Arapahoe County, Colorado

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Arapahoe County is the third most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the county population was 544,282 in 2008, a 10.09% increase since U.S. Census 2000.[2] The county seat is Littleton and the most populous city is Aurora. Arapahoe County is part of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area. Arapahoe County calls itself "Colorado's First County" since its origins predate the Pike's Peak Gold Rush.



On August 25, 1855, the Kansas Territorial Legislature created a huge Arapahoe County to govern the entire western portion of the Territory of Kansas. The county was named for the Arapaho Nation of Native Americans that lived in the region.[1]

In July 1858, gold was discovered along the South Platte River in Arapahoe County (in present day Englewood). This discovery precipitated the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. Many residents of the mining region felt disconnected from the remote territorial governments of Kansas and Nebraska, so they voted to form their own Territory of Jefferson on October 24, 1859. The following month, the Jefferson Territorial Legislature organized 12 counties for the new territory, including a new Arrappahoe County. Denver City served as the county seat of Arrappahoe County.

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