Savage Family of Rifle, Colorado

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The Savage Family of Rifle, Colorado are a prominent family of ranchers and real estate and energy developers based in the City of Rifle, a municipality of about 10,000 residents in Garfield County, Colorado. [1]

John Savage Senior's father

John Savage's father attended Stanford University in 1917 and was an energy entrepreneur working in the oil Shale industry.

Joan Savage

Joan Savage is the matriach of the Savage Family.

See main article: Joan Savage

John Savage, Senior

The patriarch of the Savage Family of Rifle, Colorado is John William Savage, Senior (22 May 1916 - September 1984).

Around 1900, John's father's brother settled near Troy, Montana, around the aptly named Savage Lake [2]

He was born in Maher, Colorado, 22 May 1916. His Social Security Number (SSN) was issued in California sometime before 1951. The SSN was 545 28 1405.

John Senior married Joanne N. "Joan" Leonhardt (born 8 August 1924) on 10 August 1950, in Jeffersonville, Indiana. They moved to western Colorado in the 1950s. They lived in De Beque, Colorado, where Marshall was born in 1955.

In 1963, John and Joan Savage moved their family of four sons to Graham Mesa in Rifle from Grand Valley. The Savages purchased the Logan, Diemoz, and Graham farms. The four Savage boys, along with other prominent farming and ranching families, grew up on the Mesa:

  • John W. Savage, Junior (born 1951, practicing attorney since 1979)
  • Roy Edward Savage (born 1952) [3]
  • Marshall T. Savage (born 6 August 1955)
  • Daniel W. Savage (born 1960?)

The Savages raised Arabian horses, sheep, cattle, and crops. They also worked to develop the area’s oil shale, mineral, and recreation resources.

John's final zip code before his death in 1984 was 81650, which covers all of Rifle, Colorado and surrounding area.

John Savage, Junior

Sally Brands co-owns Savage Land Company with her husband, John Savage. Her husband is the developer and she is the builder of homes in Rifle. She enjoys designing custom homes, and solving the problems of getting the clients what they want and what they can afford on the lot they choose.

John and Sally have four children:

  • Catherine Savage went into the Peace Corps in Peru for two years, and is now teaching Spanish in a Denver middle school.
  • Maria Savage went to France to become a nanny after graduating from college, and is now working for a publishing company in Ireland.
  • Louis Savage is teaching English, is an undergrad major and teaching assistant in a law school at Jiaotong University in Xi’an, China.
  • And Jeb Savage is working in Denver.

During the 1980s and 1990s, John Savage Jr. and Sally Brands raised their four children on Graham Mesa.

Savage Companies

Rifle House, 201 Railroad Avenue, Rifle, Colorado: home to "Savage Land Co.", and John Jr.'s legal practice

The Savage family ran (and still runs) many businesses in Rifle, Colorado. A list of the companies from 1996 to 2008 includes:

  • Buffalo Basin Limited
  • Savage Limited Partnership I
  • Savage Ranches
  • Tri-County Ambulance (run by Marshall from perhaps 1989 to 1994, then from 1994 to 1998 by his wife Tami Savage)
  • Empyrean Publishing
  • The First Millennial Foundation (2 December 1992 - October 1997)
  • Savage Outfitting Charters
  • Savage Resources

A long-time partner on many of these businesses, including Savage Resources, is a professor of mathematics from MIT.

The controller for all these companies from 1996 to 2008 was Mary Ellen Denomy [4], a self-described "fiscal conservative". She described her duties as:

  • All accounting, taxes and payments for family businesses, including ambulance service, publishing company, non-profit foundation, subdivision development, oil and gas development, oil shale development, residential building, ranching, outfitting, sailing charters.
  • Oversee 50 - 75 employees and subcontractors
  • Directly responsible - for preparing documents and testimony for court cases

In 2005, the family won a favourable appeals court ruling in a case over unpaid royalties from oil extraction on their lands. [5]

Tri-County Ambulance had its license renewed by the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners on 7 January 1997 [6] and 4 January 1999 [7].

MIT mathematics professor Daniel Wyler Stroock (born March 20, 1940) has been a partner in most of the above businesses for decades, likely from his 1972 - 1984 days as a professor at the University of Colorado. [8] For instance, Professor Stroock was an interested party in a July 2008 application to increase well usage on Orion Energy Partners, L.P. land [9], along with Savage Limited Partnership I, a vehicle controlled by Joan Savage and her four sons.

In early 2016, pipeline company Red Rock Gathering Company sued Savage Resources for breach of contract in U.S. District Court in Denver. Savage Resources says Red Rock has seized Savage Resource gas, even while Savage Resources continued to dispute debts owed to Red Rock.

On 1 September 2016, Savage Resources filed for bankrupcy listing $16,800 in assets and $31 million in liabilities. It was owned at the time by the four Savage brothers and Dr. Stroock. The majority of Savage Resources debts, about $27 million, were listed in court documents as loans from Savage family members and entities sharing their addresses. Marshall was listed as President of Savage Resources [10]


Rifle Farm [11]

John Jr.'s wife Sally Brands profile from 2007 [12]

Whitepages [13]