Our History

When Winfield Scott Stratton died in 1902, he left instructions in his will that nearly all of his fortune was to be used to establish and maintain a home for poor people and named in memory of his father, Myron Stratton.

Winfield Scott Stratton was born on July 22, 1848, in Jeffersonville, Indiana and died at his home in Colorado Springs on September 14, 1902. His father, Myron Stratton, was a ship builder in that Ohio River port. Winfield Stratton studied carpentry in his father’s shipyards and became an expert draftsman. In 1868, like many other young men in that post-Civil War environment, he traveled west to seek his fortune. Several years later he arrived in Colorado Springs and served an apprenticeship with James D. Raymond, a friend he had known in earlier times. Soon Stratton opened his own carpentry and general contracting business.

By the winter of 1874, Stratton had become interested in prospecting. For the next 17 years he roamed the Colorado mountains looking for gold and silver. During the winters he worked at his regular trade to earn enough money to follow his search for gold. He took time off to educate himself in metallurgy at the Colorado School of Mines and in mineralogy at Colorado College. On the 4th of July 1891, he struck it rich on the south slope of Pikes Peak and filed his claim under the name of the Independence Mine, one of Cripple Creek’s richest ore discoveries.

During his lifetime, Stratton was an astute businessman and one of the visionary leaders in the planning and building of Colorado Springs. His trolley company, the Colorado Springs Interurban Railway, is a thing of the past but many other landmarks of the community that came into being through his efforts are still in use today: The Winfield Scott Stratton Post Office, the old City Hall, the former Court House (which now houses the Pioneer Museum), and the Mining Exchange Building.

Stratton always had a strong sense of compassion for the working poor and their families. Those less fortunate knew him for many acts of kindness and generosity even though he very much avoided a public or social life in other ways.

When Stratton died in 1902, he left instructions in his will that nearly all of his fortune was to be used to establish and maintain a home for poor people and named in memory of his father, Myron Stratton. The Trustees, whom he himself selected, carried out his wishes. The Home, which opened in 1913, has operated continuously since that date, and has served literally hundreds of poor elderly and children for more than a century.

The Home will always continue to be his most important legacy. In addition to maintaining and operating the Home itself, The Stratton Home endowment has been preserved and increased; it now exceeds $100 million.

Publications About Winfield Scott Stratton

A Golden Legacy: Winfield Scott Stratton and The Myron Stratton Home 1848-1998 can be obtained by contacting The Myron Stratton Home.

Midas of the Rockies by Frank Waters.

King of Cripple Creek by Marshall Sprague.

myron-stratton-home-the-golden-legacy-book

Learn more about our history by downloading our book, A Golden Legacy: Winfield Scott Stratton and The Myron Stratton Home 1849-1998. (PDF – 5MB)

I began living here in 1938...

If my mother had not placed us here it would’ve been a very hard time for her. Because back at that particular time, we were still going through a kind of a depression, you know? Jobs were hard to find, and the pay was not all that great either. And we had all the benefits of living here, like three square meals a day and all the facilities that were available to us, like our own gymnasium, our own swimming pool, and our own athletic field. We all had chores to do. You were expected to perform jobs like digging dandelions. And as you got older you took on bigger chores. And all those things contribute to you growing up and becoming a more mature person.

— Current resident John West, who began living at the Myron Stratton Home in 1938 at the age of 7 with his two older brothers, and stayed until his junior year in high school. He moved back to the Myron Stratton Home in 2008 and lives in one of the cottages.

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