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Meeker, Colorado
Aerial view of Meeker
Aerial view of Meeker
Motto(s): 
The river runs through it.
Location of Meeker in Rio Blanco County, Colorado.
Location of Meeker in Rio Blanco County, Colorado.
Coordinates: 40°2′22″N 107°54′39″W / 40.03944°N 107.91083°W / 40.03944; -107.91083Coordinates: 40°2′22″N 107°54′39″W / 40.03944°N 107.91083°W / 40.03944; -107.91083
Country  United States
State  State of Colorado
County Rio Blanco (County seat)
Founded 1883
Incorporated 1885-11-10
Named for Nathan Meeker
Government
 • Type Statutory Town
Area
 • Total 3.59 sq mi (9.30 km2)
 • Land 3.59 sq mi (9.30 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
6,240 ft (1,902 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 2,475
 • Estimate 
(2019)
2,252
 • Density 627.47/sq mi (242.27/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
81641
Area code(s) 970
FIPS code 08-49875
GNIS feature ID 0173407
Website Town of Meeker

Meeker is the Statutory Town that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Rio Blanco County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 2,475 at the 2010 United States Census. The town is largely an agricultural community, located in the wide fertile valley of the White River in northwestern Colorado. Relatively isolated from other communities, it sits near the intersection of State Highway 13 and State Highway 64, on the north side of the White River and at the base of a long ridge, known locally as China Wall. The Bureau of Land Management has a regional office in the town. Meeker is the home of the annual Meeker Classic Sheepdog trials.

History

The town is named for Nathan Meeker, the United States Indian Agent who was killed along with 11 other U.S. citizens by White River Ute Indians in the 1879 Meeker Massacre. The site of the massacre, the former White River Indian Agency, is located along State Highway 64 in the White River valley east of town and is marked by a prominent sign. None of the buildings remain.

After the massacre and the ensuing conflict known as the Ute War, in 1880 the US Congress passed legislation requiring the Ute population to relocate to reservations in Utah. The United States Army established a garrison on the current site of the town, called the Camp at White River. The town was founded in 1883 following the removal of the troops. The White River Museum is located just north of the Rio Blanco County Courthouse and housed in several original wooden structures of the Army garrison.

The town emerged as a regional center for hunting by the turn of the 20th century. Theodore Roosevelt once visited the town on a mountain lion hunting trip and stayed in the historic Hotel Meeker opposite the courthouse. The town is also a favorite summer destination and permanent residence for many prominent Americans, including billionaire Henry Kravis, former President and COO of Goldman Sachs Jon Winkelried, and comedian Daniel Tosh.

Geography

Meeker is located at 40°2′22″N 107°54′39″W / 40.03944°N 107.91083°W / 40.03944; -107.91083 (40.039539, -107.910709).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 260
1900 507 95.0%
1910 807 59.2%
1920 935 15.9%
1930 1,069 14.3%
1940 1,399 30.9%
1950 1,658 18.5%
1960 1,655 −0.2%
1970 1,597 −3.5%
1980 2,356 47.5%
1990 2,098 −11.0%
2000 2,242 6.9%
2010 2,475 10.4%
2019 (est.) 2,252 −9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,242 people, 919 households, and 605 families residing in the town. The population density was 769.8 people per square mile (297.5/km2). There were 1,054 housing units at an average density of 361.9 per square mile (139.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.39% White, 0.71% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 1.92% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.73% of the population.

There were 919 households, out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.8% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males. These numbers do not include the residents of the unincorporated area surrounding the town.

The average income for households in the unincorporated areas surrounding Meeker was $83,501. The median income for a household in the town was $34,479, and the median income for a family was $43,529. Males had a median income of $36,026 versus $18,242 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,647. About 9.0% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.9% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

  • Neal Blue, co-owner of General Atomics
  • Virginia Neal Blue (1910-1970), Colorado State Treasurer from 1967 to 1970, and the first woman elected to executive office in the state
  • Margaret L. Curry (1898–1986), Colorado state parole officer
  • Buddy Roosevelt, actor and stunt performer
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