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Buchtel Family Papers

Identifier: M048


Henry Augustus Buchtel served as Chancellor of the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado from 1899-1920. He started his career as a Methodist minister; served as pastor of Trinity Methodist Church, Denver. During his tenure at the University of Denver, he raised funds to cover the University's debt, doubled student enrollment, and oversaw the construction of the Library (funded by Andrew Carnegie), the Gymnasium, Science Hall, and Memorial Chapel (later named Buchtel Chapel). He also served as Governor of the State of Colorado from 1907-1909, while continuing to serve as Chancellor of the University. The Collection includes correspondence, day books, address books, photographs, a baby book, memorial programs, and scrapbooks as well as a silver bowl and vase.


  • 1850-1942


Digital Repository

Buchtel Family Papers

Biographical / Historical

Henry Augustus Buchtel was born September 30, 1847, near Akron, Ohio, to Dr. Jonathan B. and Eliza Newcomer Buchtel. The family moved to Indiana in 1848, where Henry spent his youth. He attended Asbury (now DePauw) University in Greencastle, Indiana, for one year, after which he worked in a wholesale drug-house in Chicago, and then in a wholesale and retail grocery business in South Bend, Indiana. Finding himself drawn to the ministry, he returned to Asbury University to finish his studies to become a Methodist minister.

He received his A.B. degree in 1872. Soon after graduation he married Mary Stevenson, and began his ministry as a missionary to Bulgaria. He returned to Indiana to take a pastorate in Zionsville, and subsequently served churches in Greencastle, Knightstown, Richmond and Lafayette, Indiana. In 1885 he was called to be the minister at the Evans Chapel in Denver, Colorado. During his five-year pastorate in Denver, he built Trinity Church and substantially increased the size of the congregation. He returned East in 1891 to serve churches in New York and New Jersey. In 1899 he was called by the University of Denver to serve as Chancellor, which post he began on January 1, 1900. When Buchtel assumed the position of Chancellor, the University of Denver was greatly in debt. Buchtel worked diligently to rectify the situation, touring the state giving speeches and sermons, and becoming involved in the Denver Chamber of Commerce. Within three years he had raised enough money to cover the University's debt, and had more than doubled the student body. Buchtel's tenure at the University was also marked by an aggressive building campaign. He oversaw the construction of the Library (funded by Andrew Carnegie), Science Hall, the Memorial Chapel (later named Buchtel Chapel), and the Gymnasium. In 1906, Buchtel was persuaded to run for Governor of Colorado on the Republican ticket. Political infighting in the Democratic Party leadership helped to ensure Buchtel's victory. He served the state from 1907 to 1909, while continuing to work as Chancellor of the University. Despite his successful term as Governor, he declined to run again in 1909, electing to devote his full energies to the University of Denver. Buchtel suffered a stroke in 1920 that forced his retirement from his position as Chancellor. He died four years later, on October 22, 1924.


28.75 Linear Feet (30 boxes)

Scope and Contents

The Buchtel collection consists primarily of correspondence and scrapbooks during the years Henry A. Buchtel served as Chancellor of the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado. Correspondence includes extensive University administrative correspondence from 1900-1903. Scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, letters, as well as event and souvenir programs. Also includes catalogs, a baby book, a silver bowl, address books, journal entries, invitations, speeches, and bulletins. Series I includes extensive correspondence between Buchtel and William G. Evans (chairman of the University Board of Trustees), and also correspondence between Buchtel and presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.


The collection is arranged into seven series:; 1. General Administration Materials and Special Correspondence, 1900-1942.; 2. Administrative Correspondence Files, 1900-1903.; 3. General Correspondence Files, 1868-1924.; 4. Personal and Family Materials, 1888-1924.; 5.Objects, undated.; 6. Photographs, 1850-1936.; 7. Scrapbooks, 1873-1920.; __Fifty-four books were transferred to the Penrose Library Monographs Unit where they were cataloged in 2006, noted as part of this collection and transferred to the Special Collections Rare Book Collection. As of 12/17/2013, fifty-one of them can be identified in the catalog, along with one additional recently cataloged book, a hymnal inscribed by Buchtel, found in storage at the Mary Reed Building.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer from the Office of the Chancellor, University of Denver.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Materials

University of Denver also has a biographical file on Henry Buchtel with genealogy and biographical information. Henry Augustus Buchtel papers, 1868-1974 (MSS #945) located at the Colorado Historical Society (Denver, CO). ||Governor Henry Augustus Buchtel Collection located at the Colorado State Archives.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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