Gov. Jared Polis ordered flags lowered to half-staff Friday to honor former U.S. Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, who was born in Colorado Springs.
Dingell, the country’s longest-serving congressman, died Thursday at age 92.
Flags were to be lowered at public buildings statewide until sunset Saturday, says a news release from the governor’s office.
Dingell was born July 8, 1926, in Colorado Springs, where his family had moved from Michigan so his father could seek treatment for asthma and tuberculosis, ColoradoPolitics.com reported.
The family soon returned to Michigan, where his father was elected to Congress in 1932.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, tuberculosis sufferers sought relief in the dry climate and fresh air of the Western United States. Colorado Springs became so famous for its TB sanatoriums that in the 1880s and 1890s, it was estimated that a third of the city’s population had tuberculosis, or consumption as it was then called.
The Pikes Peak region once had 17 sanatoriums, each with dozens of huts that were steam-heated and kept open except in very cold weather.
“Tuberculosis treatment was our industry,” Matt Mayberry, director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, told The Gazette in 2012. “Other than the military, I don’t think there was a bigger economic driver in Colorado Springs.”