John F. Sanger (subscriber #24), by Judy Stalnaker PhD

Researched and written by: Judy Stalnaker 

John F. Sanger (1873-1935) was one of the donors to Denver’s Pioneer Monument.  He is listed in the available-on-line 1911 and 1915 Denver city directories as living at 400 8th Avenue―the present Colorado Governor’s Mansion!  How can this be?  It was because his mother was Mrs. Walter S. Cheesman; i.e., Alice Eudocia Foster Cheesman.  Walter Cheesman ordered the mansion built, but died in 1907, the year before its completion.  It is well known that Alice and her daughter Gladys as well as Gladys’s husband, John Evans, lived in the mansion after Walter’s death.  But Alice’s son, John F. Sanger, from her first marriage to James McKibben Sanger also lived there for a time.  Alice and her first husband had two sons, John Foster Sanger and George Pullman Sanger.  John was only three years old when his father died.

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John Sanger was involved in banking and real estate.  He was on the Board of Directors and a vice president of a Colorado Springs trust company, the Colorado Title & Trust Co., formed in September 1903.  He was an original Board member of a Colorado Springs steel mill incorporated in 1902.  His real estate holdings were increased by his mother’s gift to him in 1899 of a huge parcel of land.  In that year she conveyed to him the north two-thirds of a city block bounded by 11th and 12th Avenues, Marion and Lafayette Streets.  Frank M. Ladd and John F. Sanger owned property together north of the Denver Country Club.  On the plaque naming the donors to the Pioneer Monument they are listed together.

On June 12, 1919 John married Dorothy Burgess in Philadelphia.  While touring Colorado by automobile on their honeymoon in August, the car they were riding in was hit by a backing-up freight train near Sedalia.  Mrs. Sanger was killed.  When Alice Cheesman died in 1923, John Sanger inherited about 2.5 million in 2018 dollars, with similar amounts going to his brother, George, and his half-sister, Gladys.

Interesting side notes:  Through his mother’s side of the family, John F. Sanger was descended from Miles Standish who came over on the Mayflower.  There is a John F. Sanger Building (1926) on the southwest corner of Colfax and Pearl Street.  James McKibben Sanger’s sister married George M. Pullman who founded the Pullman Sleeper Car Co. in 1867.




“$200,000 Steel Casting Plant for the Springs,” Denver Post, Oct. 5, 1902, p. 8.

Denver city directories, various years, Denver CO.

Ferrill, William C., Sketches of Colorado: Being an Analytical Summary and Biographical History,

Western Press Bureau Co., 1911, p. 135.

“Handsome Gift to Her Son,” Rocky Mountain News, March 10, 1899, p. 10.

Moses, John, History of Chicago, Illinois:  Pre-historic Agencies; Rise and Fall of French

                Dominion; First Permanent Settlement, Munsell & Co., Chicago, 1895, p. 628-630

(re James Young Sanger, father of James McKibben Sanger).

“New Trust Company Selects its Directors,” Colorado Springs Gazette, Sept. 9, 1903, p. 5.

“Phil. Girl Killed on Honeymoon Trip,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 21, 1919, p.2.

Pierce, Frederick Clifton, Foster Genealogy, W.B. Conkey Co., 1899, p. 327.

“Real Estate Transfers,” Denver Post, Oct. 29, 1909, p. 16.

“Three Children Get $538,500 Estate of Mrs. Cheesman,” Denver Post, Feb. 7, 1923, p. 1.





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This entry was posted on July 12, 2018 by in Larimer Street.
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