When Edward W. Wynkoop came to this area in 1858, it was called Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory. The governor of the territory, James Denver, named Wynkoop to be its first sheriff. When the city was organized here Wynkoop proposed that it be named for the Kansas governor.
In 1860, a local newspaper published these nice words about Ned Wynkoop (as he was called): "Ned is considered by his personal friends a warm and genial companion, true as steel." Ned Wynkoop was also an actor. In 1861, the Rocky Mountain News reviewed his performance at the Apollo: "His rendition of the Drunkard was given with most thrilling effect and in the scenes of delirium... he exhibited more than an ordinary histrionic ability." Let this be a lesson to us all.
Wynkoop spent five years as an officer in the army, rising to the rank of colonel. (In 1864, he was an unwilling party to an act of betrayal and treachery, Colorado’s Sand Creek massacre. The event haunted him for the rest of his life).