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Meet the last Dees — Black ranchers who turned Yuma's no man's land into their legacy (197 hits)

Meet the last Dees — Black ranchers who turned Yuma's no man's land into their legacy
By Jonmaesha Beltran
Arizona Republic

Elmo Dees, whose white, straight hair is often tucked in a gray baseball cap, is one of the last two children of 16 to live and work on his father’s farm.

“I’m going to outlive them all,” the 74 year old said.

His father, John, who grew up in the North Gila Valley, purchased squatters rights and moved to 160 acres of undeveloped and destitute land near Yuma called "The Island" in 1950, two years after Elmo was born. John had to clear brush, mesquite, willow and saltbush off the area to turn it into the home where he and his children would grow crops, raise hogs and herd cattle. It was land where the Dees family legacy as barrier-breaking Black farmers and ranchers would take root.

READ MORE: Meet the last Dees — Black ranchers who turned Yuma's no man's land into their legacy https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainme...
Posted By: Deacon Ron Gray
Monday, August 15th 2022 at 3:26PM
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