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Papers of Theodosia G. Ammons

Identifier: UAMM

Scope and Contents

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. The collection has been digitized in its entirety and is available in CSU Libraries' digital repository, Mountain Scholar.


  • Creation: c. 1870-1914


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.


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 promoted 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 descendants of the Ammons family continue to reside in Colorado.


2.5 linear feet (5 document cases)

Language of Materials



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. The collection has been digitized in its entirety and is available in CSU Libraries' digital repository, Mountain Scholar.


Arrangement is by material type.

The collection consists of four series in five document cases and one oversize folder:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1890-1907 and undated

Subseries 1.1: Incoming correspondence, 1890-1906 and undated

Subseries 1.2: Outgoing correspondence, 1906-1907 and undated

Series 2: Research and instructional materials, 1897 and undated

Series 3: Artifact and visual materials, c. 1870-c. 1905 and undated

Series 4: Ephemera and miscellaneous materials, 1888-1914 and undated

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.

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.


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.

Inventory Note

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.

Guide to the Papers of Theodosia G. Ammons
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Colleen M. McCorkell
Copyright 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA