John Wesley Iliff

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John Wesley Iliff
John Wesley Iliff.jpg
Born (1831-12-18)December 18, 1831
Died February 9, 1878(1878-02-09) (aged 46)
Resting place Fairmount Cemetery (Denver, Colorado)
Children William Seward Iliff, Edna Iliff (1871-1951), Louise Iliff (1875-1966), John Wesley Iliff, Jr. (1877-1879)
Parent(s) Salome Reed, Thomas Iliff

John Wesley Iliff, Sr. (December 18, 1831 – February 9, 1878) was a cattle rancher and is the namesake of the Iliff School of Theology.[1]


He was born on December 18, 1831 in McLuney, Ohio to Salome Reed and Thomas Iliff.

He attended Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware, Ohio but did not graduate. In 1857, at age of twenty-six, his father gave him $500 in cash and moved to Ohio City, Colorado where he opened a retail store. In 1859 gold was discovered in Colorado and he moved to Denver, Colorado to open a new retail store.[2]

He died on February 9, 1878.


The town of Iliff, Colorado was named for him.[3]

Iliff Avenue in Aurora, Colorado was named for him.

The Iliff School of Theology was named for him.


  1. ^ J.M. Buckley and Philip Schaff and Henry Codman Potter and Samuel Macauley Jackson (1896). The American Church History Series: A history of Methodists. p. 665. ... the Iliff School of Theology, a gift of W. S. Iliff, an alumnus of the university, as a memorial of his father, John Wesley Iliff. Mrs. Elizabeth Iliff Warren has endowed the School of Theology with $100,000. ... 
  2. ^ "John Wesley Iliff, Sr. (1831-1878)". Iliff School of Theology. Retrieved 2009-07-07. John Wesley Iliff was the son of Salome Reed Iliff and Thomas Iliff, a wealthy Ohio cattle farmer. Born in McLuney, Ohio, on December 18, 1831, John remained in his home state for his education at Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware, Ohio ... 
  3. ^ Dawson, John Frank. Place names in Colorado: why 700 communities were so named, 150 of Spanish or Indian origin. Denver, CO: The J. Frank Dawson Publishing Co. p. 28. [permanent dead link]