Irving Howbert’s book, The Indians of the Pike’s Peak Region was reissued long after his death with a very special addition. That is the wonderful foldout print of the Indians seen, in part, above. This picture was taken by Clarence Coil, of Colorado Springs. The original print hangs over the door in the office of Mr. Floyd Brunson, operator of Stewarts Commercial Photographers, Inc.
When the picture was taken, circa 1913, most of the people in the lineup were well known to the citizens of the Pike’s Peak region. While this photograph is not particularly germane to the text of this book, it is very germane to the time the book was written. Scenes like the one pictured do not occur any more except around a movie studio. This picture is completely authentic, and hence, we think, of interest to any student of American history. A high resolution version of the image can be seen here. The end of this post contains a key to identifying the known individuals in the photograph.
This volume can be found in our American County Histories: Colorado.
For the most part this book is intentionally local in its character. As its title implies, it relates principally to the Indian tribes that have occupied the region around Pike’s Peak during historic times.
The history, habits, and customs of the American Indian have always been interesting subjects to me. From early childhood, I read everything within my reach dealing with the various tribes of the United States and Mexico. In 1860, when I was fourteen years of age, I crossed the plains between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains twice, and again in 1861, 1865, and 1866; each time by ox- or horse-team, there being no other means of conveyance. At that time there were few railroads west of the Mississippi River and none west of the Missouri. On each of these trips I came more or less into contact with the Indians, and during my residence in Colorado from 1860 to the present time, by observation and by study, I have become more or less familiar with all the tribes of this Western country.
From 1864 to 1868, the Indians of the plains were hostile to the whites; this resulted in many tragic happenings in that part of the Pike’s Peak region embracing El Paso and its adjoining counties, as well as elsewhere in the Territory of Colorado. I then lived in Colorado City, in El Paso County, and took an active part in the defense of the settlements during all the Indian troubles in that section. I mention these facts merely to show that I am not unfamiliar with the subject about which I am writing. My main object in publishing this book is to make a permanent record of the principal events of that time.