Who We Are
The Boettcher Foundation believes in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. We invest in people, programs, and organizations across the state to provide a foundation for transformational impact and community building.
Courageous leadership benefits every community in Colorado.
Boettcher Family & Foundation History
The Boettcher family legacy in Colorado is one of seeking opportunity, valuing hard work, and giving back to the community.
Charles Boettcher built his family’s fortune through a variety of diverse business pursuits representative of the boundless opportunities available in the young state of Colorado in the late 1800s. His son Claude K. Boettcher helped to diversify the family’s interests.
The creation of the Boettcher Foundation, incorporated in 1937, fulfilled Claude’s desire to give back to the state where he grew up. The women of the Boettcher family were a guiding force in the Foundation’s from its earliest days. Edna Boettcher, Claude’s wife, served as a Trustee for 14 years. Mae Boettcher, who was married to Claude’s son Charles Boettcher II, served as a Trustee longer than any other person, with a tenure totaling 43 years. Charles II’s daughter Claudia Boettcher Merthan served the Foundation for 21 years and was chair of the board from 1992 to 2007.
The Boettcher family valued hard work, championed excellence, and sought ways to support the people and communities around them. The Boettcher Foundation continues to be guided by the family’s values and legacy as we invest in the people, programs and organizations that propel Colorado forward.
Charles Boettcher is born
Charles Travels to America
Charles visits his older brother Herman in Cheyenne, Wyo. In 1870 he becomes partner in his brother’s hardware business in Cheyenne, Wyo., and the Colorado city of Evans. He moves to Colorado in 1871.
Charles Marries Fannie Augusta Cowan
The couple moves to Boulder, where Charles establishes C. Boettcher & Co. Hardware store.
Claude K. Boettcher is Born
Claude K. Boettcher is born in Boulder to Charles and Fannie. The family moves his family to Leadville in 1878 to open a hardware store serving miners.
Charles Establishes an Electric Light Company
It is the first of its kind in Leadville.
Ruth Augusta Boettcher is Born
Charles Boettcher II is Born
Charles Boettcher II is born to Claude Boettcher and DeAllen McMurtie, the same year Charles organizes Great Western Sugar Co. & Portland (Ideal) Cement Co.
Claude Co-founds Boettcher, Porter & Co.
The firm is one of the region’s most successful and the precursor of Boettcher & Co.
Charles and Claude Purchase the Brown Palace Hotel
Boettcher Foundation is established
The Boettcher Foundation is established by Charles and Claude on Dec. 22.
Boettcher School for Disabled Children Opens in Denver
The Boettcher Foundation Scholarship is Established
Mae Boettcher, Charles II’s wife, Joins the Boettcher Foundation Board
Boettcher Mansion is Donated to the State
The Boettcher Foundation donates the Boettcher Mansion to serve as the Governor’s Residence of the State of Colorado.
The Boettcher Foundation Celebrates the Selection of its 1,000th Boettcher Scholar
Claudia Boettcher Merthan Joins the Board of Trustees
She is Charles II’s daughter. She becomes Chair of the Board of Trustees in 1992.
Boettcher Foundation Marks $200 Million of Giving
Funding Stream for Biomedical Research is Created
Webb-Waring Foundation entrusts its assets to the Boettcher Foundation, which matches the monies to create a new funding stream for biomedical research in the state. The first class of Boettcher Investigators from the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research program is announced in 2010.