During the 1860s Fort Morgan guarded the South Platte River route through the center of this agricultural county. Like the fort and the county seat, the county is named for Colonel Christopher A. Morgan, a Civil War veteran who never saw his namesake. Ranching prevailed until the 1880s development of major irrigation canals off the South Platte. During the subsequent agricultural boom, Morgan County was formed in 1889 from the southeastern portion of Weld County.
Morgan County has been among the top five statewide producers of grain corn, beans, sugar beets, and cattle, as well as natural gas and oil. Of some 22,000 residents, about 9,000 live in Fort Morgan and another 4,000 in Brush.
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