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left: young bearded man in CivilWar officer's uniform. Right: same man, older, in general's uniform with medals
George West as Captain of the Colorado 2nd Volunteer Cavalry (1862-1865) and as Adjutant General of the Colorado State Militia (1887-1888) – both images from the Golden History Museum collection.

I’m often asked whether George West (founder of the Colorado Transcript) is related to “Camp George West” on South Golden Road. The answer is yes.

George West was born in New Hampshire is 1826 and migrated to Boston to learn the printing trade. While there, he enlisted in the First Massachusetts Volunteer Militia and rose to the rank of Captain. During the Civil War, he was commissioned as a Captain in the Colorado Volunteers. He served as a recruiter and a quartermaster and led Company F of the Colorado 2nd Volunteer Cavalry in battle in Missouri.

old man, young man, and child in military uniforms
Colorado Transcript Founder George West, Son Harley West, and Grandson Neil West Kimball – from the Golden History Museum collection

After the war, he was active in Grand Army of the Republic activities. In 1887, the Governor appointed him to serve as Adjutant General of the Colorado State Militia. His son, Harley West, served with the same organization (by that time called the “Colorado Guard”) in the Spanish-American War in 1898. His grandson, Neil West Kimball, served in Europe during World War I and in 1934 was appointed Adjutant General of the Colorado National Guard (47 years after his grandfather held the same job). During Neil’s term, the Governor renamed the State Rifle Range to “Camp George West.”

stone gateway with the words "CAMP GEORGE WEST" hanging from the cross piece

May 1, 1934
In order to perpetuate the name of an officer who served faithfully and gallantly in the Civil War, commanding an organization of Colorado men, and who played an important part in upbuilding in the heart of the Rocky Mountains the great State of Colorado,and who served as the Adjutant General of the State from 1887 to 1889, the State Rifle Rage near Golden, Colorado, is, effective as of this date, renamed and redesignated CAMP GEORGE WEST and will henceforth be so referred to in all communication and orders of whatsoever nature pertaining to this range.