Kiowa, Colorado

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Not to be confused with Kiowa County, Colorado.
Town of Kiowa, Colorado
Home Rule Municipality
Kiowa, Colorado
Kiowa, Colorado
Location in Elbert County and the State of Colorado
Location in Elbert County and the State of Colorado
Coordinates: 39°20′39″N 104°27′46″W / 39.34417°N 104.46278°W / 39.34417; -104.46278Coordinates: 39°20′39″N 104°27′46″W / 39.34417°N 104.46278°W / 39.34417; -104.46278
Country  United States
State  State of Colorado
County Elbert County Seat[1]
Incorporated December 30, 1912[2]
 • Type Home Rule Municipality[1]
 • Total 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
 • Land 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation[3] 6,378 ft (1,944 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 581
 • Density 1,162/sq mi (446.9/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code[4] 80117
Area code(s) Both 303 and 720
FIPS code 08-40790
GNIS feature ID 0185146
Website Town of Kiowa

The Town of Kiowa is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat of Elbert County, Colorado, United States.[5] The town population was 723 at the 2010 United States Census.


The town was named for the Kiowa People,[6] and was incorporated in 1912.[7]

Kiowa’s story [8]

The Town of Kiowa as we know it today was settled in 1859 along the banks of Kiowa Creek and was originally nothing more than a stage stop. Such trails as the Smoky Hill South (aka the Starvation trail), the Butterfield Overland Dispatch, and Wells Fargo made their stops in Kiowa on the way to Denver and the gold fields of the Rockies.

The original settlement was named “Wendling” after Henry Wendling Henry ran the stage station and was one of the early settlers in the area. Sometime during the 1860s the name was changed to “ Middle Kiowa”. Why “ Middle Kiowa” you might ask? The reason was that at one time there were two settlements along Kiowa Creek-one named “High Kiowa”, the other “ Low Kiowa”.

It is really unclear why the creek and settlements were named Kiowa. The Kiowa Indian tribe in Colorado spent most of their time farther south, however it has been said that this area was their summer hunting grounds and compared to the other local tribes were usually “on the attack”. The two main tribes that were in this area were the Cheyenne and the Arapahoe.

In 1874, Middle Kiowa was given the honor of being named the county seat of Elbert County. That same year, four horse thieves were caught about 15 miles up creek and brought into town before Judge Fahrion. For three days the trial lingered, finally on the third night, a group of about 50 masked men overpowered the sheriff and deputies and loaded the four men into a wagon. They took them to an outcropping of pine trees southeast of town and with the men still shackled together in twos, they were hung together in twos-with the shackles still on.

Other stories tell about the struggle between farmers and ranchers in the 1880s and how the town was split right down the middle. Ranchers lived on one side and farmers on the other, there were even separate mercantiles, banks, blacksmith shops, saloons, etc.….for each-one of each on both sides of the street ! Legend has it that a rancher spotted a farmer he despised on the other side of the street and with a pistol in hand aimed and fired. Missing, he hit an overturned plow that ricochet the slug, which then struck and killed a fellow rancher on the same side of the street as he.

Life in Middle Kiowa however, was not always so wild and lawless. In 1912, the town was incorporated and the word “ Middle” was dropped. The same year the newly built brick courthouse was completed and dedicated with a bear barbecue.

On May 31, 1935, the worst flood to ever come down Kiowa Creek washed away part of the town. Homes and businesses were destroyed, livestock was swept downstream and four people lost their lives. Floodwater’s were described as: a half-mile wide, 12 to 15 feet high and the speed of a fast horse. After floodwater’s subsided, the towns’ people went to the task of rebuilding what had been lost or destroyed.

Today, Kiowa has a population of about 724 and just within the last several years has experienced tremendous growth; to date Elbert County is the second fastest growing county in the state and the fifth in the nation. With that in mind it looks as if Kiowa future is as secure, as its past.


Kiowa is located at 39°20′39″N 104°27′46″W / 39.34417°N 104.46278°W / 39.34417; -104.46278 (39.344207, -104.462714).[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 148
1930 185 25.0%
1940 195 5.4%
1950 173 −11.3%
1960 195 12.7%
1970 235 20.5%
1980 206 −12.3%
1990 275 33.5%
2000 581 111.3%
2010 723 24.4%
Est. 2014 742 [10] 2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 581 people, 227 households, and 152 families residing in the town. However, outside of this incorporated town's limits there are several thousand other new residents of this fast growing county. The population density was 1,190.3 people per square mile (457.8/km²). There were 243 housing units at an average density of 497.9 per square mile (191.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.49% White, 0.34% African American, 0.86% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 1.20% from other races, and 2.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.30% of the population.

There were 227 households out of which 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the town the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 36.3% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 106.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,809, and the median income for a family was $42,353. Males had a median income of $34,875 versus $26,071 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,885. About 7.0% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.


  • Kiowa Creek Community Church
  • Majestic View Church
  • Nazarene Church
  • Graceway Bible Church
  • Our Lady of the Visitation Parish

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  2. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup" (JavaScript/HTML). United States Postal Service. Retrieved October 21, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ "Profile for Kiowa, Colorado, CO". ePodunk. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  7. ^ "Kiowa, Colorado". Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  8. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]