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Greeley, Colorado
The Weld County Courthouse in Greeley.
The Weld County Courthouse in Greeley.
Location of the City of Greeley in Weld County, Colorado.
Location of the City of Greeley in Weld County, Colorado.
Greeley, Colorado is located in the United States
Greeley, Colorado
Greeley, Colorado
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Colorado
County Weld County seat
Founded 1869
Incorporated November 15, 1885
Named for Horace Greeley
Area
 • Total 49.092 sq mi (127.148 km2)
 • Land 48.933 sq mi (126.735 km2)
 • Water 0.159 sq mi (0.413 km2)
Elevation
4,675 ft (1,425 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 108,795
 • Rank 10th in Colorado
286th in the United States
 • Density 2,223/sq mi (858/km2)
 • Metro
328,981 (156th)
 • CSA
3,623,560 (17th)
 • Front Range
5,055,344
Time zone UTC−07:00 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−06:00 (MDT)
ZIP Codes
80631–80634 & 80638–80639
Area code 970
FIPS code 08-32155
GNIS feature ID 0180649
Highways US 34, US 85, SH 257, SH 263, SH 392
Website City of Greeley Colorado
Tenth most populous Colorado city

Greeley is the home rule municipality city that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Weld County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 108,795 at the 2020 United States Census, an increase of 17.12% since the 2010 United States Census. Greeley is the tenth most populous city in Colorado. Greeley is the principal city of the Greeley, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area and is a major city of the Front Range Urban Corridor. Greeley is located in northern Colorado and is situated 49 miles (79 km) north-northeast of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.

History

Greeley City Hall
City Hall.

Early history

The town was named after Horace Greeley, editor of the New-York Tribune, who came to Colorado in the 1859 Pike's Peak Gold Rush. It was founded as the Union Colony in 1869, an experimental utopian society, but the name was later changed in honor of Horace Greeley. Governor Benjamin Harrison Eaton declared Greeley an official city on April 6, 1886.

Greeley was built on farming and agriculture but kept up with most modern technologies as they grew. Telephones were in town by 1883 with electric lights downtown by 1886. Automobiles were on the roads alongside horse drawn buggies by 1910. KFKA became one of the first radio stations to broadcast in the USA in 1922 and the Greeley Municipal Airport was built in 1928. Greeley housed two POW camps in 1943, during World War II. One was for German POWs and the other was for Italian POWs. A vote to allow the sale of alcohol passed by a mere 477 votes in 1969, thus ending Temperance in the city.

The Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra was started in 1911. In 1958, Greeley became the first city to have a Department of Culture. Greeley is still growing and changing today, its population has more than doubled since 1970.

Latham

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. 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 conflicts of 1860-64 and the county seat (the post office being called Latham).

Union Colony

Union Colony Civic Center
The Union Colony Civic Center, a performing arts facility in Greeley.

Greeley began as the Union Colony, which was founded in 1869 as an experimental utopian community "based on temperance, religion, agriculture, education and family values." 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".

Geography

Greeley is located at 40°24′54″N 104°43′26″W / 40.41500°N 104.72389°W / 40.41500; -104.72389 (40.415119, -104.723988). 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 (78 km2), of which 29.9 square miles (77 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (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 257 and borders State Highway 392 on the north.

Climate

Greeley experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk). High temperatures are generally around 90 °F-95 °F (32 °C) in the summer and 40 °F-45 °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-20 °F (-9 °C) in the winter. Record high temperatures of 112 °F (44.4 °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 4. 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 lower elevation, compared to the mountains west of the city, result in less precipitation and fewer thunderstorms. This is paradoxical, because adjacent areas (mostly farmland) experience between 7 and 9 hail days per year.

The climate in Greeley, as well as all of Colorado, is extremely dry. The Chinook winds coming off the mountains often raise temperatures to near 70 °F (21 °C) in January and February, and sometimes to near 90 °F (32 °C) in April. Greeley's elevation and 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 day-to-day and diurnal fluctuation in temperature is also common.

Climate data for Greeley, Colorado
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 74
(23)
76
(24)
85
(29)
92
(33)
101
(38)
110
(43)
112
(44)
106
(41)
99
(37)
92
(33)
84
(29)
76
(24)
112
(44)
Average high °F (°C) 46.0
(7.8)
50.0
(10.0)
60.0
(15.6)
67.9
(19.9)
77.3
(25.2)
87.3
(30.7)
93.8
(34.3)
91.4
(33.0)
83.0
(28.3)
69.7
(20.9)
55.1
(12.8)
44.7
(7.1)
68.9
(20.5)
Average low °F (°C) 16.6
(−8.6)
20.0
(−6.7)
27.6
(−2.4)
35.1
(1.7)
44.6
(7.0)
53.1
(11.7)
58.6
(14.8)
56.9
(13.8)
47.6
(8.7)
36.0
(2.2)
25.3
(−3.7)
16.6
(−8.6)
36.5
(2.5)
Record low °F (°C) −25
(−32)
−20
(−29)
−4
(−20)
−3
(−19)
25
(−4)
35
(2)
42
(6)
41
(5)
17
(−8)
5
(−15)
−7
(−22)
−24
(−31)
−25
(−32)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.48
(12)
0.40
(10)
1.12
(28)
1.81
(46)
2.39
(61)
1.93
(49)
1.68
(43)
1.46
(37)
1.11
(28)
1.01
(26)
0.74
(19)
0.56
(14)
14.69
(373)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 5.6
(14)
5.0
(13)
5.5
(14)
3.1
(7.9)
0.8
(2.0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.3
(0.76)
2.4
(6.1)
4.0
(10)
8.0
(20)
34.7
(87.76)
Source: NOAA

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 480
1880 1,297 170.2%
1890 2,395 84.7%
1900 3,023 26.2%
1910 8,179 170.6%
1920 10,958 34.0%
1930 12,203 11.4%
1940 15,995 31.1%
1950 20,354 27.3%
1960 26,314 29.3%
1970 38,902 47.8%
1980 53,006 36.3%
1990 60,536 14.2%
2000 76,930 27.1%
2010 92,889 20.7%
2020 108,795 17.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 census, there were 92,889 people, 33,427 households, and 21,250 families residing in the city. The age distribution shows 68,936 residents are age 18 and older and 23,953 residents are under 18 years of age. The age distribution of the population showed 31.3% from 0 to 19, 11.4% from 20 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% ages 65+. The median age was 30.5 years old. The gender distribution was 49.1% male and 50.9% female. For every 100 females, there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.

The racial makeup of the city was 79.1% White, 1.7% African American, 1.2% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 13.2% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 36.0% of the population.

Out of 33,427 total households, 21,250 (63.3%) were family households where at least one member of the household was related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. 12,177 (36.4%) households were non-family households consisting of people living alone and households which did not have any members related to the householder. Of the 21,250 family households, 11,495 (54.1%) had children under the age of 18 living with them.

The population density was 3,096.3 people per square mile (1,195.5/km2). There were 36,323 housing units at an average density of 1,210.7 per square mile (467.5/km2).

The median income for a household in the city was $44,226, and the median income for a family was $55,277. Males had a median, full-time income of $40,122 versus $35,294 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,372.

15.7% of families and 23.5% of the population had income below the poverty line during the 12 months prior to being surveyed. People with incomes below the poverty line include 32.1% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

In 2014 the Greeley Creative District was certified as an official Creative District by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Union Colony Civic Center

Greeley is home to the Union Colony Civic Center, one of the largest performing arts venues in Colorado. The 1686 seat Monfort Concert Hall hosts touring Broadway musicals, concerts, comedians, along with regional and local performing arts groups. The 214 seat Hensel Phelps Theatre hosts The Stampede Troupe in addition to lectures, meetings, and smaller performances. In addition, the Tointon Gallery presents a dozen exhibits annually by local, regional, and national artists, and is free to the public.

Owned and operated by the City of Greeley, the Union Colony Civic Center sponsors many events held by the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Greeley Chorale.

Sister cities

Greeley is a sister city to Moriya, a city located in Japan's Ibaraki Prefecture. Every other summer 18 students from Moriya come to Greeley for a week-long stay. Japan - Moriya, Japan

In popular culture

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 five other Swift plants in western states, interviewing illegal workers and hauling hundreds off in buses.

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

In August 2010, Leprino Foods announced plans for a new $270 million factory in Greeley which could employ up to 500 people. Construction began in July 2010.

On May 12, 2014, Greeley was ranked number #5 of 10 "Top Small Cities for Jobs" in a Forbes article. On July 23, 2014 Forbes ranked Greeley as #4 of 10 "List of Best Cities for Job Growth "

Greeley was also mentioned multiple times in the animated comedy show, South Park, as it is close to South Park, Colorado, which is a fictional town based on Fairplay.

Economy

Among the companies based in Greeley are the meatpacker JBS USA, the outsourcing company StarTek, and the contractor Hensel Phelps Construction. The Colorado/Kansas operations of natural gas utility Atmos Energy are based in Greeley.

Largest employers

According to the city's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the following are the Greeley area's largest employers:

# Employer # of Employees
1 JBS USA 4,590
2 Banner Health / North Colorado Medical Center 3,560
3 Greeley-Evans School District 6 2,200
4 University of Northern Colorado 1,900
5 Weld County 1,615
6 State Farm 1,200
7 City of Greeley 900
8 TTEC 620
9 Noble Energy 500
10 Leprino Foods 450

Military

The 233rd Space Group (233rd SG) is a unit of the Colorado Air National Guard located at Greeley Air National Guard Station, Greeley, Colorado. The Greeley A.N.G. Station is adjacent to the Greeley–Weld County Airport and makes use of its runways.

Union Colony Civic Center
The Union Colony Civic Center, a performing arts facility in Greeley.

Education

Guggenheim Hall
Guggenheim Hall, University of Northern Colorado.

Of Greeley residents ages 18 and over, 82.2% are high school graduates and 25.9% have a bachelor's degree or higher.

Primary and secondary schools

Most areas in Greeley lie in Weld County School District 6.

Four high schools, Greeley Central High School, Greeley West High School, Jefferson High School and Northridge High School, are in and serve Greeley.

There are four middle schools, which serve grades 6–8: Brentwood Middle, Franklin Middle, Heath Middle, and Prairie Heights Middle School.

There are thirteen elementary schools in Greeley serving kindergarten through 5th grade: Centennial Elementary, Dos Rios Elementary, Fred Tjardes, Heiman Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Madison Elementary, Maplewood Elementary, Martinez Elementary, McAuliffe Elementary, Meeker Elementary, Monfort Elementary, Scott Elementary, and Shawsheen Elementary.

There are four K8 schools in Greeley serving kindergarten through 8th grade: Bella Romero Academy, Chappelow Arts Magnet, McAuliffe, and Winograd.

There are also five charter schools: University Schools, Frontier Academy, West Ridge Academy, Salida del Sol, and Union Colony.

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

Colleges and universities

Greeley is also home to University of Northern Colorado, Aims Community College, Academy of Natural Therapy, and Institute of Business & Medical Careers.

Transportation

Public transportation in Greeley is provided by Greeley-Evans Transit (GET), which operates seven local bus routes across Greeley. Since January 2, 2020, GET operates a regional bus service called the Poudre Express which connects Greeley to Fort Collins and Windsor. Express Arrow also operates buses to Denver and Buffalo stopping at multiple other cities along the way.

Notable people

Lady Liberty of Greeley
Strengthen the Arm of Liberty

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Greeley (Colorado) para niños

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