Early residents of the Loomis Addition were pioneers in their own right, moving far away from downtown in order to own a home of their own. In its first decade or two, the Loomis Addition was surrounded by open lands, especially to the west and the south, with only sparse development to the east and the north. The first twenty or so houses were scattered across several blocks throughout the subdivision, so residents might have had to wait a few years to have neighbors. Meanwhile empty lots were used for farming or recreation.
As noted in the last blog post (“A New National Landmark – Right Here in the Loomis Addition!“), Alice and Billy Patterson were one of the first couples to settle in the Loomis Addition, after purchasing the “raffle house” in 1888. Patterson was a leader in the development of Fort Collins who is perhaps best known for his friendship with Buffalo Bill Cody, who reportedly visited him quite often. Patterson owned and operated a livery stable and freighting business, and was actively involved in local government, serving as a county commissioner and town alderman. He helped bring the State Agricultural College to Fort Collins, donating 80 of the 240 acres that comprised the original campus, and planting trees down College Avenue linking the campus with the downtown. The “raffle house” changed hands many times after Billy Patterson’s widow sold the house in 1900, but has remained in the McMillen/Hoskinson family since 1967.
Another early (and long-time) resident was James Brunton, who immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1882 and arrived in Fort Collins in 1887. In 1892, he built a home at 117 North Whitcomb, where he lived with his wife and three children until his death in 1944. Brunton was trained as a millwright, a skilled craftsman who was able to build, set up and run the equipment used in flour or sawmills. Like many early 20th century millwrights, Brunton eventually became a civil engineer, starting as a millwright at the Lindell Mills, and moving on to become a millwright and engineer for the Colorado Milling and Elevator Company in 1937. He was elected alderman from the second ward and served several times as a delegate to the Democratic Party’s state convention. After his death, his son George resided in the house until 1949.
Aaron Kitchel was born in 1842 in Lake County, Indiana. He enlisted as a volunteer in the 23rd Iowa Infantry in 1862, fighting in the Civil War until his honorable discharge in 1865. Kitchel moved with his family to a homestead six miles east of Fort Collins (now the Kitchel Farms Subdivision) in 1879. He was a successful farmer who served as a Larimer County commissioner for three years, and was always one of its foremost and highly respected citizens. Kitchel built the Queen Anne cottage at 601 West Mountain Avenue in 1890, where he lived until his death in 1910. The Kitchel house was designated as a historic property even before it became a contributing property in the Whitcomb Street Historic District, so it’s doubly landmarked.
The text for this article came (with only a few slight modifications) from the Loomis Addition Historic Context, pages 71-72. The Context was written by Mary Humstone, Rheba Massey, and Carly-Ann Anderson.