Colorado Museum of Natural History

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Elmer W. Merritt was a trustee and founding father of the Colorado Museum of Natural History (CMNH). Merritt was born in New York State on October 31, 1861, attended the University of Ann Arbor and arrived in Denver in 1879. He went into the lumber and mercantile business and eventually became connected with the Continental Oil Co. In 1885 he began a career in real estate and investment securities, forming the firm Merritt and Gromman. He served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees at CMNH (now the Denver Museum of Nature & Science) from 1897-1902; the museum was incorporated in 1900, during his watch. In addition to his founding work at the museum, Merritt was also a member of the Depot Commission when Denver's Union Station was built and served as a Colorado State Senator. Merritt died in 1917.

Dr. Persifor M. Cooke was the longest serving member of the Denver Museum of Natural History's Board of Trustees. He served continuously from 1905 to 1954, a total of 49 years. Cooke was born December 25, 1860 in Adams County, near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and in 1886 graduated from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. After completing medical school he served short stints as a resident physician and surgeon in Brooklyn and as health physician in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In 1888 he moved to Denver and practiced medicine until 1899, when he joined Denver National Bank. He held several important positions with the bank and retired in 1929. In 1892 Cooke married Annie Kirtley Shields of Denver. They had one son, but he was killed in World War I when a German submarine torpedoed the US Navy patrol boat he served on. Annie died in 1932 and Cooke married Helen Archbold in 1935. She died in 1948. At the time of his death in 1954 at age 93, Cooke was still an active Trustee of the Museum, now the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Over the years he regularly attended Board meetings and was very active in Museum business. He was Board Secretary from 1905 to 1935, Secretary-Treasurer from 1936 to 1945, and again Secretary in 1946 and 1947. He served as Historian for the Board of Trustees until his death. In addition, Cooke was a frequent visitor to the Museum. He closely followed its progress and befriended employees. He considered it "the finest Museum in the country" and told the Board and Director that it was his chief interest during the last decade of his life. Accordingly, he generously remembered the Museum in his will.

From the description of Colorado Museum of Natural History, Secretary of the Board of Trustees records 1897-1947. (Denver Museum of Nature & Science). WorldCat record id: 68967575

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Campion Collection, 1894-1915 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
creatorOf Colorado Museum of Natural History. Colorado Museum of Natural History, Secretary of the Board of Trustees records 1897-1947. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Brown, Barnum. Correspondence, 1897-1963. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Howland, Frank, 1857-1938. Frank Howland papers, 1918-1935. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Charles H. Hanington Papers, 1928-1948 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Philip Reinheimer Papers, 1929-1949 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
creatorOf Rogers, Albert C., 1888-1959. Albert C. Rogers papers 1876-1979. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Earth Sciences Department Records, 1920-1956 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Frank M. Taylor Papers, 1916-1930 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn John T. Mason Papers, 1901-1909 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Jesse Dade Figgins Papers, 1904-1935 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn R. C. Hills Papers, 1916 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn William S. Ward Papers, 1900-1912 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Board of Trustees Records, 1900-1930 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
creatorOf Markman, Harvey C., 1881-1969. Earth Sciences Department records 1920-1956. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Mason, John T., 1853-1928. John T. Mason papers 1901-1909. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
creatorOf Lincoln, Frederick Charles, 1892-1960. Frederick C. Lincoln papers 1912-1920. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Carter, Edwin, 1828-1900. Edwin Carter papers 1870-1899. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Records, 1918-1935 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Denver Museum of Natural History. Architectural plans and drawings of the Denver Museum of Natural History 1908-present. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Harry H. Sheldon Papers, 1913-1915 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Department of Biology and Mammals Records, 1913-1931 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Figgins, J. D. (Jesse Dade), 1867-1944. Jesse D. Figgins papers 1904-1969. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Papers, 1913-1925 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Campion, John F. 1848-1916. John F. Campion papers 1894-1915. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Miller, Frederick W. Department of Biology and Mammals records 1913-1931. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Papers, 1912-1920 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Walter C. Mead Papers, 1930-1935 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
referencedIn Papers, 1926-1988 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
creatorOf Bailey, Alfred M. (Alfred Marshall), 1894-1978,. A.M. Bailey Alaska photo collection graphic. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Alfred M. Bailey Library
referencedIn Albert C. Rogers papers, 1876-1979 Denver Museum of Nature and Science,
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Bailey, Alfred M. (Alfred Marshall), 1894-1978, person
associatedWith Bradbury, William Chase, 1849-1925 person
associatedWith Brown, Barnum. person
associatedWith Campion, John F. 1848-1916. person
associatedWith Campion, John F. d1848-1916 person
associatedWith Carter, Edwin, 1828-1900. person
associatedWith Colorado Museum of Natural History. Board of Trustees. corporateBody
correspondedWith Cooke, Persifor M., 1860-1954 person
associatedWith Cook, Harold James, 1887-1962 person
associatedWith Denver Museum of Natural History. corporateBody
associatedWith Figgins, J. D. (Jesse Dade), 1867-1944. person
associatedWith Hanington, Charles H., 1867- person
associatedWith Hills, Richard Charles, 1848-1923 person
associatedWith Howland, Frank, 1857-1938. person
associatedWith Lincoln, Frederick Charles, 1892-1960. person
associatedWith Markman, Harvey C., 1881-1969. person
associatedWith Mason, John T., 1853-1928. person
associatedWith Mead, Walter C., 1866-1951 person
correspondedWith Merritt, Elmer W., 1861-1917 person
associatedWith Miller, Frederick W. person
associatedWith Miller, Frederick W. person
associatedWith Reinheimer, Philip, 1863-1948 person
associatedWith Rogers, Albert C., 1888-1959. person
associatedWith Sheldon, Harry H. person
associatedWith Taylor, F. M. (Frank M.) person
associatedWith Thatcher, Joseph A., 1838-1918 person
associatedWith Ward, William S. (William Shaw), 1843-1917 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1920

Active 1956

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