City with no definitive founding date can still celebrate 125th anniversary

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City with no definitive founding date can still celebrate 125th anniversary

City with no definitive founding date can still celebrate 125th anniversary
A poster celebrating Cortez’s centennial hangs in City Hall. Depending on how people identify the town’s founding date, Cortez was founded anywhere from December 1886 to October 1957.
Some women of Cortez pose for a photo in front of the old courthouse.
The Charles DuffMercantile, on the corner of South Market and Main streets; Hays Paint Store; James Morrison Mercantile are shown in the late 1890s. The site is now the corner of Valley Towers across Main Street from the Stone Block Building.
Photo taken after a fire in Cortez.
Montezuma County’s sheriff and some town founders pose for a photograph in 1892. Pictured are, top row from left, Charlie Day, editor of the Montezuma Journal; Lee Kelly, freighter; and Harry Ausburn; and, bottom row, Sheriff Sterl Thomas, Ern Guillet and Herm Guillet.
Youngsters watch a parade in Cortez.
Key dates in Cortez’s history

Some key dates in Cortez’s early history follow:

Dec. 15, 1886 — Cortez is platted by M.J. Mack, engineer for Montezuma Valley Water Supply Co.
Dec. 22, 1886 — Plat for Cortez is filed in Durango. This was before Montezuma County was formed out of the western portion of La Plata County.
Dec. 25, 1886 — Nick Crone and Matt Hammond haul the first load of lumber used to build Cortez.
Jan. 1, 1887 — First business opens on the corner of Main and Market streets. F.M. Goodykoontz, a chef, erects a 12- by 14-foot tent restaurant and serves as many as 90 meals per day to hungry men working on the new ditch system.
Jan. 15, 1887 — Maj. E.H. Cooper, a Union veteran, builds a house for his home and real estate office.
June 21, 1887 — U.S. post office established in Cortez.
April 16, 1889 — Cortez becomes county seat when Montezuma County is formed out of the western portion of La Plata County.
Sept. 27, 1902 — Town of Cortez government is incorporated.
February 1952 — Population grows enough for Cortez to become a city.
October 1957 — City of Cortez government, a home rule charter, is formed.

SOURCES: June Head, historian, Montezuma County Historical Society; “Great Sage Plain to Timberline: Our Pioneer History,” Volumes 1 and 3.

City with no definitive founding date can still celebrate 125th anniversary

A poster celebrating Cortez’s centennial hangs in City Hall. Depending on how people identify the town’s founding date, Cortez was founded anywhere from December 1886 to October 1957.
Some women of Cortez pose for a photo in front of the old courthouse.
The Charles DuffMercantile, on the corner of South Market and Main streets; Hays Paint Store; James Morrison Mercantile are shown in the late 1890s. The site is now the corner of Valley Towers across Main Street from the Stone Block Building.
Photo taken after a fire in Cortez.
Montezuma County’s sheriff and some town founders pose for a photograph in 1892. Pictured are, top row from left, Charlie Day, editor of the Montezuma Journal; Lee Kelly, freighter; and Harry Ausburn; and, bottom row, Sheriff Sterl Thomas, Ern Guillet and Herm Guillet.
Youngsters watch a parade in Cortez.
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Cortez ~ Events
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