Colorado Fuel and Iron ledger with original Articles of Incorporation, 1892

This Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&) ledger begins with the firm’s original Articles of Incorporation on October 21, 1892, when William Jackson Palmer’s Colorado Coal and Iron Company merged with John Osgood’s Colorado Fuel Company. It continues with Board of Directors Meeting Minutes through October 29, 1903, just before the company was sold by President John Osgood to the Rockefeller family. It documents the purpose of the corporation, the rights and liabilities of the shareholders and directors, and subsequent Board activities. Measuring 14.25” wide x 17.75” long, the ledger contains 345 pages, handwritten in ink.

How Does The Artifact Relate to Colorado History

This ledger documents the establishment of CF&I as a Colorado business. In the following years CF&I became the leader in the industrialization of the American West. Throughout the next century, the company grew to become the first vertically integrated steel mill west of the Mississippi River and Colorado’s largest coal mining operation. In addition, the company operations had profound effects on changes in industrial technology and advancement, labor relations, company towns, corporate sponsored education and sociological practices, and industrial medical techniques that are still used today.

Why Is This Artifact Significant?

The merger of the Colorado Fuel Company with the Colorado Coal and Iron Company birthed the largest and most powerful steel and coal mining company west of the Mississippi River. The operations were originally established to produce steel rails for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad’s expanding narrow-gauge empire. But from 1892 to 1993 CF&I grew to become the largest private land owner, water user, tax payer and employer in the Rocky Mountain Region, a record not equaled during or since that time. The company was a driving force in Colorado’s economy throughout much of the 20th century.

Artifact Is
Archival Collections
Artifact Significant To
Artifact Location

Steelworks Center of the West
215 Canal St
Pueblo, CO 81004
United States

Colorado Fuel and Iron ledger with original Articles of Incorporation, 1892

Year(s) Nominated
2015 Top Ten