Our History




More than a century ago, a legacy of caring was born when John and Mary Warren founded Colorado Christian Home as an orphanage in 1904 in Loveland, Colo. Our history is important to us. 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 help children with mental health and developmental issues.

Our History - John and Mary Warren

The Mary V. and John W. Warren Years: 1901-1912

1902: Warren farm deed was transferred to the National Benevolent Association (NBA)
1905: McMillen building dedicated in a May ceremony
1905: NBA changed the home’s name to Colorado Christian Home (CCH)
1907: Moved to Denver location
1910: Dedication of Warren Hall (pictured at top of page) 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, Colo. in 1901 as a gift to the 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 broke in 1904 and the first children were received into care in 1905. The home was opened with the name of the Loveland Christian Orphanage.

Our History - Frederick and Edna Henry

The Reverend Frederick W. and Edna R. 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 print newsletter
1936: Endowment began

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.

Our History James Tilsley

The James Tilsley Years: 1949-1965

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

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.

Our History Harry Spear

The Harry Spear Years: 1965-1970

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

Residential Treatment
In 1966, we transitioned from an orphanage to a residential treatment facility. 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.

Our History Don Brewer

The Don Brewer Years: 1970-1993

1971: Survey demonstrated shift in types of children referred and their behavioral needs
1973: First classroom opened in campus school
1975: Huston-Miller and Tilsley-Warren cottages opened
1978: First Denver Dinner with speaker Craig Morton, former Denver Broncos quarterback
1981: License 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 began 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.

Our History Bob Cooper

The Bob Cooper Years: 1993-2012

1996: Tennyson Center building dedicated and dedication of the Robert L. and Betty A. Manning Family Therapy Center
1997: First golf tournament raised more than $30,000
2003: Friends of Children established to ensure Tennyson Center’s services for future generations
2004: Tennyson Center for Children separated from the NBA
2005: Gary-Williams Foundation purchased the Tennyson Center property

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

Executive Team Rod Witte

The Rod Witte Years: 2012-July 2016

2012: Rod Witte was hired as President/CEO of Tennyson Center
2014: We celebrated our 110th birthday and a century and a decade of caring for Colorado children.

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