Abner Loomis was one of northern Colorado’s earliest settlers. Born in Fredonia, New York, in 1829, Loomis moved as far west as Iowa with his parents. When he was in his early 20s he set out for California to seek his fortune in the gold mines. He was still following the gold trail ten years later when he arrived in the Rocky Mountains as a “Fifty-niner,” and made his way north from Pike’s Peak to the Laporte area.
Like other disappointed prospectors, Loomis saw greater potential in the fertile lands along the Cache la Poudre River, and eventually was able to purchase land in the Pleasant Valley near Bellvue, raising potatoes, corn, vegetables and hay to sell to miners. He developed and ran what became a very successful cattle business, selling out in 1882 to focus on business interests in Fort Collins.
Loomis was also credited with bringing apple trees to Larimer County in 1862.3 After Colorado became a Territory in 1861, the First Territorial Legislature established Larimer County, with the county seat at Laporte (formerly Colona), the oldest and most developed settlement in the county. Abner Loomis became involved in local government early on, becoming the first president of the Larimer County Board of Commissioners in 1864.
Abner Loomis became a prominent businessman in Fort Collins, constructing the Loomis Block (now known as the Linden Hotel) at the corner of Walnut and Linden Streets in 1882 (where Nature’s Own is located today) and later serving as president of the Poudre Valley National Bank.
Though Abner Loomis founded the Loomis Addition, he never lived there. Most early prominent individuals lived either along South College Avenue or Remington Street and Loomis was no exception. Abner Loomis built his Italianate-style house on the corner of Remington and Magnolia in 1885, a decade after the style had lost favor in larger cities in the East. The house was demolished in 1980, to make way for a Safeway grocery store.
Abner Loomis platted the Loomis Addition in 1887 along with Malinda Maxwell, whom he later married. Learn more about the founding of the Loomis Addition.
Mary Humstone, Rheba Massey, and Carly-Ann Anderson, Loomis Addition Historic Context, pages 6, 8, and 90. Reprinted with permission from the City of Fort Collins. Funding for the Loomis Addition Historic Context was provided in part by a Certified Local Government grant through History Colorado.