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William Norton Searcy Collection

Identifier: COU:1438

Scope and Contents

The William N. Searcy papers are housed in two boxes containing correspondence, lease agreements, deeds, tax receipts, and other legal papers on Searchy’s mining property. The papers date from the 1890s to the 1940s with the majority dating from after the turn of the century. The collection is organized in the following sequence. I. Correspondence, arranged chronologically. II. Mining Records, business and legal documents concerning Searcy’s mining companies and claims make up the bulk of the collection and are grouped under the company or claim’s name. III. City Property, redemption certificates, warranty deeds, trust deeds, tax documents, and other legal papers regarding city property. IV. Miscellaneous Mining Documents, memorandums, location certificates and papers relating to multiple properties. V. Legal Papers, court cases involving individuals vs. mining companies. VI. Financial Papers, tax receipts for San Juan County and La Plata County. VII. Other Personal Miscellaneous includes documents from Searcy’s various organization affiliations within San Juan County, as well as other unknown/unidentified office documents. VIII. Name Index, provides a cross-index for the correspondence files. The Searcy papers are an excellent source of information on mining in turn-of-the-century Colorado. Few of the documents, however, relate to Searcy’s role as a judge for the Sixth District Court.


  • 1890 - 1940

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical / Historical

William Norton Searcy was born in Mora County, New Mexico on December 20, 1867. His father, a school teacher, was interested in a land grant and in the cattle industry. When her husband died in 1868, Mrs. Searcy and her baby, William, moved to Macoupin County, Illinois. William Searcy received his schooling in Illinois and Indiana. After completing a teachers’ course at the State Normal School in Valparaiso, Indiana, he taught school for a year before going to law school at Bloomington Law School, Bloomington, Illinois. Searcy was admitted to the bar in 1892 and moved to Colorado to practice his chosen profession. After spending four years in Durango, he moved his law office to Silverton in 1896. His specialty was mining and corporation law. In 1897, Searcy and Helen Morton Boston were married. Two daughters were born to them. Searcy was elected judge of the Sixth Judicial District of Colorado in 1912 and continued in that position for nineteen years. The Sixth Judicial District contains the counties of Archuleta, Dolores, LaPlata, Montezuma and San Juan. Judge Searcy died on February 20, 1932, at the age of 65, after a year’s illness.


1867 Born December 20, in Mora County, New Mexico

Attended State Normal School, Valparaiso, Indiana

Taught school

Studied law at Bloomington Law School, Bloomington, Illinois

1892 Admitted to the bar

Set up law practice in Durango, Colorado

1896 Moved law office to Silverton, Colorado

1897 Married Helen Morton Boston

1912 Elected judge, Sixth Judicial District, Colorado

1932 Died in Durango, February 20


3 linear feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



William Searcy (1867-1932) practiced law in Durango and Silverton, specializing in mining and corporation law. From 1912 until shortly before his death, he was judge of the sixth Judicial District of southwestern Colorado. The collection contains correspondence, lease agreements, deeds, tax receipts, and other legal papers on Searcy's mining property. Guide available in Special Collections and Archives.

Physical Location

Location: B62 J3

Processed by: Kee DeBoer, 1975
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States