Pioneer Monument, Subcribers #17-20

Pioneer Monument, Subscribers #17-20

The next group of subscribers is split between passionate business founders, politicians and professional directors of a companies for which they work.  The next four names on the plaque of subscribers on the Pioneer Monument are Charles Hallack, William A. Hover, Moses Hallett and Harry C. James.

Charles Hallack was from Genesee County, New York.  He moved west, becoming a stock broker in Highland, Kansas.  His bother, Erastus, was a carriage builder in the same town.  The brothers arrived in Denver in the 1860’s and started a lumber company.  Soon they went into partnership with quarry owner, Dr. John H. Morrison, who is associated with the town near Red Rocks.  They then moved on to another partnership with J.H. Howard to form Hallack and Howard.  Erastus bowed out of the ventures in 1879, going on to his own to open another building materials company.  Charles sold out in 1895.  Charles was involved in the State National Bank, originally in the McClintock Block then moved to the Tabor Block.

1315 California was the site of the home of Charles Hallack.  He took interest in landscaping his home.  He tended three generation of trees on his property and grew the first lawn of grass in Denver.  The location of Charles’s house, downtown, compares to his brother, Erastus, who built in Capital Hill.  His interest in gardening took him to become Park Commissioner of Denver.  The lake at City Park was established during his tenure.

Erastus’s interests were spread out, he was involved in the Denver City Steam Heating Company which supplied steam heat to downtown businesses in a safer network of pipes.  He was also involved in the Denver Union Water Company in partnership with David Moffat, George Clayton, Walter Cheesman, Thomas Hayden and Moses Hallett.  They wanted to establish a stable water delivery system to Denver.  Erastus passed away in 1897.  His house was located at 17th and Sherman, it was visible from the north steps of the State Capital.  1701 Sherman was then considered in the country when it was built about 1890. Charles Hallack died in 1906.  Charles Hallack Jr. was involved in the lumber industry in Washington State.  Hallack companies existed in some form until 1960 when they were sold to Boise-Cascade.


One of Hallack’s buildings.

William Adgate Hover was also a successful businessman.  Educated in mining, William A. Hover, tried his hand at assaying in Lake City, Colorado.  Lake City is where Alferd Packer dined on notoriety in 1875.  Hover came to Denver in 1878.  He went into the wholesale druggist business.  The business was at 1437-1439 Lawrence street, the building still exists.  It is located next to the Hotel Teatro, the old Denver Tramway Building.


The building was a commercial design of Denver’s number one licensed architect, Robert S. Roeschlaub.  It was built in 1901.

A. Hover was a successful businessman. His drug business grew at a time that he drug business changed from only medicine to retail stores that included the plethora of products we see today at drug stores.  His interests included mining.  He was president of the US National Bank, Chairman of the Denver Traffic Bureau, and on the board of the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company.  He was the President of the National Wholesale Druggist Association in 1902-1903 and President of Denver’s Board of Supervisors.

Hover had nine children.  His son, Charles S. Hover had a Ford dealership that Denverites might remember.  Ironically, W. A. Hover had Denver automobile permit #1.


Photo by Rita Sokolowski before the Spiral Building was built.

In 1937 the drug business was sold to McKesson & Robbins.  The business stayed in the Lawrence street location until 1958.  The building was later turned into the University of Colorado Library, it is now offices for a design company.  The Hovers lived at 1507 Lafayette, the house has been destroyed.  W. A. Hover died in 1952, in California.  He lived to be 94 years old.

In the 1911 City Directory Moses Hallett is listed as “capitalist”.  He arrived in Colorado in 1860, making him one of the earliest successful pioneers listed on the monument.  He was appointed Chief Justice of the Territory of Colorado.  He was also a member of the Territorial Council, 1863-1865.  After Colorado became a state he was on the US District Court.  During this tenure he had to decide important mining rulings and was involved with the Denver and Rio Grande Railway problems of receivership.  He went on to become a professor of American Constitutional Law and Federal Juris Prudence at the University of Colorado.  He was conferred LL.D in 1893.

Moses Hallett was also an executor and trustee of the estate of George W. Clayton and was involved with the trust as the building of the orphanage was begun.

Harry C. James was involved in mining.  Perhaps H.C. James’s connections made him note worthy.  His father, the Honorable William Henry James , assisted in the formation of the town of Leadville and became its first mayor.

Harry C. was President of the United Metals Mining Company, Yak Mining and Tunnel Company of Leadville, Director of Denver National Bank, Director of Denver Gas & Electric, Director of the Portland Cement Company and at one time early in his career connected to the Shredded Wheat Company.  My 1911 city directory doesn’t show any of these affiliations so I suspect they occurred later in Harry’s career.

Like a number of subscribers on the plaque, Harry C. was a member of social clubs such as: the Denver Club, the Denver Country Club, the Colorado Golf Club, the Oasis Club and the Psi Upsilon Fraternity.

This group of subscribers really had me wondering if I could find any information about them.  It turns out there is a wealth of information about the Hallacks.  William A. Hover turned out to be a joy to research.  Moses Hallett was an early pioneer so the research material was limited but gave enough information to paint a picture.  Harry C. James, with a fairly common name, and the son of a more famous person, had limited information.

I used as sources: the History of Colorado, Wilbur Fiske Stone, The History of Denver by O.L. Baskin, the DPL – photos, city directories and Municipal Facts and the most important source-Sketches of Colorado, William C. Ferril.


The Knuckleheads are back.

Additions, comments and corrections are welcomed.

Thanks, JOE S




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This entry was posted on July 2, 2018 by in Larimer Street.
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