Pioneer Monument, Subscribers 21-24

Pioneer Monument, Subscribers 21-24

The subscriber’s names are alphabetical on the plaque attached to the fountain. You don’t know if the next name is an unknown or a super star.  Tonight’s line up is Charles B. Kountze, Maria T. Kassler, Frank M. Ladd and John F. Sanger.  Ladd and Sanger are combined as one subscriber.  Kountze is a super star, the others we will have to investigate.

It is difficult to address Denver history with out referring to the Kountze and Berger families.  William B. Berger was Charles Brewer Kountze’s right hand man.  Kountze was part of the powerful banking firm, Kountze Brothers of Omaha, New York and Denver.  Berger married into the family and became intertwined with the Kountzes.

There were four Kountze brothers in banking, Luther, Charles B., Augustus and Herman.  Luther came to Denver in 1862.  It was Luther’s money that restarted Denver after the fire of 1863.  Charles came in 1864 when 19 years old.  When he was 21 years old he was cashier of the bank his brother founded.  The bank was renamed the Colorado National Bank in 1866.  Luther and Augustus moved on to bigger deals in New York.  Charles became president in 1871 and stayed in that position until 1911 when he passed.

Lessons learned from the Kountzes was to be conservative in banking and marry well.  The Bergers married into the Kountzes.  W. Bart Berger, a fellow Westerner, tracks the Kountze Genealogy in DECENDENTS OF CHRISTIAN GOLIEB KOUNTZE.  Numerous old Denver family names are recognized in his work.  To this day, the families influence Denver’s economy.  It was Charles B. Kountze that built the first mansion East of Broadway, making Capital Hill a desirable place to live.

Maria T. Stebbins of Clinton, New York, married George W. Kassler in 1865.  George W. traveled  for 24 days from Omaha to Denver in 1860.  He eventually made a dozen trips by wagon or stage back and forth.  He was the Cashier of the Turner & Hobbs Banking House.  He acted as paymaster to the Army.  He had a stationary store at 15th and Blake where he started selling insurance.  He became the City Treasurer  and president of the Board of Fire Underwriters.  In 1874 he had the 1st National Bank of Denver where David Moffat was Cashier.  He retired from there in 1882.  He was involved in the Denver & South Park Railroad and was member of the Board of Education.  He died in 1890.

His sons, E.S. Kassler and C.M. Kassler ran the Kassler Investment Company.  It is Maria T. Stebbins whose name is on the Pioneer Memorial Fountain.

Frank M. Ladd and John F. Sanger are group together on the monument.  They had a Contracting Company, the office was located in the Majestic Building, office 416. The Majestic Building was located at 16th and Broadway.


Frank M. Ladd was the city building inspector in the 1920’s.  He is also listed as an architect from 1927 to 1932.  Perhaps this was bad timing, as the recession hit in 1929.

I found little on John F. Sanger.  There was an Sanger insurance agency listed in the 1911 City Directory.


Comments, additions and corrections are welcomed.

Thanks, JOE S



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This entry was posted on July 9, 2018 by in Larimer Street.
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