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Huerfano County
—  County  —
County of Huerfano
Huerfano County Courthouse and Jail
Country  United States
State  Colorado
Established November 1, 1861
Named for Huerfano Butte
County seat Walsenburg
Largest city Walsenburg
Area
 • Total 1,593 sq mi (4,130 km2)
 • Land 1,591 sq mi (4,120 km2)
 • Water 2.2 sq mi (6 km2)  0.1%
Highest elevation[1] 14,351 ft (4,374 m)
Time zone Mountain (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−6)
Area code 719
FIPS code 08055
GNIS feature ID 198143
Website www.huerfano.us

Huerfano County ( /ˈwɛərfən/; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈweɾfano]) is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 6,820.[2] The county seat is Walsenburg.[3] The county, whose name comes from the Spanish huérfano meaning "orphan", was named for the Huerfano Butte, a local landmark. The area of Huerfano County boomed early in the 1900s with the discovery of large coal deposits. After large scale World War II coal demand ended in the 1940s Walsenburg and Huerfano saw a steady economic decline through 2015.

Historical[]

Huerfano County was one of the original 17 counties created by the Territory of Colorado on November 1, 1861, and was originally larger than its present size. On November 2, 1870, the Colorado General Assembly created Greenwood County from former Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal land and the eastern portion of Huerfano County. There are countless reports of vast New Spain and Native American gold treasures that lay hidden in the hills and mountains of Huerfano County including the Arapahoe Princess Treasure. Two Spanish forts were located in Huerfano County.

Colorado Coalfield War[]

Huerfano County and neighboring Las Animas County were the central locations of the 1913-1914 United Mine Workers of America strike against the Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel and Iron company, which is now referred to as the Colorado Coalfield War.

Walsenburg and other stops on the Colorado and Southern Railway proved strategically important for both strikers and the Colorado National Guard, resulting in multiple gun-battles in around towns with stops.

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,593 square miles (4,130 km2), of which 1,591 square miles (4,120 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) (0.1%) is water.[4] The price of property saw an increase of more than 10% after a moratorium on commercial marijuana grows was lifted in July 2015.

Adjacent counties[]

Major Highways[]

  • I-25 (CO).svg Interstate 25
  • I-25 Bus.
  • US 160.svg U.S. Highway 160
  • Colorado 10.svg State Highway 10
  • Colorado 12.svg State Highway 12
  • Colorado 69.svg State Highway 69

Protected areas[]

  • Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness
  • Lathrop State Park
  • San Isabel National Forest
  • Sangre de Cristo Wilderness
  • Spanish Peaks Wilderness

Scenic byway[]

  • Highway of Legends Scenic Byway

Attractions and recreation[]

The county's tourism board brands the county as "Southern Colorado's Spanish Peaks Country."[5] Visitors are attracted to the Spanish Peaks and the many mountain-related activities they offer, such as mountain climbing, hiking, hunting, and sightseeing. In addition, the western part of the county offers the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Range, a range that includes several fourteeners.

The towns of La Veta and Cuchara offer art galleries and lodging.[6]

A new county park — the Cuchara Mountain Park — opened in 2017, repurposing property that used to be the now-defunct Cuchara Ski Resort.[7]

Huerfano County is a geologist's paradise. Over 500 dikes surround the Spanish Peaks.[8] Many other geological formations, such as the Dakota Formation, are visible in the county.[9]

Lathrop State Park offers hiking, camping, picnicking, and fishing.[10] Adjacent to the park, the city of Walsenburg offers a public, nine-hole golf course.[11]

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 2,250
1880 4,124 83.3%
1890 6,882 66.9%
1900 8,395 22.0%
1910 13,320 58.7%
1920 16,879 26.7%
1930 17,062 1.1%
1940 16,088 −5.7%
1950 10,549 −34.4%
1960 7,867 −25.4%
1970 6,590 −16.2%
1980 6,440 −2.3%
1990 6,009 −6.7%
2000 7,862 30.8%
2010 6,711 −14.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2020[2]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 7,862 people, 3,082 households, and 1,920 families residing in the county. The population density was 5 people per square mile (2/km2). There were 4,599 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.96% White, 2.75% Black or African American, 2.70% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 9.41% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. 35.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,082 households, out of which 25.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.40% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.70% were non-families. 32.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.90% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 27.40% from 25 to 44, 27.40% from 45 to 64, and 17.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 118.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 122.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $25,775, and the median income for a family was $32,664. Males had a median income of $24,209 versus $21,048 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,242. About 14.10% of families and 18.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.70% of those under age 18 and 11.90% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[]

A Democratic stronghold for much of the 20th century, Huerfano has become a competitive swing county in recent elections. After only backing Al Gore by 29 votes in 2000, the county voted for the winner of each presidential race between 2004 and 2016 before narrowly staying in the Donald Trump column in 2020. This 21st-century shift to the right is more in line with other rural counties, both statewide and nationwide.

United States presidential election results for Huerfano County, Colorado[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,203 50.00% 2,076 47.12% 127 2.88%
2016 1,883 49.78% 1,633 43.17% 267 7.06%
2012 1,646 44.21% 1,953 52.46% 124 3.33%
2008 1,580 43.37% 1,989 54.60% 74 2.03%
2004 1,701 50.09% 1,656 48.76% 39 1.15%
2000 1,466 46.19% 1,495 47.10% 213 6.71%
1996 996 35.88% 1,483 53.42% 297 10.70%
1992 685 29.62% 1,224 52.92% 404 17.47%
1988 1,079 36.32% 1,876 63.14% 16 0.54%
1984 1,581 49.04% 1,602 49.69% 41 1.27%
1980 1,258 41.49% 1,574 51.91% 200 6.60%
1976 1,182 37.35% 1,932 61.04% 51 1.61%
1972 1,620 53.52% 1,341 44.30% 66 2.18%
1968 1,133 35.14% 1,934 59.99% 157 4.87%
1964 895 24.63% 2,734 75.23% 5 0.14%
1960 1,367 33.73% 2,673 65.95% 13 0.32%
1956 2,091 47.90% 2,262 51.82% 12 0.27%
1952 2,178 43.84% 2,773 55.82% 17 0.34%
1948 1,841 34.03% 3,448 63.73% 121 2.24%
1944 2,119 39.05% 3,290 60.62% 18 0.33%
1940 2,738 40.65% 3,974 59.00% 24 0.36%
1936 2,299 32.22% 4,793 67.17% 44 0.62%
1932 2,490 36.92% 4,159 61.67% 95 1.41%
1928 3,260 49.15% 3,343 50.40% 30 0.45%
1924 2,784 49.08% 1,219 21.49% 1,669 29.43%
1920 2,539 51.42% 2,291 46.40% 108 2.19%
1916 2,027 42.88% 2,632 55.68% 68 1.44%
1912 2,814 63.32% 1,277 28.74% 353 7.94%
1908 3,074 78.64% 776 19.85% 59 1.51%
1904 2,733 73.69% 958 25.83% 18 0.49%
1900 2,277 68.69% 1,022 30.83% 16 0.48%
1896 929 32.48% 1,929 67.45% 2 0.07%
1892 750 57.56% 0 0.00% 553 42.44%
1888 750 51.62% 674 46.39% 29 2.00%
1884 435 37.83% 675 58.70% 40 3.48%
1880 466 46.00% 532 52.52% 15 1.48%



Communities[]

Eastern Sangre de Cristo Range, Huerfano County

City[]

Town[]

  • La Veta

Census-designated place[]

  • Gardner

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Badito
  • Cuchara
  • Farisita
  • Farista
  • Navajo Ranch
  • Red Wing

Ghost towns[]

  • Calumet
  • Alamo

See also[]

  • Outline of Colorado
  • Index of Colorado-related articles
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Huerfano County, Colorado

References[]

  1. ^ Blanca Peak Tripoint
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/huerfanocountycolorado/PST045219. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. https://www.census.gov/geographies/reference-files/time-series/geo/gazetteer-files.html. 
  5. ^ "Southern Colorado's Spanish Peaks Country". Huerfano County. https://spanishpeakscountry.com/. 
  6. ^ "Galleries and artists". La Veta Cuchara Chamber of Commerce. http://lavetacucharachamber.com/business-directory/galleries-and-artists/. 
  7. ^ Knowles, Bill (2017-09-17). "Cuchara Mountain Park ribbon cutting informal and well attended". Huerfano World Journal. https://huerfanoworldjournal.com/cuchara-mountain-park-ribbon-cutting-informal-and-well-attended/. 
  8. ^ "Dikes". http://coloradogeologicalsurvey.org/colorado-geology/igneous-rocks/plutonic-rocks/dikes/. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Ross B. (1959). Geology of the Huerfano Park Area: Huerfano and Custer Counties, Colorado. Washington: United States Government Printing Office. https://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/1071d/report.pdf. 
  10. ^ "Lathrop StatePark". State of Colorado. https://www.colorado.com/state-parks/lathrop-state-park. 
  11. ^ "Walsenburg Golf Course". http://www.cityofwalsenburg.net/walsenburg-golf-course. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/co190090.txt. 
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/. 

External links[]

Template:Huerfano County, Colorado

Coordinates: 37°41′N 104°58′W / 37.69, -104.96

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Huerfano County, Colorado. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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