Asa Sterling was born on a farm in Livingston county Missouri on April 20, 1842. In 1860 Asa joined up with some other men and they drove a herd of cattle west across the plains to Denver Colorado from Missouri. He worked on a ranch near Denver until 1864 when he helped to herd a bunch of cattle to Montana. Asa stayed in Montana until 1867. He went to Utah to buy and sell cattle for John Kerr & Co. In the fall of 1870, he bought a bunch of cattle near Cheyenne Wyoming, drove them across the plains, the Red Desert and mountain ranges to Salt Lake Valley where he doubled his investment. Another cattle drive in 1871 started near Bent's Fort, they headed up along the Front Range allowing the cattle to graze as they traveled. Near Steamboat Rock the herd got into Larkspur resulting in the loss of a number of head.
During the summer of 1872 Asa built a herd of 1,100 Texas and Mexican cattle which he drove to Weld County Colorado. He wintered this herd along the South Platte River, losing about one half because of a unusually severe winter. Asa remained in the cattle business until his death. His range was east of Greeley expending about fifteen miles along the South Platte.
Asa invested into the First National Bank of Greeley and was the president of the bank for several years. Asa invested in farm ground, ranching and rental houses. He owned a 480 acre hay ranch in Tennessee park near Leadville, Colorado.
In 1875 he married Anna Loustelet. They had one child, a son that died soon after birth in 1876.
During the Panic of 1893, Asa Sterling kept the First National Bank of Greeley solvent by using his personal funds to pay those who wanted to take their money out of the bank. It is a sad note that we failed to learn from the mistakes made prior to this economic depression that was caused by stock-market investors being over extended, paying more for stock than the stock was worth. Quite similar to what is going on today.
Mr. Sterling was not a product of higher education so was not influenced by the ideals set forth by teachers and accademia. He was self educated, gain a great insight on personalities of his fellow man. Judged a person by his actions not by what they said. Undoubtedly a traite learned by working with numerous stockmen driving herds across the plains. It does not take very long to figure out a person when they are involved in driving a herd of cattle. Within an hour you know who you can trust and those who only wear the hat. Asa passed away on March 16, 1919.
Asa Sterling promoted, invested in and provided farmlands for the beginning of the sugar beet industry in the early 1900's. The establishment of the sugar industry, the growing, harvesting, transportation and processing the sugar beet was a very important part of the development of the American West. The sugar beet industry has over the years generated more money from the earth than has mining, and by far less pollution.
Asa was a person who I would of liked to known and talk to.
My grandfather George Lamar rent several farms from Asa between 1906 and 1919. According to Grandpa, Asa was not greedy, always willing to help a hard worker make a go of it.
I find it sad that there is very little information available about Asa Sterling. I have searched through "The Greeley Tribune" and have failed to find more information. Mr. Sterling did a lot to develop Weld County.
<----------- Steamboat Rock
Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)
In Northern Colorado this vile plant grows higher and quicker than the native grass' in the spring time cattle are attracted to the tall green growth, consuming the plant, which causes them to 'bloat'. Bloating often results in the death of the animal. If found quick enough you can 'stick' the critter relieving the built up gas, which keeps the animal from dying.
Texas Cattle, the Longhorn made more history than any other breed of cattle in the world.
James Frank Dobie wrote their story in his book
" The Longhorns"
published in 1941.