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Henry A. Drumm papers

Identifier: COU:543

Scope and Contents

The papers pertain to the life of Henry A. Drumm (1857-1937) and are organized under two headings: scrapbooks and autobiography.

The four tattered scrapbooks, dating from 1882 to 1911, contain newspaper clippings, correspondence, personal notes, and photographs. These scrapbooks loosely document Drumm’s academic and political activity during those years.

An autobiography is included in the papers. It does not appear to be finished, and only details his youth, ending with descriptions of “work in Boulder” around 1876. Although he was a noted map maker, no maps are contained in his collection.


  • 1882 - 1935

Biographical Note

Henry A. Drumm was born September 13, 1857 in Fulton, Iowa. In 1871 he moved to Boulder with his mother (Bernhardtina), two brothers and a sister, to live with his father (Jacob) in Valmont. A few days after his arrival, Drumm began attending Valmont School. He graduated with the first class of the State Preparatory school in 1878. Four years later he received the first graduation certificate awarded by the University of Colorado. The first certificate went to Mr. Drumm because he headed the class alphabetically; his classmates were Oscar Jackson, James Irvin McFarland, John J. Mellette, Harold Thompson, and Richard Henry Whiteley.

At age 11, Henry was an apprentice barber to his uncle in Iowa. He became accomplished in the trade and put himself through high school and college while working as a barber. While in his second year at University, Drumm was the editor of the Portfolio. He gave the class prophecy at the University’s first class day oration, and at the graduation exercises in 1882, he gave an oration on “Civil Service.”

After graduation, Drumm tool a position with the Boulder Banner. As a reporter, he covered special assignments while touring the mining towns of Boulder County. For a short time he was a barber in Caribou, and a teacher at a Jimtown school. Drumm studied law at Columbia University, where he also worked in the library-outside work necessary to finance his education. Upon his return to Colorado, he was admitted to the bar.

He spent some time in Omaha, where he practiced law, was a newspaper reporter, became the clerk of the probate court, and was a draughtsman for the Union Pacific Railroad in its chief civil engineering offices. In 1896 Drumm returned to Boulder to practice law. He was also elected a justice of the peace and was appointed police magistrate.

In 1898, running as a Silver Republican, he was elected to the House of Representatives. During all of his life in Boulder he was active in politics. With the exception of a few years under the Silver Republican Banner, he was a leader in the Democratic Party. Drumm served the party in many capacities, was in demand for speech making during campaigns, and was a dominant figure at conventions.

Drumm turned to map making after serving in the legislature. He made maps for oil and mining companies, for municipalities, and for business firms. His maps were models of accuracy and neatness. In 1920 Drumm was the Census supervisor for Boulder and other Northern Colorado counties. During World War I, he was the Naturalization officer for the federal government; his territory included Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico.

Henry A. Drumm died April 17, 1937 at his home near 17th and Grove streets.


1 linear feet (2 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Papers pertaining to the life of Henry A. Drumm (1857-1937). Scrapbooks including newspaper clippings, correspondence, personal notes, and photographs date from 1882 to 1911. The papers also include Drumm’s autobiography, begun in 1935, which does not appear to be complete. Drumm was the first graduate of the University of Colorado (1882), and was politically active during most of his life in Boulder. He was also a noted map maker.


This collection is arranged into the following series:


Processed by Stanford L. Gnagy, September 1992 Edited by Heidi Buhr, June 4, 2008 Rehoused and edited by Samantha Audsley, May 2012
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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