District Attorney Profile

Harper M. Orahood

Harper M. Orahood (DA 1878-1881)

HARPER M. ORAHOOD (1841 - 1915)

First Judicial District 1878 - 1881

Harper M. Orahood settled in Black Hawk in 1860 and became the milling town’s postmaster and treasurer. He also served as Gilpin County’s Clerk and Recorder, and he fought at Sand Creek as part of the first company of militia mustered into service in Colorado Territory.

In 1873, Orahood was admitted to the bar and practiced in the Central City office of Henry M. & Willard Teller. He became city attorney of Central City and Deputy District Attorney under Edward Oliver Wolcott. He succeeded Wolcott to the position of District Attorney, in 1878. That same year, Orahood was elected District Attorney for an additional three-year term, but he resigned part way through, in 1881, to become director of School District No. 1 in Denver.

Orahood’s biographer, in the Portrait & Biographical Record of Denver and Vicinity, called him  “a man of many winning traits - liberal, large-hearted, enterprising and approachable,” adding that he had “won a deserved position of prominence among the people of the state.”

He is buried in Denver’s Fairmount Cemetery next to his family’s impressive obelisk.

Photo: History of Clear Creek & Boulder Valleys, Colorado, by O.L. Baskin & Co. (1880)