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Richardson and Deardorff Families Papers

Identifier: M051


George Richardson (1838-1909) was the second president of the Colorado Seminary (later named the University of Denver) in Denver, Colorado from 1865-1866. He began his career as a Methodist Episcopal minister and served churches in Denver, Georgetown and Empire, Colorado. He was president of Central Savings Bank from 1896-1903. He served as a delegate to the Charter Convention that gave Denver home rule.

The collection consists primarily of genealogic research on the family of George Richardson. The collection includes correspondence, postcards, an address book, recipes, receipts, a history, notes, newspaper clippings, photographs, glass plate negatives, a speech, religious tracts, and diaries. Collected by Charles M. Deardorff and his wife Alice, the daughter of Richardson, the papers also include Deardorff's autobiography, diaries (1861-1864), a diploma, and a stamp collection. Charles Deardorff (1873-1962), a graduate of the University of Denver, married Alice Richardson in 1907. He had a law practice in Denver and was involved in many civic activities.


  • 1861-1957


Biographical / Historical

George Richardson was born July 21, 1838, in Northfield, Vermont. His family moved to a farm near Marengo, Illinois, when he was a small boy. He was raised as a Methodist and graduated from Garrett Biblical Institute in Evanston, Illinois, about 1861. He married Justina B. Ranney on August 25, 1862. He was the first pastor of the Lawrence Street Methodist Episcopal Church in Denver, Colorado in 1864. When Colorado Seminary (later named the University of Denver) opened that year, he added teaching to his pastoral duties. Richardson served as President of Colorado Seminary in 1865 and 1866, after which he resigned due to ill health caused by overwork.

After leaving Colorado Seminary, he served as pastor in Empire and Georgetown, Colorado, for a year before returning to Illinois. He returned to Denver in 1880 to homestead in the district known as Argo, and became a farmer and businessman. He was president of Central Savings Bank from 1896 until 1903. In 1903 he was elected a delegate to the Charter Convention that gave Denver home rule. He died in Denver on July 4, 1909. The Richardsons were the parents of five boys and two girls.

Charles Mancil Deardorff was born in Kansas on October 3, 1873, the son of Thomas Collins Deardorff and Ophilia Marie Ingalls. He attended a country school and taught in such a school for two years before moving to Salina, Kansas, to attend Kansas Wesleyan University. He was supported in his educational endeavors by both his parents and two older sisters who were teachers. Another supportive relative was a step-uncle, John Heisler, who lived in Denver.

In 1896, Deardorff moved to Denver and enrolled at the University of Denver, from which he graduated in 1899. He then became a reporter for the Denver Republican. He registered as a law clerk in his uncle's law office and entered the University of Denver Law School in 1901. He worked his way through law school as a librarian in the School of Law Library. Deardorff was admitted to the bar in 1904, the same year he met Alice N. Richardson, a University of Denver graduate and daughter of George Richardson. Deardorff and Alice Richardson were married June 26, 1907 in a ceremony officiated by the bride's father. In addition to his law practice and many civic activities, Charles Deardorff was interested in family genealogy. Deardoff was an honorary life member of the Colorado Bar Association, a member of Masonic Lodge 84, Chapter 29 of the Royal Arch Masons, and Colorado Commandery of the Knights Templar. He served on the board of Trinity Methodist Church and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Alice Deardorff died in 1948. Charles died January 23, 1962, survived by three of his four daughters.


1 Linear Feet (1 record box)

Scope and Contents

The Richardson and Deardorff Families Papers were collected and preserved by Charles Deardorff and his wife, Alice, who was the daughter of George Richardson. The collection comes from both the Richardson and the Deardorff families, but consists primarily of genealogic research on the family of George Richardson, the second president of Colorado Seminary (later named the University of Denver). The collection reflects the Deardorffs' interest in genealogy. It includes genealogy research conducted by Charles Deardorff on the Richardson family, and Deardorff’s autobiography. The collection includes diaries (1861-1864), a diploma and a stamp collection. The collection also includes correspondence, postcards, an address book, recipes, receipts, a history, newspaper clippings, notes, a speech, memorabilia, photographs, and glass plate negatives. There is no clear indication of which member of the family compiled the collection of religious tracts, but several are inscribed as the property of Alice Richardson Deardorff. The collection brings together information on over two generations of a family with close connections to Denver, Colorado and the University of Denver. The westward movement of culture and commerce is reflected in the lives and memorabilia of the families and individuals who contributed to the collection.


This collection is arranged in four series:; 1. Richardson Family, 1861-1953.; 2. Deardorff Family, 1896-1957.; 3. Photographs, undated.; 4. Ephemera, undated.;

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from Margaret Bauer, 1977.


No further accruals are expected.


The diary of George Richardson has significant damage.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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