O.T Jackson: The Creator Of The First All Black Settlement In Colorado

Throughout the history of this country, there have been several Melanated men and women who have felt the need to create their own environment outside of the dominant society’s influence. One name that comes to mind is O.T. Jackson, who was the co-founder of Dearfield, Co. In 1909, while working as a messenger to Colorado governor, Jackson took his idea for an African-American colony to the governor, who in return helped him search for homestead land in Larimer and Elbert counties.

In 1921, at the peak of its popularity, Dearfield was home to 60 families with 44 buildings and improved lands worth about $950,000, livestock and poultry worth $200,000, with an annual production of $125,000 making Dearfield, Co. a thriving community that provided a solution and a safe haven for Melanated people who didn’t want to deal with racism and economic-based issues. It’s important to note that without O.T. Jackson’s hard work and willingness to take a risk, Dearfield, Co. would have never come to fruition.


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