Information Compiled by LaDonna Gunn and Dave Hughes
Arriving in the Pike's Peak region in 1858, 23 years old Anthony Bott played a major role in the organization and development of Colorado City and El Paso County.
Eager to strike it rich, Anthony Bott joined a fifty-man and one-woman prospecting party from Westport, Missouri. Leaving Missouri in August 1858, the party arrived in the Pike's Peak region in the early fall, learning that two separate prospecting parties (the Greene Russell party from Georgia and the Lawrence, Kansas party) had reached the area earlier in the spring and summer.
Upon arriving in the Pike's Peak region, Anthony Bott and other members of the prospecting party not only searched for gold but also searched for town sites. Because of the potential of Ute Pass for becoming a route into the mountains and its gold field, Bott, George Bute, and others platted the town site of El Dorado in the latter part of 1858 on the present location of Colorado City. However, with the rival of Auroria, Denver City, and other mining supply towns to the north, El Dorado did not survive, much less grow, dissolving in the spring of 1859.
Not wanting to abandon the idea of a town at the bottom of Ute Pass, Anthony Bott, along with several other town promoters, met in Denver City, found investors, and organized the Colorado City Town Company on August 11, 1859, founding Colorado City on August 12. A few days later, on August 15, 1859, Bott and many of the same eager town promoters organized the El Paso Claim Club, a vigilante form of civil government, to both record real estate claims for Colorado City, settle land disputes, hang horse thieves, and provide vigilante justice for the town and surrounding areas before El Paso County government was formed.
Even though Ute Pass provided passage to the South Park mining camps, the pass was only a trail. During the winter of 1859-1860, the Colorado City Town Company hired Anthony Bott as foreman of a construction crew that built the first wagon road up Ute Pass. The Town Company compensated the workers with town lots.
As busy as Anthony Bott was in the community, Bott apparently found time to explore the surrounding environment. In 1859, Anthony Bott, M.S. Beach, George Bute, A. D. Richardson, Lewis Tappan, several people from Golden City, and several women hiked to the summit of Pike's Peak, taking several days. At the summit, the hikers found evidence of others having reached the summit. Records indicate that members of the Lawrence, Kansas, prospecting party had hiked to the summit in the summer of 1858.
Bott served in Company G, 3d Colorado Cavalry, at the Battle of Sand Creek, November 29th, 1864. He was enough proud of his service there he had his unit's number engraved on his large tombstone before he died in 1916. He had donated the 43 acres in 1895 to Colorado City that is today's Fairview Cemetery. He and his wife who preceeded him in her death had no children.