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A Little History on Chief Ouray

Depending on your familiarity with Ouray, Colorado, you may know that the city as well as the county were named after the Native American chief Ouray of the Ute tribe. Born in New Mexico during the 1800s, details such as his spouse Chipeta and the disappearance of his son Queashegut. Other details regarding his life tend to differ which makes it tricky to keep an accurate history on Ouray.

Ouray’s father was Guera Murah, also a Ute chief despite being of the Apache tribe. Ouray was not raised by his parents. Instead, he grew up with a bilingual family that spoke English and Spanish and he received his education from Catholic friars. The bulk of his youth was spent working for Mexican sheepherders and participating in battles against tribes like the Sioux, who may have been responsible for capturing Ouray’s son years later.

Despite his personal turmoil, Ouray was a respected leader and he sought co-existence to ensure the survival of the Ute tribe and was instrumental in having treaties signed. The 19th President of the United States Rutherford B. Hayes once dubbed Ouray the most intellectual man he had ever had a conversation with.

This update is provided by Twins Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs. Our Ouray lodging, full-service hotel has seven different room types including rooms for couples or families with children. Our amenities include Ouray Colorado hot springs, a free breakfast, spectacular vistas of the mountains, and much more. For additional information about us or Ouray, please call 800.207.2700 or visit us at 125 3rd Avenue Ouray, Colorado 81427.


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