History of Brush
By Dale Stinton, Local Historian
The Texas-Montana Cattle Trail, which began in 1866 in the panhandle area of Texas and continued north to the grazing lands of eastern Montana, followed a route that passed through the area along the banks of Beaver Creek in northeastern Colorado. Along this creek a supply point was established to service the trail crews; it came to be known as “Brush.” By the time the 20th century came along in 1900, this small supply station on the cattle trail had grown to become an established community.
The railroad, pushing west from Omaha toward Denver, arrived in Brush in the spring of 1882 and in May of that year The Lincoln Land Company filed a plat of 960 acres of land and laid out the Town of Brush. The purchase price for that parcel was $3 per acre. The small town began to grow and on Oct. 18, 1884, 25 male voters went to the polls and voted 23-2 to incorporate the Town of Brush and to form a local government.
By 1900 the community had taken firm roots.
It boasted of a population of more than 500; it had a new school building (built with funds from an $8,000 bond issue passed by the voters in 1884), it had a town government with a “town board” and a Marshall, it had two hotels, a newspaper - The Brush Tribune, and a new $3,000 Methodist Episcopal Church building (pictured at left).
In 1902 an organization of business men was formed to promote the community. It would become the Brush Civic Club, and then would later become the Brush Chamber of Commerce. One of the early activities of the organization was to promote the building of a sugar factory in Brush, January 1906 (pictured at right).
The early economy of the region was based on livestock and agriculture, and when the sugar factory opened, together with the irrigation reservoirs, the farming industry grew rapidly, with thousands of acres of prime irrigated cropland in the South Platte valley, and thousands more acres of grazing lands and dryland crops in the surrounding regions.