Monfort House - 1475 A ST

 Print Listing Historical Name - Monfort House
Style - No Style - vernacular farmhouse
Built Year - ca. 1906
State ID - 5WLXX15

Description - This vernacular farmhouse is an irregular-shaped, two-story, wood frame structure with an asphalt shingle, gabled roof. Roof features include a main side-gabled roof with intersecting front and rear gables and eave returns. It has a concrete foundation and vinyl siding over the original siding. The main facade (south elevation) has a centered entrance. The one-story stoop has a gabled pediment with rounded decorative brackets. The concrete stoop has a wrought iron balustrade rail with decorative detailing. Windows are eight-over-one light double hung windows with vinyl storm windows and decorative shutters. There is a two-story bay window on the north addition. Sliding windows are on the one-story northeast addition. The two brick chimneys were removed when the house was moved and were not rebuilt.

Historical Background - Charles and Pella Monfort and their only child, Warren, moved to Colorado and bought 80 acres northwest of Greeley. Warren was about fourteen years old when they arrived in Greeley in approximately 1906. Warren attended college in Greeley and taught social studies and history for several years at schools in Weldona and Sterling. Warren met his wife Edith while teaching. He served in the Army in World War I and returned and married Edith, moving to his parents’ farm north of Greeley. His parents sold the original farm and bought the land where the cattle feeding operation grew north of Greeley. Warren and Edith lived in a smaller farmhouse until Kenneth was born in 1928, when they moved into this house. They had three children, Richard, Marjorie and Kenneth. Richard was killed in World War II. Warren began a small cattle feeding operation with his father in 1930 to help pay off the farm mortgage. Warren contributed to cattle feeding with several innovations, including “creating the first feeder trucks which still can be seen in refined form scurrying around the feedlots. He also invented a caterpillar manure loader and was the first in the county to put corn silage in the ground for storage.” (Qtd from Spotlight on Warren Monfort article, July 27, 1972, from Museum Scrapbook #27 page 162.) The original cattle feeding operation grew to become Monfort of Colorado, the world’s first 100,000 head cattle feedlot. Warren and Edith lived at the farm in this house until their deaths in 1978 and 1972, respectively. This makes the house significant for association with the Monfort family and their contributions from the time of construction in 1907 through the time of Warren’s death in 1978. Their son Ken took over and expanded the business, introducing several new concepts. “He introduced the concept of slaughtering cattle at local plants, including his own in Greeley, instead of shipping animals by railroad to cities such as Kansas City, Mo., and Chicago. That radically altered the economics of the beef business. He also devised the concept of ‘boxed beef,’ meaning butchered meat that is trucked to wholesalers and retailers in sealed packages. Now an industry standard, boxed beef replaced the shipment of whole beef carcasses; it improved meat quality and food safety for consumers. Monfort also changed the beef industry by combining several operations – beef feeding, slaughter, meatpacking, sales and distribution – into a Fortune 500 company that, along with a few others, grew to dominate the industry nationwide.” (Qtd from Denver Post article, 03/11/2001, “Monfort home to become monument.” by Coleman Cornelius.) Warren and the cattle feeding business took off during World War II, although the main growth came after World War II with the American economic boom and a high demand for beef from returning GIs. A major contribution to the national cattle industry was locating the packing plant in Greeley instead of relying on stockyards in Denver, which saved money and gave the Monforts more control, and which became a national trend. (source of info: Joe Ambrosio paper “Monfort of Colorado”, 2004, pages 14-17.) Ken Monfort served in the Colorado General Assembly and was president of Monfort of Colorado during the merge with ConAgra in the 1980s. He also undertook major philanthropy efforts, including for the University of Northern Colorado Business School, the Union Colony Civic Center, the Birth Center at Northern Colorado Medical Center and the Monfort Children’s Clinic. The National Western Stock Show recognized him with the “Citizen of the West” award in 1991. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bravo! Entrepreneur program in Fort Collins, presented by the Northern Colorado Business Report and local chambers of commerce and economic development agencies.