HENRY AUGUSTUS BUCHTEL, Colorado’s 17th governor was born near Akron, Ohio, on September 30, 1847. He moved with his family to South Bend, Indiana, and attended Indiana-Asbury University (now DePauw). After working in the grocery business, Buchtel returned to Asbury University to complete his studies in theology. He earned a master’s degree and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He began his ministry as a missionary to Bulgaria in 1873, but was forced to return to the United States when his wife developed tuberculosis. Buchtel then served as pastor of several churches in New Jersey, Indiana, and Colorado. In 1900, he was named chancellor of the University of Denver, a position he held until his retirement. Buchtel’s first undertaking in the political arena was as governor of Colorado. He was sworn into office on January 8, 1907. During his term, juvenile courts and detention centers were instituted, state run schools were subsidized, and prison labor resulted in additional highway construction. Laws were passed modulating the banking and insurance industries, a strict pure food bill was enacted, and new inspection laws were passed for slaughterhouses. Also, the State Home for the Mentally Defective was formed, and the Railroad Commission was established. Buchtel left office on January 12, 1909 with a balanced budget and a surplus in the bank. He returned to his duties as chancellor to the University of Denver, and served until 1920 when he suffered a stroke. Governor Henry Buchtel died on October 22, 1924, and is buried at the Fairmont Cemetery in Denver.
Colorado State Archives
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.