Ordway, Colorado

The town of Ordway is located on the eastern plains of Colorado, north of the Arkansas River. As county seat of Crowley County, Ordway has a colorful history, having also once been a major sugar beet processing center.

Ordway was first settled back in the days when big irrigation projects were promised to the farmers. Problem was, these big irrigation projects all failed for either lack of water (the fickle annual rainfall supply) or state legal actions (the State of Colorado has yet to win a water suit in Federal Court - after 30-some years the last suit between Kansas and Colorado was finally settled in favor of Kansas). And these days we have the problem of the City of Aurora throwing around large amounts of taxpayer's dollars to buy water rights to feed their growing population. A bunch of money changes hands and this countryside that used to grow lots of food is now drying up. The things people will do for a few bucks...

And that engineered sugar beet crash in the commodity markets back in 1967 didn't help things around here either (National Sugar was an independent and, with a little government collusion, the big corporate agricultural producers forced them into a corner they couldn't buy their way out of, so they went under - a lot of local folks went under with them while the rest of the American public ended up paying a lot more for sugar).

These days, Colorado is trying to help the local economy by bringing in our government's biggest growth industry: a state prison. And they just barely got one built and populated before they had to expand it. Part of the plan was to have the prison employees live within 30 miles of the prison, but the union couldn't find enough "acceptable" housing within that radius so the majority of union members now commute from Pueblo (and spend their money and tax dollars there instead of here). Maybe the modern price of gasoline will force a change in that, unless, of course, the union negotiates the state into paying a fuel surcharge to the folks who commute every day. At a certain point, I think it would be cheaper for the state to either build new housing locally or repair and refurb a lot of what's already in place around Ordway (and Crowley and Sugar City). Some local folks in Ordway are trying to do that with their limited personal funds (with limited success) but this water problem with Aurora is compounding things. But that's what I think...

Anyway, Ordway is a nice little town with some great possibilities... if only more modern Americans were truly independent thinkers and didn't have such a highly developed hive/herd mentality. Where's today's Henry David Thoreau? I know he's not running for President... if he's true to Thoreau's form he might be inside that jail in Ordway for refusing to pay war taxes...

Ordway Chamber of Commerce
In downtown Ordway

Crowley County Related Pages

Crowley - Olney Springs - Ordway
Sugar City - Crowley County

Photos are courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 4.0 License