Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Naming of McElmo Canyon ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Naming of McElmo Canyon
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: fielding-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 18 Dec 2005 19:58 PST
Expires: 17 Jan 2006 19:58 PST
Question ID: 607288
On the north and west sides of Ute Mountain in southwest Colorado
there is a canyon named McElmo Canyon.  It heads near Cortez Colorado,
in Montezuma county.  A correct answer to this question consists of
leading me to a sight which will tell How McElmo Canyon got it's name.
Subject: Re: Naming of McElmo Canyon
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 20 Dec 2005 15:27 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
fielding-ga, has a feature that allows searching inside the content of
many of their books.  I find the best access for these searches is at:

A search on [ "mcelmo's canyon" "named after" ] led to the following information:

From Basin to Peak: An Explorer's Companion to the Colorado-New Mexico
San Juan Basin
by Wesley M. Howe 
pg 117-118:
McElmo Canyon -- A gulch on the west edge of Montezuma County that
extens into Utah.  The site of a 1911 basin oil strike, it is named
after a white pioneer prospector who stopped at a spting in the canyon
to get a drink and died there of tuberculosis.  His partner buried him
in the canyon.

The reference for the above information is given as:

Freeman, Ira S.  A History of Montezuma County, Colorado.  Boulder:
Johnson Publishing, 1958

and this publication is available in many Colorado libraries, and is
listed as follows:

Author Freeman, Ira S.  

Title A history of Montezuma County, Colorado, land of promise and
fulfillment; being a review of prehistoric races and an account of the
earliest settlement by the white man and subsequent events and
development to the present day.
Publisher [Boulder, Colo., Johnson Pub. Co. 1958] 

  Western State Stacks   F782.M7 F7         ON SHELF 
Description 323 p., illus. 24 cm. 
Subject Montezuma County (Colo.)  

I trust that's the information you're looking for.  

However, if there's anything else you need, just holler.


Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 20 Dec 2005 16:39 PST
By the way, you can search some historical Colorado newspapers online at this link:

It's not the easiest site in the world to use, but if you click on
"Search All" you'll get to the search page.

A search on [ McElmo ] turned up over 1,000 articles, though I didn't
see much on the actual history of the name.  By the way, the word [
canyon ] won't always be recognized as a good search term, since in
the older papers, it is rendered as [ canon ] with a tilde over the


Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 20 Dec 2005 19:06 PST
Grim it may be, but it's a whole lot better than Tuberculosis Canyon!

Thanks for the early holiday present,

fielding-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
I have not checked the book yet, but it seems that you have answered
the question exactly as requested.  However the answer is a bit grim

Subject: Re: Naming of McElmo Canyon
From: wheeliekegman-ga on 19 Dec 2005 22:36 PST

This Book may be of some help.

By Maxine Benson. This book tells how the cities, counties, and other
places got their names, the pronunciations, postal history,
population, elevation and county seat.
237 pages, some illustrations, softbound. $11.95
Subject: Re: Naming of McElmo Canyon
From: kelly_place-ga on 20 Dec 2005 14:27 PST

I live in the middle of McElmo Canyon and do not know why
it has the name McElmo.   Moved here in 2003.  We were told
once that a Major McElmo named the type of shale here.  It's
called the McElmo Dome.   I'll be interested to see if anyone
out there can answer your question for sure.  Our location is
Good luck!

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy