Swindling Salt for Butter

Compiled by LaDonna Gunn

Anthony Bott recalled the following incident about Ben Crowell, who was a printer and publisher of "The Colorado City Journal," the first newspaper in Colorado City:

 

Travelling by wagon along the Arkansas River and then following Fountain Creek into Colorado City, Benjamin Crowell and his family immigrated to the Pike's Peak region in 1860. As they followed Fountain Creek, Crowell and his family stopped at Bill Young's ranch, hoping that they could get some butter. Having no money, Crowell asked Mrs. Young if she would trade him salt for butter. Mrs. Young eagerly agreed. After the exchange, Crowell returned quickly to the wagons telling his boys to drive "hard" because he believed he had just "swindled" Mrs. Young out of her butter. However, once they reached Colorado City, Crowell learned that the opposite had occurred. Salt was selling for $1 per pound, and butter was selling for much less.