Fort Morgan, Colorado

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Fort Morgan, Colorado
City of Fort Morgan[1]
The Fort Morgan City Hall.
The Fort Morgan City Hall.
Location of the City of Fort Morgan in Morgan County, Colorado.
Location of the City of Fort Morgan in Morgan County, Colorado.
Fort Morgan is located in the United States
Fort Morgan
Fort Morgan
Location of the City of Fort Morgan in the United States.
Coordinates: 40°15′12″N 103°47′57″W / 40.25333°N 103.79917°W / 40.25333; -103.79917Coordinates: 40°15′12″N 103°47′57″W / 40.25333°N 103.79917°W / 40.25333; -103.79917
Country United States
State Colorado
CountyMorgan County[2]
CityFort Morgan[1]
IncorporatedJune 15, 1887[3]
 • TypeHome Rule Municipality[1]
 • MayorRon Shaver[4]
 • Total5.20 sq mi (13.47 km2)
 • Land5.13 sq mi (13.29 km2)
 • Water0.07 sq mi (0.18 km2)  1.32%%
4,324 ft (1,297 m)
 • Total11,315
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,233.63/sq mi (862.40/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP codes[7]
80701 & 80705
Area code(s)970
FIPS code08-27810
GNIS feature ID0204722
WebsiteCity of Fort Morgan

The City of Fort Morgan is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Morgan County, Colorado, United States.[8] The population at the 2010 census was 11,315.


Fort Morgan[edit]

Lincoln School at 914 State Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the location of the School for the Performing Arts.

Camp Wardwell was established in 1865 along the Overland Trail to protect emigrants and supplies going to and from Denver and the mining districts. The fort was renamed in 1866 by General John Pope for one of his staff, Colonel Christopher A. Morgan,[9] who had died earlier that year. The fort closed in 1868 after being used by 19 different companies from 11 cavalry and infantry regiments (about 1,300 soldiers).


The Fort Morgan State Armory is used as a town recreation center.

The town of Fort Morgan was platted just south of the old military fort's ruins on May 1, 1884, by Abner S. Baker, a member of Greeley's Union Colony. The town became the county seat of the newly formed Morgan County on February 19, 1889.[10]

In World War II, a military school at the Fort Morgan State Armory was part of the West Coast Air Corps Training Center.[11]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)11,463[6]1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census[13] of 2000, 11,034 people, 3,887 households, and 2,736 families resided in the city. The population density was 2,472.1 people per square mile (955.2/km2). The 4,094 housing units averaged 917.2 per square mile (354.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.43% White, 0.28% African American, 1.01% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 20.62% from other races]], and 3.24% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 39.04% of the population.

Of the 3,887 households, 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were not families. About 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.32.

In the city, the population was distributed as 30.2% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,128, and for a family was $36,134. Males had a median income of $27,667 versus $22,346 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,024. About 8.9% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.


Fort Morgan, for the most part, has an agricultural economy.

Cargill operates a meatpacking plant. As of 2016, many of the employees at the plant were Muslims, many from Somalia.[14]


Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service through Fort Morgan, operating its California Zephyr daily in both directions between Chicago and Emeryville, California, across the bay from San Francisco.

Although the town is served by Fort Morgan Municipal Airport, no scheduled airlines operate from there. Denver International Airport is 76 miles southwest and is the closest airport to provide scheduled services.

Major Highways[edit]


The city newspaper is the Fort Morgan Times.[16]

Notable people[edit]

Fort Morgan is the burial place of Philip K. Dick, where he was interred alongside his twin sister who died in early childhood.

Fort Morgan is the boyhood home of Big Band musician Glenn Miller. Miller went to high school in Fort Morgan and was known to have once played trumpet on top of Abner S. Baker School, since destroyed in a fire and now rebuilt, which at the time was the high school campus, but is now an elementary school.

Robert G. Whitehead (1916–2007) was born in Fort Morgan to a ranching family. He marketed the first-aid ointment known as "Blue Star". Some 50 million jars are sold annually. The product claims to offer relief from psoriasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, and various kinds of itching.

Joel Dreessen, former tight end for the Denver Broncos, grew up in Fort Morgan and attended Fort Morgan schools. He graduated from Fort Morgan High School in 2000.[17]

Michael Crichton lived in Fort Morgan for a short time during World War II with his family when his father was drafted to serve in the war.[18]

Sam Brunelli, football player.

Elvin C. Drake was head track and field coach for the 1956 NCAA Champion UCLA Bruins.[19]

Brenton Metzler is a TV producer. He moved to Fort Morgan at the age 16 and graduated from Fort Morgan High School in 1997.[20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Local Government. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  2. ^ "Colorado Counties". State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Local Government. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  3. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
  4. ^ "Terry L. McAlister". City of Fort Morgan. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  5. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original (JavaScript/HTML) on November 4, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  8. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  9. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 129.
  10. ^ Jennifer Patten, In View of the Mountains: A History of Fort Morgan, Colorado (Aged Page, 2011).
  11. ^ Futrell, Robert F. (July 1947). Development of AAF Base Facilities in the United States: 1939-1945 (Report). ARS-69: US Air Force Historical Study No 69 (Copy No. 2). Air Historical Office. p. 108 (pdf 117). The West Coast Training Center…during 1942 it had obtained jurisdiction over other contract schools at…Fort Morgan, Colo.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ Julie Turkewitz (March 7, 2016). "Prayer Dispute Between Somalis and Plant Reshapes a Colorado Town, Again". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  15. ^ Archived 2008-04-10 at the Wayback Machine CDOT map of the City of Fort Morgan
  16. ^ Fort Morgan Times website
  17. ^ "Joel Dreessen Thinks Playing For The Broncos Will Take Him To Next Level". World Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  18. ^ Smith, David (December 3, 2006). "King of the techno-thriller". The Observer. London: The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  19. ^ John Cherwa (December 25, 1988). "Ducky Drake, Father of UCLA Athletics, Dies". Los Angeles Times.
  20. ^ Yost, Mike (2014-05-22). "Gay Coloradan talks coming out, moving to Los Angeles, and working as a TV producer". OUT FRONT. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  21. ^ Barker, Dan (2012-01-06). "FMHS grad Brenton Metzler produces 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'". Fort Morgan Times. Retrieved 2018-06-12.

External links[edit]