Caroline Bancroft

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Caroline Bancroft

Birthdate: (85)
Death: October 8, 1985 (85)
Place of Burial: Denver, Denver County, Colorado, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of George Jarvis Bancroft and Ethel Norton

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Caroline Bancroft

Journalist, Historian & Author

A third-generation Coloradan, Caroline Bancroft was born into Colorado’s “upper-crust” society. Describing Denver’s history as “alive and kicking,” she was also describing herself. Known for her high-handedness and eccentricities, Bancroft spent time in the Ziegfield Follies and was once a cruise ship teacher before she wrote for the then-scandalous Denver Post. Her determination and interest in Colorado history led her to research and publish nine booklets on the topic. Armed with a master’s degree in history from the University of Denver, she focused primarily on Central City, Leadville, and the Tabor family. In her later years, Bancroft traveled to escape health problems. She was struck with cancer four times and tuberculosis three times and suffered blindness for one full year.

Caroline Bancroft was inducted into the "Colorado Women's hall of fame" in 1990


Caroline Bancroft was born September 11, 1900, in Denver, Colorado, the daughter of George Jarvis Bancroft, a mining engineer, and Ethel (Norton) Bancroft. She received a B.A. from Smith College in 1923 and an M.A. from the University of Denver in 1943. She was literary editor for the Denver Post from 1928 to 1933 and writer of its “Literary Flashlights” column. She was also a creative writing instructor at the University of Colorado Extension and the University of Denver Extension from 1931 to 1935. From 1947 to 1951 she taught Colorado history at Randell School in Denver.

Bancroft is most famous for her original work on Colorado history, on which the opera The Ballad of Baby Doe and the musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown were based. Her works include Silver Queen: The Fabulous Story of Baby Doe Tabor (1950); Famous Aspen: Its Fabulous Past—Its Lively Present (1954); The Brown Place in Denver (1955); The Unsinkable Mrs. Brown: S.S. Titantic Heroine (1956); Gulch of Gold: A History of Central City (1958); Colorful Colorado (1959); Tabor’s Matchless Mines and Lusty Leadville (1960); Unique Ghost Towns and Mountain Spots (1961); Colorado’s Lost Gold Mine (with Mary B. Wills, 1965); The Unsinkable Molly Brown Cookbook (1966); Two Burros of Fairplay: Morsels of History for Young and Old (1968); and Trail Ridge Country: Estes Park and Grand Lake (1969). She also wrote a play for the television biographical series of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, produced by the American Broadcasting Company network in 1956–1957. She wrote articles for the New York Evening Post, New York Herald Tribune, New York Times, Town and Country, Woman’s Home Companion, Western Folklore Quarterly, Colorado Westerner’s Brand Book , and other magazines and newspapers.

Caroline Bancroft died on October 8, 1985.


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Caroline Bancroft's Timeline

September 11, 1900
October 8, 1985
Age 85
Denver, Denver County, Colorado, United States