Denver, a city of Arapahoe county, Colorado, the capital of the county and of the territory, situated on the right bank of the South Platte, at the junction of Cherry creek, 15 m. from the E. base of the Rocky mountains, and about 500 m. W. of the Missouri river, 5,267 ft. above the sea; pop. in 1870, 4,759; at the beginning of 1873 estimated by the secretary of the board of trade at 15,000. It occupies a series of plateaus rising by gentle ascents from the river, and faces the mountains, commanding a grand and beautiful view. It is built principally of brick, manufactured in the vicinity. Five railroads meet at this point, viz.: the Kansas Pacific, the Denver Pacific, the Colorado Central, the Boulder Valley, and the Denver and Rio Grande. Denver is the commercial centre of Colorado and the adjacent country, and its trade is important. The receipts of freight for 11 months ending Nov. 30, 1871, over the Denver Pacific and Kansas Pacific railroads, amounted to 62,551,690 lbs. For the same period of 1872 they were 88,539,710 lbs., of which 27,390,560 were agricultural, 5,091,640 animal, 5,138,550 forest, and 1,759,710 mining products, 8,456,060 manufactures, and 22,630,760 miscellaneous.
The amount of freight shipped over these lines for the same period in 1871 was 7,031,842 lbs.; in 1872, 17,833,620 lbs., of which the principal items were as follows: grain, 1,220,560 lbs.; flour and meal, 284,720; cattle, 8,532,200; beef and pork, 232,790; hides and wool, 1,669,120; coal, 605,600; ore, 3,111,270 lbs. The arrivals of passengers in 1872 were 11,250; departures, 6,794. The shipments of coin and bullion by express during the year amounted to $1,295,411, viz.: gold bullion, $1,212,934; silver bullion, $19,760; gold coin, $62,717. The sales of merchandise in 1872 were in the aggregate $13,039,000. The value of manufactures was $1,394,000. The most important establishments are 6 breweries, 1 woollen mill, 3 flour mills, 1 iron foundery, 2 planing mills, 1 terra cotta foundery, several carriage factories, and a turning shop. The Denver smelting and refining works, in process of construction, will occupy a brick building 55 ft. wide by 200 ft. long, with capacity for 40 tons of ore a day. There are three national banks with an aggregate capital of $400,000, and deposits, Dec. 27, 1872, amounting to $1,215,570 65, and a savings bank.
The branch of the United States mint is employed in the melting and assaying of bullion, which is returned to depositors in the form of bars with the weight and fineness stamped upon them. The aggregate deposits of domestic gold to June 30, 1873, were $6,357,275 49 of which $5,761,-487 29 were from Colorado; the product was $6,451,213 08 in gold bars, and $19,879 43 in silver bars. The number of deposits of gold and silver in 1872 was 1,741, valued at $1,007,529 45. The city is divided into four wards, and governed by a mayor and eight aldermen. It is supplied with water through 8 m. of pipe, and is lighted with gas. The value of taxable property in 1871 was $6,772,908; at the close of 1872 it exceeded $8,500,000. There are 31 hotels and a theatre. The following are the statistics of the public schools for the year ending Sept. 30, 1871: number of persons of school age (5 to 21), 1,162; number of schools, 3; teachers, 14; pupils enrolled, 982; average attendance, 413. There were 6 private schools, with an average attendance of 250. A public school building has recently been erected, at a cost of about $70,000, which will accommodate 500 pupils. The territorial library contains more than 2,500 volumes.
The newspapers and periodicals published here are 4 daily, 1 semi-weekly, 4 weekly, and 2 monthly. There are 8 churches, viz.: 1 Baptist, 1 Congregational, 1 Episcopal, 2 Methodist (1 colored), 2 Presbyterian, and 1 Roman Catholic. - The first cabin was erected on the site of Denver in 1858.