Las Animas County, Colorado

Simpson, George S. (1818 – 1885)

A tall cliff on Trinidad’s north side is the final resting place of George Semmes Simpson. Born in St. Louis, he left for the opportunities in the west, at age twenty. He joined a group of fur trappers, trapping on Colorado’s rivers, until he reached Bent’s Fort. There, he traded with the Indians, finally opening his own fort called El Pueblo (Fort Pueblo).

By 1866, the Trinidad area was under constant threat from the Ute Indians. Simpson and his daughter Jennie were chased by a band of Indians, yet managed to hide in a cave on a slope overlooking the small town. The incident was so profound, Simpson expressed a desire to be buried on the slope that saved his life and his daughter’s.

When George S. Simpson died in 1885, a crew of men hauled his coffin to the top of the rocky ridge, a day-long ordeal. A monument was erected of granite and a bronze plaque was placed at the base.

Due to vandalism, the monument was restored in 1970, although not to the original height. The original plaque is now at the Trinidad History Museum.

Simpson’s daughter, Jennie, died in 1887, and is also buried atop the hill.

From "From the Grave, A Roadside Guide to Colorado's Pioneer Cemeteries," by Linda Wommack, published by Caxton Press, Caldwell, Idaho in 1998

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