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Category: OLD COLORADO CITY - People
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Gazette: Saturday, October 20, 1917

 

Oldest Pioneer of Region Passes Away

M. S. Beach, Who Built First House Here, Died Yesterday

 

Melancthon Sayre Beach, aged 83 years, probably the oldest pioneer of the Pikes Peak region, died at his home, 405 Cheyenne road, Ivywild, at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Sofia Dresser Beach.

Mr. Beach was born in Sparta, N. J., in 1834, and received his education at Appleton College. He came to Colorado in 1858, locating at Denver, and was one of the pioneers of Denver who formed the town company of Colorado City, Ever since that time, Mr. Beach has been closely associated with the development of the city and region. Together with his partner, Rufus Cable, Mr. Beach was sent out by the Denver company to locate the city of Colorado City and it was then that the two men discovered the Garden of the Gods and gave it it's name which is today famous the world over.

Saw War Service

In the fall of 1863 Mr. Beach gave up his home life to become a lieutenant in McClain's independent battery of the Union army and was ordered to Missouri and the southwest where he took part in several important engagements against the confederate forces. His career as a soldier also led him into active participation under Colonel Chivington in many Indian battles during the early settlement of the country east of Colorado Springs..

Before the settlement of the region Mr. Beach was for eight years treasurer of Douglas county at Lawrence, Kansas, and in this office had jurisdiction over all of eastern Colorado and the Pikes Peak region, which at that time was considered a part of Kansas Territory. Following the creation of Colorado Territory, and laying out of Colorado City, Mr. Beach was made the first clerk and recorder of El Paso County  and was a member of the first legislature of Colorado, which took action to make Colorado City the first capital of the state.

Drove First Stake

In the settlement of Colorado City and later Colorado Springs, Mr. Beach had a big part. He drove the first stake in Colorado City at the mouth of Camp creek, and located the 1,280 acres included in the original Fosdick plat. To Mr. Beach also goes the credit of erecting the first house in Colorado City, built from logs hauled from Broadmoor near the site of the new Broadmoor hotel which is in process of erection. To him also goes the honor of giving to the new town the name Colorado City, which Mr. Beach explained, was but a symbol of the hope entertained by the founders that Colorado City would become the "first city in Colorado".

Mr. Beach discovered and at one time owned the now famous Manitou mineral springs which he disposed of at a sum of $600, before the real value of the mineral water was discovered. During the early days, he was frequently sought as a guide up Pikes Peak and had the honor of directing many parties composed of persons prominent in the literary and scientific world.

Mr. Beach also was interested for many years in the development of silver mining in the San Juan district, and during his 25 years service there was responsible in large part for some of the greatest financial deals in the district.

The funeral of Mr. Beach will be held from the Beyle undertaking rooms tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock. Friends may view the body at Beyles previous to the funeral services. The internment in Evergreen cemetery will be private.