Guide to the Papers of Theodosia G. Ammons

Prepared by Colleen M. McCorkell
Colorado State University Archives and Special Collections
Copyright 2008 Colorado State University. All rights reserved.
Finding aid encoded in EAD Version 2002 by Alicia Conrardy, 2008.
Creator: Ammons, Theodosia Grace
Title: Papers of Theodosia G. Ammons
Dates: c. 1870-1914
Quantity: 2.5+ linear feet
Identification: UAMM
Abstract: Theodosia G. Ammons (c. 1862-1907) co-established Colorado State University's Department of Domestic Economy in 1895. She was the first faculty member of the department and first female dean at the school. Routine correspondence related to her department responsibilities comprises the bulk of the collection. Her activities as a suffragette are represented as well. The collection includes advertisements, announcements, correspondence, invitations, newspaper clippings, photographs, and programs.
Contact Information: Archives and Special Collections
Morgan Library
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1019 USA
Phone: 970-491-1844
Fax: 970-491-1195
Email: Archives and Special Collections
Restrictions on Access
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Colorado State University Libraries online catalog. Researchers seeking materials about related subjects, persons, organizations, or places should search the catalog using these headings.
  • Home economics.
  • Women -- Suffrage -- Colorado.
  • Ammons, Theodosia Grace.
  • Colorado State University.
Special Document Types:
  • Photographs.
In 1895, Theodosia G. Ammons co-established the Department of Domestic Economy at Colorado State University with Eliza Routt, a member of the State Board of Agriculture. Ammons began her career at the college as an instructor, was elevated to faculty status by 1900, and was named the Dean of Woman's Work in 1902. She holds the dual distinctions of being the first faculty member in the department and the first female dean of Colorado State University.
Theodosia Grace Ammons was born in North Carolina, circa 1862. Her family moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1871. In 1883, she graduated from Denver High School and was employed as a school teacher for several years afterwards. Ammons worked tirelessly for women's suffrage throughout her life. She met Eliza Routt in Denver; they shared a passion for women's equal rights and education. They established a friendship through their work.
Eliza Routt was the first female member of the State Board of Agriculture and probably suggested Miss Ammons for the position of instructor in the college's new department. Ammons received no formal training beyond high school. She read about the latest discoveries, communicated with instructors of similar programs around the country, and relied on the knowledge and skills instilled by her mother.
Theodosia Ammons built a strong foundation for the domestic economy program, quickly achieved faculty status, and a few years later became a dean at the college. By 1902, the department was renamed the Department of Domestic Science. Ammons was a member of several women's clubs and corresponded frequently with other members regarding activities in Colorado and the nation. In 1902, she was Colorado's representative to the National Convention of delegates of Woman Suffrage in Washington, D.C. She served as Principal of the Chautauqua School of Domestic Economy and built a model cottage for efficient summer living at Colorado Chautauqua, named the Gwenthean cottage. She was state lecturer of the Colorado State Grange for several years until her death. Her father was a Baptist minister and she was involved with the church throughout her life.
Ammons was ill for several years before her death in Denver on July 17, 1907. Many people described her as a second mother to the young ladies in her department. One tribute noted that Ammons strengthened the character of all young women in Colorado through her work. She was survived by her sisters Anna J. Ammons and Gwendolin McLaughlin and her brother Elias M. Ammons. A third sister, Farita H. Polhamus died two weeks earlier.
Colorado State University's Ammons Hall, also known as the Welcome Center, was named for Elias M. Ammons. He served as governor of Colorado from 1913 through 1915 and supported the construction of the building. His son Teller Ammons served as governor of Colorado from 1937 through 1939. Several descendents of the Ammons family continue to reside in Colorado.
The Papers of Theodosia G. Ammons consists of documents dated from about 1870 to 1914. Routine correspondence related to Colorado State University and Ammons' responsibilities in the domestic economy department comprises the bulk of the collection. Ammons corresponded and worked with other land grant institutions regarding the development and importance of domestic science programs at their institutions. General inquiries, requests for recommendations, and program activities are also present. Her activities as a suffragette are represented in the collection as well. She corresponded primarily with women in the state of Colorado; additionally, some correspondence from individuals around the nation is present. The collection includes advertisements, announcements, correspondence, invitations, newspaper clippings, photographs, and programs.
Arrangement is by material type.
The collection consists of four series in five boxes and one oversize folder:
Preferred Citation

Papers of Theodosia G. Ammons, Archives and Special Collections, Colorado State University.

Custodial History

After the death of Theodosia G. Ammons, her family kept the materials. Different family members acted as custodian through the years. Ms. Long Gates is a relation of Ammons.


The Papers of Theodosia G. Ammons was donated to the Colorado State University Archive by Catherine Long Gates in August 2007.


Processing was completed in March 2008. Upon acquisition, materials had little order. Two-thirds of the correspondence was partially arranged with several inconsistencies discovered. During processing, it was divided into two subseries of incoming and outgoing correspondence. Each subseries was arranged by the name of the individual with whom Ammons corresponded. Materials of individuals with two or more pieces of correspondence were placed in their own folder and arranged chronologically. Those individuals with only one piece of correspondence in the subseries were placed in a general folder, arranged alphabetically. All other materials were arranged by type and then chronologically.

Materials were re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents were interleaved with acid-free paper and visual materials were housed in archival sleeves. Metal fasteners were removed and replaced with plastic clips when needed. Folded materials were un-folded and flattened when possible. Newspaper clippings were photocopied and originals discarded or interleaved with acid-free tissue paper. Exact duplicates beyond two copies were discarded. Advertisements completely unrelated to Ammons or Colorado State University were discarded.

Related Collections

The Papers of Theodosia G. Ammons is related to many collections in the Archives and Special Collections Department due to the natural relationship of University records. Some related materials in the Colorado State University Archive are the Historic Photographs, Laura I. Makepeace, Margaret Prendergast McLean, the University Historic Photograph, and Ruth J. Wattles collections.

The Colorado State Archives houses materials related to Elias M. Ammons. Papers of Governor Elias M. Ammons, Colorado State Archives.

Note: Title information was supplied by the archivist. When spelling was questionable, the archivist inserted a bracketed "?". Estimated pagination is preceded by an "e". Two identical copies of the same item are indicated by the phrase "2 copies" at the end of the entry, following the number of pages of each copy.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1890-1907 and undated (2 linear feet)

This series consists of correspondence received and sent by Ammons. Much of the correspondence relates to her work in the domestic science program at Colorado State University and her personal suffragette interests. There are some pieces of correspondence of a personal nature from her family and friends. Many young women wrote to Ammons requesting information on the college and employment recommendations after graduation. The majority of correspondence consists of letters; however, telegrams and carbon copies are also present in the series. Materials were originally arranged by topic and then by name in three letter boxes and loose. Broad inconsistencies of the filing method were discovered and the creator of the filing method is unknown. As a result, correspondence was divided into two subseries of incoming and outgoing. An individual or organization with two or more pieces of correspondence in a subseries were placed in a folder and arranged chronologically. Folder titles reflect the author or recipient and are arranged alphabetically.
Box Folder
Subseries 1.1: Incoming correspondence. 1890-1906 and undated.
This subseries contains correspondence Ammons received. Most of the materials relate to her work at the college or in the suffragette movement in Colorado. There are many pieces of correspondence from staff and faculty members of Colorado State University during her tenure. The correspondence provides a unique perspective on campus activities. The suffragette correspondence also provides insight into the movement in Colorado during this period. Most materials are letters, though telegrams are present. Materials are listed alphabetically by author and arranged chronologically in folders.
1 1 Ammons, E. M. 1890-1904. 3pp.
1 2 Ashley, Susan Riley. 1902, 1904. 3pp.
1 3 Aylesworth, Barton O. 1899, 1905. 2pp.
1 4 Baker, C. H. 1901 January 22-February 5. 2pp.
1 5 Baker, Jennie H. 1900-1905. 5pp.
1 6 Barker, Hannah C. 1904 March 11-16. 4pp.
1 7 Barrows, Anna. 1896-1901. 7pp.
1 8 Batione, Benicia Louise. 1900 May 29, undated. 3pp.
1 9 Beggs, Dorthea "Dot". 1903 October 23-November 20. 11pp.
1 10 Bishop, Kitten G. [?] (Mrs. Frank L. Bishop). 1902-1903, undated. 3pp.
1 11 Boothroyd, Florence J. 1900-1901. 5pp.
1 12 Boswell, William S. 1905 November 17-December 18. 5pp.
1 13 Bradford, Mary C. C. 1903 January 8-October 12. 2pp.
1 14 Brose, Clara M. 1902-1903. 4pp.
1 15 Carpenter, Mary J. 1900-1903, undated. 9pp.
1 16 Chatfield, J. L. 1905 November 7. 2pp.
1 17 Clark, Randolph "Lee". 1902-1903. 3pp.
1 18 Clute, Katharine. 1904 February 29-April 13. 4pp.
1 19 Cornett, William L. 1902-1903. 3pp.
1 20 Cornwall, Amy K. 1902 February 5, undated. 3pp.
1 21 Corwin, R. W. 1903-1905. 6pp.
1 22 Crawford, Lotta J. 1905, undated. 10pp.
1 23 Daniels, Amy L. 1904 March 11-April 12. 4pp.
1 24 Danner, Lois Rutledge. 1904 April 11, undated. 3pp.
1 25 Davidson, Mary K. 1901-1902, undated. 7pp.
1 26 Decker, Sarah S. c. 1902, undated. 4pp.
1 27 De Long, Ira M. 1901 February 28-May 21. 5pp.
1 28 Dewey, Annie. 1901 May 4-August 3. 2pp.
1 29 Downing, Caroline. 1904 March 14-September 13. 3pp.
1 30 Durker, Charles C. 1901-1903. 5pp.
1 31 Eggleston, Myra. 1903-1905. 7pp.
1 32 Ellis, Alston. 1898 July 25-August 22. 2pp.
1 33 Eyre, Mary Brooks. 1902-1903. 2pp.
1 34 Fairchild, Jessie E. 1905 February 7-March 19. 3pp.
1 35 Farmer, James L. 1904-1905. 9pp.
1 36 Fisher, T. E. 1902-1903. 2pp.
1 37 Foote, Ellen J. 1905 April 20-June 5. 3pp.
1 38 Ford, Jennie T. 1899-1902. 13pp.
1 39 Fore, Mattie. 1902 June 13-October 25. 5pp.
1 40 Frisbee, Harriet L. 1897-1904. 8pp.
2 1 Gilchrist, Maude. 1903-1905. 7pp.
2 2 Goodrich, Henrietta I. 1902, undated. 4pp.
2 3 Gordon, Kate M. 1902 March 12-May 31. 13pp.
2 4 Grabill, Margaret G. 1904 March 10-April 7. 2pp.
2 5 Grubb, Isadore E. [?]. 1905 January 24-April 6. 6pp.
2 6 Gwen. 1901-1903, undated. 7pp.
2 7 Hadden, S. M. 1902 September 29-October 17. 2pp.
2 8 Harding, Mimi L. 1904 March 17, undated. 4pp.
2 9 Hamilton, John. 1904 January 26-April 20. 2pp.
2 10 Harbert, Belle v'D. 1905 July 30-October 30. 7pp.
2 11 Haye, Mrs. Samuel H. 1900 August 7-18. 3pp.
2 12 Hawley, A. M. 1903-1905. 6pp.
2 13 Hebard, Grace Raymond. 1903 January 28-February 17. 2pp.
2 14 Herron, Frances. 1904 March 11-November 10. 4pp.
2 15 Hess, Ralph H. 1903-1904. 6pp.
2 16 Hohne, Mary Peck. 1904 March 11-April 10. 3pp.
2 17 Hull, M. W. 1904 October 13-November 13. 4pp.
2 18 Jackson, Edward. 1903-1905. 2pp.
2 19 Jones, Adoh Miley. 1903 March 2-May 2. 4pp.
2 20 Jordan, W. H. 1904 May 4-16. 2pp.
2 21 Kebler, Emma Abbot. 1902-1904. 2pp.
2 22 Knowles, Veria S. [?]. 1900 September 24-October 30. 2pp.
2 23 Luft, W. [?]. 1897-1898. 5pp.
2 24 MacCorkle, Constance. 1902 October 20-November 21. 2pp.
2 25 McClurg, Virginia. 1902-1904. 4pp.
2 26 Meyers, W. J. [William?]. 1897-1903. 29pp.
2 27 Patterson, Katherine A. G. 1898-1901. 2pp.
2 28 Polhamous, Caroline. 1901-1902. 3pp.
2 29 Polhamous, Roy Frank. 1898-1901. 4pp.
2 30 Proctor, Anna D. 1901 May 3-October 28. 2pp.
2 31 Price, Ellen H. E. 1902, undated. 3pp.
2 32 Prendergast, Margaret. 1903-1905. 12pp.
2 33 Prendergast, Marguerite. 1902-1903, undated. 12pp.
2 34 Pugh, Mary Moody. 1902 October 6, undated. 2pp.
2 35 Pyle, Rebecca R. 1903 March 13-April 11. 2pp.
2 36 Ragan, Mary E. 1902-1904. 2pp.
2 37 Richards, Ellen H. 1903 January 24, undated. 2pp.
2 38 Rockafellow, B. F. 1900-1905. 2pp.
2 39 Rockafellow, K. M. (Mrs. B. F.). undated. 3pp.
2 40 Routt, Eliza F. 1897-1904. 8pp.
3 1 Sharp, P. F. 1900-1905. 4pp.
3 2 Sherwood, Jean. 1904-1905. 3pp.
3 3 Shute, Martha A. 1902-1905, undated. 5pp.
3 4 Smith, E. Porter. 1902-1903. 2pp.
3 5 Steen, Adelyn "Addie". undated. 2pp.
3 6 Tharp, Florence. 1904-1905. 5pp.
3 7 True, Margaret T. 1904, undated. 3pp.
3 8 Tuttle, Anna M. 1905, undated. 13pp.
3 9 Vaille, Harriet W. 1904-1905. 2pp.
3 10 Wadsworth, Emma M. 1903-1905. 10pp.
3 11 Whitmore, Annie G. 1902, 1904, undated. 4pp.
3 12 Wilcox, Mrs. Lute. 1901-1902. 2pp.
3 13 Wilson, H. J. 1901-1904. 3pp.
3 14 Wilson, Paul. 1905 July 31-August 14. 2pp.
3 15 Woode, Belle M. 1902-1904, undated. 7pp.
3 16-19 A-Z General. 1895-1906, undated. e200pp.
Subseries 1.2: Outgoing correspondence. 1906-1907 and undated.
This subseries contains copies of correspondence Ammons sent to other individuals or groups. Many relate to her work at Colorado State University, though her suffragette interests are also represented. Most of the outgoing correspondence is of a business nature and short in length. Most materials are typed carbon copies; no carbon remains in the collection. Materials are listed alphabetically by recipient and arranged chronologically in folders.
4 1 Andrews, Mrs. S. J. 1906 September 7-15. 2pp.
4 2 Beecroft, Laura A. undated. 2pp.
4 3 Boyd, Miss Louie Croft. 1906, undated. 3pp.
4 4 Bruce, Mrs. J. T. undated. 2pp.
4 5 Dick, Florence E. 1907 May 27, undated. 2pp.
4 6 Dilts, Arline. 1906 December 10. 2pp.
4 7 Foote, Ellen J. 1906 September 7-October 8. 3pp.
4 8 Flint, Sudie E. 1906 October 29-November 20. 2pp.
4 9 Gerhart, Paul C. 1906, undated. 4pp.
4 10 Grubb, Isadore E. 1906, undated. 12pp.
4 11 Hartman, Mrs. W. L. 1906 September 25-October 12. 2pp.
4 12 Hazzard Teachers' Agency, The. undated. 3pp.
4 13 Hess, George L. 1907 April 8, undated. 4pp.
4 14 Holcomb, Helen. 1906 September 15-28. 2pp.
4 15 Johnson, Fred P. 1906 September 15-November 5. 5pp.
4 16 Knapp., Herman. 1907 April 4, undated. 2pp.
4 17 Mitchell, Mrs. E. 1906 September 25-October 24. 7pp.
4 18 Mulford, L. K. 1907 April 24-May 9. 2pp.
4 19 Newberry, Kate L. 1906 September 15-November 28. 3pp.
4 20 Newcomb, J. A. 1906-1907, undated. 6pp.
4 21 Neff, Edna N. undated. 2pp.
4 22 Nicols, Margaret D. 1906 September 25-December 6. 2pp.
4 23 Palisade Manufacturing Co, The. 1906 November 19-28. 2pp.
4 24 Parish, May. 1906 December 7-17. 2pp.
4 25 Patterson, Robert W. 1906 September 27-October 16. 3pp.
4 26 Purrier, Jessie S. 1906 September 7-December 10. 3pp.
4 27 Richardson, George. 1906 September 15-26. 2pp.
4 28 Riddle, Agnes L. 1907 April 4, undated. 2pp.
4 29 Sheets, Mrs. M. M. 1906 September 7-26. 2pp.
4 30 Slifer, Mrs. A. E. 1907 June 4, undated. 3pp.
4 31 Snow, Mrs. M. E. 1906 October 17-December 6. 2pp.
4 32 Standard, Charles N. 1906 October 10-31. 3pp.
4 33 Whitmore, Annie G. 1906 November 20-December 13. 3pp.
4 34 Williams, Mrs. N. I. 1906-1907. 2pp.
4 35-36 A-Z General. 1906-1907, undated. e100pp.

Series 2: Research and instructional materials, 1897 and undated (0.2 linear feet)

This series consists of materials created or collected by Ammons for research or classroom instruction. These materials originally had no arrangement and were intermixed with loose correspondence. Two instructional cookbooks developed for her domestic science courses at Colorado State University are in this series. There are also several writings on domestic science research. Many appear to be copies from unknown articles, journals, or speeches on the topic and are fragments. The actual or intended use of these materials is unknown. Materials consist of two bound volumes and loose documents. They are arranged alphabetically by title.
Box Folder
4 37 Domestic Science compositions notebook. 1897. 96pp.
5 1-3 Domestic Science writings. undated. e120pp.
5 4 "Selection of Receipts for Short Course in Cooking". undated. 70pp.

Series 3: Artifact and visual materials, c. 1870-c. 1905 and undated (0.05 linear feet)

This series consists of materials that are artifacts or photographic in nature. A tintype of a female child is in this series; the identity of the individual is unknown. It is most likely an image of Ammons or one of her sisters. Material types in the series include two black and white photographs, a leather portfolio, two postcards, and a tintype photograph. Items are listed alphabetically and arranged chronologically in the folder.
Box Folder
5 5 E. M. Ammons' leather portfolio. undated. 1 item
5 6 Photographs and postcards. c. 1870-c. 1905. 5 items
Includes 1 tintype.

Series 4: Ephemera and miscellaneous materials, 1888-1914 and undated (0.25+ linear feet)

This series consists of materials that are ephemeral and miscellaneous in nature. Many materials in this series relate to the college and activities of the domestic science program for the era. Ammons' teaching credential is also in this series. Material types include documents, newspaper clippings, and pictorial maps. They are listed alphabetically and arranged chronologically in the folders. Some materials are oversize.
Box Folder
5 7 Announcements, invitations, and programs. 1895-1904, undated. e20pp. 2 copies, 1 item in oversize
5 8 Blank forms. 1900-1901, undated. 5pp. 2 copies
5 9 CSU ephemera. 1895, undated. 7pp. 2 copies
5 10 Domestic science ephemera. 1904, undated. 5pp. 3 copies
5 11 Miscellaneous materials. 1888-1905, undated. 15pp.
5 12 Newspaper clippings. 1900-1907, undated. e20pp. 3 items in oversize
Drwr 1 1 Miscellaneous oversize. 1900-1914, undated. 8 items
Includes invitation, pictorial maps of Fort Collins and Colorado State University, poem by E. M. Ammons, sewing pattern, and newspaper announcements.