Sunday, March 17, 2013

Colfax Irish History: John K. Mullen of Denver

     John Kernan Mullen, born in Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland in 1838 became one of Denver's most generous philanthropists. He immigrated to Oriskany Falls, NY with his parents in 1847, at the age of nine, and took his first job working in a flour mill. By age twenty, Mullen moved west to Denver, leased a flour mill, then soon bought several more. By 1911, he established Colorado Milling and Elevator Company, built the state's first grain elevator and went on to operate 91 elevators, warehouses and mills in Colorado, Kansas, Utah and Oregon.
John Mullen
     Mullen was convinced that his wealth was meant to be used to help others and he ultimately spent much of his fortune on libraries, high schools, churches and other causes to benefit the public. The most prominent church Mullen assisted financially to construct was the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (1860) on Colfax Avenue and Logan.

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