Colorado State Capitol Virtual Tour
Also known as the Pathfinder of the San Juans, Mears came to Colorado after serving with Kit Carson in the Navajo campaigns and Civil War. Within one-year Mears' empire had begun with the creation of a general store, two mills, and a wheat farm in Conejos County. To get his products to Leadville, Mears built a toll road over Poncha Pass, and later another toll road for markets in Lake City. After establishing himself as the Pathfinder of the San Juans, Mears facilitated the removal of the Ute Indians onto a reservation through his work on the Brunot Treaty in 1873 and the Ute Treaty of 1880, as well as through his friendship with Chief Ouray. Mears also became involved in the expansion of railroads to the San Juan's, and was an active member of the Board of Capitol Managers. Mears is also credited with the introduction of the reaper and steam grain threshing machine to Colorado.
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last modified June 20, 2003