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 1887 Albert N. Corliss (known to friends and family as A.N.) left Vermont at the age of 23 to start a new life in Colorado. By 1892 he had married Lillian May Yale and three years later took up a homestead on the Republican River in Kit Carson County. The area was known as Tuttle and had artesian wells, the South Fork of the Republican River, and several natural lakes on the property.
A hearty pioneer woman’s spirit was the beginning of the legacy for this northeast Colorado farm and ranch. Annie and Samuel Seward came to Colorado in 1888 with five small children in a prairie schooner to homestead in Yuma County.
Conrad and Anna Meis purchased the farm in December of 1915. A year later, Conrad, Anna, and their children: Leo, Clatus, and Cyrilla moved from Elgin, Nebraska to their farm near Yuma, Colorado. They moved machinery, household goods, and livestock by train. The farm consisted of 320 acres, a house and a shed where they stored equipment and livestock. Three additional children were born: Raymond, Norbert, and Edith. Using a team of horses the family raised corn, wheat, and small grains as well as cattle, hogs, and chickens.
William Sanderson and family moved from Hamilton Missouri to Monte Vista in Rio Grande County in 1907, a time when land developers and the railroad were encouraging migration to the San Luis valley. The Sandersons acquired 160 acres in 1908.