William F Geddes building contractor Denver Colorado

William F. Geddes

William Forde Geddes, age 19,  immigrated to the United States in 1870.  He was born about the year 1851 in Enniskillen, County of Fermanagh, Province of Ulster, Ireland, the son of John Geddes and Jane Forde.  William first lived in New York for ten years then moved to Denver, Colorado in 1880. 

"GEDDES & SEERIE" - 1885

Mr. Geddes, age 34,  formed a partnership with David Duff Seerie, a young Scottish immigrant,  age 23, in 1885, starting a contracting business called "Geddes & Seerie." 

The "Geddes & Seerie" contracting company focused on large constructions projects including the building of Cheesman dam for the Denver Water Company, the Pathfinder dam in Wyoming (1905-1909), the Colorado State Capitol building (1890-1894), the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver (1892), the Trinity Church, the Iliff School of Theology, the Omaha Post Office building, and the Burlington Railroad Station at Omaha,  Nebraska.

William Forde Geddes

August 10, 1923
Denver Post
 page 21 




William F. Geddes, along with David Duff Seerie, F. G. Zugelder, & L. F. Zugelder purchased 120 acres at Beaver Granite, six miles southwest of Gunnison on South Beaver Creek, Gunnison County, Colorado. The group of investors determined that the granite located in their land acquisition to be the finest quality of granite in the state.  The granite quarry was named "Aberdeen" supplying the stone masonry work for the Colorado State capitol building. Five to twenty cars of granite were shipped out daily from the Aberdeen mine from August of 1889 to April of 1892 when the quarry shut down. 



William F. Geddes, David Duff Seerie, and Edward R. Ball purchased the Denver Sewer Pipe and Clay Company in 1892 from James Green, William C. Miller, & George Steinmitz, who established it in 1889.  In 1900 the company added a brick manufacturing plant.   The manufacture of fire brick was begun in an additional plant in 1910. Denver Sewer Pipe and Clay Company also produced locomotive arch tile, used in the combustion chambers of steam locomotives.

Denver Sewer Pipe & Clay Company, located at 45th and Fox Street in north Denver, covering thirty acres, became one of the largest employers in Denver with 300 employees. The company's plant once operated where Mile High Stadium now stands, spreading from the northern 40 yard line to just south of the south stands.  The land was sold to Denver in1945 for $10,000. The Company eventually moved to Castle Rock in the mid 1980s.

Extensive mining operations to bring in the raw clay for production were carried on in the areas near Golden, Castle Rock, and the Moffat Railroad.

William John Geddes, son of William F. Geddes,  was born in Denver, Colorado in 1890. After graduating from Colorado College, William John Geddes joined Denver Sewer Piper and Clay Company.  From 1912-1923 he served in various capacities until he was appointed vice-president of the company.  In 1925 he became president and treasurer of the company.  He also was a director of the Golden Fire Brick Company in Golden, Colorado.

Other officers who served with William John Geddes at Denver Sewer Pipe & Clay Company for over 25 years included R. J. Osenbaugh, vice president; C. H. Truesch, vice president, and William Oscar Temple, secretary-treasure, and George Ogier, superintendent.


South High School, Denver, Colorado

Denver Sewer Pipe & Clay company has furnished brick and
other clay products
 for most of Denver's large buildings, including:

Daniels and Fisher Building
Cosmopolitan and Park Lane  Hotels
Colburn Apartments
South, East, & North High Schools
Lake Junior High School,
buildings at Denver University
Colorado School of Mines
St. Thomas Seminary
Holy Ghost Church
several hospitals, including Colorado General and Porter Sanatorium
as well as materials for many of Denver's fine residences
The Remington Arms
Kaiser Plant
Rocky Mountain Arsenal
much of Fitzsimons Hospital
and the permanent buildings of Lowry Field and Fort Logan



William F. Geddes married in Leitrum, Northern Ireland on April 18, 1890.  Mr. Geddes, and wife Susan Mary had three children: (1) William John Geddes who married first Josephine M. Clark, 21 April 1915; divorced 24 June 1931; and secondly Vivian Hoffman, in Kansas City, Missouri in 1934;  (2) Ethel M. Geddes, (March 6, 1892-June 1985) who married George Simson, Jr. 22 August 1917 in Denver; and  (3) Jean Geddes, who married. William Oscar Temple, June 20, 1919.

Mary Ellen Geddes, a sister of William F. Geddes,  married James E. Johnston, 27 December 1887, in Denver.  Mary Ellen was born December 2, 1862, Enniskillen, County of Fermanagh, Province of Ulster, Ireland,  and died September 3, 1943 in Los Angeles, California.

William F. Geddes died August 9, 1923, at his home, 1818 Williams street, after a prolonged illness.
He was 73 years old. During his life time he was active in charitable work and made numerous trips to Great Britain.  

L. Ritchley Henderson, Worshipful Master and Llewelyn Jones Secretary of the Masons published a notice in the Rocky Mountain News August 12th instructing that "Master masons were ordered to attend the funeral of William F. Geddes, Monday August 13, 1923."  They met at the Masonic temple of Denver Lodge No. 5 A. F. & A. M. for the 2:30 p. m. service and internment at Fairmount Cemetery.



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