John Brisben Walker

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Walker circa 1890
Walker and wife circa 1913

John Brisben Walker (September 10, 1847 – July 7, 1931) was a magazine publisher and automobile entrepreneur in the United States. In his later years, he was a resident of Jefferson County, Colorado.[1]


Walker was born on September 10, 1847 at his parents' country house on the Monongahela River, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1889 he purchased Cosmopolitan Magazine, leading it to marked growth before selling it to William Randolph Hearst in 1905. The 1905 sale price has been variously reported as $400,000 and $1,000,000. He was a co-founder of the Locomobile Company of America and led it through its early successes. He donated 40 acres (160,000 m2) in Denver to the Jesuits in 1887. The Jesuits built what is now Regis University upon that 40 acres (160,000 m2).[2]

John Walker built a home in 1909 atop Mt. Falcon (a mountain slightly west of Denver, Colorado).[3] The house was struck by lightning and was ruined in 1918. He attempted to build a summer white house for the President around 1911. When his attempts to raise money to continue the building failed, the project was abandoned.[citation needed]

He died on July 7, 1931 in Brooklyn, New York City.[1][4]

He was married three times;[5] his third wife was the prominent suffragette Iris Calderhead.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "J. Brisben Walker Dies At Age Of 83. Gained Note as Newspaper Editor and Publisher of Cosmopolitan Magazine. He Served In Chinese Army. Left Penniless by the Panic of 1873, Later Made a Fortune by Introducing Alfalfa in Colorado". New York Times. July 8, 1931. Retrieved 2010-12-15. John Brisben Walker, former editor, publisher, manufacturer and soldier, died yesterday at 11 A. M. at his home, 202 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, after an illness of two years which became serious two weeks ago. Mr. Walker was 83 ...
  2. ^ "The magnificent John Brisben Walker, father of Denver's Entertainment Industry". May 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-15. John Brisbane Walker Sr., agriculturalist, writer, promoter and publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine, was born Sept. 10, 1847, at his parents’ country house on the Monogahela River, near Pittsburgh, Penn. A West Point graduate, Walker served with the U.S. Minister to China before moving to West Virginia to make a fortune as an iron manufacturer. ...
  3. ^ "Auto Record Setter and Murderer's Friend: Frank P. Loveland". History Colorado Blogs. 2017-05-30. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "John Brisben Walker". Retrieved 2016-07-15.