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Galen and Ada Belle Spencer Papers

Identifier: M208


The Galen and Ada Belle Spencer Foundation is a civic and social charitable organization in Denver, Colorado. This collection contains personal papers, documents, photographs, clippings, scrapbooks, posters, plaques, and a hand-painted sign reading "Galen and Ada Belle Spencer Foundation".


  • Other: 1883 - 1994


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright not evaluated: The copyright and related rights status of this Item has not been evaluated. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. See:

Biographical / Historical

John Galen Spencer was born on 3 August 1905 in Columbus, Kansas. He was the youngest of three sons, and grew up the son of a coal mining executive. After college, he joined his father and brothers at the Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company. After marrying Ada Belle Files, Galen left the coal mining business in the 1950's when the couple moved to Denver, Colorado. Galen established the Spencer Sporting Goods business in Englewood, Colorado, and he devoted a great deal of time, energy, and resources to supporting various sporting teams in the community. Ada Belle (Files) Spencer was born in Fort Scott, Kansas on 12 January 1905, and was an acclaimed contralto of operatic performance. She performed with several organizations and opera companies, and in many United States cities including the San Carlo Opera Company in Kansas City, Missouri, at Kimball Hall, the Cordon Club, and with the Chicago Opera Orchestra in Chicago, Illinois, and at Town Hall in New York, New York. She also toured the United States, coast to coast, with the Philadelphia La Scala Opera Company in the 1940's. Her talent ultimately earned her the offer of a position with the Metropolitan Opera, but she declined. Ms. Files married John Galen Spencer on 21 September 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri, and the couple moved to Denver, Colorado in 1951. The couple adopted their only son, John Benjamin Spencer, continued their love and support of music, sports, and other community interests. In 1982, Ada Belle incorporated the Galen and Ada Belle Spencer Foundation to foster efforts that support vocal musi organizations, vocal music education, and other broad community efforts. The University of Denver's Lamont School of Music is among the many Colorado organizations that have received support from the foundation. Galen died at the age of 65 on 27 August 1970. Ada Belle died on 5 August 1986.


5.5 Linear Feet (1 wrapped object (bust); 2 record boxes; 1 flat box) ; Flat box, 19 x 15 x 3 inches


Material from this accession is in the Music Library.

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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428