Frederick Walker Pitkin

Gov. Frederick Walker Pitkin

Colorado

Term(s)
January 14, 1879 - January 9, 1883

Born
August 31, 1837

Passed
December 18, 1886

Party
Republican

School(s)
Wesleyan Univeristy, Albany Law School

Birth State
Connecticut

Family:
Married Fidelia M. James; four children

BIO

FREDERICK WALKER PITKIN, Colorado’s second governor was born in Manchester, Connecticut, on August 31, 1837. He graduated with honors from Wesleyan University in 1858, and earned a law degree from the Albany Law School in 1859. He moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1860, and became a partner in the successful law firm of Palmer, Hooker, and Pitkin. In 1872, Pitkin fell ill and left his law practice, traveling to Europe in search of a cure for his illness. After two years in Europe, he relocated to the southwestern region of Colorado, where he regained his health, invested in mining, and opened a law practice.  Pitkin entered politics when he was elected Governor of Colorado in 1879. He was reelected to a second term in 1881. During his tenure, he contended with the railway feud between the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, and the Denver & Rio Grande Companies. He also dealt with the turbulent uprising of the Ute Indians at the Battle of Milk Creek; and the 1880 Leadville Strike, which he handled by declaring martial law. Pitkin ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1882, and finished out his term as governor.  Retiring from public service, Pitkin returned to his law practice and his mining ventures in Pueblo. Governor Frederick Pitkin died on December 18, 1886, and is buried at the Riverside Cemetery, Denver, Colorado.

Source

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Colorado State Archives

The Political Graveyard

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