THOMPSON RANCH - THE BEGINNING OF A LEGACY

ADAMS COUNTY, COLORADO (Originally was part of Arapahoe County)

On 104th, between Federal and Sheridan - southside

 

FROM BARE LAND TO HOMESTEAD............

It started with bare land in 1882, when Thomas obtained a Timber Homestead. That was proven and complete by 1892. I am told not too much beyond the basic requirements for a homestead was done by Thomas and Susan, and I am sure that their three sons - Thomas, William and Frederick J., did quite a bit of the work involved. Thomas had been a Master Confectioner in England, and apparently continued to be after they immigrated around 1870. We believe that health problems forced his early retirement from being a chef. He had no farming experience. Susan, however, was a daughter of a English farmer. History shows at any rate that their youngest son, Frederick James, had an intense interest in farming and ranching. He purchased the land from his parents in 1895. And from him grew one of the farming legacies of Eastern Colorado.

In 1901 he was the first in Colorado to use the newest farming innovation - summer fallow. He had traveled clear to Montana to visit a Mr. Campbell up there who taught him the basic principles. I have been told he was always buying the newest equipment, using the newest innovations. I am however going to qualify that statement by saying that he made sure all the newest equipment was available for his farm hands and his sons. He himself continued to farm with his beloved draft horses for many years. And he wrote many articles on farming and ranching over the years.

Life was not easy for the F. J. Thompson family. In September 1902 he was brutally assaulted and left for dead in a ditch. You can read about this in an online transcription of the various articles - Assault and Shooting of F. J. Thompson . Tragedy did not remain a stranger to the family, but here we would like to show you the positive side of this history.

We do not have any photos prior to the early 1900's of the ranch, but sit back and let us take you on a trip through time back to

FROM HOMESTEAD TO A HOME ...............

We have no date on this photo, but believe it was taken before the ones below.

Agnes hold Harvey, Fred M. standing, Willie sitting in chair, Harold sitting on ground

About Summer 1908

Agnes holding Harvey, Fred M. standing center, Fred J. sitting, Willie and Harold standing in front, and unknown young man on right.

About Summer 1908

About 1908 or 1909

About 1908 or 1909

About 1908 or 1909

Writing on back says locust driveway, 1/4 mile, Thompson's Ranch (no date)

I believe it is looking north from the house toward what is now 104th.

You have seen a glimpse of the home they created from a homestead, but a family must make a living off the land. So let's take a visit to ............

FROM HOMESTEAD TO A WORKING FARM ............. Page 2

Page created October 13, 2001 by MaryLee Thompson-Saban.  Perpetual Copyright 2001 All Rights Reserved.

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Page Last Updated Sunday, October 12, 2014