Steve & Barbara Bales Grand Marshal Buckeye Days 2020
Interview with Steve Bales Sr. and Lara Serbin
Steve: Well I’m a third generation native of Buckeye. My mother was Alberta Beloat Bales and her father was John Beloat and John Beloat’s father was Bob Beloat and they homesteaded here in Buckeye 1891 . But then since me, my sons and grandkids and great grandkids I guess its 6th generation now. I was raised here all my life in the Buckeye area. My Dad farmed here and we farmed with the Beloat Family, developed a farm in Rainbow Valley and farmed it for many years. We have our headquarters Bales Hay here on the original Beloat Road in Liberty, Arizona. We have a feed lot, feed cattle, my sons along with by grandsons run the farm. They bale and sell a lot of hay.
Lara: Did you grow up in this house here?
Steve: No. My Great Great Grandad built this house at the turn of the century around 1904. Grandad lived there a while and my mother was raised there a little bit. Other family members lived in the house but I never did. My Dad and my Grandad Bales came here and moved along Perryville Road and my Dad grew up there.
Lara: What do you think kept you here for so long?
Steve: I love the country. Feels like home. Growing up as a kid, there were dirt roads and mostly little dairies. Some farms had 10 cows and others had 30, 40 cows all together. Milk cows grazed out here and were brought in to milk. The ranchers always had ranch cows (beef cattle) grazing on this land too. They would set the tin cans of milk out and the milk truck would come along and pick them up. Not like the big tankers we have today. That gradually changed and we started to see cotton and alfalfa in this country in the 1940’s. Lots of the little dairies quit. These fields here now used to be fenced off every 40 acres. Sometimes two fences around it.
Grandad Beloat had grazing land in Rainbow Valley and he would bring his cows to the homestead on Beloat Road when the grade would get too dry in Rainbow Valley which is dry desert.
Lara: What is your hope for this area in the future?
Steve: I hope this keeps progressing the way it is. It’s doing real good. I know we have more traffic and people. Seems like more news that we don’t desire. Bad things happen but you look at all the good things and the good is way better than the bad. We see all construction that is north of us now along the freeway and they leave the farms alone somewhat. There is a wonderful irrigation system for Buckeye. North of us one mile we have the Roosevelt Irrigation System that is considered Buckeye. Here at the Bales Hay we are on Buckeye Water Conservation Drainage District BWCDD and we have super water delivery for the people, we have a lot of water and the farmers are happy, they have good crops. Back in the day we had a one row cotton picker, then we went to 2 rows, then 4 rows and now we have 6 row cotton pickers. It is the same with our tractors. We used to say if you did 15 acres a day you did good, now we can do 100 acres a day real easy. Progress is great! I hate to see the whole country covered with houses. I don’t think it will happen too quickly.
Buckeye City, I feel a little sorry for the downtown. Development has progressed north of them along the Interstate 10 but the downtown is still there. You got that wonderful City Hall and a lot of employees downtown. It will stay there. Finally it will grow. It will be a good town. It won’t shrink, it will get better.