Created from a portion of Otero County in 1911, this high plains county began to be settled in 1887, when the Missouri Pacific line from Kansas City was extended to Pueblo. The MP fostered many towns of which Sugar City, Ordway, Crowley, and Olney Springs remain in a county whose population has dwindled to fewer than 4,000 people and some 70,000 cows. Sugar City's huge American Beet Sugar Company plant was dismantled in 1949. Between Sugar City and Ordway, the large reservoirs at lakes Henry and Meredith hold water diverted through the Colorado Canal from the Arkansas River to quench the thirst of cattle and crops, of ranchers and farmers.
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