BIOGRAPHY OF COLORADO PIONEER
LATEST BOOK FROM RASPBERRY CREEK
“Dos Rios Memories,” a biography of Alonzo Hartman, a Gunnison city founder, by local author Judy Buffington Sammons has been published.
Hartman was a pioneer Colorado cattleman and one of the first settlers on the state’s Western Slope. Hartman settled in an area south of present-day Gunnison near the confluence of Tomichi Creek and the Gunnison River and called it Dos Rios. A popular recreation area south of town is named Hartman Rocks.
The “Hartman Castle,” built in 1891, is a well-known Gunnison landmark.
The book is available in local and area bookstores. It was published by Raspberry Creek Books, Ltd., of Gunnison.
The book recounts Hartman’s rise from a provider of beef to the Ute Indians, when the area was a true wilderness, to prominent cattleman. It includes many historic photos, some of which have not been published before.
Hartman was a friend of Ute Chief Ouray and his wife Chipeta and was involved in early major legal issues dealing with free grazing and water rights.
Duane Vandenbusche, Gunnison historian and Professor of History at Western State Colorado University, calls the book “an outstanding and well-documented account.” He said Sammons covers Harman’s life and contributions to ranching, politics and the growth and development of one of the great cattle regions of the nation “in an excellent and easy-to-read style.”
Sammons grew up on a Hereford ranch northwest of Gunnison. She is the author of six books and numerous articles on western Colorado history. A holder of a Master of Arts degree in Education from WSCU, she has recently retired from a 30-year career teaching math, reading, and English in the field of adult education.
“Coming from a ranching family herself, Judy gets the cattle business right,” said Kathleen Curry, Gunnison County beef producer and former state legislator. She called the book “a must-read for those of us who love the Gunnison Country and want to know and understand the people who got it started.”
Local rancher Lee Spann agreed. He called the book “a much-needed documentation of one of the founders of the community in the Gunnison Valley.”