By Betty Plotz
Salida area rancher, veterinarian, historian and pioneer Wendell “Doc Hutch” Hutchinson died on Sept. 20, 2014, just five days short of his 90th birthday.
His great-grandfather, Joseph Sykes Hutchinson, came to Colorado in 1866 after being wounded during the Battle of Vicksburg during the Civil War. Joseph began as a prospector near Granite but eventually became involved in the cattle trade. In 1868, he and his new wife, Annabelle, bought a homestead about three miles east of South Arkansas. By the 1870s, the Hutchinson ranching operation had grown to include 5,000 head of cattle that ranged over meadows in the San Luis Valley, Marshall Pass, South Park, Leadville and Westcliffe.