1857 | George Henry and Sarah Church

George and Sarah came to Colorado in ox drawn wagons and fell in love with Colorado. They were one of the first homesteaders in Jefferson County. George Henry Church was the first in Colorado to successfully complete and harvest a dryland Winter Wheat Crop. He introduced irrigation to the Eastern slope of Colorado, bringing water down from the Continental Divide.

1863 | John Frank Church

John Frank Church was the only son of George & Sarah. John continued with the Cattle operation and built the Church Ditch and Upper and Lower Church Lakes. Lower Church Lake can be seen from US 36 just north of the Church Ranch Blvd exit. Upper Church Lake was near Rocky Mountain Metro Airport. Frank was also a State Senator and was a close friend of Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill frequently visited Church Ranch.

1866 | Early Homestead - Located on Walnut Creek

Originally, it was a one day stage coach ride from Denver, then another day to Boulder via the Overland Stage Route. This became the site for Church Crossing Stage Stop on the Overland Stage Route. President Ulysses S. Grant and daughter Nellie spend the night at Church's Crossing in 1868.They were on their way to Central City, where miners laid gold-brick for them to walk on in front of Teller House Hotel. The original hand dug well is still going strong today.

1869 | George Henry Church brought first Hereford Cattle to Colorado.

Hereford cattle were known for doing well in the Western States, well know for its harsh conditions. They had good temperament, were winter hearty, and drought resistant. The Church & McKay family continues to raise Herefords today.

1892 | John F. Church marries Katherine

Ranchers, farmers, land developers, water developers, business people and miners.

1914 | Church Crossing Stage Stop - Overland Stage Route

As it was 48 years later. There was a second house and more outbuildings added as time went on. Around this time Church Ranch included approximately 27,000 acres most of which were land grants, homesteads and leases. The land grants were signed by Presidents like Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and William Taft. The documents are on display today at the Church Ranch Corporate Center Headquarters.

1919 | Ruth, Marcus, and Perry Church

John and Katherine's three children. Ruth and Marcus went on to help run the family businesses. Perry died at a young age.

1925 | Katherine E. Church

At this time John decided to try his hand at Gold mining in the Four Corners, Nucla, Naturita area. Katherine took over as business manager and became a well respected businesswoman. She was also the President of Mandalay Irrigation Co. Katherine and Ruth developed the first subdivision community in Jefferson County, known as Mandalay Gardens in about 1929.

1930s | Charles A. McKay Marries Ruth Katherine Church

Charles was from Franklin, TN, he met Ruth on a cruise in the late 1930's and was married soon after. They settled in Evanston, IL and had two children, Charles Church McKay and Perry Sidway McKay.

1940 | Charles Church McKay was Born

Born to Charles and Ruth on June 1, 1940. He now co-owns and develops the land that has been a part of his family for 140 plus years.

1949 | Marcus Frank Church

Farmer, Rancher and Land Developer. Marcus operated Church Ranch in Grand County with his wife Anne until 1949. He then joined his mother Katherine to operate Church Ranch in Jefferson County. He finalized the sale of land to the Atomic Energy Commission - in approximately 1951. It has been the Department of Energy Rocky Flats Plant and is now the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge.

1950s | Denver / Boulder Turnpike Construction

There was some opposition to the turnpike. People were leary of all the viaducts and crossovers, feeling that they were places for criminals to lurk. It turned out to be a good business venture, as the turnpike paid for itself in one third of the time expected. The Turnpike (US 36) is now the principle highway and development corridor between Denver and Boulder.

1989 | Charles McKay and Gregg Bradbury Partner in Church Ranch

More compelling than Church Ranch's history is the entrepreneurial foresight and vision of the Church Ranch team. With over 45 years of construction experience and over 30 years of finance experience Charlie and Gregg have filled a much needed economic gap in the metro north area. Church Ranch has staked its claim in this area for the past 140 years and is still actively engaged in its quality development within the cities of Westminster, Arvada, Broomfield and Jefferson County Colorado.

Today | Charles Church McKay

Charles is very active in the community and local government. He serves as a Board Member in many Associations, Councils, and Committees. Charles still actively pursues his families original 'claim to fame' by mining, continuing the Hereford cattle operation, being a steward of the land, and maintaining and acquiring water rights.


George Henry Church

George Henry Church


George Henry & Sarah H. Church

George Henry & Sarah H. Church


John Frank Church and Katherine E. Church

John Frank Church &
Katherine E. Church

Ruth, Perry, Marcus Church

Ruth, Perry & Marcus Church


Marcus Frank Church

Marcus Frank Church

Church Ranch Companies
10050 Wadsworth Blvd
Westminster, CO 80021
(303) 469-1873 Phone
(303) 469-4293 Fax
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