Denver, Colorado Genweb

Denver, Colorado Society


August 2003 Biographies Last updated on 06/17/2006

David H. Moffat

Abstracted from Colorado Pioneers in Picture and Story,
by Alice Polk Hill, copyright 1915 (this book was limited to 2000 copies), pages 293-301

Contributed by:  Shirley Flanagan,


Denver will always place David H. Moffat high among those who labored for the foundation of its greatness.

A poor farmer boy in New York; at the age of twelve he left home for the city and obtained employment in the NY Exchange Bank as a messenger boy. His promotion was rapid; at the age of sixteen he was assistant teller, and soon after, he accepted the position of tell for the firm of A.J. Stevens & Co., in Des Moines, Iowa.

When he was eighteen he was offered the position of cashier of the Bank of Nebraska, in Omaha. Hill filled this position for four years.

David Moffat formed a partnership with C. C. Woolworth, and together they loaded four wagons with books and stationery. Woolworth remained at home and forwarded supplies, and Moffat started on his pioneer journey.

He arrived in Denver March 17, 1860, and immediately opened a book and stationery shop in Auraria, now called West Denver. Later he moved to the corner of Blake and Fifteenth streets in Denver City. His business venture proved successful and he was soon at the head of one of the largest hardware houses of Denver.

In those days David H Moffat was a slender youth weighing only one hundred and ten pounds. Two years after his arrival in Denver he married Miss Fannie A Buckhout, of Saratoga, New York. There was only one child, now Mrs Marcia McClurg, widow of James A. McClurg.

Moffat had the Midas touch, he became banker of nationwide recognition. Men regarded him as brave, farseeing, aggressive citizen; they admired him as a leader, and loved him as a man.

Moffat was driven by an inexhaustible energy and purpose. He became engaged in mining. He was interested in many of the largest gold and silver mines in the State. He dug millions from the ground. Moffat was also one of the great railroad builders of the state. He grew with Denver from the beginning; became a promoter and constructor of public utilities; a millionaire mine owner, a railroad builder. He came in 1860 intending to return when he had made $75,000, but remained more than fifty years, and won a fortune estimated at millions, which in the last years of his life sadly dwindled


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