A Brief- History of the McGilvray Farm
Do you know what was happening in the United States and the world around 1906? Well, just a few years before (1898), Teddy Roosevelt charged San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War, and in victory, the United States moved from a remote outpost of civilization to a world power. In response, its inventors and technological advances began to shape the world. On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made one of the first manned airplane flights and a short time later, he and his brother assured the place of airplanes in world destiny by building a craft that stayed aloft longer and was able to bank and turn.
Several years later, Henry Ford developed the dependable Model-T Ford that guaranteed that the United States, and indeed the world, would look to the automobile to aid people in transversing the large expanses of land that separated them. 1906 was only six years before the advent of World War I, a worldwide conflict that elevated the United States into its place of leadership among world powers. However, despite its dominance, the United States was still in its adolescence, especially in the West. Colorado had only been a state for thirty years, and its population was still quite small. The state was encouraging people to settle within its boundaries, and many homesteaders, traveling west, stopped in Colorado and made it their home. One such settler was J.A. McGilvray, who came to Colorado from Chicago, Illinois in 1906. Settling into Northeast Colorado, he arrived late and was forced to live in a cave for a year before homesteading a farm in 1907.
In 1913, he secured the homestead and built a store that became one of the first businesses in the town of Woodrow, which he began between 1914 and 1916. The name "Woodrow" was in honor of President Woodrow Wilson, whom the town was named after. In 1944, his son, William "Bill" Howard McGilvray, began to operate the farm and it has flourished ever since. Mike McGilvray took it over in 1974. The McGilvray's raise wheat, corn, sunflowers and some cattle on their farm.
In 1988, they began to raise Clydesdales, and for the past few years, Mike has become very proficient in restoring and building wagons and wagon wheels. Mike, his wife, Dona and their children, Ben, Megan, and Meredith now live on the farm and enjoy all the benefits of country living and raising award-winning Clydesdales.
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