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  • Writer's pictureJulie Saddler

I like history




So, let's talk history. Colby is home to the largest barn in Kansas. The Cooper Barn now sits at the Prairie Museum of Art & History, right off of I-70. The barn was built in 1936 in Bretton, Kan. It is 16 miles north east of Colby. At Foster Farms the barn was built by men in the area, using wood from Foster Lumber Co. both of which were owned by Benjamin Butler Foster.


The large cattle show barn is 66 feet wide, 114 feet long, and 48 feet high. It housed their prize-winning horned Herford cattle from their more than 700 herd. It also housed the prize-winning Clydesdales they showed and sold. Budweiser Brewing also bought some of their Clydesdales. Live horsepower was used at Foster Farms until the early 1940’s. The barn was also used for livestock judging teams.


In 1965, the farm was sold to a partnership, when it disbanded Willard Cooper owned the barn. After Willard's death, his son and daughter donated the barn to the museum.

The barn’s move to Colby started on May 12, 1992. It made the 16-mile journey and arrived at the museum late in the day on May 15. On May 18 after removing the moving equipment, the barn was set down in its new home.



ck up. The law enforcement officers were involved in detouring vehicles and for whatever else was needed. It was controlled chaos with the lines, signs, and mileposts but the barn just kept a slow and steady pace. The men that moved that barn knew what they were doing and made it safely to town.


I was not born when the barn was in use at

Bretton, but I am so lucky to have been there when it came to live in Colby.


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