Museum of Northwest Colorado: Leether Redmon was a strong contributor to Craig
Chet Klock, nationally known cartoonist, came to Craig in 1956 to create a six-month long series in the local Craig Empire-Courier called “Familiar Faces.” This series featured a cartoon and a brief biographical sketch of local businessmen at that time. His articles were always upbeat and highlighted the impact that the entrepreneurial community had on the town. Leether Redmon was his subject in January of 1957, and like those written about in previous editions, was rightfully lauded as being a strong contributor to his hometown.
Leether was born in October of 1912 to William and Ada (Hindman) Redmon. Ada, daughter of early pioneer homesteaders, had established a homestead of her own in the lower Elkhead vicinity, prior to her marriage, and Leether was born in the log cabin on that land. His parents cultivated the first dry land farm in that area, and Leether attended school there.
A little too old to serve in World War II when it hit, Leether contributed to the war effort through his farming. By then he was married to Velta Jones-Harris, and they worked the Elkhead farm until 1955 when Leether sold it to Frank Hoornbeek.
Leether and Velta had by then decided to move to town with their young son Don, and Leether opened a John Deere Implement agency at 845 East Victory Way — on the old Victory Way across from the Moffat County fairgrounds. Armed with his genial personality and gentle sense of humor, Leether set out to make the business the best it could be. After just six years he was awarded the Golden Tractor trophy for his outstanding salesmanship. In 1970 he sold the business to Mike Willems and returned to the agricultural business doing custom haying.
About this time, his wife Velta became ill and she died in 1975. Leether retired from the custom haying business that year, and later married his long-time friend Louise Mansfield. Soon after, the newly wedded Redmons moved to Clifton leaving yearly to spend the winters in Yuma. Leether, active as ever, enjoyed golfing, bowling and playing pool.
Louise died in 1998, and Leether returned to Craig ten years later to be near family. He longed to live to be one hundred, but passed away in February 2012, just eight months shy of his goal. While he was still alive and living at the nursing home, Leether’s sense of humor still brought a smile to those around him. Dan Davidson recalled that at Leether’s table in the dining area, there was always lively conversation among the residents.
The Museum of Northwest Colorado in downtown Craig strives to capture not only the documentary side of our local history, but also the character and personality of those people who made our town what it is today. To learn more about northwest Colorado’s history and the business people worked here, visit the museum at 590 Yampa Avenue in downtown Craig. The museum is open Monday through Saturday and as always, admission is free.
Mary Pat Dunn is the registrar at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.Mary Pat Dunn is the registrar at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.Mary Pat Dunn is the registrar at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.
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Interstate 70 is more than 60 miles south of Craig across rugged terrain.