How Did Lamar Get its Name?

Many from Lamar are familiar with the town’s start with the stealing of the Blackwell station in 1886. How many are familiar with how Lamar got its name? 

Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar

Our town of Lamar is named after Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar who was Secretary of the Interior from 1885-1888 and a southern statesman. He promoted the growth of railroads across Kansas and into the Arkansas River Valley in Colorado. 

A businessman from Kansas, and a man with the Santa Fe Railroad, bought a quarter of Section 31, Township 22, Range 46, in southeastern Colorado. Tracks were laid through the deeded property, and it was named Lamar. 

Much of the land on both sides of the railroad was owned by A.R. Black, a pioneer cattleman. The depot was named Blackwell, after Black and his foreman, MacDowell. The foreman and his family lived on the second floor of the depot. 

The men who bought the land for the depot wanted to have a Land Office there, but Black refused. He feared a loss of loading fees from cattle shippers. He threatened an injunction when the Santa Fe Railroad threatened to move the station. 

New plans were made to seize the station. 

Black received a fake urgent telegram on Saturday, May 22 calling him to Pueblo. Once he was gone, this provided the opportunity to steal the station. Blackwell station was loaded up, with MacDowell’s family still inside, and it was moved to the new site, three miles west where the Lamar Depot stands, per 

Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar is buried at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Oxford, Mississippi, the same cemetery as Chuck Bowen’s great-great-grandfather, William Bolivar Bowen. 

Lamar served in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U. S. Senate, as a member of the President’s Cabinet, and as a justice on the U. S. Supreme Court. He joined the Confederate Army as a Lieutenant Colonel and helped draft the Mississippi Ordinance of Secession. He organized soldiers from Oxford, probably including William Bolivar Bowen.

See information about the L.Q.C. Lamar House Museum here: LamarHouseMuseum 

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