He was born in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, in 1849. His family moved to Chicago, Il when he was a child. He later attended New York University, Knox College and Union Seminary. In 1879, at the age of 30, he moved to Colorado for health reasons. He allegedly co-founded a town on the plains east of Denver in 1891 with Thomas Hayden & Charles Dickenson. The town was named Fletcher. Two years later, during the Silver Crash, Donald Fletcher lived in Cripple Creek, Colorado. The part of land he owned was sold to Hayden & Dickenson in October 1893. The Fletcher residents were left with bond payments for non-existent water. Without a stable source of water, the town of Fletcher nearly met its demise and petitioned for annexation by Denver and this petition was done by Hayden & Dickenson. However, the town endured and was renamed Aurora in 1907, by a vote of the town citizens. The townsite of Fletcher is now known as "Original Aurora", the northwest corner of Colorado's third-largest city. Today a square in the heart of Original Aurora is named "Fletcher Plaza" and includes a sunken garden and tree-lined sitting area.
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