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Caroline Bancroft Papers

Identifier: M106


  • Other: Date Not Yet Determined


Biographical / Historical

Caroline Bancroft was born September 11, 1900, in Denver, Colorado, the daughter of George Jarvis Bancroft, a mining engineer, and Ethel (Norton) Bancroft. Her family has been described as being in the ''upper crust'' of Colorado society. She received a B.A. from Smith College in 1923 and an M.A. from the University of Denver in 1943. She spent time in the Zigfield Follies and was a teacher on a cruise ship before returning to Colorado. She was literary editor for the Denver Post from 1928 to 1933 and writer of its “Literary Flashlights” column. She was also a creative writing instructor at the University of Colorado Extension and the University of Denver Extension from 1931 to 1935. From 1947 to 1951 she taught Colorado history at Randell School in Denver. Caroline Bancroft died on October 8, 1985.

Bancroft is most famous for her original work on Colorado history, on which the opera The Ballad of Baby Doe and the musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown were based. Her works include Silver Queen: The Fabulous Story of Baby Doe Tabor (1950); Famous Aspen: Its Fabulous Past—Its Lively Present (1954); The Brown Place in Denver (1955); The Unsinkable Mrs. Brown: S.S. Titantic Heroine (1956); Gulch of Gold: A History of Central City (1958); Colorful Colorado (1959); Tabor’s Matchless Mines and Lusty Leadville (1960); Unique Ghost Towns and Mountain Spots (1961); Colorado’s Lost Gold Mine (with Mary B. Wills, 1965); The Unsinkable Molly Brown Cookbook (1966); Two Burros of Fairplay: Morsels of History for Young and Old (1968); and Trail Ridge Country: Estes Park and Grand Lake (1969). She also wrote a play for the television biographical series of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, produced by the American Broadcasting Company network in 1956–1957. She wrote articles for the New York Evening Post, New York Herald Tribune, New York Times, Town and Country, Woman’s Home Companion, Western Folklore Quarterly, Colorado Westerner’s Brand Book , and other magazines and newspapers.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 half letter document box)

Scope and Contents

The collection contains handwritten notes on Caroline Bancroft's writings, together with some manuscript copies and published pamphlets.


This collection is arranged in one series. 1. Writings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Author to Temple Buell College, both Trail Ridge Country and Two Burros of Fairplay are signed.


No further accruals are anticipated.


Information for biography taken primarily from encyclopedia.jrank and the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame web.

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

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