District Attorneys of Weld County
Hon. Vincent D. Markham, 1869-1871
Mr. Markham was born in Chesterfield County, Virginia, on February 11, 1829. He was raised on a farm until the age of thirteen when, after excelling under the tutelage of his father, a fine classical scholar, he entered William and Mary College. He graduated in 1848. The next few years after leaving college he studied law and was admitted to practice in 1854. He practiced law in Virginia and Kansas and was elected to the Kansas Legislature in 1860. In 1862 he came to Denver and was elected County Attorney of Arapahoe County in 1866. Two years later he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for the then First Judicial District of Colorado. Mr. Markham served as Prosecuting Attorney for Weld County from 1869-1871. photo courtesy of Denver Public Library
Hon. Merrick A. Rogers, 1871-1875
Mr. Rogers was born in Dexter, near Watertown, New York, on December 28, 1838. Mr. Rogers was raised in Illinois after his family moved to that state in 1941. At nineteen years of age he worked in a law office in Freeport, Illinois, then moved to Denver, Colorado, where he engaged in mining until 1861. He then served in the First Regiment of Colorado Infantry where he held the position of Quartermaster Sergeant of his company. He was engaged mainly in scouting service on the frontier of New Mexico, Texas and Indian Territory until the discharge of his regiment in the spring of 1865. In July 1867, he resumed the study of law in the office of his partner, L.B. France, and was admitted to practice in 1869. The following year, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for the then First Judicial District, and in 1872 was re-elected for another term of two years. He served as Weld County’s Prosecutor from 1871-1875. In 1878, he was elected a member of the State Senate. photo courtesy of Colorado Historical Society
Hon. Christian S. Eyster, 1875-1877
Served as Prosecuting Attorney for Weld County from 1875-1877. photo courtesy of Colorado Historical Society
Hon. David B. Graham, 1887-1883
Mr. Graham was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on February 17, 1846. He received business training in his youth as a clerk in his father’s store. He studied at Duff’s Mercantile College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1863. In 1864, he joined the Union Army as a member of Company I, Two Hundred and Eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, and actively served until the close of the war, taking part in the storming and capture of the fortifications in front of Petersburg. After the war, he resumed his studies, entering Westminster College and Wilmington, Pennsylvania, and graduating with honor in 1869. In 1871, he graduated from the Albany Law School. He then moved to Denver, Colorado, and opened his own practice. In the fall of 1876, he was elected to the office of District Attorney, for the Second Judicial District including Weld County. Mr. Graham was re-elected for another term in October, 1879. He served as District Attorney from 1877-1883. photo courtesy of Colorado Historical Society
Hon. Herman E. Luthe, 1883-1886
Mr. Luthe was born in Columbia County, Kinderhook, New York, on January 27, 1847. In 1850, his father’s family moved to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where he pursued a course of literary studies and graduated at Wayland University in 1867. He then began the study of law, was admitted to the bar, and began to practice in Beaver Dam in 1869. In the fall of 1870, he moved to Denver, Colorado, allured by the prospects of the growing Territory of Colorado, and the reputation of its capital city as a health resort and business center. He became a member of the Denver bar and held the office of Police Magistrate for two years, and, in 1878, was elected a member of the State Legislature. In 1883, he was elected District Attorney for the Second Judicial District including Weld County. He served from 1883 – 1886. photo courtesy of University of Northern Colorado Archives
Hon. Ledru R. Rhodes, 1886-1889
Mr. Rhodes was born in Licking County, Ohio, on February 12, 1849. He attended public school in that county as a youth. He arrived in Fort Collins in 1872 and opened a law office in that city in 1873. In 1874, he was elected City Attorney, and in 1878 he was chosen to represent Larimer County in the State Senate. In 1883 and 1884, he was chosen as attorney for the Colorado Cattle Growers Association. In 1885, he was elected District Attorney for the counties of Arapahoe, Larimer and Weld. Mr. Rhodes served as District Attorney from 1886-1889. In 1890, he moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and practiced law there for 12 years. He returned to Fort Collins in 1902 and took up a general practice, eventually giving that up to focus exclusively on irrigation law. photo courtesy of Fort Collins Public Library
Hon. James E. Garrigues, 1889-1895
Mr. Garrigues was born in Manchester, Dearborn County, Indiana, on October 6, 1852. He attended a Methodist college at Moores Hill, Indiana, and went on to teach in Indiana and Illinois. He became a principal in Malvern Mills County, Iowa, in 1876. He studied law at the local law offices of Vanhoorebeeke and Solomon, and was admitted to the bar in 1877. Later, he went to St. Louis, Missouri, and worked in the offices of the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad. In 1880, he was appointed local counsel for the Wabash Road for southwest Iowa. He moved to Greeley, Colorado, in 1883 and was elected District Attorney for the Eighth Judicial District which included Weld County, serving from 1889-1895. He was appointed Judge of the District Court for the Eighth District in 1903. In 1910 Judge Garrigues was elected to the Supreme Court of Colorado and served until 1921. From 1921-1922, he was the Assistant District Attorney for the City and County of Denver. photo courtesy of Denver Public Library
Hon. A.C. Patton, 1895-1901
Mr. Patton was born in Rush County, Indiana, on October 4, 1860. He father was filled in battle before A.C. Patton reached three years of age. In 1881, he attended the Indiana University at Bloomington and graduated in 1884. He arrived in Greeley, Colorado, in September of 1884. For the next six months he studied law in the office of Senator J.W. McCreery and finished his studies in the office of Hon. C.A. Bennett. He was admitted to the bar in January 1887 and opened an office shortly thereafter. He served as District Attorney for Weld County from 1895-1901. Mr. Patton was a member of the Sons of Veteran and was commander of the Colorado and Wyoming Divisions. photo courtesy of Greeley Museum
Hon. Guy D. Duncan, 1901-1905
Mr. Duncan was born east of Longmont in Weld County, Colorado, on July 5, 1866. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1885. He obtained a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from the University of Michigan in 1890, and went on to graduate from that school with a Bachelor of Law degree in 1891. Mr. Duncan returned to Boulder, Colorado, where he established a general law practice. From 1895-1898, he was the Deputy District Attorney under A.C. Patton. He went on to become District attorney for Weld County and served from 1901-1905. photo courtesy of Denver Public Library
Hon. George H. Van Horn, 1905-1909
Mr. Van Horn was born on August 14, 1870, in Marion Center, Pennsylvania. Mr. Van Horn came to Colorado in 1896 and enrolled at the State Normal School in Greeley. He graduated in 1898. Mr. Van Horn obtained his law degree from the University of Indiana, returned to Colorado and was admitted to the bar of this state in 1900. His first practice was in Loveland and he later served as District Attorney for Weld County from 1905-1909. He was also a member of the State Legislature from Larimer County. Upon leaving Loveland, he moved his law practice to Walden, Colorado, where he was also a rancher for several years. He returned to Greeley to be the Assistant District Attorney under Ab Romans. He was elected Weld County Judge in November of 1928 and served through 1932. After his term of office expired, he retired from law practice and moved to Vale, Oregon, where he owned and operated a farm. photo courtesy of Greeley Museums
Hon. George A. Carlson, 1909-1915
Mr. Carlson was born in Alta, Buena Vista County, Iowa, on October 23, 1876. Moving with his family to Colorado, he attended a public school in Barnum, near Denver. He attended the Agricultural College in Fort Collins in 1892 and 1893. Mr. Carlson taught school in Aston District in Weld County in 1894 and 1895. From there he attended the State Normal School from which he graduated in 1898. Entering the University of Colorado at Boulder in the fall of 1898, he graduated in 1902. He next attended Colorado Law School, receiving his law degree in 1904 and in the same year was admitted to the bar in Idaho. After practicing for a year in Lewiston, Idaho, he returned to Colorado in 1905 where he opened a law office in Fort Collins. He served as Deputy District Attorney for Larimer County by appointment in 1906. In 1908, he was elected District Attorney for the Eighth Judicial District, including Weld County, and served from 1909-1915. In 1914, he was elected Governor of the State of Colorado. photo courtesy of Colorado Historical Society
Hon. Russell W. Fleming, 1917-1921
Mr. Fleming was raised in Georgia. He was admitted to the bar when was nineteen years of age, after which he began a practice in his native state. Mr. Fleming remained a member of the Georgia bar until 1904. Moving to Colorado, he settled in Fort Collins in 1906 where he opened a law office. He served as District Attorney for Weld County from 1917-1921. From there, he went on to serve as Colorado Attorney General from 1923-1924. photo courtesy of the Boulder District Attorney’s Office
Hon. Louis B. Reed, 1921-1925
Mr. Reed served as District Attorney for Weld County from 1921-1925. photo courtesy of the Boulder District Attorney’s Office
Hon. Ab H. Romans, 1925-1933
Mr. Romans was born in Callaway County, Missouri, on October 17, 1875. He came to Colorado in 1894 and settled near Kersey. He attended the State Normal School in Greeley and, before graduation, enlisted in the First Colorado Volunteers and was with his unit in the attack upon Manila. Mr. Romans saw much action in the pacification of the Philippines and returned to Greeley in September 1899. Re-entering school, he graduated in 1900. He entered Colorado University to study law, receiving his degree in 1903. He practiced in Denver for one year, then in 1904 moved to Loveland where he opened a general law practice. In 1925, he became District attorney for the Eighth Judicial District, including Weld County, and served from 1925-1933. He also served as City Attorney at Loveland. photo courtesy of Greeley Museum
Hon. Herbert M. Baker, 1933-1941
Mr. Baker was born on March 18, 1879, in Greeley, Colorado. He graduated from Greeley High School in 1898. He studied law in Denver and practiced his profession in Greeley. In 1916, he became a County Judge, serving in that capacity for eight years. He was elected District Attorney for Weld County in 1921 and served from 1933-1941. Mr. Baker was also a well-known essayist and poet. photo courtesy of Greeley Museum
Hon. Hatfield Chilson, 1941-1949
Mr. Chilson was born on November 22, 1903, in Pueblo, Colorado. After receiving his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Colorado in 1927, he practiced in the Greeley office of William R. Kelly. From there he went into the practice of law in Loveland with Ab H. Romans, specializing in water and irrigation law. Mr. Chilson became City Attorney of Loveland and Estes Park and was District Attorney for the Eighth Judicial District, including Weld County, from 1941-1949. From 1940-1947, he assisted the organization and operation of the Big Thompson Soil Conservation District in Northern Colorado. In 1956, he was appointed by President Eisenhower as Assistant Secretary of the Interior Department and, in 1957, was appointed Undersecretary of the Interior Department. He resigned in 1958 and returned to private practice in Colorado. In 1960, he was appointed U.S. District Judge for the District of Colorado and became Senior District Judge for the District of Colorado in 1974. photo courtesy of Colorado Historical Society
Hon. Marcellus “Marc” E. H. Smith, 1949-1961
Mr. Smith was born May 6, 1906 to Judge Elbert and Harriet Smith of Greeley, Colorado. He attended Northwestern Military School and graduated from the University of Colorado Law School in 1929. He volunteered for the United States Army in 1943 and spent 23 months in Burma and India as a member of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division during WWII.Mr. Smith served as District Attorney for Weld County from 1949-1961, after serving as Deputy District Attorney under Hatfield Chilson. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta, the Elks, VFW, the American Bar Association, and the Greeley Country Club. photo courtesy of Boulder District Attorney’s Office
Hon. Joseph J. Dolan, 1961-1965
Mr. Dolan served as District Attorney for Weld County from 1961 – 1965. photo courtesy of Boulder District Attorney’s Office
Hon. James H. Shelton, 1965-1973
Mr. Shelton was born on November 13, 1916, near Allerton, Iowa. He graduated from Allerton High School in 1934. In 1939, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa. Mr. Shelton served in the United States Army attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After leaving the Army, he returned to college and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa in 1948. In 1949, he moved to Greeley, Colorado, to practice law. Mr. Shelton was the Weld County Democratic Party Chairman and president of the Chamber of Commerce. He served as Weld County’s District Attorney from 1965-1973. He served on the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline. In addition, he was president of the Last Patrol of the American Legion, director of the University of Northern Colorado foundation, director of the Rotary Club, the Union Colony Bank, the Greeley Water Board, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. photo courtesy of Mrs. Virginia Shelton
Hon. Robert N. Miller, 1973-1981
Mr. Miller was born May 30, 1940 in Monmouth, Illinois. He received his B.A. from Cornell College in 1962 and J.D. from the University of Colorado in 1965. He served three years as a Captain in the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Office. In 1969, he joined a Fort Collins law firm; in 1971 was appointed by Governor John Love as Weld County’s first full-time District Attorney at the age of thirty, the youngest D.A. in Colorado history. He served as D.A. from 1971-1981 and was President of the Colorado D.A.’s Association. In 1981, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the United States Attorney for Colorado. He was President of the Federal Bar Association. In 1988, he became Chief Counsel for US West. In 1993, he joined the first of three national law firms, ultimately becoming the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation for Perkins Coie’s Denver office. He was Chairman of the Board of Colorado Judicial Institute and was selected a Super Lawyer, Best Lawyers in America and ranked in Chambers USA and is listed in Who’s Who in Law, Who’s Who in Government, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. He co-authored a book, “Death Roads” about a serial murder case he prosecuted as D.A. photo courtesy of the Miller family
Hon. Stanley C. Peek, 1981-1989
Mr. Peek was born on February 7, 1947, in Sioux City, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1969 with B.S. degrees in English and Speech. In 1973, he obtained a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado school of Law. He became a law clerk at the Weld County District Attorney’s Office in January of 1973 and was sworn in as a Deputy District Attorney in October of 1973. Mr. Peek was appointed by Governor Richard Lamm to replace Hon. Robert Miller’s vacancy as District Attorney in 1981. He was then elected to complete Mr. Miller’s term in 1982 and was re-elected in 1984. Mr. Peek served as District Attorney for Weld County from 1981-1989. He went on to private practice of law in Greeley. photo courtesy of Avant Garde Studio
Hon. A.M. Dominguez, 1989-2004
Mr. Dominguez was born on March 12, 1943, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, he received his Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado in 1971. He first practiced law with the firm of Williams, Trine, and Greenstein in Boulder, Colorado. He moved to Greeley in 1972 and worked with Colorado Rural Legal Services for two years. He went into private practice in 1974 and maintained a law office until he was elected District Attorney in 1988.
Throughout his career, Mr. Dominguez has served on many boards and commissions at the local and state levels: City of Greeley Civil Service Commission, Weld Mental Health Board of Directors, United Way of Weld County, North Colorado Medical Foundation Board of Directors, Colorado Criminal Justice Commission Sentencing Subcommittee, Colorado Drug Control and System Improvement Advisory Board, President of Colorado District Attorney’s Council, and Board of Governor’s of Colorado Bar Association. photo courtesy of Shadowfax photography
Hon. Kenneth R. Buck, 2004-2014
Ken Buck was elected District Attorney by the citizens of Weld County in November 2004. A veteran prosecutor, Ken gained substantial experience prosecuting violent criminals, fraud and high-profile cases during his tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, Colorado. He served as Chief of the Criminal Division while a part of that office.
In 1981, Ken earned his undergraduate degree in Politics from Princeton University. He received his Juris Doctorate in 1985 from the University of Wyoming School of Law.
Congressman Dick Cheney hired Ken to work on the Iran-Contra Investigation in 1986. He began working as a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. in 1987. Ken then joined the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1990. Throughout his years in Colorado, Ken has served as an instructor at the University of Denver Law School and for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
Hon. Michael J. Rourke 2014-
Michael J. Rourke was appointed as Weld County District Attorney by Governor John Hickenlooper in December, 2014, after Ken Buck was elected to Congress. A veteran prosecutor, Michael has served both the 18th and 19th Judicial Districts as a Deputy District Attorney, prosecuting numerous First Degree Murder, Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault on Children and Crimes of Violence cases. Michael was hired by the 18th Judicial District in 1997, and worked there until 2004. In 2005, Michael came to Weld County as a Chief Deputy District Attorney, and was promoted to Assistant District Attorney in November, 2007. He remained in that position until his appointment as District Attorney.
In 1994, Michael earned his undergraduate degree in History from The University of Colorado-Boulder. He received his Juris Doctorate in 1997 from the University of Denver School of Law.
In 2010, the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council named Michael as the co-recipient of the Robert R. Gallagher Prosecutor of the Year award.
In addition to his prosecution experience, Michael has been a trainer and presenter on investigation and prosecution topics such as no-body homicide cases, sexual assaults, crimes against children, violent crimes and legislative changes. He was the co-keynote presenter at the 2013 Colorado District Attorneys’ Council Annual Conference.
A Weld County resident, Michael has been active in our local community for many years, including serving on the Weld County Community Corrections Board, the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, and the Weld County Child Fatality Review Team.