Pueblo County, Colorado

Contributed by Karen Mitchell.

Mr. Baxter was among the early men of Colorado, having come West in 1858. For nearly twenty-two years he has steadily remained and advanced with the country, and now he is a prominent citizen and capitalist of Pueblo. He was born at Madison, Ind., October 31,1835. He received a common school education, and learned the trade of a blacksmith. In 1855, he went to Keokuk, Iowa, where he pursued blacksmithing for a short time; he also afterward worked for a time at Moline, Ill. In 1856, he located at Nebraska City, where he followed his trade for about two years. In the fall of 1858, Mr. Baxter started for Pike's Peak, and in October, he arrived at the mouth of Cherry Creek, where Denver is now situated. For about two years he engaged in prospecting and mining in the mountains. Soon after the discovery of the famous Gregory lode, in 1859, he went to Central, where he remained some months. He spent some time in South Park, and was among the early adventurers in California Gulch. In September, 1860, he came down to Arkansas Valley, and located upon a ranch about five miles below Pueblo. The following spring, he sold out and removed to the mouth of the St. Charles River, where he located a ranch, and began farming. He was one of the first farmers in the county. In 1864, Mr. Baxter volunteered in the United States service for a term of three months. He raised a company, of which he became Captain, in the Third Colorado. He was with his regiment at the noted battle of Sand Creek. After the expiration of his term, he returned to his ranch and continued farming; he also kept up his stock business, in which he had been interested since 1862. Mr. Baxter was a member of the Territoral Legislature in 1864-65. He was a member of the Council during the sessions of 1865-66 and 1866-67. He removed to Pueblo in 1866, and bought a half interest in the well-known Jewett Grist Mill, which interest he has since owned. He was one of the first town company which located the town of Pueblo in 1861. The town was afterward jumped by parties who obtained a patent, but some years later, owing to priority of title, it reverted to the original company. In 1870, the County Commissioners appointed Trustees, who proceeded to organize the town of Pueblo on a permanent basis. Mr. Baxter was one of the Trustees and continued as such for several years afterward. He was, for a number of years, a County Commissioner, and was also a Commissioner of the State Penitentiary several years. He is at this time a Commissioner of the State Insane Asylum. Mr. Baxter is now one of the largest property holders of Pueblo County. He is connected with many of the important interests of Pueblo; he is improving his real estate and steadily increasing his fortune. He was married in Pueblo County, April 17, 1866, to Miss Edna A. Henry, by whom he has three children. History of the Arkansas Valley, Colorado O L Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1881

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