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 1915 Leslie V. Allen filed a homestead in Dove Creek with the Department of the Interior. At the time, the farm was just 160 acres. Three years later, Allen applied for an additional 80 acres of land.
Jake and Catherine Allmer purchased Allmer Farm and Ranch on February 14, 1916. After Catherine Allmer died in childbirth, Jake married Clara Knisler on January 14, 1932. The two had nine children, one of whom was Floyd Allmer.
In the early 1900s Russian Germans George and Alice Ament began farming near Fruita, but relocated to Iliff in Logan County in 1914 when they purchased 502 acres from a sheep rancher who didn’t like the new North Sterling Irrigation District.
In 1912 Harry and Clara Ashbaugh purchased land south of Buckingham, Colorado, as a homestead relinquishment. Harry spent the spring of 1913 moving household goods, stock, and implements from Nebraska to the land in northeast Weld County. Clara and their two sons had joined him in 1913 and lived in the barn for 6 months.
Earl and Frances Bailey, grandparents to current owner Don, homesteaded Bailey Ranch in 1916 after traveling from Hennessey Oklahoma in a covered wagon. They raised feed crops, cows, and horses, which was continued by their son Loren and Betty Lee Bailey.
Just after Etta and Elmer Ball were married on March 18, 1914, Groveland, Kansas, they rounded up their team of gray horses, a saddle horse, a walking hand plow, a harrow, a four-wheeled grain bed wagon, a hundred fence posts, some furniture and the family organ, and boarded an emigrant railroad car destined for Briggsdale, Colorado.
Claude Everett and Lillie Sellers Everett were both born in 1884 and married in Beulah, Colorado in 1905. They came to the Mancos valley and homesteaded their ranch in 1915. They had nine children, expanded their ranch and were known for helping their neighbors and community.