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Incorporation Records, 1862-1969

Identifier: Series-168

Scope and Contents

This collection contains filings regarding incorporation of companies doing business within Jefferson County. The majority of these are certificates of incorporation, amendments to articles of incorporation, notice of paid stock, annual financial reports and updates on company status. These records show who the officers and directors of a company were and their places of residence, the type of business, where it operated, and other information. The collection includes incorporation records for various types of companies and organizations including ditch companies, railroads, wagon road companies, churches, banks, insurance companies, water companies, cemetery associations, fraternal organizations, granges and many others. Also included are municipal incorporation records for Golden, Edgewater, Arvada, Lakeside, Morrison and Mountain View.

The documents, filed in Jefferson County or copies of those filed with the Secretary of State’s Office and recorded in Jefferson County, date from 1862-1969, and are arranged alphabetically by company or municipality name. The meaning or sequence of numbers handwritten on the documents is unknown. The documents were received in no discernable order, numerical or alphabetical, so alphabetical order by name of corporation was imposed.

**Dates listed in container list next to company names are dates or date ranges of documents, not necessarily dates of incorporation.**

Two indexes: Index to Corporations Filed and Index to Corporations, Co-Partnerships, Trade Names.


  • Record Keeping: 1862-1969

Conditions Governing Access

Archives collection material is non-circulating, requires staff retrieval and is available for use by appointment in the reading room.

Biographical / Historical

During Colorado’s territorial period, 1861 to 1876, the Colorado Legislature encouraged capital investment for development of the region's natural resources. While frontier Coloradans desired to be independent entrepreneurs, there was also a necessary dependence on outside investors in order to make the territory flourish. The large number of investors in the territory resulted in a profusion of corporations being formed during the early stages of Colorado's development. The three largest industrial sectors in Colorado were metal mining, transportation/communications and water/irrigation.

The first general incorporation law, passed on August 15, 1862 by the Second Session of the Territorial Assembly, required that a company seeking a charter inform the state of its name, its capital stock, the type of business to be conducted and the route it took if it was a transportation business. This was amended two years later to include the company's name and purpose, the term of its existence (20 yrs.), the names and number of its trustees, the number of shares of its stock and the location (county) of its business operations.

Businesses in Colorado's earliest territorial existence filed their incorporation papers in the county (at the County Clerk and Recorder's office) where their principal place of business was located. In these early years a corporation could also be established by law through the Territorial Legislature. These incorporations were recorded in the "Private Acts" section of the Colorado Session Laws. From 1861, the Secretary of the Territory (after statehood, the Secretary of State) was responsible for recording incorporations and subsequent legal instruments regarding the status of corporations.

Source: Colorado State Archives, Territorial Incorporations and Incorporation Records history accessed April 6, 2015.


7.46 Cubic Feet (16 Boxes and 2 Bound Volumes (Indexes))

Language of Materials



Articles of incorporation, paid full stock notifications, business updates, annual financial reports, and other legal filings for companies seeking to incorporate and conduct business within Jefferson County. Also includes some municipal incorporations.


Arranged alphabetically by company name.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to the Archives by the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder, Recording Department, with large transfers of various types of records in 1998, 2010 and 2016.

Related Materials

Series 205: Golden-Littleton Irrigation District Files

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Prythero in December, 2011. Revised or reprocessed in 2014, 2015 and 2018 by Ronda Frazier

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Jefferson County Archives Repository

3500 Illinois Street
Suite 2350
Golden CO 80401 United States