Wilfley Era
1939 - 1946
The close of the 1920s found Genevieve relaxing at Greystone exclusively in the summer months. Her married daughters, Helen Phipps Bromfield and Dorothy Phipps Garrett often visited Greystone during holidays and weekends. The serenity of the property and the opulence of the Manor House were a welcome change from bustling city life in Denver. Credit: J.C.H.S., Hiwan Homestead Museum, #6994

When Genevieve Chandler Phipps died in 1931, her daughters jointly inherited the estate. Their husbands, Donald Bromfield and Van Holt Garrett, had for years partnered the prestigious Garrett Bromfield Real Estate Company located in downtown Denver. Through their husbands’ firm, the women decided in 1938, it was time to sell.

Ranching and the solitude of Greystone suited Elmer and his son, Elmer, Jr., called “Bob.” Only 14 days after taking possession of Greystone, a stock brand was registered with the State of Colorado. Credit: J.C.H.S., Hiwan Homestead Museum

Elmer and Peg Wilfley purchased Greystone in August 1939. Elmer was heir and president of the prominent Denver pump and mining machinery manufacturer, A.R. Wilfley & Sons, Inc. Beginning in the late 1880s, his father, Arthur Redman Wilfley, capitalized on inventor spirit and entrepreneurial vigor by developing equipment to aid the mining industry. By his death in 1927 he had 24 patents on a variety of inventions from centrifugal pumps to sand tables.

Attention to detail, a grandiose residence and the quiet peace of Greystone is reflected in Elmer Wilfley’s son Bob’s 1943 charcoal drawing of the Manor House. Credit: J.C.H.S., Hiwan Homestead Museum

Jane Wilfley Bonardi also remembers the superb fishing her brothers relished along Bear Creek. It was common for the Wilfley family to enjoy platters of freshly caught trout for breakfast and most times, there were enough leftovers to serve again at lunch.

By 1946 Peggy and Elmer’s children had families of their own and were unable to visit the estate as frequently. Sadly the decision was made to sell. But before Greystone could be listed, a prominent couple from Georgia happened upon Elmer while he was relaxing on his front porch. Lt. Colonel William Sandifer and wife Sadie were considering purchasing property neighboring Greystone and had driven up the Greystone drive on a neighborhood exploration. Within hours, Greystone was under contract for sale.

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