Meeker is the Statutory Town that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Rio Blanco County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 2,475 at the 2010 United States Census. The town is largely an agricultural community, located in the wide fertile valley of the White River in northwestern Colorado. Relatively isolated from other communities, it sits near the intersection of State Highway 13 and State Highway 64, on the north side of the White River and at the base of a long ridge, known locally as China Wall. The Bureau of Land Management has a regional office in the town. Meeker is the home of the annual Meeker Classic Sheepdog trials.
The town is named for Nathan Meeker, the United States Indian Agent who was killed along with 11 other white citizens by White River Ute Indians in the 1879 Meeker Incident, also known as the Meeker Massacre. The site of the uprising, the former White River Indian Agency, is located along State Highway 64 in the White River valley west of town and is marked by a prominent sign. None of the buildings remain.
After the uprising and the ensuing conflict known as the Ute War, in 1880 the US Congress passed legislation requiring the Ute population to relocate to reservations in Utah. The United States Army established a garrison on the current site of the town, called the Camp at White River. The town was founded in 1883 following the removal of the troops. The White River Museum is located just north of the Rio Blanco County Courthouse and housed in several original wooden structures of the Army garrison.
The town emerged as a regional center for hunting by the turn of the 20th century. Theodore Roosevelt visited the town twice in 1901 and in 1905 on a mountain lion and bear hunting trip and stayed in the historic Hotel Meeker opposite the courthouse. The town is also a favorite summer destination and permanent residence for many prominent Americans, including billionaire Henry Kravis, former President and COO of Goldman Sachs Jon Winkelried, and comedian Daniel Tosh.
Meeker is located at (40.039539, -107.910709).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , all of it land. The town is situated on the White River at an elevation of 6,250 feet above sea level.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,242 people, 919 households, and 605 families residing in the town. The population density was 769.8 people per square mile (297.5/km). There were 1,054 housing units at an average density of 361.9 per square mile (139.8/km). The racial makeup of the town was 96.39% White, 0.71% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 1.92% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.73% of the population.
There were 919 households, out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.8% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males. These numbers do not include the residents of the unincorporated area surrounding the town.
The average income for households in the unincorporated areas surrounding Meeker was $83,501. The median income for a household in the town was $34,479, and the median income for a family was $43,529. Males had a median income of $36,026 versus $18,242 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,647. About 9.0% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.9% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.
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