Dakan Family and Ranches
Brothers Allan and George Dakan came to Douglas County in about 1867. The result of these two brothers, their families and their descendants, is that the Dakan name is well known over the county.
Dakan Road marks where their first homesteads and business ventures could be found. William Allan Dakan, known as Allan, had his ranch there, Midwestern Douglas County just east of the Rampart Range and south of today’s Wolfensberger Road and north of Tomah. He farmed, growing barley and oats, raised dairy cows and made butter. Dakan’s Mining Camp, which became the town of Dakan from 1896 through 1898, was started as a mining camp by George and Allan, in this same area. With discoveries of gold a town soon sprang forth with a hotel, post office and stage coach stop. Many people came to this area with the hope of making it rich, but those hopes died very soon when the strikes ran their course. Here is an excerpt from the 1896 Castle Rock Journal about the mining camp. “Considerable excitement has been caused this week by reported gold discoveries near Perry Park on and around Allan Dakan’s ranch. A number of prospectors have been quietly making investigations and from assays just received there is good reason to believe that Douglas county will soon have a thriving mining camp right in her midst. Geo. Dakan of this place spent Thursday looking over the ground and staked several claims. He is satisfied that there are good gold indications….Allan Dakan, whose ranch adjoins the scene of the strike has made arrangements to plat twenty acres and a town will shortly make its appearance. A stage line will immediately be put on from Sedalia and another from Castle Rock is also talked of.”
George opened a blacksmith shop in Castle Rock in 1884. He had a reputation as a reliable workman who did quality work. The Castle Rock Journal of 1885 had this to say about George’s business – “George Dakan shows us a masterpiece of workmanship – a pair of wire-nippers, which is as fine a job as we have seen. They are manufactured by him in his leisure hours and demonstrates that in the working up of steel George is second to no other workman in the State. His methods are plain and substantial and his work is to the convenience of the ranchman, the mechanic and the general public.”
Sometime before 1903 George left Castle Rock and could be found in Custer County.
William Allan Dakan died at age 74, having lived 44 years in Douglas County. The Record Journal had this obituary. “Again Douglas County is called to mourn the loss of one of the best types of citizens. A large assembly of friends attended the burial services of William Allan Dakan held in St. Philip’s church last Sunday afternoon … He did service in the Civil War in Company M, Eighth Missouri Regiment… In 1867 he married Elizabeth Cahill in Oregon, and in 1870 moved to Colorado and homesteaded the ranch where he departed this life… In the forty-four years that he and his family of seven children lived …they transformed it (the ranch) from a semi-barren place to one of the beauty spots of Douglas County; a home such as any seeing would remark, “well done”, in fervent admiration of that type of citizen, who through the hardships, discouragements and dangers of pioneer life, extended the boundary line of civilization.”
George and Allan’s descendants were found to live in many places in Douglas County; Perry Park, Glen Grove, Larkspur, Castle Rock, West Castle Rock. They stayed on the family ranches and had ranches and business of their own, some of the business included; farming, mining, attorney and stagecoach driver. They participated in the county, becoming a county commissioner and coroner, chairman of the Perry Park Social Club, running for the public office of constable, serving in WWI and much more.
Thanks to the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection, Clara McClure Turner’s account of life in Larkspur, Greenland and Perry Park; Douglas County a Historical Journey, by Josephine Marr; Our Heritage the People of Douglas County; US Postal History on line; Douglas County marriages of 1864-1915 and Biographical Record the People of Douglas County.