For over 35 years, History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture have recognized the important role that agriculture has played in our state’s history and economic development through the Centennial Farms & Ranches program, celebrated each year at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.
Above: Kochis Farm homestead, 2009. Photo courtesy of the Kochis Farm.
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In 1913 August Lueth was granted a homestead patent for 160 acres in Sedgwick County. Eventually the land eventually passed onto his son Walter and then to his children Beverly, John, Robert and Betty.
Waterfall Ranch, named for the waterfall that cascades down the steep red rocks behind the site of the original cabin, was sold to John James Zink in 1917. The land proved abundant from the start, yielding great crops of potatoes.
In the early 1910s John Weirich homesteaded 160 acres in Kiowa County. By 1913 Jacob F. and Emma Weirich had added more acreage, both by homesteading, and the family continued to expand the land through homesteading by Jacob’s son Wayne and his brothers Jack and Bob.
In 1909, Charles (Dade) and Pearl Whomble homesteaded 320 acres 17 miles south of Wray, in Yuma County. In 1917 the new cement house went up – a big two-story with gabled roof. They also added a brooding house, chicken house, hog shed, water house, garage, flower garden and lily pond!
In 1911 Charles and Nancy Wilson homesteaded 160 acres in Montezuma County where they first burned sagebrush to clear the land. Their son Arthur was born in 1921 and can remember the first farm team as a mule and a crippled mare as well as one of the first crops, which was corn for the livestock.