In 1858 gold was discovered at Cherry Creek, near Pike's Peak, Colorado. This created a gold rush and a mining camp was established at Denver. It quickly developed into a boom town and provided supplies to all the miners in the area.

Colorado became a state in 1876 and Denver was established as its capital city. Over the next few years Horace Tabor invested heavily in Denver. By the end of the century Denver had a population of 133,000 people.

Primary Sources

(1) Ellis County Star (11th May, 1873)

We learn from recent dispatches that Mr. J. B. Hickok, (Wild Bill), well known to the older citizens of Hays City, was shot in the head and instantly killed, by a man named Bill Sutherland, while playing cards in a saloon in Deadwood Gulch, Wyoming. From the report it seems that Bill had killed a brother of Sutherland's in this city, several years ago, and in revenge the latter shot Bill, taking him unawares.

This is the long-looked for ending of the career of one who deserved a better fate. For nearly his whole life time Bill was on the frontier, a portion of the time acting as scout, and then as an officer of the law in some frontier town. He was elected Sheriff of this county in 1868, and did good service in keeping order. While here he killed several men; but all their acquaintances agreed that he was justified in so doing. He never provoked a quarrel, and was a generous, gentlemanly fellow. In person he was over six feet tall, broad-shouldered, and a specimen of perfect manhood throughout.

He was a dead shot, wonderfully quick in drawing and shooting, the latter faculty filling his enemies with a very wholesome respect, when in his presence.

Living as he did in constant fear of his life, he always kept his revolvers with him, and had the fellow that shot him given him a fair fight, and not taken the cowardly advantage that he did. Wild Bill would not have been killed.