Chuck Mack: Streeter built Axial into booming town


Wonder stories are happening every day in Northwest Colorado, and the development and progress are so marked and rapid that they pass almost unnoticed in the prosperity that has come in recent years.

In the Great Divide newspaper, W. A. Boyer tells of the remarkable development being made in Axial Basin, Moffat County, and makes very optimistic predictions for the future.

Axial Basin,

as W.A. Boyer saw it

"Thirty odd years ago, when Northwestern Colorado was one of the last camping grounds of the now historic Indians and countless herds of buffalo and cattle, when the treacherous red men massacred the families and devastated the few earthly belongings of those trail blazers who are now the ideal of many American youths, those pioneers who ventured where no others had trod, they who were possessed of a sterling courage, limitless ambition and desire for a home of their own, the freedom of the plains, the soil, the streams and the untold valuables of the hidden minerals and oils which are now being developed.

"Those were the days of the prairie schooner, the ox team, the David Moffats, the Colloms, the Hoys, and the many other brave pioneers whose many daring deeds are now included in the early history of what is known now as Moffat County.

"Those were the days when the womenfolk were as good a shot as the men, when the men and boys took turns on guard while the women and children slept.

"Yet, under the most trying conditions and circumstances these brave history makers with a desire to see the then-famous Pikes Peak country, and not being satisfied there, followed the setting sun. Distance from the railroad was their smallest worry. Home and contentment were their objective.

"Homestead lands of 30 years ago are now included in some of the largest and most famous parks, cities and industrial communities in the entire country.

"In northeastern Moffat County, where once the homestead shack was the landmark for many miles where the numberless herds held full sway, there are found oil wells, in unknown oil districts; coal mines are being developed overnight, so speaking.

"Even the 30 miles from a railroad, and the many, many miles from a railroad before, the land was filed on as a homestead.

"That meant many years of toil herding cattle, fighting off the Indians and buffalo and other wild animals that then lived in this district.

"During spare time a coal vein was opened, slowly developed for their own use. Then, the distant neighbors soon learned that coal was to be had at Collom Homestead, and thus the dream of many years of hard work, which were inspired by a foresightedness that someday someone would learn the real value of the quality and quantity of this hidden treasure underneath the soil.

"As time went on, settlers came and went, only to be followed by others, each with more confidence in their own ambition, but lacking the courage and stick-to-it-ness of some of their predecessors.

"Where the homestead shack once stood, we find the bustling town of Axial, which is being built under the master direction of General Manager M. T. Streeter, a builder of towns, builder of railroads, developer of mines, who was fortunate to have his attention called to this wonderful property and who saw enough evidence of the future while making his first trip of inspection which convinced him that this should be his greatest success.

"There are 30 coal veins on this property, ranging in thickness from 2 feet to 30 feet. There is one vein that is reputed to be 75 feet thick.

"The number 10 vein, 25 feet thick, is being developed at the present time. There is so much coal on this property that the present generation cannot use the output. This vein contains a hard bituminous coal with practically no impurities. The most up-to-date electrical mining machinery will soon be installed."


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