In the '7o's Weld County embraced all of northeastern Colorado. This wide region was then a treeless waste, overrun by immense herds of cattle that fattened on the nutritious grama grass. Settlers were few and far between. The '8o's saw the beginnings of towns in this county. Sterling was started in 1881, and Atwood in 1885.

Creation of Logan County.
In 1887 Logan County was set apart from Weld County. It then extended to the Nebraska line. Two years later Phillips and Sedgwick Counties were carved out of it, so great was the influx of settlers in the late '8o's. That was a period of development for Colorado. The population of the State doubled in the decade, 1878-1887.

Logan County is bounded on the north by Nebraska, on the west by Weld and Morgan Counties, on the south by Morgan, Washington, and Yuma Counties, and on the west by Phillips and Sedgwick Counties. The South Platte River flows through it diagonally in a northeasterly direction; it is here a wide, shallow stream, with a big wooded island here and there. The county is traversed by the Burlington and the Union Pacific Railroads. The " Short Line " of the Union Pacific, from Julesburg to La Salle, was completed in 1881, and the Burlington road was constructed the following year.

The area of the county is 1,733 square miles. The valley or basin of the South Platte is from 3 to 6 miles wide. To either side of the valley are rolling plains or tablelands. In some places may be found eminences that are hundreds of feet higher than the river. The mean annual precipitation of Logan County is about 15 inches, and the average temperature 50° to 55°.

The cultivated area of Logan County in 1900 was 57,639 acres; in 1910 it was 100,000 acres, mostly under irrigation. The soil is well adapted to grain and potatoes. The chief crops are hay and sugar beets. Stock-raising is a leading industry.

In 1900 Logan County had 3,292 inhabitants. Since then the population has nearly trebled. In 1910 it was 9,549.

The county seat is Sterling, 140 miles northeast of Denver. This is the most important town in the county, and was named after a city of that name in Illinois. Sterling is pleasantly situated on the west bank of the river, at the intersection of the Union Pacific and the Burlington and Missouri Railroads. Its elevation is 3,932 feet. The valley in the vicinity was settled in 1871. Being occasionally threatened by roving bands of Indians, the sturdy pioneers built a sod fort, 3 miles northeast of the present townsite. Like the pioneers in other counties, the men worked in squads while sowing and harvesting, and had their guns ready to repel attacks of prowling savages. The first school in the settlement was held in a sod school- house, and dugouts were commonly used for dwellings. Churches, banks, and newspapers were established in the '8o's, and the United States Land Office in 1890. A beet-sugar factory was opened in 1905. In 1900 Sterling had 998 souls; the population in 1910 was 3,044.

Other Towns.
Other places in the county arc Atwood, Merino, and Iliff. The latter town was so called after John W. Iliff, of Ohio, who came to Colorado in 1860 and engaged in the cattle business, making a large fortune.

Cedar Cañon.
A historic interest attaches to Cedar Cañon, a gully about a dozen miles northwest of Sterling. In the spring of 1864 Captain Jacob Downing was sent out with companies of cavalry to chastise a band of hostiles that had been committing depredations in the South Platte Valley. The redskins had vamosed; they were trailed to their hiding-place by Sam Ashcraft, an Indian trader. According to one account, Spotted Horse, a sub-chief of the Arapahoes, was captured and tied to a stake, and a fire kindled around his feet; then the stolid buck cried out that he would tell where the band was hidden. The troops charged them at daybreak, and, after several hours of hard fighting, the tribesmen were routed with a loss of several killed and a large number wounded. One soldier was slain in the engagement, and some were wounded. The troops destroyed the village and captured over 100 ponies.

Extracted from:
Colorado : By Eugene Parsons
Author of "The Making of Colorado," etc.
With Maps and Illustrations
Little, Brown And Company, Publishers
By Little, Brown, And Company.
All rights reserved
Published, October, 1911.
Electretyfid and Printed by
The Colonial Press
C. H. Simendi & Co., Baton, U.S.A.
Pages 214-215