National Geographic : 1969 Aug
most productive. Its seat, Greeley, a sedate city of 35,000, was founded by a group of colonists headed by Na than Meeker, agricultural editor of Horace Greeley's New York Tribune. They reasoned, prophetically, that riches from the plains would one day overshadow mining. Nathan Meeker knew the soil, but he didn't know Indians. He moved west to become Indian agent at the White River Agency (now Meeker, Colorado), and tried to make farmers of the Utes, hunters by tradition. In 1879, after he ordered their cherished race track plowed, they rebelled. After the smoke of the uprising had cleared, Nathan Meeker, 9 of his employees, and 12 cavalrymen sent to their rescue lay dead. Today some 1,800 Utes dwell peaceably on two reservations in southwestern Colorado and neigh boring New Mexico. Fittingly, their great chief, Ouray, sleeps among Liquid pinwheels on a quarter-mile-long arm irrigate corn near Holyoke. The huge sprinkler, supported by towers that roll on motor-driven wheels, makes a complete circle every three to four days. Fields thus watered resemble great green lily pads from the air (below). Parched eastern Colorado, long irrigated by streams that often ran dry, today gets additional water via tunnels from the Western Slope (map, page 187).