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City of Greeley, Colorado
—  City  —
Nickname(s): James Michener's Home in the West, The 970, G-Town, Greality
Location in Weld County and the State of Colorado
Coordinates: 40°24′54″N 104°43′26″W / 40.415°N 104.72389°W / 40.415; -104.72389
Country  United States
State  State of Colorado
County Weld County Seat[1]
Founded 1869
Incorporated 1885-11-15[2]
Named for Horace Greeley
 - Type Home Rule Municipality[1]
 - Total 30 sq mi (77.7 km2)
 - Land 29.9 sq mi (77.5 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 4,658 ft (1,420 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 76,930
 - Density 2,564.3/sq mi (990.1/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP codes[3] 80631-80634 & 80638-80639
Area code(s) 970
FIPS code 08-32155
GNIS feature ID 0180649
Highways US 34, US 85, SH 257, SH 263, SH 392
Twelfth most populous Colorado city

The City of Greeley is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Weld County, Colorado, United States.[4] Greeley is situated 49 miles (79 km) north-northeast of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 98,596.[5] Greeley is the 12th most populous city in the State of Colorado. Greeley is a major city of the large Front Range Urban Corridor.



Greeley is located at 40°24′54″N 104°43′26″W / 40.415°N 104.72389°W / 40.415; -104.72389 (40.415119, -104.723988)[6]. Elevation above sea level is 4,658 feet.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.0 square miles (77.7 km²), of which, 29.9 square miles (77.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.30%) is water.

Greeley is bordered on the south by the towns of Evans and Garden City, and the three together are often collectively (although incorrectly) referred to as "Greeley." The Greeley/Evans area is bounded on the south by the South Platte River, and the Cache la Poudre River flows through north Greeley. The intersection of U.S. Highways 85 and 34 is often cited as the location of Greeley, although the actual point of intersection lies within the city limits of Evans. Greeley contains the western terminus of State Highway 257 and borders State Highway 392 on the north.


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 76,930 people, 27,647 households, and 17,694 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,572.5 people per square mile (993.4/km²). There were 28,972 housing units at an average density of 968.8/sq mi (374.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.4% White, 1.87% African American, 0.83% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 13.77% from other races, and 2.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.49% of the population.

Downtown Greeley in February.

There were 27,647 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 19.0% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,414, and the median income for a family was $45,904. Males had a median income of $32,800 versus $24,691 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,775. About 10.1% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.4% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.


City Hall.


Greeley is located in (or just west of) the area previously occupied by the Overland Trail station of Latham (originally called the Cherokee City Station). The Latham station (also known as Fort Latham) was built in 1862 and named in honor of Milton S. Latham, one of California's early senators. The stagecoach station was at the confluence of the South Platte River and the Cache la Poudre River. The web site describes it as "probably the most important and busiest facility on the Overland Trail" (since it was a river crossing and a junction point for the spur of the Trail south to Denver). It is believed that here occurred the birth of the first white child born in Colorado, a girl. Fort Latham was the headquarters of the government troops during the Indian troubles of 1860-64 and the county seat (the post office being called Latham).

Union Colony

The Union Colony Civic Center in downtown.

Greeley began as the Union Colony, which was founded in 1869 as an experimental utopian community of "high moral standards" by Nathan C. Meeker, a newspaper reporter from New York City. Meeker purchased a site at the confluence of the Cache la Poudre and South Platte Rivers (that included the area of Latham, an Overland Trail station), halfway between Cheyenne and Denver along the tracks of the Denver Pacific Railroad formerly known as the "Island Grove Ranch." The name Union Colony was later changed to Greeley in honor of Horace Greeley, who was Meeker's editor at the New York Tribune, and popularized the phrase "Go West, young man".


James A. Michener attended Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado, from 1936-1937. He was a Social Science educator at the Training School and at the College from 1936-1941. He conceived the idea for his novel Centennial during his stay in Greeley.[8]

Connie Willis, author of The Doomsday Book (and other novels), currently lives in Greeley.

Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb studied at the Colorado State College of Education in 1949. In The America I Have See.n (1951), he portrays Greeley as a hotbed of debauchery, rife with "naked legs" and "animal-like" mixing of the sexes.[9][10]


High temperatures are generally around 90°F (32°C) in the summer and 40°F (4°C) in the winter, although there is significant variation. The hottest days generally occur around the third week of July and the coldest in January. Nighttime lows are near 60°F (16°C) in the summer and around 15°F (-9°C) in the winter. Record high temperatures of 104°F (40°C) have been recorded, as have record low temperatures of -25°F (-32°C). The first freeze typically occurs around October 10 and the last can be as late as May 1. Extratropical cyclones which disrupt the weather for the eastern two-thirds of the US often originate in or near Colorado, which means Greeley does not experience many fully developed storm systems. Warm fronts, sleet, and freezing rain are practically non-existent here. In addition, the city's proximity to the Rocky Mountains and low elevation compared to the surrounding terrain result in less precipitation and fewer thunderstorms and tornadoes than areas immediately adjacent. This is paradoxical, because adjacent areas (mostly farmland) experience between 7 and 9 hail days per year and one of the highest concentrations of tornadic activity anywhere. The area where Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming meet receives the most hail of any location in the United States [11].

Some days in the winter and spring can be warm and extremely dry, with Chinook winds often raising temperatures to near 70°F (21°C) in January and February, and sometimes to near 90°F (32°C) in April. Greeley's low year-round humidity means that nighttime low temperatures are practically never above 68°F (20°C), even in the very hottest part of the summer. The diurnal temperature range is usually rather wide, with a 50-degree (Fahrenheit) difference between daytime high and nighttime low not uncommon, especially in the spring and fall months. Rapid fluctuation in temperature is also common – a sunny 80°F (27°C) October afternoon can easily give way to a 28°F (-2°C) blizzard within 12 hours.


Primary and secondary schools

Most areas in Greeley lie in Weld County School District 6. Three high schools, Greeley Central High School, Greeley West High School, and Northridge High School, are in Greeley and serve Greeley. There are also 3 charter schools (University Schools, Frontier Academy, Union Colony Preparatory School).

There are at least five private schools inside the Greeley city limits: Trinity Lutheran School, St. Mary Catholic School, Dayspring Christian Academy, Shepherd of the Hills, and Mountain View Academy.

Colleges and universities

Greeley is also home to Aims Community College and the University of Northern Colorado.

Health care

North Colorado Medical Center is the primary medical facility for the Northern Colorado region. The hospital opened in 1904 as the Greeley Hospital. The name of the facility evolved over the years to Weld County Hospital and that became North Colorado Medical Center. The Center is operated by Banner Health based out of Phoenix, Arizona.

Greeley in the news

On December 12, 2006 the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) staged a coordinated predawn raid at the Swift & Co meat packing plant in Greeley and at 5 other Swift plants in western states, interviewing illegal workers and hauling hundreds off in buses.[12]

Greeley was featured in the books Fast Food Nation and Chew on This by Eric Schlosser.

Notable residents

  • Reed Doughty NfL Safety for the Washington Redskins.


  1. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. Retrieved 2007-09-01.  
  2. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02.  
  3. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup" (JavaScript/HTML). United States Postal Service. Retrieved September 24, 2007.  
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Colorado" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. Retrieved November 17, 2006.  
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  8. ^ "James A. Michener Library". University of Northern Colorado. 2006-08-08. Retrieved 2008-03-18.  
  9. ^ Siegel, Robert (2003-05-06). "Sayyid Qutb's America". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2008-03-18.  
  10. ^ MACLEANS of Canada
  11. ^ UCAR: Hail
  12. ^ "U.S. Raids 6 Meat Plants in ID Case", article New York Times by Julia Preston, December 13, 2006
  13. ^ "Greeley math whiz cracks old equation". Greeley Tribune, April 17, 2005. Retrieved 2009-04-18.  
  14. ^ "Kia Delao Penthouse Pictorial". IMDB. Retrieved 1996-04-01.  

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