Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Fight of Good Citizens


After Denver resident Harry Sullivan resigned from his post-World War I position as manager of the city’s demobilization bureau, there was an unusual year-long hiatus from mentions of his name in the local newspapers. I doubt this active advocate for the nation’s former soldiers had forsaken his sense of mission during that time. He was, after all, now working as the Colorado state “organizer” for the American Legion—and from the sound of the many press reports about this dynamo in his former position, there was still much work to be done.

It wasn’t until the Rocky Mountain News gave a progress report on January 6, 1921, that we get an idea of what Harry had been up to, lately:
            …To abolish poverty and employment seeking by former service men and women, and to provide self-employment, a bill creating a more generous homestead law for them will be introduced in congress next week by Representative William N. Valle of Denver. The proposed bill was drawn up by Harry A. Sullivan, national committeeman from Colorado of the American Legion.

Perhaps behind-the-scenes work was taking up more of Harry’s time, as he no longer seemed to be the darling of the Denver newspapers. Or perhaps this June 11, 1922, entry in the Denver Post helps paint the picture more accurately:
            Senator Harry Sullivan and Buddy Griffith, two local players, have been making their home at Model, Colo., where they both are homesteading. The club has been winning with regularity, and challenge any club in southern Colorado.

Though I have no idea what the reference to “Senator Harry Sullivan” might mean, the Post did clue me in on two things: that Harry was back to playing ball, and that that homesteading law he had drawn up must have worked out quite nicely for him as well.

So, if Harry no longer lived in Denver, where exactly did he live? Model, Colorado turned out to be an unincorporated area in Las Animas County, far to the south of Harry’s hometown of Denver. Close to the New Mexico border, the closest town of any size was the county seat, Trinidad—a municipality which, even now, only has a population of nine thousand people.

Trinidad Colorado in 1907

Wondering what impact such a remote location might have exerted on the American Legion organizer’s effectiveness, I was relieved to find evidence in the Rocky Mountain News that Harry was back in the game—the political game, that is—with a mention on August 4, 1922:
            …Harry A. Sullivan, Colorado department member of the national executive committee of the [American] legion, was the chairman of the evening…

Apparently, Harry was back in town for the occasion of a gala event of the American Legion in Denver. The evening’s proceedings were also covered that same day in the Denver Post, which reported on commentary from the evening’s speakers.
            The chief duty of the [American] legion…is at present the care of disabled veterans. [American Legion leaders] expressed confidence that the pending bonus legislation will be adopted.
            Harry A. Sullivan, Colorado department member of the national executive committee of the legion, presided at the banquet….

Shortly thereafter, the Post revealed results of additional political maneuvering, possibly an outgrowth of the behind-the-scenes networking that had enabled Harry to be so successful in his various positions advocating on behalf of returning soldiers after the war. On August 26, their report revealed
            The Ex-Service Men’s Political league of Denver was formed Friday night at a meeting held at Howe Hall, on California street, more than 300 former service men attending.
            Support for ex-service men who are candidates in the current political campaign, and for other candidates classed as “worthy,” is pledged by the league. Harry Sullivan was chosen permanent chairman….

On the eve of Veteran’s Day, 1922, a Denver Post article indicated the planned activities, the next day, for Harry’s old division, the 157th Infantry. In addition to other speakers, Harry Sullivan was slated to address his old regiment, after which, it was promised, a “lively entertainment program” would follow.
            Members of the 157th infantry will march in the parade 200 strong, but not in a body, it was announced Friday. Members of the organization will march with their respective ex-service men’s organizations. The annual banquet and reunion of the 157th will be held at the Albany hotel at 6 o’clock Saturday evening.

As the year of 1922 drew to a close, Harry once again was mentioned in the Denver newspapers, this time to indicate yet another step in his career trajectory. In a long article in the December 31 edition of the Post describing the noteworthy career and planned retirement of the “First U.S. Woman Deputy Marshal,” a postscript included the other personnel changes anticipated in the Marshal’s office in 1923. In the blip of a mere line of type, Harry’s name once again made its appearance.
            Thomas Keenan, also a deputy on [U.S.] Marshal Burris’ staff, resigned his position Saturday, and will enter the employ of the Colorado Fuel and Iron company.
            Harry A. Sullivan has been appointed to take Keenan’s place

Photograph, above: Business section of Las Animas County seat, Trinidad, Colorado, as it appeared in 1907, fifteen years before Harry Sullivan moved to a homestead in an unincorporated area of the county; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Showing Them What They Should Do


It was less than two weeks after his arrival home from France at the close of the first World War that our (possible) Kelly descendant, Harry Sullivan, was off on another mission. This time, his task took him from his hometown of Denver, Colorado, to a nearby western city—Salt Lake City, Utah. The Denver Post noted his mission only tangentially on May 8, 1919:
Lieut. Harry Sullivan, who just returned from France with the 157th division, is leaving Denver today for Salt Lake City, to help the Mormon City in their Victory Drive there. They are away behind Denver and Harry is going to show them what they should do.

What, exactly, the Post meant by “Victory Drive” or why—and how—Salt Lake City was considered to be “away behind” in their progress in the drive, the article didn’t explain. Perhaps this was something everybody knew at the time—but something for which, unfortunately, I can’t find any answer almost one hundred years later.

A possible explanation came several months later, in the form of a November 26, 1919, Denver Post headline,
Governor Shoup Authorizes Expenditure From the Contingent Fund for Sleeping Accommodations in Windsor Hotel for Soldiers.

The long article that followed not only provided context, but quoted our Harry Sullivan extensively. Evidently, once back home, Harry was again finding his way regularly into the newspaper headlines. This time, he offered his opinion on the Governor's decision.
            “It is needed—Lord, how it is needed!” exclaimed Harry Sullivan, manager of the municipal free employment agency and himself an overseas man. “There are 500 ex-service men who are applicants for jobs and many are destitute. I am stating it conservatively when I put the number of penniless ex-soldiers in Denver at 200. A lot of the men are married and have children. A married man in the army cannot save, for his pay goes to support his wife. When he is discharged from the army and his pay stops and he is jobless he is up against it. Every day I hear facts that would melt a heart of stone.
            “I have just returned from Cheyenne, where I managed to place a few men in machinists’ jobs with the Union Pacific. But Wyoming has a considerable number of jobless men herself. There is a scarcity of machinists throughout the country. The large majority of our ex-service men were general office clerks, stenographers, salesmen, night watchmen, and these are hard jobs to find right now. Besides, we have quite a few who want work on the farms. These men are eager to get any work at which they can make a livelihood.”

Not long after—evidently, his plea in the newspaper was widely read—Harry was once again referenced, providing a progress report in the December 1 issue of the Post:
            …At the demobilization bureau, in the Chamber of Commerce building, Harry Sullivan, manager of the employment bureau, announced at the close of the day twenty jobs and ex-soldiers had been connected. In addition, there were many inquiries from employers…
            “People are beginning to call up by phone and offer assistance,” said Mr. Sullivan…

Following on the heels of that report—and just in time for Christmas—the Denver Post, on Sunday, December 21, 1919, published this headline:
State Will Continue Bureau For Getting Jobs for Ex-Yanks.
Governor Shoup Sets Aside $1,000 From Soldiers’ Contingent Fund for Maintenance of Work Under Harry A. Sullivan.

Harry continued serving as manager of the employment bureau of the Denver demobilization bureau from the time of his appointment, shortly after arriving home from service in France, until he offered his resignation at the end of January, 1920.

At that point, the task was not yet over. Harry was just taking the opportunity to move to a position from which he could access even greater possibilities to serve. He was now taking on the new role of Colorado state organizer for the American Legion.

After his resignation, a February 1, 1920, Post article highlighted Harry Sullivan’s accomplishments on behalf of returning soldiers after the war:
            Mayor Bailey has received the resignation of Harry Sullivan, manager of the Denver demobilization bureau, effective immediately. Mr. Sullivan accepts the new position of state organizer for the American Legion and already has entered upon his duties of organizing posts of ex-service men throughout the state. The mayor has not indicated whom he will appoint as the successor of Mr. Sullivan, to what has grown to be a joint state, city and federal office devoted to the bringing of the job and the soldier together.
            Since he entered the work as manager, Mr. Sullivan has supervised the placing at work of more than 6,000 men. He has handled a difficult and onerous position so successfully that in the report of Governor Shoup’s committee for the relief of ex-service men and women special commendation was paid him personally.
            Before the campaign for the relief of the destitute discharged soldiers last November and December, Sullivan had distributed all his savings, about $500, to the needy, and was devoting the major portion of his salary as manager, $150 monthly, to the same purpose. He has tried law suits for the ex-service men, obtained their allotments, mileage and transportation when some mistake or red tape had brought about an impasse, and has kept the Colorado delegation in Congress busy seeing that red tape unwound rapidly.
            Altho the crisis is passed, there is great need for the continuance of the demobilization bureau for the next three or four months and Mr. Sullivan so recommends to the mayor.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Over There


Trying to reconstruct the World War I tour of duty of Denver resident Harry Sullivan has not been an easy task. For one thing, there was no draft registration card—Harry, apparently, did not wait to be told to get involved; he volunteered. In fact, he did so before the United States was even officially embroiled in the European conflict. Mention of his “vacation in the mountains” pinpointed June 26, 1916, as the date Harry left Denver to report to the Golden rifle range, a facility operated by the Colorado National Guard—nearly ten months before the U.S. declaration of war in April, 1917.

While the Denver papers mentioned Harry’s ties to the “157th Division”—or the “157th Infantry,” as it was called in other newspaper reports—just as we encountered in researching Harry’s own name, it seems there were doubles, even, for the name of Harry’s military unit. Trying to trace the lines—yes, that was even called “lineage” in one instance—of Harry’s division felt remotely like trying to follow the lines of track entering a Chicago rail yard.

To get an idea of what, exactly, the 157th Division constituted, I traced the line through several Wikipedia articles. It appears one must take care in sorting out which 157th is being referred to. The “157th Field Artillery Regiment” seems to be the unit that included our Kelly family descendant, Harry. It was both an infantry and a field artillery regiment of the Army National Guard. It served as part of the 40th Infantry Division during World War I.

Reading that the 40th Infantry Division was organized at Camp Kearny was an encouraging sign to someone like me, unaccustomed to how the military seems to appreciate mash-ups of what seemed to be specifically numbered units. I recalled the newspaper article noting that Harry had been at Camp Kearny.

It was helpful, also, to read the “lineage” of this specific unit. With a history starting in 1879 with designation as the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Colorado National Guard, once war was imminent in 1917, the entire regiment was drafted into Federal service, then re-designated as the 157th Infantry, part of the 40th Division.

Somehow, between Camp Kearny and wherever in France the 157th was sent, they became part of the National Army, a blend of the regular United States Army, the various units comprising the United States National Guard, and those assigned to duty from the eventual draft.

According to one narrative, the 157th Infantry arrived in France in August, 1918, as part of the 40th Division. However, the division as a whole did not serve together, but troops from the 40th were assigned out to other, more experienced combat divisions as needed. Thus, Harry could have served anywhere the 40th supplied replacement soldiers.

Though the armistice went into effect on November 11, 1918, the 157th Division did not return stateside until the following spring. A number of different dates are offered in various online sites—certainly not providing clarity to our questions of where and when, exactly, our Harry Sullivan served. However, with the Denver Post article pinpointing Harry’s arrival home as April 26, 1919, it certainly provided a window on at least this one soldier’s timeline.

A photograph in a wonderful collection at the Denver Public Library provides corroboration for that date. Showing a parade of the returning “157th Regiment” marching in formation down Sixteenth Street in downtown Denver, the photograph is dated that very same day, April 26, 1919. (While I’m unable, at this point, to obtain permission to share this photo, you may view it by clicking here to be redirected to the source.)

While Harry’s arrival home must have been a relief to his mother and siblings, Harry apparently intended to heed the words he remembered General Pershing say in his address to the troops still in France:
Now you are going home and your services as soldiers will soon cease, but you will still be in the service of our country, for you will take up the fight of good citizens, and I know you will not fail.

Within days, he was off to his next project. Though the war was over, Harry’s own personal battle to overcome difficulties on behalf of many others was about to begin.


Above: Cover to the sheet music for the 1917 George M. Cohan war song, "Over There." Courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

In the Service of Our Country


So the young lieutenant returning home to Denver after the Great War was welcomed by two sisters with the right names—Florence and Regina Sullivan—but was reported to have been welcomed by the warm embrace of a mother named Katherine Sullivan. Not Julia.

I dunno…call it wishful thinking, but I’m hoping the “C” in “Julia C. Sullivan” wasn’t just there to represent her maiden name, Creahan. After yesterday’s discovery, I’m sincerely hoping that “C” was meant to stand for a middle name of Catherine—which, of course, would often be misspelled as Katherine.

I’m still in pursuit of everything that I can find about the descendants of my Kelly family from Lafayette, Indiana—including Michael and Bridget Kelly Creahan’s daughter Julia, who had moved to Denver, Colorado, sometime before her marriage there in 1888. I’ve been trying to reconstruct this family constellation, line upon line, but those efforts have been thwarted on many fronts. The minute I finally feel like I’ve found substantial evidence to connect the right Julia Sullivan with the one I knew as Julia Creahan, it seems there’s another twist in the story.

In the process of conducting this research, however, I slowly got sucked in to the story, itself. With Julia’s son Harry’s charming story splashed throughout the pages of Denver newspapers, I couldn’t help being captivated. Alright, I admit it: Harry Sullivan became my new “ooh, shiny” decoy. Whether he turns out to be family or fascinating diversion—and after yesterday’s newspaper article naming his mother as Katherine, not Julia, it isn’t looking too hopeful for the family side of the equation—I had to follow the rest of the story as it unfolded in the Denver papers.

One question was, “So where did Harry go, once he was sent ‘over there’ to fight in the Great War?” Reconstructing that record of service is not so easy, but I think I’ll be able to explain some of the details in tomorrow’s post. But for now, I’d like to share just one excerpt from a Denver Post article appearing in the January 13, 1920, edition.

The article was a two-page spread about the man of the hour, General John J. Pershing. The Post had put together the in-depth article, including personal recollections “showing the soldierly and personal side of General Pershing” by a number of Denver residents who, in service in France, had met the general personally. Among the Denver men quoted in the article was—you guessed it—Harry A. Sullivan.
            …Harry Sullivan vividly recalls the day when General Pershing inspected the 157th at Point de Loma, France, just before its departure for home.
            “It was a proud day for all of us,” says Mr. Sullivan, “when the commander-in-chief told us we were a fine looking body of men and had performed our work well, in a manner meeting all expectations.”
            “‘Now you are going home and your services as soldiers will soon cease, but you will still be in the service of our country, for you will take up the fight of good citizens, and I know you will not fail,’ he told us.
            “He has a remarkable memory. When he saw Col. Pat Hamrock, commanding the 157th, he stopped and said: ‘Where have I seen you before, colonel? Your face is familiar.’ Colonel Hamrock replied that it was out in California in 1911, and the general, shaking hands, immediately recalled the circumstances.”

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Missing Link


…is still missing.

What appears at first to be the smoking gun conclusively connecting this Denver guy we’ve been researching—Harry A. Sullivan—with the family of our Kelly descendant, Julia Creahan Sullivan, ends up with a frustrating twist of details.

Chalk it up to another in a long line of aggravating journalistic errors—and believe me, I’ve found many to complain about over the years—or see it as proof that I’ve been, yet again, barking up the wrong family tree.

Either way, there is one single word in this April 26, 1919, Denver Post article that provides me no end of frustration.
            One of the happiest family reunions witnessed Saturday at the station was that of the Sullivan family, who welcomed home their son and brother, Lieut. Harry Sullivan, a former semi-professional baseball player of Denver.
            Mrs. Katherine Sullivan of 817 East Tenth avenue, the mother, was the first to catch a glimpse of her son, and she lost no time in edging thru the crowd and throwing her arms around the happy soldier. Regina and Florence, his two younger sisters, were next on the reception committee to cry a little and smile a whole lot over the return of their loved one.

Katherine?

Really?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Where’s Harry?


In trying to locate any information on Harry Sullivan, son of Julia Creahan Sullivan of Denver, Colorado, it seemed fairly uncomplicated—up to a point. At first, finding his name in the various documents and reference volumes at the beginning of the 1900s was straightforward. Right off the bat, we could see nine year old Harry in his mom’s home in the 1900 census. In the 1910 census, there he was again—albeit listed with an age that had not advanced commensurate with that ten year time span—still in Julia’s household.

By the time we had taken a peek at the 1913 city directory, looking for this possible Kelly descendant, it was easy to see Harry was still in the household of Julia C. Sullivan at the same Grant Avenue address that was showing in the 1900 census.

Whether we had found the right newspaper articles for this Harry Sullivan or not, there was a steady stream of mentions in the local papers—a regular showing, in fact, until right up to that last mention in the Rocky Mountain News on Monday, June 26, 1916. While I had shared just a section of the report the other day, here’s the full article:
The O’Fallons defeated the McGinnity All-Stars yesterday at the sunken gardens by a score of 14 to 6. The features of the game were the hitting of Trout, Gaut and Richmond for the winners and the all-around playing of Harry Sullivan, who lifted out three timely hits and made several great catches at the short field. Sullivan leaves today for a brief vacation in the mountains.

Apparently, the “brief vacation in the mountains” to which the News referred was not an idyllic getaway for Harry. While he did end up heading to the mountains, he was going on business—a different kind of business. After all, this was 1916. There was a war going on—although the United States did not embroil itself in the conflict until April, 1917.

Given the number of Harry Sullivans I had been finding in Denver at the time, I was hesitant to believe the next newspaper entries were for the same man. Gone were the fan-pleasing kudos for the popular baseball player—although there were indications that the military Harry was one and the same as the baseball Harry. Apparently, at just about the same time as that June 26, 1916, article was printed in the Rocky Mountain News, Harry was heading for training camp as part of the Colorado National Guard.

It didn’t take the News long to follow Harry’s trail. The July 7 edition that year carried a line drawing of the man, captioned:
One of the best known and most popular baseball players in the state, a member of the Colorado National guard, now at the Golden rifle range, who has been promoted from private to sergeant major of the First battalion, Sullivan, alert and shrewd, a lad who can always be depended upon, is making quite a hit with the “higher ups” at the range. He joined the guard at the first call for men, and his rapid promotion is the talk of the town.

He was up in the mountains, alright—up at Golden, Colorado—and was already beginning to see a rise in his new status in the Guard.

Harry was gone from Denver for the rest of the summer playing season and well into the winter, judging from the next appearance of his name in any Denver papers. The News promised on January 15, 1917, that
Harry Sullivan and Shorty O’Connor, well-known local ball players, who have been stationed with the national guard, expect to be back by March 1.

They were back—although a little later than March first, as promised—but not for long. The March 18, 1917, News gave his fans a glimpse of what Harry had been up to in the past few months.
Hail, hail: the famous boys are here! Harry Sullivan and Shorty O’Conner, the best-known players of corner lots, are scheduled to arrive in town today. They have been at the border with the Prides of Colorado, at the Brownsville (Texas) military camp.

Perhaps Harry remained in Denver for a few months, for the News mentioned him once again on May 23, 1917, as part of an article on local military developments:
            Two squads of women, each with eight members…gave a finished exhibition of preliminary army drills at the third meeting of the Colorado woman’s regiment at the Brown Palace hotel last night.
            Under the direction of Capt. Charles H. Doke of the first separate battalion of infantry, drill master, assisted by Sergt. Harry Sullivan, the squads of young women easily acquired the drill and gave promise of becoming first-class soldiers….

Not long afterwards—on July 24—yet another promotion was announced in the News for Harry:
Sergt. Harry Sullivan has been promoted to second lieutenant….

By June September 7, 1917, it seemed that life was returning to normal for Harry—almost. He was back to playing ball in Denver, according to the News:
Headed by Lieut. Harry Sullivan, a baseball nine composed of some of the best players at Fort Logan will play the American Beauties at Thirty eighth and Wyandot street Sunday afternoon.

That, however, seemed to be short-lived. There was another mission on the horizon for Harry. He made one more visit to Denver, mentioned in the News on June 12, 1918—this time from a military post in California. Perhaps this provides the explanation why we couldn't find this Harry in the Denver city directory for 1918:
Lieut. Harry Sullivan, who has played ball with many different clubs on the lots of Denver, is here on a visit from Camp Kearny, Cal. He will miss many of his team mates as pretty nearly all of them are in Uncle Sam’s service.

What became of Harry Sullivan after this point, in terms of his participation in the war, was not clear—until after the war was over. Even after the armistice on November 11, 1918, no further mention of Harry appeared in the paper until two articles printed in May, 1919.

One of those two mentions appeared in the Denver Post on May 18, and gave a glimpse of where Harry had been, and what business obligations still awaited him.
Lieut. Harry Sullivan, who just returned from France with the 157th division, is leaving Denver today for Salt Lake City, to help the Mormon City in their Victory Drive there. They are away behind Denver and Harry is going to show them what they should do.

The other article, short and sweet, provides us with—almost—just the familial connection which we were all hoping for.


Photograph: Panoramic view of Camp Kearny, California, taken in January, 1918, about the time Harry Sullivan may have been there in training; courtesy Library of Congress via Wikipedia; in the public domain.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Denver: Doppelgänger City


Have you ever gotten so mired in your research, so unsuccessful in seeking ancestors from one particular city, that you began to feel like you had entered some type of twilight zone?

When it comes to Sullivans in Denver, that’s how I’m feeling right now. With multiple Thomas Sullivans to mask any success in finding either the father or the eldest son of the family I'm seeking, along with several false leads concerning the mother, Julia Sullivan, such quirks of the population are certainly making me apprehensive about jumping for joy just because I’ve found an entry for anyone with those names in early-1900s Denver.

Could it be any different, now that I’m seeking Julia’s son Harry? What are the chances that this Kelly descendant would be mom to a successful local athlete?

After that run of enthusiastic newspaper reports about semi-pro player, Harry Sullivan, I had to take a step back and assess everything else that could be found. Wedged in between all those other newspaper accounts of the much-liked all-round sports guy Harry, there were indicators that didn’t add up to the dates and details I knew about the Harry who was Julia’s son.

Take this July 17, 1915, entry in the Rocky Mountain News, sandwiched in right after the remark about the “most popular player of the Cottrells”:
Harry Sullivan, the popular and well-known lawyer of our town will appear in a Colonial uniform Sunday.

Note: that wasn’t a sports uniform being mentioned in the paper—at least I think it wasn't. Nor was this man popular for his sports accomplishments: he was a lawyer.

Not that I have anything against lawyers, you understand. It’s just that I can’t see a well-known lawyer having enough free time to consume on so many athletic endeavors. Or dramatic presentations.

But I’ll take a look at it, anyway. May as well entertain the possibility. This Harry may turn out to be more well-rounded than I at first suspected.

One way to find occupational clues would be to check the census records. However, since this newspaper article was printed in 1915, it falls right in between two census enumerations. For someone as young as our Harry, anything can change in a ten year period.

As it turns out, the 1910 census showed our Harry as a clerk, just as his older brother was listed. However, though his brother Thomas’ employer was easily decipherable as “R. R. Office,” the enumerator’s handwriting was just this side of illegible. Perhaps it was hopeful thinking that led me to assume Harry’s type of employer was “Lawers O.”

Before I could figure out whether our Harry was an athlete or a lawyer—or both—I ran into this second volley of newspaper entries.

From the Rocky Mountain News on September 16, 1915, this one-liner:
            Harry Sullivan says it’s nothing to it. Why, everybody in town keeps him busy buying insurance.

What? Being a lawyer or selling insurance? This little entry printed ten days later in the Rocky Mountain News column “Athletic Salad” seems to indicate that the athletic Harry was one and the same as the insurance Harry. Does this mean we nix the attorney—or that young Harry was moonlighting?
            Salad Editor: Is Harry Sullivan any relation to the late John L. Sullivan? Did he ever milk cows in Racine, Wis.? What business is he in at present?—Just a Bug, Pueblo
            A—No. B—Not on records. C—Insurance mostly.

But a subsequent newspaper article in the December 3 Post seems to make him out to be a high school football player, though our Harry was much closer to twenty five than eighteen by this time.
            West Denver High school football players yesterday elected Harry Sullivan as captain for the 1916 grid season. Sullivan played left half for the West Siders this year and was a star performer.

Only a month after that announcement, sports columns popped up in the Denver Post, written by someone named Harry Sullivan. This couldn’t be the same guy as the high school football captain. Was the columnist for “High Kicks” yet another Harry Sullivan in town?

Just how many Harry Sullivans were there in Denver? Could the city directories give any help here?

Let’s take a look at the city directories available for Denver in that time period. I could only find two close enough to match the date of those 1915 newspaper mentions: one before the date (in 1913) and one afterwards (in 1918). Let’s see just how many Harry Sullivans there were in Denver back then.

Counting the Harry Sullivans in the 1913 directory, I found four: a plumber, a bartender, someone whose entry just showed his residence on a street called Hooker, and our Harry A., listed as a clerk for a concern known as C. W. Waterman. Judging from the many results of a Google search for the name C. W. Waterman, it’s a fairly safe assumption that Harry was working at one of Denver’s law firms. I’m just not sure that would qualify him to be labeled as a lawyer, as the Rocky Mountain News had maintained in its July 17, 1915, report. Then again, I can’t see Harry the plumber or bartender Harry being called an attorney, either.

The 1918 city directory wasn’t any more help than that. By then, the Harry Sullivan count in Denver was down to two, neither of which was our Harry—which leads to the question: what became of Harry A. Sullivan?
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