The state capital, Denver, was originally called "Denver City" when it was founded in 1858. It was named after James W. Denver, the governor of the Kansas Territory, and the city's founders hoped that he would help promote their new settlement. However, Governor Denver never actually visited the city.
Weld County, located in northeastern Colorado, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute peoples. These tribes lived off the land, hunting buffalo and utilizing the Platte River for irrigation and transportation.

In the mid-19th century, European settlers began to arrive in Weld County. Many were attracted to the fertile plains and abundant grazing land for cattle. The Greeley Colony, led by Nathan Meeker, established a utopian agricultural community in 1869. Meeker and his followers believed in the power of cooperation and education, leading to the founding of Greeley, the county seat.

During the late 1800s, agriculture became the backbone of Weld County's economy. Farmers cultivated wheat, sugar beets, and various other crops, while cattle and sheep ranching also thrived. The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad in the 1870s further stimulated economic growth and transportation in the region, connecting Weld County to Denver and other important cities.

In the 20th century, Weld County continued to expand and diversify its economy. The discovery of oil and gas reserves in the region led to the growth of the energy industry. The county became a significant producer of oil, natural gas, and coal, contributing to its economic prosperity. Today, Weld County remains an important agricultural and energy hub, with a growing population and a strong emphasis on preserving its historical roots while embracing new opportunities.

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

  • 1861: Weld County is established on November 1, becoming one of the original 17 counties of the Colorado Territory.
  • 1870: The first permanent settler, John D. Fulton, arrives in the area and establishes a homestead.
  • 1874: Greeley, the county seat, is founded by Nathan C. Meeker and named after newspaper editor Horace Greeley.
  • 1883: The Colorado Central Railroad reaches Greeley, boosting the county's agricultural and commercial development.
  • 1928: Windsor, located in the southeastern part of Weld County, incorporates as a town.
  • 1938: The discovery of oil and gas in the county leads to the expansion of the energy industry.
  • 1973: The devastating Big Thompson River flood hits parts of Weld County, causing significant damage and loss of life.
  • 2008: The Great Recession affects Weld County's economy, leading to a decrease in job opportunities and a decline in property values.