Footprints in the Sugar
A History of the Great Western Sugar Company
written by Candy Hamilton

Company Pioneers
photos and text are from Chapter Three in Footprints in the Sugar

Charles Boettcher, John Francis Campion, Chester Stephen Morey,
and Henry Osborne Havemeyer

"If we had sugar beet factories in Colorado, similar to the flour mills scattered around...
I imagine Colorado farmers would produce more gold than all the miners
in the mountains."
  - Peter Magnes, 1872

The Great Western Sugar Company pioneers--Boettcher, Campion, Morey, and Havemeyer--came from socially diverse backgrounds, yet all had a unique vision for the growth of industry and agriculture in the state of Colorado. The breadth of the visions recognized no boundaries or obstacles. Outside the daily demands of business the four gentlemen were also instrumental in the creation of a vast array of charitable, philanthropic, and educational organizations. Their personal contributions to the state of Colorado, and in particular to the beet sugar industry, should not be forgotten.

The Colorado beet sugar industry founders were pioneers but not in the traditional sense by which most of us envision pioneers inasmuch as they were capitalists. Although all four were known to sit atop a horse on occasion, these men wore suits, white shirts and ties rather than fringed leather pants, heavy wool shirts, and scuffed boots. They conducted their business in elegantly appointed offices, not within remote trading posts and forts.

But like the men who explored the mountains and plains of Colorado to homestead land and establish  settlements, the four capitalists also broke new ground. Their unwavering belief in the richness of Colorado's natural assets and their vision for a chain of beet sugar factories gave rise to the prosperity and expansion of rural towns, created a diverse and dependable ethnic labor force, and introduced a resilient, profitable irrigated agricultural crop to formerly fallow Colorado soil.

Pictured at left from top to bottom:

Charles Boettcher
John Francis Campion
Chester Stephen Morey
Henry Osborne Havemeyer

Years of research and writing about the four gentlemen brought them to life for me as I discovered their character flaws, staunch determination to establish the beet sugar industry in Colorado, and belief that Colorado agriculture could indeed profitably sustain thirteen beet sugar factories.

Knowing more about the gentlemen enabled me to write with regard to the human aspect of the Great Western Sugar Company and provided insight as to how and why the company was established. I have so much respect and admiration for all of them, albeit they are not here to accept it.
 - Candy Hamilton -
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