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Charles M. Campbell papers

Identifier: COU:294

Scope and Contents

This collection is divided into four sections. The first section contains personal papers and correspondence, entitled Personal Papers. The second section, entitled Subject Files, contains Materials that clearly went along with other materials in the collection but didn’t fit in the legal files such as materials on Colorado or Boulder or Religious and Political information. The third section, Legal Files, contains much of Mr. Campbell’s legal records that we have including items on Prohibition. The fourth section, entitled Miscellaneous, has general files that don’t seem to fit anywhere else in the collection and newspaper clippings on various topics from ethical subjects to musical subjects to cartoons. Each section is sorted by date from oldest to youngest material.


  • 1842 - 1922

Biographical Note

Charles M. Campbell was born March 10, 1842, in Bloomington, Indiana. He was the son of Professor and Mrs. Mathew Campbell. He attended Indiana University (BA 1859, MA 1862). He also studied law during his collegiate years. In 1860, he taught school at Atchison, Kansas. The same year his sister died. The experience made an impression upon his life to the extent that it led him to become a Christian and to study for the Christian ministry. He entered Western Theological Seminary at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1864. After being ordained to the Presbyterian ministry he was commissioned by the board of Domestic Missions at an annual salary of $400. He proceeded to Colorado and arrived in Valmont in Boulder County, July 20, 1864. Charles M. Cambell served the Valmont Church on three different occasions for a total of twenty three years. The last record of his service for Valmont was as moderator of the sessions on December 14, 1919. Campbell promoted the forming of a presbytery for Colorado. On January 15, 1866, ministers and elders from Denver, Boulder Valley and Black Hawk met in Denver to constitute a presbytery. At this meeting each church reported its state of religion. Boulder Valley reported that it had twenty five members and “That a deep religious interest has pervaded the church.” It was voted at the conclusion of this first meeting to meet “the first Friday of September 1866 at the city of Valmont.” No record remains of this meeting. The organization of the Presbytery of Colorado never materialized until February 18, 1870, when Sheldon Jackson convened it in “the Dugout,” a Baptist church on the northeast corner of sixteenth and Curtis streets in Denver.

Within a short time after his arrival, Mr. Campbell began urging the congregation to build a church. Aside from promotional activities, he helped to carry the stone and lumber to build the first church in Boulder County. This church was of frame construction, 25x40 feet, and located where the present church is situated. The land on which it stood was sold to the trustees by Mr. and Mrs. S.F. Rannells for $50. This was the first church building erected in Boulder County,”

He was also active in the social and political life of Boulder County. He was a member of the Woodman’s Lodge and was also a prominent Republican. He was instrumental in the first acquisition of mountain land for a municipal park. He served as street commissioner, 1878-1880, police magistrate, 1882-3, 1895-7, 1903-4, and city attorney, 1887-8 and 1896 to 1903. In addition he was at times, county attorney, deputy district attorney, and county Republican chairman. During his first pastorate he served as superintendent of schools for Boulder in 1865. Furthermore, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the development of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He lectured the first law classes. C.M. Campbell died in 1922.


2 linear feet (4 Boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains an assortment of materials from Charles M. Campbell who lived from 1842 to 1922. The C.M. Campbell (1842-1922) papers contain political ephemera relating to elections, real estate development, and labor parties. Material relating to Presbyterian and other religious denominations include doctoral tracts, programs and material on local parishes. There is Boulder promotional material included in this collection. Also included are letters, petitions and speeches on prohibition in Colorado. This collection has a broad area of reference and contains material from as far back as 1814 to a book on the United Presbyterian Church in Boulder dated 1963.


This collection is arranged into the following series:

I. Personal Papers II. Subject Files III. Legal Files IV. Miscellaneous

Genesis Machek
April 17, 2009
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