Cheyenne County Tumbleweed Fair July 17-25, 2021
Biography coming soon.
2020 Parade Marshal
Charles and Patsy Hanavan
Charles Hanavan, Jr., 94, of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, was born June 18, 1926, in a farmhouse near Arapahoe, Colorado. Charles was the seventh of ten children and attended and graduated from Arapahoe public school district before volunteering for the draft in 1946. He served in the Army for nine months before heading to Colorado A&M (now CSU) in Ft. Collins, Colorado. In 1948, he returned to farming in Cheyenne County, CO at his present homestead. Following his father’s death in 1951, he also began operating the Hanavan farm south of Arapahoe.
Patsy Pelton, 90, was born on February 20, 1930, in Shields, Kansas. Her family moved to Cheyenne Wells in 1939 to settle north of town where the Dean Pelton homestead once was. Patsy was the only girl with three brothers. She attended and graduated from the Cheyenne County School District in 1948 before heading off to UNC in Greeley. She left school to marry Charles in December of 1948.
Charles and Patsy’s first home was a two-bedroom adobe house that is still standing on the original homestead. They lived and raised the first eight children in this house until 1961. After they built their spacious five-bedroom house, they added four more children to complete an even dozen.
Charles, in addition to farming, has always loved to serve the community. Charles has been involved with the Cheyenne Wells Lions Club, the Cheyenne Wells School District School Board, Cheyenne County Democrats, Cheyenne County Farmers Union, Colorado ASCS (now Farm Service Agency) and President of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. He served on the Colorado Highway Commission and promoted the farm-to-market roads that were instrumental in introducing the unit train loading of grains in Cheyenne Wells and Byers, Colorado. Charles was elected to the Colorado Federal Land Bank Association of Colorado Springs Board and served as Director of the Cheyenne County COOP and Colorado Rural Rehabilitation. As President of the National Association of Rural Rehabilitation, he helped secure loans for young farmers. Charles was actively involved and encouraged his children to participate in the Old Wells 4-H Club. He received the “Outstanding 4-H Alumni Award” from the CSU Cooperative Extension Service. Charles founded the Prairie View Health Resources, Inc. and served as its president for many years. He incorporated and served on the first Board of Directors of the Community Growth Association of Cheyenne Wells, CO. In February 2020, Charles was inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame.
With Charles involved in so many activities, Patsy was the driving force at home raising twelve children and managing farm activities. She milked cows, raised chickens, grew a garden and made many of her children’s clothes. Patsy remembers selling 30 dozen eggs and 10 gallons of cream weekly to pay for groceries. With all twelve of the children participating in the fair and being part of the Old Wells 4-H Club, she was the one who cracked the whip to make sure the fair record books were ready. Through the years their children raised steers, pigs, pheasants, turkeys and also participated in cooking, crocheting, knitting, and art. Patsy also enjoyed raising flowers and vegetables and entered them in the county fair open class for many years.
Charles and Patsy are happily retired and still enjoy living on the homestead. They are surrounded by their farm, their sons, daughters, thirty grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren who all have been touched by the importance of family, small communities and farm life.