Jackie Moore's Way Station
John Steuben Moore, more familiarly known to people of the Fowler
Community at the time as "Uncle Jackie" Moore, was born in Ohio April
2, 1832. One of eleven children. The family moved a lot, schools were
remote and Jackie received the only instruction from his mother. He
never learned to write, but his X was readily accepted in transactions
or payment. Driving an ox team he freighted from St. Louis to Colorado
(Kansas territory) in 1861. In 1862, he herded cattle for the
government in New Mexico and had his share of run in with the Indians.
During the Civil War he drove cattle to Fort Union for food for the
army. Another Government job was that of hauling wood. Jackie Moore
married Elizabeth Clark, a widow with children.
In 1884, John Steuben Moore bought the Way Station
cabins and land from Burrel Smith and moved his family to Fowler. The
only child of Jackie and Elizabeth was a daughter Lillie. She married a
cattleman, Louis Younger, and lived in Fowler until her death.
Elizabeth Moore passed away in 1903 and Jackie married a widow, Annie
Minning, with three children. They were raised in the old cabin and
attended Fowler Schools. One daughter Marguerite married Arthur Hilton
and remained in the Fowler vicinity.
"Uncle Jackie" Moore was a
colorful pioneer, a scout with Kit Carson, and a way station keeper. He
was, no doubt a host to men who met at the cabin to trade stock, buy
land, and swap tall tales.
The Arkansas River was one of
many rivers which influenced a route of travel for wandering Indian
tribes and early pioneers. Located on its north bank just 1000 feet
from the Pikes Peak branch of the Santa Fe Trail was Moore's cabin. It
was one of several way stations and was owned and operated by Burrel
Smith, before he sold it to Moore. Made of cottonwood logs, hewn at the
river's edge, the cabin was a five room structure. There were three
rooms in the front and two rooms in the back, the roof was sod, and the
floor was wide unplaned boards.
There were several bunk houses
for travelers who stopped to refresh themselves, and outbuildings for
the horses. A grove of trees gave shade and protection.
Today the cabin can be seen at the Fowler Historical Society, 114 Main Street, Fowler, Colorado.
Travelers heading to the gold fields or to Denver with a stop over at
the way station included such well known figures as:
Back to Fowler History
- General (President) Ulysses S. Grant
- Bent Brothers
- Buffalo Bill
- Kit Carson
- Zebulon Pike