RICHARD Y. BATTERTON PAPERS
Scope and Contents
The papers in this collection range from 1943 to 1963. Documents from Batterton's service as Manager of Public Works comprise a portion of this collection. The remainder consists of Batterton's mayoral papers. These papers reflect a cross-section of departments of Denver City and County government.
The papers of the Department of Public Works reflect activities for street maintenance, garbage and sewage disposal, street lighting, signs and Stapleton Airport among other projects. Batterton received memos and letters from private citizens, the city council and the Mayor requesting special services. He also kept reports and memos from the divisions that he managed. The papers are organized alphabetically by division of the Department of Public Works. Some projects such as Court House Square extended into Batterton's term as mayor. Papers relating to issues that span all the years are contained in this series.
All city departments reported to Batterton during his term as Mayor. The collection includes reports, memos and correspondence from other cities, all city departments and Denver citizens. When issues such as the police scandal arose, Batterton demanded reports from the city officials involved. These papers are underlined and annotated with his comments. He also kept copies of his return correspondence, speech transcripts, press releases and meeting minutes. The papers are organized alphabetically by department and by issue.
As Mayor, Batterton belonged to local as well as state and national organizations. The newsletters, correspondence and meeting minutes from these organizations comprise this series.
This series contains a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about Batterton's term as mayor and maps of streets and subdivisions that were of concern to the Department of Public Works, and a scrapbook of photographs related to Batterton's career. Papers regarding annexations, revisions to public buildings, street lighting changes, water mains and parking garages are also included in this series. The OVFolio contains a plaque presented to Denver by Brest, France. Also included are clippings and portraits of Batterton.
This series contains black-and-white photographs and negatives of the Avondale Urban Renewal Project, various alley projects (each location noted on back of photograph), a meeting photograph and before-and-after images of the 1961 Motor Vehicle Department reorganization.
Reel-to-reel tapes of Batterton's speeches during his campaign for Denver Mayor in 1963 comprise this series. He dicusses his opponents and justifies his role during the 1962 Denver police scandal.
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
Richard Yates Batterton was born in Petersburg, Illinois on November 5, 1905 to Murray F. and Lena Batterton. His father worked as a school teacher and a farmer. Batterton attended the University of Illinois and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. In 1930, he was a clerk in Casper, Wyoming. In 1932, Batterton moved to Denver, Colorado where he managed the Commercial Credit Company before opening the McCarty-Batterton Motor Company that operated a Lincoln-Mercury dealership. During World War II, Batterton worked as Director of the Office of Price Control, overseeing gas rationing in Denver, a part of the regional office of Price Administration.
In 1956, the Department of Improvements and Parks of the City and County of Denver split into two departments, Parks and Recreation and Public Works. Mayor Will Nicholson appointed Batterton to serve as the first manager of the Department of Public Works. As the holder of the office, Batterton also served as Deputy Mayor, first in line of succession to the Mayor.
Batterton was a registered Republican, though candidates for Mayor were not supposed to belong to political parties. Elected the 33rd Mayor of Denver in 1959, Batterton succeeded Will Nicholson. During his administration, Batterton consolidated city garbage pickups, expanded Stapleton Airport and helped create retirement and pension plans for city employees. His term was marred by a rift between University of Colorado and Denver General Hospital medical staff and by financial problems resulting from a sales tax declared unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1962. A police scandal in 1960-1961 saw the indictments of fifty-four Denver policemen for burglary, receiving stolen property, theft, gambling and prostitution. Forty-seven policemen were eventually convicted. Charges of racial discrimination at the city-owned Park Hill Golf Course and at Clayton College for Boys were first leveled during Batterton's administration.
In 1963, Batterton was defeated in his bid for a second term as Mayor by Denver's auditor, Thomas Currigan. In 1964, Governor John Love appointed Batterton to the Colorado Civil Service Commission.
In 1929, Batterton married Innes Lundborg in Denver. She died in 1953. They had no children. He married Vera Steinhardt in 1958, who had a son named Frank S. Peterson from a previous marriage. Batterton died of lung cancer in July 1978. He is entombed in the Fairmount Mausoleum.
2 oversize boxes
1 oversize folios
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The bulk of the collection was transferred from the Colorado State Archives in 2006. Additional materials were acquired from the City and County of Denver in April 2007. Funding for processing provided by an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant. Jefferson Public Library donated four reel-to-reel tapes in 2011. Gift, Jill Peterson, 2023.
PROCESSED AND ENCODED BY:
- Audiotapes. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Batterton, Richard Y., 1903-1978 -- Archives.
- Clippings (information artifacts). Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Correspondence. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Denver (Colo.) -- Government -- History. Subject Source: Lcnaf
- Mayors -- Colorado -- Denver. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Mayors. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Memorandums. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Minutes. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Reports. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- RICHARD Y. BATTERTON PAPERS
- Language of description
- Script of description