Early Settlers in Fort Collins

Photo courtesy Pexels.com

(Reprinted with Permission)



Franklin Capen Avery was born April 8, 1849 in Ledyard, Cayuga County, New York. In May of 1870, Avery ventured to Colorado, via railroad with the Greeley Colony. He finally settled in Fort Collins in the fall of 1872. He built the Avery House located at 328 West Mountain Avenue.

Avery’s influence on early Fort Collins was considerable. In 1874 he was County Surveyor; in 1880 he founded the Larimer County Bank; in 1882 he founded The First National Bank; from 1881 to 1910 he was president of The First National Bank. Avery also invested in the Opera House and the Northern Hotel.

On February 24, 1876, Avery married Sara Edson. The three children they raised to maturity were Edgar D., Ethel A. (Mrs. Edward James Woodworth), and Lousie (Mrs. Crose).

Better Woodworth, a granddaughter, recalls the “Wellington Dome — Mitchell Oil Field Fire” as a disastrous event in northern Colorado in the 1920’s. She remembers her mother hanging a can of mousse on a tree limb in their backyard for freezing on winter days.

Material given by Miss Betty Woodworth, neice.

The following recipe was taken from the cookbook of Sara E. Avery. The book is entitled The Little Epicure and authored by Linda Hull Larned. Publication of this book dates back to the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.


1/2 can pumpkin scant 1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 eggs, well beaten 7 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons melted butter 1 pinch of salt

scant 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1 pint of milk

Combine all the ingredients in a pie shell and bake for 45 minutes.

(Note: 350 degree oven)


The Avery House Collection: Recipes and Biographical Sketches, first published in 1976, was reprinted in 2015 by Poudre Landmarks Foundation.

This unusual cookbook blends recipes from Fort Collins’ pioneer families with descriptions of their “first families.” The fortitude and ingenuity of these early arrivals helped make Fort Collins an interesting spectrum of national origins. Many of the recipes have been handed down through generations.

The book is available for $12 by emailing Vicki Woods at: [email protected].


Poudre Landmarks Foundation uses the proceeds from the sale of this book to assist in pursuing its mission of preserving, restoring, protecting, and interpreting the architectural and cultural heritage of the Fort Collins area. The Avery House at 328 W. Mountain Ave. in Fort Collins is preserved as an example of the Victorian era. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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