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Julie Penrose (1870-1956)

  • Full name: Julie Villiers Lewis McMillan Penrose
  • Born August 12, 1870 in Detroit, Michigan. Her father, Alexander Lewis, was a prominent business man and served as mayor of Detroit in 1876 and 1877.
  • First husband was James “Jim” Howard McMillan, son of U.S. Senator and Michigan Car Company owner James McMillan (Married June 18, 1890).
  • Had two children with Jim: Gladys (1892) and James II (1894).
  • In 1900, moved to Colorado Springs in hopes that her husband, sick with tuberculosis, would regain his health.
  • Son James died from appendicitis on April 3, 1902.
  • Husband Jim died May 9, 1902.
  • Married Colorado Springs entrepreneur Spencer Penrose on April 28, 1906 in London, England.
  • Great enthusiast of performing and visual arts. An original founder of Central City Opera and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.
  • Donated home at 30 West Dale Street to help start Broadmoor Art Academy in 1919. That house was later demolished in order to make room for a new Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 1926.
  • Served as president of El Pomar Foundation for 16 years following Spencer’s death in 1939.
  • In her later years, led effort to expand Glockner-Penrose Hospital. Ultimately, through El Pomar, gave $3.2 million to a capital campaign and hospital was renamed Penrose Hospital.
  • Died January 23, 1956 at the age of 85.
  • Buried in crypt at Will Rogers Shrine.
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