Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Natual Science and Mathematics

First Advisor

E. Eric Boschmann, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Andrew Goetz

Third Advisor

Matthew Taylor


Hispanic history, Hispanic migration, Historical geography, Latino migration, Migration, Migration geography


Growing beets to process into sugar was a large and important industry in 1920s Northeastern CO. The infrastructure to support the sugar beet industry was built and expanded in the first decades of the 1900s. Beyond infrastructure requirements the sugar beet industry relied on seasonal low skilled field labor. The migration and settlement patterns of sugar beet laborers in the 1920s to Northeastern Colorado were influenced by the actions of the Great Western Sugar Company. In 1909, German-Russian immigrants were the dominant demographic working the beet fields in Northeastern CO but by 1927 that trend shifted overwhelmingly to families of Mexican and Mexican American heritage. These Hispanic families came from the Southwestern US as well as Mexico and primarily spent the summer living at the beet fields. During the winter some laborers returned to the Southwest or Mexico, others lived in poor areas of Denver, and others still lived on the outskirts of Northeastern Colorado towns. In Fort Collins, Greeley and other Northeastern Colorado towns, the Great Western Sugar Company subsidized housing for select Hispanic beet labor families. This thesis advances understanding of Colorado history as it relates to early Hispanic migration and offers a case study in migration forces. While social networks are important to patterns of labor movement, the recruitment efforts and housing initiatives of the Great Western Sugar Company were highly influential.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Gregory T. Chase


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

103 p.