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.
Search by County
Search for Centennial Farms and Ranches designated since 2011 by entering a county.
George Sr. and Anna Eurich were born in Czechoslovakia and came to the United States in the early 1900s. George lived briefly in Pennsylvania before moving to Pueblo where he worked in the steel mills.
In 1886 George and Ann Poe and their four children homesteaded on the Frenchman Creek 6 miles east of Holyoke, Phillips County. 1894 was very dry, and the crops wouldn’t grow so they turned the cattle loose, pulled up stakes, and drifted with the cattle into the sand hills 4 miles southeast of the original place. There they built a sod house and a barn and purchased a quarter section of land for $10. After the passing of George, the land went to sons Herman and Winnie.
Traveling from Kansas in a covered wagon, Charles Gergen arrived at his homestead site in March 1907. After marrying Nellie Shannon in October 1911, Charles gained full ownership to his land in April 1913. Of Nellie and Charles’ five children, their youngest son, Paul Gergen, stayed on the farm, buying it from his father in 1947 for his new bride Rosemary.After many years of dryland farming the Gergens were some of the first farmers in the area to install irrigation for their corn crops.
Comprising 320 acres in Kit Carson County near Flagler, the original Gering Farm was homesteaded by Edward Gering and patented on July 22, 1913. Edward and wife Edith raised four children on the farm and expanded their acreage through the years.
Gillham’s Rim Ranch was established in 1917 by Roy E. Gillham of Archer, Nebraska when he bought 160 acres of land near Peetz, Colorado. Roy and his wife Orpha would acquire additional tracts of land in the 1920s while raising their three boys, Kenneth, Charles Dean, and Robert. After returning from duty in World War II, Charles Dean and his wife Mary Adele would move into the farm once Roy and Orpha had built themselves a new home in Peetz.
Establishing their claim on the plains of Eastern Colorado in 1912 after arriving in a covered wagon from Missouri, James M. Kenny and his family were officially granted legal ownership of the property by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917.
James’ daughter Arlie would marry Red Hamilton, and the couple would build the original homestead on the land while raising their four children in the 1920s. Their son Marvin, along with his wife Evelyn continued to build the ranch into a well respected operation.
Harold Russell Vickerman spent his childhood in Silver Cliff, the son of a widowed miner and the youngest of six children. As a young man he worked on his brother’s ranch near Rosita. At age 26, he leased 160 acres near Westcliffe and used the proceeds from his first crop of hay to purchase the ranch in 1918. The property included two historic houses, built in 1883 and 1887, that are still in use today. In 1919 he married Velma Hocking and together they ran cattle, grew hay, and raised two sons, Wilbur and Harold Gillard.