Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J: Joseph Antoine Janis

Joseph Antoine Janis was born in Missouri in 1824. He went west in 1844 and worked as a scout and translator out of Fort Laramie, Wyoming, which is where he met and married First Elk Woman of the Oglala Sioux. In the summer of 1859, Janis moved his family from Wyoming to Colorado. There, he helped establish Colona, which later became Laporte, the first townsite in Larimer County. Janis is recognized as the first Euro-American settler in the Fort Collins area. (Photo of Janis and friends from Fort Collins History Connection.)

Janis worked as a farmer, translator, for-hire guide, gold prospector, fur-trapper, and trader. In 1878, the U.S. government forced the relocation of all Oglala Sioux to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Janis accompanied his wife and family to the reservation, where he died in 1890.



In 1939, the original Janis cabin was moved to the grounds of the Fort Collins Museum, where it still stands. It is open to the public and is frequented by school groups studying local history.

This large, and rather large-headed, statue of Janis watches over a busy intersection in town.

10 comments:

lizy-expat-writer said...

Janis sounds like quite a character!

Danielle L Zecher said...

What an interesting person! Thanks for sharing with us.

Patricia said...

Great idea for the A-Z challenge. I enjoy learning more about history. Thanks for sharing! Am now a "follower"
Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

Patricia said...

Great idea for the A-Z challenge. I enjoy learning more about history. Thanks for sharing! Am now a "follower"
Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

Donna Sexton said...

Great post! Fun pictures and fun information. I always want to know the story behind the people immortalized in statutes.

Shelived Bye DeNet said...

This is WONDERFUL, my maternal grandfather is named Janis (family members along the way changed spelling to Jeanis, but still pronounced Juh-NEESE. I'm in my mid 60's now, live in San Francisco Bay Area, CA but was raised west of Denver and went to college in of all places... FORT COLLINS. All that time going to CSU, I never had a clue an ancestor was acknowledged locally!

This helps fill in a lot of blanks in the family tree between Acadia Canada and where the majority settled in Louisiana. Would like to know which intersection the statue is on in Ft. Collins.

Thank you so VERY much for this bit of history.

Jenny said...

It's great to hear from a fellow Ram! The statue is at the SE corner of Shields Street and Horsetooth Road.

Shelived Bye DeNet said...

Thanks so much, Jenny... I'll Google Earth it.. :)

Gregory Janis Jr said...

This Is Awesome. My Family is actually from Antoine Janis. And have seen the Actual Family Tree. My Grandfathers actually talk of story's passed down through the generations

Gregory Janis Jr said...

This is awesome, Antoine Janis is where my family came from. My Grandfather has our family tree all the way back to Antoine Janis. I've got to come and take pictures when I get the chance to leave the Pine Ridge Reservation.