When the Cañon City Municipal building was opened in 1928, a curator was needed for the new museum located on the second level. Dall DeWeese had already donated his collection for viewing for which someone was needed to care for and any incoming donations. The Cañon City Daily Record reported on the decision on February 21, 1928. The City Council named Reverend S.H. Sperry as the temporary curator with instructions to begin his duties immediately.
Samuel Harrison Sperry was born in Duncan’s Falls, Ohio on January 24, 1851. In 1876, Sperry became involved in the Iowa City Republican as head of the circulation department and later as city editor. He then purchased the Oxford, Iowa Journal and continued in the business for 25-30 years. It wasn’t until 1901 that Sperry entered the ministry and was made an ordained deacon in the Methodist Episcopal church by Bishop McDowell. He was eventually sent to Colorado where he was charged with Cañon City, Hillside, Westcliffe, and Silver Cliff locations. He made his home in Cañon City in 1910 where he resided until his death. Due to his health, he had to retire from ministerial work. For some time, he occupied himself with part ownership of the Rambler Print Shop with his son Robert, which they sold in 1926. Sperry held the position of curator from the time of his appointment in 1928 until his death in February 1930.
May 11-17 is Museum Week! We will be sharing some early history of the museum throughout the week.
The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.