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Debate Over Neighborhood Named After Mayor With KKK Connections

By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) - The debate to keep a part of Denver named after a long-serving mayor, but also member of the Ku Klux Klan, reignited Monday.

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Public meeting about the name of the Stapleton neighborhood. (credit: CBS)

Two meetings were held at a community center in north Stapleton to discuss what should be done about the name that covers many streets, buildings, schools and businesses.

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(credit: CBS)

"I think this is just a purge of the Stapleton name and that's all it is," said Ron Adams, a Stapleton resident.

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(credit: CBS)

The history of Benjamin Stapleton is contested. The five-term mayor of Denver had close ties to the KKK while in office.

He also had Denver's major airport named after him, which has resulted in the neighborhood carrying on the name as the airport was decommissioned.

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(credit: CBS)

"It's actually acknowledging the history and doing something about it, because now that I know who Ben Stapleton was, I don't want to live in a community named 'Stapleton' now that I know who he is," said one resident.

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Public meeting about the name of the Stapleton neighborhood. (credit: CBS)

"Why don't we change the culture carrier and not change the history," said Vincent Bowen, a Park Hill resident.

Several organizations are working together to see if a change in name is realistic. Findings aren't expected for a few months.

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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