Weld County's Past

Explore the fascinating history of Weld County's rustlers, killers, outlaws and lawmen.

About the author

Driven by an insatiable appetite for local history, Keith Olson has spent years researching Weld County’s Past. Having served as a lawman in Weld County for the past 40 years he applied the skills honed as a detective to resurrect fascinating stories from the past.

Born and raised in Longmont, Colorado, his fascination with history can be traced to a childhood experience. While roaming the grasslands east of Lyons, Colorado, he and his cousins came across individual river rocks partially protruding from the expansive field of buffalo grass. The rocks had been purposefully arranged in a large circle. Then another circle was discovered. And another, followed by more until the excitement of the odd discovery gave way to the urgings of his disinterested cousins and the short attention span of youth. However, that discovery would remain indelibly filed away in his memory vault of questions needing to be acted on in the future.

Years later, a black and white photo adorning the conference room wall in the Weld County District Attorney’s Office would soon share space in the same memory vault with those stone circles and other mysteries gathered since childhood. The photograph was of the 1888 lynching of WD French. That near bursting memory vault would eventually become the focus of Keith’s research.

The product of that research is now shared on Keith’s blog, Weld County’s Past, for all but his disinterested cousins to enjoy. By the way, those circles of stones found along the aptly named Ute Highway, were tipi rings! Unfortunately the site is now a tree grove of the Colorado State Forest Service Boulder District office, 5625 Ute Highway, Longmont CO.

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