James Trail Ranch
James Trail was born in 1824 in Missouri. The 1880 Colorado census tells us that he was married to Isabel and that they had one son, also named James, who was born in 1862 in Missouri. We also learn from the census that James, Sr. was 56 years old at the time and a farmer. James Trail and family lived in southeastern Douglas County, close to Spring Valley on the Divide.
From a short article in the Castle Rock Journal we learn that James Trail, Sr. moved to northern Colorado, sometime before May of 1890. He still owned his ranch, which he visited at the time of the article.
Apparently James, Jr. stayed in the area and was active in a group called the Divide Farmers Protective Association. Another short article in the Journal tells of James, Jr. taking his crop of grain to the market in Monument in 1893.
James, Sr. died in 1894. James, Jr., who was thirty-two years old, took over and handled his father’s estate, but in that same year the ranch was rented to the Schrade brothers. According to the newspaper, 150 acres were under cultivation in 1894, as no BLM records were found. Crops such as potatoes, rye and Oats were grown. Then in 1896 the ranch was again rented, but to a family from Monument.
Thanks to the U.S. Census records, Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection and Ida May Noe history collection