Ever wonder who is one of the more mature couples in the Mancos Valley?
One of them is Russell and Faye Culp. They just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. That makes my 45th feel like I'm just a kid. They met in Bayfield and married at 18 with $18. Russell worked in construction most of his life and helped build the dam at Jackson Gulch. He worked throughout the West and was project manager on many sites in Utah, Wyoming and Nevada.
Russell and Faye raised chickens, turkeys, milk cows and pigs and still live in the house they started out in, which had no electricity or running water and was on property they bought in 1940.
The Culps two children - Howard Culp and Belva Heath - live close by on property that belonged to Russell and Faye.
Russell and Faye can be seen at the Senior Center three days a week, and if one is lucky, he can listen to Russell at the piano before the meal is served.
Russell was one of two sons of Dudley and Phoebe Culp. Dudley homesteaded land at the bottom of Lookout Point and spent 14 years in California in the citrus industry. He also worked for the Montezuma County Road Department for eight years and passed away in September 1965. For many years, Phoebe packed oranges in a packinghouse in California. She passed away in July 1980.
Another couple that can be seen frequently at the Senior Center is Noland and Betty Alexander. Noland was the only son among five daughters of Callie and Boe Alexander. Boe and Callie married in 1914. Boe died of a heart attack in June 1960. Callie was the fifth child of Caroline Mitchell and Oen Edgar Noland. She would have been 95 on her next birthday when she died in January 1990. Noland and Betty had three children, Kent Noland, who passed away in a Greeley hospital at the age of less than 2 years of age, and Gwen Mary Hawkins, who married the recently departed Steve Hawkins. Noland and Betty also had a son named Brent, who lives atop the hill where they live.
Betty is the daughter of Clarence Roy Beers and Hattie Ann Lucas. Clarence was the accountant for the Gibson Lumber Co. south of the Mancos train depot. He also had the concession for taking paying passengers to Mesa Verde National Park. He was the secretary of the Mancos Masonic Lodge and assisted with the Order of the Eastern Star, where Hattie received a 50-year emblem.
Darrel Ellis is a local historian and longtime Mancos resident.