Longtime Craig resident celebrates 90 years

A longtime resident of Craig is celebrating his 90th birthday Saturday, sharing his memories and accomplishments with family and friends.

Joe Edwards turns 90 Saturday and in honor of this occasion, his family has organized a party at the Craig Fire Station. The family last had a large-scale celebration for Edwards for his 87th birthday, and wanted to again gather as a group and be with Edwards.

"Being 90 is quite a milestone," said granddaughter Debbie Sherman-Hurst. "We all got together for his 87th birthday, and we want to do that for his 90th and get everyone together (Edwards) is still in fairly good health, but you never know, so we wanted to get all the family together again."

Edwards and his parents moved to Craig from Georgetown in 1916. Some of his earliest memories include some of the earliest developments in Craig and movement of settlers into the Yampa Valley.

"I watched my father haul bricks from the train depot to the corner of Yampa and Victory, and those bricks built the building the First National Bank of the Rockies is in," he said. "My father also broke over 200 head of horses for homesteaders. I remember sitting on the side of a hill, watching the wagon trains come through.

"I've seen an enormous amount of change in Moffat County since I was a kid."

Edwards helped build the road from Craig to Maybell, which eventually became Highway 40, and did the work with horse teams, including the bluetop road finish while in high school, when he also played on the football team.

He was also a charter member of the Craig Fire Department and the Kiwanis club, two organizations that became long-standing engagements. Edwards retired from the fire department after 20 years, as was dictated back then. He has now been involved with Kiwanis for more than 55 years and still attends meetings when he can.

Edwards is one of the original Kiwanis dancers and he said his activities with the club are some of his most cherished memories. He was also president of the Kiwanis Club when the organization spearheaded the construction of Loudy-Simpson Park, daughter Debora Michele Edwards said.

Besides construction, which Edwards did throughout his life, he ran a Texaco gas station and then Joe's Sales and Service before becoming a contractor with Southwest Petroleum. Through his work, Edwards had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States, including Hawaii.

Edward's experiences and recollections color every trip through Moffat County for his family, Sherman-Hurst said.

"On every trip through the county we go through, he'll point out the things he did or was a part of," she said. "It's always interesting to travel with him."

Joining Edwards at his birthday party will be his two daughters, two stepsons, nine grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

The party will be a chance for Edwards to visit family and friends, and revisit with some of his past, he said.

The event is being held in the Craig fire station at 419 Yampa Ave. The celebration begins at 1 p.m. and goes until 5 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

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