Here's a Sample From the Book, SUMMIT:     

Excerpted from SUMMIT, A Gold Rush History of Summit County,  Colorado by Mary Ellen Gilliland. Copyright © 1999. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved

Commodore Stephen Decatur

Samuel Bowles, famous traveler-author of the 1800's, called him the "prince of prospectors, the character of characters."

"Commodore" Stephen Decatur, indeed a character and perhaps a prince, ranks as one of Colorado's most colorful pioneers.

Decatur, who spent a lifetime suppressing the mystery of his bizarre past, pioneered early Georgetown, Colorado, founded the Summit County mining community of Decatur at the base of lofty 13,132-foot Argentine Pass, and organized a company to build a much-needed wagon road over Argentine. He represented Summit County in the Colorado Territorial Legislature and served as the infant State's commissioner to the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. A gallant soldier, acclaimed orator, and crusty newspaperman, Decatur was also an undisputed bigamist, leaving wives and families scattered behind on his westward path. An inveterate drinker, he ultimately drowned in an alcoholic quagmire.

But paramount to the Stephen Decatur story is the puzzle that bewildered frontier townsfolk in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Colorado, all places Decatur touched with his creative and quizzical character. Was Decatur really the long-lost brother of Illinois Lieutenant Governor William Bross, who bore a close physical resemblance to Decatur, traveled to Colorado in 1868, having information that his brother remained alive in this mineral-rich western territory. Bross stood ready to renew filial bonds with this missing brother, whom the family had believed a victim of murder. In a Denver hotel, Bross recognized Decatur as the errant sibling and fell on him with joy. Decatur, horrified, disentangled himself from the Lt. Governor's embrace. He refused to acknowledge relationship between the two. Not until after his death was Decatur's true identity revealed.

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