Editor’s note: The below excerpt from the Goshen County Journal is a special edition of ‘A Look Back’ in honor of the Town of Lingle’s centennial celebration this week.
Jan. 16, 1969
Mrs. Hiram Dodge Lingle passes away in Wheatland
Mrs. Elizabeth Lee Lingle, wife of Hiram D. Lingle for whom the town of Lingle was named, died Thursday, Jan. 2 at their home in Wheatland after an extended illness. She was 86 years old and had lived in Wheatland for several years.
Funeral services were held at Wheatland Saturday, Jan. 4, at 2 p.m. from the Schrader Chapel with Christian Science Reader, Mrs. Fleur Isbell in charge. Cremation was held in Denver and burial was in Forest Lawn cemetery in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Lingles were married in 1903. They came to Denver on their honeymoon and through Earl B. Coe, owner of the Denver News, became interested in this part of the country and the possibility for development through irrigation.
They investigated the country, with the result that within a short time they had moved to what is now Torrington, but then only a depot and a few scattered buildings. They secured rooms over the depot and Hiram began the construction of the Lingle canal, with which to water the fertile Rawhide Valley and adjacent lands. Mr. Lingle erected a store building in Torrington to serve as a port of supplies for contractors on his canal work. This was the second store building to be erected in Torrington, and stood on the site of the old Paxton hotel.
John Hunton surveyed the line for the ditch, which ran through the ridge of gravel hills north of what is now the town of Lingle. The first year, 33 miles of ditch were built from the headgate to Rawhide Creek. About this time the north side government canal began to be discussed. Upon investigation it was found that the only feasible and practical line was that occupied by the Lingle canal. Discussion with Mr. Lingle resulted in him giving his canal to the government, with the understanding that they, in return, would grant perpetual water rights to this land and the other lands that he had contracted to water. Then the North Platte Canal and Colonization Co. with 17,000 acres was organized by all the people under his project. It is now the Lingle Water Users Association.
When the Lingles came to this country, only a few settlers were scattered over the vast acreage which is now one of the finest farming sections of the state. No trees broke the monotony of the prairie, and many of the fine groves and rows of shade trees in Rawhide Valley were planted by Mr. Lingle.
The site for the Lingle’s beautiful ranch house, on a knoll overlooking the valley, was a round-up ground for cattle. Nearly all of the home place was a prairie dog town. The house site soon became a velvety park, glowing with beautiful flowers, and flanked on three sides by beautiful shade trees and lilacs.
In 1911 a new town began to spring up along the railroad south of the Lingle ranch. It was only natural that it should be given the name Lingle in commemoration of his services in developing the territory which it served.
After Mr. Lingle’s death in 1939, Mrs. Lingle lived in Denver, Casper and California before moving to Wheatland in 1964.
Survivors include two nephews, William Rider of Wheatland and Jack L. Rider of Cheyenne; and four nieces, Mrs. Richard Rose of Lingle, Mrs. Sam Smith of Lincoln, Neb., Mrs. Pat Hudson of Escondido, Calif., and Mrs. Ruth Erickson of Terre Haute, Ind.