C O U N T Y , H I S T O R Y - Lincoln County, Colorado

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linccoun2.jpg, map

Lincoln County was established in 1889. Hugo is the county seat.
Lincoln County is shaped like a backwards "L".
It includes 1,644,000 acres.
Lincoln County is 72 miles from north to south and 48 miles at its widest point (south).
Elevations range from 4,500 to 5,400.

Neighboring counties are:

Washington, Kit Carson, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Crowley, Elbert and El Paso Counties.

An Article about Walk's Camp A must read item.

Lincoln County population statistics:

1900 - population was 926
1920 - population was 8,273
1990 - population was 4,529
2000 - population was 6,087

County Timeline

1861 - Colorado Territory. The are now in Lincoln County was partly in the Cheyenne Arapahoe Reservation and in Douglas County, one of the 17 orginal counties.

1870 - Bent County created from Huerfano County and Indian Lands (Cheyenne Arapahoe Reservation)

1870 - Greenwood created from Bent and Indian Lands.

1874 - Greenwood dissolved; area split between Elbert and Bent counties. Elbert was a new county, created from parts of Douglas and Greenwood counties.

1876 - Colorado
becomes a state with 26 counties.

1889 - April 11. Lincoln County created from from portions of Elbert and Bent counties. Named for Abraham Lincoln. Hugo named county seat.

1889 - May.
The final division of assessment from Elbert County; Lincoln County got the old Elbert County Jailhouse which was located in Hugo.

1890 - May.
A U.S. Land Office was established in Hugo.

First County Officers Appointed by the Governor, Job Cooper:

Ernest A. SUTTON of Hugo, chairman
Charles F. MILLER of Bovina
Archibald McINTYRE of Sanborn
Treasurer: John P. DICKINSON of Hugo
Judge: John W. WILLIAMS of Hugo
County clerk:
Addison K. LaDUE, former assessor of Elbert County.

First County Officers Appointed by the Commissioners

County Assessor:
County Attorney:
W. J. ROGERS of Denver, hired
Superintendent of Schools:
David WILL
Road Overseer:
Charles J. NORMAN


North SMOKY HILL TRAIL - from Kansas City (Westport) to Denver. Also called the Butterfield Trail for the Butterfield Overland Dispatch. The BOD was a stageline which began operation in 1865. This trail came into use in 1866. From David's Wells in Cheyenne County the trail went to Connell Creek in Lincoln County.

South SMOKY HILL TRAIL - From Grady Station in Cheyenne County the stage went to Hugo Springs in Lincoln County.

From: "Butterfield Overland Despatch, Table of Distances":

Hugo Springs - 13 miles from David's Wells - Excellent water
Willow Springs - 12 miles from Hugo Springs - Good water
Lake Station - 13 miles from Willow Springs - Water slightly alkaline

STAGE STOPS, 0n the North Smoky Hill Trail

Connell Creek - near Boyero, eating station
Coon Creek - 1/2 mile east of Clifford
Hogan Station - about 1 mile west of Hugo
Hedinger's Lake - 3 miles southeast of present day Limon.
Lake - stage stop

STAGE STOPS, 0n the South Smoky Hill Trail

Hugo Springs - 7 miles north of Boyero; a swing station
Willow Springs - a swing station
Hedinger's Lake - here the routes merged.
River Bend - in Elbert County



Kansas Pacific Railroad reached Colorado on January 25, 1870. Tracks were laid across Cheyenne county [Greenwood county, at that time] following the Smoky Hill Trail. By the end of June 1870 the railroad reached the western end (Aroyo). The following is a chronology of the railroad construction progress from Aroya across present-day Lincoln County:

June 25, 1870 - BOYERO, near the CONNELL Station used by the Butterfield Overland Dispatch. Stage service continued from the end of the rails to Denver during the construction of the railroad.

July 1, 1870 - MIRAGE in (later renamed CLIFFORD).

July 4, 1870 - WILLOW SPRINGS; became part of present day HUGO.

July 5, 1870 - HUGO; the division point.

July 7, 1870 - BAGDAD

July 10, 1870 - LAKE stage station, post office set up July 27, 1870 -

July 11, 1870 - LIMON; Rock Island Railroad built in 1888.

Burlington Railroad crossed the north end of what is now Lincoln County.

The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (or Rock Island Railroad, for short) entered present day Lincoln County in 1888. It reached ARRIBA on August 23, 1888. The Rock Island RR crossed the county in six weeks. With towns popping up along the way.


The Texas-Montana Cattle Trail - the trail followed the Big Sandy river; going north to Hugo, Bovina, past Walk's Camp, and on to Brush and Wyoming. The last cattle herds passed Hugo in 1902. Historical Marker: located at Lincoln-Cheyenne County line where the Texas-Montana Trail crossed the Smoky Hill Trail.

HISTORIC SITES in Lincoln County

Martin Homestead - 57920 County Rd., Genoa. Built 1899-1916. State Register 03/12/96, 5LN211

World's Wonder View Tower - 30121 Frontage Rd, Genoa. Built in 1926. In 1934, USGS confirmed the top of the tower was the highest point between New York City and Denver. State Register 12/13/95, 5LN194

Hedlund House - 617 3rd Ave., Hugo. Built circa 1877. State Register 03/12/96, 5LN100

Hugo Union Pacific Railroad Roundhouse - Adjacent to Union Pacific RR right-of-way, Hugo. Built in 1909. State Register 05/14/97, 5LN195

Walks Camp Park - 63551 County Rd. 27, Limon vicinity. North of Limon, Walks Camp Park Association established in 1915. Grandstand built in 1930; State Register 03/11/98, 5LN94

"The Press Gang, Colorado Newspapers 1859-1997"

by Jane Harper, Historian, Colorado Press Association.
This is an excellent online history: Chapter on Lincoln County or, to select other Colorado Counties.


This county is up for adoption, please volunteer to be Coordinator © 1999-2008 | Lincoln County COGenWeb. History. | URL: http://www.cogenweb.com/lincoln/history.htm