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Samuel F. Rannells

Early Valmont, Colorado Pioneer

Sarah and Samuel Rannells

Samuel F. Rannells was born in Morgan Co. Ohio 27 July 1812. He married Sarah Bay 11 Dec 1834. They moved to Missouri in 1850. He made his first trip to Colorado in 1859, after which he made eight trips between St Joseph, Mo. and Denver CO--Seven times with ox teams and two times with horses. He was hauling mining supplies to Denver for the miners.

In 1863 he brought his family to Valmont Colorado, and did some mining in Gold Hill. In 1861 he sold his property in Valmont, where he had helped to organize the Presbyterian Churcht and moved to his homestead northwest of Longmont. He farmed his land and raised stock and fruit.

In Oct. 1869 he helped to organize the Upper St Vrain Presbyterian Church at Pella, which later united with the Presbyterian Church in Longmont.

In pioneer history we sometimes overlook the part that the women take. Sarah played her part well when she took care of her nine children while her husband was absent on his long trips between Denver and St. Joseph, MO.

Samuel and Sarah Rannells raised eight children, having lost one at the age of four. The children were: Melissa, Clarissa, Mary, William, Ben, Grace, Charles, John and Sarah.

Grace Rannells Cochran was the grandmother of Wanda (Burch) Armstead, and the great grandmother of Betty (Armstead) Wasson.

Transcript from Longmont Ledger, March 20 Issue.


Samuel Fleming Rannells was born in Ohio July 27, 1812. He lived in that state till 1850, following farming and stock raising. He then went to Missouri where he was a farmer and a coal miner. In 1862 he came to Colorado and freighted back and forth between Colorado and the Missouri River nine times.

His experiences would make a book if the account could have been preserved. He was married to Miss Sarah Bay Dec. 11, 1834, having nine children as the result. All the children lived to maturity except one who died at the age of four. He and his wife lived together for sixty-two years.

He moved his family to Valmont Colorado in 1864 and did some mining in Gold Hill, and in 1867 to the farm north of Longmont where he has since made his home, farming and stock raising.

Mr Rannells has lived all these years honored and respected for that which is better than wealth a good consistent Christian character. He had a deep religious nature and took much interest in church affairs though the infirmities of age these last years have pre-vented him from being active in any of life's duties. In a conversation with him not long since, in regard to his exceptionally long life, he said he had not worried much at any time, and that undoubtedly had much to do with his longevity.

October 24, 1867 a church was organized on the St. Vrain near the place that is now Hygiene. Mr Rannells was one of its elders. Three years later the Longmont Church was organized and the Presbytery united the two in Longmont under the name of the Central Presbyterian Church. Mr Rannells was one of its Elders, which position he has had ever since.

Transcript from Longmont Ledger.--Friday March 20, 1896.


Rannells- at the family home north of Longmont. Tuesday forenoon, March 17, 1896. Mrs Sarah Bay Rannells, wife of Mr S. F. Rannells.
Aged 84 years and 6 months.

The deceased was born in Washington County Penn. Sept 20 1811. She accompanied her parents to the state of Ohio when she was three years old. Was married to the husband who survives her Dec. 11, 1834. They came to Colorado early in the year 1864. After living a short time on Boulder Creek near Valmont, settled down on the farm which has been their home ever since. She has been a devoted and faithful member of the Presbyterian Church more than 60 years. The immediate and direct cause of death was injuries resulting from a fall as she was entering the house Friday. One hip was badly bruised and she sustained internal injuries. She leaves a husband and five children, three daughters and two sons, besides thirty one grandchildren. The funeral services were conducted at the residence Wednesday afternoon by her Pastor, Rev. G. W. Pollock. She was a sincere christian woman and highly esteemed by all her acquaintances.