Oliver E. Wise (O.E. Wise) came to the Canfield (Tabor) area as a farmer, blacksmith, miller and entrepreneur. He came from Wisconsin bringing with him a wife (Adeline) who was suffering from severe asthma and three teenage children one of whom was in poor health: Wm. O., J.O.V., and Ada A. The area to which they came offered good farm prospects–it was above Boulder Creek and appeared to ahve good soil much like his home in Wisconsin. He brought with him a small herd of cattle which he pastured as he came West. His arrival in the summer of 1869 allowed him to construct a small log cabin for the first winter. Thus he built a more suitable house for his family in 1870 while applying for and receiving a homestead on the property. Missing the trees of Wisconsin he planted a rather large orchard containing apples (several kinds) , grapes, plums, chokecherries, elderberries and black walnuts. Also, he planted a small grove of hard and soft wood trees such as oak, maple, basswood, cottonwood, boxelder, elm and ash. Incidentally, these trees furnished some of the wood for the “new” brick house built in 1923 by his J.O.V.
To provide water for the land he farmed, he built a ditch called the Wise Lateral which connected with the Cottonwood Ditch. It crossed the and which was owned and farmed by the Wise family for many years to come. The family soon became very much involved in the life of the community. He gave land from the homestead property for a large part of Canfield (Tabor). The railroad had another town named Canfield on its route and so they named the rail stop “Tabor”. Tabor was the terminal of the line for a short time so all mail for this area was left at Tabor. Since Erie did not have a postoffice as yet Wm. T. Wise (son of J.O.F.) carried the mail from Tabor to Erie on one of the large front wheel bicycles in the summer and on a pony in the winter. O.E. Wise and his sons built and ran a small general store. O.E. Wise contributed to the establishment of the school in Canfield (District 46). Wm. O. Wise served as postmaster in the Canfield (Tabor) postoffice. A stucco two story school was built later on property donated by O.E. Wise from homestead land. A 300 foot well drilled on the homestead place provided water to the Canfield school and to several residences until the 1950’s.
O.E. Wise had three children: William Oliver (Wm. O.), Joseph Oscar Vaughn (J.O.V.), and Ada A. O.E. Wise died in 1882. Following their father’s model all became very active in the community. Wm. O. was the oldest and part owner in the general store in Canfield and in the coal mine (the Star) in the 1880’s. He also served as postmaster in Canfield. Early he displayed a talent for writing and soon became the editor of the Erie-Canfield Independent (1886). He wrote many articles and verses for papers in teh East describing life in the new state of Colorado. He also became very interested in politics and served as a legislator in the 1880’s. His interest in politics and writing continued until his death in 1911.
J.O.V. Wise remained on the farm and lived in the old homestead house until the new brick house was built in 1923. His community activity was directed to improving life in rural eastern Boulder County. He married Sarah Ann Beasley (a member of a pioneer family in the St. Vrain valley) in 1876. His farm included alfalfa, corn, wheat, oats, and barley. He also raised cattle. He was involved in the establishment of a flour mill in Longmont and built a hay and corn fodder mill in Canfield operated by Wm. T. (his son). It burned in about 1912, but was replaced by another which ground not only fodder but grain for the farmers of the area. This too was operated by Wm. T. until the 1940’s J.O.V. served many years on the Canfield school board. He was a charter member of the Masonic Lodge of Erie and his wife, Sarah, was a charter member of the Eastern Star Lodge of Erie. He helped his brother run the general store in Canfield and served as deputy sheriff overseeing some of the local dances. J.O.V. had one of the first radios in the area–gatherings were held for family and community. Following his death in 1947, his son Wm. T. continued living on the farm, followed by other members of the Wise family.
Ada A. Wise remained a devoted daughter caring for her mother until her mother’s death in 1907. She played the organ at Sunday School (held in the Canfield School). She raised milk cows and lived in the old homestead house until 1940 when she moved into the “new” brick house with J.O.V. and his family. She died in 1946. The old house then remained vacant and became a storage for household items.
Some member of the Wise Family has lived in the “new” brick house at the old homestead since then. In 1993 the farm received the designation as one of the first Centennial farms recognized by the Colorado Historical Society. In 1993 the “new” brick house was sold and old homestead house moved to another location on the homestead property.