845-1935) by about 17 years. In a recent interview, the retired lawyer recalled the original Irving Howbert as “a very honest man. I saw him quite a few times in the last few years of his life.”
The last time “Memories” was published was in 1970 by First National Bank, which the senior Howbert had helped organize in 1874. Copies from that printing are scarce, but because of copyright laws, no reprints had occurred since. “I purposely allowed the 1925 copyright on this book to expire, because I felt that my grandfather would have liked his book to be available as widely as possible,” Howbert writes in an introduction to the new edition.
Aware of this situation, the OCCHS stepped forward. “When I asked him what if the Historical Society reprinted the book, he was pleased as punch,” Hughes said. He credited OCCHS member Curt Neeley, who knew the younger Howbert, for helping bring about the favorable result.
In the book Howbert describes his life, starting in the year 1860, when he was 14 and traveling to Colorado with his father, then a Methodist minister, during the region's early gold-mining heyday.
The book goes on to tell about Howbert's Indian-fighting efforts in the 1860s, his election as county clerk in 1869 (for which he had not even sought office and was to be re-elected several times), his assistance to Colorado Springs founder William Palmer and his other business exploits, including the Short Line railroad to Cripple Creek (now the route of Gold Camp Road).
“He was a man who played a big part in the development of Colorado Springs, including the Westside,” the younger Howbert said. “The book is a good historical source because he was right there at the beginning, when there wasn't a single house where Colorado Springs is now, just buffalo grass.”
The April 28 program will also include a short presentation by Betsy Shoup, the immediate past president of the El Paso County Pioneers' Associa-tion, which Irving Howbert helped establish in 1895.
Westside Pioneer article