Colorado University Schools

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Jarvis Hall & School of Mines, 1871

The Colorado University Schools campus was the multi-collegiate campus spearheaded by the visionary missionary Bishop George Maxwell Randall of the Episcopal church. Having a ministerial passion for education and seeing great need for it in frontier Colorado, Randall first established the Wolfe Hall collegiate school for girls in 1868, then in 1869 received a gift from Charles Clark Welch to begin this collegiate campus for boys. This land was on a small plateau overlooking Golden from the south, now annexed within the city limits. Three colleges were opened by Randall and the Episcopal church here: Jarvis Hall in 1870, Matthews Hall in 1872, and the Colorado School of Mines, then known as the Territorial School of Mines, in 1873.[1] Jarvis Hall was a liberal arts, grammar and military school; Matthews Hall was a divinity school to train future Episcopal clergy for the region; and the Bishop strongly felt a School of Mines would be vital to the future of Colorado because of its mining economy.[2] After Randall died in 1873 the campus began to be dismantled, with efforts within the church striving to remove its colleges to Denver. In 1874 the School of Mines was sold to the Territorial government after years of controversy over government support of a church-owned college. On April 4, 1878, Jarvis Hall burned, knocking a hole in the center of the campus, and shortly after on April 8 Matthews Hall was burned by arsonists. This effectively destroyed the campus, as the schools quickly moved to the Loveland Block in downtown Golden, and after a short return by the School of Mines in 1879, it moved to its permanent campus in the city. The campus was fully acquired by the state government in 1880 and the remaining School of Mines building became the nucleus of the Colorado State Industrial School for Boys. The original Mines building was destroyed by fire in 1893.

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