Kiowa (HMUS3)

Location: Kiowa, CO 80117 Elbert County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 20.802', W 104° 28.023'

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Frontier Communication.

Kiowa was originally named after its postmaster, Henry Wendling. Such identifications were common among Colorado's frontier hamlets, where the post office often was the town. Widely dispersed settlers would congregate at these stations (usually housed in a ranch or general store) to stay in touch with each other and the outside world. As communities grew, residents kept informed via the local newspaper, which recorded hometown births, deaths, calvings, paintings, fence-mendings, and well-diggings along with state and national events. Kiowa's most notable publication was the Divide Review, which owner Floyd Lemon produced single-handedly from 1920 to 1960 without missing an edition. All these modes of correspondence-along with the telephone, which went into service here just after 1900-eased the loneliness and isolation of rural life and helped create a sense of community among distant neighbors.

Founded in 1865 as a Smoky Hill Trail station, Kiowa might well have vanished five years later, when the Kansas Pacific Railroad bypassed the town and made the trail obsolete. But enough ranchers had moved here by then to keep Kiowa alive. With plentiful pastures and rapidly growing markets in nearby Denver and Colorado Springs, this was a stockman's paradise. By the 1880s more than 150,000 cattle and sheep grazed in this area, and farmers began to move in, swelling Kiowa's population to a few hundred. The town prospered until the Great Depression, survived the Dust Bowl and a devastating 1935 flood, and recovered after World War II, helped along by Denver's suburban development. By 2000, however, that growth posed a new challenge to Kiowans: how to preserve their western roots in the face of metropolitan encroachment.

HM NumberHMUS3
Series This marker is part of the Colorado: History Colorado series
Marker Number272
Year Placed2001
Placed ByColorado Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 5:44am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 545923 N 4355386
Decimal Degrees39.34670000, -104.46705000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 20.802', W 104° 28.023'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 20' 48.12" N, 104° 28' 1.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)303
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 237-299 Comanche St, Kiowa CO 80117, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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