Siting a Reservation at White River

D.C. Oakes

Colorado Territorial Governor McCook wanted to establish a new Ute Indian Agency in the northern part of Colorado. He sent Indian Agent Daniel C. Oakes on a mission to find a good location.

On September 15, 1869, Agent Oakes reported to Governor McCook:

          “I proceeded with the contractors to White River, on the Ute Reservation, [travelling] via Rawlings’s Springs, on the Union Pacific Railroad, and Bridger’s Pass, reaching there on the 7th of September.”
          “…I found a most excellent and desirable location for the agency on White River…It is below a deep canyon, and at the upper end of a broad and beautiful valley, extending about twenty miles down, and averaging from one to three miles in width, of good, arable land.”
          “White River at this point contains a great abundance of water for mill and irrigating purposes…There is plenty of good cottonwood timber along the stream, and pine in the mountains some six miles distant. The side valleys and adjacent hills afford abundant pasturage for the stock of the agency and the Indians…It is a warm valley, and stock will subsist the year round upon the pasturage. A better place could not be found in the northern part of the reservation, in my opinion.”

Photo courtesy the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection
Quoted Text from Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1869

Published in: on September 12, 2011 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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