National Register Listing in
Crowley County, Colorado

Colorado was the first state in the country to allow women to vote through a popular referendum in 1893, over 25 years before the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Crowley County is a small county located in Colorado, with a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ute and Comanche peoples. However, the area saw significant changes with the arrival of European settlers in the late 1800s.

In 1887, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad extended its tracks through the region, leading to the establishment of Crowley as a railhead and subsequent settlement. The county was officially formed in 1911 and named after John H. Crowley, a prominent local cattleman and politician.

During the early 20th century, Crowley County experienced a boom as agriculture took center stage in the local economy. The fertile soil and ample water supply supported the growth of various crops, such as wheat, corn, and vegetables. As farming expanded, small communities such as Ordway, Sugar City, and Olney Springs emerged, along with schools, churches, and other essential services.

One key historical event in Crowley County was the establishment of the Arkansas River Valley Research Center in 1928, which aimed to improve farming techniques and bring scientific advancements to the agriculture industry.

However, the county faced a significant setback during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s when drought and severe dust storms devastated the region. Many people were forced to leave Crowley County, leading to a decline in population and economic hardship. Despite these challenges, the county rebounded in the post-World War II period, with new agricultural practices and irrigation systems helping to revive the local farming sector.

Today, Crowley County continues to rely on agriculture as a primary industry, while also embracing renewable energy sources. The county is also known for its stunning natural landscapes, including the picturesque Lake Meredith and the nearby Comanche National Grassland.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Crowley County, Colorado.

  • 1911 - Crowley County was established on May 29th.
  • 1926 - The Crowley school was constructed to serve local students.
  • 1930 - The Great Depression hit Crowley County, causing significant economic hardship for its residents.
  • 1942 - The Amache Japanese internment camp was established during World War II in southeastern Crowley County, housing over 7,000 Japanese Americans.
  • 1947 - Amache camp closed and the land was returned to the county.
  • 1971 - Grain elevator explosions in Crowley County resulted in multiple fatalities.
  • 2008 - The Arkansas River Power Authority constructed a wind farm in Crowley County to generate renewable energy.