Irving Howbert (1846-1934)




Click HERE to view Irving Howbert's Memories of a Lifetime in the Pikes Peak Region in Digital Format.  An  excellent, historic book in Digital Format on Dave Hughes History Website.

Information originally Compiled by LaDonna Gunn and Dave Hughes


Irving Howbert was fourteen years old when he and his father came to Colorado City from the mining camps in South Park. However, the family did not officially move to Colorado City until October 1861.

Irving Howbert became an influential individual in the Pike's Peak region, beginning with becoming an active member of the El Paso Claim Club, a vigilante form of civil government.

Young Irving grew up helping his father farm. But he also knew and came in contact with Indians, from the friendly Utes to the hostile Arapahoe. He was a keen observer of their ways of life, which he wrote later in his "Indians of the Pikes Peak Region" published in 1914.

Both in 1864 while he and his family had their home on Camp Creek, halfway between Colorado City and the Garden of the Gods, he and his brother spotted 5 Indians near the Garden of the Gods. He joined men who then trailed them and surprised them capturing them on Monument Creek. They were taking them back to Colorado City after dark when they gave a command in Indian language and bolted. He and the party fired on them. They got away but learned later at least two were killed.

Then after there were many Indian troubles - the Hungate Massacre being one - the Territorial Governor Evans got authority to form the 3d Colorado Cavalry Regiment and in November, with 18 other men from Colorado City, including Anthony Bott Irving Howbert, at 18 years old, and a Corporal, - as Company G -, marched south to near Fort Wise, encamped, were eventually equipped, and rode under Col Chivington to the controversial Battle of Sand Creek against hundreds of Indians. As a Corporal at Sand Creek Irving Howbert got his taste of battle. In his 'Memories of a Lifetime in the Pikes Peak Region' book published in 1925, he stoutly defends Chivington and refuses to call the attack on the hostile Indians a 'massacre.' 

In 1869, in the 1859 Cabin built by Melancothon Beach and Dr. Garvin that still stands in Bancroft Park, Irving Howbert was elected, for the first time, the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder. There he met for the first time General Palmer, who founded Colorado Springs in 1871 - with the help of Irving. By 1873 the County Seat became Colorado Springs, Irving Howbert moved there, and for the rest of his life was, after Palmer, the most accomplished and influential man in the Pikes Peak region. He died in 1934.

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