Bios A to Z

Biographies A to Z

When: 1870 - 1960

Where: Born in Indiana, and later moved to Cripple Creek, Denver, Greeley, & Fraser, Colorado

Why Important: One of Colorado's earliest women doctors

When: 1828 - 1874

Where: Born in Taos, New Mexico, and founded Trinidad, Colorado

Why Important: Colorado Hispanic pioneer who helped found Trinidad, Colorado

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: 1809 - 1869

Where: Southeast Colorado

Why Important: Trader; tried to bring peace between the white settlers and the Indians

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: 1831-1903

Where: Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, and finally, Denver

Why Important: Byers was the greatest Denver promoter, bringing people and money into the city. He established the first paper, the  Rocky Mountain News.

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: 1887 - 1950

Where: Denver, Colorado and Southern Colorado

Why Important: Governor who supported the rights of Japanese Americans during World War II

When: 1809–1868

Where: Born in Kentucky, died at Fort Lyon, Colorado.

Why Important: Kit Carson guided many important expeditions into the territories of the American West.

When: 1836 -  1894

Where: Born in China, settled in Denver

Why Important:  Chin Lin Sou was a leader in the Chinese American community and a successful businessperson in Denver.

When: 1843 -1924

Where: Born in the Kiowa Apache tribe and raised by the Ute tribe in what is now Conejos, Colorado

Why Important: Only woman ever allowed to sit on a Ute tribal council, she lobbied the US Congress on behalf of her tribe.

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: 1939-Present

Where: Denver, CO

Why Important: Grammy-winning Musician, Singer and Activist

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: 1896-1979

Where: Born in Iowa; grew up in Colorado Springs and Denver

Why Important: Humanitarian and wife of President Dwight Eisenhower

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: 1883-1939

Where: Born and raised in Denver

Why Important: Well-loved silent film actor and star of swashbuckling favorites such as Robin Hood (1922) and The Mark of Zorro (1920).

When: 1891-1987

Where: Denver, CO

Why Important: Ferretti was a female entrepreneur in the early twentieth century. She established a successful millinery business. By the 1940s, Ferretti was a nationally known hatmaker.

When: 1871 - 1952

Where: Born in Knoxville, Illinois, moved to Chicago and then to Denver

Why Important: Justina Ford overcame prejudice and discrimination to become Denver’s first female African-American doctor. Ford was a pioneer in opening up a profession for African-Americans and women

When: 1822 - 1902

Where: Born in Virginia. Lived in South Carolina, Chicago, and Central America, settled in Denver, Colorado.

Why Important: Barney Ford escaped from slavery using the Underground Railroad. He became a successful businessman and civil rights activist


When: 1928-2005

Where: Denver and Brighton

Why Important: Gonzales was a boxer, writer, and Chicano activist.

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: 1830 -1885

Where: Born in Massachusetts, moved to Colorado Springs

Why Important: Author and Indian Advocate

When: 1843 - 1892

Where: Central City and Denver

Why Important: She helped establish the Jewish Hospital Association of Colorado, now called National Jewish Hospital.

When: 1842-1918

Where: Denver, CO

Why Important: Kountze founded the Colorado National Bank. He also helped rebuild Denver after the "Great Fire."

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: c. 1810-1889

Where: Colorado and Oklahoma

Why Important: This Chief sought peaceful relations  between Native Americans and whites even amidst the Sand Creek Massacre.

When: 1893-1971

Where: Born in Nebraska, moved to Denver, and later to California

Why Important: One of the most influential comedians of the silent film era

When: 1895 - 1952

Where: Denver

Why Important: First African American woman to win an Academy Award

When: 1906-1981

Where: Denver, CO

Why Important: Journalist and nationally-known playwright

When: 1898-1978

Where: Denver, CO

Why Important: Prime Minister of Israel

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: 1904-1944

Where: Fort Morgan and Boulder, CO

Why Important: Musician/Bandleader

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: 1933-Present

Where: California; Ignacio and Denver, Colorado; Washington, D.C.

Why Important: U.S. Senator, Jewelry Designer, Rancher

When: 1825-1887

Where: Denver, CO

Why Important: D. C. Oakes was an early settler and smart businessperson. He helped build a strong foundation for Colorado's economy and growing population.

When: 1800s - 1847

Where: Born and lived in southeastern Colorado

Why Important: Owl Woman married William Bent and helped run Bent’s Fort

When: 1842 - 1907

Where: Lake City, Cañon City, and Littleton, Colorado

Why Important: Cannibal

When: 1838 - 1909

Where: Delaware, Pennsylvania, a "trek west," Denver and Colorado Springs

Why Important: A civil engineer, Civil War soldier, owner and cofounder of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, philanthropist. 

When: 1947 - Present

Where: Born in Laredo, Texas, moved to Denver

Why Important: First Hispanic mayor, helped build a new airport, served as Secretary of Transportation under President Clinton, preserved art and history, and restored buildings in Denver.

When: 1888-1946

Where: Born and raised in Denver, CO

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

When: 1805-1866

Where: St, Louis, MO, the Rocky Mountains, and Denver, CO

Why Important: Beckwourth was an African-American mountain man, fur trader, and explorer.

When: 1779 - 1813

Where: Born in New Jersey, explored Pikes Peak and Arkansas River Valley, Colorado

Why Important: Explorer

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: 1886 - 1976

Where: Born in Nebraska and educated in New York, she moved to Denver in 1906

Why Important: Labor advocate, businesswoman, and Denver's first female police officer

When: 1871 - 1953

Where: Central City and Denver

Why Important: Dr. Sabin was the first female medical professor at Johns Hopkins as well as a major medical reformer in Colorado. She also was the first female member of the National Academy of Sciences and first female physician-scientist at Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.

When: 1811 - 1894

Where: Born in Taos, New Mexico, she moved to Mora, New Mexico and Fort El Pueblo in Colorado. She eventually died in the Arkansas River Country.

Why Important: Sandoval was a pioneer. She was one of Colorado's many little-known women who helped pave the way for generations to come in the West.

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: 1940-Present

Where: Portland, OR, Denver, CO

Why Important: Colorado's first woman Congressperson

When: 1827 - 1916

Where: Born in New Mexico and settled in Trinidad, Colorado.

Why Important: Simpson did charitable work at churches, schools, and hospitals. She also taught Spanish-speaking students.

When: 1856 - 1918

Where: Denver, Colorado

Why Important: Mayor who worked to beautify Denver

When: 1931-1982

Where: Born and raised in Denver, CO

Why Important: One of 24 people who have flown to the moon; Elected to U.S. Congress

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.

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: early-1900s

Where: Denver, CO

Why Important: John Valentine founded the Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association (FTD) in 1910 so people could deliver flowers all across the country.

When: 1937-Present

Where: Born and raised in Denver, CO

Why Important: Miss America 1958, public speaker, and advocate for victims of sexual abuse

When: 1816 - 1893 

Where: Raised in Virginia and settled in Denver, Colorado

Why Important: Wootton was a guide, a rancher, a farmer, and a storekeeper. He also operated a toll road.

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