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Franklin Capen Avery

Surveyor.  Banker.  Businessmen. Visionary.

Born and raised near Lake Cayuga in upstate New York, Franklin Avery completed a course in civil engineering and headed west in 1870 to seek his fortune.  The 21-year old surveyor joined the Union Colony and soon began laying out the streets of Greeley.  Three years later, he laid out the streets of Fort Collins as well.
Over the next few years, Avery’s influence grew quickly.  He ventured into ranching, real estate, irrigation and banking.  He gradually acquired extensive property in town and the surrounding farmlands of both Larimer and Weld Counties.        
In 1880, Avery founded a new bank that soon became known as the First National Bank of Fort Collins.  He located the bank in the Opera Block Building on the west side of College Avenue.  When he completed construction of the Avery Block in 1897, the bank moved to the new building and opened its doors beneath the “Stone Lion” we all know today.

Franklin courted Sarah Eason, a girl from upstate New York, by mail and returned to marry her in 1876.  He built the landmark Avery House on Mountain Avenue to provide a gracious home for his young family.
  ( Fort Collins Local History Archive H06182)

When Franklin Avery platted Fort Collins in 1873, he gave us the wide streets we appreciate today.  (
Fort Collins Local History Archive H22587)

Franklin, shown here with his grandson Frank, retired in 1910.  He and Sarah left Fort Collins for California in 1917, hoping his health would improve at the lower elevation.  He died there in 1923. 
(Fort Collins Local History Archive H07554a)

Franklin C. Avery in 1894  (Fort Collins Local History Archive AVERY_FC)

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