COBWEB CORNERS: A real old-timer
By Mel McFarland
One of the fun things about the Old Colorado City Historical Society and this column is learning about people who lived here. You may have read that the Historical Society is looking to interview some of the long-time residents of the area to record some of their memories. But this appeal is too late for one man, whose story I read in a 1912 newspaper.
His name was Henry Coby. He passed from us in 1912. He lived in the 2700 block of Colorado Avenue and was at the Battle of Sand Creek. He was born in Germany and came to the U.S. when he was 15. He headed west, as many were doing, and came here in 1858 from New Mexico. Thanks to problems with Indians, he and several others took shelter in this area. He settled in Colorado City when it was only a few days old. He opened Colorado City's first saloon, according to the stories. He eventually opened a trading post farther down on the south side of Fountain Creek near the junction with Monument Creek.
When the Civil War stirred up the Colorado residents, the First Colorado Volunteers was organized in Colorado City. The new troop was organized at Coby's trading post. He eventually became part of the Third Colorado Cavalry and was with the group that was activated when the Indian problems led to Sand Creek. When the road was built up Ute Pass to Leadville in the late 1870s, he drove a stagecoach that carried mail to the boom town. When he died, he left a widow and a son, Bert Coby. Perhaps there are members of the Coby family still in Colorado City.
I also read in a 1912 newspaper of a big fight down by the railroad tracks. It seems two ladies who lived on Calvert Street spotted a big lump of coal by the tracks. It was a common practice to pick up coal along the tracks that had fallen off passing trains. These two ladies caused quite a scene as they fought over this coal, a short distance west of the Midland's station. It started with throwing smaller chunks at each other and grew into a hand-to-hand battle. A small crowd watched from the depot. Soon a policeman arrived to settle the dispute. Both women required the attention of a physician!