sponsored by the ^^Putaic^Li^y Western History Division) '
Today, Cheesman Park spreads over a hill near the present geographic
vaA center of Denver. A century ago, the hill was only a rise on the
\j\ prairie two miles east of the confluence of. Cherry Creek and the
'/, So uth Platte River. The rise was inhabited by prairie dogs and
occasionally grazed over by btLffalo herds.
^/A \' *n the autu:cn °? 3.858, some Arapahoe Indians, standing on the very spot
row occupied by a Greek-type temple, nay have watched gold-seekers
lay out towns at the age-old camping spot along the 3tream beds. The
Arapahc^s may have been puzzled when the white men felled cottonwood
trees to make their crude cabins, cottonwocds which always afforded
the Indians shade in the summer, and shelter and fodder in the winter.
The gold-seekers laid out not one, but three, towns, squabbling
over whose town was to beccm3 the "Queen City of tho Tawny Plains". Or.:
of .the. sen v/ho emerged on top of the squabble was Y,rilliam Larimer, reiver's first realtor. In November of 1858, he Jumped the claim cf tn-.-
St.Charle3 Town Company which had stalled a town site across Cherry Cr.::
from the town of Auraria, and platted hl3 own town called Denver, 2Cr.-r
the governor of Kansas territory. Though Larimer declared his town
enjoyed the world's haalthiest climate, he was realist enough to thir.'.c
it might need a cemetery. So he and his son slipped away by themselv:^
"one day and staked one off on the hill above the road up Cherry Cre.?k"
This the son wrote in his Reminiscences, privately printed in Lancaster
Pennsylvania, in 1918,
How you nay stake out a cemetery, but it isn't a cemetery until you
have buried a body there. The problem was -- whose? One book surrast>
that the first burial was of a quiet man who died a natural death, but
most reminiscences prefer a tale of vengeance and murder. Thoy tell or
John Stoefel, a German, who followed his brother-in-law from the eist
to wreck vengeance on hin for scm? unstated act. C;; April 7, !«-;•?, *;r..: