District Attorney Profile

George A. Carlson

George A. Carlson (DA 1909-1915)

GEORGE A. CARLSON (1876 - 1926)

Eighth Judicial District, 1909 - 1915

George A. Carlson grew up in Denver and earned his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1904.  He opened his first law practice in Lewiston, Idaho, and a year later relocated to Fort Collins, Colorado.  He served as Deputy District Attorney under George H. Van Horn.

In 1909, after Carlson took office as District Attorney, his first move, according to the Rocky Mountain News, was “to strike with smashing force at the criminal and law-breaking element of Fort Collins.”  In his first twenty-three days in office and with the assistance of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, he took in $8,000 in fines and turned up fifty-eight guilty pleas.  He also distinguished himself in the prosecution of two Weld County Commissioners for alleged fraud in the construction of a concrete bridge across the Platte River.

Of Carlson's years as District Attorney, one of his biographers wrote: “He is studious, careful and possessed of a fair, judicial mind; his clients are dealt with in a spirit of fairness and courtesy, and he is respected by members of the bar.”

Carlson was elected Governor of Colorado 1914 and took office in January, 1915.  In 1916, he signed into law a prohibition bill, making Colorado a dry state. After his two-year term, he practiced law in Denver.  He is buried in Linn Grove Cemetery, in Greeley.

Photo: Library of Congress