A Little History
Douglas County was first organized in 1861 by the Territorial Assembly for Colorado. Douglas County was named for Stephen A. Douglas. Originally, it extended to the Kansas state line. It is one of the original 17 counties. In 1870 a very small part of the Cheyenne & Arapahoe Reservation was added to Douglas County. In 1874 the eastern part was split off to form part of Elbert County, and in 1889 Lincoln & Kit Carson Counties were added by taking the eastern part of Elbert County.
Franktown was the first town established in Douglas County. Franktown was founded by Frank Gardner in 1860, and it served as a temporary county seat. The first county officials were: John L. Boggs, Sylvester Richardson, and Joseph Hipley, Commissioners; Charles Perkinson Sheriff; Frank Gardner Clerk and Recorder; and Noel Webber, Treasurer.
From 1861 to 1867, there was very little increase in Douglas County's population because of the Civil War and the Indian Wars, which were fought on the plains of Kansas and Colorado. In this period, though, several new towns were established in Douglas County:
- Sedalia was founded by Mr. Craig in 1865 and was first called "Round Corral". About 1870, the name "Round Corral" was changed to "Plum Station". Later still, the settlement was renamed to its current name of "Sedalia", in honorof the hometown of Mr. H. M. Clay.
- The town of Parker had its beginnings as a hotel named the Twenty-Mile House. The hotel was located at the junction of Cherry Creek Road and Smoky Hills Stage Line to Denver. In 1881, it was renamed Parker in honor of George Parker.
- The town of New Memphis was founded about 1864 and was located about two miles north of Castle Rock. It was founded by a land company based in Memphis, Tennessee. When Castle Rock was founded a few years later, the residents of New Memphis relocated there.
- In 1906, the DuPont Powder Company began manufacturing gunpowder at a site four miles north of Sedalia. A number of houses, stores, and a school were soon built near this plant, giving rise to the town of Louviers.
As recently as 1970, Douglas County's population was quite small. Today, however, with rapid expansion from Arapahoe County and other southern suburbs of Denver, Douglas County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country.
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DOUGLAS COUNTY RESOURCES
- Colorado GenWeb Photo Project
- Douglas County History Research Center - Photographs
- Douglas County History Research Center - Aerial Photographs
- 1911-1944 Inheritance Tax Records
- 1933-1936 Old Age Pensions
- Castle Rock History
- Colorado Historic Newspapers
- Douglas County titles available within this newspaper database:
- Castle Rock Journal (1881-1908)
- Douglas County News (1952-1966)
- Mountain Echo (1897-1899)
- Record Journal of Douglas County (1908-1952)
- Westcreek Mining News (1899-1900)
- Douglas County and Colorado History Books
- Douglas County 1883 Pensioners
- Douglas County Marriages - by grooms
- Douglas County Marriages - by brides
- FamilySearch's Genealogical Research Guide for Douglas County, Colorado
- Historical Societies
- Lookup Volunteers
- WWII Veterans
Links to Surounding Counties:
If you have any suggestions, problems or questions please e-mail the State Coordinator
If you would be interested in becoming a County Coordinator for the COGenWeb Project:
Please contact the State Coordinator: Gail Meyer Kilgore
Douglas County Coordinator: Charlie Isaacs
Copyright 2014 Douglas County COGenWeb Project
This page last updated on October 14, 2014