MHCL Board of Directors

Lesley Rameil

Gayle Wells

MHCL Founder: Anita Witt

Anita's Story

Anita WittAnita Witt and her husband Don came to Missouri Heights in 1967. A cowgirl to her roots, she understood the dilemma ranchers and farmers faced in the late 70s, struggling to make their living on the mesa.

Lifestyles were changing and many ranchers had already sold out to residential developers. One particularly dear friend sold her ranch and Anita decided that the time had come to put pen to paper and chronicle the history of Missouri Heights. What began as a labor of love culminated in a colorful, five-hundred page history of the pioneers who settled here, told to Anita by the children of these settlers, some of whom are now in their 80s and 90s.

Her book, They Came from Missouri, brings to life the history of these early settlers through interviews with descendants, turn-of-the-century photographs, handwritten letters, maps and newspaper clippings.

As part of her research, Anita chose also to highlight schoolhouses that were built on the mesa. These one-room structures connected the ranchers and farmers, most of whom lived miles from their nearest neighbor. According to Anita, these buildings became the venue not just for their children’s education, but for meetings, get-togethers, music and laughter, dancing and catching-up.

Anita Witt is a lifetime entertainer, singer, producer and author. Her entourage includes her trick horses Whiskey and José Cuervo, and her dog Spanky. She travels from rodeos to senior centers with her trick horses, her songs and stories bringing a smile to all she encounters.

Her second book I Remember One Horse: The Last of the Cowboys is a pictorial collection of the last of the ranchers in the Roaring Fork Valley. And her CD The Last of the Cowboys, adapted from her book, was featured on Rocky Mountain PBS.

Proceeds from the sale of Anita’s books go directly to the preservation and maintenance of the Missouri Heights schoolhouse.

Photo: Anita and her horse José at the eighth annual Rodeo Pals visit courtesy of The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.