Colorado Pioneer Monument, Subscriber #33, Dennis Sullivan

Colorado Pioneer Monument, Subscriber #33,

Dennis Sullivan

Dennis Sullivan was a Denver businessman that had many interests.  Arriving in Denver near penniless he invested in mining, utilities and commodities.  Sullivan was born in New York State in 1837, he died in Colorado in 1915.  The companies under his influence include: Colorado Fuel & Iron, Denver Light, Heat & Power, Denver National Bank, the Mylo group of mines in the Ten Mile District, Denver Consolidated Electric, Holly Sugar, the Hubert Mining Company, the Denver City Water Works and the American Water Works.

Dennis Sullivan’s fortunes started in mining and he was able to move into other ventures.  In 1881 he was involved in the Mylo group of mines with Charles L. Hall.  By 1883 he was appointed by the Third General Assembly of the State to the Board of Direction and Supervision to get the Capitol Building built.  The board included Governor Pitkin, Alfred Butters, George W. Kassler, E. S. Nettleton, John L, Routt, Sullivan and W. W. Webster.  While on the board the land was purchased in front of the capitol ground boarded by Colfax, 14th, Broadway and Lincoln for $100,000.  This land would be an important part of Civic Center.

When Denver National Bank was formed in 1884 the officers were J. A. Thatcher as President, J. B. Grant as Vice President, A. A. Deman as Cashier, and Howard Evans as Assistant Cashier.  J. B. Grant was the managing officer of the Omaha and Grant Smelter and Refining Company.  Deman and Evans came from the City National Bank.  The Directors of the bank were: J. B. Grant, Henry M. Porter, Henry Gebhard, Joseph Thatcher, Dennis Sullivan, E. P. Ernest, W. S. Jackson, Geo. W. Trimble, Thomas S. Hayden, Edward Eddy, Joseph Standley and Otto Sauer.  Some of these names are lost to history, some survived the crash of 1893 and played a part in Denver’s history.

The Colorado Fuel Company lists Dennis Sullivan as President, Jas. H. Archer as Vice President, Jos. A. Thatcher as Treasurer  and Frances P. McManus as Secretary.  Once again the same names keep popping up in Denver’s industries.

The Denver Consolidated Electric Company’s directors were: Dennis Sullivan, Edward Eddy, Wm. H. James, Michael E. Smith, Henry M. Porter, Chas. H. Smith, Wm. G. Fisher, Charles. Bottcher, A. H. Fowler, E. J. Rollins, N. W. Tabor and W. S. Brown.  In 1888 Dennis Sullivan was president of the Denver Light, Heat and Power Company.  The office was at 1655 Curtis in the Patterson & Thomas Block.  Sullivan’s residence was at 204 Colfax.  This is the La Veta Apartment building that stood just west of the library (now the McNichols Building) in Civic Center.

Dennis Sullivan’s most important interest was water.  He was part of the leadership of the American Water Works and the Denver City Water works.  He tried to build a reservoir eight miles south east of Denver.  He built a town, named Sullivan, to house the workers.  The town had 20 houses and two hotels that housed 40 workers each.   The town was located along Cherry Creek east of present day Bible Park and north west of the present outlet for Cherry Creek Dam.  The reservoir was started in May of 1890, worked stopped that December.  Work then resumed in May of 1891 and stopped again in 1893.  The silver bust and water imported from the Western Slope made the venture unnecessary.  The location, the highest point in south east Denver is now a housing division named Gun Club Green after the gun club that used the reservoir walls as a backdrop for target practice.  Water from an 30” inlet pipe near the town supplied seven million gallons of water to the Capitol Hill Basin #1, located north of East 9th Avenue and Elizabeth street.

Another venture for Sullivan was the Holly Sugar Company.  On its board of directors was R.W. King, S. W. Sinsheimer, J. C. Mitchell, Nelson Robinson, F. W. White, Harry C. James and Dennis Sullivan.

After Sullivan passed away John Clark Mitchell donated $35,000 dollars to build the east Gateway Esplanade to City Park.  It was designed by Robert Willison.  Willison was a junior member of F. E. Edbrooke Company (Brown Palace Hotel).  He then worked with Montana Falls (Oxford Hotel Annex).  He was on his own when he designed the Gateway at City Park named after Dennis Sullivan.  On the top of the two structures are sculptures by noted artist Leo Lentelli.  Lentelli did work for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco and the Rockefeller Center.  He taught at the Coopers Union and the New York Art Student League.

Dennis Sullivan died in 1915.  An obituary in the Mining and Scientific Press recognized him and said he was a “shrewd but kindly man”.

sullivan 1

The entrance to Denver’s City Park, near East High School.

sullivan 2

The Esplanade Entrance to City Park, East High in the back ground.  East was built in 1925, eight years after the Sullivan Memorial.

sullivan 3

La Veta Place, Dennis Sullivan’s residence, DPL WHJ-10348

sullivan 4

La Veta Place being taken down to make room for the new Denver Public Library.  DPL X-28089



History of Colorado Vol III  S.J Clark publisher


Denver Post article 1231-2011 1:02 AM

Wiki– Leo Lentelli

Semi-Centennial History of the State of Colorado, Lewis

Real  Pioneers of Colorado, Maria Davies McGrath Vol1, 1934, p 182

Mining and Scientific Press, Vol . III P648, 10/23/1915

City of Denver and State of Colorado, Andrew Morrison

Poor’s Manual of Industrials and Manufacturing, Mining Vol 6., p1215

History of the Denver Water System, by EL Mosley







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This entry was posted on November 5, 2018 by in Larimer Street.
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