In the course of writing a book of this size; any author accumulates many debts. Such an enterprise cannot be undertaken by just one person, any number of others help support projects like this. History is, by nature, the use of written documents, oral tradition, and other means by which mankind reveals his past. In this manner, many people helped me create this document.
First, John Beardsley, Canon City District Archaeologist, provided direction and balance for this project. His pointed comments and useful insights made this a far better work. Mel Clausen, Stub Freer, and Stu Wheeler, of our Canon City District Office, helped by providing field support and encouragement. Thanks to them, life was much easier. Since the primary resources used in this compilation are located in Denver, the staffs of the Colorado Historical Society's Steven Hart Library, the Western History Collection of the Denver Public Library, and the Western History Collection of the University of Colorado (Boulder) Library are to be thanked. Also, the Las Animas Public Library, the La Junta Public Library, the Lamar Public Library, and other local sources like newspapers, were most helpful. A special thanks to the late Fred M. Betz, Sr., of Lamar, who took time to give me some extra help. The folks at the Prowers County Historical Society (Big Timbers Museum) and at the Bent's Old Fort National Monument were very useful in their assistance and providing me with "leads."
Various persons read and critiqued this work. Among them, Steven F. Mehls, John Beardsley and the late Robert G. Athearn provided comments that pointed up errors of fact and grammar. Steve Mehls, in particular, is owed a great big "thanks" for his work that provided some of the notes that were used in this document. Equally Paul O'Rourke's partial manuscript detailing the history of the Royal Gorge Resource Area was liberally used by this author. Also, both Cecil Roberts and Dave Strunk, of the BLM's Colorado State Office, were major contributors to this book, for they allowed me the time to write it. Were it not for their open encouragement and direct actions, this project could never have been completed. Of equal importance to this effort is Donna Diercks, who typed the manuscript from my crude draft. She kindly made corrections in grammar as she went, and entered the whole thing on her magic word processor. Thank you, Donna. Thanks also to Tricia Lucero, who typed, and Bettie Smith, who retyped, the Bibliography in a most efficient manner.
Frederic J. Athearn
Last Updated: 20-Nov-2008