COBWEB CORNERS: Arrest of a bar room lounger

By Mel McFarland

       I ran across an interesting article about a pretty wild night in Colorado City. I have shortened the story, which appeared in the Gazette in 1892, but I have left some of the words that were used in their original form!
       George Green, by trade a bar room lounger, is now loafing in the county jail awaiting preliminary examination on a charge of grand larceny and burglary. Green had been loafing around the Hoffman House in Colorado City. He happened to see the faro dealer put a lot of gold pieces in a bag, and set it behind the bar. Later in the evening, he worked his way to the area of the bar where the bag was hidden. When he had a chance he grabbed the bag, containing between $600 and $700, put it in his pocket and coolly walked out.
       The loss was not discovered until about 2 a.m., when the room closed. The suspicion at once centered on Green, who had been seen in the area of the bar. Someone else reported that he had gotten on a streetcar to Colorado Springs. A policeman there remembered seeing such a man get off a Manitou car, and walk south on Cascade. Colorado City and Colorado Springs officers at once started to scour the south end of town. At Cucharras Street, they spotted their man, walking with a lady of loose character. It proved to be an easy "collar." The money bag was still in his possession. but less about $115.
       He was arrested and sent to the city lock-up. The lady was given 48 hours to leave the city. A few days later, Green was sentenced to spend a few weeks in the jail, along with instructions to go somewhere else, preferably not in Colorado.
       Of interest is a continuing story of a certain Bob Ford, best known as the killer of Jesse James. He had come to Colorado City a short time before this incident from Creede, where he was constantly involved in questionable problems in their gambling halls. He was instructed to not return. This must have slipped his mind, because after spending time in Colorado City and Cripple Creek, he returned to Creede, where he was spotted. His end came a short time later, shot by another itinerant gambler.
       Our Colorado Springs and Colorado City papers did their best to avoid telling stories like these, but occasionally they did. In the early days of Colorado Springs newspapers they did their best to ignore Colorado City.