George H. Stewart’s West View Ranch
By Beverly J Noe
July 10, 2011
Margie and Herb Stawart.
West View Ranch was created around 1910 by George Herbert (Herb) and Margaret Louise (Margie) Stewart who purchased land from a Mr. Stevens. The Ranch, consisting of about 1500 acres, is located in Sections 22, 24 of Township 8 South and Range 68 West and Section 19 in Township 8 South and Range 67 West in Douglas, County Colorado. The ranch house, barn, and other ranch buildings were located on the east side of Perry Park Road (DC Highway 105) and south of the Jackson Creek Road intersection. There is a short driveway to the house. The barns were located approximately 300 feet from Highway 105. There were approximately 400 acres on the west side of Highway 105.
West View ranch house, 1915.
This property went south toward Herb’s Uncle Izett Stewarts ranch as well as east as far as the Henry Lowell property. They owned this ranch until after the death of Margie in 1956. As of 2011, 30 acres of the West View Ranch are still owned by their grandson.
Herb and Margie were married Sept. 9, 1908. Herb was the son of George Patrick Stewart and Millie (Amelia Ann) Curtis McInroy Stewart who owned the Twin Creek Ranch in 1883. This ranch was located near the Santa Fe Quarry west of Castle Rock. Margie was the daughter of Newton S. Grout and Pearl James Grout. Newton homesteaded the Jackson Creek Ranch in 1873. Before the birth of Herb and Margie’s first child, they moved to the Jackson Creek Ranch. They operated this ranch until March 1915 when they moved with their three young daughters, Margaret, Amy, and Helen, to the West View Ranch. Three other children Beth, Jean, and George Herbert Junior were born while living at West View. The children all graduated from the 8th grade at the Lone Tree School and from Douglas County High School in Castle Rock.
Stewart barn at West View Ranch.
Herb built a large red barn on West View Ranch, which had stations for twenty milk cows, two rooms for storage of milk cans, a large hall where hay could be thrown down from the hay loft, six horse stalls, and a harness room. There was also an open shed on the west end; a granary and a silo joined the cow barn. A spring house was erected which had space for six milk cans to be kept cool as well as a shelf for gallon buckets of milk to be used by the family. Milk was picked up by truck and taken to Castle Rock to the Beatrice Creamery. Many barn dances were held in the loft of this barn where about fifty neighbors from far and near joined in the fun. To accompany the dancers, Herb would move Margie’s piano in a wagon from the house to the barn loft.
Herb also built a bunkhouse with a large cement basement underneath. Hired hands occupied the one room with two beds. Meat, vegetables, and eggs were kept cool in the basement. Herb built a playhouse for his girls or “little women” as he called them. A shop, coalhouse, garage, shed, and outhouse were erected, also. The first Lone Tree school house, which was built in 1872 by Newton Grout, was moved to the West View Ranch after 1917 to be used as an ice house. The ice to be used in the icebox at the house was harvested from the Stewart pond near Jackson Creek Road on the west side of highway 105.
The pride of the ranch was the large herd of Shorthorn cattle. Later Herb raised milking Shorthorns, which produced larger quantities of milk. When open range permits to the National Forest on the Rampart Range were required, he purchased Herford cattle. This was because many ranchers ran cattle together and they did not want mixed breeds. Herb would move 100 head of cattle including bulls, cows, and calves up the Jackson Creek Road to Garber Creek in May and all the neighboring ranchers would begin the roundup in October. The West View cattle brand was 4 bar lazy H. The family also raised pigs, chickens and had two teams of horses, riding horses, as well as ponies for the children.
Crops raised on the ranch included oats, alfalfa hay, meadow hay, and corn. A thrashing machine and crew would come to the West View Ranch in the fall. The thrashing operation was moved from ranch to ranch harvesting crops along West Plum Creek and on south. Corn was made into silage to be fed to the milk cows during the winter.
A large vegetable garden, including rhubarb, currants, sweet corn, and squash was raised. Margie would preserve large quantities of vegetables, fruits and meats for use by the family in the winter. Margie also made butter, cottage cheese, and ice cream for her family from the milk produced on the ranch
The West View house is still a home to the current owners. The large barn was demolished after 1970.
The extended families of Herb and Margie were visited often. These families included Newton S. and Pearl James Grout on the Jackson Creek Ranch, which was homesteaded in 1873. Newton and Pearl were Margie’s parents. Marcus Linzy and Margaret James, who had a ranch south of Wolfensberger Road, built their cabin about 1864 after coming to Colorado because of Pearl’s asthma. The Henry Harper and Julia Curtis Ranch, known as Oakland Ranch, north of Wolfensberger Road was established in 1871. The Oakland Ranch was the home of Herb’s grandparents. Herb’s mother Amelia (Millie) Ann Curtis McInroy married George Patrick Stewart in 1883 and they owned the Twin Creek Ranch west of Castle Rock near the Santa Fe Quarry. Other family member’s ranches in the area were the Ed Wolfensberger Ranch south of Wolfensberger Road between Castle Rock and Highway 105, the George and Sarah Nickson ranch on Highway 105 south of West View near Perry Park, the Izett Stewart Ranch established about 1871 south of West View on Highway 105, and the Jim and Effie McInroy ranch near Larkspur.
In 1947 Herb Stewart and his three brothers sold, for a token fee of $200, the actual “Rock” of Castle Rock and twenty surrounding acres to the town of Castle Rock. This land was owned by their father, George Patrick Stewart, before his death in 1943. This area is now known as the “Rock Park” and is enjoyed by many families in the town of Castle Rock.
On July 3, 2010, about seventy descendents of Herb and Margie Stewart attended a Stewart Cousins’ Reunion on the remaining land of the Stewart’s West View Ranch. (See report “2010 Stewart Cousins’ Reunion” on file with the Douglas County Historical Research Center.)