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Charles Boettcher I first came to Colorado when he decided to visit his bother in Cheyenne, when he was seventeen. He decided to stay and seek opportunities. At the time, the dominant economy in Colorado was mining, but Boettcher decided to sell hardware and other supplies to miners. His motto was “Hard goods. Hardware. Hard cash.”

In 1874, he married Fannie Augusta Cowen. They had a son, Claude in 1875, who would eventually continue and expand onto the Boettcher enterprise. They also had a daughter, Ruth.

Boettcher had a talent for discovering business opportunities and capitalizing upon them. His ventures included everything from meatpacking, ranching, real estate and banking. When Boettcher visited his native Germany in 1900, he discovered German sugar beet and cement and decided to bring those industries to Denver. His idea launched the Great Western Sugar Company and the Portland Cement Company.

Although plagued by some tragic personal events in his later years, Boettcher remained active in business and even more involved in philanthropy in his later years.

The Boettcher family built a fortune in Colorado, expanding a hardware business into an empire that included Great Western Sugar, the Brown Palace Hotel, Ideal Cement, and the Denver Tramway Company. Claude Boettcher, son of pioneer and family patriarch Charles Boettcher, purchased the home at 8th & Logan from Walter Cheesman’s widow in 1923. He and his wide Edna lived in the home until the late 1950s, hosting many elaborate parties and collecting antiques from around the world. In this photo they address questions from reporters after the kidnapping and escape of their adult son, Charles II.

After the Boettcher’s deaths their family foundation donated the home to the State of Colorado to serve as the Governor’s Residence.


capitol hill, mining

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