Roselle Theodore Cross Papers, Ms 0007

Finding aid created June 1978


This collection consists primarily of correspondence to Roselle Theodore Cross written while he was living in Minneapolis during the period 1891 1893. Cross had made inquiries concerning the history of various Congregationalist churches throughout Colorado for a series of articles he was writing for The Rocky Mountain Congregationalist. Most of the letters are from Congregationalist pastors who served in Colorado. Many contain information about the cities and towns during the period of 1863 1893 as well as information about the religious life of the people.

Several lengthy letters from William Crawford, one of the first pioneer ministers who came to Colorado around 1863, are part of the collection. These letters contain many recollections about life in the Colorado Territory.

Issues of the Rocky Mountian Congregationalist in which Cross' articles appear form one part of the collection. Also included are two sermons given by Cross on the first and second anniversaries of his arrival in Colorado Springs. His version of the history of Colorado College written about 1892 is included. A small number of publications and clippings have been added to the collection as well as two letters to M. D. Ormes concerning the early days of Congregationalism in Colorado.


Roselle Theodore Cross was born August 21, 1844 in Richville, New York. He was the son of Rev. Gorman Cross of New Hampshire and Sophia Murdock of Vermont. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1867, and studied theology at Union Theological Seminary and Andover. Oberlin and York Colleges both awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree.

Cross was principal of Oberlin Preparatory department from 1869 1874. He then assumed the pastorate of a church in Hamilton, New York where he served from 1874 1876. He married Emma Asenat Bridgeman in DeSoto, Wisconsin.

In 1876 R. T. Cross came to Colorado at the request of the Home Mission Board to discover the reasons for the short pastorates of young men who came to the west. He was the first pastor of the Congregational church in Colorado Springs who was not directly involved with Colorado College. He served in that position for five years.

He began the publication of The Congregational News in 1879, and wrote a series of articles for its successor, The Rocky Mountain Congregationalists. He helped organize the Congregational church in Manitou Springs with Rev. W. D. Westerveldt, and worked in the church in South Pueblo.

Following his pastorate in Colorado Springs he spent eight years as pastor of a Congregational church in West Denver, four years at Silver Lake Church in Minneapolis, ten years in York, Nebraska, one year in Eugene, Oregon before returning to the South Broadway Church in Denver. He spent sixteen years in Colorado in all.

In addition to being a Congregational minister he was an avid geologist. While pastoring in Colorado Springs he organized a group of boys into an exploring association. The group is credited with the discovery of the "Cave of the Winds" in 1880.

He published several books including My Mountains which appeared in 1920 and Crystals and Gold in 1903.


1844 Rosell Theodore Cross was born August 21 in Richville, New York.
1867 Graduated from Oberlin College.
1869 1874 Principal at Oberlin Preparatory Department.
1874 1876 Pastor in Hamilton, New York.
1876 Came to Colorado to assume pastorate in Colorado Springs.
1880 Discovered the "Cave of the Winds"
1881 Left Colorado Springs to assume pastoral duties in Denver.
1903 Published Crystals and Gold.
1920 Published My Mountains.


Correspondence to Roselle Theodore Cross, 1891 1893.

Folder 1

Henry F. Currier, Jan. 15, 1891. Concerns church at Greeley, Colorado.

Nathan Thompson, Jan. 9 1892. Boulder, Colorado

William Crawford, Jan 12, 1892. Central City (1863 1868), various aspects of pioneer ministry in Colorado Territory.

William Crawford, Jan. 16, 1892. About Mr. Mellis, the first Congregational minister to die in the Territory; also Rev. Edwin Dimock (d. 1865)

William Crawford, Jan. 22 1892. Ministry in the Territory and biographical information about other ministers of the same period.

Fd 2 7 items William H. Phipps, Feb. 3, 1892. Empire, Colorado

T. E. Bliss, Feb. 5, 1892. First Congregational Church of Denver

E. P. Wheeler, Feb. 15, 1892. Georgetown, Colorado

C. M. Sanders, Feb. 20, 1892. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Also enclosed "Historical
Sketch of First Congregational Church, Cheyenne, Wyoming"

J. M. Sturtevant, Feb. 23, 1892. Boulder, Colorado

Fd 3 7 items

William Crawford, Mar. 1, 1892. Early Congregational ministers and reminiscences of early days in Colorado.
A. K. Packard, Mar. 7, 1892. Greeley, Colorado
Nathan Thompson, Mar. 8 1892. Boulder, Colorado
Postcard, G. S. Ricker, Mar. 14, 1892. Population statistics, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Edward S. Parsons, Mar. 15 1892. Pastors at Greeley
M. D. Ormes, Mar. 19, 1892. Second Congregational Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Postcard, Harry Oviatt, Mar. 21 1892. Pastors of Highland Lake, Colorado (1881 1892)

Fd 4 7 items

Postcard, E. A. Paddich, May 23, 1892. Leadville, Pickett, and Aspen, Colorado
M. B. Morris, May 25, 1892. Coal Creek, Colorado
A. O. Downs, May 31, 1892. Pastors of Manitou, Colorado (1879 1892)
T. R. Earl, Jun 2, 1892. Buena Vista, Colorado; enclosed "Summary of the Respective Terms of Pastorate Services [1880 1892]" prepared by J. L. Evans, Clerk
R. B. Wright, Jun. 2 1892. Crested Butte and South Pueblo, Colorado
C. S. Harrison, Jun. 4 1892. South Pueblo, Colorado
T. A. Humphreys, Jun. 13, 1892. Coal Creek, 1883 1884

Fd 5 5 items

Thomas Marsh, Jul. 11, 1892. Aspen, Coal Creek, Montrose, Buena Vista, and Crested Butte.
Dwight M. Pratt, Jul. 21, 1892. Pueblo, Colorado
Mrs. Pickett, Jul. 20, 1892. White Water, Colorado
S. M. Freeland, Jul. 25, 1892. Pueblo, Colorado
William Gillman (?), Jul. 29, 1892. Palmer Lake, Colorado

Fd 6 10 items

M. D. Ormes, Aug. 17, 1892. Pueblo, Colorado
J. W. Gunn, Aug. 19, 1892. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
S. C. Dickinson, Aug. 20, 1892. Rico, Colorado; enclosed "The People's Congregational Church of Rico [1888 1892]"
Mrs. L. Farnham, Aug. 22, 1892. Denver Junction and Julesburg, Colorado
H. E. Gordon, Aug. 23, 1892. Trinidad, Colorado
Stephen J. Smith, Aug. 23, 1892. Cortez, Colorado
A. K. Packard, Aug. 25, 1892. Greeley, Colorado
S. B. Pickett, Aug. 27, 1892. Whitewater, Colorado
Postcard, E. P. Tenney, Aug. 27, 1892. Meeting of Colorado Conference, 1868

Fd 7 11 items

S. F. Dickinson, Sept. 1, 1892. Grand Junction, Colorado
D. H. Minick, Sept. 1, 1892. Arickaree, Flagler and Cope, Colorado
Bro. Dungan, Sept. 6, 1892. Otis and Hyde, Colorado
E. Southworth, Sept. 6, 1892. Montrose, Colorado
Postcard, A. K. Packard, Sept. 7, 1892. Lafayette, Colorado
H. M. Skeels, Sept. 9, 1892. Whitewater, Colorado
Harlan P. Roberts, Sept. 10, 1892. Silverton prior to 1882
H. A. Decker, Sept. 15, 1892. Crested Butte
Charles N. Fitch, Sept. 23, 1892. Establishment of Sunday schools particularly in Red Mountain and Guston, Colorado
N. S. Bradley, Sept. 28, 1892. Telluride, Colorado; enclosed "Historical Sketch of the Religious Movement in San Miguel County, Colorado"

Fd 8 6 items

Stewart Sheldon, Oct. 8, 1892. Five month tour of churches of Colorado.
A. M. Dyson, Oct. 9, 1892. List of pastors of Silverton, Colorado, 1882 1892
M. A. Bullock, Oct. 10, 1892. Silverton, Colorado
D. H. Minick, Oct. 11, 1892. Arickaree, Friend, Cope, Flagler, Seibert, and Claremont, Colorado
F. B. Perkins, Oct. 12, 1892 Silverton, Colorado
W. N. Burr, Oct. 22, 1892 Silverton, Colorado, 1887 1889

Fd 9 9 items

James Stauton, Nov. 1 1892 Eaton, Colorado
D. H. Minick, Nov. 1, 1892 Claremont, Seibert, and Flagler, Colorado
Howard R. Nauphux (?), Nov. 2 1892 Red Cliff, 1889 1890
Postcard, N. S. Bradley, Nov. 7, 1892 List of pastors of Telluride
D. H. Minick, Nov. 28, 1892 Seibert, Colorado
Postcard, J. V. Hilton, Dec. 1, 1892 Denver, Colorado
Frank E. Eckel, Dec.1, 1892. Red Cliff, Colorado
James Stauton, Dec. 3, 1892 Platteville, Colorado
Postcard, James Stauton, Dec. 12, 1892 List of pastors of Eaton, Colorado

Fd 10 6 items
E. H. Ashmun, Jan., 1893 Denver Boulevard Congregational Church
G. W. Rose, Jan. 5, 1893 Olivet Church, Denver, Colorado
R. B. Wright, Jan. 27, 1893 South Broadway Church, Denver, Colorado
W. W. Dumm, Apr. 18 1893 Harman, Colorado
J. C. Beeman, Apr. 21 1893 Harman, Colorado
J. L. Maile, Apr. 28, 1893 Sunday School work, 1882 1883

Fd 11 6 items
Postcard from B. n.d. Church of 300 meeting "off a saloon"
A. Blanchard Denver, Colorado; "History of Second Congregational Church"
Chester M. Clark North Denver, Colorado
Walter Eleazir, Jun. 20, Lyons, Colorado
Postcard, C. C. Salter Denver, Colorado
E. E. Norton, Sept. 22, 189 Lyons, Colorado

Publications, clippings, and other materials 4 Fds

Fd 12 12 items Manual of the Congregational Church of Colorado, 1901.
What the Church Expects of Her Members by R. T. Cross. Read before the Colorado Con gregational Association, Oct. 13, 1887.
Pastoral Letter to the members of the Congregational Church of Colorado Springs, by R. T. Cross, Sept. 1877.
News Letter, No. 2 to Colorado Congregationalists, contains "Our Opportunity": address by Rev. R. T. Cross at the Colorado Congregational Assoc., Oct. 19, 1905.
Portrait slides of R. T. Cross 2 items
Letter from R. T. Cross to M. D. Ormes, 3 items Dec. 15, 1915. Enclosed "History of Colorado College" (manuscript and typescript)
Letter from R. T. Cross to Brother Loud, 3 items Aug. 16, 1918. Submits two anniversary sermons for either church records or the library; enclosed, "Sermon at Colorado Springs [1877]" and "Sermon at Colorado Springs, Sept. 22, 1878"

Fd 13 4 items

List of pastors of the Pickett Memorial Congregational Church of Leadville, Colorado.
List of Church Organizations, Ordinations and Installations, Churches Dedicated, 1886 1892
"Some Memories of 10 Years as First Pastor of the Congregational Church at Boulder, 1865 1875" by Nathan Thompson
Letter to M. D. Ormes from William Crawford, Dec. 29, 1911. Pioneer days in Colorado Territory, especially concerns the growth of Congregationalism.

Fd 14 11 items

Miscellaneous clippings and notes

Fd 15 42 items

Rocky Mountain Congregationalist, Dec. 1892 May, 1893. (Incomplete, some duplicate issues)

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