Greeley, Colorado

Greeley, Colorado

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of Greeley, Colorado
other_name =
native_name =
nickname = James Michener's Home in the West, The 970, G-Town
settlement_type = City
motto =

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seal_size =
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mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in Weld County and the State of Colorado

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = USA
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = flag|Colorado|name=State of Colorado
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Weld County Seatcite web | url = | title = Active Colorado Municipalities | format = HTML | publisher = State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs | accessdate = 2007-09-01]
subdivision_type3 =
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government_type = Home Rule Municipality
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established_title = Founded
established_date = 1869
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = 1885-11-15cite web | url = | title = Colorado Municipal Incorporations | format = HTML | publisher = State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives | date = 2004-12-01 | accessdate = 2007-09-02]
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
named_for = Horace Greeley
area_magnitude =
unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 77.7
area_land_km2 = 77.5
area_water_km2 = 0.2
area_total_sq_mi = 30
area_land_sq_mi = 29.9
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1
area_water_percent =
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population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
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population_total = 76930
population_density_km2 = 990.1
population_density_sq_mi = 2564.3
population_metro =
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timezone = MST
utc_offset = -7
timezone_DST = MDT
utc_offset_DST = -6
latd = 40 |latm = 24 |lats = 54 |latNS = N
longd = 104 |longm = 43 |longs = 26 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 1420
elevation_ft = 4658
postal_code_type = ZIP codescite web | url = | title = ZIP Code Lookup| format = JavaScript/HTML | publisher = United States Postal Service | accessdate = September 24 | accessyear = 2007]
postal_code = 80631-80634 & 80638-80639
area_code = 970
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 08-32155
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0180649
blank2_name = Highways
blank2_info = US 34, US 85, SH 257, SH 263, SH 392
website = [ City of Greeley]
footnotes =
Twelfth most populous Colorado city

The City of Greeley is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Weld County, Colorado, United States.GR|6 Greeley is situated convert|49|mi|km|0|sp=us north-northeast of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 87,596.cite web | date = June 21 2006 | url = | title = Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Colorado | format = CSV | work = 2005 Population Estimates | publisher = U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division | accessmonthday = November 17 |accessyear = 2006] Greeley is the 12th most populous city in the State of Colorado and the most populous city of Weld County.


Greeley is located at coor dms|40|24|54|N|104|43|26|W|city (40.415119, -104.723988)GR|1. Elevation above sea level is 4,658 feet.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.0 square miles (77.7 km²), of which, 29.9 square miles (77.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.30%) is water.

Greeley is bordered on the south by the towns of Evans and Garden City, and the three together are often collectively (although incorrectly) referred to as "Greeley." The Greeley/Evans area is bounded on the south by the South Platte River, and the Cache la Poudre River flows through north Greeley. The intersection of U.S. Highways 85 and 34 is often cited as the location of Greeley, although the actual point of intersection lies within the city limits of Evans. Greeley contains the western terminus of State Highway 263 and borders State Highway 392 on the north.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 76,930 people, 27,647 households, and 17,694 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,572.5 people per square mile (993.4/km²). There were 28,972 housing units at an average density of 968.8/sq mi (374.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.4% White, 0.87% African American, 0.83% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 13.77% from other races, and 2.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 29.49% of the population.

There were 27,647 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 19.0% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,414, and the median income for a family was $45,904. Males had a median income of $32,800 versus $24,691 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,775. About 10.1% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.4% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.



Greeley is located in (or just west of) the area previously occupied by the Overland Trail station of Latham (originally called the Cherokee City Station). The Latham station (also known as Fort Latham) was built in 1862 and named in honor of Milton S. Latham, one of California's early senators. The stagecoach station was at the confluence of the South Platte River and the Cache la Poudre River. The web site describes it as "probably the most important and busiest facility on the Overland Trail" (since it was a river crossing and a junction point for the spur of the Trail south to Denver). It is believed that here occurred the birth of the first white child born in Colorado, a girl. Fort Latham was the headquarters of the government troops during the Indian troubles of 1860-64 and the county seat (the post office being called Latham).

Union Colony

Greeley began as the Union Colony, which was founded in 1869 as an experimental utopian community of "high moral standards" by Nathan C. Meeker, a newspaper reporter from New York City. Meeker purchased a site at the confluence of the Cache la Poudre and South Platte Rivers (that included the area of Latham, an Overland Trail station), halfway between Cheyenne and Denver along the tracks of the Denver Pacific Railroad formerly known as the "Island Grove Ranch." The name Union Colony was later changed to Greeley in honor of Horace Greeley, who was Meeker's editor at the New York Tribune, and popularized the phrase "Go West, young man".


James A. Michener attended Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado, from 1936-1937. He was a Social Science educator at the Training School and at the College from 1936-1941. He conceived the idea for his novel Centennial during his stay in Greeley.cite web | url = | title = James A. Michener Library | format = HTML | publisher = University of Northern Colorado | date = 2006-08-08 | accessdate = 2008-03-18]

Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb studied at the Colorado State College of Education in 1949. In "The America I Have Seen" (1951), he portrays Greeley as a hotbed of debauchery, rife with "naked legs" and "animal-like" mixing of the sexes.cite web | url = | title = Sayyid Qutb's America | format = HTML | author = Siegel, Robert | publisher = National Public Radio | date = 2003-05-06 | accessdate = 2008-03-18] [ [ MACLEANS of Canada] ]

Climate and vegetation

(1993). The snowiest month in Greeley is usually March, but the heaviest single-storm snowfalls occur in the autumn months. Greeley residents can expect a two-foot snowstorm approximately once every 10 to 15 years, with the most recent occurring in December 2006.

High temperatures are generally around 90°F (32°C) in the summer and 40°F (4°C) in the winter, although there is significant variation. The hottest days generally occur around the third week of July and the coldest in January. Nighttime lows are near 60°F (16°C) in the summer and around 15°F (-9°C) in the winter. Record high temperatures of 104°F (40°C) have been recorded, as have record low temperatures of -25°F (-32°C). The first freeze typically occurs around October 10 and the last can be as late as May 1. Extratropical cyclones which disrupt the weather for the eastern two-thirds of the US often originate in or near Colorado, which means Greeley does not experience many fully developed storm systems. Warm fronts, sleet, and freezing rain are practically non-existent here. In addition, the city's proximity to the Rocky Mountains and low elevation compared to the surrounding terrain result in less precipitation and fewer thunderstorms and tornadoes than areas immediately adjacent. This is paradoxical, because adjacent areas (mostly farmland) experience between 7 and 9 hail days per year and one of the highest concentrations of tornadic activity anywhere. The area where Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming meet receives the most hail of any location in the United States [ [ UCAR: Hail] ] .

Some days in the winter and spring can be warm and extremely dry, with Chinook winds often raising temperatures to near 70°F (21°C) in January and February, and sometimes to near 90°F (32°C) in April. Greeley's low year-round humidity means that nighttime low temperatures are practically never above 68°F (20°C), even in the very hottest part of the summer. The diurnal temperature range is usually rather wide, with a 50-degree (Fahrenheit) difference between daytime high and nighttime low not uncommon, especially in the spring and fall months. Rapid fluctuation in temperature is also common – a sunny 80°F (27°C) October afternoon can easily give way to a 28°F (-2°C) blizzard within 12 hours.

trees. [ [ Greeley City Site: Tree permits] ]


Greeley's public schools lie in [ Weld County School District 6] . Weld 6 consists of 17 elementary schools (Cameron, Centennial, Chappelow, Dos Rios, East Memorial, Heiman, Jackson, Jefferson, S. Christa McAuliffe, Madison, Billie Martinez, Meeker, Monfort, Romero, Scott, Shawsheen, Winograd), 5 middle schools (Brentwood, Franklin, Heath, John Evans, Maplewood), and 3 high schools (Greeley Central, Greeley West, Northridge). There are also 3 charter schools (University Schools, Frontier Academy, Union Colony Preparatory School).

There are at least five private schools inside the Greeley city limits: [ Trinity Lutheran School] , [ St. Mary Catholic School] , [ Dayspring Christian Academy] , [ Shepherd of the Hills] , and [ Mountain View Academy] .

Greeley is also home to Aims Community College and the University of Northern Colorado.

Health care

North Colorado Medical Center is the primary medical facility for the Northern Colorado region. The hospital opened in 1904 as the Greeley Hospital. The name of the facility evolved over the years to Weld County Hospital and that became North Colorado Medical Center. The Center is operated by Banner Health based out of Phoenix, Arizona.

Greeley in the news

On December 12, 2006 the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) staged a coordinated predawn raid at the [ Swift & Co] meat packing plant in Greeley and at 5 other Swift plants in western states, interviewing workers and hauling hundreds off in buses. [ [ "U.S. Raids 6 Meat Plants in ID Case"] , article New York Times by Julia Preston, December 13, 2006]

Greeley was featured in the books Fast Food Nation and Chew on This by Eric Schlosser.

Notable residents

*Wallace R. Benson (1916-2008), American prisoner of war in World War II; graduate of Greeley High School; highway department employee in Cheyenne, Wyoming. [Wallace R. Benson obituary, "Wyoming Tribune-Eagle", October 11, 2008:]
*Shawn Chacon, professional baseball player
* Anthony Dexter, actor who lived in Greeley after his retirement until his death on March 27, 2001
*Greg Germann, actorcn|date=March 2008
*Miriam Gideon, composer
*Tom Johnson, composer
*Karl Mahlburg, mathematiciancn|date=March 2008
*James A. Michener, novelist
*Stuart Mitchell, ESPN SportsCenter producer; commissioner of ESPN intramural softball leaguecn|date=March 2008
*Amanda Peterson, actress
*Greg Riddoch, former manager of the San Diego Padres
*Tom Runnells, former manager of the Montreal Expos
*Michael White, Off-Broadway Playwrightcn|date=March 2008
*Connie Willis, Science Fiction Author
*Dee Bradley Baker, voice actor


*The National Center for Atmospheric Research & the UCAR Office of Programs. Website. Retrieved January 24, 2007

External links

* [ Greeley Tribune Newspaper/ News]
* [ City of Greeley website]
* [ CDOT map of the City of Greeley]
* [ The Overland Trail]
* [ University of Northern Colorado]
* [ Aims Community College]
* [ Greeley Website Directory]
* [ Greeley History for Kids]

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