Famous Weld County People

Submitted by Nancy Lynch of the City of Greeley Museums. 

Weld Residents

BENJAMIN H. EATON (1833-1904), Justice of Peace, Weld Co Commissioner, Colorado Territorial Representative then Senator, Colorado State Governor.

NATHAN C. MEEKER (1817-1879), newspaperman and entrepreneurial founder of Union Colony of Colorado, which founded Greeley. Follower of utopian ideals and believer in a temperant agrarian lifestyle, Meeker motivated some to join the Union Colony and others to start their own colonies based on his principles. As an Indian Agent Meeker was less successful, killed by the Ute in 1879.

JOSEPH "TOOTS" MONDT (1894 - 1976), an Eaton farm boy, beat a carnival wrestler in record time and took his job. Mondt soon learned that showmanship sold tickets and became a promoter. He co-founded the World Wide Wrestling Federation, now World Wrestling Entertainment.

GEORGE FISK (1838 - 1926) was a mechanic before enlisting in the Civil War in 1863 as a musician. Following the war, he gained experience as a pattern maker and wood worker. The son of Union Colonists, Fisk moved to Greeley in 1876 and put these skills together to make violins of extraordinary quality.

PHILIP ANSCHUTZ, entrepreneur and investor, owns part of numerous basketball, soccer and hockey teams, co-founder of Major League Soccer and Forbes ranks him the 34th richest person in the U.S.

WARREN MONFORT, Colorado State Teachers College graduate (now UNC), became teacher then took over his father’s farm and developed cattle pen-feeding business, developed to large scale feedlots for Monfort of Colorado.

KENNETH MONFORT: expanded his father’s feedlot business to include meat packing, and by 1970 Monfort led both national and world meat markets. The company set up its own trucking fleet and expanded, building feedlots near Gilcrest, Kuner, and Yuma, the largest in the world.

DICK MONFORT: UNC graduate, became Monfort of Colorado’s group vice president of cattle products 1983-1984 and executive vice president 1984-1987, real estate investor and on the board of Trustees for UNC, Board of Directors at University of Colorado Hospital, Denver Zoo, and the Colorado Economic Development Board.

CHARLES MONFORT, president of Monfort Intl. Sales then president of ConAgra Foods Intl.(1996-1998), board member of the Kempe Foundation, the Special Olympics, and the Monfort Family Foundation, a Rockies Baseball Club founder, Owner/General Partner, one of the Rockies' managing general partners since 1992.

LYULPH “LORD” OGILVY (1861 - 1947) was a roguish son of a Scottish earl. A family allowance gave him the luxury to develop Greeley area land, finance irrigation projects, improve livestock breeds, and have adventures. Became Agricultural editor for The Denver Post.

HENSEL PHELPS (1890 - 1971): Built his first home in Greeley in 1937, pioneered innovative construction techniques with cost-effective designs. Hensel Phelps Construction Co. has become one of the largest employee-owned construction firms in the world.

PAUL LIGHTSEY, scientist/ engineer; for Ball Aerospace on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope

SHAWN CHACON, baseball player with Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, Pittsburg Pirates, Houston Astros, Newark Bears, Oakland Athletics

SHAWSHEEN, Ute tribal representative, sister of Chief Ouray, helped rescue Meeker women in 1879.

KATHERINE SLAUGHTERBACK, “Rattlesnake Kate (1893 - 1969), killed 140 rattlesnakes in 2 hours in 1925, made dress from their skins (at Greeley History Museum.)

TERRY UNREIN, football player


UNC Notable Alumni

STEVE ANTONOPULOS, head athletic trainer of the Denver Broncos

GLEN ALPS, printmaker, coiner of the term collagraph

GREGG BRANDON, college football coach of the Wyoming Cowboys

FRED BROWN, The Denver Post political writer and columnist


STEVEN DIETZ, playwright

REED DOUGHTY, football player of the Washington Redskins

BEN DREITH, American Football League and National Football League referee

BILL FRISELL, jazz guitarist

GREG GERMANN, actor from Ally McBeal

MARIAN HESSE, Grammy-winning horn player

VINCENT JACKSON, football player of the San Diego Chargers

VIRGIL JESTER, baseball player

DIRK JOHNSON, football player

DAVE KELLER, baseball player and coach

JAMES P. KELLEY, money manager

BILL KENNEY, football player and politician


CARLOTTA WALLS LANIER, member of the Little Rock Nine

JAMES A. MICHENER (1907-1997) attended and taught at CSTC (now UNC), Pulitzer Prize winning author

CAROL MUTTER, Marine Corps Lieutenant General

BRAD NUCCIO, Senior Vice President of Saint Louis Science Center and Executive Director of National Center for Science

MARK NUCCIO, currently the Assistant Principal and Eb clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic

BRAD PYATT, former National Football League player and current Arena Football League wide receiver

SAYYID QUTB, author and a leading Islamist of the 20th century

JEANNIE RITTER, Colorado First Lady

NEAL RUBIN, The Detroit News columnist and author of comic strip Gil Thorp.

CHESLEY B. "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, Captain of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, that successfully landed in the Hudson River in 2009, he has a M.A. in Public Relations from UNC.

AARON SMITH, football player of the Pittsburgh Steelers

TOM TANCREDO, R-CO, member of United States House of Representatives and presidential candidate.

TOM WALSH, R-WY, mayor of Casper and member of the Wyoming House of Representatives (2003–2008); received Ed.D. through UNC

WELLINGTON WEBB, former mayor of Denver

ED WERDER, reporter for ESPN

CONNIE WILLIS, science fiction author with 11 Hugo Awards, 11 Locus Poll Awards and 7 Nebula Awards

KENNETH W. WINTERS, member of the Kentucky State Senate

JACK CASSINETTO, plein air painter

Weld Related

DR. JOHN EVANS (1814-1897), 2nd Governor of Colorado Territory, helped create Union Pacific Railroad Co., leader in getting railroad built between Denver and Cheyenne, namesake for town of Evans

HORACE GREELEY, newspaper man, founder of Liberal Republican Party, reformer and politician, ran for President in 1872 against U. S. Grant, anti-slavery and pro-vegetarian.

P.T. BARNUM (1810 - 1891), A Union Colonist, owned “Barnum Block” and other properties, in downtown Greeley. He brought “The Greatest Show on Earth” circus and General Tom Thumb to Greeley, and lectured here on the evils of alcohol.