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Identifier: WH1181

Scope and Contents

The collection includes correspondence of the Swan and related families, genealogy materials, diaries, personal wills and other legal records, business and other financial documents, scapbooks, ephemera and other memorabilia, painted portraits, photographs, and newspaper clippings. The microfilm contains reports on various ranches and brands owned by William Franklin Swan.

Also present are loose photographs of William D. Evans, Mary Ann Evans, William M. Evans, Walter Weatherby, Ethel Evans, Mary McCadden (mother of William D. Evans, wife of Gabriel Evans), Mary Ruth Evans, Uncle Joe Evans, (Tiffany) Gabriel Evans (father of William D. Evans), Mary R. E. Swan and her great grandchild Gretchen Swan, W. F. Swan, Henry Swan, Carla Swan, George Swan, Janet Swan, Betty Swan, Mary (Evans) Swan, William W. Swan, Ada Swan, Mary McCadden Evans, Aunt Mary Evans Swan, Aunt Lizzie Lindsey, Georgia Lindsey, Aunt Mary Swan, Henry Swan, and the W. D. Evans house in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa (built ca. 1868, taken in 1939), and various other family homes and vacation homes.


  • 1777-2009
  • Majority of material found within 1890-1999

Language of Materials

Material is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

The Swan Family was a Denver, Colorado family active in social and civic affairs. Henry Swan (1883-1971), an investment banker, established Bankers Trust Company (1920), served as trustee of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, and was instrumental in establishing the Western History Department at the Denver Public Library. Swan's son, Henry Swan II (1913-1996) was a surgeon recognized for performing the world's first successful series of open-heart surgeries. Henry Swan II was also a professor at the University of Colorado Medical School, and later the school’s first full-time chairman of the Surgery Department. Other family members include: Carla Denison Swan, Henry Strong Denison (1883-1912), Gretchen Swan Bering, Henry Strong, Charles Denison (1845-1909), Ella Strong Denison (1855- ). Among the many family genealogies represented in this collection, the Denison, Swan, Evans, Strong and Coleman families are most voluminous.


101.5 Boxes

10 oversize boxes

7 oversize folios


17 photo boxes

1 photo folio

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Carla Denison Swan Coleman, Henry Swan, Gretchen Bering, William Evans, 1976, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016.

Separated Materials

Two framed portraits and one small portrait print were transferred to the Art Collection in 2009.

The following items were transferred to the Western History and Genealogy published materials collection: North Shore News, Famous Loop Trip, Official Souvenir Program Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, One Day Mountain Excursions, Report of Colorado State Engineer, Social Record of Denver, Volume 54 (1967), The Story of Edah, Mary Ruth Evans (1914), Miscellanies, Henry Strong (1902)


Repository also has a microfilm copy of: A report on the L7 Cattle Company (C MSS Mflm139) by William Franklin Swan.


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.


Collection includes former C Photo Collection 190: William D. Evans family photographs.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States