Hereford Colorado History - THANKS to John (Jack) Doerges and Anita Brunner
This bit of Hereford history from John Doerges. THANKS John,
My parents moved to Hereford in 1918 and operated the Inn during the late 20's and early 30's. Grandfather Findisen bought a large amount of land and built several buildings including the Inn and our house which burned in 1934. More info if you would like.
Here is what we get when we ask for more..
I am writing my autobiography and have included a little about the Hereford Inn. My folks ran the Inn for a few years at the time of the depression and helped start the town of Hereford. I have a few pictures of the Inn and the Conzelman house that Dad bought. I also have a sheet of Inn stationary used when mother operated the Inn. Most of the family pictures taken at Hereford were lost when our house burned in 1933. A little section of my story is follows; let me know if it is of interest to you. I have quite a bit of info on Hereford in mother's scribbling.
The Findeisen’s had come to Hereford with between one and two million dollars (according to Mary) which was a lot of money then as well as now. Nevertheless it didn’t go far when putting in an irrigation system, building a $50,000 hotel and building other expensive homes. In the fall of 1929 the depression was getting grim. The younger members Findeisen family had gradually moved away to Denver, Pueblo, Chicago, and Miami, Florida. The question was what to do with Grandfather, Grandmother, Aunt Nellie and the Doergeses. A decision was reached whereby Mary would manage the Hereford Inn and take care of the elderly in return for free room and board at the Inn for the family. The Conzelman house main floor was rented to a schoolteacher and his wife with the upstairs being rented to overflow customers at the Inn. The Doergeses moved in August 1929 with just clothing and Mary’s grand piano. The Inn had a restaurant sized kitchen with a walk in refrigerator and freezer.
One curious story at the Inn is worth telling. Grandfather was sick and in the hospital so the women decided to clean his room while he was gone. During the cleaning a stash of liquor was discovered in Grandfather’s room. The discovery was related during supper: Hans Waage a young German immigrant asked “What did you do with it?”. The women replied they had poured it down the toilet whereupon Hans asked “Did you flush it?” (Prohibition was the law of the land at that time.)
“Into each life a little rain must fall” understates the problems the family encountered in the next few years. The depression was worsening. Creditors were harassing the elderly Findeisens over outstanding bills on the farms, even though the Inn was holding its own. Walt (Grandfather’s son) and Pauline Findeisen had given up of running the Blue Parrot restaurant in Denver and decided to take over the Inn. The Doerges family moved back home in 1931. Bob said “This is the last time I’m moving that piano!” and it was. Walt and Pauline gave up operating the Inn and one day they just got up and walked out, leaving the Inn vacant: (This was probably in 1932 or 1933 based on a confrontation between Pauline and Mary that I remember.)
This bit of Hereford history from Anita Brunner. THANKS Anita,
Hi Mike, I am with my mother today....more info: she recognizes the nice building as her school. She said some people from Chicago area named Findisen came out and built the Hereford Inn. She thinks the building with the side of large sun windows might be the inn, but she said it was much nicer then, and as kids they used to run in and use the restrooms at will. My mother is going to get in touch with her school chum and get more info on the family from Chicago....I was wrong about Frank Lloyd Wright designing the school....it was perhaps designed by one of his students. She said the family from Chicago did a land swap and got land in Hereford with the idea of building a large wheat farm. They dredged land, built canals and even built a golf course on the prairie. Mr. Findisen died in a plane crash; he had a plane of his own, and the development went through several hands, and "they destroyed" it (the vision of what was to be) in my mother's opinion....I'll alert my cousins to your site and will see what else we can add. Please feel free to use our input on the website.