An Andy Menefee story

William Andrew Menefee came to the Mancos Valley in 1877 with his wife, Sarah Demaris, and their two boys. She was pregnant with the third. Over the years Andy reflected on the harrowing experience he and Sarah had when they came into the valley. When they came to the top of what is now Mancos hill the wagon wheels had to be secured so they wouldn't turn. The team was taken off the wagon and the wagon was let down by rope.

Andy was concerned about Sarah walking down the steep hill and told her to stay in the wagon. Sarah looked down the steep hill and said, "Andy, I'm afraid. "

"You'll be okay, Sarah. I'll just let the wagon down slowly with these ropes."

As he had promised, he let the wagon down slowly until he came to the end of his ropes. All he could do at that point was hope Sarah and the wagon were at the bottom but as he looked he could see they weren't.

As the ropes became slack, the wagon lurched forward. Sarah screamed and held on tight. The wagon stopped abruptly as it hit a stand of oak brush. Andy and the two boys made their way down to where Sarah and the wagon were. As Andy approached, Sarah yelled at him, "Don't you ever do that to me again."

Andy built a cabin about two miles east of town and that cabin, at least until recently, was still standing.

Sarah had crossed the Plains with her parents when she was 13 years old. She married Andy Menefee in 1867. Andy assisted in the building of both the Methodist and Baptist churches. He was thrown against the old log schoolhouse in a buggy accident and was in constant pain until he passed away in 1902. Sarah moved to town and helped with her church. She died at her home 48 years after losing Andy in 1902.

Sarah and Andy had five children, four of whom lived out their lives in the Mancos Valley.

George was a county commissioner for many years and was still riding and rounding up cattle three years before he died. He passed away in 1966 at the age of 94.

Bill Menefee was the first boy born in the Mancos Valley. He passed away in 1964 at the age of 87.

Charles rode and ranched for 49 years before opening a successful business in Mancos. He passed away in 1977 at the age of 96.

Lewis ranched on the family home place for many years before working on the Denver and Rio Grand Southern Railroad for 14 years. He passed away in 1973 at the age of 90.

Having lived clean and hard working lives, all of Andy's boys lived right up until their nineties.