Friday Faces: William Larimer

Larimer County, of which Fort Collins is the county seat, has a total area of 2,633.86 square miles--2,601.30 square miles (or 98.76%) is land and 32.56 square miles (or 1.24%) is water. It is the seventh most populous and ninth largest of Colorado’s 64 counties. But where did it get its name?

William Larimer, Jr. came west from Pennsylvania after making a bundle in the railroad industry. He homesteaded in Leavenworth, Kansas with his wife and nine children before finding his way to the foot of the Rockies. In 1858, he helped found the Denver City Land Company, named for Kansas Territorial Governor James W. Denver.

Larimer was a mover and shaker whose efforts helped secure the formation of the Colorado Territory in 1861, with Denver as its capital. He anticipated being named first governor but was passed over in favor of Missourian William Gilpin (in part because President Lincoln apparently owed a favor to the governor of that state).

But being spurned by the prez wasn’t enough to keep Larimer down. He went on to serve as a US commissioner, a probate judge, a colonel in the Civil War, and a Kansas State Senator. Larimer Square in downtown Denver is named for him, as is the Larimer Neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

Mystery Photo:
Last week's picture was taken at the city's xeriscape demo garden.

Where in Fort Collins was this week's picture taken?


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