Middle Park Fair & Rodeo Pioneers – Peg Toft
August 6, 2009
Training and riding quarterhorses was not a typical way for a young girl to grow up in Middle Park, but Peg Toft has spent a lifetime doing things her own way.She was born on June 7, 1934, to Mike and Winona Hinman on the Hinman Ranch. Her home place is currently owned by Jim and Vicki Taussig.In addition to raising Hereford cattle, her family raised quarterhorses. In addition to the quarterhorses on the ranch, Peg also jockeyed and trained horses for her other owners. She raced horses at tracks in Kremmling, Hayden, Craig and Grand Junction.She was raised on the ranch with a brother Rod Hinman and a sister, Penny, who lives in Burlington. Her family also showed cattle at big shows in Chicago, Denver, Omaha, Kansas City and Phoenix. In those days, the railroad would lease a car to a ranch to use for shipping cattle to the shows. Peg remembers fixing up the cars and it was common in those days for people to ride in the boxcars with the cattle to take care of the animals.Peg married Pete Toft in 1954 and, initially, they worked for Peg’s father. Pete and Peg had four children, Pam, Pat, Paula and Porter. Peg said she enjoys her family, which has grown to include nine grandchildren and one great, grandchild.The family owned the Parsons Ranch, which is located on Muddy Creek, until they sold the ranch in 1984 and moved to Kremmling.During that time, Peg started a long career in business. She owned the Kremmling Club Pool Hall from 1965 until 1973. She started The Wagon Restaurant in the building where the Subway Restaurant is located.In 1979, Peg built the Wagon Restaurant at the site formerly occupied by the LaCasa Cafe, which had been destroyed by a fire. Peg owned and operated the Wagon Restaurant until she sold the business and the building in 1995. That building is now home to the Rocky Mountain Barand Grill.Peg had a long and distinguished career in town government. She served as the mayor for the town of Kremmling from 1989 until 2002. She had been elected to the town council in 1986.During her tenure as mayor, the town of Kremmling was the driving force behind the development of the Cliffview Assisted Living Center.The town also obtained the funding to build the town’s maintenance facility and police station. The ballfields at the Red Mountain Sports complex were built after Peg helped to put together the proposal to purchase the property from the Colorado State Land Board.In the early years of her term as mayor, the Louisiana-Pacificwaferboard plant closed, leaving the town without one of its major employers. Peg is proud of the way the town banded together and pulled itself up by the bootstraps. The assisted living center was one of the results of those efforts. The rebounding effort helped Kremmling earn a Smart Growth Award from the governor’s office.While mayor, Peg served as chairman for the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and she also chaired the Colorado Rural Development Council.Peg’s involvement with the Middle Park Fair goes back to the 1950s. Starting in 1952, she was secretary-treasurer of the fairboard for 20 years. She is currently on the Junior Livestock sale committee, a position she has held for the past 10 years.Since the early 1980s, Peg has been the announcer at the 4-H beef show, announcing grand and reserve champions. She has also been a 4-H leader for horses and served as the superintendent of the 4-H horse show for a number of years.Peg may have retired from the business and political worlds, but she certainly hasn’t slowed down. Her hobbies are hunting, fishing and golf. She and Chelle Marquardt also do a little catering with their business P & C Sage Catering. Mostly they offer their catering services at the weddings of friends and families as a gift to the bride and groom.Toft was always very generous with her sponsorship of sporting teams. It was rare to have an adult recreational league without a team called “The Wagon.”Although change doesn’t come quickly to Kremmling, Toft noted, she has noticed that more and more, people don’t seem to have time to be involved in community activities. In addition, the loss of family ranches in Grand County has probably been the most significant change she has noted.Whatever Peg has been involved in, it has always been with the attitude of seeing what could be done to achieve a desired outcome.