Clayton Francis Becker, a young man from Kentucky, was excited about everything at Harvard College in 1859. He wrote to his sister, Mary, details about all the events he witnessed, even funerals.
In January, 1859 he attended services for the late historian and Harvard alumnus William Hickling Prescott. He described the late Mr. Prescott as “the author whose writings I admire more than any other I have yet read.”
After graduating with the Harvard Law Class of 1862, Clayton Francis Becker served as a law clerk in Washington, D.C. He married and went west in 1867 to establish a St. Louis law practice. Gold fever lured him to Colorado in 1880 and he hung out his shingle in the mining town Central City. He served two terms as Gilpin County judge and one term as district judge before retiring in 1893 to his new home at 1145 Emerson Street in Denver. Judge Becker died in 1907 leaving behind his 1862 Harvard yearbook, receipts for his educational expenses, and a packet of letters his sister Mary had saved.
For another take on reading, see my blog post “Treasuring Books” http://www.womenwritingthewest.blogspot.com/2013/07/treasuring-books.html