Pioneer Monument, Subscribers #5-8
Onward to the next subscribers listed on the plaque affixed to the Pioneer Memorial Fountain. The next group of four is Arthur P. Church, Walter S. Cheesman, Adolph Coors and Ernest A. Colburn. Two of these are super star pioneers of Denver and Colorado, Walter Cheesman and Adolph Coors. Arthur P. Church and Ernest A. Colburn are on the “B” list. Researching the names on the monument means “B” rated pioneers can become a little better known.
Arthur P. Church, like others on the monument’s plaque, were involved in real estate. In the June 7, 1909 MINING INVESTOR magazine he was trying to sell portions of the Little Jonny Mine. The Little Jonny mine is the mine that made J.J. Brown and his wife, Margaret Brown their fortune. It also made other people rich, including John F. Campion.
Arthur P. Church was an University of Chicago alumni. He was a founder of the town of Dacono, Colorado. His other interests involved the Denver Public Schools, the Denver Onion Salt Company and F.E. Davies Company of Arlington Heights. Arthur was the son of William Church, who had a Quality Hill mansion at 1000 Corona. Two sources said the Churches left town in 1901 when William suddenly. Either they didn’t go far, or came back as he is listed on the monument as a donor. The Quality Hill mansion turned into a boarding house and was razed in 1965.
Walter S. Cheesman’s list of accomplishments is impressive. But the virtue that pushed him to his success was his boosterism of Denver. He arrived in Denver in 1861 to help his brothers run their drugstore. His contribution to the business was to sell bottled water and other bottled beverages. Ironically, water played a large part in Cheesman’s life. The Denver fire of 1863 burned the drug store. He rebuilt in brick, one of his later businesses. He was instrumental in bringing the railroad to Denver when others were abandoning the city for Cheyenne, located on the transcontinental route. His support for the city got him involved, first with the railroads, then, picking the location and the building of Union Station. Another opportunity was again with water, enlarging the water company. He eventually sold his company to the city. He was involved in the power company. He is said to pay the most taxes of anyone living in Denver. His business sense meant that he left the corner of 15th and Broadway vacant, letting his cows pasture there until the price of the land raised to what thought it was worth. A cow pasture in downtown did not please everyone.
Judge Ben Lindsey was not a fan of Walter Cheesman. He felt that Mayor Robert Speer was under Cheesman’s influence. He felt the water deal with the city was questionable. But, Cheesman supported the city, he bought the property the Arapahoe County Court House was built on, and sold it back to the city at a price that was affordable. He was supporter of the Denver Human Society, being so passionate about the care of animals and children he took a horse that was tied to a pole in bad weather to shelter.
Walter Cheesman’s second wife was Alice Foster Sanger. The daughter from this union was Gladys. Walter died in 1907 at the Dunning-Benedict Mansion while renting, waiting for his house to be built at 8th Avenue and Logan. His wife and daughter finished the house. Gladys went on to marry John Evans, grandson of Colorado’s second governor. The house was then sold to the Boettecher family who donated it to the state, it become the Governor’s mansion.
Cheesman Park and Cheesman Dam are named for Cheesman. He also built the Cheesman Block, the Burlington Block, the Empire Block, the Colonial Block and the Columbia Block. He worked with other “A” list pioneers such as David Moffatt and James Archer. The Cheesman Pavilion in Cheesman park was build for $100,000 by his widow to leave as a memorial for his contribution to the city and to smooth over any hard feelings he may have created when he was alive. The pavilion was renovated and is smaller then it was originally. The view from it was said to encompass a view of the front range that was 200 miles from north to south.
Cheesman owned the Golden Pressed Brick Company in Golden. The clay in Golden was good for brick making and with Cheesman’s experience with city fires he was interested in the industry. The brick factory turned into the Golden Pressed and Fire Brick Works and stayed in business from 1901 until 1963.
Pikes Peak from the Cheesman Memorial, 60 miles to the south.
Golden, Colorado is home of the Coors Brewery. Adolph Coors was a stowaway from Germany. He was avoiding the possibility of fighting in his native country when Bismarck was uniting the country. He moved west, from Chicago to Denver in April, 1872. He bought a bottling company and made it a success. Doing his research, he knew he needed clean, fresh water to open a brewery. Clear Creek supplied the water he was looking for, a building that was a tannery provided the brewing facilities. Partnered with candy maker Jacob Scheuler, as silent partner, he starting brewing beer.
In 1879 Adolph Coors bought out Jacob Scheuler. Coors was known for fair treatment of his employees. He was paying $16.00 a week, two decades before Henry Ford was paying $5.00 a day. Anti-alcohol sediment was brewing in America since the mid-1800’s. By 1916 Colorado was dry. Adolph was able to diversify and keep the business. He went into the malted milk, cement and porcelain business. The Coors brewery survived prohibition, but Adolph didn’t. Requesting his hotel bill be paid in full, he took his own life by auto defenestration in 1929, leaving no explanation.
The forth person this week on the plaque is Ernest A. Colburn. He associated with the Gold King Mine, the Colburn Hotel and the Colburn Automobile. I have written about him in the past and am just going to direct you to my blog to read about him. //http:denverhistory.blog/
Pioneer Memorial. Designed to scare kids?
Additions, comments and additions are welcomed,
Thanks, JOE S
Sources: Engineering Mining Journal
City Municipal Facts
Out Where the West Begins,
Phillip F. Anschutz, William J. Convery, Thomas J. Noel
Colorado Encelopedia . org
Denver’s Historic Mansions, Edith Eudora Kohl
Thanks to Judith Stalnaker Ph.D. and her guidance