The Sketchy Circumstances Surrounding Fort Collins’ First Murder
Fort Collins is a beloved home to many. It's the perfect place to raise a family, a popular place to move for college, and it's the ideal location for residents to happily spend the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, however, perfection sometimes comes with a price - in the form of murder.
There have been a handful of murders in Fort Collins over the years, including some that have shaped the city's history.
Those who go on history tours may be quite familiar with the murder of Eva Howe and the lynching of her husband (and murderer) James H. Howe on April 4, 1888. As the story goes, Howe murdered his wife while he was intoxicated and was immediately arrested. Howe did not live to see a trial, as he was lynched in the courthouse yard the same night.
That murder and lynching, though quite Lifetime movie-worthy, was not the first murder in Fort Collins' recorded history, and the circumstances surrounding the first murder are actually pretty sketchy.
According to Fort Collins History Connection, Fort Collins was something of a rowdy town back in the day with a number of saloons, brothels, and casinos that attracted drifters and idle men - the perfect recipe for trouble.
Fort Collins' first murder happened on Christmas Eve in 1881 at a brothel on North Meldrum when Tex Lindeville shot Albert Sherwood, a black employee of the Tedmon House (where Nature's Own stands today on the corner of Jefferson and Linden streets). While it's not clear why Lindeville shot Sherwood in the first place, it's incredibly disturbing that this happened in a place that people paid for sex.
Lindeville ended up pleading self-defense and was acquitted.