NATHAN A. BAKER PAPERS
Scope and Contents
The collection spans 1862 to 1931 and includes selections of Nathan Baker's business and personal papers. Although Baker is considered an important pioneer newspaper publisher, the collection does not include materials related to his newspaper career.
Collection also available on microfilm: Mflm189.
The series primarily documents Baker's interests in railroad construction, mining and real estate. Documentation of Baker's numerous newspaper ventures is not included. Materials include stock certificates, contracts, financial statements, blueprints and company reports. A deed to the Tabor Grand Gold Mines and Mill Company in Atlantic, Wyoming is also included.
Correspondence comprises the bulk of Baker's personal papers. Limited writings and speeches are also included. Autobiographical notes and sketches, three small pocket diaries, and limited family papers complete the series.
A map for a proposed railroad and a mining property deed comprise the series.
The series contains four group pictures, which include images of Nathan Baker, Addison Baker and Horace Tabor. Also included are images of Nathan Baker's birthplace, the Cheyenne Leader newspaper office, Cheyenne, Wyoming and one portrait of Nathan Baker. These photographs formerly comprised C Photo Collection number 120.
Collection also available on microfilm (Mflm189).
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
Nathan A. Baker was born in Lockport, New York August 3, 1843, the son of Addison E. and Charlotte Baker. When he was six years old, the family moved to Racine, Wisconsin, where Nathan's father built and operated a hotel. Nathan graduated from Racine High School at age sixteen. The Baker House hotel failed during the economic panic of 1857, and the family moved to Omaha, Nebraska Territory in 1859. They departed Omaha February 22, 1860 and reached Denver, Colorado (then Kansas Territory) on March 20, 1860.
During his early years in Denver, Baker worked numerous jobs such as hauling lumber and cutting fence posts. In April 1862, he opened the Ferry Street School, Denver's first private school. Baker operated the school for less than a year, when the opening of Denver's first public school forced him to close. In 1863, Baker served with a local fire brigade and as a member of the Governor's Guard. During the Indian conflicts of 1864-1865, he enlisted in the Third Regiment, Colorado Cavalry. In December 1865, Baker married Clarrissa Moyn (1844-1926) of Venango County, Pennsylvania. Clarrissa was the daughter of John Moyn and Catherine Axtell.
Baker began his newspaper career as a bookkeeper for the Rocky Mountain Herald. He soon joined William Byers as business manager for the Rocky Mountain News, where he risked his life to save many valuable papers during the 1864 flood. Baker remained with the Rocky Mountain News while studying law until 1867.
Baker soon resigned from the Rocky Mountain News to start his own newspaper, the Colorado Leader. Almost immediately, he moved his venture to Wyoming Territory, and on September 19, 1867, he published the first issue of the Cheyenne Leader, Wyoming's first newspaper. Shortly thereafter, Baker began publishing the Laramie Sentinel and the South Pass News. He operated all three newspapers for several years.
When Baker returned to Colorado in 1872, he established himself as a job printer and worked with several newspapers in various capacities. He built a successful fish hatchery for Rocky Mountain trout on his father's property at Baker's Springs, near Denver. During the late 1870s he also developed a bottled water business. In 1879, Baker became a charter member of the State Historical Society of Colorado and later served as vice president.
Baker worked briefly for Horace Tabor in the 1890s as business manager for the Denver, Apex and Western Railroad. Eventually, Baker purchased Tabor's interest in the railroad. From 1906 until his retirement in 1921, Baker worked at the Denver Mint providing valuations for gold bullion. Baker was a member of the Masons, Knights Templar, Society of Colorado Pioneers, Denver Chamber of Commerce and several historical societies. As a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, he was influential in arranging the organization's national encampment, which was held in Denver in 1905. He also started a beautification project by planting the first trees along Cherry Creek in Denver.
Baker died May 27, 1934 in Denver. He is buried at Denver's Fairmont Cemetery.
1 Boxes (.5 linear feet)
1 microfilm reels (35mm)
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase, Fred Rosenstock, 1960, 1975.
- Baker's Springs (Denver, Colo.)
- Baker, Nathan Addison, -- 1843-1934 -- Archives.
- Business records. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Card photographs. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Denver, Apex and Western Railway Company (Denver, Colo.)
- Diaries. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Gold mines and mining -- Wyoming -- Fremont County. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Jones Vestibule Sleeping Car Company (Denver, Colo.)
- Journalists -- Colorado -- Denver -- Biography. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Microfilms. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Newspaper publishing -- Wyoming. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Personal papers. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Photographic prints. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Photomechanical prints. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Pioneers -- Colorado. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Railroads -- Colorado. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Smith, William Grover.
- Tabor Grand Gold Mines and Mill Company (Atlantic, Wyo.)
- Tabor, Horace Austin Warner, -- 1830-1899.
- NATHAN A. BAKER PAPERS
- January 2009
- Language of description
- Script of description