The untold stories of Summit County
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Special People and Places
Stories of Summit County
The first generation homesteaders changed the demographics from mines and miners to ranches and families. We plan to keep collecting and sharing the stories of these Summit County homesteaders.
Emma Benson Bailiff
Emma Benson Baliff
In 1914 Emma received a patent for 160 acres located between Dillon and Frisco. This patent is listed as a cash sale, meaning the land was purchased, not homesteaded, by Ballif from the federal government in 1914. According to her neighbors, Emma did all the work by herself on the ranch.
The Knorr Ranch today sits along the Green Mountain Resverior near the town of Heeney. The ranch was originally homesteaded by William and Maurice Guyselman in 1882.
Benjamin Franklin Rice
Benjamin Franklin Rice (Ben) applied for and received one of the first homesteads in Summit County. He received his patent (deed of ownership) in 1898. Ben and his wife Mabel moved into the one room cabin on the 160 acres located six miles from Dillon.
Edward Theodore Riley
Etta & Edward Theodore Riley
Ed, his brother John and his father James came to Colorado in 1891, first to Denver and then to Dillon, Summit County. Their lives would intertwine throughout adulthood. Ed was the businessman and John was the adventurer.
Bill Thomas Ranch
The Thomas family story often focuses on the achievements of Bill Thomas and the family ranch. This is the story of his mother, Jane.
Whatley Family Homestead
The Whatley Ranch is located just North of Breckenridge off Airport Road. Today we recognize this area as Red Tail Ranch.