Henry Gebhardt is the third name on the wall of the Greek Theatre. According to Phil Goodstein and the book “THE DENVER CIVIC CENTER, the Heart of the Mile High City” the name of this wall is THE COLONNADE OF CIVIC BENEFACTORS. The National Register of Historic Places Registration Form puts the date of the Colonnade at 1919. The names were added at this date or later.
Henry Gebhardt established the Colorado Packing and Provision Company in 1888, (other source puts this date at 1890). By 1908 the numbers of animals handled was staggering. Cattle received 395,165, slaughtered 68,600 and shipped 326,564. Calves numbered 39,857 received, 15,200 slaughter and 24,657 shipped. Hog numbers were impressive: 280,285 received, 278,800 slaughtered and only 1,488 shipped. The totals for sheep were 675,235 received, 94,100 slaughtered and 581,135 shipped. That is a amazing number. More than 50,000 animals a day went through the stockyards!
Like may entrepreneurs, Gebhardt did not just walk into the packing industry. In 1887 he was president of the Western Manufacturing Company, which made Butterine and Oleo Butter. And like others, when he saw the chance to advance, he took it. The Colorado Packing and Provision Company sold out to Armour. Armour was the largest sheep market and primary hog processing distributing facility west of the Mississippi.
Henry was associated with DUSY (Denver Union Stockyards), WSSA (Western Stock Show Association from 1913-1922) and NWSS (National Western Stock Show from 1906-1922). Gebhardt died in 1922. His son, Charles, took over operations in 1908. But, he died in 1919 at 43 years of age. He was not able to fulfill his father wishes to control the family business. Henry’s other children were involved in the business. Daughter, Minnie, kept books. There was also twins Paul and Otto and son, Harry. Gebhardt’s packing house was in competition with the Western Packing Company. The Western Packing Company was the concern of Charles Boettcher and David C. Dodge. Boettcher was known for his hardware business. David C. Dodge was the Vice-President of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.
Gebhard (also spelled as Gebhart and Gebhardt) lived at 2253 Downing Street. This house are now the offices of Dr. Charles Brantigan, Vascular Surgery. Dr. Brantigan is instrumental in other historical preservation projects including the McBird house, LeNeve Foster residence and the Como Roundhouse and Depot. Doctor Brantigan spoke this Spring at the Denver Posse of Westerners about the steam engine at Como.
Doctor Charles Brantigan
Sources: Phil Goodstein, Denver Civic Center, The Heart of the City
Tom Noel, Denver Landmarks & Historic Districts
The Denver Landmark Preservation Commission Application for Historic Designation, Civic Center.
Application: San Rafael Historic District.
Representative Men of CO. in the 19th Century, A Portrait Gallery,1902. The Rowell Art Pub. CO., pg 206.
Middle Park Times, Sulphur Springs, 7-16-1909.
City Directory, Vol 1, Denver Chamber of Commerce & Board of Trade, Standing Committees for 1887. pg 15.