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Geneva Coffin papers

Identifier: COU:361

Scope and Contents

The Geneva Coffin Collection hold various documents from throughout her personal, professional and academic life. The collection is organized into three categories. I. Personal Papers which includes, correspondence, unpublished manuscripts, debates, and general files. Second, II. Academic and Professional Papers, which includes documents from Coffin’s time at the University of Colorado, as well as her career as a school teacher. Lastly, III. Audio/Visual Materials contains photographs of family members and university students. More documents from Geneva Coffin can be found in the Coffin Family Collection in the Denver Public Library.


  • 1885 - 1898

Biographical Note

Geneva Coffin was born October 21, 1867 at her family’s farm in St. Vrain, four miles east of Longmont. The eldest of five siblings, Coffin was the daughter of Morse H. and Julia Dunbar Coffin who came to Colorado from Illinois in 1859, and homesteaded the land that became their well-known home.

Coffin graduated from the University of Colorado in 1892. Upon graduation and receiving a teaching certificate, Coffin taught three terms in her home district in Weld County. Against her families wishes she taught in the frontier town of Deadwood, South Dakota as Assistant High School principal. Later, Coffin worked in Glenwood Springs, and in Ft. Morgan, Colorado as assistant principal. In 1987, she signed a contract to teach in Denver, but after the sudden death of her brother, Harry, she elected to remain at home to comfort and help her parents.

In 1899 at the Sandstone Ranch, in Longmont, Colorado, Coffin and James Taylor Craig were married. Craig, a Scotsman, and superintendent of Western Ranches, Ltd. In Wyoming, near Belle Fourche, South Dakota, met Coffin while she was working in Deadwood. After living on the VVV Ranch for several years and seeing the end of the open range and the big cattle ranches, they moved to Belle Fourche where Mr. Craig had banking interest. Coffin and Craig had one daughter, Neva Jean born in 1909. Despite decline health, Craig returned with her daughter to her parents’ home every summer. They loved the rest of their lives in the home they built in Belle Fourche.

Craig died in 1930 and Coffin passed away in 1936. Craig was enshrined as one of the great westerners in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.  


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Geneva Coffin (1867-1936) was a teacher and principal in Glenwood Springs and Ft. Morgan Colorado. Coffin Graduated from the University of Colorado in 1892. Her collection contains essays and debates written by herself, as well as records from her years at the University of Colorado.


This Collection is arranged into the follwoing series: I. Personal Papers II. Academic and Professional Papers III. Audio/Visual Materials

Gabriel K. Fishman July, 2015
July, 2015
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