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Weld County covers an area of 3,999 square miles in north central Colorado. It is bordered on the north by Wyoming and Nebraska and on the south by the Denver metropolitan area. The third largest county in Colorado, Weld County has an area greater than that of Rhode Island, Delaware and the District of Columbia combined.
The climate is dry and generally mild with warm summers, mild winters and a growing season of approximately 138 days. The land surface is fairly level in the east, with rolling prairies and low hills near the western border. Elevations in the county range from 4,400 to 5,000 feet.
The South Platte River and its tributaries, the Cache la Poudre, Big Thompson, Little Thompson, Boulder, St. Vrain, and other smaller streams, flow into Weld County from the south and west, leaving the county on the east.
There are 31 incorporated towns in Weld County. The county seat and principal city, Greeley, is located in the west central part of the county and contains almost half the county's population. Generally, most of the remaining population resides within a 20 to 30 miles radius of Greeley; the northeastern part of the county is sparsely populated.
Major Stephen H. Long made an expedition to the area now known as Weld County in 1821. He reportedly said that the region would never be fit for human habitation and should remain forever the unmolested haunt of the native hunter, bison and jackal. In 1835 a government expedition came through the general area; the next year a member of that party, Lt. Lancaster Lupton, returned to establish a trading post located just north of the present town of Fort Lupton. In about 1837 Colonel Ceran St. Vrain established Fort St. Vrain; Fort Vasquez was built south of Platteville about 1840. The latter was rebuilt in the 1930's by the State Historical Society.
The U.S. Congress took parts of the Territories of Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico and Utah to create the Territory of Colorado in 1861. All parts of Colorado lying east of Larimer County and north of the present Adams County were in the original Weld County, one of 17 counties established by the first territorial legislature in September, 1861. Weld County was named for Lucius Weld, the first territorial secretary; St. Vrain became the first county seat.
During the first 16 years of Weld County's history the county seat was moved from St. Vrain to Latham (three miles east of the present Greeley) to Evans, to Greeley, to Evans again, and finally in 1877, returned to Greeley.
A large segment of the Weld County region was settled by people of German descent who migrated from Russia in the early 1900's. Originally they came as railroad workers; many soon worked in the productive beet fields and eventually became prosperous landowners. Weld County's Spanish-surname population began to arrive during the mid 1920's as laborers for the sugar beet industry.
Weld County's sugar beet industry began with the building of sugar factories in Greeley and Eaton in 1902. In 1903 another was built in Windsor, followed in 1920 by one at Fort Lupton and another at Johnstown in 1926.
Weld County's livability is just one of the features that make it a great place to live. Abundant Colorado sunshine, low humidity, cool summer nights, and mild winters provide a climate where people thrive.
Recreational opportunities are almost endless. Much of Weld County is within an hour's distance of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Sports fans don't have far to go to cheer for their favorite professional teams in Denver.
Weld County's cultural assets include Centennial Village, an authentic recreation of pioneer life on the Colorado plains. The Meeker Museum in Greeley is a national historic site. Fort Vasquez In southern Weld County has an exciting history as an early Colorado trading post. The Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the oldest symphony orchestra west of the Mississippi. The University of Northern Colorado's Little Theatre of the Rockies is one of America's premier college dramatic organizations.
North Colorado Medical Center is a leading public medical facility and the Northern Colorado Oncology Center is a major cancer treatment facility in Colorado.
Education has always been an important part of life in Weld County where seventeen school districts offer educational opportunities which have earned a reputation for quality. Greeley is the home of the University of Northern Colorado, a 4-year university offering bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees to 11,000 students. Aims Community College is a 2-year liberal arts and vocational college in Greeley with a second campus in Fort Lupton.
With 3,999 square miles within its borders and a population of over 180,000, Weld County has plenty of room for growth. Its thirty-one incorporated towns offer a variety of lifestyles from urban to rural.
To make certain Weld County maintains its quality of life, a comprehensive plan has been developed and implemented. The plan, simply stated, puts the right things in the right places. The result that Weld County provides an ideal location for corporations, industry and businesses. Most importantly it's a nice place for people.
Fertile fields of green can be found in every part County, which ranks as the third leading agricultural area in the United States. Weld County is Colorado's leading producer of cattle, grain and sugar beets.
An abundance of water has been important to not only the agricultural community, but also to industrial development.
Weld County is the second leading area in Colorado in the production of oil and gas. The county's many abundant resources provide a sound economic base and a secure future for the area.
One of Weld County's most valuable resources is its labor force. The people resources provide a healthy labor climate for any corporation or industry.
Weld County offers unbounded opportunity for both employers and employees. The available services, recruitability, location, resources and livability make Weld County a desirable place in which to work and live.
Weld County has one more important ingredient, as well. A positive attitude toward growth. We love being here and we'd love having you here, too.
Numerous industrial sites are located throughout Weld County. Fully developed rail and non-rail parks; undeveloped parcels, many zoned and with rail utilities adjacent to the property; a variety of industrial and commercial sites; and availability of both new and renovated prime office space are indicative of this area's attitude toward growth. Convenient access to every type of supply artery facilitates the industrial possibilities in Weld County.
Major employers who already call Weld County "home" include:
BURRIS COMPANY, INC.
CARE STREAM HEALTH CARE
JBS SWIFT BEEF COMPANY
METAL CONTAINER CORPORATION
NORTHERN COLORADO MEDICAL CENTER
PLATTE VALLEY STEEL
RR DONNELLEY NORWEST
STATE FARM INSURANCE
VESTAS WIND SYSTEMS
For more information about Weld County, view the websites of the Greeley Convention and Visitors Bureau or Greeley/Weld Chamber of Commerce.