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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Amidst the hustle and bustle of early Colorado’s mining boomtown lifestyle, Thornton and Margaret "Madge" Brown craved a simpler life. Their dream was fulfilled when the bank assayer and his wife, a school teacher, decided to leave Cripple Creek and purchased their ranch near Steamboat Springs in 1915. However, in 1918, tragedy struck. Thornton died in the Spanish flu epidemic, leaving Madge a widow.
Theodore Carpenter purchased the home place, consisting of 320 acres, in 1917. Over the years, the Carpenter-Newbanks family has contributed a variety of crops and livestock to the Colorado economy, including horses raised and trained by Clifford Carpenter. The family continues to be contributors to the farming community in Colorado with fine crops and talented agricultural leaders.
Charles T. Neally and Lizzie Agnue Paul homesteaded in the Beaver Valley Community northeast of Burlington, Colorado and acquired their property under the Homestead Act of 1862. They built their home out of rocks and sod, but only the foundations remain today.
Albert Sloane White began farming 80 acres near Kersey in 1918 to raise milking cows, pigs, and chickens fed by the corn, grass, and alfalfa that he also grew. Albert’s four children, John White, Albert White, DeliaAnn Betalle, and Mary Chesnut took over the farm, which was eventually owned and operated by Mary and her son Kevin Chesnut. Today the farm is over 1,000 acres, where Kevin and his wife Julie and their family continue to raise corn, grass, and alfalfa as grown by his grandfather.
William Soloman Freeman bought a 320-acre homestead in 1909. Originally, he raised feed and cattle. He custom plowed the ranch with a steam engine. The bunkhouse was pulled on skids for the steam engine driver and family to live in.
Enzelow Chick was born in 1850, near Dayton, Ohio. He married Delia McDaniels on New Year’s Day, 1870. By 1915, the family had nine children, and after several moves around the Midwest the Chick family settled in Campo, Colorado. In 1916 the Chicks bought 622 acres where they built a two-story house. On the adjoining land, Dow, the youngest of the Chick children, found his life partner, Elsie Ferne Messer. They married in 1919, operated Elsie’s family’s farm, and had five children.