Trails to the Past: Otero County Colorado

Welcome to Otero County, Colorado

A Part of the Trails to the Past Project

This web site is devoted to helping you find your family who resided in Otero County. There are records and/or links to records for Otero County. A new project I've just introduced is a page for Otero County families, a mini-biography of sorts. If you would like to contribute a write-up of your Otero County families, contact me and I'll be happy to put it online. Not all the records are available, but we are working at adding them as we can. If you have anything to contribute, be sure to contact me. My email address is

Copy and paste my address into your email template, add something in the subject line related to Otero County so I'll be sure to notice it, and send it along.

History and Formation of Otero County

Otero County was formed in 1889 from the western part of Bent County, and named for Miguel Otero, a founder of La Junta and head of the mercantile firm of Otero, Sellers & Company. La Junta is the county seat. If your family was in the area prior to 1889, you should check for records in Bent County. La Junta was first founded in 1875 as a temporary station for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, incorporated in 1881 and becoming a major commercial center in the following years. Another main town in Otero County was Rocky Ford, first founded in 1868 by Mr. A. Russell, moved to another location about 1877 and co-founded by Mr. Russell and George W. Swink. Agriculture was its principle industry, and the area was well known for its fine watermelon crop. Livestock was another industry prevalent in Otero County.

Otero County Links

Census Records

Census Guide for Otero County

Currently there are no free online census records for Otero County. If you have access to census records for Otero County and a little free time, consider volunteering to transcribe one (or more) censuses, or even a township or partial township and donate your work to this project. Just email me at with your submissions and I'll get them up as quick as I can.

More Records

We are planning to include more online records for Otero County. We'll be adding to our Otero Families Page, your submissions are certainly welcome, too. Just email me at allen.alice @ (copy this address to your email template). We also plan to add bible, church, vital, cemetery, census and biographies to our site. Be sure to check back to see what's new.

Colorado Links

"The Fine Print"
This web site and its contents, except where otherwise noted on the page, are copyrighted 2010, and may not be copied, altered, converted nor uploaded to any electronic system or BBS, nor linked from any pay-for-view site, linked in such a manner as to appear to be part of another site including frame capturing, nor included in any software collection or print collection of any type without the express written permission of the author of this site, namely: Trails to the Past and/or Alice Allen, Otero County Administrator.

Last Update: August 25, 2010