Welcome to the Glenwood Springs, Colorado area

Captain Richard Sopris Chapter

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Beautiful Fall Photo of Mount Sopris

Silhouette of mules traveling on mountain trail.




     Richard Sopris was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1813.  As near as can be determined, Sopris and a party of prospectors were the first white men to leave a printed record of having been at the site of what is now Glenwood Springs.  Those who arrived after him found carved on an old pine tree, near the Hot Springs, this inscription: "These springs were discovered on July 23, 1860 by Capt. Richard Sopris and a party of prospectors."  These men had been up the Roaring Fork River to the foot of the peak that now bears his name.  This naming was an honor bestowed upon Sopris by others in the group.


    The Ute Indians that they met at a site near the present town of Carbondale, had told them about the Yampah Springs, which lay close to the junction of the two great rivers.  The Indians told of the hot waters, blessed by the Indians' "Great Spirit", that were good for man and beast.


     Saddle-weary Sopris felt his men needed such a blessing, so before heading to Auraria, from whence they had come, they followed a Ute trail down the Roaring Fork River to the springs.  Sopris' party had come to the Western Slope in search of gold.  Though they never found it, their trek uncovered another treasure in the hot waters.


     He and his followers were the first white men in this part of the country.  Sopris himself was a captain in the Mexican War, a river boat captain and captain of Company "C" of the 1st Colorado Infantry in the Civil War.


     In the fall of 1859, Sopris was elected to the legislature of the Territory of Kansas, representing the county of Arapahoe.  He was a sergeant-at-arms in the second territorial legislature, a delegate to Colorado's first Constitutional Convention, and served twice as Mayor of Denver.


     He also served a term as sheriff and deputy sheriff of Denver County.  Starting in 1881, he served nine years as Commissioner of the Denver Park System.  The planning was so successfully worked out that it remains the same to this day.  The Gateway to City Park was dedicated to his memory.  His wife was the former Elizabeth Allen, a direct descendent of the famous patriot Ethan Allen.  They had eight children.  Richard Sopris died April 7, 1893 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Denver.


This taken from an article by Nellie Duffy in the Glenwood Post, February 25, 1992.  Nellie Duffy was a charter member of Captain Richard Sopris Chapter, NSDAR.


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Our meetings days and times vary between Saturday and Wednesday evenings to meet the needs of our three valleys. If you are interested in attending a meeting, please email our Regent, Leslie Titus Elias.

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Regent Leslie Titus Elias
Vice Regent
Chaplain Marjorie Carlson
Recording Secretary Kristen Main
Corresponding Secretary Kristen Main
Treasurer Dora Lee
Registrar Mary Ball
Historian Suzanne Titus
Librarian Marian Melville

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 If you’re interested in Membership, please contact the Regent, Leslie Titus Elias to learn more about becoming a member of the DAR.

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The Captain Richard Sopris Chapter website is maintained by the Colorado DAR VIS Committee.

Last update: December 27, 2017