Last week we learned about President Eisenhower's and Buffalo Bill's association with 888 Logan Street, a mid-century apartment building in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood that was once said to be, "the most luxurious apartment house ever built in Denver." This week, we look at six more Denver elite who -- incredibly! -- all lived at 888 Logan Street at the same time in the early 1960s...
George P. Caulkins Jr. and Ellie Caulkins
So prominent that his obituary was in the New York Times, George P. Caulkins Jr. (1921-2005) was part of the small group who founded Vail. Having a bachelor’s degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard, he made a fortune in the oil business in Oklahoma. He moved to Aspen in the late 1950s while still in his 30s, and joined Peter Seibert to promote the ski area. The two drove around the country in Caulkins’ Porsche trying to raise money. With Caulkins’ charm and connections, he raised the bulk of the money required to get the lifts open in December 1962. He also was involved in real estate and banking. In 2013 he was posthumously inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.
His wife is Ellie Caulkins after whom the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver is named. Ellie is a former president of the Metropolitan Opera National Council and, playing a vital role in developing Opera Colorado, is a board member and past multiple-term chairman of that organization. She is President of the Caulkins Family Foundation. They were married in 1962, so both George and Ellie lived at 888 Logan Street. (But only George’s name is in the Householders’ Directory as wives were not listed.) It is probable that either this was their Denver home, having another in Vail, or that they were living at 888 Logan St. while a Vail home was being built. (Apartment 8C)
A man who became a billionaire, Bill Daniels (1920-2000), lived at 888 Logan Street. Daniels is known as the father of cable television. After learning that remote towns did not have access to television, he started his first cable TV business in Casper, Wyoming, in 1952. He eventually owned and operated hundreds of cable TV systems across the U.S., and his firm, Daniels & Associates, was a leader in investment banking services to media and technology companies. His leadership attracted many companies to Denver, making Denver the “cable capital of the world.”
The founder of the Young Americans Bank, Daniels was also a co-owner of the LA Lakers and a founder of the USFL. At the time that he lived at 888 Logan Street, he was going through a divorce, and his wife was awarded their house on Race Street. A man who made countless charitable contributions, Daniels just before his death donated his 19,500 sq. ft. mansion, Cableland, in the Hilltop neighborhood to the City of Denver for use as the official residence of the Mayor of Denver and as a fund-raising site. He formed a foundation, the Daniels Fund, which received over one billion dollars from his estate, making it one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. He was a 1996 inductee into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. (Apartment number not found)
Lewis W. Dymond
Lewis W. Dymond (1920-2008) was President and Chairman of the Board of Frontier Airlines. When Frontier’s first president, L.B. Maytag, retired in 1962, Dymond became the airlines’ second president. In 1966 he took Frontier into the jet age by guiding the airline to acquire new Boeing 727s. At the same time, a new $8 million hanger, maintenance, and training facility was built at Stapleton International Airport that included a six-bay hanger suitable for the 727 tri-jets. Not only did he replace the propeller fleet with 727s and Convair 580 jets, but he expanded Frontier’s routes to 114 cities in 14 states.
In January 1969 he resigned due to “differences in operating philosophy.” At the time he owned the largest number of shares of any individual stockholder. He held his stock and remained on the Board of Directors. He was also a director of Central Bank and Trust. Having obtained a law degree without benefit of an undergraduate degree, after retirement he practiced law and did consulting work in Miami. (Apartment number not found)
In 1961 the YMCA at Colorado Boulevard and Yale Avenue was renamed for Gerald L. Schlessman (1895-1971). He matched funds required to add a new gymnasium and to enclose an outdoor swimming pool. Recently, the foundation he and his wife set up, the Schlessman Family Foundation (which has given more than $54 million to more than 800 charities), gave funds to build an addition to the Schlessman “Y.” In the last two decades the foundation has also made significant contributions to other Denver institutions.
Schlessman was CEO and Board Chairman of the Greeley Gas Company for many years. He was President of the Denver Metropolitan YMCA from 1953 to 1962. Schlessman was also Board Chairman and controlling stockholder of Key Savings and Loan in the Denver area and Anchor Savings Association in Kansas City. He was a director of the Central Bank and Trust Co., Central Investment Co., and Capitol Life Insurance Company. Schlessman Hall, with his support, opened at the Iliff School of Theology (near DU) in 1963. (Apartment 8B)
Russell B. Wells
Wells Music Company was a familiar name in Denver for over 100 years! At the time of his death in 1964, Russell B. Wells (1891 or 1892-1964) was President of the Charles E. Wells Music Company. Selling pianos and other musical instruments, the company was founded in 1896 by his father. Even though the firm was sold much earlier, the name remained “Wells Music” until the new owner moved to a new location in 2011 and changed the name to Schmitt Music. Wells was active in the Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau and was President of the National Association of Music Merchants. It is very possible that he sold Joseph Bona the grand piano which Bona had in his apartment. (Apartment 3H)