In the late 1850’s an increased amount of explorers began to settle in the Big Thompson Valley in the Colorado Territory. Some of these first settlers arrived and made their home in the area now known as Loveland in 1858. One of the first founders, Mariano Medina who was born in Taos, New Mexico, moved to this area with his family and some other Spanish settlers. Here he secured a piece of land near the Big Thompson River. Medina was a respected mountain man, and because of his leadership he helped found a community called Namaqua. With the help of his family and community he built a trading post called “Marianne’s Crossing”. This post became a popular resting place for many travelers looking for different goods and supplies. This post put Namaqua on the map and brought many new settlers to its territory. Nearby, another settlement was competing for social attention under the name St. Louis. The name St. Louis came from a nearby flour mill which was owned and operated by Andrew Douty. Douty printed the “St. Louis” logo on all of his flour bags to promote his business and brand. The popularity of this name rose and was eventually taken by the nearby settlement. Roughly fifteen years later in 1873, a different flour mill owner by the name of David Barnes moved his family from the prosperous town of Golden, Colorado to a farm just north of the Big Thompson River. At that time no real progress in social or communicational expansion had been made, all that existed in the area was a federal postal office and the stage coach station.
Barnes had a good friend named William A. H. Loveland, who happened to be the President of the Colorado Central Railroad. Loveland told him about a new railroad line that was being constructed to connect Denver to a military camp named Fort Collins, whose job was to protect the Overland Stagecoach line. There was a lot of competition for business among many new railroad companies, which led Barnes to donate part of his farm to the Colorado Central Railroad in support of his friend. Ultimately, the location of this railroad resulted in a huge increase of business because of the connection among the rural and urban parts of Colorado’s territory. By 1881, the small area became so populated that it required a name. Most of the citizens voted to name the up-and-coming city Barnesville after its original settler however, Barnes thought that another man deserved the recognition. A man and his railroad that enabled the town to grow in so many ways, President of the Colorado Central Railroad, William A. H. Loveland.