Colorado was originally part of the Kansas and Nebraska territories, but was separated and made into its own territory in 1861. It became a state in 1876, 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Phillips County, located in northeastern Colorado, has a rich and diverse history that spans back centuries. Before European settlers arrived, the area was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples. They relied on the vast buffalo herds for sustenance and played a significant role in shaping the land's early history.

In the late 1800s, European settlers began to arrive, attracted by the promise of fertile soil and abundant natural resources. Phillips County was officially established on March 27, 1889, named after R.O. Phillips, a prominent businessman and politician. Agriculture quickly became the backbone of the local economy, with farmers cultivating crops such as corn, wheat, and sugar beets. The region's arid climate and scarcity of water presented challenges, but irrigation systems and new farming techniques helped overcome these obstacles.

Over the years, the county experienced several ups and downs. In the early 1930s, the Great Depression hit Phillips County hard, causing severe economic hardships. Many farmers lost their land, and unemployment rates soared. However, resilience and community spirit prevailed, and the county gradually recovered during World War II and the post-war era. The introduction of new technologies and modern agricultural practices led to increased productivity and stability.

Today, Phillips County continues to thrive as an agricultural hub, with farmers and ranchers playing a vital role in the local economy. In addition to farming, the county also offers recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, and birdwatching, attracting tourists and outdoor enthusiasts from near and far. The community takes pride in preserving its history and cultural heritage, with museums and historic sites showcasing the county's past. With its resilient spirit and commitment to progress, Phillips County remains a vibrant and essential part of Colorado's economic and cultural landscape.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Phillips County, Colorado.

  • 1868: Phillips County is established and named after R.O. Phillips, a prominent businessman and politician in the area.
  • Late 1800s: Settlers start arriving in the region, primarily engaged in agriculture and ranching.
  • 1888: Haxtun, the county seat, is founded as a result of the extension of railroad lines.
  • Early 1900s: The county experiences a population boom due to the success of irrigation projects and the availability of fertile land.
  • 1915: Holyoke, another significant town in Phillips County, is incorporated.
  • 1929-1939: The Great Depression affects the county, leading to economic hardship and a decline in population.
  • 1975: The Holyoke and Haxtun School Districts merge to form the Haxtun Consolidated Schools.
  • 1980s: The oil and gas industry begins to play a significant role in the county's economy.
  • 2008: The Phillips County Event Center is completed, providing a venue for various community events.
  • Present: Phillips County continues to be primarily agricultural, with a focus on crops such as corn, wheat, and sunflowers.