A Brief History of Sheridan, Colorado

Incorporation of Sheridan began on January 14, 1890 when a petition was filed, signed by thirty three citizens of the area, among whom were Jacob Puff, one of the carriers of the petition, Ed. N. Bean, (the notorious Judge Bean), Peter Magnes, the founder of the area known as Petersburg, J. M. Brown, and Peter McCourt, half brother of Baby Doe Tabor.

Many of these signers later filed subdivision plats in the area incorporated. Peter Magnes filed an objection to the "petition," because his name appears without his sanction, as the original name of the town in the petition was Petersburg and it was afterwards changed without his consent, to Sheridan. Besides this the boundaries do not suit him." The protest to the petition was also signed by John McBroom, Isaac E. McBroom, and J. O. Brown.

A new petition resulted in a list of voters being made February 18th 1890. Many important names of the area were included. Of a total of 69 electors 66 voted for incorporation and two (2) against. The results were filed in the office of Secretary of State in April 1890 and admitted to record. While John McBroom first came to the area in 1857 as wagon master for the U. S. Army, and later returned to file a homestead, and Peter Magnes came to the area and settled in 1859. It was really the establishment of the military post near Denver in 1887, that brought many to the area. The post was later name Fort Logan.

Businesses, especially bars, railroads and their stations, hotels, boarding homes, and stores mushroomed to serve the military and their families. The Southern Pacific and the Denver Rio Grande both had spur lines directly to the fort. Four railroad depots were in the town limits, one to serve Petersburg, one at Sheridan Junction, one at Bear Creek and present day Lowell, and one at Mansfield and Lowell.

Since that stormy and exciting beginning, Sheridan went on to grow and prosper. The sometimes flowery city street names were changed to coincide with those of the Denver area which was reaching south to meet them. The railroads, a very important factor in the growth of the town, grew and waned. Peter Magnes became a County Commissioner and served the community well. He was instrumental in bringing sugar beets into the area, and built a flour/grist mill in Petersburg. John and Isaac McBroom served terms in the State legislature. In 1903 Petersburg, a part of Sheridan was considered for the County Seat, but Littleton won by a slight margin.

In 1959 Sheridan grew from a town to a City by virtue of population. Over the years many floods had assailed the city, both on Bear Creek and the South Platte River, however, the 1965 flood surely had the greatest impact in current history. Much of the city was destroyed, including the city hall and fire station. The fire station being fairly new was renovated, but the city hall was a total loss, and had to be razed, along with most of the homes in that northern part. The city then leased a former grocery and house at 4021 S. Federal later purchasing it. When these quarters were outgrown, they moved up the street to 4400 S. Federal. In 1984 they built their present facility at 4101 S. Federal which includes both police and fire communications and facilities.

Where Does the Name Come From?

The City draws it's name from military history. The City is located next to a former military post. The site for Fort Logan was selected March 30, 1887 by then General of the Army, Philip H. Sheridan. Originally, it was called the Camp near Denver. General Sheridan requested that a fort near Chicago be named after him on June 1, 1888. The name of the fort near Chicago was Fort Logan. The names were officially changed April 5, 1889 one half year after the death of General Sheridan.

Fort Logan draws it's name from General John A. Logan. General Logan later became a member of the United States Congress and is credited with the creation of "Decoration Day" which has been observed since May 30, 1868. Today it is commonly known as "Memorial Day."


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