Settled in 1858, Denver became a town in Kansas Territory in 1860 -- named after the governor who never saw the place. It became part of the Colorado Territory in 1861 with a board of aldermen stronger than the mayor. The State of Colorado made Denver its capital in 1877. Denver became a City and County in 1902 and adopted a new Charter with a mayor-council government in 1904.
The Charter is "the Constitution" of Denver. A commission form of government, instituted in 1913, lasted only three years. The Speer Amendment, named after a Denver mayor, created the present non-partisan city government with a strong mayor and a city council.
Today, more than 598,000 people live in the City and County of Denver in an area of 154.97 square miles.