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Records concerning real property and legal transactions near Cripple Creek, Colorado

Call Number: WA MSS S-2641
Scope and Contents

Manuscript and printed indexes and summary volumes prepared by regional abstract companies to record the history of real property titles and other financial and legal transactions in Fremont, Teller, and El Paso counties in Colorado, 1861-1972, with the bulk of the collection dating from the height of the Cripple Creek gold rush, 1890-1910. The records consist chiefly of summary accounts created by regional abstract companies from official records maintained in the Fremont, Teller, and El Paso county clerks’ offices to document the acquisition and transfer of real property, mining claims, powers of attorney, and tax delinquencies. The records created by abstract companies are accompanied by small groups of business records from local institutions and individuals, as well as 22 printed maps and one disbound volume of plat maps from the region.

The records for many of the abstract companies include indices, abstracts arranged by date and type, and records related to sales of real estate for delinquent taxes. Abstract companies represented in the collection include Colorado Springs Abstract Company; Cripple Creek Abstract Company; Cripple Creek District Abstract Company; Cripple Creek, Teller County, Abstract Company; El Paso and Fremont Abstract Company; El Paso County Abstract Company; El Paso County Abstract and Title Guaranty Company; Security Abstract & Title Company; Smith, Barton, McDonald & Co.; Teller and El Paso Abstract Company; and Teller County Abstract Company.

The collection includes a single volume created by the City Treasurer of Cripple Creek Colorado from April 7, 1897 to April 19, 1899, a small group of material created by local businesses, a small amount of financial records for the United Mine Workers of America in 1933, and groups of material created by attorney Hildreth Frost and mining engineer Arthur J. Ventress.

Businesses and organizations whose histories are documented include the Colorado Trading and Transfer Company; Cripple Creek State Bank; First National Bank of Cripple Creek; Golden Cycle Land Corporation; Gould Consolidated Mining Company; Lind Auto Service; Mary McKinney Mining Company; Mechanics’ and Traders’ Insurance Company of New Orleans; Stratton-Independence Ltd.; and Western Union Telegraph Company.

Maps in the collection chiefly document mining operations in the region. Locations include Allman, Arequa,Cameron, Cripple Creek, Gillett, Goldfield, Independence, Lawrence, and Victor. Several maps also document discrete gold mines; one map depicts the grounds of the Myron Stratton Home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Records Concerning Real Property and Legal Transactions near Cripple Creek, Colorado is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Brian Levine on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 1997.


Organized into five series: I. Records of Identified Abstract Companies 1871-circa 1940. II. Records of Unidentified Abstract Companies, 1861-1940. III. Records of Businesses and Organizations, circa 1895-circa 1972. IV. Records of Individuals, 1901-1926. V. Maps, 1892-1935.

1861 - 1972
Majority of material found within 1890 - 1910
57.4 Linear Feet ((201 boxes) + 17 rolls, 5 broadside folders)
Language of Materials