Pioneer Park Memorial

Cut-off Date: 5 July 1998
Number of Burials: 62
Volunteers: Milton D. and Mary Lou Lake, Linda Vixie, Gordon Gray
Special Thanks: Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

The Pioneer Park Memorial is located within Pioneer Park in Colorado Springs. From Interstate 25, take the Fillmore exit, go west for 1.5 miles; turn south on Panorama Drive, then turn east on Cenotaph Circle and drive 1 1/2 blocks. The park is located on the south side of the street. According to GPS-derived geolocation (accurate to within 10 meters), the memorial's coordinates are latitude 3851'58.1"N and longitude 10451'34.4"W. This well-maintained park has a wonderful view of Pikes Peak.

This monument to early pioneers was dedicated September 20, 1949, by the El Paso County Pioneer Association. In previous years, the cemetery (then part of Colorado City) was known as Mesa Cemetery; a Masonic cemetery (El Paso Lodge No. 13) was nearby. Some of the burials were moved to Evergreen and other cemeteries after the cemetery was abandoned in the early 1900s. In the 1930s a WPA project "temporarily" removed the remaining tombstones, but they were never returned. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph (January 13, 1977), tests showed the presence of perhaps more than 100 coffins under the park. Etched at the top of the memorial is a covered wagon pulled by two oxen with the dates 1858-1903. Below the wagon is the inscription "Memorial to El Paso County Early Pioneers."

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum supplied the additional information on the pioneers listed on the memorial. Information attributed to Taylor is from Mesa Cemetery by James Taylor (Colorado Springs: Park and Recreation Department, 1963), and information attributed to Nolan is from a typed list titled "Mesa Cemetery Burials" produced by Joe Nolan and available at the Pioneers Museum. A 1939 WPA project to identify veterans' graves found eight veterans of the Sand Creek massacre in Mesa Cemetery (Taylor, 28), but they weren't named.

Baby ABBE [sic]: died spring 1882; six-week-old son of Mr. & Mrs. Hiram J.ABBEY

John Clay BROWN: born 3 DEC 1883, in Bedford, IN (Nolan), died 6 APR 1870, buried in Masonic Cemetery; first prosecuting attorney of Colorado City; Sand Creek massacre veteran (Taylor, 30); military marker at Fairview Cemetery (block A2, lot 45, plot NE) reads SGT. CO G 3 COLO. CAV.; had son named E.A. Brown (Taylor, 33)

BURSON Children: died 1891, moved to Fairview Cemetery, section F, block 9, lot 1; three small daughters of D.F. and Rosella J. BURSON (Taylor, 32); markers in Fairview list names Estella M., Edith J., and Mabel F. BURSON, as well as dates

Edward T. COLTON: died 1881; spent "a fortune" trying to make the Ute Pass road a paying proposition (Taylor, 49)

Lottie CRAMER: died 1878; sister of Mrs. C.G. POTTER, Boulder

James DIXON: died 1872, per memorial; died 30 JUL 1874, age 35 (Nolan)

Robert DOUGLASS: died 1867; age 9, during a wind storm fell from the roof of a house he was helping his father to build on the Robert Douglass Sr. ranch (near Glen Eyrie) (Taylor, 48); had sister later named Mrs. Emma J. NICHOLSON (Taylor, 32)

Charles EVERHART: died 1868; age 17, son of Andrew and Rebecca Ann EVERHART; killed and scalped September 11 by Arapahoe Indians while tending cattle (Taylor, 47)

Andrew FISH: Taylor (p. 24) lists middle initial L.

Baby FOUSHEE: died 1881; six-week-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John C. FOUSHEE

Carter S. HARLAN: died 1873; middle name Smith (Taylor, 33)

Catherine COOLEY HARRIS: died 1895; mother of V.C. HARRIS

Annie HERZOG: died 1892; age 1; sister of Albert HERZOG

Azariah HOLCOMB: died 1866; father of Oliver HOLCOMB; Nolan lists death 1868

Nancy HOLCOMB: died 1864; wife of Oliver HOLCOMB, Bates Ranch (Taylor, 47)

C. HOWE: died 10 MAR 1880; age 64

Janette HUTCHIN: died 1903

William LEE: died 1876; froze to death

Barnie LONGTON: died about 1885, age 20 (Nolan)

Baby LOWTHER: died of diphtheria

Decon MOORE: died 1890, age 21; suicide; also spelled Deacon MOORE (Taylor,

Melvina MORSE: died 1861 at Charter Oak Ranch (now part of Fort Carson); wife of Henry D.L. MORSE, left a three-year-old daughter, Lily, and a three-week-old baby, later Mrs. Irene Melvina BENEDICT of Fountain (Taylor, 3, 47); said to be first burial in cemetery (Nolan)

Lee NICKELL: died 1884

W.H.H. NORRIS: Masonic Cemetery

Andrew RAMSEY: possible Civil War veteran (Taylor, 31)

Mrs. Andrew RAMSEY

Franklin ROBBINS: died 1868; age 8, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. ROBBINS, killed September 11 by Arapahoe Indians while tending sheep (Taylor, 47); had sister later named Emma ROBBINS WILSON, Arvada, Colo. (Taylor, 43)

George ROBBINS: died 1868; age 10 to 12, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. ROBBINS, killed September 11 by Arapahoe Indians while tending sheep (Taylor, 47); had sister later named Emma ROBBINS WILSON, Arvada, Colo. (Taylor, 43)

Claude ROBERTS: died about 1879; son of Eugene and Susan PASTER ROBERTS

Jim SOUTH: died 1870

Andrew STARR: killed 1882 by gunshot wound (Taylor, 31)

Columbus STARR: died 1880, age 20 (Nolan)

Libbie K. STEFFA: died about 1877; newspaper article (Gazette Telegraph, September 18, 1949, section B, page 7) lists maiden name KNODLE; wife of Daniel STEFFA (Nolan)

Luella STONE: died about 1870; buried in Masonic Cemetery, young daughter of Judge STONE

C. TALBERT: died 1880 (Nolan); Taylor (31) suggests this could be HALBERT or HOBERT

Charlie WATSON: died 1888

Elizabeth WATSON: died 1887; wife of William H. WATSON (Nolan)

George WATSON: died 1885, age 3 (Nolan)

Lizzie WATSON: died 1875

Louise WATSON: died 1899

Mary WATSON: died about 1885, age 5 (Nolan)

Robert WATSON: 1894; age 55; born 4 JUN 1844, middle initial H., son of W.H. WATSON (Nolan)

Thomas WATSON: died 1880; born 13 JUL 1842, son of W.H. WATSON, middle name Charles (Nolan)

William WATSON: died 1897; age 81; middle initial H. (Taylor, 31); husband of Elizabeth WATSON, great-grandfather of Mrs. W.D. (Edith) STRACHAN, 2830 W. Platte Ave., Colorado Springs, Colo. (Nolan)

Frankie YOUNGER: age 8 to 10; crippled son of Ed and Nellie Rose YOUNGER

In addition to the names on the memorial, a newspaper article (Colorado Springs Gazette, October 24, 1903, page 11) identifies three more from tombstones then readable:

C. HANLON: died 20 MAY 1864; aged 64

W.H. LITTLER: died 17 MAY 1873; aged 19 years, 5 months, 27 days

Arthur Cuyler WARREN: died 29 JUN 1872, son of W.F. and M.A. WARREN

The city/county health department found one record of interment in Mesa Cemetery (Taylor, 6):

Louisa WATSON, 1907, heart failure

The Nolan list includes these additional burials here:

O.J. BARKER, age 65, died 1 JAN 1879; born 1814, died in Colorado City

Lovel J. CARSON, born 21 MAR 1881, died 13 DEC 1882, son of M.A. Carson; headstone in Pioneers Museum, Colorado Springs

Peter DILLIN, age 30, died 2 DEC 1879

Clifford JAMES, died 15 MAY 1867

William H. HENDON, buried in the Masonic Cemetery; died 26 FEB 1872, name William H. HAWDEN, per El Paso Lodge No. 13 A.F. & A.M.: 100 Years of Masonry in El Paso Lodge (1967, page 30)

Bernard LONGTON, age 46, died 14 JUL 1884

William MYERS, age 40, died 23 FEB 1875

Lueza Ann WATSON, born 31 DEC 1850, died 1907, daughter of William H. WATSON

The Colorado Springs Independent newspaper (January 2, 1947, page 1) identifies another couple believed to be buried here:

James W. BATES

Mrs. Hannah EVANS BATES, wife of James W. BATES

El Paso Lodge No. 13 A.F. & A.M.: 100 Years of Masonry in El Paso Lodge (1967, page 30) notes that minutes of October 26, 1872, record that a motion was made to rebury in the Masonic cemetery here the remains of Mason

Jacob GILL, who died July 13, 1871.

If this assignment was completed, no record was made. Other Masons who may be buried here, according to this source, are

Joseph K. PEIKLEY, died 23 MAR 1872

William BELL, died 3 FEB 1874