About This Place
The City of Walsenburg or Los Leones is a Statutory City that is the county seat and the most populous city of Huerfano County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 4,182 at the 2000 census.
Robert Ford, the assassin of outlaw Jesse James, operated a combination saloon and gambling house in Walsenburg; his home at 320 West 7th Street still stands.
The City of Walsenburg traces its history back about 150 years.[when?] The settlement was first established as La Plaza de los Leones which was named after the Leon family on the north side of the Cuchara River by Don Miguel Antonio Leon and a family named Atencio. In 1870, Fred Walsen settled nearby and opened up his large mercantile, making the town an attractive location for German settlers. After Fred assisted in the incorporation of the town's 320-acre (1.3 km2) site, it was suggested that he be honored by formally naming the new town "Walsenburg". In 1876, Walsen also opened the area's first coal mine, and the development of the town was influenced for a century by coal mining in the region. An estimated 500 million tons of coal was mined until a combination of corporate mergers, environmental regulations, and enforcement of mine safety regulations led to the closure of virtually all mining in the area.