Skip to main content

Loraine Capps Kehl Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: M283

The Loraine Capps Kehl Family Papers cover mainly three generations will connections to the University of Denver. Loraine’s family was a pioneering Colorado group. Her Aunt Pearl was a graduate of Colorado Woman’s College, had a long teaching career and was active in genealogical research through her association with Daughters of the American Revolution. Loraine’s father received his law degree from DU in 1925, and Loraine, herself, received her undergraduate degree from DU in 1942. The family papers contain genealogical materials from Pearl Nicholson, writings and documents from Loraine’s parents, Ora L. and Nell Capps, and correspondence, memorabilia and business papers from Loraine and her husband, Dale Kehl. The collection contains numerous photographs and photograph albums documenting almost 100 years of the family’s history.

Dates

  • 1894-2008

Creator

Extent

15 Linear Feet (11 record boxes, 2 flat boxes, 1 object box)

Scope and Contents

The Loraine Capps Kehl Family Papers cover mainly three generations will connections to the University of Denver. Loraine’s Aunt Pearl portion of the papers include extensive geneological research and resources, documents and memorabilia of the Nicholson and Larrick families, and scrapbooks and memorabilia of Pearl's life. Loraine’s father, Ora L. Capps, received his law degree from DU in 1925. The papers include his diplomas, several self-published treatises on education and political theory, scrapbooks and memorabilia of Nell Nicholson Capps, and photographs and memorabilia from that generation. Loraine, herself, received her undergraduate degree from DU in 1942. The papers include correspondence, memorabilia and business papers from Loraine and her husband, Dale W. Kehl, including photographs and memorabilia from their extensive travels. The collection contains numerous photographs and photograph albums documenting almost 100 years of the family’s history.

Biographical / Historical

Loraine Capps Kehl was born July 1, 1920. She was the first child of Ora Lee and Nell Nicholson Capps. Loraine and her younger brother, Larry, were raised in Northwest Denver. Loraine attended Skinner Junior High and graduated from North High School in 1938. She was one of the students who attended the University of Denver while living at home, traveling to her classes by the trolley cars that earned DU the nickname “Tramway Tech.” She graduated from DU in 1942 and began teaching in Denver Public Schools.

During her college years, she met Dale W. Kehl. Dale had left home early in his life and was taking classes as well as working. They were married on May 3, 1943 in Walla Walla, Washington, where Dale was stationed with the Army Air Corps for flight training. The couple spent most of the war in Florida, where their son, Dale, Jr. was born in 1945. After the war they returned to Denver, and Dale opened a printing business. In 1947, another son, Gary, was born.

The Kehls lived a life similar to many in the post-war era. He ran a successful business; she stayed home to raise their sons. They were both active in the Shrine and Masonic organizations, he serving as Potentate and she as Queen of Daughters of the Nile. They were active in their son’s schools and took part in other civic activities through the Rotary Club and other organizations. Through their activities and long residence in Jefferson County, they acquired a large circle of friends and entertained often.

After Gary left home for college, Loraine went back to school and earned her Masters of Education from the University of Colorado. She then went on to teach, mostly second grade, in Jefferson County until 1982 when she retired. Dale had retired before that, selling out of the printing business when he saw copy machines and computers as the way of the future. He then devoted his time to investing and real estate.

After Loraine retired, she and Dale traveled the world, circling the globe. They loved traveling and took many photographs of their journeys, as well as informational material. They visited the Holy Lands and Egypt, taking Loraine’s mother along. One of their highlights was a trip to China in 1988.

They loved being with family. They added a swimming pool to their home on Green Mountain, which was a favorite meeting place as Dale, Jr. had children and their good friends Tom and June Hammond had grandchildren about the same ages. After her mother died, Loraine volunteered at Lutheran Medical Center, as well as remaining active in Daughters of the Nile. As they got older they began spending the winter months in Mesa, Arizona, finally buying a unit at Leisure World. By the late 1990s, Dale’s health began to fail as he battled emphysema. Dale died in 2000. Their son, Gary, died of lung cancer two years later, a severe blow to Loraine. But she continued to be active with her activities, tap dancing and exercising, until a broken pelvis curtailed her. She died May 28, 2008.

Loraine’s family had a long association with Colorado and she became the keeper of the family information. Her father grew up in Missouri and was a schoolteacher and superintendent in Missouri and Oklahoma before World War I. In the War he served in France, where he was awarded a Purple Heart and the Silver Star for gallantry. After the war he received his law degree from the University of Denver in 1925. He was an attorney for the Veterans Administration in Denver until his retirement in 1958. He was active in the Shrine and Veterans organizations.

Loraine’s mother, Nell Nicholson Capps, was born May 5, 1893 to a Denver pioneer family. Her mother’s ancestors with names of Larrick and Nicholson are among the old graves in Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheat Ridge. Nell attended Montclair Elementary School and graduated from Arvada High School. She was a graduate of State Teachers College in Greeley. She taught music in the public schools as well as teaching piano and organ privately. Like her husband and Loraine and Dale, she was active in the Shrine, Daughters of the American Revolution and other civic groups.

The Daughters of the American Revolution started the family interest in genealogy. Nell’s sister, Bessie Pearl Nicholson, did extensive research on the family. Pearl, as she was known to the family, received degrees from both Colorado Woman’s College in Denver and Colorado State Teachers College in Greeley. She taught her entire career, most of which was spent in California. She was very active in the DAR and upon her death her genealogical research material was left to her sister, Nell, and then to Loraine.

Arrangement

The papers are arranged in five series. Series 1, Geneology, 1961-1973. Series 2, The Nicholson Family, 1894-1945. Series 3, Capps Family, 1907-1984. Series 4, Kehl Family Historical. Series 5, Dale and Loraine Kehl Family, 1916-2008.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dale W. Kehl, Jr. 2010

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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