Charles L. Tutt Sr.

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Charles Leaming Tutt Sr. (14 February 1864 – 21 January 1909) and his descendants are famous in Colorado Springs. He became a wealthy man by the time he was forty years old.


He was born February 14, 1864 in Philadelphia, as a son of a respected doctor, Charles Pendleton Tutt, and Rebecca Leaming. His father died of typhus when he was only two years old. The Tutt family's roots stretch back to England, where one ancestor was once Lord Mayor of London and another was a member of General George Washington's staff during the American Civil War.

As a child, Tutt attended the Protestant Episcopal Academy, where he met Spencer Penrose, nicknamed "Speck", who would later become Colorado's best-known mining mogul. The two boys shared another trait: both of their fathers were physicians.

While Penrose went on to attend Harvard University, the death of Tutt's father forced him to quit school at an early age. Meanwhile, he earned some money as a clerk for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Somehow he landed in North Platte, Nebraska, and lost $500 in a business venture. Then he moved on to Black Forest, El Paso County, Colorado, where he bought a cattle ranch in 1884. In 1885, Tutt sold two cows to earn the return fare to Philadelphia, where he married Josephine Thayer on 29 December 1885, daughter of Martin Russell Thayer, a jurist who had served in President Abraham Lincoln's administration. They relocated to Colorado, and a year after moving to the Black Forest ranch, Josephine convinced her husband to sell out and move to Colorado Springs to start a real estate and insurance business. With Josephine Thayer he had four children, three of them died young. This son Charles L. Tutt Jr., born January 9, 1889, died November 1, 1961, was the only one who lived to adulthood.

Life at Colorado Springs[edit]

The Tutt family lived at 611 North Weber Street, which by then, was a two-story gingerbread house with a combination barn and buggy shed in the rear. Tutt's one-room business office was at 14 East Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs. After opening a branch office in Pueblo, Colorado, in 1889, Tutt visited Cripple Creek, walked up "Poverty Gulch" and stake out a mining claim. Once the claim was staked, a prospector, who held half interest in the mine, sold his half interest to Tutt for $50. Tutt was now the owner of the "Cash on Delivery" mine, the C.O.D. mine, but had no money to develop it. Charles Tutt, together with C. Findley and A. Carlton, all big players in the future of the mining district at Cripple Creek, Colorado, set up the C.O.D. Gold Mining Company, incorporated on February 26, 1892, as a Colorado corporation. Later that year, geologist Richard Penrose, Spencer Penrose's brother, travelled through Colorado Springs, met with Tutt and asked him to write to Spencer and encourage him to relocate to Colorado Springs for its business opportunities.

Mining business[edit]

Spencer Penrose, who had already mined for gold in Mexico, received a letter from Tutt in 1892 extolling the virtues of Colorado Springs. In spite of the fact that the two had not seen each other for at least 10 years, Penrose decided to take the opportunity and arrived in Colorado Springs by train December 10, 1892. Two days later, Tutt offered Penrose half interest in his real estate business for $500, as well as 1/16 interest in the "Cash on Delivery" mine in return for raising $10,000 to pay miners and buy equipment.

Lucky for all, the gold vein in the C.O.D. mine was discovered. In 1894, Charles sold the C.O.D. mine for $250,000. He and Spencer decided to go into another business together. They found that milling ore was better way to make money that mining ore. Along with Charles M. MacNeill, they started the Colorado-Philadelphia Reduction Company and did very well with this business. The company operated a barrel-chlorinating ore mill at Colorado City. Charles M. MacNeill had already experience in running a barrel-chlorinating ore mill, since MacNeill, Captain De Lamar, George W. Peirce (of the Golden Fleece Mine (Colorado)), and some other mining men, owned interest in a barrel-chlorinating plant mill at Lawrence, the first in Colorado, which burned down in 1895.

Charles jumped into mining again, but this time he mined for copper. With his friend, Spencer, Daniel C. Jackling, and some other men involved, the Utah Copper Company was organized in 1903.[1] Their open pit copper mine was the richest in the country. It was this mine that made him a millionaire.

Charles Tutt did much to help plan and develop the city of Colorado Springs. Charles and Spencer converted the riding academy on The Broadmoor resort.

Charles died young on 21 January 1909 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, at age 45. His son Charles L. Tutt Jr. (as well as his grandsons) carried on his father's legacy contributing much to the city of Colorado Springs and to Colorado College.


  1. ^ Charles Caldwell Hawley (2014). A Kennecott Story. The University of Utah Press. p. 37-40.

An account of his life, written by Joan E. Grant and Carole Hiegert.
Kathleen Wallace: The New Falcon Herald, Vol. 7, No.2, February 2010.
Nancy Shakeshaft-Slack: Charles Tutt, one of Colorado Springs Pioneers, publ. at Colorado Springs Vintage Homes Blog.


Thomas J. Noel and Cathleen M. Norman: A Pikes Peak Partnership: The Penroses and the Tutts. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2001. xii + 264 pp. ill. ISBN 978-0-87081-609-3.
Denise R. W. Oldach (Ed.): Here Lies Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs: Fittje Brothers Printing Company, 1995.