Colorado History and Genealogy Project





Ford Park Association Colorado ~  1870

The initial measures toward the organization of this association were inaugurated by William R. and H. F. Ford, who at that time owned a race track on a part of the ground now belonging to the association. Among the petitioners for a charter, which was granted by special act of the Territorial legislature, approved January 7, 1867, we find the following names, which are well and favorably known to the citizens of Denver, and the Territory generally: James M. Broadwell, Henry J. Rodgers, Alexander Benham, Wm. F. Wilder, Charles A. Cook, Fox Diefendorf, Isidor Dietsch, Isaac H. Batchelder, John Wanless.

A meeting of the corporators for reading and accepting the act of incorporation was held January 18, 1867, at the house of Ford & Bro., in Denver, at which the following were present: Henry J. Rodgers, Isidor Dietsch, Charles A. Cook, James A. Broadwell, Alexander Benham, William F. Wilder, and Fox Diefendorf, by his attorney, Hiram F. Ford. The act was accepted, and William F. Wilder was authorized to open books for subscription to the capital stock of said association, and the entire stock was taken by the following gentlemen: William R. Ford, twenty shares;

Hiram F. Ford, twenty shares
William F. Wilder, ten shares
Charles A. Cook, ten shares
Henry J. Rodgers, ten shares
Fox Diefendorf, ten shares
Isidor Dietsch, five shares
Alexander Benham, five shares
J. Bright Smith, ten shares

William R. Ford was appointed a committee to report by-laws, rules and regulations for the government of the association, to the next meeting, which took place January 21, 1867, where ninety shares of the stock of the association were represented by the following stockholders: Charles A. Cook, Isidor Dietsch, Alexander Benham, William F. Wilder, Fox Diefendorf, by his attorney, Hiram F. Ford, and William R. Ford. The report of the committee on by-laws, rules and regulations was submitted and approved. The by-laws, comprising sixteen articles, embraced all the leading features of similar codes elsewhere; and the rules and regulations-thirty-two articles and twenty-four rules, were very comprehensive, and contained every suggestion, explanation and direction necessary for the complete government of a jockey club or racing association of the highest character. No racing association in America has a better code of laws, or insists upon the observation of these more rigidly than the Ford Park Association of Denver.

The officers of the association are a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and three directors. The president, vice-president and directors compose the board of directors.

The first officers were elected at the meeting held January 21, 1867, and were as follows:

J. Bright Smith, president
Wm. R. Ford, vice-president
Wm. F. Wilder, secretary
Henry J. Rodgers, treasurer
Isidor Dietsch, Charles A. Cook, Alexander Benham, directors

The funds, accruing from the sale of stock and other sources, have been used to improve the grounds, which are now enclosed with a concrete wall of considerable height and superior workmanship. The grand stand, stables, and other buildings are commodious, and well and tastefully finished, and the track one of the best in America. It is so arranged that it can be flooded with water, from a neighboring irrigating canal, at any time, and consequently is free from dust, and is never heavy from the accumulation of mud. The location of the park is about two miles from the centre of Denver, near the junction of the Kansas Pacific and Denver Pacific railways, and is reached by excellent roads from all quarters, and surrounded by scenery of surpassing beauty and grandeur. At present, the greater portion of the stock is owned, and the track entirely controlled by the following gentlemen: John Hughes, David H. Moffatt, Abram K. Lincoln

Rocky Mountain Directory & Colorado Gazetteer

Source: Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer, 1871, S. S. Wallihan & Company, Compilers and Publishers, Denver, 1870.


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