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Feb 2015
Written by Claudia Worth   
Friday, 06 February 2015

Feb 2015 

Well I made it,  not quite the 1st but I am doing better.  Don't forget the Meeting on Feb 10th at the Museum, 7:30 P.M in the red brick building in the Historic Park, Idella Lewis will be furnishing refreshments.  You need to come and see the lovely display of Antique Valentines that Jane has put up.  Thanks Jane.  Our Speaker will be Linda Grantham she will be talking about the "Global Family Reunion".   More to come after the meeting 

Last Updated ( Friday, 06 February 2015 )
Jan 2015
Written by Claudia Worth   
Friday, 23 January 2015

Sorry this is so late.  But, yours truely had the flue for all of December and most of January. Back to the museum feeling better.  

Jane has cleaned the storage room and it is now presentable. She will be inventoring it this month. Then on to the Post office.

Virginia Johnson donated two nice occasional chairs for the museum nice to sit in comfy chairs while restoriing textiles and having chats about history.

We were very sad when on of our members went to live in Heaven.  Francis Lewis was just 7 months from her one hundreth birthday.  She attend the Historicals society's meeting in November and  had attended most of them for the last few years.

Below is a brief history of her life and the dedication to the City she loved Wheat Ridge Colorado.  



July 20, 1915 – January 2, 1015

Presented by LeAnn Richards, Idella Lewis, Robert Lewis & Norene Hawthorne


Early Years

·         Frances born in Burress ,  NE, July 20, 1915, parents Herbert & Edna Roberts and one brother, Wesley, three years younger.

·         Wes & Frances walked two miles each way to attend country school.

  • 4-H member & 4-H leader, teaching canning, sewing, cooking
  • Canning won her a trip to National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago
  • Selected as the girl delegate from the state of NE to attend 4-H Citizenship Short Course in Washington DC  Chosen to lay a wreath on the grave of the Unknown Soldier
  • Boarded in town to attend high school.  Graduated in 1933 as Valedictorian of the class
  • Taught in country school one year
  • Attended  Business college in Lincoln, lived with roommates.  Mom lived in the basement of the Boyz family home along with other roommates.  They would call the local radio station to request a song to be played on the radio.  The announcer would say, "This next song is dedicated to the girls at the Boyz house."  They really got a "kick" out of doing that & had a lot of fun living together.  The girls would sell apples and popcorn in the stands at the Nebraska football games.    
  • Became acquainted with Leon, a cousin of a roommate.  Later married
  • Worked in State Capitol in Lincoln in State Dept./Vocational Education.  Boss asked her to work for him in Washington D.C.
  • Worked during the WWII years in D.C. & when war was over married Leon in NE & moved to Wheat Ridge.

Leon and Frances married September , 1946.  She worked at the Federal center before first child LeAnn was born the next year.  After living for 7 years in a small rental home the family moved into a new 3 BR ranch style home on Christmas Eve 1953 with a newborn baby, Norene  (4th child).   Four kids were born within 6 years .with Robert landing in the middle of the last 2.   Mom & LeAnn called the younger 3,  “the little kids”  until all were in school.

Early in the marriage, Jefferson Ave. Methodist Church and construction of the Maple Grove Grange were on the agenda.   Mom sold raffle tickets on the streets of West Denver to raise funds for building Maple Grove Grange.  Social events included:  square dances, potlucks, drill teams and choral competitions.

The family lived 200 ft. from Leon’s mother Ida (kids’ grandmother whose husband died in 1950).  Grandma and our family shared a vegetable garden big enough for a home site. 

From the garden, Mom canned green beans, sauerkraut, pickles, tomatoes.  Also seasonal fruit for winter.   She baked angel food cakes using egg whites, 4 loaves of bread weekly ---- what a treat after school to have warm bread & churned butter!  Mom also baked cookies, cakes and quick breads as well as pies.

Dad had a fulltime job with Western Union but on the side ------ farmed Grandma’s land and adjoining rental land,  kept 2 to 5 dairy cows, some beef cattle, chickens for eggs, and occasionally pigs for meat.  We drank unpasteurized (raw) milk and ate organic food before knowing its value.

Extra eggs, cream, and milk were sold.    Mom milked 2 or 3 cows  2x/day; & alone in the winter mornings when Dad took night shift for Western Union @ Stapleton for several years.  The farm was sold and developed in 1969.

Our family enjoyed a unique treat occasionally on Sunday evenings.   Popcorn  & 1 ½ gallons of (hand cranked) Homemade ice cream  from our eggs, milk and cream.

Caregiver role    

                                                                                                                                              Driver/Chauffeur for Grandma Lewis –to meet the bus for work & pickup after work, from 1956 to early 1960s.   Grandma Lewis didn’t drive!    Mom transported her places, took her on shopping trips, and ate meals once /week with us.

Mid 1970s – both of Mom’s ailing parents, Herb and Edna Roberts from Exeter, Nebraska moved to CO & lived in the home several years before their deaths.                                                                                                                  

Leon died in 1989,  Mom continued to be a caregiver and chauffeur for Grandma  Lewis until her death several years later.

Mom gave volunteer service to a variety of organizations



  • 69 year member of Maple Grove Grange
  • Member of Maple Grove Grange Drill Team involving lots of practices
  • Maple Grove Grange Matron ( Leader ) for Jr. Grange members
  • Colo. State Grange  Matron (Leader) for Jr. Grange members
  • Colorado Stage Grange Outstanding Grange Member Award 1990
  • Treasurer of Maple Grove Grange for many years
  • Delegate to State Grange Sessions.  Attended this past Sept. because she said she "wanted to know what was going on."   
  • Prepared many Pomona dinners.

4-H  -  In Mom’s childhood she was a 10 year 4-H member and attended Club Congress in Chicago with her Canning Project.  She also was selected to represent Nebraska at the National 4-H Conference in Washington D.C.   She had great pride having been selected to place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

·         15 year 4-H Leader of Working Hands 4-H Club

·         Saw to it that projects were finished & ready to enter in the county fair.  (Her own kids as well as members of the club)

  • Chaperone to 4-H events---State Fair in Pueblo.  One time her own son was missing when the bus was ready to return & he was found looking at livestock at the fair!
  • Chairperson of Children's Barnyard at Eastertime.  Tent was set up at Westland Shopping Center and she would find all the mother/baby animals from county 4-H members to have on display as well as arrangements for care, bedding & feeding.
  • Chair for annual Chicken Barbecue Fundraiser at the fairgrounds.  Purchased food and organized leaders and members to help prepare, and serve. Served 1000-1200 people. 
  • Organized leaders and members to manage the concession stand during county fair, supplied all the food, drinks and even made sloppy Joes at home!
  • Directed  her club members presenting a skit for the county play contest
  • Judged clothing and food items at Denver, Adams, and Arapahoe county fairs

 Kids Lesson Activities

  • The girls took weekly dancing lessons & she sewed their costumes for when they performed in shows at Christmas time at Ridge Home, Boy's Detention Center in Golden, Girl's Detention Center in Morrison & other organizations.  Not only sewed for her own 3 girls,  but made costumes for others whose mothers didn't sew.  Imagine making all the ruffles on the can can dresses on a straight stitch machine!  Many times mom also sewed dresses for the girls as well for others.
  • Girls also took weekly piano lessons – there was a lot of commuting to and from our lessons during the week including Saturdays.
  • Weekly Denver Jr. Police Band practices for Robert and then 3 concerts/year.  Mom loved the concerts!
  • Midget football practices–games - The sisters would attend as the cheerleaders.

Church - Church participation increased when the kids left home

  • Member of Jefferson Ave. United Methodist Church 69 years
  • Always saw to it the kids would attend Sunday School every Sunday & Bible School in the summer, and MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) on Sunday evenings.
  • Always helped with church dinners.  She, Dad & Grandma would prepare the annual Fall Bounty Dinner.  She made ~ 150 yeast rolls, picked green beans from their garden, and made a tender/tasty roast beef. 
  • She & Dad would cut a Christmas tree for the sanctuary & mitten tree every year from their ranch in Golden Gate Canyon.
  • Worked at the church rummage sales, sorting items for sale.
  • Well known for her lemon meringue & chocolate pies donated for church events.
  • President of United Methodist Women & attended state functions


  • 20 yrs. worked for RSVP Program as a volunteer (Retired Senior Volunteer Program)
  • Handed out commodity foods
  • Sorted/mended clothing for Jeffco Action Center
  • Helped fit women who came in to get clothing at the temporary buildings set up behind the church.  Altered clothing for the small Vietnamese women who came in.
  • Worked as an election judge for the county elections.
  • Donated blood up until her 80’s. 

.Mom’s joy was her kids. She loved all our school, church, grange and 4-H activities and supported us in all.    She was more about simplicity than elegance.  We have heard repeatedly from acquaintances and family how  “helpful and  sharing” she lived her life.    Mom willingly shared her time and talents with others.   What good fortune for us to have a role model such as “Mom”.  Her kindness, patience, and work ethic demonstrated she truly lived in the light of the Lord.             

It’s a homecoming to be in the church where we all attended an active MYF program.  All 4 of us have been married once --- all 4 in this church,    between 1968 and 1988    (20 year spread).   We remember attending Sunday School and  Bible School in the original Jefferson Ave.  diagonally across the intersection  (1950s). 

Mom shared that she had rheumatic fever before 8th grade, and was bedridden,   worried she wouldn’t get to attend High School.   And in her later years –was amazed that her heart remained strong for so many years!  Mom loved life, loved the beauty of Colorado, although always considered herself a “cornhusker”.  She also loved to be on the “go” and in her later years enjoyed Idella taking her various places in the car, never falling asleep as she wanted to see everything.

Jefferson Avenue United Methodist Church nominated Frances Lewis for the Quiet Disiple award.  In December Mom was told that she would be the recipient.  This honor will be awarded posthumously the end of  February 2015.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 January 2015 )
December 1914
Written by Claudia Worth   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014

Well Thanksgiving is over.  We did not have a dinner at the Soddy this year.  As we got closer to the holiday and only 4 of us were going to be there we decided to spend it at our own homes. 



This update it is late because the web site was acting up and I could not access it.  Guess 5:00 in the morning is the time to do this.  Maybe it is me?  Old age?

We elected new officers in November.  Claudia Worth Pres., Charlotte Whetsel, Vice President, Chris Ross Sec. and Deb Boolig Treas.  Jane Harvey completed the inventory in the Museum, Sod House, Johnson Cabin, and Baugh House. We will begin work in the Post Office, (Library) in Jan.

We will be closed except for Fridays in December.  Back to our regular schedule in Jan. Tues through Friday 10:00 a.m until 3:00 P.M.  I am designing a calendar for Members We hope to have them finished and to our members sometime in Jan. or Feb.  We just received a new shipment of Historical Jeffco magazines from the Jefferson County Historical Society members please come by and pick one up. 



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 December 2014 )
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