I'm back with another installment of NoCo History, where I get to the bottom of how the cities in Northern Colorado got their names. 

Yesterday's subject was Loveland, but today we're going to explore the town that Denver Westword referred to as...smelly (they said it, not me): Greeley

Interestingly enough, the town sometimes recognized for it's not-so-great aroma was originally intended to be a utopian society of the west.

The area was discovered in 1869 by New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, who was taking a tour of the western frontier. According to The Greeley Tribune, the agricultural opportunities he saw blew his mind so much he immediately decided to build a perfect society there. Power moves only for Horace.

So, he put his agricultural editor Nathan Meeker on the job. Meeker gathered a group together to form what was then known as Union Colony. The colony revolved around irrigation, religion, and a strict no-alcohol policy (ew).

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It soon became known as Greeley after Horace, even though he left the area in 1870 and never came back. Probably a good thing too, because most of the colonists were sick of all the rules and left to form new colonies.

Nathan Meeker stayed and continued to uphold the colony's values. But then he made the mistake of trying to impose those values on the Native American Ute tribe, who responded by taking his family hostage and murdering him in 1879.

I'd say Horace made the right call by getting out.

Luckily, the Greeley of today has much less murder and a lot more cool stuff like the University of Northern Colorado and a dope hospital.

Looks like Greeley became a bit of a 'utopia' after all.

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