BENJAMIN STAPLETON PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Benjamin Stapleton Papers contain material on his work as a postmaster and as the Mayor of Denver. The majority of the papers were created during his five terms as Mayor. Stapleton's mayoral papers comprise reports, telegrams, newspapers clippings, campaign pamphlets and handouts, and scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings. The newspaper articles in the scrapbooks document Stapleton's terms as mayor and his improvements to the city with an emphasis on the water project.
Stapleton's obituary, a funeral memory book and several tributes to him are included. His personal material is limited to a few letters and certificates. Two of the certificates document his service with the First Regiment, Company 1, Colorado Volunteers Infantry, during the Spanish-American War.
The series contains papers from Stapleton's service with the First Regiment U.S.V. Infantry, job as Postmaster and his work as Denver's Mayor. The bulk of Stapleton's business papers derive from his post as Mayor. Newspaper clippings, telegrams, invitations and reports comprise the Mayoral material. Five scrapbooks are included with the papers. Four scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings documenting Stapleton's term as Mayor and featuring the Manager of Revenue, Frank E. Wilson. One scrapbook covers Speer's term as Mayor and his work on developing the city and county parks with George E. Cranmer.
Correspondence and tributes comprise the bulk of the series. One tribute written by George E. Cranmer (FF10) describes in extensive detail, the projects accomplished while Stapleton served as Mayor. Stapleton’s obituary, funeral memory book and certificates are included.
Financial documents including budgets, contracts and indemnity bonds comprise this series.
Oversize material comprises certificates from Stapleton's service during the Spanish-American War, certificate of election for Justice of the Peace, law license and an embassy grant for his wife, Mabel Freeland Stapleton.
The collection is open for research.
Literary rights and copyrights 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.
Benjamin Stapleton was born Nov. 12, 1869, in Paintsville, Kentucky. He graduated from National Normal University in Lebanon, Ohio. Stapleton moved to Denver in the early 1890s. In 1899, he was admitted to the Colorado Bar. Stapleton volunteered as one of the first Coloradans to enlist for service in the Spanish-American War. He served as first sergeant with the First Colorado Regiment in the Philippine Islands.
After the war, he returned to Denver to practice law and become involved in politics. He served as one of the founders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 1904, Stapleton became police magistrate. He held the post until 1915, when President Woodrow Wilson appointed him postmaster. During his appointment, he oversaw the completion of the Denver Post Office building. Stapleton married Mabel Freeland on June 21, 1917. They had two children, Ben F. Stapleton, Jr. and Lois Jane Stapleton. In 1921, Stapleton resigned as postmaster to go into private business.
In 1923, Stapleton defeated Dewey C. Bailey in Denver's mayoral election. He was re-elected in 1927, but lost in the 1931 election to George D. Begole. In 1932, Stapleton won the election for the post of state auditor but decided in 1935 to campaign for mayor once again. Stapleton won Denver's mayoral election in 1935, 1939 and 1943. Stapleton lost the election in 1947 to James Quigg Newton.
Projects begun under Stapleton’s leadership include Denver's water system and the Valley Highway project. Furthermore he presided over civic projects such as a new airport and the Red Rocks Theatre. Stapleton died on May 23, 1950 at his home in Denver.
4 Boxes (3.5 linear feet)
1 oversize folders
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
Benjamin F. Stapleton, Jr. donated his father's papers to The Denver Public Library in 1972. Material was transferred from Mayor Nicholson's Papers in 2004.
Photographs were transferred to the Western History Photograph Collection.
Number of Boxes: 4 (1.75 lf.)
Oversize: 1 FF
REVISED AND ENCODED BY:
- Administrative records. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Denver (Colo.) -- Politics and government. Subject Source: Lcnaf
- Mayors -- Colorado -- Denver -- Biography. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Personal papers. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Postal service -- Colorado -- Denver. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- BENJAMIN STAPLETON PAPERS
- Revised 2009
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