Denver Bar Association
November 2008
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Quiz: How Close Are You to the Heart of Denver, Colorado Lawyer History?

by Christine McManus

"Early Justice and the Formation of the Colorado Bar" By David L. Erickson

Here’s a quick quiz, created in the spirit of one of the original tenets of the bar associations, which was to "perpetuate the history of the profession and the memory of its members."

Answers can be found within the pages of this esteemed new book, "Early Justice and the Formation of the Colorado Bar" by CBA Historian David L. Erickson. This handsome hardback recently launched at a book signing at Tattered Cover, and was published by CBA’s Continuing Legal Education, Inc. Just in case you haven’t yet acquired this historic work to grace your office or coffee table or as a holiday gift (hint hint), the answers are also in this issue of The Docket, on page 31.

1. What was one of the favorite pastimes of Judge H.P.A. Smith, who presided over the first murder trial in Denver Courts?

A. Drinking whiskey in the Denver bars of early days
B. Campaigning for Prohibition
C. Acting, particularly as the treacherous Iago in Shakespeare’s "Othello"

2. What happened to the original Colorado gold rush miner John H. Gregory of Georgia, after his 1859 discovery on Clear Creek?

A. He moved next door to the Unsinkable Molly Brown on Pennsylvania St. in Denver
B. He squandered his riches over the next 50 years on deadpan mines
C. He sold his holdings and moved back to Georgia, because hostilities between northern and southern states made the situation for Southerners unbearable here.Quiz: How Close Are You to the Heart of Denver, Colorado Lawyer History?

3. What is the original spelling of Breckenridge, Colo., and its origins?

A. Berken Hill, after the Danish community where the mountain town’s founders originated
B. Breckinridge, named for a U.S. Vice President who sided with the South in the Civil War; the spelling was changed to disassociate with the man
C. That is the original spelling, silly

4. Who is Colfax Ave. named for?

A. Schuyler Colfax, the Vice President of the United States 1869–1873. His sister Carla was married to one of the first attorneys to settle here, Daniel Witter, who was appointed by President Lincoln as U.S. Assessor
B. The second governor of Colorado
C. The third governor of Colorado

5. Which of the following statements is not true about Charles Waterman, whose legacy continues today at the Denver Bar Association?

A. He became wealthy representing the railroads during turbulent times near the turn of the century.
B. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1926.
C. Politician Joel Vaile was his partner.
D. After his wife’s death, the Waterman Estate was given to the DBA to help aged, infirm or otherwise incapacitated lawyers.
E. He died in childhood of polio.

6. Where and when was the first meeting of the Colorado Bar Association?

A. 16th Street Mall, 1986
B. The Brown Palace Hotel, 1897
C. Union Station, 1932
D. The Denver Press Club, 1885

7. True or false: Colorado abolished the death penalty and hangings in 1897, but reinstated it in 1901.

A. True
B. False

8. What contributed to the nationwide financial panic of 1893?

A. Federal legislation in 1878 and 1890 required the government to buy unreasonably large quantities of silver, thereby artificially supporting the price
B. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed in 1893
C. Railroads were overbuilt and underfinanced during the prosperous 1880s
D. A massive wave of selling occurred on the New York Stock Exchange
E. All of the above

9. Who was Joseph H. Stuart?

A. A pioneer African-American lawyer
B. Admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1891
C. Colorado State House of Representatives, 1895
D. All of the above

10. Who was Mary F. Lathrop?

A. Received the highest exam score from University of Denver in 1896.
B. Established her office in the Equitable Building on 17th Street
C. The first woman admitted to practice before the federal court in Denver
D. One of the first two women members of the American Bar Association in 1918
E. All of the above

If discovering the answers in this quiz piques your interest, then you must delve into the heart of Erickson’s book. "You’ll find colorful characters, miscreants, heroes and yes, fairly strange happenings in our history," says Chuck Turner, DBA executive director, in the book’s Foreword. For a real sense of our history — or at least to improve your chit-chat-ability with opposing counsel — the entire chapter on Memorable Litigation is a must-read, not to mention the intriguing chapters and photos devoted to The Suffrage Movement, Contributions of the Spanish-Surnames and Water and Mining Disputes.

About the author:

David L. Erickson traces his own family roots in Denver back to 1886. His ancestors then moved even farther west, to Seattle, Wash., where he grew up. Erickson initially made his way to Colorado in his first career as an engineer. While working at Martin Marietta, he attended law school at the University of Denver. His legal career in Denver focused on the practice of commercial and financial transactions. He arbitrated many commercial and financial transactions, including the 1996 U.S. Olympic Games Trials. He has been the CBA historian longer than most of us can remember.

The hardcover book is filled with wonderful old photos, maps, and historic drawings. Produced by CBA’s Continuing Legal Education, with financial support from CBA-CLE, CBA, and the CBA Foundation, the book is on sale at the third floor of CLE offices, 1900 Grant Street in Denver for $39.95. Enjoy, and good tidings!


Photos were taken at Erickson’s book signing on Oct. 3 at the Tattered Cover in Denver.






Answers: 1. C   2. C   3. B   4. A   5. E   6. B   7. A   8. E   9. D   10. E

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