The SLR Ranch, formerly known as the Percheron-Norman Horse Ranch, is an historic ranch located approximately 8 miles east of Greeley, Colorado, near the confluence of the Platte River and Crow Creek. In 1998 it was honored by the Colorado Historical Society as a Centennial Ranch, and it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The SLW Ranch is named for the three initial partners - S for John Studebaker of wagon and automotive manufacturing fame, L for Lafayette Lamb, a lumber company executive and W for Harvey E Witwer, former manager of the Percheron-Norman Horse Ranch and nephew of Studebaker.
In 1909 Witwer approached his partners with the idea of purchasing their shares in the ranch. The sale was completed in 1913, and over the course of the next few years the SLW Ranch operation switched exclusively to a cattle operation. The ranch is home to one of the oldest, continuously operating Hereford ranches in the country and the oldest registered Hereford herd in Colorado. Harvey Witwer and his wife Bertha had two sons, Stow Lathrop and Harvey E. Jr. and a daughter, Mary Frances. The sons became actively involved with operating the ranch and looked for ways to increase the stability and profitability of a somewhat volatile business.
In the 1920s, at Stow’s urging, the ranch became a dude ranch. Visitors would come from all over for a taste of the western life on a real working ranch. The original 12 room Ogilvy home was converted to accommodations for guests, who by the 1930s were paying $35 a week for room, board and activities. The income from the dudes provided money when the cattle operation took a bad turn and the 9,000 acre ranch faced foreclosure. Stow and Harvey Jr. worked with Federal Land Bank and were able to retain approximately 3,500 acres. The ranch continued taking dudes until 1942 and is still operating cattle in 2008.
Stow married Clara Steele in 1926. They raised three children on the ranch, Joy (Witwer) Thomson, Carol (Witwer) Worth and Stow Witwer Jr.. Stow Sr and his family operated the ranch until his death in 1991. The ranch is currently home to Stow Witwer Jr.
Harvey Jr. married Marion Giddings and they had two daughters, Julie (Witwer) Shade and Linda (Witwer) Bonnett.
Mary Frances married Alexander McLeish and they had twin sons, Doug and Don McLeish.