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Ear Hospital and the New York Polyclinic. He was the first vice president of the
American Institute of Homeopathy, serving in that office in 1913-14.

On the 6th of October, 1S92, Dr. Peck was married in Birmingham, Michigan, to
Miss Edla A. Park.

Dr. Peck belongs to Oriental Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Colorado Chapter, No. 29i
R. A. M.; Denver Commandery, No. 25, K. T.; and to El Jebel Temple of the Mystic
Shrine. He is treasurer and one of the directors of the Denver Athletic Club, belongs
to the Denver Country Club, the Lakewood Country Club, the Denver Civic and Com-
mercial Association and to the Denver Rotary Club.

His associates in every relation entertain for him high respect by reason of hi^
ability, his personal worth and his public-spirited devotion to the welfare of city, com-
monwealth and country.


The history of any state is but a record of the lives of those men whose activities
have had to do with its building up and development. Thus in the history of Colorado
there are few men living today who will more fully measure up to that standard of
eligibility than Hiram G. Wolff, of Denver. Nearly three score years have passed since
Mr. Wolff, then a boy of sixteen, came into the territory of Colorado. Here he resided
continually during the territorial days and on into the days of statehood; during this
long period his identification with various lines of development has been a substantial
contribution to Colorado's progress.

Hiram G. Wolff was born October 23, 1845, at West Liberty, Ohio county, Virginia,
His father, John B. Wolff, who was born at Martinsburg, Virginia, July 7, 1S16, was
the owner and editor of the Wheeling Argus prior to the Civil war; always an aboli-
tionist, later a republican. His mother was Caroline J. Hedges, a native of West Liberty,
Virginia, one of the F. F. V.'s. The father of John B. Wolff was Joseph Wolff, a veteran
of the War of 1812 and the Mexican war, and was enlisted in the service of his country
in the War of the Rebellion. He lived to be ninety-four years of age. The father of
Caroline J. Hedges was Hiram Hedges, who married Miss Hannah Forman and crossed
the Allegheny mountains into the upper Ohio valley prior to the Revolution and settled
near what is now the city of Wheeling, West Virginia.

John B. Wolff went to Kansas during the border ruffian troubles of 1857, in which
he took an active part helping to bring in Kansas as a free state. In August, 1859, he
came to Colorado, leaving his family in Kansas, but returned in the fall to join them
at Leavenworth. In 1860 he removed to Colorado. In the spring of 1S62 the family,
consisting of the mother and eight children, Hiram G., the oldest, then sixteen years
of age, with two teams of oxen crossed the plains from Leavenworth, Kansas, to join
the father on his claim on Clear creek, near Denver, which was afterward known as
the Wolff homestead, near Arvada. The family belonged to that class of hardy pioneers
known as "Pike's Peakers," who knew no such thing as failure, and while others returned
to the "States" discouraged, they remained to help break the way and lay the founda-
tion on which this great commonwealth now stands. With no schools in which to
educate their growing children, with the most meager facilities for inter-communication,
their auto a lumber wagon, their engine a yoke of cattle, their chauffeur the father or



son, their fuel, an ox goad, they put their hands to the plow and never thought oi
looking backward.

In 1868 the father returned to the east in an attempt to collect from the govern-
ment pay tor stock stolen by the Indians, in their depredations of 1864, 1865 and 1866.
This took him to Washington, where he remained until his death, leaving the care and
support of the family to the older boys. For eleven years the older boys worked
together to accomplish this end, sent the younger children to school, built a home for
the mother and maintained it until her death years later. This home had the dis-
tinction of being the first house of any pretension built in what was afterward the town
of Highlands.

Of the family of ten, only three remain: Hiram G., who resides in Denver; John,
who resides at Boulder, Colorado; and Mrs. Ella Leimer, who lives with her son,
Walter A., in Denver. Albert, having recently departed this life, lived at the old home-
stead for fifty-six years.

Hiram G. Wolff, the subject of this sketch, attended school in Clear creek valley
in a log schoolhouse, which he helped to construct in 1863. This was one of the first
Bchoolhouses erected in the territory of Colorado. It was burned down after a "watch
meeting" on the night of December 31, 1864. After a time a new frame district school
was built at Arvada and this he attended during the four winter months, and worked
on the farm and in the garden eight months of the year until his majority.

In 1862 Mr. Wolff became market gardener and farmer; a pioneer in fruit raising
in this part of Colorado. In the fall of 1863 he drove a team from Denver to Des Moines,
Iowa, for his first installment of nursery stock, returning to Denver, December 16, 1863.
This venture was only partially successful because of floods and ravages of grasshoppers,
but perseverance finally brought ample success. The nursery and fruit-raising business
was continued for many years and thousands of the fruit and shade trees in and around
Denver and throughout this section of the country came from his nursery. The trees
around the courthouse at Denver are products of his nursery. He was the first to engage
in the ice business in Denver and drove the first ice wagon, at which time one wagon
served the whole town.

Mr. Wolff was thoroughly familiar with the Indian troubles from 1864 to 1866,
having seen people who were scalped by the Indians. He was personally acquainted
with Colonel Chivington, who commanded the Colorado Third Regiment in the memorable
Sand Creek fight, which ended the Indian troubles in Colorado. He has seen all the
notable floods in Cherry creek since May 19, 1864, and can tell familiar details of each.
He has seen Judge Lynch deal with the horse thieves and noted criminals of the early
days. Mr. Wolff has met every president since Lincoln; has known every governor of
Colorado; and every mayor of Denver since 1860.

Mr. Wolff was one of the first residents of what after became the town of High-
lands, building the first house on the hill west of Denver, at a time when there were
not enough resident males within the boundary to fill the offices of the newly organized
town. He took a most active part in the development of that growing suburb, as well
as in the city proper, securing franchises for the first electric street car lines con-
structed in Highlands. He organized and was president of the Rocky Mountain Lake
Street Car Company, and constructed and operated the line to Rocky Mountain Lake;
raised the subsidy which built the West Twenty-ninth avenue street car line, graded
the street and had the cars running in thirty days; secured the franchise for the
Berkeley motor line, afterward turning it over to the tramway; secured all the electric
franchises for the Tramway, for all the lines in what was then the town of Highlands;
and secured the electric light franchise for the town of Highlands for a less rate than
the city of Denver was at that time paying. He circulated the petition for opening
the county road, which afterward became Federal boulevard, the longest and best
boulevard in or near Denver; organized the Fourteenth Street Viaduct Association
to provide a way over the railroad tracks for residents of the north side; was its presi-
dent and after years of persistent effort and continual opposition by the city mayor
and council board of public works and the railroad companies succeeded in the comple-
tion of the present Fourteenth street viaduct.

Mr. Wolff worked for twenty years for a system of parks and viaducts, with varying
success. He caused the old city charter (a franchise granted by the legislature) to be
amended by the legislature, permitting the city council to divide the city into park
districts, only to have the proprietors of the two daily newspapers personally oppose
the plan, to its utter defeat. He was a member of the charter convention which formed
the present city charter. His efforts in this convention were devoted to getting such
provisions into the charter as would assure a comprehensive park system, realizing the
natural advantages to be gained by dividing the city into park districts, and allowing
each district to secure its own park system by issue of district bonds. This was bit-


terly opposed by some who now claim to be the originators of the plan and system.
It required two years of persistent effort to get the first district unit of the system
through, namely, the Highland park. This secured for the city more than four hundred
acres of lakes and land, for a very nominal cost; next the Washington park system,
and the Montclair park and boulevards. About this time the late Mayor Speer seemed
to realize the possibilities and took up the civic center and boulevards and worked out
a comprehensive park and boulevard system equaled by few cities in the world and
one that future generations will refer to with pride. The real fight of this same charter
convention was over the provision for viaducts. The railroads opposed this by all the
means usually employed but without success. The result was the present Twentieth
street and Colfax viaducts.

Mr. Wolff has had more than fifty years of experience in irrigation. He helped to
construct the first large ditch in Colorado — the Rocky Mountain ditch, taking water
from Clear creek near Golden, using a yoke of cattle and a home-made wooden scraper,
in the years 1862, 1863 and 1864. He has been an officer and director in this company
fifty years, and is at present the president and manager of the company, which position
he has held the past thirty years. This ditch waters some eight hundred gardens west
of the city— the most sought after lands in Colorado. He was the president and prin-
cipal owner of the Farmers Highline (Arapahoe) ditch, when its decrees were produced,
also interested in the Church and other ditch and reservoir enterprises of the state.
He caused the district irrigation law known as the "Church law" to be rewritten and
placed on the books, the abuse of which has resulted in much turmoil in irrigation
enterprises, though the law in itself is a very good one. He organized the Inter Moun-
tain Water Company for the purpose of bringing seven hundred cubic second feet of
water from Williams river to the Platte river water shed for irrigation purposes. This
was opposed by the government and the Union Water Company, the Colorado Central
Power Company and others, but the decrees were finally granted and work commenced,
but the completion was defeated by the action of the government and collapse of irriga-
tion securities. He is and has been a strong advocate of bringing absolutely pure water
across the range for Denver's domestic supply and for power purposes for street and
city lighting, using Cheesman, Antero and Lost Park reservoirs water for irrigating
lands near Denver. Mr. Wolff is said to be one of the best posted men in Colorado on
all lines of irrigation matters.

He organized the Higgins Investment Company, a holding company for the property
of the late L. L. Higgins, and has been a director and officer in this company since its
organization. He has been actively engaged in irrigation and real estate enterprises
for many years, platted several additions to Denver, some of which bear his name. His
fruit place in Highlands is now occupied by the Mullen Home for the Aged.

He is a member of the Colorado Pioneers Association and was a member of the
board of trustees of the Central Presbyterian church, during the building of that edifice.
He bought the tour corner lots where the Equitable building now stands from the late
Henry C. Brown for twelve hundred dollars, where the Seventeenth Street Presbyterian
church was built in 1872. These lots are now said to be worth six hundred thousand
dollars. He was a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce, also a member for
years of the Real Estate Exchange and other associations. A director in several banks
prior to the panic of 1893 and directly thereafter. At one time was one of the heaviest
tax payers in the city and county of Denver. The panic of 1893 and subsequent depre-
ciation of real estate stripped him of everything, so he has been compelled to start at
the beginning again. His long and honorable connection with the real estate business
in Denver has won for him the highest standing and a reputation for straightforwardness
and integrity not surpassed by any of his contemporaries.

In his political connection he has always been a stalwart republican. The keen
and active interest manifested by him in political matters has never been prompted
by pecuniary consideration but solely by his public spirit and genuine desire for the city's
good and progress. While never having held a political office, his work and influence
have been of distinct value to the residents of Highlands as the residents of the old
western district well remember. It is doubtful if the city of Denver has a private citizen
living today whose interest in civic betterment and whose activities have been of such
distinct value and with less personal gain. His labors in connection with the securing
of franchises, viaducts, park systems and boulevards have invariably been without

Mr. Wolff was twice married. His first wife. Miss Sara A. Carver, was one of the
pioneer school teachers of Denver and a daughter of Professor Henry Carver, who was
one of the first principals of the Denver public schools before the Denver district owned
a single school building. This wife died in 1895, and in 1897 he married his present
wife, Jean A. Carver, a sister of his first wife. He has a son, Frank C, born October 22,


1873, who is married and lives in Los Angeles, California, and this son has one daughter.
Another son, Hiram B., born May 25, 1898, is registered in the navy and is in his junior
year at the Colorado University, taking the course in chemical engineering.

Mr. Wolff's wonderfully well preserved condition is more becoming of one twenty
years the junior of his three score and ten. He has the happy faculty of growing old
gracefully which seems but the just reward for a regular, temperate life. He has
never used whiskey or tobacco in any form.


Harry E. Mulnix, state treasurer of Colorado and one of the best known men In
the state, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 15. 1856, a son of the late
Alexander Mulnix, who was likewise a native of the Keystone state, where his an-
cestors had lived for several generations. Mingled strains of Scotch and Irish blood
flow in his veins and through succeeding generations there has been manifest in the
family a force of character that has made its representatives substantial and valued
citizens of the various communities in which they have lived. The founder of the
American branch of the Mulnix family arrived In the new world shortly after the
Revolutionary war. Alexander Mulnix was a successful farmer, who spent his entire
life in Pennsylvania. He wedded Mary Margaret Sampson, a native of the Keystone
state and a representative of one of tlie old Pennsylvania families of Scotch-Irish
descent. His wife died' in Pennsylvania, in 1902, at the age of eighty years. Her
family numbered eight children, six sons and two daughters.

The youngest of the household was Harry E. Mulnix. who is indebted to the public
schools of Pittsburgh for his early education, which was supplemented by study in the
Iron City College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1875. He started
out to provide for his own support when a youth of eighteen. His second employment
was that of a clerk in mercantile lines and his first position was that of a bookkeeper
with the firm of Harshaw & Templeton. His initial experience was therefore of a
broadening character that qualified him for further advancement. In 1878 he came
to Colorado, arriving in Pueblo on the 17th of May. In the fall of that year he
removed to Trinidad and there he engaged in general merchandising. While a resident
of that city he served for four years as a member of the city council and was acting
mayor of the city when but twenty-three years old. In 1887 he entered the railroad
contracting business, which he followed until 1893. In 1892 he was the candidate for
state treasurer but went down to defeat in the democratic landslide of that year,
although leading his ticket in a manner that Indicated great strength throughout the
state. In 1894 he was elected state treasurer on the republican ticket and served for
one term of two years, after which, in 1896, he was nominated for the position of
secretary of state but declined the proffered honor. In 1898 he was again nominated
for the position of state treasurer but refused to become a candidate. His party thus
acknowledged his powers of leadership as well as his efficiency and ability in office.
From 1898 until 1914 he followed his profession as a certified public accouiTtant. In
the latter year he was nominated for the office of state auditor, to which he was
elected. His incumbency in 1915 and 1916 was one noted for a degree of efficiency that
has seldom been attained and never surpassed in the management of a state office in
Colorado. It involved the handling of over forty millions of dollars of staffe funds,
without having to account for a single penny. In 1916 he was the imanimous choice
of the republican assembly for the office of state treasurer, thus obviating the necessity
of a primary campaign, and in the election that followed, while he was defeated, he
ran seventy-five thousand six hundred votes ahead of his ticket. The democrats carried
the state by seventy-six thousand five hundred and eight. This was one of the most
remarkable instances of personal political strength ever shown in the political history
of the state. Resuming his practice of accountancy together with the management
of other private Interests, Mr. Mulnix continued until assuming the duties of state
treasurer in January, 1919, to which he was elected in the fall of 1918. Mr. Mulnix
owes much of his great popularity in the state to the unquestioning faith the people
have in his unswerving integrity. When out of office he has been for nearly two de-
cades the official auditing authority for most of the counties of the state. He has
uncovered no little in the way of wilful wrongdoing and in the way of accounting
errors due to mistaken methods. In all cases he acted with such tact that publicity
was avoided, wrongs were quietly made good and penalties were imposed, but never
with the blare of trumpets. In most of the courts of the state his methods of book-



keeping have been adopted. It is this element of personal contact with county officials
that has endeared him to leading citizens of both parties throughout the state and
gave them, too, an insight into the absolute trustworthiness of the man.

Mr. Mulnix has always been a stalwart republican since becoming a voter. He
perhaps has a more extensive acquaintance throughout Colorado than any other man
in the state. His democratic manner, his innate courtesy and politeness have always
been prominent characteristics, which are probably surpassed only by his admirable
family lite and ideal devotion to the rearing and training of his children. His hosts
of friends know and address him as "Harry" without the least thought of indignity or
affront. His kind-heartedness and generosity are seldom appealed to in vain by worthy
causes. A deserving appeal invariably meets with response and has never been turned
away without help of some kind.

Mr. Mulnix has been married twice. In Trinidad, Colorado, he wedded Miss
Sophia A. Lewelling, who was the first American white child born in southern Colorado,
a daughter of Jefferson W. and Anne Lewelling. Jefferson W. Lewelling was a pioneer
of this state, coming to Colorado in 1860. He was also a Civil war veteran, enlisting
from Colorado for service in that struggle. Both he and his wife are yet living and
are residents of Dodge county, Kansas. To Mr. and Mrs. Mulnix were born five chU-
dren, three of whom survive. Sophia Jane is the wife of Colonel E. J. Boughton, who
is a colonel on General Pershing's staff and prior to his participation in the war was
an attorney of Denver. To him and his wife have been bom three children, Elizabeth
J., Edward J. and Evelyn J., all born in Colorado, as was Mrs. Boughton. Harry B.
Mulnix, the eldest son of Harry E. Mulnix, married Edna Olcott and died in Denver,
October 13, 1917, at the age of thirty-flve years, leaving a son, Harry Olcott, who is
nine years of age. Llewellyn Grant, the next member of the family, is a resident of
Denver and is office manager of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
of this city. He married Lucy Fortune and they have a daughter, Barbara. Robert
C, the next of the family, married Novella Stull, of New York, and is engaged in the
automobile business in Denver. He and his wife have a daughter, Charlotte Louise.
Anna May, the next member of the family, became the wife of William J. O'Brien
and died, leaving a son, James Llewellyn. Mrs. Mulnix passed away October 23, 1889,
at the age of twenty-six years. On the 4th of September, 1907, Mr. Mulnix was again
married, his second union being with Miss Grace Alice Strayer, a native of Indiana
and a daughter of Calvin and Alice Strayer, the former now deceased, while the latter
resides with Mr. and Mrs. Mulnix.

Mr. Mulnix is a member of the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants
and is a member of the American Institute of Accounts. Fraternally he is connected
with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He also belongs to the Denver Civic
and Commercial Association and is interested in all that has to do with the welfare,
progress and upbuilding of the city and the extension of its trade relations. He has
ever figured prominently in public connections, nature seeming to have qualified him
for leadership. The integrity of his motives is never questioned and his progressive-
ness has led him to take a forward step in such a way that he has drawn with him a
large following. He is public-spirited in the true sense of giving his time, efforts and
ability for the welfare of community and commonwealth, even at the sacrifice of his
personal interests. Stanoh as he is in his republicanism, he places the general good
before partisanship and is unfaltering in his support of measures which he believes
will benefit city and state, while over the record of his official career there falls no
shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil.


Frank H. Potter, conducting business at Brush as a general merchant and under-
taker, was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, October 4, 1868, a son of Alexander W. Potter,
who is of Irish descent, while the mother was of Scotch lineage. She died when their
son was an infant. On coming to the new world the father first located in Ohio in
company with his parents and afterward removed to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where his
father was engaged in the shoe business. Alexander W. Potter took up the trade of
bricklaying and was thus employed for a time but after the outbreak of the Civil war
put aside all business and personal considerations and responded to the call for troops,
enlisting in Michigan. He served throughout the period of hostilities between the
north and the south and on one occasion was wounded. After the war he removed to



Denver and worked at his trade for many years but is now living retired and makes his
liome in Los Angeles, California, where he is enjoying a well earned rest.

Frank H. Pcftter was reared at Council Bluffs, Iowa. His youth was spent upon a
farm in Iowa, and there he received his education, and early became familiar with the
best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. Later he learned the machin-
ist's trade and followed steam engineering for fifteen years. In 1903 he came to Brush
and for a year was at Fort Morgan before taking up his abode in the town where he
still resides. Here he established a furniture and undertaking business in partner-

Online LibraryWilbur Fiske StoneHistory of Colorado; (Volume 4) → online text (page 10 of 108)