The Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF) covers built resources and rural historic landscapes in Phillips County associated with agricultural settlement in the 1880s through 1965.
In 1887, the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad built a line through northeastern Colorado, spurring the settlement of what would soon become Phillips County. The Lincoln Land Company, the railroad’s land division, platted communities along the route. Haxtun, Holyoke, Paoli, and Amherst developed as service centers for the surrounding farmland. Phillips borders Sedgwick, Logan, and Yuma counties in Colorado and Chase and Perkins counties in Nebraska. The county attracted a large number of settlers of German and Scandinavian descent, many second or third generation immigrants coming from Nebraska or other Midwestern states.
The historic context covers four themes: late nineteenth-century settlement and pioneer agriculture in Phillips County, 1889-1900; the "New Nebraska:" Progressive farming and economic growth, 1900-1930; Depression, drought, and Federal relief, 1930-1946; and mid-century modernization, 1946-1965. The property type is Farmstead with its various subtypes. Principal areas of significance at the local level include Architecture and Agriculture. Registration requirements include districts that may be considered rural historic landscapes.
The 1917 Oltjenbruns Farm is an excellent example of a family farming operation, associated with both the farming boom of the 1910s and the dramatic changes in farming practices at the mid-twentieth century. A German immigrant who operated several farms in Nebraska before moving to Phillips County, August Welper was a general farmer who planted dryland wheat and alfalfa and raised horses, cows, and chickens.
The Harms Farm family farming operation reflects farming trends in Phillips County between the 1910s boom and the evolution from diversified farming to more specialized farming operations in the mid-twentieth century. Although the land was originally claimed the land under the Timber Culture Act in 1894, the current farm dates to 1917 with crops of dryland wheat, corn, and millet. Additionally, livestock consisted of sheep, dairy cows, chickens, and hogs.
In the family since 1906, Millage Farm district occupies 160 acres. The property is locally significant for agriculture for its long association with dryland farming and livestock production in Phillips County for the period 1906-1963.
The 320-acre Hargreaves Homestead district has been family owned since its establishment. Henry Hargreaves, an emigrant from Liverpool, England, filed a pre-emption claim on the southwest quarter of the section in spring 1887. Hargreaves’ highly successful farming and ranching operation was touted in circa -1920s promotional brochures published by the railroad.