Sect. A11, Lot 1, Blk 9
Frank Hall, 4 Hall's History of Colorado, p. 440 (Blakely Printing Co. 188_): "Field, Thomas M., merchant and contractor, was born on a farm near Columbia, Boone County, Missouri, February 17, 1837. At the age of fourteen he entered upon a course of study in the University of Missouri at Columbia, graduating at the age of nineteen. Having a decided inclination toward the profession of engineering, much attention was given to that branch of instruction. Therefore, soon after graduating, he was employed with the corps then surveying the line of the North Missouri railroad in that state. Thus practically embarked in the profession of his choice, he followed it about eight years, then came to Colorado (1864), and here subsequently became interested in constructing the Denver Pacific, Kansas Pacific and Denver & Rio Grande railways, both as civil engineer and contractor. While the latter road was being rapidly pushed forward from Pueblo to the San Luis valley, he purchased large stocks of merchandise and established extensive trading posts in the new and prosperous towns along the line, the largest at Alamosa, where with his partner, the firm being Field & Hill, he carried on a general merchandise business. From April, 1874 to April, 1876, he was treasurer of the City of Denver, and in 1878, two years after the admission of our state, he was the democratic candidate for the office of lieutenant governor, but was defeated by H. A. W. Tabor. The old merchandising and railway contracting firm of Field & Hill was one of the strongest in the territory. It established many houses, made large sums of money, and was a conspicuous factor at the beginning of the new era when the building of iron and steel thoroughfares superseded stages and freighting by mule and cattle trains. Some of the camps they aided in establishing have since developed into thrifty towns; the wilderness they penetrated in desolation has been transformed into scenes of brisk activity; the commerce which they controlled has been diverted into countless channels. Years ago Mr. Field retired from such pursuits and became a resident of Denver."
As paraphrased from "The Thomas M. Field House and Properties" Report by Leslie Ullman Architects, August, 1989. "The Parks at Harvard Gulch Master Plan," City and County of Denver, Parks and Recreation Department, 1990 (http://www.denvergov.org/South_Denver_Parks/template21275.asp):
"As compensation for her husbands service in the War of 1812, Mariba Ball, widow of Pvt. Reuben Monroe, was granted 160 acres of newly opened Colorado prairie. Lying about 15 miles to the east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the property was a long rectangular strip of grassland running east and west. Near its eastern end it crossed a rise in the prairie, commanding an unobstructed and spectacular view of the mountains to the west and of endless grasslands to the north, south, and east. A barely visible spec on the northern horizon was five-year-old Denver City, three and one-half miles away.
"After changing hands several times through various landowners, the property was sold to Thomas M. Field, a native of Missouri. In 1864, Field, his wife, his brother, and his brothers family came across Kansas to Denver. Field pursued a civil engineering career in Denver, working on various railroad projects before creating his own commercial partnership and opening a series of stores in new towns along the railroad. Field made a success of his enterprise. He invested his profits in properties located throughout Colorado.
"Field was active in local politics as well as business, and was elected delegate to the territorial Democratic Convention. He served as Denver City Treasurer from 1874 to 1876. In 1878, he ran as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of the state, losing by a small margin to H.A.W. Tabor. In 1887, Governor Alva Adams appointed him state engineer.
"In 1892, the Fields decided to build a new home to be located on their South Denver property. They hired one of the most prominent architectural firms in Denver, Varian and Sterner. When Thomas Field purchased the property, he purchased prairie farmland, possessing at its eastern end a superb view and an abundant year round supply of irrigation water from the City Ditch. Although the area was excellent for farming, residents assumed it would ultimately be developed as a city.
"Completed in 1893, the Field house was confidently executed in the Colonial Revival style. Symmetry, both in the exterior (doors, windows, fireplaces, building volume) and the interior (entry, room placement, doors, vertical circulation) was handled confidently and was strong enough to allow asymmetrical elements to exist without detracting from the overall composition (conservatory, porch, tower and porte-cochere). The most notable feature of the Field house was the very high quality of materials and workmanship it exhibited. The construction was excellent, from the foundation to the stonework of the exterior, to the plaster detailing of the interior.
"On August 12, 1893, at age 56, Thomas Field died at home of acute enteritis. The silver crash and depression of 1893 affected real estate prices drastically. John Field, son of Thomas Field, was directed by the Probate Court to sell the Field house and 40 acres to pay both the money owed on loans for the house and a small remaining debt for materials used to build the house. On August 9, 1897, D.H. Moffat purchased the Field House and 40 acres at auction for $30,615.95."
[Field house was declared a Denver Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. A major fire on March 8, 1987, virtually destroyed the Field house. In 1989, it was decided, with Landmark Commission approval, that the Field house should be removed]
1870 U.S. Census fo Arapahoe County, Denver, Colorado: Thomas Field, age 34, M W; occupation RR Contractor, $500 personal property, $1,500 real property; born Kentucky. Living with his brother Isaac Field.
Fact of birth in Missouri taken from 1885 Colorado Census which lists state of origin as Missouri.
City Treasurer, Denver Colorado--1876.
Note: In Genealogies and Biographical Sketches, B. F. Van Meter lists two additional children, Kate and William. However, no other source indicates Thomas Field and Amanda Ellis had any children other Pattie, John and Lizzie. E.g., Last Will and Testament refers to only three children--deceased child Pattie, John and Lizzie.
1890 Denver City Directory: Thomas M. Field civil engineer r. 265 Broadway Denver CO 1890.
Buried in Fairmount Cemetery, 430 S. Quebec St., Denver, Colorado.