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Clinton M. Tyler papers

Identifier: COU:1597

Scope and Contents

The Clinton M. Tyler Collection consist of numerous historical documents such as receipts and deeds to land that Captain Tyler obtained at one period in his life. The Collection covers the years 1812-1877. It is organized in the following manner:

I.BANKING FILES-There is only one file in this section of the collection. As it were, the Banking file contains checks written on privately owned banks of the Kountze Brothers, Buckingham Brothers, Clark and Co., and Warren Hussey.

II.BUSINESS FILES-The Business section of the collection contains various letters, receipts, bills, telegrams, and other business related information such as a license issued to Tyler.

III.LEGAL PAPERS-Papers of the legal nature, being petitions, agreements, claims, and other such documents concerning Captain Tyler’s business related matters.

IV.GENERAL FILES-Information in the collection that does not qualify as being organized under one of the above categories. This section contains such documents as invitations to formal gatherings, a muster roll of Captain Tyler’s Company of Rangers of Colorado, and other such documents of an unspecified nature.


  • Creation: 1812 - 1877

Biographical Note

Clinton M. Tyler was born in Livingston County, New York, in 1834. His family later moved to Michigan. After graduating from college, he relocated to Wisconsin, where he engaged in a hard ware business with N.K. Smith, whose daughter he later married. In 1860, the Tyler’s and Smiths moved to Colorado. The following spring, Tyler returned east for provisions and brought back a saw-mill, which he managed with Mr. Smith. Three years later, he and J.P. Maxwell erected a saw-mill on South Boulder Creek, below Rollinsville, and operated this until 1867. Meanwhile, he and N.K. and E.B. Smith built the Ralston Wagon Road to Central City, which was in use until the railroad was put through. Tyler also constructed and managed the Boulder Valley & Blackhawk Wagon Road.

In 1864 he recruited a company of men as part of the Third Colorado Regiment of Calvary. Tyler was commissioned as their captain by Governor Evans and he actively engaged in several encounters with the Natives who had taken advantage of the absence of the regulars at the front in the Civil War. Captain Tyler was a strong Republican. He was a member of the first city government of Blackhawk, and was elected to the territorial legislature from Gilpin County. Tyler was later elected regent of the University of Colorado, for which he was one of the hardest workers. He eventually owned land in six counties, buying Judge Deckers’ ranch near Boulder in1874, on which he raised Hereford cattle, Percheron horses, and Merino sheep, in addition to mules. He died in 1886.

The papers contain Captain Tyler’s bills, receipts, cancelled checks, and various agreements and legal papers for the period of 1862-1864.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Captain Tyler M. came to Colorado in 1860. Engaged in hardware business and saw mill with N.K. Smith. He was partners with J.P. Maxwell in saw mill and wagon roads in South and Middle Boulder Canyons. Tyler organized rangers against Native Americans in 1864. Captain Tyler was a member of the first city government of Blackhawk and Territorial Legislature. He was a Regent of the University of Colorado at Boulder in his later years. On an interesting note, Captain Tyler had a daughter, Ella Tyler, who was one of eight members of the class of 1886, as she was the first woman to graduate from the University of Colorado. She associated with Boulder’s privileged young people such as Jane Sewall, the daughter of the first University President. Ella Tyler later married Richard Whitely and remained a member of Boulder society until her death in 1907.


This collection is arranged into the following series:


Physical Location

A37 H1; A29 I1

Reformatted by: James A. Thompkins, Jr., June 2006 Reedited by: Ja’gr Thompkins, Nov. 26, 2012
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