POLITICS AND THE DENVER ECONOMY

On June 25, 1888, El Jebel Shrine was chartered and met at the Masonic portion of the City Hall.

On September 3, 1888 the Denver Council of Kadosh was chartered.  

On October 17, 1888, Colorado Consistory was chartered with 53 members.  Henry M. Teller installed Lawrence N. Greenleaf as the first Master of Kadosh on May 2, 1889, making him the initial presiding officer in at least three of the four Scottish Rite bodies.

On January 29, 1890 the First Reunion Class was held with 35 candidates, including Alva Adams, who had been Governor of Colorado from 1887 to 1889.

On June 24, 1890 (St. Johns Day) about a thousand Masons from all of the bodies meeting at City Hall abandoned their meeting site and paraded to the newly completed Masonic Temple at  1614 Welton Street.

On November 21, 1890 the Second Reunion Class was held with 47 candidates, including James Peabody (PGM 1884) and Frank Edbrooke, the architect of 1614 Welton Street where the reunion was held for the first time.

During 1891 the Scottish Rite bodies purchased Swedish Lutheran Church at 19th & Welton Streets to establish their own building as a meeting location.

A short twenty-four months later the Silver Panic of 1893, which cost many members their fortunes, their companies and their jobs also resulted in the Scottish Rite losing their new home at 19th & Welton to a mortgage foreclosure.  They returned to meeting at 1614 Welton Street.

Agitation for action on the silver question was intense by 1890. Farmers were straining under growing debt and sharply falling prices. Railroads had expanded rapidly and were overbuilt. Western mining interests were anxious for a ready market for their silver from an increased number of mines in . Western voices in Congress were much stronger with the recent addition of Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming and the Dakotas to the Union.  The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 provided for planned government purchases amounted to almost the total monthly output from the mines at market rates. However, the increased supply of silver from expanded mines drove down the price. Many mine operators in the West tried to reduce expenses by cutting the miners' wages. Labor unrest and sporadic violence followed. As the price of silver continued to decline, holders of the government notes understandably redeemed them for gold rather than silver. The result of the growing disparity between the two metals was the depletion of the U.S. gold reserves, an event that played prominently during the panic and depression struck the country again in 1893. Conservative leaders pointed to the Sherman Silver Purchase Act as the root of the nation's ills, but the farmers blamed eastern economic interests. Indeed, the country had split over the silver issue. The Democratic Party was largely in the hands of the free silver forces. The Republicans called for strict adherence to gold alone. Colorado was producing almost 60% of the nations silver. Thousands of out-of-work miners flooded into Denver swelling its ranks of the unemployed to over 17%.  Denver was in an economic crisis, and could not continue taking care of the jobless. Railroad offered reduced, and in some cases free, fares out of Denver. Denver’s population in 1890 dropped from 106,000 to 90,000 in 1895. 

At the Republican National Convention of 1896 in St. Louis, Senator Henry M. Teller led the revolt against the Republican platform that supported the gold only standard.  His withdrawal from the party that year cost the Republican candidate William McKinley, former governor of Ohio thousands of votes. The Silver Republicans favored his nomination for the Presidency, and his state of Colorado voted for him on the first ballot in the Democratic Convention. After the nomination had been made, he joined with other leading Silver Republicans in an address supporting Representative William Jennings Bryan from Nebraska on the Democratic ticket.  Unlike many other Silver Republicans, Teller never returned to the Republican Party.  He served as a Democratic senator for the rest of his career, becoming one of few politicians to switch parties. Teller helped the Democratic Party gain more power in Colorado, which was previously dominated by Republicans. 

The 1904 gubernatorial elections were heating up. The incumbent governor, James H. Peabody was losing popularity because of his hard line with the mine workers. The Democratic Party selected Alva Adams (1st Reunion Class) to be their candidate, who had been governor twice before, from 1887-1889 and again from 1897-1899. The election was the most corrupt in the history of Colorado on both sides. Adams won, but victory was short lived as the Republican Legislature forced Governor Adams to step down due to the improprieties of the election. The Democrats likewise forced Governor Peabody (2nd Reunion Class) to resign in favor of his Republican Lieutenant Governor Jesse F. McDonald. Thus in the span of one day on March 16, 1905, Colorado had three different governors.

During 1907, El Jebel Shrine built a new mosque at 1770 Sherman Street.

In 1909 the Scottish Rite bodies purchased land at E. 14th Ave & Grant Street, with hopes of building there in the future.

On October 22, 1919 Charters were issued for four bodies of Southern Colorado Consistory.

On October 22, 1919 Charters were issued for four bodies of Rocky Mountain Consistory.

On March 20, 1924 at 3:00pm, the Corner Stone was laid by the Most Worshipful grand Lodge of Colorado.

On May 14, 1925 the building was dedicated.

November 5-7, 1992 was the first Denver Consistory Reunion (after the merger of Colorado Consistory and Rocky Mountain Consistory.