Chaffee County used to be a part of Lake County until February, 1879, when it was split in half. The dividing line was roughly a few miles north of present day Granite, which used to be Chaffee County's seat. Prior to this date, some of the most infamous and wild times in the history of the west occurred, especially during what was called, "the Lake County Wars".
Hugh Boon, one of the first postmasters and a school superintendent in Lake County, said:
"With a rapid influx of settlers, prospectors, and miners, and the rough element that came with the building of the railroads, things were considerably unsettled; and as in all newly organized territories, the machinery for law enforcement had considerable difficulty in functioning. More that one hundred homicides occurred during this period without a single conviction; it being almost impossible to get witnesses to swear to the killings."