Weld County, Colorado Article

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Weld County, Colorado
Greeley, Colorado Courthouse.JPG
Weld County Courthouse
Map of Colorado highlighting Weld County
Location in the U.S. state of Colorado
Map of the United States highlighting Colorado
Colorado's location in the U.S.
FoundedNovember 1, 1861
Seat Greeley
Largest cityGreeley
Area
 • Total4,017 sq mi (10,404 km2)
 • Land3,987 sq mi (10,326 km2)
 • Water30 sq mi (78 km2), 0.7%
Population (est.)
 • ( 2017)304,633
 • Density76/sq mi (29/km2)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Mountain: UTC−7/ −6
Website www.co.weld.co.us

Weld County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 252,825. [1] The county seat is Greeley. [2]

Weld County comprises the Greeley, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Denver- Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area. [3]

History

Weld County Courthouse from Lincoln Park.

On May 30, 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act created the Nebraska Territory and the Kansas Territory, divided by the Parallel 40° North ( Baseline Road or County Line Road or Weld County Road 2 in the future Weld County). Present-day Weld County, Colorado, lay in the southwestern portion of the Nebraska Territory, bordering the Kansas Territory.

In July 1858, gold was discovered along the South Platte River in Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory. This discovery precipitated the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. Many residents of the mining region felt disconnected from the remote territorial governments of Kansas and Nebraska, so they voted to form their own Territory of Jefferson on October 24, 1859. The following month, the Jefferson Territorial Legislature organized 12 counties for the new territory, including St. Vrain County. St. Vrain County was named in honor of Ceran de Hault de Lassus de St. Vrain, the French trader who established the first trading post on the upper South Platte River. St. Vrain County encompassed much of what is today Weld County.

The Jefferson Territory never received federal sanction, but on February 28, 1861, U.S. President James Buchanan signed an act organizing the Territory of Colorado. [4] On November 1, 1861, the Colorado General Assembly organized 17 counties, including Weld County, for the new Colorado Territory. Weld County was named for Lewis Ledyard Weld, a lawyer and territorial secretary. He died while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War. [5] Until February 9, 1887, Weld County's boundaries included the area now comprising Weld County, Washington County, Logan County, Morgan County, Yuma County, Phillips County, and Sedgwick County.

Weld County was thrust into the media spotlight on the evening of November 1, 1955, when United Airlines Flight 629, a Douglas DC-6B airliner flying from Denver to Portland, Oregon, exploded in midair and crashed, killing all 44 persons on board the plane and scattering bodies, wreckage and debris over a six-square-mile area of the county. The subsequent investigation of the accident revealed that Denver resident John Gilbert Graham had secretly placed a time bomb composed of 25 sticks of dynamite in a suitcase belonging to his mother, who was a passenger on the airplane. Graham was tried and convicted of the crime, and executed in 1957.

In northeastern Weld County, Minuteman III missile silo "N-8", [6] one of the many unmanned silos there, was the target of symbolic vandalism by Catholic peace activists in 2002. [7] [8]

In 2013, conservative Weld County commissioners began a campaign to secede from the State of Colorado and a state ballot measure regarding the issue was put on the November 2013 ballot. The legality of this initiative has been questioned by local attorneys. [9] On Nov 5th, 2013, 6 out of 11 Colorado counties voted no for secession, including Weld County. Elbert, Lincoln, Logan, Moffat, Sedgwick, and Weld counties voted no, while Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Phillips, Washington, and Yuma counties voted yes. "Weld County voters said this is an option we shouldn't pursue and we won't pursue it," said Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, "But we will continue to look at the problems of the urban and rural divide in this state." [10]

Weld County also holds the distinction of having more confirmed tornado sightings than any other U.S. county from 1950-2011, with 252 confirmed reports. [11]

Geography

Crop fields in western Weld County
Rock formation near the Pawnee Buttes

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,017 square miles (10,400 km2), of which 3,987 square miles (10,330 km2) are land and 30 square miles (78 km2) (0.7%) are water. [12] It is the third-largest county in Colorado by area.

Weld County lies within the relatively flat eastern portion of Colorado; the northeastern portions of the county contain the extensive Pawnee National Grassland and the Pawnee Buttes, which jut 350 feet (110 m) above the surrounding terrain and are surrounded by many small canyons and outcroppings. Along the western border, hilly areas indicate the presence of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains further west.

The county is served by two interstate highways: I-25 (US 87) runs through the southwestern corner and I-76 from the south central edge northeastward to the Morgan county border. Other major roads include US 85 and US 34, which intersect near Greeley, and State Highway 14, which runs through Ault.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Sunrise over the Pawnee National Grassland in northeastern Weld County.

State protected area

Trails and byways

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18701,636
18805,646245.1%
189011,736107.9%
190016,80843.2%
191039,177133.1%
192054,05938.0%
193065,09720.4%
194063,747−2.1%
195067,5045.9%
196072,3447.2%
197089,29723.4%
1980123,43838.2%
1990131,8216.8%
2000180,93637.3%
2010252,82539.7%
Est. 2017304,633 [13]20.5%
U.S. Decennial Census [14]
1790-1960 [15] 1900-1990 [16]
1990-2000 [17] 2010-2015 [1]

As of the census [18] of 2000, there were 180,936 people, 63,247 households, and 45,221 families residing in the county. The population density was 45 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 66,194 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 81.71% White, 0.56% Black or African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.83% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 13.29% from other races, and 2.65% from two or more races. 27.05% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 63,247 households out of which 37.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.50% were non-families. 21.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.20% under the age of 18, 13.20% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 20.00% from 45 to 64, and 9.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 100.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,321, and the median income for a family was $49,569. Males had a median income of $35,037 versus $25,757 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,957. About 8.00% of families and 12.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.60% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Weld County is Colorado's leading producer of cattle, grain and sugar beets, and is the richest agricultural county in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, and the fourth richest overall nationally. It is also becoming more important as a milk producing county, with close to half of the state's cattle. [19] [3] Weld County is also an important area of oil and natural gas production in the Denver-Julesburg Basin.

Communities

A grain elevator in Nunn.

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

‡ means a populated place has portions in an adjacent county or counties

Politics

Weld County has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1968.

Presidential elections results
Weld County vote
by party in presidential elections
[20]
Year Republican Democratic Others
2016 56.6% 76,651 34.4% 46,519 9.1% 12,260
2012 54.8% 63,775 42.2% 49,050 3.0% 3,466
2008 53.4% 56,526 44.7% 47,292 1.9% 2,048
2004 62.7% 55,591 36.0% 31,868 1.4% 1,194
2000 58.0% 37,409 36.3% 23,436 5.7% 3,696
1996 49.7% 26,518 39.9% 21,325 10.4% 5,547
1992 38.8% 20,958 35.7% 19,295 25.5% 13,776
1988 55.4% 26,497 43.0% 20,548 1.6% 762
1984 68.5% 31,293 30.4% 13,863 1.1% 523
1980 58.8% 23,901 28.1% 11,433 13.1% 5,312
1976 55.4% 21,976 41.6% 16,501 3.1% 1,225
1972 66.3% 24,695 31.4% 11,690 2.3% 870
1968 57.3% 17,101 34.9% 10,420 7.9% 2,344
1964 41.1% 12,204 58.2% 17,268 0.7% 207
1960 61.0% 17,558 38.8% 11,179 0.2% 53
1956 62.8% 17,228 37.0% 10,170 0.2% 57
1952 66.4% 18,002 32.8% 8,890 0.8% 204
1948 52.7% 12,446 46.3% 10,934 1.1% 259
1944 63.0% 14,546 36.6% 8,459 0.4% 81
1940 59.7% 16,129 39.4% 10,653 0.8% 227
1936 41.2% 9,606 55.8% 12,993 3.0% 697
1932 46.9% 10,754 48.7% 11,182 4.4% 1,009
1928 69.6% 13,719 29.2% 5,762 1.2% 236
1924 62.7% 10,185 21.0% 3,406 16.4% 2,659
1920 63.8% 10,268 32.3% 5,202 3.9% 630
1916 37.1% 5,395 59.2% 8,600 3.7% 538
1912 27.4% 3,114 41.5% 4,713 31.2% 3,541

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ "OMB Bulletin No. 10-02: Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). United States Office of Management and Budget. December 1, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  4. ^ "An Act to provide a temporary Government for the Territory of Colorado" (PDF). Thirty-sixth United States Congress. 1861-02-28. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  5. ^ "Weld County, Colorado County Information". ePodunk. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  6. ^ "Warren AFB Minuteman Missile Site Coordinates". Asuwlink.uwyo.edu. Archived from the original on June 25, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  7. ^ [1] Archived July 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ [2] Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Romano, Analisa (October 9, 2013). "Greeley Attorneys Question Legality Of Weld Commissioners Advocating For 51st State". The Greeley Tribune (via Huffington Post). Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  10. ^ Whaley, Monte (5 Nov 2013). "51st state question answered "no" in 6 of 11 counties contemplating secession". www.denverpost.com. The Denver Post. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Map: U.S. Tornadoes by County, 1950-2011 - U.S. Tornadoes". U.S. Tornadoes. 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  14. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  15. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  16. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  17. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  18. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  19. ^ "Weld County: About Weld". Co.weld.co.us. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved May 26, 2017.

External links


WELD COUNTY COLORADO Latitude and Longitude:

40°32′N 104°24′W / 40.54°N 104.40°W / 40.54; -104.40