January 27, 2009
The St. Vrain Cemetery
The St. Vrain Cemetery on the Huerfano River in Pueblo County. Click to enlarge.
As long as I am posting historic cemetery pictures, here are some graves of the Autobees / Autobee family, descended from Charles Autobees, one of the Missouri-born mountain men-traders-ranchers who tried to put down roots in the country between present-day Pueblo, Colorado, and Taos, New Mexico.
"Autobee" is carved on the large cross, as well as on the reddish stone beside it.
Charles Autobee is included in this biographical list.
Charles spoke fluent Navajo, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Lakota, and Spanish.
Or at least maybe he could say a few things in all of them.
Tough, stubborn, and adaptable (languages!), he hung on to his ranch on the Huerfano when many of his neighbors fled back to the Taos and Mora areas after the 1854 Fort Pueblo Massacre.
The cemetery, still in use, is today wedged between a gravel county road and an irrigated field--that is a center-pivot irrigation sprinkler arcing across the photo behind the graves. It would be on or near Autobee's ranch of the 1850s.
The definitive history of this area during the fur-trade era remains Janet Lecompte's Pueblo, Hardscrabble, Greenhorn: Society on the High Plains, 1832-1856.