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Identifier: WH1163


Agnes Wright Spring's research notes, which describe select aspects of Wyoming history, comprise the bulk of the collection. Limited notes related to Colorado history are also included. Research correspondence and reference materials, including photographs, supplement Spring's notes. Transcriptions and copies of a limited number of Spring's published articles complete the collection.
SERIES 1 ARTICLES 1924-1961 BOX 1 The series contains a small sample of the more than 600 articles written by Agnes Wright Spring. Some articles appear as typed transcriptions or manuscripts, while others appear in their published form as clippings from newspapers and periodicals. Articles, including fiction, non-fiction and a children's article, are arranged chronologically.
SERIES 2 CORRESPONDENCE 1924-1966 BOX 1 Correspondence in this series relates to Spring's research inquiries and responses she received. Some correspondence is supported by Spring's notes. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
SERIES 3 REFERENCE MATERIALS 1914-1945 BOX 1 The series includes a limited number of original source documents used or acquired by Spring in the course of her research. The materials are arranged chronologically.
SERIES 4 RESEARCH NOTES [1867]-1955 BOX 1-2 The bulk of Spring's research notes were typed in duplicate rather than handwritten. Included are full-text transcriptions of journal articles and book excerpts as well as transcriptions of speeches, interviews and newspaper clippings. Additional notes contain Spring's brief comments or summaries on various subjects. The research notes in this series concentrate primarily on Wyoming ranching and livestock operations and on early Wyoming pioneers. Limited additional notes describe outlaws, military posts and regional history.
SERIES 5 OVERSIZE 1941 OVFF 1, OVBox 1 A single map, issued by the State Board of Land Commissioners, Denver, Colorado, annotated to indicate land holdings of the Iliff family comprises the series. 14 Printing blocks – Images used for an article by AW Spring in Western Farm Life on Frederick Remington (date and issue unknown)
SERIES 6 PHOTOGRAPHS N.D. PHOTOFOLIO 1 The series contains black and white photographs collected by Spring during her research projects. The bulk of the photographs contain extensive hand-written notes to identify the subjects. However, the photographs are not dated.


  • 1867-1966


The collection is open for research.


Literary and copyrights as appropriate have been assigned to the Denver Public Library.


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.


Agnes Rebecca Wright was born January 5, 1894 in Delta, Colorado. Her family moved to a ranch on Wyoming's Little Laramie River when she was nine. Wright was the first woman editor of the student newspaper at the University of Wyoming and later edited the Pi Beta Phi sorority magazine. She also became the first woman to enroll in engineering at the University of Wyoming, graduating with a degree in civil engineering in 1913. Although Wright received the third highest test score in the United States on the civil service examination for draftsmen, she was told there were no openings for women in that field.

Wright became assistant state librarian for the Wyoming State Supreme Court at Cheyenne, Wyoming before receiving a scholarship to study at Columbia University's Pulitzer School of Journalism. While studying there in 1916 and 1917, she became friends with suffragettes Susan B. Anthony and Carrie Chapman Catt. When the journalism school closed in 1917, Wright returned to Wyoming to become the state historian, state librarian and state superintendent of weights and measures.

On Valentine's Day 1921, Wright married oil geologist, Archer Spring. The couple moved to Fort Collins, Colorado where, in 1930, they purchased a thirty-acre cherry orchard called Cherryhurst. Agnes Wright Spring published her first book in 1927 and subsequently published more than twenty books and over 600 feature and fiction articles.

During the Depression, the Spring's cherry tree business failed and they returned to Wyoming, where Spring became director of the Wyoming Federal Writers Project. She served as women's editor for the Wyoming Stockman-Farmer for twenty-seven years and compiled a history of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

The Springs moved to Denver during World War II. Spring served as Colorado state historian from 1954 to 1963 - the only person to serve as state historian for two states. In 1961, Spring was the first woman to receive the distinguished alumni award from the University of Wyoming. She was also inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. In 1978, the members of the Western Writers Association recognized her lifelong contributions to Western History by awarding her the Saddleman trophy. When she retired in 1963, Spring had worked for nine different governors in Colorado and Wyoming.

Agnes Wright Spring died in Fort Collins, Colorado on March 20, 1988. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1967, and she is buried at Greenhill Cemetery in Laramie, Wyoming.


2 Boxes (1.75 linear feet)

1 oversize folders

1 oversize box

1 Photo folios

Language of Materials



Agnes Wright Spring donated and sold portions of her papers to the Denver Public Library through numerous transactions between 1946 and 1980.


The Western History/Genealogy Department has additional collections with material related to Agnes Wright Spring including:

William O. Collins Family Papers: WH73

Julia A.A. Holmes Papers: WH184

Robert S. Ellison, Walter M. Camp Papers: WH1702


Number of Boxes: 2 (1.75 linear feet)

Number of PhotoFolios: 1

Oversize: 1 OVFF, 1 OVBox




Dennis Hagen

December 2010


Ellen Zazzarino
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

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

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