Larkspur historical Society
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David J. Tintle Ranch

David Tintle was born in 1856 in the state of New Jersey.  When he was about six years old, both his parents died. He stayed in New Jersey until he was ten years old and then he was bound out to a Samuel J. Randall, who was a wealthy farmer.  Although Randall knew that part of his duty was to send David to school, he neglected to send him. In 1868 David ran away from the Randall farm and ended up in New York City at the John Ross dry-goods store, where he remained for some time before drifting back to an Uncle in Brooklyn. This is where David found his only sister and wanting to stay with family and because of his love for the ocean and dream of becoming a sailor, he stayed.  This worked until David’s uncle realized that David might find a ship that would take him on and so had a friend of David’s talk him into going west.

In 1870 David arrived in Missouri where he learned to become a cowboy and he drove cattle for Alexander Judy, to the Divide County in Colorado.  It was now 1872 and David who liked the Divide area of Douglas County found work in the sawmills, logging and on ranches. He drove cattle for large cattle companies back to Texas and stayed the winters in Colorado.

In 1881 David settled down with Miss Julie A. “Julia” Alderman, who was a teacher at the East Cherry School. David and Julia rented a small farm a couple of miles south of what would, in less than ten years, become his family ranch. In 1882 David took cattle shares and bought the rental farm on time. Only four years later David sold this farm to a wealthy miner and put the money down on a 320-acre ranch that would become the family home.


David became a superior potato farmer, known for his large potato cellar as the best in the area. He took horse-drawn wagonloads of potatoes to Greenland and Monument for shipment by railroad to the larger markets of Denver and Colorado Springs. He even won first prize for his crop one year at the Elbert County Fair.  It was during one of those horse-drawn potato wagon trips that a horrible accident happened to one of the young sons (possibly Phillip) of David and Julia’s, when the child feel asleep unnoticed under the wagon. 

David had a long career as a county commissioner.  This career started in 1892 when friends of his asked him to run for the office; David refused, but not for long.  In 1893 a daughter, Mary, was born to the family. David started to get involved in county matters when he collected road taxes. He now had 50 acres of his ranch dedicated to potatoes; he also grew oats, wheat and had a family garden. Dairy cattle were milked and the milk was taken to the Spring Valley Creamery. David also helped his neighbors save time by hauling their milk to the creamery.  More tragedy for the family came when in September of 1894 daughter Bessie died in infancy. Two years after David was first approached to run for County Commissioner.  He was placed on the ticket, running as a Republican, by friends in the county who would not take “no” for an answer. The paper in Castle Rock had this to say about him as a candidate for commissioner; “He is an old resident and through many years of social and business intercourse has proven himself an honest and worthy citizen in every way.” It was also at this time that David, still a cowboy, was dehorning cattle and was injured when he was hit in the face with a horn. From 1894 through 1901 David served as county commissioner for southern Douglas County, and he built a number of roads and bridges and improved the county. . David was a Woodman of the World member as well as a member of the Elbert Odd Fellows’ lodge. Theirs was called a charitable family that never turned away anyone who was hungry.

By 1898 the Tintle ranch was written about as one of the best small ranches on the Divide and was steadily improving. He, also, was raising polled Angus bulls and a pet bull took David for a spin in his front yard and rolled him a number of times rendering David unable to ride horses for about ten days. Improvements were still being made to the ranch in 1903 when David had a two-story barn built which was 40 X 60 feet. That September, when the barn was completed, they had a barn-warming party. In 1907 their new home was painted.

David and Julia had in total eleven children: Millie; Phillip; Frank L.; David Jay; Carl; Lawrence M.; Bessie; Mary E.; Ruth; Ralph, and Alice. Three of the children died in infancy.  After David passed away (probably after 1917), his son Jay or David J. purchased the Tintle Ranch. He raised his family, and sent his children to the same school that he and his siblings had attended and where his mother had been a teacher.

Thanks to the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection and on line the Biographical Record of Douglas County People and the book Our Heritage the People of Douglas County.