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Papers of Elbert W. DeWalt

 Collection
Identifier: AEWD

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Elbert Wilson DeWalt is a collection of documents dated 1920-1958, with the bulk having been created in the early nineteen-forties. The collection includes letters, handwritten notes, publications, and one bound text. As a collection, the papers describe Elbert DeWalt’s relationship to the Colorado State Grange organization, and the establishment and management of granges throughout the state.

Dates

  • 1920-1957

Creator

Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection, however it is stored off site so advance notice is required.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.

Biography

Elbert Wilson DeWalt was born in Cameron, Missouri in 1882. A little over a decade later, in 1893, Wilson DeWalt, Elbert’s father, packed him and his younger sister, Anna Jane into a covered wagon bound for Colorado. After first settling east of Boulder, on what is now Baseline Road, the DeWalt family built a small cabin in Boulder Canyon near Glacier Lake. They established a mountain ranch, built a lodging house with stables, and sold provisions to travelers along the nearby Peak-to-Peak Highway, between Nederland and Ward.

When his family moved north to Canada in 1903, Elbert DeWalt married Edith Mary Traverton and purchased a ranch on Washington Avenue, below the original Glacier Lake property. He was employed at the Fisher Ranch during this time, by John Lane, who managed a section of the Boulder County Ranch in addition to the 1300 acres of Fisher holdings in the area.

In 1904, Edith and Elbert DeWalt moved to Altona, a small farming community near Longmont, where Edith would give birth to four daughters: Mary in 1904, Edith in 1906, Eleanor in 1908, and Velma in 1913. They joined the Boulder County Pomona Grange, located in Altona, in 1906, and took the seventh degree of the Grange order in Kansas City in 1945.

In the forty years between 1906 and 1945, Elbert DeWalt served as Master of Boulder, Larimer, Park, and Weld County jurisdictions, and as Deputy of the Colorado State Grange organization. He organized six granges in Boulder and Larimer counties during that time, and helped to establish others in Baca, Chaffee, and Douglas counties. After retiring from his official Colorado State Grange appointments, Elbert DeWalt continued to be regarded as a leader in agricultural communities throughout the state.

Edith and Elbert DeWalt lived on their Altona farm for sixty-seven years, raising Guernsey dairy cows and cultivating their eighty acres until Elbert’s death in 1971.

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet (1 document box, 1 half document box, 1 flat file)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Elbert DeWalt became a Colorado State Grange Deputy in 1944 and served as Master of the Boulder, Larimer, Weld, and Park County jurisdictions from 1942-1947, establishing some of the first granges in Colorado. DeWalt managed grange programming, membership, and finances through the mid-1950s and continued to be a strong advocate for farmers after his official appointments ended. The collection includes personal letters written by National and Colorado State grange representatives, Deputy Memorandum notes describing travel expenses and grange projects in Baca, Chaffee, and Douglas counties, handwritten scripts from early grange meetings, papers related to postwar farm programs, and official national and state grange publications.

Acquisition

Judy Dayhoff, granddaughter of Elbert DeWalt, donated the Papers of Elbert W. DeWalt to the Agricultural and Natural Resources Archive on October 10, 2015.

Related Collections

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Archive also holds the Records of the Colorado State Grange, 1873-1985. The University Historic Photograph Collection includes at least one photograph of a Grange Hall in Fort Collins in Series 3, Subseries 8: Fort Collins Scenes. The Papers of Ruth J. Wattles also mentions the Colorado Grange in Series 1: Research materials.

A collection of Altona Grange scrapbooks can be accessed at the Longmont Museum and Archives.

Processing

The papers were received without discernable order. Items were reordered thematically by subject and publication type and rehoused using acid free folders, with acid free paper separating documents within each folder. Single-page pamphlets were unfolded, and plastic photo protectors were used to stabilize delicate documents.

Title
Papers of Elbert W. DeWalt
Status
Completed
Author
Morgan Harvey
Date
2022
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA
970-491-1844