Charlotte B. Seybold
Denver’s Mystery Donor
I know very little about Charlotte B. Seybold. I don’t even know if the Charlotte B. Seybold that is honored on Colonnade of Civic Benefactors is the same person that I found in my research. I actually found two Charlotte B. Seybolds. Both had few clues whether they were the one honored on the wall of the Colonnade.
The first Charlotte B. Seybold I found was born in 1876 and passed away in 1910. She had eight siblings, her father was born in 1829 in Indiana. Her mother, maiden name Van Hess, was born in 1834. Since this Charlotte B. Seybold died nine years before the Colonnade was built her name could only be there as a memorial. But, some one, would have donated something substantial to the city to have her name on the Colonnade.
The second Charlotte B. Seybold I found, listed in anything related to Denver, was a member of the First Baptist Church at 14th and Logan. In 1924 there was a Charlotte B. Seybold listed in the Church’s directory. In 1931 there is a Charlotte B. Seybold listed as living at 1250 Acoma. Then in 1939 there is a Charlotte B. Seybold listed as living at 1056 Emerson, Apt. B. in the Baptist Church’s Diamond Anniversary booklet. In the 1942 directory Charlotte B. Seybold is listed a living at 1159 Cherokee. If this Charlotte B. Seybold married, it might explained why her name disappeared from history. Maybe, when she became a civic benefactor, she preferred to be honored by her maiden name. But, the question remains, what did she donate?
One small clue I may have come across was that there was a dentist named Doctor John W. Seybold. He married Miss Julia Fisher and is listed in Wilbur Fisk Stone’s History of Colorado. In 1911 he had an office at 2217 Champa. Charlotte B. may have been a daughter, but I found no proof.
So there you have it. I admit defeat!
I have been researching, writing Denver history and sending out emails for five years. I do about 95% of my research from home using the Internet and my library. In the case of the elusive Miss Seybold I would have made a trip to the Western History Collection at the Central Library. I would have also tried History Colorado but, of course since we can’t go anywhere at these times I can only use my computer or book shelves. I did not keep track of the hours I’ve spent looking for anything related to Seybold, I think 10 hours of research to find nothing, is a conservative number. I looked in the index of almost every Denver history book I have for the last name of “Seybold”. There are numerous PDF books on line I researched including Fiske and Smiley, usual standards of Denver History. I spent hours checking issues of Colorado Heritage Magazine, online, hoping to find any reference to “Seybold”. Two buttons on my keyboard are worn out, “control” and “f”, trying search numerous documents. I’ve got nothing.
One thing for sure, Charlotte B. Seybold, my mystery donor, is on the Colonnade of Civic Benefactors. Was she, like Helen Dill, only known after her passing?
This is the First Baptist Church at 14th and Logan, maybe the closest I got to the Charlotte B. Seybold for whom I looking. It was founded by Walter McDuffie Potter of Potter-Highland fame. The history of the church and Potter is found in the Diamond Anniversary booklet published by the church for that celebration.
Just about everything I could get my hands on.