Sheridan Celebrates - Family Ties II

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 1995 was "Family Ties II." In 1995 biographies were included for four Sheridan families.


The 1920s, 30s, and 40s were, for Sheridan, almost as much a pioneering era as the 1880s and 90s had been. Relatively far to the southwest of Denver and rural, in addition, many Sheridan citizens lead a life as full of hardship and toil as any settler. The 20s brought meager jobs and difficult times for many. The late 30s and early 40s were plagued by natural disaster and war. Sheridan citizens coped, made families, came together as a community time and time again during this difficult years.

Richard "Dick" Lynch is another Sheridan community member who has taken an active interest in shaping and maintaining the community.

The Lynch and Martin Families

by Richard "Dick" Lynch

Richard Lynch "was born in Greeley, Colorado, April 16, 1929, and lived in various areas of Colorado including the small community of Milliken" and his "Grandfather's ranch between Loveland and Greeley." His father, James Richard Lynch, was employed as a fireman at Great Western Sugar in Johnston, Colorado. In August 1928 he fell to his death from the top of a boiler.

Widowed with seven children…Beulah Alice, worked in the beet fields and cleaned houses to support the family. While working in the beet fields, she met Earl Martin, a widower with two children. They married in 1934 and added three more children to the family. This made an even dozen children to raise during the heart of the depression. In 1938, the family moved to a small community called at that time the Town of Sheridan. His "step father worked for a construction company at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital. Like many citizens, he made his living in the community. He worked at Fort Logan School in 1941 in the construction of the addition to Fort Logan School in 1940 and 1941, as a carpenter and a laborer. He then moved on to the Remington Arms Manufacturing Company as a machinist producing 20 mm anti-aircraft bullets for WW II. At the time of his death in 1947, he worked for Gates Rubber Company.

The 14 members of the Martin/Lynch family lived frontier style in "a log cabin built in the mid-eighteen hundreds" located at "2500 West Hampden Avenue." The log cabin was a big two-room cabin. It had one partition with one room used for cooking and sitting (living room) and the other room for sleeping, which was divided by curtains for those who slept there. The cabin was "owned by Mr. Maurice Nesbitt, who was a long-time resident of the Town of Sheridan, and also the Fire Chief. Mr. Lynch remembers him leading "the fire trucks to fire calls with his 1924 Chevrolet running about five to ten miles per hour." Later the family moved "from the log cabin to the main house, which was on the property, and still stands today" in the "the Flying Saucer Mobile Home Park. We walked two and one-half miles each way to school [from there]."

"Eventually, my folks moved to 3859 South Knox Court, which was one and a half blocks from the Fort Logan School. During that period of time Mr. Brown was the Town Marshal. Mr. Brown did not have an automobile, so he walked his beat - the entire town."

Fort Logan Hotel

Mr. Lynch worked at Fort Logan's "bowling alley as a pin setter and also as a bus boy in the restaurant for short period of time." He also "worked at the Fort Logan Hotel as a house boy doing errands, such as stoking the furnaces, carrying out the ashes and trash. The old Fort Logan Hotel was a three-story brick structure of approximately 50 rooms, and as I recall was built back in the mid-1800's. The hotel was later ravaged by fire and eventually razed and the Sport's Inn (it may have a different name at this time) now stands on the north edge of that property."

"The train station for Fort Logan was located at the end of King Street across from Monihan's Tavern, which has the oldest liquor license issued in the State of Colorado. It is No.1 as I understand, and is still in force today. Monihan's is still in business today. During the summer of 1946, until school started in the fall, I helped tear down some of the old barracks which were still standing after the post was closed."

"We had very few paved streets in the city, Oxford Avenue, Santa Fe Drive, Hampden Avenue and Lowell Boulevard up to the north gate of Fort Logan were the only paved streets in the town. The rest were just gravel streets. We did not have any public transportation when we first moved here. We had a bus line known at Ft Logan-Englewood bus line. It later was bought by Julian Buzzard [accented like bizarre], who also owned the Chevrolet dealership in Littleton. Later it became the Herbertson Bus Line."

Early Floods

"We had many bad floods back in 1938. Both the South Platte River and Bear Creek flooded again in 1941, which washed out Camp DeRickles, a Boy Scout camp located at the confluence of the Bear Creek and South Platte River. Much damage was done to the city, including washing out the bridges on Clay Street and Oxford. The Oxford bridge over the South Platte River was not replaced until the mid 1950s."

"The flood was a devastating flood and occurred mainly in the Morrison area. It caused much damage along the Bear Creek as it washed away a lot of the property. Also, the water did come up around the house and the log cabin where we lived. The Morrison junction for the Colorado & Southern narrow gauge railroad, which ran from Denver to South Park, ran west, between Hampden and where we lived (now the Flying Saucer Mobile Home Park), was washed out during the 1938 flood. Eventually it was removed and nothing is left there at all except the right-of-way which had to be taken by the property owners who owned the property along there."

"Several people lost their lies in the Morrison area. Some people from Denver who were in the Morrison area at the time the flood hit lost their lives. No lives were lost in the Englewood, Littleton, nor Sheridan areas. Many automobiles were washed down the Bear Creek Canyon."

Mr. Lynch "graduated from Fort Logan School in the 9th grade." He remembers the school as "'very small "and being "built back in 1923." He also remembers when the additions the school were added and the gymnasium built by the Army in "1940 and 1941."

Alice Bodine Terry

He has fond memories of "Miss Bodine, the principal of Fort Logan School and later superintendent for the Arapahoe County School District No. 75." The Alice Terry School was named in her honor. He holds many good memories of the old days at school.

"Miss Bodine was a very loving, kind, benevolent, and dedicated person. She was our principal, home room teacher, and science teacher, and was there for any student with any problems regardless of what struggles they might have had with any subject. She used her own resources during mid-depression years to buy shoes and clothes for children and to find any school programs that required monies for various families in the district. She was one of the finest individuals that I have ever known and I have many great memories and good feelings about her."

"The city of Sheridan did not have a high school, so we had our choice of attending either Englewood High, South Denver High or Littleton High, and I chose Englewood."

"A new high school, Sheridan Union High School, was built in 1952. My half-sister, Mary Ann Martin, was one of the students in the first graduating class in 1953. My other half-sister, Rosalee Martin, as well as my niece, Eva Mae Tanquary, graduated from Sheridan Union High School in 1958. My nieces, Joyce and Joanne Tanquary and many nephews of the Tanquary family also attended Sheridan Union High School. My two children, Sharon and Michael Lynch attended Sheridan Elementary and High School. Sharon graduated in 1969 and Michael went through the ninth grade at Sheridan and then continued his education at Silver State Baptist School."

Mr. Lynch continued the tradition of residents serving their community. He "continued to live in the Town of Sheridan until the mid-50's." The Town of Sheridan achieved city status in the mid-fifties [1959]. He ran "unsuccessfully for City Councilman and served on the Volunteer Fire Department for 3-4 years," making "Lieutenant in the Fire Department."

Fires in the Early Fifties

"While I was on the Sheridan Volunteer Fire Department, I recall three major fires a Mullen Home dormitory, where two residents lost their lives in that fire in 1951. In 1952, the old dairy farm that stood on South Federal, just south of Bear Creek where the Long Shot Bar now stands, was destroyed by fire. Many out buildings as well, as the main barn burned. Later this area became the Sheridan Hills Subdivision. The third major fire was at the old Wolhurst Country Club on south Santa Fe. All metro area fire fighters (Sheridan, Englewood, Littleton, and Morrison), plus a few others were called because it was a fire which would probably be considered a five or six alarm fire today."

"Mr. Ovid Hepler, who lived in one of the many houses along old Hampden, across from the Kirketes [Curkeets], was on the fire department as well."

Mr. Lynch spent time "serving as a Special Deputy Town Marshal for 3-4 years when Mr. Lee Tucker was the Marshal. After Mr. Tucker was no longer Marshal, Mr. Walker" assumed the position. Later "in the mid-50's when the subdivisions were being built on South Federal, south of Hampden, Sheridan Hills, Rose Gardens, and over to Knollwood, Mr. Charles Huffman was the Town Marshal. He was the first Town Marshal to receive a police car furnished by the City. Prior to that, the police officers used their own vehicles. I also served as a special deputy for two years during his tenure." Other officials included "Mr. Bob Sitler" who "was Justice of the Peace and Mr. Ross Lakin" who "was the Town Clerk during the early 50's."

Englewood Speedway

"I raced at Englewood Speedway from 1951 until 1967. The Englewood Speedway was constructed during the war years, in 1943 I believe. The races may not have started there until after the war in was built by Mr. Charlie Codner and family. After Mr. Codner's death, his son, Richard Codner, and his mother ran the race track. Richard Codner was a former Councilman for the city of Sheridan.

"We started out racing jalopy races, then went to super modifieds, sprint cars and midget auto races. Years later, late model and super stock cars were raced. There were two people, as I recall, killed at Englewood Speedway. One was Don Pedia [sic], who was a midget driver. The other one was a modified stock car driver, whose name I cannot recall. It was a third mile clay track when it was first built. Eventually, it was paved and became an asphalt track. It was there for some 30 years then became Sheridan Industrial Park," [Sherwood Business Park], at the comer West Oxford and South Federal.

He moved out of Sheridan about 1953 or 1954 and moved into Denver where he "went into business and eventually moved back in 1964 to the City of Sheridan. In 1965 I had a tire store at 2410 West Belleview," which suffered the ravages of the hundred year flood that spring. His store was swept away "along with many of the service trucks. This flood destroyed Centennial Race Track as well [as] many homes in Sheridan. Horses were found dead in the parking lot of King Soopers on Belleview and Federal. The bridge over the Platte River on Hampden Avenue (Highway 285) was destroyed. The Town Hall and Fire Department were ..inundated. The National Guard was called out to patrol the flood area and the area was sealed to non-residents."

In later years, he served for many years in various official capacities for many years with the Planning Department, the Board of Adjustments, and the Housing Authority, as well as successfully running for City Councilman in 1976.

He sold his home "in 1981" and lived for a time in California and about eight years in Phoenix, Arizona. He returned in 1990 to Denver where he currently resides and continued to serve his home community as a valuable member of the Sheridan Historical Society.

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