Jack Langrishe: An 1860s Celebrity

Jack Langrishe. If you attended the theater in the 1860s and 1870s, you probably knew the name Jack Langrishe.  Born in Ireland in 1825, John S. “Jack” Langrishe moved to New York at age 20 and began appearing on stage as a comedic actor and magician.  His theatrical troupe, Langrishe and Company, originally toured New […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Dr. Florence Sabin

At the Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., each state commemorates two of their greatest citizens.  The 100 statues include politicians, war heroes, explorers, artists, inventors, and other notables from all periods of U.S. history.  Among them is Colorado’s contribution* — and one of only nine women in the Hall — […]

Recollections of Early Colorado

In the 1920s and 1930s, many early Colorado pioneers were still alive, and a number of them were able to tell their stories in the Colorado Historical Society’s Colorado Magazine. The magazine also published many Colorado settlers’ letters and diaries. These firsthand accounts include those of both men and women as well as those of various […]

John Denver: Singer and Songwriter

When: 1943-1997 Where: Aspen, Colorado Why Important: Award winning musician, singer and activist. Biography John Denver was born on December 31, 1943 in Roswell, New Mexico. His real name was Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. Around the age of twenty, he changed his name to “John Denver” after his favorite state’s (Colorado) capital. John’s father was […]

Colorado Artists

Our library collection contains a number of biographies on Colorado fine artists.  Titles of interest in our collection include: “The Art of ‘Nettie’ Bromwell,” by Maria Matthews, Colorado Heritage, Spring 1997. “C. Waldo Love:  Denver Artist,” by Stan Cuba, Colorado Heritage, Jan/Feb 2012. “The Cowboy, the Indian, and the Buckaroo:  Alexander Phimster Proctor in Colorado,” […]

Arthur Carhart and the Wilderness Movement

The first decades of the twentieth century were the height of the wilderness movement in the United States.  Following the popularity of Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872, and Frederick Jackson Turner’s 1893 declaration that the American frontier was closed, Americans gained a new interest in protecting wilderness areas, as well as exploring the past […]

Kit Carson and Fort Garland

Frontiersman Kit Carson once commanded Fort Garland, a southeastern Colorado fort set up to provide military protection to early settlers of the San Luis Valley.  You can visit Fort Garland today; it has been preserved as a museum by History Colorado.  At the museum, you’ll learn about Kit Carson and life in an early Colorado […]

Frances Wisebart Jacobs: Health Care Activist

When: 1843 – 1892 Where: Central City and Denver Why Important: She helped establish the Jewish Hospital Association of Colorado, now called National Jewish Hospital. Biography Frances Wisebart Jacobs was born March 29, 1843 in Kentucky to Bavarian immigrants. The family later moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where her father Leon Wisebart worked as a tailor. Frances and […]

William Byers: Founder of Rocky Mtn News

When: 1831-1903 Where: Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, and finally, Denver Why Important: Byers was the greatest Denver promoter, bringing people and money into the city. He established the first paper, the  Rocky Mountain News. Biography The greatest Denver promoter of all, William Newton Byers was born on an Ohio farm in 1831. His family moved to Iowa in […]

Chief Little Raven: Peacemaker

When: c. 1810-1889 Where: Colorado and Oklahoma Why Important: This Chief sought peaceful relations  between Native Americans and whites even amidst the Sand Creek Massacre. Biography Little Raven was born around 1810 on the Plains near Nebraska. He negotiated peace between the Southern Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, and Plains Apache in 1840. He was also known to welcome […]

Mamie Eisenhower: First Lady and Humanitarian

When: 1896-1979 Where: Born in Iowa; grew up in Colorado Springs and Denver Why Important: Humanitarian and wife of President Dwight Eisenhower Biography Mamie Geneva Doud was born with a heart condition, and her older sister had asthma. In an effort to improve the girls’ health, their father moved the family from Iowa and eventually settled in […]

Molly Brown: Suffragist, Socialite and Adventurer

When: 1867-1932 Where: Born in Missouri, lived in Leadville and Denver Why Important: Maggie Brown traveled frequently, gave time and money to charity, sought women’s suffrage, and was a survivor of the Titanic disaster. Biography Margaret Brown was born of July 18, 1867. Her friends and family called her Maggie; she was not known as Molly until after […]

Ellis Meredith, Suffragist and Activist

When: 1865 – 1955 Where: Born in Montana, moved to Denver Why Important: Prominent journalist, suffragist, activist in the temperance movement. She was known as ‘the Susan B. Anthony of Colorado’ for her hard work in promoting women’s rights. Biography Ellis Meredith was born in Bozeman, Montana in 1865. Her mother, Emily R. Meredith was a well-known […]

Federico Peña: Mayor of Denver

When: 1947 – Present Where: Born in Laredo, Texas, moved to Denver Why Important: First Hispanic mayor, helped build a new airport, served as Secretary of Transportation under President Clinton, preserved art and history, and restored buildings in Denver. Biography Federico was born in Laredo, Texas in 1947. He went to law school at the University of Texas […]

Mary Hauck Elitch Long, Founder of Elitch’s Zoological Gardens

When: 1865 – 1936 Where: Born in Philadelphia, moved to California, then Durango, Colorado and finally to Denver Why Important: Mary was the first woman to run a zoo during a time when women did not have political or economic power. Biography Mary Hauck was born May 10, 1865 in Philadelphia. Her family moved to California where […]