Nutting Family

Harry Nutting, Feb. 1926. He died about one month after this photo was taken.
Harry Nutting, Feb. 1926. He died about one month after this photo was taken.

The two Nutting brothers, Harry and Rupert, were prominent figures on Littleton's Main Street for decades. They were from a family of eight children whose parents were Eugene and Sarah Curtis Nutting.

Harry Eugene Nutting, the older of the two brothers, was born in Linn County, Iowa June 28, 1867. After spending his boyhood in Iowa and Kansas, he came with his family to Deer Trail and then to Silver Cliff, Colorado. His younger brother, Rupert was born in Silver Cliff in October 1882.

Harry, or perhaps the whole family, went from Silver Cliff to Canon City, Colorado. In 1888 he became a bookkeeper for the R. W. English Lumber Company in Salida. One year later he was moved to Littleton and was made manager of the R. W. English Lumber Company here. It was located at the northwest corner of Main Street and Prince.

In 1892 R. W. English started a bank in connection with the lumber company. In 1896 Harry Nutting became cashier of the bank, and also continued to manage the lumber company. This was the Bank of Littleton that later became the First National Bank of Littleton. In 1902 R. W. English sold the bank and the lumberyard to a partnership of William C. Sterne, Ed C. Sterne and Harry Nutting. They organized the Littleton Lumber Company. Harry Nutting was again its manager.

Annie Maud (Hicks) Nutting, c.1926
Annie Maud (Hicks) Nutting, c.1926

Miss Annie Maud Hicks married Harry Nutting February 7, 1900 in the Littleton Presbyterian Church. She was born in Clifton, Ontario, Canada, November 2, 1873. Her father, the Rev. William Hicks, brought the family to Colorado in 1885 when he was assigned to a church in North Denver. After graduating from North High School, Annie entered college at Greeley and became a teacher at Lafayette, Colorado and Denver. Her brother, Arthur Hicks, was minister of the Littleton Presbyterian Church from 1893 to 1894, and the father, William Hicks, succeeded him and served from 1894 to 1899.

Annie and Harry Nutting first lived at what was then 27 North Nevada. In 1907-1908 they built a home that is still standing at what is now 1899 West Littleton Boulevard. This is the place where Ralph Moody, author of Little Britches and Man of the Family, worked as a yard boy, digging dandelions.

Harry Nutting was town treasurer in 1908. He was a trustee of the Littleton Presbyterian Church from 1899 until his death in 1926 and a member of the Weston Masonic Lodge in Littleton. An active Rotarian, he had just completed his term as president when he suffered a fatal heart attack while driving home to Littleton from a lumberman's luncheon in Denver on March 29, 1926. Besides his widow, he was survived by sisters, Mrs. Gladys Davis of Colorado Springs and Mrs. Chester Shultis of Corvallis, Oregon. The newspaper called him a man of rare business judgment and one of the leading factors in the growth of Littleton.

After Harry's death, Annie (Hicks) Nutting worked at the Littleton Lumber Company for twenty-five years. The Littleton Independent, in its 50th anniversary edition of 1938, wrote of her in its Who's Who section saying, "Nutting, Mrs. Annie: corresponding secretary, Business and Professional Woman's Club; graduate of State Teachers' College; taught in Denver six and one-half years; married in 1900 to Harry Nutting; charter member and president of Littleton Women's Club; active member of the Presbyterian Church; member of the library board since its organization; associated with W. C. Sterne and Charles Sterne in the Littleton Lumber Company."

The Nutting residence at 1899 W. Littleton Blvd., built in 1907-08 for Mr. and Mrs. Harry Nutting, and occupied by Mrs. Nutting until her death in 1961.
The Nutting residence at 1899 W. Littleton Blvd., built in 1907-08 for Mr. and Mrs. Harry Nutting, and occupied by Mrs. Nutting until her death in 1961.

At the Littleton Presbyterian Church, Annie Nutting was Sunday School superintendent and class teacher as well as pianist. She was also active in a garden club and in the W. C. T. U. (Women's Christian Temperance Union.) She died October 24, 1961, just short of eighty-eight.

Rupert Edwin "Skip" Nutting, younger brother of Harry, was, as mentioned above, born at Silver Cliff, Colorado in October 1882, but moved to Canon City as a child and went to school there. He was the youngest of the eight Nutting children. In 1899 he and a sister, Belle Nutting, both of whom had been attending school at Greeley, visited their brother, Harry in Littleton.

Rupert Nutting moved to Littleton in 1902 and started work at the R. W. English Lumber Company, where his brother Harry was manager. Rupert was also office man and bill collector for the Arapahoe Light and Power Company that William C. "Billy" Sterne had started in 1903. Its office was also located in the English Lumber Company building. Thus three offices were housed in the little building at the northwest corner of Main and Prince Streets: the Littleton Lumber Company, the Arapahoe Light and Power Company and the "town bank," the Bank of Littleton. Rupert Nutting helped conduct it, also.

Rupert Nutting and Miss Jessie Palmer Bosworth were married September 11, 1907 at the residence of the bride's sister, Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox on Santa Fe Avenue (now Bemis Street). Jessie was the charming and accomplished twenty-two year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Bosworth of Fairfield, Iowa. The groom, a popular young man of Littleton, was said to have a bright future in front of him. It was the special event of the year, and in a somewhat unusual move for the time, the newspaper printed their separate portraits along with a detailed description of the nuptials.

The young couple lived at 195 North Nevada (now 5601 South Nevada.) The house later became the home of William C. and Alice Cuthbert. It was at the southwest corner of Nevada Street and Powers Avenue and is still standing. In 1926 Rupert and Jessie Nutting built a home at 201 South Windermere (now 5809 South Windermere) that is still standing.

Rupert "Skip" Nutting was a volunteer fireman with the Littleton Hose Boys for many years and became fire chief in 1917. He was later elected president of the state firemen's association. In 1913 he entered the grocery business on Main Street with the Shellabarger brothers. Their store was at the corner of Main and Curtice. An ad on December 19, 1913 shows them with their delivery wagon and advertises, "We deliver with a motor truck, anytime, anywhere. Platte Canon every Tuesday and Friday." In April 1914 the newspaper said that the Shellabarger brothers sold their interest in the grocery to E. D. Bradford. In 1915 ads appeared for Nutting and Bradford, Grocers. The Phillips Highland Company, described as owners of several big ranches south and southeast of Littleton, purchased the R. E. Nutting grocery store in 1924. The newspaper said that it would be known as The Phillips Highland Company Littleton Market, and Mr. Nutting would remain as manager. There were plans for enlarging the business.

Rupert's main business seemed to be the lumber company. He and his colleague, Louis Neff, retired September 1, 1958 and turned over the management of Littleton Lumber to Loren Ringsted. Charles Sterne was president of the lumber company and gave a testimonial dinner to Rupert Nutting and Louis Neff at the Columbine Country Club in August that year. Rupert was twice elected president of the Mountain States Lumber Dealers' Association. When he retired he had been in business on Main Street longer than any other man.

After retiring he began to sort out the large accumulation of papers he had collected over the years at the store vault. Some of these, it was written in his obituary just four months later, were for the Littleton Area Historical Society. When he was at the office, he still helped out there and also continued to conduct a small fire insurance business.

Rupert Nutting died January 10, 1959 at age seventy-six. Like his brother, Harry, he had been devoted to the Presbyterian Church where he was a trustee for thirty years. He was a driving force when the church built an addition to its original building in downtown Littleton in 1910, and again when it erected its new Jacques Benedict-designed building at Windermere and Littleton Boulevard in 1929. Another special interest was the Arapahoe County chapter of the Red Cross. The newspaper said that he was known to have dug in his own pocket to help out destitute or stranded families. He was a loyal supporter of the Chamber of Commerce, a charter member of the Rotary and Optimist Clubs and later worked with the Lions Club.

Jessie and Rupert Nutting had two children, Edwin Bosworth and Helen Jane. After Rupert's death Jessie remarried February 14, 1960 to Dr. William Flint, a Littleton dentist, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They made their home at 5809 South Windermere. Jessie (Bosworth) Nutting Flint died May 4, 1969.

At Rupert Nutting's death the newspaper's observation could have been said of both brothers: "Mr. Nutting arrived here when Littleton had oil lamps instead of electric street lights, wooden sidewalks on Main Street and shoppers who came in buggies. Bonds of friendship were close in such a town where people provided their own leisure-time activities, and Mr. Nutting was a central figure in this society, loved by the people of the community."

Harry, Annie, Rupert and Jessie are buried in the Littleton Cemetery.


First Presbyterian Church of Littleton records. Registers, 1883-

Littleton (Colo.) Independent. Littleton Independent Publishers, 1888-

Littleton Museum. Card file; Photographic Archives.

Mount Rosa Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Littleton Cemetery, Littleton, Colorado. Littleton, Colorado: Mount Rosa Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1983.

Simmons, R. Laurie and Thomas H. Simmons. "Historic Buildings Survey, Littleton, Colorado, Littleton Townsite of 1890." Three volumes. Denver: Front Range Research Associates, Inc., 1997, Revised 1998.

Photographs courtesy of the Littleton Museum unless otherwise noted. To order copies, contact the museum at 303-795-3950.

Compiled by Doris Farmer Hulse

Updated April 2021 by Phyllis Larison