Come Back to My Valley: Questions and answers about Mancos Valley

Who was the first woman in the county to volunteer for actual war work?

In December of 1917, Mary Cooper (Jean Bader's mother) began serving with the Yeomanettes of the U. S. Navy.

Ira Emmer Kelly was born in July 1895 and married Mary Esther Cooper (the first woman to volunteer for actual war work) in June 1921. The Southwest Livestock Association honored him with the man of the year in 1969. He was a fifty-year member of the Mancos Masonic Lodge. He was chairman of the Mancos Water Conservancy District from its beginning until 1969. He served two terms as a Montezuma County Commissioner and was the school board president from 1939-1950. He passed away in July 1972.

When were the last of the hitching posts and bridle rings taken out of Mancos?

In the fall of 1917, the town once again promised to provide more hitching posts for saddle horses and teams. A hitching post can still be seen on Bauer Ave. south of the Bauer House. A few saddle rings can still be found on Grand Avenue.

When was the Mancos basketball team unstoppable and who was on the team?

At first I thought the team that was unstoppable was in 1991 when Luther and Ben Elliss were on the team. The team did become San Juan Basin District III State Qualifiers and District Champions but the team that was truly unstoppable was the basketball team of 1911. They traveled into Wyoming and even beat the University of Colorado. The members of the team were Ira Kelly, Arthur Ogle, Bert halls, Byron Brown, and Charles Rash.

Bert Halls lived in Mancos until he needed family help and moved to Salt Lake. Byron Brown came to Mancos in 1902 and after being on the basketball team, he served in the Army during WWI. He later operated the Silver Fox Farm north of Mancos. I remember going out to see his fox farm, and many of us remember his two sons Belmear and Morrison. I remember Morrison on the high school basketball team. (Judgie Brittain and Lyle Halls were also on that team.)

What was important about the date Come Back to My Valley was printed?

The date Fern Ellis had her book Come Back to My Valley printed was 1976. It was 100 years from the time Mancos had permanent homes and 100 years from the time Colorado became a state. Fern Ellis was born in the Mancos Valley in 1914. After devoting much of her life to writing histories, she died April 26, 1998.

Darrel Ellis is a longtime resident and historian of Mancos.