51 miles E. of Greeley, 81 miles N.E. of Denver
A pleasant, laid-back city of just over 11,000 people, Fort Morgan may be best known as the childhood home of famed big-band leader Glenn Miller, who graduated from Fort Morgan High School in 1921 and formed his first band, the Mick-Miller Five, in the city. Established as a military outpost in 1864, the original Fort Morgan housed about 200 troops who protected stagecoaches and pioneers traveling the Overland Trail from marauding Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors. The threat had passed by 1870, and the fort was dismantled, but the name stuck when the city was founded in 1884. Nothing of the fort remains, but a monument on Riverview Avenue marks the fort's site.
The town grew in the 20th century with the establishment of the Great Western Sugar Company for sugar-beet processing, and with a pair of oil discoveries in the 1920s and 1950s. Cattle and sheep ranching remain important today, as well as dairy farming. In addition to sugar beets, the area grows alfalfa, onions, beans, corn, potatoes, sorghum, and wheat. Visitors enjoy the community's historic district and the fine Fort Morgan Museum, and use the town as home base while boating and fishing at Jackson Lake State Park.
About 10 miles east of Fort Morgan is the community of Brush, with a population of about 5,000. Also a farming and ranching center, Brush offers food and lodging, easy access to a popular pheasant-hunting area, and a variety of special events. Elevation in the Fort Morgan-Brush area is about 4,300 feet.