Booger Red Grave
Special Thanks: Tim Martin
Booger Red was a gifted horseman and cowboy who rode into the Fourmile area of Teller County about 1915. He got his unlikely nickname from his thatch of red hair and the verb "to booger," a cowboy term describing a horse shying or running wild. He worked on several Teller County ranches, including the Witchers' 76 Ranch and the Rolofsons' ranch, where he met the charming daughter of a local homesteader.
Like many otherwise healthy young men of his day, Booger Red contracted Spanish influenza and died, at about age 22, in the Cripple Creek hospital in the fall of 1918. His sweetheart, Ruth Hall, suggested he be buried near Texas Hill, a site in southwestern Teller County where they both loved to watch the eagles fly. Since then, the peak has been renamed Booger Red Hill in honor of the young horseman buried in its shadow.
Musician Tim Martin spent much time with Ruth Hall in the 1990s, learning the story of her romance with Booger Red and the tragedy of his untimely death. He wrote the story in the book Booger Red (self-published, 1997), from which she recorded selections before her death at age 97. Martin has also written a musical stage play based on the romance.
Martin believes Booger Red is the cowboy Albert Hunsberger who died of pneumonia in the Cripple Creek hospital on October 28, 1918. Nearly everything on the death certificate is labeled "unknown," so it's difficult to trace him further.
Today Booger Red's grave is marked with stones, but no tombstone identifies the site, which is on private property, inaccessible to the public, probably in Section 30, Township 15 South, Range 70 West, near Booger Red Hill in southwestern Teller County.
Martin's book Booger Red is available from the Cripple Creek District Museum, the Ute Pass Cultural Center, and for $15, including postage, from the author at P.O. Box 7644, Colorado Springs, CO 80933. Phone: (719) 229-9147.
Map, Booger Red Hill