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Brighton City


Brighton City Hall is located at 22 South Fourth Avenue, Brighton CO 80601; phone: 303-655-2041.

Beginnings [1]

Brighton was platted as a town on February 16, 1881, by city father Daniel F. (D. F.) Carmichael. Brighton had been a railroad stop at the junction of the Denver Pacific (later the Union Pacific) and the Denver & Boulder Valley railroads and was known as Hughes Station. By 1879, Hughes Station was already being called Brighton, believed to be named by Carmichael's wife Alice. When the plat was filed, there was a depot, wind mill, water tower, and station master's house situated at a railroad junction of the open prairie. The community quickly grew into a supply and shipping center for a thriving agricultural region populated by immigrants from Germany, Russia, Japan and Mexico. With Brighton's importance established, the town was incorporated July 26, 1887. At this time, within the boundaries of the town were a school, church, post office, blacksmith shop, hotel, meat market, telegraph station, newspaper, creamery, two general stores, three saloons, a railroad with three crews, and 175 residents. Brighton was originally part of Arapahoe County, which ran clear to the Kansas border. Arapahoe County was so large it was not efficient to operate. Two attempts to divide the county in General Assembly in 1887 and 1889 failed. Finally, Senator Emmet Bromley, who had a distinguished record of public service, introduced a bill creating Adams County from Arapahoe County on November 15, 1902. Brighton promised if they were named the county seat, they would provide the land to build a courthouse. The ratification of Article XX made the division an official reality. Brighton was made the temporary county seat of the new Adams County. The first Board of Commissioners met on December 4, 1902. The Commissioners were Wilson R. Smith, John Benbow and Fred P. Watts. Smith and Benbow were appointed by the governor and Watts was a former Arapahoe County Commissioner elected from the Brighton district. Smith resigned after one month and Edward Fitzpatrick was appointed in his place.

See also: Adams County Courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

  1. Parsons, Eugene, A Guidebook to Colorado, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, 1911
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