Meeker, Colorado

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The Town of Meeker is a Statutory Town that is the county seat and the most populous town of Rio Blanco County, Colorado, United States.[6] The town population was 2,242 at the U.S. Census 2000. The town is largely an agricultural community, located in the wide fertile valley of the White River in northwestern Colorado. Relatively isolated from other communities, it sits near the intersection of State Highway 13 and State Highway 64, on the north side of the White River and at the base of a long ridge, known locally as China Wall. The Bureau of Land Management has a regional office in the town.

Contents

History

The town is named for Nathan Meeker, the United States Indian Agent who was killed along with 11 other U.S. citizens by White River Ute Indians in the 1879 Meeker Massacre. The site of the massacre, the former White River Indian Agency, is located along State Highway 64 in the White River valley east of town and is marked by a prominent sign. None of the buildings remain.

After the massacre and the ensuing conflict known as the Ute War, in 1880 the US Congress passed legislation requiring the Ute population to relocate to reservations in Utah. The United States Army established a garrison on the current site of the town, called the Camp at White River. The town was founded in 1883 following the removal of the troops. The White River Museum is located just north of the Rio Blanco County Courthouse and housed in several original wooden structures of the Army garrison.

The town emerged as a regional center for hunting by the turn of the 20th century. Theodore Roosevelt once visited the town on a mountain lion hunting trip and stayed in the historic Hotel Meeker opposite the courthouse. The town is also a favorite summer destination for many prominent Americans, including billionaire Henry Kravis and former President and COO of Goldman Sachs, Jon Winkelried.

Geography

Meeker is located at 40°2′22″N 107°54′39″W / 40.03944°N 107.91083°W / 40.03944; -107.91083 (40.039539, -107.910709)[7].

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