Jefferson County’s Judge’s Wall Displays the History of the 1st Judicial District

Beginning in December 2016, walls in the Jefferson County Courthouse showcase the history of the 1st Judicial District, which includes Jefferson and Gilpin Counties. The project is part of a four-phase plan to display information about the judges of the 1st Judicial District. The presentation includes photos and biographical information about the judges, information about the Merit Selection system used since 1967 to appoint and retain judges, and illustrations of the current and past Jefferson County courthouses. Carol Perricone, wife of retired Judge Gaspar Perricone, illustrated the Hall of Justice, and Doyle Harrison illustrated the Courts and Administration Building. These drawings are featured in the Merit Selection Era section. The Election Era section will display Carol’s illustrations of two earlier courthouses.

Phases I and II were introduced at a reception Thursday, December 15, 2016, with current and retired judges, as well as representatives of the Colorado Supreme Court Library and the Bar Association, in attendance. Phases I and II reflect the current judges and retired/former judges who were appointed during the Merit Selection Era. These phases are complete and the results are displayed along two corridors on the first floor of the courthouse. Phases III and IV are in progress and will display information about judges who were elected and served from 1876 to 1969, and judicial officers who served during the ‘Territorial Era’ and ‘Frontier Era’ before 1876. The Judge’s Wall has been a combined effort of the Jefferson County Historical Commission (working committee members Bonnie Scudder, Margaret Chapman, Richard Gardner, Dennis Dempsey and Doyle Harrison), Caren Stanley-1st Judicial District Administrator, Dan Cordova-Colorado Supreme Court Law Librarian, and Ronda Frazier-Jefferson County Archivist. Commissioner Casey Tighe recommended the JCHC assist with this project.

JCHC members volunteer their time. Hundreds of hours were spent researching, writing bios, editing, verifying, tracking down photos, and planning the display. This was truly a team effort, and all of the committee members did a super job. Even a few friends and family members of committee members pitched in. The support, tremendous assistance, and guidance of Dan Cordova, along with Katharine Hales, of the Colorado Supreme Court Library, were much appreciated. Court Administrator Caren Stanley had wanted to see something like this for the district’s judicial officers for several years and was delighted to participate.
—Bonnie Scudder, manager of the project

Descendants and friends of former 1st Judicial District Judges are encouraged to contact the Jefferson County Historical Commission with information, pictures, and/or questions about the project. The Commission is particularly interested in receiving information about the judges who served before 1970 as we are gathering materials for Phase III and IV.  If you have information or questions, please contact Bonnie Scudder at bscudder AT evochs.com. More on Jeffco’s website: Judge’s Wall Will Record Jefferson County Judicial History

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