Timnath was founded in 1882 with predominantly agricultural roots, although fur trading was also a popular early occupation. According to the 1930 U.S. census, the population was still a mere 169. Farmers went about their chores in the sleepy little hamlet without any more clamor than bawling calves, boisterous children, an occasional boom of thunder or a rip-snorting Colorado windstorm. Potatoes, alfalfa, sugar beets and cattle covered fields for as far as the eye could see. Roads were sparse.
1940 census numbers dwindled to 147, a 13 percent decline. By 1950, they climbed to 177, never again growing by more than 13 souls until the turn of this century. In 2010, the most recent census, Timnath had 625 residents, an amazing 146.9 percent increase over just 10 years prior. Those 625 people resided in 214 households, according to further census statistics.
By 2013, the town had become the fastest growing in Colorado since the beginning of the decade. Residents of larger nearby communities– Fort Collins, Windsor, Loveland and Greeley– sought less crowded neighborhoods within close driving range. Timnath residents became proactive in their hopes to preserve their town’s identity. They dreaded the thought of surrounding land being gobbled up by other municipalities. Annexation began, as did development of farmland.
Timnath’s subdivisions have sprung up faster than a well-irrigated cornfield; roads, Stop signs, big box stores, traffic lights and traffic jams followed. Timnath’s official government website states that, within the next 20 years, the town will grow 27 square miles and add 20,000 residents.
Apparently, no one with a crystal ball or the ability to read one has stepped forward to confirm that prediction. However, the addition of Bethke Elementary School assures young families access to quality education very close to their homes. Timnath built it and they are coming. If retail, manufacturing, and/or white collar businesses also choose to locate in Timnath, it will remain a bonafide town rather than languish as an over-crowded bedroom community of one of its bigger neighbors.
If Timnath is hungry for one of the markers of a genuine town, it will get one in April, when Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers opens. The long-loved Kansas restaurant now operates approximately 150 locations across 17 states.
Well-managed growth with a focus on quality of life is a recipe for success as Timnath builds its future.