Fort Morgan

                            Main Street - Fort Morgan- 1900  -   {Photo from}

Named in honor of Colonel Christopher A. Morgan of the United States Volunteers, the former military post was first known as
Camp Tyler, but in 1865 renamed to Fort Wardwell.

In 1866, substantial buildings were erected and the name changed again to its present one, Fort Morgan. The City of Fort
Morgan was incorporated in 1887.

Fort Morgan, once a station on the Overland Trail running from the Missouri River to Denver, is now home to ranchers and
farmers. The site of the fort is marked by a monument on Riverview Avenue. The community offers three museums and more
than 40 historic downtown sites.

Fort Morgan is located 80 miiles northeast of Denver on I-76  and U.S. Highway 34. Jackson and Bijou Reservoirs and Jackson
Lake State Park are nearby.

Night tour sheds light on early residents

By JESSE CHANEY, Times Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

                                                Photo from:  Jesse Chaney/Fort Morgan Times

Above photo:  Andrew Dunehoo, educator for the Fort Morgan Museum, left, discusses with a tour group the symbolism of a
unique headstone at Riverside Cemetery. The stone, carved into the shape of a tree stump, symbolizes a person who died in the
prime of life, he said.


The grave sites of the people who lost their lives in Fort Morgan’s famous Wild West shootout were among those a local group
visited during an after-dark tour of Riverside Cemetery in Fort Morgan on Saturday.

Tour guide Andrew Dunehoo, educator for the Fort Morgan Museum, said the September 1916 shootout put an end to Fort
Morgan’s reputation of being a quiet country town.

As the story goes, Dunehoo said, Fort Morgan Police Marshal Charles Eyser got word that three bootleggers were coming from
Cheyenne, Wyo., to their home in Fort Morgan to illegally sell liquor.

Dunehoo said bootleggers John Swan and John “Happy” Wilcox refused to let the marshal into their motel room above the
Manhattan Cafe, which is the present-day location of Morgan Medical Equipment and Supply at the intersection of Main Street
and Railroad Avenue.

After recruiting backup from the Fort Morgan Police Department, Dunehoo said, Marshal Eyser returned to the motel and was
met with gunfire from the two outlaws.

Eyser fell down the stairs after taking two fatal shots to the chest, he said, but the marshal managed to wound Swan with two
bullets that grazed the bootlegger’s stomach.

Eyser was not the only person killed in the shootout, Dunehoo said, as a stray bullet fatally wounded an innocent bystander who
was in a nearby motel room. Dunehoo said the bullet struck Maria Katherine Weimer in the head as she peered out of a
peephole to see the commotion.

Lit by the glow of flashlights Saturday night, the gravestones of Eyser and Weimer both bore the date of death as Sept. 30, 1916.

Also on the tour were the grave sites of Mattie Lou and Lewis Elmer Miller, the parents of famed big-band leader and jazz
musician Glenn Miller.

The younger Miller moved with his family to Fort Morgan as a freshman and graduated from Fort Morgan High School, Dunehoo

“He was the most famous graduate of Fort Morgan High School,” he said.

The only permanent home the elder Millers owned was a house at 825 Lake St. in Fort Morgan, Dunehoo said. The couple’s son,
Glenn, purchased the home for his parents for $1,000 after experiencing success in the music business, he said.

After moving into the home, Dunehoo said, Glenn’s father lived there until he died in 1936 and was buried in the plot where the
tour group stood. Glenn’s mother moved to Greeley to live with her eldest son, Dean, after her husband’s death but she was
brought back to the Fort Morgan cemetery and buried next to her husband after she passed away.

Another notable grave site visited was that of Abner S. Baker, who founded the town of Fort Morgan and co-founded the colony
of Greeley. Baker lived from 1841 to 1898.

Also on the tour were the grave sites of famous author Philip K. Dick and other notable former Fort Morgan residents.

— Contact Jesse Chaney at

                                                            Photo from:  Jesse Chaney/Fort Morgan Times

Above photo:    Members of a tour group gather around the grave site of Maria Katherine Weimer, a bystander who was killed
during a 1916 shootout in Fort Morgan, during a tour of Riverside Cemetery on Saturday night.

                                                     Photo from:  Jesse Chaney/Fort Morgan Times

Above photo:   Fort Morgan Police Chief Keith Kuretich, right, and other members of a tour group shine their flashlights on a
crypt Saturday night at Riverside Cemetery in Fort Morgan.

Fort Morgan Museum
414 Main Street
Fort Morgan, CO  80701

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