THE WELDING SHOP

by Kathryn Ratliff Benes
(A special thank you to Donitta Johnson for the photographs of the Welding Shop)

The notice in the weekly county newspaper informed the public that Cow County Welding had sold its inventory effective in January, 2000. Eugene and Marilyn appreciated the years of continued patronage. The welding shop had closed. An era that spanned nearly 50 years had passed.

As I read the notice, my mind was flooded with memories from my childhood. Growing up on a ranch in southern Colorado, 150 miles from the nearest large city, meant that a lot of livestock equipment had to be made from “scratch” rather than purchased ready-made. I remember, as a little girl, going with my dad the 20 miles into town so that he could discuss his latest engineering idea with Gene.

Gene owned the welding shop in Campo, a town of about 200, and people came from all around the county to have him repair farm implements or build equipment tailored to special needs of the farmers and ranchers. Gene was a genius with metal and I was convinced he could build anything. One time he even built a small motorized Ferris Wheel for the children that was used during our annual school carnival. It was a grand creation!

The welding shop was small with two large doors that opened to expose the north side of the building. The shop had bins and storage racks that held various sizes of sheet metal, rods, and piping. On the concrete floor was an array of scrap metal pieces that had been cut from larger projects. I remember being fascinated by those scrap pieces because each one by themselves looked useless. However, when those bits and pieces of useless metal were welded together, they were made into something that hadn’t existed a few hours earlier.T

he scenario was typically the same for my dad and me. After getting to the welding shop, my dad backed the pickup truck up so the tailgate could be opened and he would lift me up on the tailgate so I could watch (with the stern warning not to watch when Gene welded!). Dad and Gene would begin to talk. After a while, Gene would start walking around the shop, scanning the bins and racks for material to frame the project. When he had pulled the larger pieces of metal from the bins, he would start to search through the metal scraps on the floor for just the right pieces necessary to make my father’s idea become a reality. It seemed as if Gene knew the dimensions of each and every piece of metal on that floor. Moreover, without error he could mold and form them into much more than they could have been in and of themselves.

It’s been a long time since that little girl sat on the tailgate and watched her dad and the welder create dreams. Gene’s welding shop is no longer a hub of activity, but those long-ago experiences taught me lessons that continue to impact my life today. I learned from those hours on the tailgate that ideas and dreams can come true if you work collaboratively with the right people. I also learned that beautiful things can be created by the hands of a master artisan. Finally, I learned that often we are standing on and ignore the bits and pieces of seemingly useless material that, when placed in the hands of the master can result in a magnificent creation.

I believe God is The Master Welder. When we work collaboratively with Him, great things can happen. With our cooperation, God can form us into people who serve Him through our love and care for one another. God knows each “bit and piece” of humanity in His “welding shop” and none of them are useless. Through our own power, we often fall short of the dream He has in mind for us; however, by His mercy, He calls each of us by name and forms us to work in communion as the Mystical Body of Christ.We’re going through some tough times in this country. As I sit on the “tailgate” and watch, I can hardly believe what I’m seeing. It seems that we cannot pick up a newspaper, watch the news on television, or log onto the Internet without seeing only division and hatred. That is not who we are as proud Americans! The “framework” of our country, the Constitution, given to us by our founding fathers, entrusted to God, and preserved by the men and women who have laid down their lives so that we can live in freedom, must not be taken for granted. We cannot be divided into “bits and pieces” of humanity, so that we remain, as such, on the “floor” of the welding shop.

Tomorrow is election day; a privilege not enjoyed by many around the world. It will result in an outcome that I’m sure will be divided, regardless of who wins. But it seems to me that it would be a good idea for each of us to be in conversation with the Master Welder, praying that we may work together with Him, to honor those who have come before us and ensure that the United States of America is a country that reflects our love for God and for our neighbor.

NOTE: I had this ready to go in Nov 2020 and forgot to hit the publish button. Whoops.

Baca County Festivals and Fairs: Part 1

I will probably work at adding to this in pieces, maybe in the form of a timeline, but I thought it would be fun to start looking at various festivals and fairs held in Southeast Colorado/ Southwest Kansas/ Baca County through the years.  Sam Konkel mentions an 1888 fair in Boston, Springfield, and Minneapolis, but there isn’t a whole lot of detail, so I am going to start with one of the earliest events; the 1888 Taloga fair, then add a notice from  the 1923 fair, and then throw in one from 1930-31 just for fun.   I have to include both Southeast Colorado/ Southwest Kansas as there was quite a connection to our Kansas neighbors in the early days especially before the formation of Baca County.

The first evidence I find for a Southeast Colorado fair or festival is in the September  6, 1888, Topeka, Kansas Farmer which tells of a coming fair.

Sam Konkel provides a few details as follows in the January 24, 1919 edition of the Springfield Herald.

The advisability of holding a town fair this fall was considered Saturday night in a meeting called for this purpose.  All were in favor of a fair, and a committee was chosen to report at the next meeting a plan of organization, Capt McCoach, Thos. Hambric, R. W. Whitaker were chosen for the committee.  –Western World Aug 30, 1888

The Procession was the biggest part of the fair at Boston that year.  Every bushel of any kind and every trade was in line, in addition to a few hundred wagons, buggies and other rigs making displays of crops.  The procession was probably a half mile long.

The towns of Minneapolis and Springfield both had fairs that year – we presume making about the same showing that Boston did; and that was the last of the fair business until the county fair was started in 1914.

In the neighboring town of Taloga, Kansas, a joint Kansas / Colorado fair held.  If you are not sure where Taloga is, please refer to my  1886-1889 Boomtown map of Southeast Colorado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairs and festivals in Southeastern Colorado, usually broomcorn festivals have always been a time for friends and family to gather and celebrate the hard work of the summer.   In the early days, I think it was even a bit more.  The events were held to prove to those a little further east that crops could be grown in the Great American Desert as described in The Taloga Star (Taloga, Kansas) · 12 Oct 1888, Fri · Page 3 clipping below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Taloga Star (Taloga, Kansas) · 12 Oct 1888, Fri · Page 3

Colorado towns participating in the 1888 Taloga Fair  were as follows:

Activities and Prizes for the Joint Morton / Las Animas County Fair

…and more activities,

Potential Crops and Exhibits for the 1888 fair,

Started again in 1914, the fair had become an annual event when this notice in the Johnson, KS paper (Johnson City Pioneer and Journal-News (Johnson, Kansas) · 07 Sep 1923, Fri · Page 1) was printed: 

Next, we are going to head down the road a few years to 1930-31  and talk about one of the early Broomcorn Festivals.  I am not sure if this was the first one, but it seems likely.  The Opportunity (Garden City, Kansas) · 01 Jan 1931, Thu · Page 14  shared the following,

WATCH CAMPO GROW! Opportunity: Below find pictured a float, which took first prize at the Broomcorn Festival” held at Springfield, Colorado, on October 11 and 12, 1930. The float represents a large market basket with fifty-nine farm products and one hundred two varieties. We also took first prize for the best bale of broomcorn which weighed 458 pounds. Campo, Colorado is located in the heart of the agriculture belt of Baca County. It is mid-way midway between Boise City, Oklahoma, and Springfield, Colorado and is on the prospective railroad from Amarillo, Texas to Las Animas, Colorado, which is being constructed by the Santa Fe Railway Company and has been practically completed between Boise City, Okla., and Amarillo, Texas. We feel assured that this road will be extended from Boise City, Oklahoma to Las Animas, Colo., in 1931. Campo, Colorado is also located on State Highway No. 59 which we understand has recently been made a Federal Highway. Campo is surrounded by a very fertile soil and offers wonderful opportunities to good substantial farmers and home seekers. Watch Us Grow! This entry was sponsored by the Campo Community Club. W. F. Gump, President.

 

Ruts of the Santa Fe Trail: The Aubry Trail Cut Off — By Jim Womack

Special thanks to Jim Womack for sharing spectacular photos as well as the following about the historical Santa Fe Trail  which passed through Baca County:

One of the few remaining places you can see the wagon wheel ruts on the Santa Fe Trail; this is the Aubry Cutoff a few miles southeast of Campo, Colorado used in the 1850s. Original marking stone in pictures.  Excerpt from an old research paper about Santa Fe Trail-

One such branch of the trail divided from the main trail at a point about twenty miles west of the 100th meridian (presently the sight of Cimarron, Kansas), while the regular route continued on westward to Bent’s Fort in Bent County, Colorado. The Cimarron Cutoff, as it was called, is also known as the water scrape. The supply of water on the Cimarron Trail was notably scarce. After leaving water on the Arkansas River, travelers had to cover sixty-six miles until they again reached water, this time at a point on the Cimarron River. Nevertheless, the Cimarron Cutoff became extremely popular. Even though it was dry and subject to Indian attacks, it was considerably shorter than the regular route and this feature was highly prized by the traders. They wanted as short a route as possible to the wealth of Santa Fe and then wanted the fastest route home again so they could reload their wagons and go after more money. Francois Xavier Aubry- A dedicated young man who helped to make the West more accessible to the East was one who searched the area along the Santa Fe Trail to find an even faster and safer route to Santa Fe, and he continued to use this new route on all his trading ventures to Santa Fe thereafter. The shortcut he established was more accessible to water and there was less Indian trouble along it than on the regular Cimarron Cutoff. This cutoff, known as Aubry’s Route, an army fort and a town named in his honor, and Aubry himself combine to make one of the most interesting stories of the settlement of the West.

I love the comments from Jim’s post in one of our Baca County Facebook groups who commented on Jim’s post as well.  Stephanie Hund reminds us of the how hardy those travelers were:

This is so awe inspiring! I remember looking at those ruts, thinking about the hard journey so many made along that trail.

Ginger Hartman’s comment makes me think we don’t always recognize history so it is important to record it, share and passed it down:

I always thought wagon ruts looked like a field road; however, not far from me in Kansas on the Santa Fe Trail, we have Charlie’s Ruts, where the ruts are harder for me to see. The wagons traveled at least four abreast so there are these strips of depressed ground where the wagons went and swells between the strips. Here is a link if you want to see the difference. http://bit.ly/2qRl0PT

Finally, I have added a link to more information and maps of the Aubry Route here.

Thanks again for reminding us of a great piece of Baca County History.

Santa Fe Trail Marker

Place Names of Baca County by Steve Doner

  This information was taken from the website – https://history.denverlibrary.org/sites/history/files/Place_Names_of_Colorado.pdf Some information may indeed be questionable, but we have to start somewhere. Information I have added is in italics. This format does not allow for grids so the listings follow -Town/Location Name – County – Type – Notes – Section/Township/Range – Reference To save space I often abbreviate Settlement – Set. and Post Office – P.O. For information on the references, visit the website listed above. I realize the “Notes” section is very sparse. If you have names that are not listed here, please post such information in comment section, and I will try to add it to the list. This is not a list of old country schools; that will have to be another post. Using Maps from – http://alabamamaps.ua.edu/historicalmaps/us_states/colorado/index.htm (at least 95 map contain Baca County, http://ep.yimg.com/ty/cdn/coloradogoldmines/map-colorado1894.jpg (1894 lost school map), and http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/topo/colorado/ (set of 6 1890 U.S. Geological Survey maps) – I have provided a link to the online map with the earliest appearance of most of the place names occurred. Access the online map by clicking on the link. I also included the place names of several items just beyond Baca County’s border and used an * to indicate those names.
  • Adams Las Animas/Baca Settlement Platted 1887. No P.O. Preceded Stonington. 16 32S 43W 3,14
  • *Albany Bent/Prowers Set. Rural P.O.1887-1891 & 1897-1905 33/34 27S 47W 3,12,14 1888 George Cram
  • Antelope Creek Baca Creek Flows E to join Horse Creek near Blaine. 3 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Vilas Sheet
  • Artesia (Blaine) Baca Settlement Also known as Blaine. 3 30S 43W 14 1913 Colorado Geo. Survey
  • Athens Baca Unknown 6 33S 47W 14
  • Atlanta (Groft) Las Animas/Baca Set. P.O. 1887-1899. On Two Buttes Cr. 23 29S 49W 3,12,14 1890 George Cram
  • BACA COUNTY First appears in the – 1890 George Cram
  • Bailey Wells Baca Settlement 24 34S 45W 14
  • Baileyville Baca Settlement Correct name is Bailey Wells. 14
  • Baker Baca Settlement Post Office 1915-1921. NE of Lamport. 5 34S 41W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • Bartlett Baca Settlement Platted 1926. P. O. 1928-1938. 15 30S 42W 3,12,14 1930 National Map Co.
  • Bear Creek Baca Creek Flows E by Springfield to Kansas near Monon. 3 1876 C. Roeser
  • Bisonte (Bisonite) Baca Station RR stop on AT&SF. 10 mi S of Springfield. 15 32S 46W 3,14 Kansas Memory
  • Black Butt Baca Between Vilas and Walsh north side of Bear Creek 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Vilas Sheet
  • Blaine Baca Settlement Site 1. Rural P.O. 1900-1939. 27 29S 43W 3,12,14 1901 Rand McNally
  • *Borders Stanton Co. KS approx. 15 mile NW of Minneapolis. Platted 64 blocks in 1887. 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Albany Sheet
  • Boston Las Animas/Baca Settlement Platted 1887. Post Office 1887-1893. Home of the Jennings Gang. 28 32S 44W 3,12,14 1888 George Cram
  • Brookfield Las Animas/Baca Set. Platted 1888. P.O. 1887-1902. 19 28S 48W 3,12 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Two Buttes Sheet
  • Buckeye (Lyken, Buffalo) Baca Station Highway stop W of Kansas border. 34 28S 42W 3,14 1927 Clason Road Map
  • Buckley (Lycan) Baca Settlement Became Lycan Post Office in 1913. 3 29S 42W 14
  • Buffalo(Buckeye, Lyken) Baca Set. It was Buffalo, then Buckeye, then Lyken. 34 28S 42W 14
  • Buffalo Creek Baca Creek NE of Baca County, flows into Bear Cr. just past KS line. 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Albany Sheet
  • Buffalo Point Baca High Pt. NE of Walsh on North side of Bear Creek 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Vilas Sheet
  • Burchfield Lake Baca Reservoir East of Walsh near Konantz rock school house. 5 31S 41W 16
  • Buster Las Animas/Baca Set. Rural P.O. 1916-1927. 5 mi NE of Andrix. Next to county line. 6 31S 50W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • Butte City (Minneapolis) Baca Set. 2 mi E of Minneapolis, which absorbed Butte City. 35 29S 43W 3,14
  • Campbell Store Baca Other 29 30S 49W 14 14
  • Campo Baca Set. Est. 1912. On AT&SF. P.O. 1913 on. Sev 34S 46W 3,12,14 1914 Rand McNally
  • Carriso (Carrizo) Las Animas/Baca Set. Platted 1880. P.O. 1887-1895, with gaps. SW Baca County. 10 34S 50W 3,12,14 1888 Rand McNally
  • Carriso Springs (Carrizo Spr.,Tubs) Las Animas/Baca Set. P.O. 1888-1890. Platted 1888. Convergence of some early wagon roads. 16 33S 50W 3,12,14 1890 George Cram
  • Carrizo (Corrizo, Carriso) Baca Set. P.O. 1900-1902 and 1907-1916. 6 mi S of Carriso Springs. 10 34S 50W 3,12,14 1905 U.S. Geo. Survey
  • Carrizo Creek Baca Creek Flows across SE corner of county into OK. 1881 Henry Tunison
  • Carrizo Flats Baca Settlement Est. 1887. 4 33S 49W 14
  • Carrizo Springs Baca Set. Est. 1887. Abandoned in 1893. Violent cattle town. 16 33S 50W 14 1890 George Cram
  • Cat Creek Baca Flows into Bear Creek about a mile NE of Springfield 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Springfield Sheet
  • Cimmarron City Baca Settlement Platted 1927. 26 34S 48W 3,14
  • Cimmarron River (sp. Cimarron) Baca River Flows across SE corner of county and into Kansas. 3 1876 O.W. Gray
  • Clyde(Seward) Las Animas/Baca Set. Rural P.O. 1889-1890 & 1913-1920. 25 31S 48W 3,12,14
  • 1920 R. D. George Collins Baca Store A store. 32 34S 47W 14 Commanche National Grassland Baca Misc SW corner of county. 3
  • Corinth Las Animas/Baca Set. P.O. briefly in 1887. Moved to Minneapolis. 2 mi E of Minneapolis. ? 29S 42W 3,12,14 1894 Lost School Map
  • Corrizo (Carrizo) Baca Set. P.O. 1899-1907. Changed to Carrizo. 10 34S 50W 12,14 1901 Rand McNally
  • Cottonwood Creek Las Animas/Baca Creek Extreme SE Baca County 1881 Henry Tunison
  • Dallas-Canadian-Denver (DCD) Hwy 1920 R. D. George
  • Decatur Baca Settlement Post Office 1888-1891. N of Springfield. 36 29S 47W 3,12,14 1890 George Cram
  • Deora Baca Set. Rural P.O. 1920-1974. 4 mi NE of Frick. Another location 25 28S 49W. 5 28S 49W 3,12,14 1921 Rand McNally
  • Digglers Store Baca Settlement Maybe just a store. 23 32S 48W 14
  • East Carrizo Creek Las Animas/Baca Creek Early name for western future Sand Arroyo 1888 George Cram
  • Edler Baca Settlement Rural P.O. 1916-1947. 15 mi NW of Campo. 14 33S 48W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • Elder Baca Set. A Post Office 12 mi NW of Campo. 14 (Possibly a corruption of Edler)
  • Estelene Baca Settlement Post Office 1910-1927. SE of Utleyville. 27 33S 50W 3,12,14 1909 Rand McNally
  • Eureka Baca Unknown 15 31S 44W 14
  • Fort Baca Settlement Adobe constructed on N shore of Cimarron River. 24 34S 42W 14
  • Fort Aubry Wagon Road Las Animas/Baca Road Enters Baca along eastern Bear Cr. 1876 C. Roeser
  • Freeze-Out Creek Baca Creek Flows into Two Buttes Creek. 3 1886 Matthew-Northrup
  • Frick Baca Station RR stop on AT&SF. 17 mi NW of Pritchett. 30 28S 49W 3,14
  • Gallinas Canyon Baca Canyon East of Carrizo Creek. 1913 Colorado Geo. Survey
  • Gavley Baca Store A store. 28 32S 46W 1
  • Graft Baca Set. P.O. 1916-1934. Near Pritchett. Also shown at 23 29S 50W. 10 30S 49W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • Granada Wagon Road Las Animas/Baca Supply road from Granada to Ft. Union 1876 C. Roeser
  • Harbord Baca Station RR stop on AT&SF. A section house. 10 mi NW of Springfield. 28 29S 48W 3,14
  • *Hackberry Springs Bent/Baca Extreme NW Baca County 1888 George Cram
  • Holmes City (Homes City) Baca Set. Platted 1887. Near Carrizo Springs. Said to be misspelling of Homes City. 29 33S 47W 3,14
  • Hornville Baca Unknown 6 28S 46W 14
  • Horse Creek Baca Creek Flows east by Two Buttes to join Bear Creek west of Monon. 3 1881 Henry Tunison
  • Isreal Store Baca Unknown 10 29S 49W 14
  • Joycoy Baca Settlement Post Office 1915-1927. 3 mi W of Pritchett. 10 31S 49W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • Kirkwell Baca Settlement Post Office 1917-1921. 29 33S 49W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • Kliesen City (Kleison City) Baca Set. Platted near Vilas? or Same as Vilas? No P.O. 1 31S 45W 3,14
  • Konantz Baca Set. Site 1. Platted 1909. P.O. was in Frank McGowan’s house. 8 31S 41W 14
  • Konantz (Konnantz) Baca Set. Site 2. P.O. 1895-1918 & 1921-1924. P.O. was at the Earl Florey place. 1895, transfer to Colorado. SE of Bartlett. 32 30S 41W 3,12,14 1901 Rand McNally
  • Lamport Baca Set. Site 2. P.O. 1908-1927. 18 mi SE of Stonington. 13 34S 43W 3,12,14 1909 Rand McNally
  • Lamport Baca Unknown Site 1. Also shown at 26 33S 42W. 28 33S 42W 14
  • Little Bear Creek Baca Creek NW corner of Baca County 1894 Lost School Map
  • Longshore Ranch Baca East of Brookfield North Central Baca Co. 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Two Buttes Sheet
  • Lycan Baca Set. Rural P.O. 1913-1975. P.O. was at Buckley until 1913. 3 29S 42W 3,12,14 1914 Rand McNally
  • Lyken (Buckeye) Baca School Two story school house. See Buckeye. 7 28S 42W 14
  • Mathews Baca Set. Est. by 1902. 8 mi NW of Lamport. No P.O. See Matthews Ranch. 3,14
  • Matthews Ranch Baca Ranch 27 33S 44W 14 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Vilas Sheet
  • Maverick Creek Baca Creek NW Baca County north of Brookfield 1892 Louis Nell
  • Maxey Baca Set. P.O, 1889-1920. On wagon road Springfield to Atlanta. 24 28S 49W 3,4,12,14 1892 Louis Nell
  • McCall Baca Settlement On AT&SF. 36 30S 48W 1,14 1930 National Map Co.
  • Midway Baca Station No Post Office. 4 mi N of Victor(??). 19 33S 42W 2,3,14
  • Miles Ranch (Milas) Baca Ranch 23 34S 42W 14 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Vilas Sheet
  • Minneapolis (Butte City) Baca Set. P.O. 1887-1899. Platted 1888. Moved from Corinth. Also shown at 32 30S 45W. 22 29S 43W 3,12,14 1888 George Cram
  • Monon Baca Settlement Post Office 1901-1918. Near Kansas border. Post Office moved from Kansas. Located in John Johnston home 3/4 mile east of Saunders, KS. 33 29S 41W 3,12,14 1905 Rand McNally
  • *Mount Carrizo Las Animas Butte SW Baca County 1881 Henry Tunison
  • Mountain Plains Hwy Baca Hwy From Springfield to Trinidad 1920 R. D. George
  • *Mulvane Prowers Co. 8 mi. NE of Brookfield 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Two Buttes Sheet
  • *Mustang Creek Las Animas Creek Flows into western Two Butte Creek 1885 George Cram
  • Navesink Creek Baca Creek Shown on 1885 map. NE of Sheridan’s Cañon. 3
  • North Canyon Baca Canyon East of Gallinas Canyon, which is east of Carrizo Cr. 1913 Colorado Geo. Survey
  • North Fork Cimmaron River Baca River Flows E & NE from near Edler to KS border. 3 1920 R. D. George
  • North Fork Store Baca Unknown 22 33S 46W 14
  • North Junction Baca Station On AT&SF. 14
  • Nowlinsville Baca Settlement Post Office 1916-1919. SW of Campo. 1 35S 47W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • Oklarado Baca Set. P.O. 1916-1935. Also shown at 32 32S 49W. Reported as 2 locations. 29 32S 49W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • *Onine Las Animas Settlement On the NW Baca County line. 1920 R. D. George
  •  Las Animas/Baca Settlement Est. by 1882. 10 mi N of Villegreen. 3,14 (I don’t think this is in Baca County, so this is probably a mistake) 1888 George Cram
  • Pat Canyon Baca Creek East of Carrizo Creek, SW Baca County 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Springfield Sheet
  • Plymouth Baca Set. Est. abt 1892??. No P.O. Also shown at 36 31S 42W. 16 32S 42W 3,14 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Vilas Sheet
  • *Potato Butte (Potatoe) Las Animas E. of Troy. Landmark to early Baca Co. settlers. 3 1881 Henry Tunison
  • Pride Baca Settlement Post Office 1914-1920. Near Cimmaron River. 3,12,14 1916 Rand McNally
  • Pritchett (Joycoy) Baca Set. Est. 1920. Post Office est. 1927. Moved from Joycoy. 1930 National Map Co.
  • Progress Las Animas/Baca Set. P.O. 1888-1895. Between KS & Stonington. 6 32S 41W 3,12,14 1890 George Cram
  • Red Canyon Baca West of North Canyon SW Baca County. 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Springfield Sheet
  • Ramp (Harbord) Baca Unknown On AT&SF. Same as Harbord. 28 29S 48W 14
  • Regnier Baca Settlement Unknown history 8? 35S 48W 1905 Rand McNally
  • Reigle Store Baca Settlement 29 32S 46W 14
  • Richards Baca Set. P.O. 1912-1938. Near S fork of Cimmaron River. 19 33S 43W 3,12,14 1913 Colorado Geo. Survey
  • Richodemus House Baca Unknown 1 34S 43W 14
  • Riddle Store Baca Unknown 11 32S 47W 14
  • Rodley Baca Set. P.O. 1910-1937. 15 mi S of Vilas. 3 locations: 10 & 11 33S 45W. 13 33S 45W 3,12,14 1909 Rand McNally
  • Ruff Baca Set. P.O. 1889-1896. On Old Wagon Road from Okla. to Progress. ? 33S 42W 3,12,14 1892 Louis Nell
  • *Rule Creek (Hule) Las Animas NW of Baca County line 1885 George Cram
  • Sand Arroyo Baca Creek Flows E through central part of county to Kansas border. 3 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Vilas Sheet
  • Sand Arroyo Baca Settlement Post Office 1915-1917. 14 1920 R. D. George
  • Sand Canyon Baca East of Gallinas Canyon SW Baca County 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Springfield Sheet
  • Seton (Setonsburg) Baca Set. P.O. 1915-1916. Changed to Setonsburg. 19 32S 48W 3,12,14
  • Setonsburg (Seton) Baca Set. P.O. 1916-1920. SW of Springfield. 19 32S 48W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • Shell Rock Cañon Baca Canyon 1885. NW corner of county. E of Hackberry Spring. 3 1894 Lost School Map
  • Sheridan Cañon Las Animas/Baca Settlement Est. by 1876. SW of town of Two Buttes. 14 1881 Rand McNally
  • Sheridan’s Cañon Baca Canyon 1885. NW corner of county. Flows to Two Buttes Creek. 3 1892 Fisk & Company
  • Soldiers Camp Baca Camp At the spring on E. Carriso Creek. 0.5 mi SE of Carrizo Spring site. 22 33S 50W 14
  • South Junction Baca Station On AT&SF. 14
  • Spring Canyon Baca Canyon SE Baca County. Flows into the Cimarron R. 1913 Colorado Geo. Survey
  • Springfield Las Animas/Baca Set. P.O. est. 1887. County Seat 29 30S 46W 3,12,14 1888 George Cram
  • Stevenson Las Animas/Baca Settlement Post Office 1888. 3,12,14 1889 Rand McNally
  • Stonington (New Stonington) Baca Settlement Site 2. Post Office ?-1909 when relocated & platted. 6 mi NE of original site. P.O. closed 4/20/1990 5 32S 42W 14 1901 Rand McNally
  • Stonington (Old Stonington) Las Animas/Baca Settlement Site 1. P.O. est. 1888. 1909, moved 6 mi NE of original site. 9 32S 43W 3,12,14 1889 Rand McNally
  • *Taloga Morton Co. KS On the state line about 10 mile N of the Cimarron R. 1891 George Cram
  • Texas Trail Baca Trail Runs along the east border of the county 1890 U.S. Geo. Survey – Albany Sheet
  • Townsite (Carrizo PO) Baca Settlement P.O. 1900-1902. Same site as Carrizo PO. 12,14 1901 Rand McNally
  • Travis Baca Settlement 9 mi NE of Vilas. 4 mi S of Two Buttes. 3,14
  • Tubs (Carriso Springs) Baca Set. Nickname for Carriso Springs for large wooden watering tanks. 3
  • Tuck (Utleyville) Baca Set. P.O. 1916-1917. Changed/moved to Utleyville. 1 32S 50W 12,14
  • *Two Buttes Bent/Prowers Buttes North of Two Buttes Res. 1876 O.W. Gray
  • Two Butte(s) (Butte) Creek Las Animas/Baca Creek Flows across NW corner of county. 3 1876 O.W. Gray
  • Two Buttes Baca Settlement Platted 1909. P.O. est. 1910. 32 28S 44W 3,12,14 1909 Rand McNally
  • Two Buttes Reservoir Baca Lake North central county, near border of Prowers Co. Sev 28S 46W 1913 Colorado Geo. Survey Geologic map
  • Utleyville Baca Settlement Site 1. Old location 8 32S 50W 14
  • Utleyville Baca Settlement Site 2. P.O. 1917-1973. Moved from Tuck. 10 32S 50W 3,12,14 1920 R. D. George
  • Viena Baca Settlement No P.O. 20 mi SW of Vilas, near Ruff. 32 33S 46W 3,14 1894 Lost School Map
  • Vilas (Villas, Kleison City) Las Animas/Baca Set. On AT&SF. P,O. est. 1887. 1 31S 45W 3,12,14 1888 George Cram
  • Walsh Baca Set. Est. 1914. On AT&SF. Platted 1926. P.O. est. 1926. 32 30S 43W 3,12,14 1930 National Map Co.
  • Wentworth (Wentsworth) Baca Settlement P.O. 1911-1921. 28 32S 42W 3,12,14 1913 Colorado Geo. Survey
  • Westola Baca Settlement South of Konantz 1916 Rand McNally
  • *Wilde Bent/Prowers Settlement NW of Two Buttes Mt. 1888 Rand McNally
  • Willow Creek Las Animas/Baca Creek SW corner of Baca (future Carrizo Cr. ??) 1876 C. Roeser
Maps used and number of references:
1876 C. Roeser Territory of Colorado Map – 4
1876 O.W. Gray and Son – 2
1890 U.S. Geo. Survey Index – 6 sheets – 12
1905 U.S. Geo. Survey – 1 Example of how Baca County is ignored. REALLY!!!!!!
1924 U.S. Geo. Survey – Baca Mining Dist.
1930 Clason Road Map – Interesting Road Map

Another Baca County Wheeler: C. H. Wheeler

Each and every small place is a cultural destination. Each small town has customs, history and traditions that make it unique.  I truly appreciate the opportunity to dig into many of these treasures that are Baca County history.   The following photo appears on page 62 (Campo history) of our 1983 Baca County History Book.  The caption says,  “C.H. Wheeler on Trade Day”

This one is interesting and when I decided to dig into information about C.H. Wheeler  a bit more, the only reference I was able to find is on page 62 of the Campo History section of our 1983 Baca County History book.  The section discusses Campo being named by Frank Wheeler and a post office being established in 1912 in a dugout with Frank Wheeler serving as postmaster.   However, other than the photo there is no other reference to C.H. Wheeler in this book or any other that I can find.  As always I hope this post jogs a memory and we can piece together some more of the story….so here we go.

When you speak of  Baca County Businessmen named Wheeler you most often think of the Vilas version, C. F. Wheeler.  However, the  December 6, 1918 Springfield Herald pays tribute to another Wheeler a little to the south and west.  Campo it seems had the good fortune of having an enterprising citizen and booster named C.H. Wheeler.  The article isn’t really an obituary, but it certainly honors the recently departed Mr. Wheeler.  

The story from the Herald goes as follows:

In scolding young Wheeler recently as editors are sometimes wont to do, the Herald narrated some of the good things it had previously said about him, and we want to say now that the Herald had never said anything about the young man that hadn’t been earned and wasn’t deserved.

To say that our friend of many years was a booster doesn’t quite cover the ground. He was a builder by nature. He had the genius to do things and he did them.

The little town of Campo is a standing monument to the young man’s memory.   The stores and other business places in Campo are monuments to his memory. The Campo newspaper as a monument to his memory. The large dairying interest in Campo is a monument to his memory. The bank which is soon to be put in Campo is a monument to his memory.  The Campo band is a monument to his memory. The Campo-Springfield telephone line is a monument to his memory. And many other things big and little will stand out as monuments to the young man’s memory, so long as there is a Baca County.   

Not everybody knew of the untiring efforts of the young man to build up the town he founded– and industries of the entire country.

Take dairying alone. He was contemporaneous with the Herald in talking up dairying interests and his efforts in this direction were unflagging even up to the time of his untimely taking away.   

Our readers will remember the milk-can automobile cut which some years ago was published in the Herald. That was Wheeler genius, and it’s just a small index to his efforts in that direction. This cut will be published elsewhere in the Herald this Issue.  (NOTE: I will have to dig this up next time I am in Springfield)

Take the Campo Band as an illustration. The good people of Springfield, and especially the band boys, know what an uphill battle it is to build up a band and hold together a band at the little cross-roads town of Campo.

But Wheeler did it — not a large band, but the time of his demise and for a long time before the only band in Baca County.

Take the Campo-Springfield telephone line. The task of putting it in on foot and pushing it through to a successful finish was Herculeon.  It was a task that took genius, pluck, and stick-to-it-iveness and Wheeler did it.

We would say that Wheeler spent time and money on this line, hundreds of dollars and without any hope of return except the building up of Campo in the country.

We know that for a long time two of the projects that lay nearest Wheeler’s heart was a bank at Campo and a telephone line to Elkhart.

The bank is believed to soon be realized and we believe that had he lived, that in a few years the line to Elkhart would also have been realized. Baca County needs more dog and untiring persistent Wheelers and the more of the Wheeler inspiration and the desire to do things.

When the silent Boatman ferried his Spirit across the dark river, the loss wasn’t alone his family’s nor yet Campo’s, but in Baca County his place will be hard to fill

The Herald hence joins with all Baca County in an expression of sympathy to the sorrowing family and their relatives.