James P. Beckwourth, Joseph Doyle, “Uncle Dick” (Richens L.) Wootton, and other mountain men built an adobe trading post in 1842 near the confluence of Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River. They called it El Pueblo (Spanish for village). El Pueblo was abandoned in 1854 after Chief Tierra Blanco and his band of Utes attacked on Christmas Day and killed or captured all occupants.
Six years later, the Pikes Peak gold rush gave birth to another settlement on the site, a new town which became Colorado's industrial giant and gave its name to the county created in 1861. Although Pueblo became a great smelting and steel city of immigrant populations, the county also harbors some of Colorado's oldest agricultural hamlets—Autobees (now part of Boone), Doyle, and Green-horn. Although christened the Great American Desert by explorer Stephen Long, the Arkansas River Valley has become famous for irrigated farming of corn, sugar beets, melons, and other crops. Present-day rural Pueblo County retains its agricultural and ranching heritage. Spanish adobe, as well as Anglo brick, frame, and stone, characterize the county settlements.
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