Benjamin F. Crowell was an influential individual in the organization and development of Colorado City and early El Paso County.
In 1860, Crowell and his family immigrated to Colorado City by way of the Santa Fe Trail along the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek.
Because of his printing and bookbinding skills, Crowell published the first newspaper of Colorado City-The Colorado City Journal-in May 1861. (David Hughes has a reproduction of the first issue, August 1st, 1861 from the only known original, which is in the Library of the University of Colorado, Boulder. And he owns one original copy under (plastic protection) of the November 28th, 1861 Journal issue. The paper only lasted into 1862. They both are rich storehouses of early Colorado City and its activities and citizens.)
After the federal government created the Colorado Territory in February 1861, newly commissioned Territorial Governor William Gilpin charged all of the mining communities with creating local governments. As a result, the citizens of El Paso County held a convention on November 24, 1861, nominating Benjamin F. Crowell to run for county commissioner. After the elections a short time later, Crowell became one of three of the first El Paso County Commissioners.
Besides running the newspaper and his civic duties as a commissioner, Crowell and his family operated a farm on Bachelor Flats located approximately four miles below Colorado City.