May 2, 2012

First inductees played vital roles in area history

We look up to, admire and often try to emulate successful people.

Baseball, football and rock ‘n’ roll each have a hall of fame. Who wouldn’t look up to Jackie Robinson, admire Roger Staubach or want to emulate Ozzy Osbourne? … OK, maybe not a good choice there with Ozzy.

But you get the point. Outstanding people should be recognized and remembered.

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About 20 years ago, three guys in Boulder came up with a famous idea: a hall of fame for local businesspeople.

Two newspaper men and one marketer decided business folks who helped improve the status quo in Boulder County should be immortalized.

Jack Reed, marketing director of the Clarion Harvest House in Boulder (now the Millennium Harvest House Hotel), Jerry W. Lewis, co-owner, co-publisher and editor of the Boulder County Business Report, and Laurence T. Paddock, editor emeritus of the Boulder Daily Camera got the wheels in motion in the early 1990s to create a board-governed, nonprofit organization to annually recognize the achievements of the county’s business leaders.

The Boulder County Business Hall of Fame held its first induction ceremony in 1993, albeit a relatively quiet affair. All but two of the 15 inductees, Harold Short and Mo Siegel, were inducted posthumously.

Siegel co-founded Celestial Seasonings in 1970 and also founded the Red Zinger Bicycle Classic.

Lewis recalled that when Siegel came to the podium to accept his award, he said something like, “I’m just glad to be alive.”

Short, the other living inductee that day, grew the Flatiron Companies from 12 to more than 800 employees in the 1950s and ’60s. The company engaged in sand and gravel mining, concrete production, and bridge and highway construction. He also served as chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Inductees of the inaugural class today are considered historical figures, and many descendants of the Class of 1993 were on hand for that first induction ceremony.

Archived reports reveal that inductee Marinus G. Smith first arrived in Boulder in 1859. Adella Kreiger, a great granddaughter, accepted his award. Smith, a former tin-ware merchant and stagecoach driver, established a stage line that ran to Denver and the mountain towns.

Another great granddaughter, Frantzes Allen Miller, accepted the award for Alonzo Allen, who came to the South St. Vrain Valley in 1860. Allen was a member of the Chicago-Colorado Colony, which settled Longmont. Allen and his wife, Mary Dickens, established the Allen House at the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street, Longmont’s first hotel. It later became the Imperial Hotel.

Harry Miller accepted the award for his grandmother Mary Miller who is considered the founding mother of Lafayette and was president of the first bank there.

The first class of hall of famers also included:

• Charles G. Buckingham and Walter A. Buckingham, who came to Colorado in 1871. They founded First National Bank of Longmont and National State Bank of Boulder.

• John W. Valentine, who came to Boulder from Iowa in 1905, and his son, John B. Valentine, ran a store at Pearl Street and Broadway that sold hardware and mining supplies.

• Bal Swan, who, along with the Turnpike Land Co., developed Broomfield Heights in 1955. He was president of Empire Savings and Loan, and he donated the first ambulance and built the library in Broomfield.

• John Jacob Steinbaugh, who was born in Germany and came to Louisville in 1892, opened a blacksmith shop. The shop expanded into a hardware store known throughout Boulder County.

• Lucius C. Paddock and Alva A. Paddock, who together, devoted 70 years to reporting the news and encouraging developments that were good for the Boulder area.

• Francis W. Reich, who was secretary-manager of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce for 39 years, from 1936 to 1974, is credited with having a major role in initiating the Christmas Star and the Boulder Turnpike, now U.S. Highway 36.

• And Walter Robert Orr , who was the founding director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.

Today there are 150 people in the hall. Add a few more sons and daughters when you consider two families — the Hueys and Anspachs — were inducted.

The home of the Hall of Fame and its commemorative plaques were moved from the Millennium in Boulder to Longmont’s Plaza Hotel Conference Center in 2007. When you have the time, go visit. It’s worth it to become acquainted with the people who helped shape Boulder County.

Doug Storum can be reached at 303-630-1959 or via email at dstorum@bcbr.com.


We look up to, admire and often try to emulate successful people.

Baseball, football and rock ‘n’ roll each have a hall of fame. Who wouldn’t look up to Jackie Robinson, admire Roger Staubach or want to emulate Ozzy Osbourne? … OK, maybe not a good choice there with Ozzy.

But you get the point. Outstanding people should be recognized and remembered.

About 20 years ago, three guys in Boulder came up with a famous idea: a hall of fame for local businesspeople.

Two newspaper men and one marketer decided business folks who helped improve the status quo in Boulder County should be immortalized.

Jack…

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