Sheridan Celebrates - Family Ties

With a forward written by Roger Rowland and introduction written by Bonita Hutcheson.


"Sheridan Celebrates" has been held each year since the city centennial in 1990. There is a theme for each year and a booklet is published containing information about the City of Sheridan, the activities and sponsors for the day, and history. The theme in 1994 was "Family Ties." In 1994 biographies were included for six Sheridan families.


Families provide the backbone in any community. Sheridan has always maintained a family oriented front and projected those values upon its government and education structures. Sheridan's early history was marked by settlement of the fertile areas along the Platte River and Bear Creek, Fort Logan, and the hill north of the farm that John McBroom, Sheridan's first resident settled on. In later years more people would follow, drawn by available land, bringing their families or their hopes of one to make homes, create industries, and add to the richness of this small community.

Lothar and Lena Hartung were another family that came to Sheridan to make a comfortable life for themselves.

The Hartung Family

by Don Hartung

They bought a sagebrush and soapweed pasture from Cora Curkeet [nee McBroom] in 1929. They moved from Denver to the acreage, which ran from Clay Street to Federal on West Hampden Avenue with their two sons, Don, four years old, and Ted, one year old. Over the years the family developed the property into a 300 tree cherry orchard and a 6,000 hen poultry farm called Happy Hollow Farm.

A narrow-gauge railroad ran along the south side of the Hartung property. [The Colorado Southern Ry. line ran east and west about where the northbournd turning lane from U. S. 285 onto Federal Blvd. is] The two boys often waved "to the engineer in the steam engine with its large smoke stack."

The major landmarks of the time were Fort Logan, still a vital military base, Loretta Heights College for girls, Mullen Home for boys, and the many productive truck garden farms such as the Waldow family and the Chic family's made green swatches along Bear Creek. There were also several large dairy farms such as the Curkeets and the Platers, which later became Tucker's dairy farm [sic]. South of the railroad tracks [from us] lived a Swiss family named Goonan who farmed a piece of land, and south of them was the blacksmith shop run by the Henry's.

In the early 1930s a deadly flash flood roared down Bear Creek destroying Morrison and flooding the narrow gauge railroad and the area that is now South Park Mobile Home Park. Just east of what is now Clay Street, along Bear Creek, the flood washed out a Boy Scout camp. The Denver Post featured "a picture of a house along the south bank of Bear Creek sitting in the lake of flood water with a "for sale" sign barely visible above the water on its front page."

At that time West Hampden Avenue was a concrete highway that made its way from Englewood to Fort Logan. Federal Boulevard was paved to West Hampden Avenue and ended there. A gravel road [now Federal Blvd. south of Hampden] ran south and was the drive into the Plater dairy farm, which was on the south bank of Bear Creek.

Fort Logan and Petersburg served the community. Don and Ted Hartung went to Fort Logan. Don Hartung remembers his science teacher, Miss Bodine, who later married and became Mrs. Terry, the same Mrs. Terry that Alice Terry School and Park are named after. When the two boys graduated from Fort Logan, Lothar and Lena paid the their tuition to attend Englewood High School.

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