John Kinner Ranch
Joseph Kerr Ranch
George E. Albin Ranch
April 16, of 1884, the legal description for the land John Kinner was homesteading, was posted in the local paper of the time, the Castle Rock Journal. Hiram Dakan and Benjamin Quick, who were also neighboring homesteaders and ranchers, were two of his witnesses. It is reported by family members and the newspapers that John actually started working this land in 1867 after coming to Colorado in 1860.
John worked his ranch until 1902 when he could no longer do the work, because of health reason. He and wife Elizabeth (Field) raised four sons and seven daughters. The US Federal Census records for 1900 listed their children’s ages from four years to twenty-two years. Two of their eleven children had already left home by 1900.
The biography on the Nickson ranch tells of the ill feelings between John Kinner and Mr. Nickson. Such animosity brought about a “No Man’s Land” between their ranches common border. Both families were well respected in the county because they were pioneers and because of their ranching and family ethics.
John Kinner learned the blacksmith trade when he was fifteen years old and he later became an engineer for a sawmill. When he moved to Colorado, John worked in mining camps and on dairy ranches. All of these learned trades helped him in the work he would do on his ranch. In his obituary of 1911 this was said of Mr. Kinner and wife Elizabeth:
“They took up the arduous life of the pioneer ranchers of the West. It was here that they spent the greater part of their married life, toiling year after year to make for each other and their family, a home which might be a credit to them.”
John Kinner had accumulated about 960 acres on West Plum Creek. The ranch included timber and a nice stone house which replaced the original log cabin. They raised horses, cattle and crops to feed them. Apples also were gathered from an orchard on the ranch.
In 1902 John Kinner sold his ranch to Mr. Joseph Kerr of Boulder County, Colorado.
Mr. Kerr, wife, Maud and three children stayed in Douglas County until 1911. The Record Journal newspaper of September 22, 1911 reported that Mr. Kerr was selling his ranch of 1,100 acres. This ranch also was reported to be one of the most valuable in Douglas County, having priority water rights on West Plum Creek, and that it was one of the best hay ranches on the creek with a fine orchard. Mr. Kerr sold the ranch to George E. Albin of Monument, Kansas, who came west for his health. Mr. Kerr and family moved to California with the thought of ending up in New Zealand.
Thanks to the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection and The U.S. Federal Census record.