Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Collaboration -Invaluable


Post by Doris McCraw aka Angela Raines

McAllister House
Photo Property of the Author

Preservation and presentation of history is a vital foundation for civilization. While we think of history as something solid from the past, it is fluid. Its very fluidity adds to the richness that has come before. Much like the story of the early women doctors in Colorado that I myself have been researching for the past ten-plus years, this additional information, and fluidity if you will create a story that people can connect to. These connections we can find by sharing information will continue to give us a solid foundation upon which to grow our future.

As an example, the common story is that William J. Palmer founded Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is true, to a point. The city was his dream. The truth, he needed help to make that dream a reality. The collaboration he received was invaluable to creating the dream. Originally "The Fountain Colony" was a 'membership organization that one joined to purchase real estate during the city's formative years'.

Some of the people who helped Palmer realize his ambition to create a town at the base of Pike's Peak might have been lost to time had they not left legacies of their own.

Dr. William Bell had been part of the original survey party in which Palmer first saw the region. Dr. Bell was born in Ireland, studied at Cambridge University, and had a practice at St. George's Hospital in London. Dr. Bell was in the United States to continue studying homeopathy when he became part of Palmer's party. He continued with Palmer as the two along with others created the resort town of Colorado Springs and the health mecca Manitou Springs.

Pikes Peak
Photo Property of the Author

Henry McAllister, Also a Quaker who was also from Pennsylvania and a member of General Palmer's 15th Pennsylvania Calvary during the Civil War and rose to the rank of major. McAllister had a job as the secretary of the American iron and steel Association when he accepted Palmer's invitation to be a part of the founding company of Colorado Springs.

William Sharpless Jackson, also a Quaker from Pennsylvania, was part of Palmer's founding organization. He was working for a railroad in the Midwest when tapped by Palmer. It was Jackson who spent years in banking, was a Denver and Rio Grande railroad executive and like McAllister and Bell along with Palmer had a part in the creation of Colorado College.

Both Jackson's and McAllister's sons continued the legacy started by their fathers but their story is for another time.

As you can see, one person can have an idea, but in order to realize that idea it takes collaboration, it takes people willing to become part of something bigger. It is through the work of these men, their families, and researchers/historians that we understand how invaluable collaboration is. The more we know the richer our history becomes.

Perhaps you have a project you're working on, collaboration, asking for help, is invaluable. Growing this organization, and keeping it vital, takes more than just one person. Keep up the good work, we're on our way and with everyone's help will make it to the top.

For those who would like to know more here is a YouTube video from the director of "The McAllister House Museum" on 'The Development of the Fountain Colony...' Fountain Colony

Until next time.

Doris McCraw


  1. A fascinating post, Doris. I was intrigued to read about Dr William Bell. Lots of doctors went to the USA in the mid nineteenth century to study homoeopathy. I believe Philadelphia was one of the main centres because of the 'father of American Homeopathy' Dr Constantine Hering. Photography seemed to be a bigger draw to Dr Bell, however.

    Yes, collaboration can be powerful for growing an organisation. Western Fictioneers own Wolf Creek series, the brainchild of Troy Smith showed just how successful this can be.

    1. He was a fascinating person. I always found it interesting that he and his wife Cara made the trip back to England for the birth of four of their five children.
      The story is told that the only job open for the expedition Palmer was undertaking was that of photographer, so Bell quickly learned the process so he could accompany Palmer. They stayed friends for the rest of their lives.

  2. Another very interesting post! I love your Colorado history series Doris.

    I miss writing for the Wolf Creek series ... maybe we can get that going again sometime soon!

    1. I confess, I love the history of my adopted state.
      I also miss reading the Wolf Creek stories. Time will tell if we get it going again. Doris

  3. It is nice when people have a vision and can follow it through.