Our History

Our History

“Hugo’s all right! This makes me feel a whole lot younger. It’s like old times. I’d just like to drop off here and get up and ride the line for a day or two with you boys!”
~ President T. Roosevelt, Hugo, CO, 1903
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Prior to 1859 the site of Hugo was inhabited primarily by Native Americans and buffalo. The discovery of gold in the Colorado mountains brought large cattle ranching operations to this area to help supply meat to miners, stagecoach services to provide transportation, and kept the stage stop where the Lincoln County Fairgrounds are now.

In 1870 the Kansas-Pacific Railroad came through, and a small town grew up around the K-P watering stop. In 1889 Hugo became the county seat of government for the newly created Lincoln County, and twenty years later the town was incorporated.

For many years the railroad and ranches provided the support for the town, but President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous breakfast with the cowboys at Hugo in 1903 effectively marked the end of the day of the cowboy and the beginning of the day of the farmer. Changes in homestead laws caused a flood of farmers to move here and dryland wheat became important to Hugo’s economy. Since the 1920’s the railroad payroll in Hugo has became negligible, and although the area’s large farms and ranches support fewer families, agriculture continues as the financial backbone of the town.

Founded in 1870
Incorporated in 1909
Population (2000 Census) is 885
Estimated Population (2012) is 800
Elevation is 5039′

Sponsored by the Hugo Improvement Partnership (HIP)

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Lincoln County Sheriff: 719-743-2426
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