In 1898 doctors told Oran Houseweart to move to Colorado to help with his asthma. He left his family’s farm in Kansas and headed for Hotchkiss to work for several ranchers.
In 1910 Oran sent for his sweetheart, Mable Grove, and together they bought 20 acres of land in Colorado. They pulled out the existing fruit trees and planted a grazing pasture. On the new pasture, they owned a herd of milk cows and five hundred chickens. The eggs and cream from their animals were shipped to Telluride and Grand Junction respectively. After a few years they acquired 60 more acres and a forest permit in order to graze their ever-growing herd of cattle.
In 1967 Bill Houseweart, Oran’s grandson, received a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. He opened a clinic half a mile from the ranch, which continues to serve the community. In 2002 Jim’s son, Ira, opened a blacksmith shop on the original 20-acre property. Currently the fifth generation of the family is growing up on the farm. The family still raise their herd, which has cows descending from the original Houseweart herd in 1913.