Founded, 1880, at the crossing of the Colorado River and Texas & Pacific Railroad right-of-way; central shipping point and supply depot for the sprawling cattle ranches of West Texas and New Mexico.
From 1880 (when A.W. Dunn opened his dirt-floor, tent-roof general store) to 1890 the boisterous cattle town garnered notoriety as well as fame.
The largest community between Fort Worth and El Paso, Colorado City had more millionaires than any other Texas town and the most saloons in the West. Law and order was housed in a dugout at the edge of town, where a company of Texas Rangers made all men check their guns. Modest, courageous Ranger Dick Ware was elected first sheriff in 1881.
Population soared from 700 to 5,000 in the first two years, as cowboys, cattlemen, merchants, and (as a visitor said) "any number of bummers", vied for space.
The first sermon was preached in a saloon and the town "jail" was a chain attached to a mesquite tree, but citizens could find beauty in the lantern-glow from dozens of tents in the center of town.
Although drouth and the passing of the open range soon diminished Colorado City's glory, its first decade won for it the epithet, "Mother City of West Texas".