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Over a Century of Caring for Colorado's Children

The History of Tennyson Center for Children at Colorado Christian Home


Over a century ago in northern Colorado, a legacy of caring was born when John and Mary Warren founded Colorado Christian Home as an orphanage in 1904.  The campus may have changed a bit since the early days, but that legacy lives on today at Tennyson Center for Children.

We’ve grown quite a bit in the past century and today we are one of the Rocky Mountain region’s leading treatment centers for abused, neglected and at-risk youth.  We were proud to be the first licensed day treatment program in Colorado back in 1981;  we were proud when we moved into our new, state-of-the-art facility back in 1996; and we’re even more proud today to be recognized as a leader in not only the healing and protection of children from abuse and neglect, but also in the efforts to eradicate child abuse from our society.

The Warren Years 1901-1912




 1902 Warren farm deed transferred to the National Benevolent Association (NBA)
1905 McMillen building dedicated in a May ceremony
1905 NBA changes home’s name to Colorado Christian Home
1907 Moved to Denver location
1910 Dedication of Warren Hall at 29th and Tennyson

Warren Farm
Tennyson Center for Children began as a dream in the hearts and minds of two school teachers,
Mary V. and John W. Warren.

Having no children of their own, but a deep religious faith, the couple first offered their farm west of Loveland, Colorado in 1901 as a gift to the
National Benevolent Association (NBA) to be the site of an industrial school for children.

With the donation of 10 adjoining acres from Western Sugar Company and financial gifts to construct a dormitory, ground was broken in 1904 and the first children were received into care in 1905. The home was opened with the name of the Loveland Christian Orphanage.


The Henry Years 1912-1945

1926 Dedication of the wings on Warren Hall
1931 Dedication of the Henry Hall Hospital building
1935 First publication of The Visitor
1936 Endowment begun

Henry Hall Hospital
Named in honor of the Reverend Frederick W. Henry, Board of Directors, 1919-1925, and Mrs. Edna R. Henry, Home Superintendent, 1928-1946.







The Tilsley Years 1949-1965

1949 Dedication of the nursery building, Mohorter Nursery Building
1952 Dedication of DeVita Hall, the first of several cottages
1955 50th Anniversary Program

Mohorter Nursery Building
Named in honor of James H. Mohorter, General Secretary of NBA, 1906-1929, and his daughter Helen Mohorter, Tennyson Center for Children Bookkeeper and secretary, 1935-1962.

DeVita Hall
Named in honor of Mattie DeVita, shop and crafts teacher and boys supervisor, 1936-1962.






The Spear Years 1965-1970

1966 First professional social worker hired to staff
1966 Care shifts from custodial care to residential treatment
1967 Child Welfare League of America conducts CCH and community survey
1970 Board votes to raze Warren Hall and rebuild rather than retrofit the building for new fire codes

Residential Treatment

In 1966, a transition from custodial care to residential treatment was implemented. Efforts were made to pass new state laws and seek changes in childcare. In 1978, Tennyson Center for Children completed the transition to a residential treatment center, housing 50 children. In a continuing desire to meet the needs of children, Tennyson Center for Children became the first licensed Day Treatment program in Colorado in 1981.




The Brewer Years 1970-1993

1971 Survey demonstrates shift in types of children referred and their behavioral needs
1973 First classroom opens in campus school
1975 Huston-Miller and Tilsley-Warren cottages open
1978 First Denver Dinner with speaker Craig Morton, former Denver Broncos quarterback
1981 Licensed granted to provide day treatment services
1989 Leased with option to buy Marycrest High School for special education and day treatment programs
1990 Denver Active 20-30 begins to sponsor programs to benefit CCH

Huston-Miller and Tilsley-Warren Cottages
Named in honor of Thomas R. & Ida H. Huston, NBA board members and Tennyson Center for Children Trustees, Everett C. & Emma M. Miller, Tennyson Center for Children Expansion Fund Committee and Board Members, James H. Tilsley, Manager and Field Representative, 1949-1965, & Edna Tilsley, and the Warrens, founders of the home.


The Cooper Years

1996 Tennyson Center building dedicated


1996 Dedication of the Robert L. and Betty A. Manning Family Therapy Center
1997 First golf tournament raises more than $30,000

2003 Friends of Children established to ensure Tennyson Center's services for future generations
2004 Tennyson Center for Children separates from the NBA
2005 Gary-Williams Foundation purchases the Tennyson Center property
December, 2012  As part of Mr. Cooper's plans to retire, he moves into the position of Chief Development Officer and Mr. Rod Witte is hired as President/CEO

Tennyson Center for Children is the first certified residential treatment center for abused and neglected children in Colorado, and is a respected leader in the treatment of children in crisis including those suffering from abuse and neglect.


The Witte Years

Rod Witte

December, 2012  Rod Witte is hired as President/CEO of Tennyson Center
2014  Tennyson Center celebrates its 110th birthday and a century and a decade of caring for the children of Colorado


Services include:

Residential Treatment
Special Education/Day Treatment
Community-Based Family Services
Stepping Stones

Learn more about our services.

If you would like to order a hardback copy of 1904-2004 A Century of Caring: A Pictorial History of Colorado Christian Home, please call 303-433-2541.