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City of Colorado Springs / Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum / Collections / Archives Research / Finding Aids/Inventories / McClurg Collection

McClurg Collection

Extent: Approx. 1.6 cubic feet.

Finding Aid Prepared By: Michelle Gay, July 1999.

Provenance: The materials in this collection were received in several donations. In some cases the donor has not been determined. If more information is needed, please see the archivist.

Arrangement: Materials received in separate accessions were interfiled in original order during processing.

Copyright: The materials in the collection may be assumed to be copyrighted by the creator of those materials. The museum advises patrons that it is their responsibility to procure from the owner of copyright permission to reproduce, publish, or exhibit these materials. The owner of the copyright is presumed to be the creator, his or her heirs, legates, or assignees. Patrons must obtain written permission from the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum to reproduce, publish, or exhibit these materials. In all cases, the patron agrees to hold the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum harmless and indemnify the museum for any and all claims arising from the use of the reproductions.

Restrictions: The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum reserves the right to examine proofs and captions for accuracy and sensitivity prior to publication with the right to revise, if necessary. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum reserves the right to refuse reproduction of its holdings and to impose such conditions as it may deem advisable in its sole and absolute discretion in the best interests of the museum. Oversized and/or fragile items will be reproduced solely at the discretion of the Archivist. Under no circumstances will more than 25% of any one collection be reproduced.

Credit: Reproduction, publication, or exhibition of this work must include the following credit in proximity to the image or in a special section of credits:

The Virginia and Gilbert McClurg Collection
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Biographical Note: Virginia McClurg (M. Virginia Donaghe) ?-1931

Mary Virginia Donaghe came to Colorado Springs, Colorado from Morristown, NJ in 1877 as a correspondent for the "New York Daily Graphic". After her visit to the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings in 1882, she devoted much of her time and energy to preserving those ruins. Toward this end, she founded the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association, which was instrumental in the creation of Mesa Verde National Park. In 1889, she married Gilbert McClurg (1858-1938), a renowned lecturer and writer in Morristown, NJ. She and Gilbert had one son, Dudley Boylston McClurg. They lived in Colorado Springs and maintained a home in Stonington-by-the-Sea, Conn. throughout their marriage. She was elected as a United States delegate for the Paris Exposition in 1900. After her lecture before the College de France and the Trocadero Museum in Paris, the French Government decorated her with the title Officier del Instruction Publique of France, and awarded her the Gold Palm of the French Academy. In 1928 Colorado College awarded her an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. She was a member of the Society of Descendants of Colonial Governors, a member of the Mayflower Descendants, an honorary member of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences and of the Chicago Historical Society. She was president of the Ann Hathaway Shakespeare Club of Colorado Springs, a member the Mary Ardin Shakespeare Club of New York City, and a member of the International Shakespeare Birthday Society. She was a prolific writer, poet, and prominent in Colorado women's clubs. She died at home, in Stonington-by-the-Sea, Conn. on April 29, 1931.

--Adapted from the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association Scrapbook Finding Aid Biography

Biographical Note: Gilbert McClurg 1858-1938

Gilbert McClurg was born in Racine, Wisconsin on January 1, 1858. He spent much of his early life as a publisher and reporter in Chicago and California. In 1889 he married M. Virginia Donaghe (?-1931), a writer and poet, in Morristown, NJ. He and Virginia had one son, Dudley Boylston McClurg. In 1936 (1937)* he remarried to Hortense Hardie Purdy. Gilbert McClurg took an active role in Colorado Springs life. He was Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce for five years, created and directed the Flower Festival, and wrote several histories and lectures on the area. In addition, he directed several large events for the state, including the Quarto-Centennial Festival of Statehood and the Golden Jubilee of Statehood. He was well known nationally as a lecturer, writer, and historian and went on several lecture tours. He also was a publicity representative for several railroad companies. He died in his home in Colorado Springs on December 7, 1938.

(* Note: Published sources list both dates, the correct date is unknown at this time. )

--Adapted from a Gazette Telegraph article, 8 December, 1938.

Chronology: Virginia McClurg ?-1931

Unknown Date of birth is unknown at this time.

1877 - Came to Colorado Springs as a correspondent for the "New York Daily Graphic".

1878 - Opened a private school on the corner of Platte and Nevada Avenues.

1882 - Was the first woman to visit the Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings and publish articles about them. Published a book of verses, "Colorado Favorites," illustrated by Alice Stewart.

1886 (1885)* Organized an expedition to Mesa Verde. During this expedition, Balcony House was discovered.

1889 - Married Gilbert McClurg. Closed her private school.

1894 - Wrote the Inaugural Verses of the Denver Women's Club. Circulated a petition in Denver for the preservation of the Mesa Verde ruins.

1895 (1902)* Formed the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association. Lectured on the Colorado cliff dwellings in Chicago at the Anthropological Building of the Colombian Exposition.

1899 - Traveled to Mesa Verde to negotiate a lease with Chief Ignacio of the Wiminuche Utes for the use of Mesa Verde.

1900 - United States Delegate to the Ethnological Congress of the Paris Exposition where she was awarded the title of Officier del Instruction Publique, and the Gold Palm of the French Academy.

1902 - Gave an address to the Tenth National Irrigation Congress.

1903 - Won first prize for "Ode to Irrigation" at the Eleventh National Irrigation Congress.

1906 - Mesa Verde made a National Park.

1917 - Gave the "Pageant of the Marriage of the Dawn and the Moon" at the Spruce Tree House in Mesa Verde National Park.

1928 - President Charles Christopher Mierow of Colorado College awarded her an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

1931 - Died in her home at Stonington-by-the-Sea, Connecticut.

1933 - The Poems of Virginia Donaghe McClurg was published posthumously by Colorado College.

(*Note: Published sources list both dates, the correct date is unknown at this time.)

--Adapted from a biography by the El Paso County Pioneers Association

Published Works Regarding Virginia and Gilbert McClurg:

Colorado Press Association. Who's Who in Colorado. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado, 1938.

Ormes, Manly D. and Eleanor R. Ormes. The Book of Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs, CO: Dentan Printing, 1933.

Robertson, Janet. The Magnificent Mountain Women. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1990.

Sprague, Marshall. Newport in the Rockies. Athens, OH: Swallow Press, 1961.

Wenger, Gilbert R. The Story of Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde National Park, CO: Mesa Verde Museum Association, 1991.

 Series Description:

I. Virginia and Gilbert

A. Business Material

B. Personal Material

II. Gilbert McClurg

A. Personal Material

B. Publications

C. Public Speaking

III. Virginia McClurg

A. Biographical Materials

B. Manuscripts

C. Publications

IV. Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association

A. Association Records

B. Correspondence

C. Publications

D. Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association Scrapbook

Scope Note:

The Virginia and Gilbert McClurg Collection consists primarily of materials of a professional nature and reflects their primary interests. The Materials belonging to Gilbert McClurg are for the most part related to his life as a public speaker and author.

The materials belonging to, or associated with Virginia McClurg have been divided into two series, one that deals with materials of a personal nature, and one that deals exclusively with the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association. In addition, there is a Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association Scrapbook that contains Association records and correspondence.

The collection has been divided into four series to reflect the creator and/or type of materials involved. These are: Virginia and Gilbert; Gilbert McClurg; Virginia McClurg; and The Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association.


I. Virginia and Gilbert

Scope note: This series consists of materials that relate to both Virginia and Gilbert McClurg. In addition, the creator of some materials could not be determined. The materials include addresses, publicity, newsclippings, correspondence, ephemera, and poetry. An interesting item is a metallic calling card for Mr. and Mrs. McClurg dated 1889-1898.

The series has been divided into two sub-series that reflect the differences in materials: Business Material; and Personal Material.

A. Business Material

Box 1

(I)A:1 Addresses - Mr. Munson A. Havens Before the Winter Nights Club, 1910.

(I)A:2 Lecture Tour Publicity, 1904.

(I)A:3 Newsclippings - "The Great White Watcher of the Snows," nd.

B. Personal Material

(I)B:4 Correspondence - 1901-1928.

(I)B:5 Correspondence - Mrs. W. Bischoff (Donor), 1928-1931. A77-59.

(I)B:6 Correspondence - Postcards, ca. 1907.

B. Personal Material (cont.)

(I)B:7 Ephemera, 1889-1910. Includes a metallic calling card, 1889-1899.

(I)B:8 Ephemera - Mrs. Dorothy Price Shaw (Donor), 1901. A50-184.

(I)B:9 Newsclippings, 1896-1927.

(I)B:10 Poetry, 1900-1924.

II. Gilbert McClurg

Scope note: This series mostly contains materials related to Gilbert McClurg's life as a public speaker and published author. These include various lectures, radio broadcasts and newspaper series in both complete and partial forms. There is a small amount of personal material in the form of correspondence and letters of reference. Published materials should be assumed to be by Gilbert McClurg unless otherwise noted.

The series has been divided into three sub-series that reflect the different aspects of Gilbert McClurg's life: Personal Material; Publications; and Public Speaking.

A. Personal Material

(II)A:1 Biographical Material - Letters of Reference, 1912-1918.

(II)A:2 Biographical Material - Recommendations Submitted for Consideration of Philadelphia's Sesqui-Centennial Exposition, 1922.

(II)A:3 Correspondence, 1893-1918.

(II)A:4 Correspondence, 1922-1925.

(II)A:5 Correspondence - G.N. Malm, 1925. Emory Lindquist (Donor).

(II)A:6 Obituary, 1938.

B. Publications

(II)B:7 Articles, 1917. In "Chicago Commerce," author unknown. Partial.

B. Publications (cont.)

(II)B:8 Articles - Agriculture, ca. 1913.

(II)B:9 "Brush and Pencil in Early Colorado Springs," 1924. Typed copy.

(II)B:10 Newsclippings - Agriculture, 1906-1917.

(II)B:11 Newsclippings - "Along the Highways and Byways of Colorado," 1915. Newspaper series.

(II)B:12 Newsclippings - "Brush and Pencil in Early Colorado Springs," 1924. Photocopies of the original newspaper series.

(II)B:13 Newsclippings - "Put Colorado on the Map," 1914.

(II)B:14 Newsclippings - "Some of El Paso's Earliest Ranches," 1925. Typed copy.

(II)B:15 Rocky Mountain Wildflowers, nd. A55-303. Includes a poem by Gilbert McClurg. From the John Burns Collection.

C. Public Speaking

(II)C:16 Addresses - Western Division Chamber of Commerce, 1926. Various authors.

Box 2

(II)C:17 Correspondence - Lectures, ca. 1918.

(II)C:18 Lecture - Agriculture, nd. Partial.

(II)C:19 Lecture - "Colorado from an Airplane," nd.

(II)C:20 Lecture - Colorado Springs and the Surrounding Area, nd.

(II)C:21 Lecture - Denver and the Surrounding Area, nd. Partial.

(II)C:22 Lecture - "Fly With Me Above Pikes Peak" and notes, nd.

(II)C:23 Lecture - Fragments, nd. Single pages of unknown lectures.

C. Public Speaking (cont.)

(II)C:24 Lecture - Fragments, nd. Grouped pages of unknown lectures.

(II)C:25 Lecture - "Garden of the Gods," nd.

(II)C:26 Lecture - General William Jackson Palmer, nd.

(II)C:27 Lecture - "Golf and Polo," nd.

(II)C:28 Lecture - "The Happy Farmer: The Invitation of the Soil," nd.

(II)C:29 Lecture - "History of El Paso County, Fountain, and Fountain Valley," 1887.

(II)C:30 Lecture - "An Irish Idyll," nd.

(II)C:31 Lecture - "Lands of the Pines and Palm: Florida and Colorado," nd.

(II)C:32 Lecture - Mining; Colorado Clinic or Radio Active Colorado; Leadville; Tungsten, nd. Partial.

(II)C:33 Lecture - "Rock Island Travel Talk," nd. Partial.

(II)C:34 Lecture - "The Spirit of Airmindedness in America," nd.

(II)C:35 Lecture - "Ute Pass, Manitou and Cave of the Winds," nd.

(II)C:36 Lecture Notes, nd. Colorado; Lewis and Clark; musical program.

(II)C:37 Lecture Tour Publicity, 1907-1922.

(II)C:38 Radio Broadcast - "Come With Me Into Colorado's Mountain Sunshine," nd.

(II)C:39 Radio Broadcast - "Panoramic Colorado Springs," nd. Partial.

(II)C:40 Radio Broadcast - "Sky Heights and Sky Flights Over Pikes Peak," 1929. Two drafts.

(II)C:41 Slide Show Lecture - On the Pikes Peak Area, nd. Partial.

C. Public Speaking (cont.)

(II)C:42 Speeches - Dedication of the Municipal Museum of Canon City, Colorado, 1908.

(II)C:43 Speeches - Opening of Moffat Tunnel, 1927.

III. Virginia McClurg

Scope note: This series consists of mostly personal materials and published works unrelated to Virginia McClurg's work with the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association. These materials include biographical and genealogical materials as well as poetry, newsclippings, and manuscripts. The most significant of these is the booklet of verses "Colorado Favorites" published under her maiden name M. Virginia Donaghe and illustrated by Alice Stewart. Also included is the "Story of Helen Hunt Jackson's Life" in published and unpublished form.

The series has been divided into three sub-series that reflect the differences in materials: Biographical Materials; Manuscripts; and Publications.

A. Biographical Materials

Box 3

(III)A:1 Biographies, ca. 1951.

(III)A:2 Genealogy, nd.

(III)A:3 Genealogy - Denison, ca. 1924.

(III)A:4 Genealogy - Memories and Hopes, 1913. Two Copies.

(III)A:5 Obituary, 1931.

B. Manuscripts

(III)B:6 Helen Hunt Jackson, 1891. Manuscript and sonnet by V. McClurg.

(III)B:7 Poetry, nd.

C. Publications

(III)C:8 "Colorado Favorites", 1882. #1329. Verses by M. Virginia Donaghe, illustrated by Alice Stewart. Fragile - Do not handle.

(III)C:9 Newsclippings - "Retrospective Ramble," nd.

(III)C:10 Newsclippings - "The Story of Helen Hunt Jackson's Life," 1924.

(III)C:11 Poetry, nd. Various.

(III)C:12 Poetry - "Ode to Irrigation," 1905.

(III)C:13 Poetry - The Poems of Virginia Donaghe McClurg, 1933. A52-31.

(III)C:14 Poetry - The Poems of Virginia Donaghe McClurg, 1933. A77-59-1.

(III)C:15 Poetry - The Poems of Virginia Donaghe McClurg, 1933. Hardcover.

IV. Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association

Scope note: This series contains many of Virginia McClurg's published works, speeches, and correspondence concerning the ruins at Mesa Verde and the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association, as well as many Association records.

The scrapbook contains records, correspondence, minutes, and newsclippings that were glued into the scrapbook by the Association. These materials were left intact and in the original order.

The materials in this series reflect the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association's primary goal: the preservation of the ruins at Mesa Verde. Much of the correspondence concerns the creation of Mesa Verde as a national park, its administration, and its excavation. Also included is a note from Theodore Roosevelt regarding Virginia McClurg.

The series has been divided into four sub-series to reflect the types of material involved: Association Records; Correspondence; Publications; and the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association Scrapbook.

A. Association Records

(IV)A:1 Bylaws and Club Constitution, ca. 1901.

(IV)A:2 The California Cliff Dwellings Association, 1930-1944.

A. Association Records (cont.)

(IV)A:3 Ephemera, 1901-1929.

(IV)A:4 Essays, ca. 1915.

Box 4

(IV)A:5 Lease of Tribal Lands and Related Correspondence, ca. 1900.

(IV)A:6 Ledger Book, 1905-1931. #471. Corresponding Secretary's book. Hardcover.

(IV)A:7 Meetings, ca. 1900. Announcements for meetings.

(IV)A:8 Meetings, ca. 1905. A55.330.6; A56.330.11. John Burns Collection

(IV)A:9 Members, nd.

(IV)A:10 Minutes, 1900-1931.

(IV)A:11 Minutes - Ledger Book, 1900-1904

(IV)A:12 New York State Chapter, 1906-1913.

(IV)A:13 Reports - Association Pilgrimage to Mesa Verde National Park, 1917.

(IV)A:14 Reports - The Restoration and Preservation of Colorado Ruins, 1900.

(IV)A:15 Resolution for Disbandment, ca. 1931.

(IV)A:16 Speeches, 1902-1913.

B. Correspondence

(IV)B:17 1889-1932

(IV)B:18 Administration of Mesa Verde National Park, ca. 1908.

(IV)B:19 Balcony House Excavations, ca. 1909.

(IV)B:20 The Hogg Bill, ca. 1909.

(IV)B:21 J.T. Loubat, 1900.

B. Correspondence (cont.)

(IV)B:22 Note from Theodore Roosevelt to Mr. Garfield regarding V. McClurg, 1907.

C. Publications

(IV)C:23 Articles - Cliff Dwellers, nd.

(IV)C:24 "Books" Article Series, 1894. By V. McClurg.

(IV)C:25 "The Colorado Magazine" Vol. I No. 4, 1924. "First Official Visit to the Cliff Dwellings" by W.H. Jackson.

(IV)C:26 "The Colorado Magazine" Vol. VII No. 6, 1930. "The Making of Mesa Verde Into a National Park" by V. McClurg.

(IV)C:27 Legislation - Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities, 1906.

(IV)C:28 Newsclippings - Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association, 1906-1915.

(IV)C:29 Newsclippings - The Hogg Bill, 1906

(IV)C:30 Newsclippings - Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings, ca. 1975.

(IV)C:31 Newsclippings - Mesa Verde, ca. 1917; 1974.

(IV)C:32 Newsclippings - Native Americans, nd.

Box 5

D. The Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association Scrapbook #520. Oversized and/or Fragile Newsclippings. Please refer to the location sheets in the newsclippings folders in the collection for these materials.