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Cowmen east of Natural Fort c. 1888

Fort Collins Man Reaps Life's Bounty

By Marty Metzger

Triangle Review   August 27, 1992, page 8

"Jack Fahrenbruch is a rare Fort Collins find-a native-and pre-World War I to boot! …Things were sure different in Fort Collins' early days, Fahrenbruch reiterates. Hitching posts were then as prolific as are parking spots now. And the streetcar ran all the way out to the north end of town. There were only about 50 automobiles (all Model As and Ts) in Fort Collins.

Cowboys and "frontier justice" were still commonplace in the 1912-15 era, from which Fahrenbruch's brother John related to him a funny experience.

Mustang Jack was a cowpoke who proudly sported a goatee and handlebar moustache. While in town, he was accosted by a group of college boys. As a prank, they corralled him and shaved off the cowboy's prized facial hair.

A month or so later, into town rode about 50 cowboys toting rifles and pistols. They stayed on one side of the street, while the college students gathered on the other. At the time Fort Collins had only one policeman, who was nowhere to be seen.

The buckaroos told the academic group to advise the culprits who sheared Mustang Jack to crawl on their hands and knees across the street. If they complied, there would be no trouble. They complied. The cow hands felt justice had been served and everyone dispersed."

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