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.
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.
Elmer wished for respite from the summer heat of Denver and a place where he, Peg and their five children could spend summer vacations but remain close to the lucrative family business. By purchasing Greystone, he fulfilled two dreams, owning a working cattle ranch and enjoying a grand family home in the mountains. Elmer purchased the adjacent Mayo Ranch and grew Greystone to over 1250 acres for 90 head of cattle and 6 horses. He and his children loved to ride the ranch and continuously rode from one part to another, often visiting other families along Bear Creek and the famed Buchanan Ranch in Evergreen.
Jane Bonardi Wilfley, today in her 80s and the only living child of Elmer, recalls with pleasure the annual barbecue gala at Greystone where her mother insisted everyone wear old fashioned clothes and be photographed in tintype (the tintype was a photograph produced on metallic sheeting instead of glass).
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.