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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Eagar in Apache County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Colter Ranch

 
 
Colter Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 24, 2010
1. Colter Ranch Marker
Inscription.  Below among the large cottonwood trees are the historic hdqtrs of Fred T. Colter's Cross Bar Ranch. Originally homesteaded in 1881 by Texan Micajah Phelps, Colter built the ranch into one of the largest cattle operations in Northeastern AZ.
 
Erected 2002 by Round Valley Positive Action Tourism Committee and Springerville-Eagar Chamber of Commerce. (Marker Number 7.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. In addition, it is included in the Arizona, Pistols, Plows and Petticoats Historic Driving Tour series list.
 
Location. 34° 6.555′ N, 109° 19.539′ W. Marker is near Eagar, Arizona, in Apache County. Marker is at the intersection of School Bus Road and West Central Avenue (Arizona Route 260), on the left when traveling south on School Bus Road. Marker is about 200 feet south of Central Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Eagar AZ 85925, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 26 Bar Hereford Ranch (within shouting distance of this marker); Amity School
Colter Ranch Marker and Ranch Complex image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 24, 2010
2. Colter Ranch Marker and Ranch Complex
(approx. 0.7 miles away); Old Grist Mill Site (approx. 1.2 miles away); Snyder-Cavanaugh Shoot Out (approx. 1.2 miles away); Eagar Elementary School (approx. 1.9 miles away); Oscar Jepson Home (approx. 2 miles away); Harry Colter Home (approx. 2 miles away); Joseph Udall Barn (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eagar.
 
More about this marker. This is Marker Stop #7 on the Pistols, Plows and Petticoats Historic Driving Tour.
 
Regarding Colter Ranch. Micaha Harris Phelps homesteaded 160 acres here in 1881. His sons trailed cattle here from the Brazos River in Texas. M.J. Phelps brought eleven of his fourteen children with him. M.H. died in 1892. His 40 year old unmarried daughter Sarah, known as Duge, eventually inherited the ranch and after marrying 25 year old Fred T. Colter, the ranch became known as the Colter Cross Bar Ranch.

Fred Colter eventually built it into one of the largest ranches in eastern Arizona, including 12,000 head of cattle. In addition to a log cabin and the old adobe home (no longer standing), Colter built the huge barn to store more than forty tons of alfalfa for winter feeding. He also built a machine shop, granary, sheds, and a large bunkhouse for a growing number of cowboys
Colter Ranch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 24, 2010
3. Colter Ranch
and a commissary building to provide “the necessities” for his men.

In May 1913, Colter applied for a post office to be located in the commissary building, and his wife Duge became the first postmaster. This post office served the area until September, 1922.

Colter ran for governor in 1918, but his political efforts and the Great Depression led to Colter going broke in the early thirties and the bank taking over the ranch. In 1944, with his fortune gone, he died after being hit by a car.
Source: Pistols, Plows and Petticoats Historic Driving Tour Brochure.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 5, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,230 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 5, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 10, 2020