Parish Clergy

  The Reverend Henry Codman Potter,
    (Rector of St. John's Church, Troy)
Founding Priest
The Reverend Charles Purviance


  The Reverend Francis Mansfield Rector 1860 - 1861
  The Reverend Francis G. Wainright Rector 1861 - 1862
  The Reverend Henry Moore Davis
1863 - 1875
The Reverend John Henry Houghton Rector 1875 - 1890
The Reverend Thomas Dickinson

Assistant Rector

1888 - 1889
The Reverend Harris C. Rush
Assistant Rector
1889 - 1890
1890 - 1901
The Reverend Samuel Borden Smith


1901 - 1910
  The Reverend Frederick T. Ashton Rector 1911 - 1919
  The Reverend John Hill Johnson Rector 1919 - 1921
  The Reverend John Montgomery Rich Supply 1921
  The Reverend Benjamin T. Trigo Rector 1922 - 1923
  The Reverend Charles H. Hatheway Rector 1924 - 1931
  The Reverend John Lloyd Rector 1932 - 1933
  The Reverend Schuyler D. Jenkins Rector 1936 - 1942
  The Reverend Frederick A. Turner Rector 1942 - 1945
  The Reverend Arthur Abraham Rural Dean 1945
  The Reverend Harry G. Campbell Priest-in-charge 1946 - 1947
  The Reverend Reginald T. Bliss Rector 1948 - 1952
  The Reverend Maxwell Rice } Supply Clergy  
  The Reverend J.C. Potts  
  The Reverend John Ramsey  
  The Reverend Robert Liguori Rector 1955 - 1956
  The Reverend Victor Dowdell Priest-in-charge 1956 - 1963
  The Reverend Richard Barrett Rector 1964 - 1968
  The Reverend John McCarthy Rector 1968 - 1969
  The Reverend Robert Cook Rector 1969 - 1975
  The Reverend Guy E. Kagey Rector 1975 - 1983
  The Reverend Darius Mojallali Rector 1983 - 1988

The Reverend Jere S. Berger Priest-in-charge 1988 - 1996

The Reverend Charles M. Miller III Priest-in-charge 1996 - 1999
  The Reverend John T. Adams
2000 - 2003
The Very Reverend Gary W. Kriss Vicar 2003 -

Return to Parish History Page


The Colorado Churchman

December 1897

 The Rev. John H. Houghton

The Rector of St. Mark's completed five years of work in Denver on Thanksgiving Day. He came from Salem in the Diocese of Albany where he had worked eighteen years under Bishop Doane. In this quiet parish of an hundred communi­cants he did the same kind of work which his ministry in St. Mark's has shown, an open church, devoted children, frequent services. The beginning of a new Church was made in a great stone tower and transept, a Rectory was added, then a Parish House, and the whole was surrounded by a park of nearly an acre, the marvel of both country and city visitors in its beauty.  In the last eight years he built up Rexleigh school for boys, for which in some instances pupils were entered as soon as they were born!

It was quite singular that within a few miles of Salem, N. Y., all his youth was spent, and in those days he was the playmate of Wm. G. Fisher, Denver's great merchant. He was born at Albany, N. Y., however, March, 29, 1848, educated for nine years at the Hudson River Institute, Claverack, N. Y., and graduated at St. Stephens' College, Annandale, N. Y. in the class of '69. He passed his three years at the General Theological Seminary in New York. Was nearly two years the Deacon at Trinity Church, New York, went abroad for a year, and took up his one charge at Salem, N. Y. In 1892, this work was given up that he might come to a climate which would promise health to Mrs. Houghton, whom he married in 1885 the daughter of Geo. C. Hance, Esq., Treasurer of the Diocese of New Jersey. She lived only a few months, dying May 1893, and was buried in Fairmount, leaving an only daughter, Eleanor Gregory Houghton, now seven years old.

Mr. Houghton in his record is essentially a "Parish Priest." He often says that he would rather have the memory of his great namesake in New York, Dr. Geo. H. Houghton of the Transfiguration (may he rest in peace) than of any greater name in the American Church. Such a man must be a man of love, patient in sowing, never living with the present, but in the future. While burdened with details and doing the work of two or three men, he is as well known to the people  and  children of his  district

The children's memorial to Fr. Houghton at St. Mark's, Denver.

as any priest in the city.  His first care is child life. Everywhere when moving among his own, girls of every denomination, whether they come to St. Mark's or not, "curtsey" to him, and the boys take off their hats, being influenced by the example of his own children. A majority of those in the schools of his district come to his Sunday School which has nearly 600 names on its books. On a recent visit to Corona school, for he esteems this part of his pastoral duty to visit the public schools regularly, in a room of forty, thirty-five raised their hands as members of St. Mark's, and all the others knew him well. St. Mark's on week days and Sundays alike, simply swarms with children, their week day service Saturday at 9.30 running from 35 to 50, with a full choir of boys. At their Matins on Sunday 9.15 there are 175 present, and at the Evensong 3.45 when one of the Rector's "stories" is in progress,

often 400 can be counted. Guilds for young life ramify all over the city where-ever his children live, and the first law of all of them is prayer for the Church and Pastor, and the second, some active work for Christ.  All his boys are brought up to read the service in Chapel, and as soon as they turn eighteen compelled to report a choice of some special work. One commands the Boys' Brigade, aided by a dozen others, some usher in the Church, some sing in the choir, but a life that does nothing Mr. Houghton will not abide. Over 100 youths are communicants of the Church, each has to appear at a monthly preparation before his communion, and to every one a regular communion morning at 7.30 is assigned to which they come without fail, often times two and three miles. The love which these children and youths have for St. Mark's is simply inextinguishable, it cannot be described, one must visit the Church and talk with them, to comprehend it.

The Elders are not less active. Though there are some fifteen different societies, besides the three Sunday Schools, every one is well officered and weekly attendance numbers from ten to thirty-five. Each Guild has its particular work, but the first object in all is to gather for prayer and reach out in some ways to the poor and sick. There are over fifty teachers in the Sunday Schools, the Sunday attendance averaging 350. At 1116 California Street three large rooms are rented and named St Philip's Mission. Nearly every  night  something  is going on,  the  Rector  preaching  once a week on  Thursday

St. Mark's, Denver

nights.  Mrs. S. J. Atwood holding large clubs of youths and maidens, all devoted to St. Mark's as their Parish Church. On Saturday at 2.30 a very efficient sewing school is carried on, and on Sunday at 3.00, Mr. F. S. Burrage superintends a "live" Sunday School, when no teacher can go to sleep.

Mr. Houghton is personally known to every worker, and can call the name of nearly every child; the consequence is that he holds in himself the direction of the power and force of the whole organism, and the strain of such a rush of enthusiasm he has to thank a splendid constitution that he can stand.   In Churchmanship, the Rector of St. Mark's is the pupil of Dr. Dix, of Trinity, and Dr. Houghton insists on the primary principles of the Universal Church, whether expressed outwardly or not in ritual.   He is called a fair preacher, but is too burdened to cultivate the gift.   The services are notably reverent, very frequent, and the congregation though made up of thoroughly Western material, embracing all denominations is united and constantly growing.   In '92, there were 150 communicants, now there are nearly           , then the early celebrations had three or four, now thirty to sixty every Sunday morning.   The five daily services average twenty-five.   Could this work have begun without the handicap of $40,000 debt, and the money paid in interest have been put into the work, it is not exaggeration to say, that there would have been 2,000 communicants, with every agency for good increased five fold. The debt is now $33,560, and the Rector rightly insists that a tremendous effort shall be made to throw this off at Easter.   It is a burden that destroys all enthusiasm, buries the best money of the parishioners in a useless hole, and is wearing out a life which for lack of means, works within prison bars.  One thing notable in St. Mark's is that every part of the work is thoroughly balanced.  One has only to travel around a bit to see what this means.   Oftentimes a splendid preacher is found and no Sunday School. A parish devoted to work  and a wretched choir, but in St, Mark's everything is "all around" good, and such a statement is of course first creditable to the head, but almost, as much due to the effectiveness of his helpers.   The hardest worker next to the Rector is undoubtedly the Organist and Precentor, Dingley Brown, and it is difficult to say whether the choir is most proud of their trainer or he of his willing singers.  There are choirs in the great cities which possibly sing more artistically, but  for enthusiasm, attack, heartily reverent rendering of everything, give us Dingley Brown and his boys and adults.   The same can be said of the congregation's reading, it is like a rush of waters, fairly scaring a new attendant with its volume.   In all this we are only describing what many say; when in Denver.   Go and see for yourself.

We wish to say that the success of the colorado churchman has the Rector of St. Mark's very best wishes. He has taken a page of each issue, by the side of which will be found, the names of his own people as advertisers. He is thus enabled to lay 400 copies at the doors of the people in his district, and he mails 200 copies to old and prominent friends in the East. Over 4,000 are circulated and a better medium to reach West and East could scarce be found.

Editor's notes:  Typographical errors in the original have been corrected in this transcript, including the name of the town in which the Hudson River Institute was located, Claverack, given in the original as "Craverack."  Also, the missing date of Fr. Houghton's first marriage has been supplied.  Otherwise, the text is given as it appeared in The Colorado Churchman.  Additional notes:  The Houghtons' surviving daughter, Eleanor, was not their only child.  Their first daughter, Gertrude, died in Salem before her second birthday in 1888.  The memorial pictured above was erected in St. Mark's Church, Denver, by the children of the parish following Fr. Houghton's death in 1917.

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