Category Biography

To Till a Field or Write a Poem? Booker T. Washington’s Legacy

In Honor of Black History Month Twenty-three years ago, I landed my first full-time college teaching position at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Originally known as Tuskegee Institute, the school was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881 to provide vocational education for southern blacks in the years after Reconstruction. Washington, born a slave in 1856, would overcome enormous odds to become the most influential African American in the United States

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Pioneer Profiles: Laura Bell McDaniel

Laura Bell McDaniel, known as the “Queen of the Colorado City Tenderloin,” was a pioneer not just because she was an early resident of Colorado City, but because, as the city’s premier madam, she was an anomaly among the soiled doves. She used her given name, she kept in close contact with her family, and she conducted business with some of the most respected people in Colorado Springs. Born in

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Stratton, the $10 Million Man (Part 4)

The More Things Change Continued from: Part 1: “A Test of Faith” Part 2: “Independence and Influence” Part 3: “A Testament to a Legacy” Winfield Scott Stratton was a man whose destiny had been shaped by dreams. As a teenager, he dreamed of coming to Colorado to seek gold. As a destitute carpenter and part-time prospector, he dreamed of the location of his mother lode, and as a millionaire he

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Stratton, the $10 Million Man (Part 3)

A Testament to a Legacy Continued from: Part 1: “A Test of Faith” Part 2: “Independence and Influence” Winfield Scott Stratton’s life had been directed by prophetic dreams: when he was a kid, he dreamed that he would leave his hometown of Jeffersonville, Indiana to seek his fortune in Colorado. As a middle-aged man, he dreamed that he would find gold on Battle Mountain near the town of Victor, Colorado.

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Stratton, the $10 Million Man (Part 2)

Independence and Influence Continued from: Part 1: “A Test of Faith” As dawn broke on July 4, 1891, Winfield Scott Stratton stood upon his two claims near Victor, Colorado: the Washington and the Independence, named to commemorate the date on which they were claimed. Leslie Popejoy, Stratton’s former co-worker, had grubstaked Stratton the $275 it cost for the claims. Stratton sold a piece of property he owned in Denver for $250

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Stratton, the $10 Million Man (Part 1)

Part 1: A Test of Faith Winfield Scott Stratton, Colorado Springs’ first and biggest nineteenth-century multi-millionaire, was the single largest contributor to Colorado Springs. He left a legacy that still thrives today, although most people don’t know it. This four-part series explores his life and its lasting impact on the Pikes Peak region. Born in Jeffersonville, Illinois in 1848 as one of eight children, by the time he was ten, he

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