The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 68
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ary 25, 1869, assumed the risk of not being able to secure clear
titles to lands which they occupied. Since only twenty-two square
leagues were confirmed to Vigil and St. Vrain in 1860, this risk
was incurred also by derivative claimants thereafter; and there
was a measure of uncertainty until the official survey was com-
pleted in the middle 'seventies. The writer contends, however,
that the uncertainty with respect to titles did not deter settlers
in considerable numbers from entering the tract claimed by Vigil
and St. Vrain. Much of the 4,090,000 acres was suitable only
for grazing purposes; and, as is well known, the cattlemen and
sheep growers who entered the region after the Civil War did not
need to worry about titles for the time being. Furthermore, the
United States census report of 1870 credits the Apishapa Valley,
which is entirely within the original Vigil-St. Vrain grant, with
a population of 893, and credits the Purgatoire Valley, also within
the grant, with a population of one thousand two hundred twenty-
four.26 This was only five years after the Civil War and only two
years after the removal of the Indians was consummated.
The lower portion of the Purgatoire Valley was the scene of the
greatest confusion relative to titles, as between derivative claims
and the claims of would-be homesteaders and pre-emptors. This
conflict developed first in connection with the original Las Animas
townsite, just east of the confluence of the Purgatoire and the
Arkansas. William Craig, president of the Las Animas Town
Company, claimed the townsite by title derived from Vigil and
St. Vrain." Many of the settlers coming into this locality chose
to jump the claims of Craig and settle on lands outside of the
townsite rather than purchase a lot from the town company. In
1873, when there was a possibility that the uncertainty as to
titles would divert the projected Arkansas Valley branch of the
Kansas Pacific railroad to a point on the west of the Purgatoire,
a compromise adjustment was effected between the Las Animas
Town Company and the settlers in question. The local judge of
the probate court was petitioned to convey certain specified
tracts to the town company on condition that Craig would with-
draw all further claims from the land offices at Pueblo and Wash-
2Ninth Cenaus of the United States, 1870, Population and Social Statis-
"'Las Animas Leader, September 20, 1873, p. 2.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/76/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.