This Week in Colorado History: Denver from Golden

The city of Denver had a financial meltdown according to the April 11, 1883, issue of “The Colorado Transcript” as the paper reported that the city was “utterly and hopelessly bankrupt.” Although some sympathy was expressed for the employees who were left “in a deplorable condition” by the banks’ decision to not purchase city warrants, the “Transcript” blamed the overall pompous demeanor of the city. “For the last four or five years Denver seems to have been under the impression that she was ‘bigger than all outdoors;’ that New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, were second and third class cities beside her, and her finances have been run on a scale commensurate with that impression,” opined the “Transcript.”

The paper also noted that, “Every one who was not firmly of the belief that the sun rises and sets in the Cherry Creek settlement” had seen this coming, and encouraged banks not to support the city and its “enormous” debts. The level of Golden’s disdain for Denver could perhaps be attributed to the fact that Denver was chosen over Golden as state capital or simply an annoyance with their large, eastern neighbor.

The “Transcript” continued discussing Denver in an article discussing advertisements in the “Transcript” and the other Golden newspaper, “The Golden Globe.” It had come to the attention of the editors that many Denver businesses were advertising in the Golden papers, excluding local entrepreneurs. In fact, the editors themselves had even been accused of encouraging people to shop in Denver, to which they replied, “That is the veriest bosh.” The article reminded business owners, “If advertising will take money to Denver, advertising will keep it in Golden” declaring that if owners did not choose to advertise, it was not the paper’s fault.

Also pertaining to Denver, the “Transcript” announced its support of Captain M.J. Fitzgerald for Chief of Police. His qualifications stemmed largely from his participation in the army and reputation as a disciplinarian. In the words of the “Transcript,” “Mayor Routt could not find a better man for the place in a month of Sundays.”

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