Two Montezuma County properties honored as Centennial Farms and Ranches

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Two Montezuma County properties honored as Centennial Farms and Ranches

Working ranches have been in the family for 100 years
Gale Greenlee discusses one of the original homestead buildings that still stands at the 100-year-old ranch.
Vern Koppenhafer stands in the doorway of the farm house where he was born.
Vern Koppenhafer still cuts alfalfa on his farm south of Cortez.
Gale Greenlee talks about the early days on the ranch. A 100-year-old corn planter, left, is among the old equipment stored in a field.
Vern and Ruth Koppenhafer pose outside in front of the garden that Ruth says she must have every year.
An early family portrait of the Koppenhafer family.
Nomie, Nellie and DeVota Koppenhafer wash clothes outside the original homestead.
Gale Greenlee still raises cattle on the 100-year-old ranch on Road H.
The original blacksmith shop still has some of the 100-year-old tools stored in the log building.
The first outhouse at the Greenlee Ranch still sits in a field.
The original home still stands at the Greenlee Ranch.
Who's minding the ranch?

Frank and Molly Greenlee’s tumultuous lives created no shortage of stories.
Gale Greenlee told a story about how one winter, they were forced to leave their children behind on the ranch while they worked in Arizona to make some extra money to pay taxes.
“In about 1926, they owed their taxes on this farm,” Gale said. “It was about $18. But they didn’t have $18, and they needed to pay the taxes or they’d lose the place, so they packed up and went to Phoenix that winter and worked at day labor that whole winter to get enough money to come back and pay the taxes and farm another year.”
Left behind, their children – Gale’s father, George, one of them – tended to the land. Gale guessed that they were all around 12-16 years in age.
“They left all those kids here to fend for themselves,” Gale’s wife, Pat Walker, said. “(They) lived in that old house and took care of things while Mom and Dad were gone. Imagine trusting your kids to take care of the ranch while you’re away in another state. They were adventuresome people.”
– Connor Henry

Two Montezuma County properties honored as Centennial Farms and Ranches

Gale Greenlee discusses one of the original homestead buildings that still stands at the 100-year-old ranch.
Vern Koppenhafer stands in the doorway of the farm house where he was born.
Vern Koppenhafer still cuts alfalfa on his farm south of Cortez.
Gale Greenlee talks about the early days on the ranch. A 100-year-old corn planter, left, is among the old equipment stored in a field.
Vern and Ruth Koppenhafer pose outside in front of the garden that Ruth says she must have every year.
An early family portrait of the Koppenhafer family.
Nomie, Nellie and DeVota Koppenhafer wash clothes outside the original homestead.
Gale Greenlee still raises cattle on the 100-year-old ranch on Road H.
The original blacksmith shop still has some of the 100-year-old tools stored in the log building.
The first outhouse at the Greenlee Ranch still sits in a field.
The original home still stands at the Greenlee Ranch.
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