The Amusing History of Pueblo, CO
The history of Pueblo, CO is filled with twists and turns, both amusing and sometimes sad. This popular Colorado city has had its share of hardships and strange moments, but the resilience of its people has made the city bounce back repeatedly. History tried, but the city stood strong through battles, floods, and more.
It Started as a Small Colorado Settlement…
Initially a small trading center, the city began as El Pueblo or Fort Pueblo, settled around 1842. A few American traders—George Simpson, James Beckwourth, and Matthew Kincaid, among others—claim to have helped with the construction of the area, though none of them had legal titles for the land.
Its position near the Arkansas River made it ideal for a settlement and for trading things like furs, food, and hides with nearby Native American tribes. However, the peace of the city did not last long.
The Fort Pueblo, CO Massacre
This short but detrimental raid occurred sometime in late December (near Christmas time) in 1854. A group of Ute warriors alongside Jicarilla Apaches attacked and raided the small trading location under the leadership of Ute chief Tierra Blanca.
Although there are no official records, there was an estimated death toll of fifteen to nineteen people, as well as the capture of two children and a woman.
The post was swiftly abandoned to avoid further tragedy, but this was not the end of Pueblo. It became important again during the Colorado Gold Rush in 1859, and the city continued to grow from there.
Four Cities Into One
Beginning in the 1870s, the city became a bit more like what it is today, when it began to incorporate nearby territories into one larger city. Beginning with Pueblo in 1870, the area then incorporated South Pueblo in 1873, Central Pueblo in 1882, and Bessemer in 1886. These four towns constitute what the city is currently. From here, the city began to become the powerhouse it is today.
A Social and Economic Center
The city became incredibly significant to Colorado’s economy and social scene. In the late 1800s, the city was home to many of that state’s most important and wealthy families, such as the Adamses, the Thatchers, and the Ormans.
The city became a beacon in the once “lawless” desert landscape of Colorado, being hailed as a safe place led by agricultural growth. In the early 1900s, the city began to establish itself as a steel powerhouse, being one of the only major cities west of the Mississippi to produce steel in mass quantities.
Until the Floods
The city was prospering, but around 1921, a series of floods devastated the city, ultimately culminating in the Great Flood of 1921. Around a third of the city’s major economic powerhouses and a large number of buildings were destroyed, and the city suffered for quite a while from the loss.
Regrowth and Resurgence
Once again, the city established itself as a massive steel producer. These jobs attracted many immigrant laborers, causing the city to become the “melting pot” of the West due to its diversity.
The city also has the nickname “the Home of Heroes”, because the city is home to four different Medal of Honor recipients, more than any other US city. This popular city is also incredibly affordable, even with its somewhat affluent influences.
Pueblo has suffered its share of trials and tribulations, but always manages to bounce back. The amusing history of this city makes it an incredibly appealing place to live and visit.
Explore Pueblo, CO
Pueblo, CO by Zip Code