Author & Storyteller

John Anderson is a Colorado historian, popular speaker and author of several articles and books. His third book, Native American Prayer Trees of Colorado, published in collaboration with the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) and is available on Amazon or at the OCCHS Gift Shop, 1 South 24th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904 (719.636.1225) and signed copies can be ordered from this website. John has previously given talks and book signings for the Colorado Mountain Club, Pikes Peak Library District, and the Evergreen Audubon Society and was the speaker for the AdAmAn Club annual dinner in 2015. In addition to giving presentations, John has also led dozens of Ute Indian Prayer Tree Field Trips for organizations to include the Colorado Archeological Society (Pikes Peak Chapter), Denver Botanic Gardens, Prairie Winds Elementary School and the Florissant Scientific Society. For a listing of upcoming scheduled events please see the calendar of events on this website or contact John to book an event on any of these three subjects (further details are available under our resources tab):

Ute Prayer Trees in the Pikes Peak Region – Presentation

This presentation is based on the book written by John Wesley Anderson and published by the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS). The Ute Indian Prayer Trees of the Pikes Peak Region is not just a story about Culturally Modified Trees; it’s about the advanced culture of the deeply spiritual people behind the trees. The Ute were the indigenous people of the Pikes Peak Region who skillfully modified trees for navigational, spiritual, burial, medicinal, nutritional and educational purposes. The Ute name for Pikes Peak was Tava, meaning the Sun Mountain and Tava was the most sacred of all the Shining Mountains for the Ute believe the Creator allows the day to start there first and each day is a gift from the Creator.

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Rankin Scott Kelly, 1st Sheriff El Paso County, Colorado Territory 1861-1867 – Presentation

Overview: This presentation is based on research for a book by John Wesley Anderson and published by the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS). This non-fiction book, Rankin Scott Kelly, 1st Sheriff El Paso County, Colorado Territory 1861-1867 is based on the true life and times of the first lawman in the Pikes Peak Region. Attempting to conceal his darkest secret, Kelly traveled west on the Santa Fe Trail, arriving with a wagon train in Colorado City on June 5, 1860. He was appointed Sheriff the following year, when the Colorado Territory was established and his first duty was to arrest seven cattle rustlers, known as the Salt Lake City Jim Gang, which ended with Sheriff Kelly killing two men and wounding a third, the first of his many gunfights with outlaw gangs.

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Discovering the Anza Legacy – Presentation

This presentation is based on research for a book by John Anderson. This non-fiction book, Discovering the Anza Legacy, is based on de Anza’s campaign against the Comanche Warchief Cuerno Verde (Green Horn). While the legacy of Juan Bautista de Anza has been fairly well established throughout much of the American Southwest, his influence during the 18th Century remains relatively unknown across today’s Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. Recognizing the threat of the Comanche, known as the Lord of the Plains, Governor de Anza led a mounted force of 600 Spanish, 200 Ute and 50 Jicarilla Apache, around Sierra del Almagre (Pikes Peak) attacking the Comanche main camp on August 31, 1779 (at present-day I-25 & Highway 24 in Colorado Springs).

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John Anderson is an artist and is currently represented by the Southwinds Fine Art Gallery, 16575 Rollercoaster Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80921 (719.481.6157 In addition to offering his oil paintings and watercolors for sale, John’s art photography is also available at the gallery or online through this website. Although John remains most interested in the art, culture and history of the American Southwest, his main themes include: Landscapes, Seascapes, Spacescapes and Escapes.

Landscapes: Living in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains John has long enjoyed drawing and painting landscapes, especially the snowcapped mountain scenes, which have remained relatively unchanged since the Ute Indians travelled across what they knew as the Shining Mountains. Recently, John has begun to incorporate his fascination with the Native American history of the American Southwest into his art, including a series in progress illustrating the types of Ute Indian Prayer Trees.

Seascapes: Views of the water, above, on or below the surface, have long been a subject of John’s seascapes. He has enjoyed several adventures aboard a catamaran sailing the tropical Bahamas and Caribbean Islands, reaching as far south as the Grenadines. While on various international corporate assignments with Lockheed Martin, John felt privileged to have snorkeled with US Navy personnel off the Horn of Africa and took time off from work while abroad to study the art at the Louvre in Paris.

Spacescapes: John has always been drawn to the mystery and beauty of deep space, especially when viewed through the lens of the Hubble Space Telescope. While with Lockheed Martin John worked alongside several of the engineers and astronauts who designed, built, launched and repaired the space telescope that gives us the colorful images of distant stars, galaxies and nebulas.

Escapes: When not writing, sculpting or consulting, John likes to escape into his freeform paintings which blend colors to provide temperature variations and offers shapes to suggest images for the viewer to enjoy.


John Anderson, President/CEO of JW Anderson & Associates, Ltd., and his business associates offer clients an unique set of skills acquired during a thirty year law enforcement career, followed by ten years corporate experience with a Fortune 500 Company. Consulting contracts are available on an hourly rate, plus expenses, or under a Firm Fixed Price (FFP) contract, allowing clients to choose which cost containment options best serve their project needs.

Culturally Modified Tree (CMT) Site Assessments

Drawing upon the knowledge and expertise acquired researching his book Ute Indian Prayer Trees of the Pikes Peak Region, John has begun offering public and private land owners Culturally Modified Tree (CMT) Site Assessments. CMT Site Assessments are focused on the identification and preservation of these living Native American artifacts. This unique service is particularly helpful for city, county, state or national parks that plan to incorporate Native American history and culture into existing or future parks, trails or open space. The identification, classification and geolocation of CMTs prove helpful for educational or recreational planning, as well as for wildland fire mitigation and/or recovery efforts. Call for hourly rates. 719.651.2337

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Corporate Consulting Services

With a unique background in public safety, homeland security and homeland defense, John can provide corporate clients an opportunity to hire a consulting team to provide services on demand avoiding the costs associated with full-time employees. John’s area of expertise includes the transference or dual-use of technologies from the warfighter to the firefighter or crime fighter, first responder domains. While employed in the aerospace defense contracting world, John detected a sincere desire by corporations in the defense industry to do business with the police, law enforcement, fire/EMS/SAR and first responder communities of interest. From his thirty years prior law enforcement service, John also observed a real need for the first responder communities to more effectively satisfy their advanced technology needs. JW Anderson and Associates, Ltd., can help their clients address this growing adjacent business opportunity. Corporate services offered by John Anderson and/or his associates include:

1. Business Development
2. Third-party Investigations
3. Business Process Re-engineering
4. Corporate Security Investigations
5. Threat and Vulnerability Assessments
6. Advanced Technology Spiral Development
7. Police Policy, Organization & Administration
8. Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) Consulting
9. Crime Scene Investigations & Forensic Expert Witness

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