The Boom Years

The Boom Years
Colorado’s population grew substantially after gaining statehood in 1876. The discovery of gold, silver, and other metals made mining an important part of the state’s economy, while Coloradans like Margaret “Molly” Brown and Horace and Augusta Tabor made a fortune from mining. Meanwhile, with more and more fortune-seekers making their way to Colorado, men like Charles Boettcher made their fortunes in business. As more and more people came to Colorado, Emily Griffith and Mother Cabrini worked hard to give help poorer Coloradans attain a better life. Meanwhile, Mary Elitch Long, Anne Evans, and Mary Antoinette Perry Freuauff brought culture and entertainment to the young state, and Enos Mills worked to preserve the state’s natural wonders.

Biographies of This Era

When: 1847 - 1920

Where: Moved from New Mexico to Trinidad, and then to Barela, Colorado

Why Important: Barela served as a territorial legislator, helped write the  Colorado Constitution, and represented Colorado as a senator for thirty-seven years

When: 1859 - 1929

Where: Lived briefly in Colorado Springs

Why Important: Wrote "America the Beautiful"

When: 1831-1904

Where: Estes Park, CO

Why Important: An avid adventurer and best-selling travel writer

When: 1852-1948

Where: Born in Germany and moved first to Wyoming, then to Denver

Why Important: Important Denver Businessman, scion of Boettcher Family whose foundation gives millions to Colorado civic projects


When: 1867-1932

Where: Born in Missouri, lived in Leadville and Denver

Why Important: Maggie Brown traveled frequently, gave time and money to charity, sought women’s suffrage, and was a survivor of the Titanic disaster.

When: 1850-1917

Where: Golden, CO

Why Important: The First American Saint

When: 1849-1916

Where: Leadville, Campion, Denver

Why Important: Campion founded the Colorado Museum of Natural History, which is now the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He also contributed to many other community organizations.

When: 1846 - 1917

Where: Born in Iowa, traveled the western United States, and died in Denver. 

Why Important: Buffalo Bill was an American soldier, bison hunter, and showman

When: 1847-1929

Where: Golden, CO

Why Important: Adolph Coors founded the very successful Coors Brewing Company. His success through hard work and ingenuity is a good example of the American Dream.

When: 1865 - 1936

Where: Born in Philadelphia, moved to California, then Durango, Colorado and finally to Denver

Why Important: Mary was the first woman to run a zoo during a time when women did not have political or economic power.

When: 1848 - 1919


Born in the Caribbean, moved to Boston, then Washington, D.C., and finally to Denver

Why Important: Ensley was an activist for women’s suffrage and equality.

When: 1871-1941

Where: Denver and Evergreen, CO

Why Important: Devoted her life to arts and culture in Colorado

When: 1868 - 1947

Where: Born in Cincinnati, moved to Denver in 1894

Why Important: She believed that everyone had a right to  education. She founded The Emily Griffith Opportunity School, which helped make this possible for many people in Denver. 

When: 1836-1904

Where: Black Hawk and Denver, CO

Why Important: Heiser was an important businessperson and entrepreneur in Colorado. He created the famous H.H.H. saddles known for their high quality and craftsmanship.

When: 1840 - 1920

Where: Born in Ohio, lived in Wisconsin, settled in Denver, Colorado.

Why Important: Sadie was Denver’s first police matron. She came to the rescue of abused women and children.

When: 1865 - 1955

Where: Born in Montana, moved to Denver

Why Important: Prominent journalist, suffragist, activist in the temperance movement. She was known as ‘the Susan B. Anthony of Colorado' for her hard work in promoting women’s rights.

When: 1870-1922

Where: Estes Park, CO

Why Important: Responsible for the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park

When: 1847-1929

Where: Denver, CO

Why Important: J. K. Mullen was one of Colorado's most successful entrepreneurs of the flourmill industry and was a generous philanthropist. He founded the Colorado Milling and Elevator Company.

When: 1888-1946

Where: Born and raised in Denver, CO

Why Important: Actress and Humanitarian; The Tony Award is named after her

When: 1850-1935

Where: Born in Illinois, she moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1878

Why Important: She was one of, if not the first woman faculty member at a state university

When: 1865 - 1936

Where: Born in New York, moved to Denver

Why Important: Minnie was a successful women’s rights activist who founded the Denver Woman’s Club and the Denver Women’s Press Club.

When: 1830 - 1899

Where: Born in Holland, Vermont, moved to Kansas and then to Colorado

Why Important: Horace was a hard working person who rose from a stone-cutter to become one of Colorado’s wealthiest men.

When: 1854 - 1935

Where: Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and moved to Colorado.

Why Important: Baby Doe rose from a simple life to become “The Silver Queen” of Colorado. Baby Doe was known for her beauty, outgoing personality, and drive to become famous.

When: 1833 - 1895

Where: Born in Maine, moved to Kansas, and then to Colorado

Why Important: Augusta successfully ran businesses, owned real estate, and carefully managed her money at a time when few women were allowed to be involved in financial and business matters.

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