Come Back to Our Valley

It was a great weekend with balloons and artists and all. It is history now so maybe someday someone will include it in a history column.

George Bauer played a big part in the incorporation of the town of Mancos in 1894 and as a result became the first Mayor of our town. But, back in 1881 George laid out a good portion of Mancos and had the post office moved from the Menefee ranch to a location within the town. He also bought a number of lots that he would later sell for a profit.

Mr. Bauer never let grass grow under his feet and in the early 1880s he moved his store from just south of the river on the west side to where the drive ups are for the Mancos Valley Bank. Part of the building was a mercantile while on the south side was the Bauer Bank. The building was the first frame building in Mancos and was also used as a home for his family.

George not only befriended the down and out in the community but also donated five acres of land to the school. He purchased that land in 1886 from A. L. Root and in 1888 helped build on school property what was known as Union Hall. Later it became the two story frame building that housed the school until the two story rock high school building was completed at the end of 1909.

George and Augusta had two children John and Pauline - when they moved to Mancos. John was largely responsible for the Bauer Lakes Water System. Pauline left the area after she married R. H. Toll.

George was grateful when the Rio Grande Southern Railroad came through Mancos in 1892 but when the depot was located in a barn over a half mile west of town he did two things. He put pressure on the railroad to relocate the depot and also put renewed emphasis on his own wagon-freighting line that operated between Mancos and Durango. In 1896 the new location of the depot took place and a nice looking and usable building was constructed.

George and Augusta were backers of the community in many ways but George slowed down by 1900 and most of the mercantile business was left in the hands of his wife Augusta and William Roessler.

George decided he could get well by bathing in the mineral waters at Guadalajara, Mexico and left by train with Augusta just after the 1st of the year in 1905. Many were shocked however to hear the news that George had passed away while at the mineral springs. George died at the age of 57.

After an appropriate amount of time, Augusta married William Roessler but that marriage lasted only until 1914 when Augusta passed away at the age of 54. William passed away in 1926 at the age of 65.