1895: FOR SWEET CHARITY
In celebrating the 125th anniversary of The Aspen Times, we are printing a story or two from each year the newspaper has existed – 125 historical selections in 125 days. This series is in conjunction with the Aspen Historical Society.The Women’s Christian Temperance union of this city have been engaged for some time past in an effort to rescue the fallen women of Aspen. Their Christian and worthy endeavors have been crowned with flattering success, considering the magnitude of the undertaking. During the past week two more of the Durant street women were sent to the Crittenden Home in Denver, making four altogether sent from here by this organization of Christian, charitable women.These women feel encouraged to continue in this benevolent work, but what they need now is financial aid as well as the moral encouragement of all the good people of Aspen. The railway fares of the women sent to the home have to be paid by this organization and they desire also to contribute something to the support of the home, as it is kept up entirely by voluntary contributions.Several letters have been received from the women sent to the Crittenden home and a member of the W.C. T. U. has permitted THE TIMES to make the following extracts to show that there seems to be reasonable hope of reformation:”Crittenden Home, Denver, Colo. -My Dear, Kind Friend Mrs. —— I arrived here last Monday is safety and was met at the depot by the matron, Mrs. Witter. I was completely tired out after my ride and, as usual was very nervous. * * * I find the home a very pleasant place. * * * Each day I thank the Lord, who sent you to me in my hour of need and hourly I thank and bless both you and Mrs. —— for the kind interest you have manifested in regard to leading me to a better life. * * * with the help of God I will try and be very vood. * * * I trust you will not forget me when you pray. * * * If I had of been a good woman in Aspen, I would like so much to be with either of you for a home, where I am sure all is goodness. * * * Think as kindly of me as possible.”The names of three women addressed in the above letter are withheld, by request because the women modestly claim that they have done no more in this work than their sisters in the W. C. T. U. From another letter is taken the following brief extracts:”Dear Mrs. ——- Your precious letter was received this afternoon. I was glad to hear from you; for your letters are of value to me indeed. They encourage and strengthen me wonderfully. I appreciate your kind rembrance of me on this our Christmas eve, for the useful gifts you sent me. * * * I am truly sorry to hear of Mrs. —— bereavement, but she is such a good Christian that god will help her to bear her loss. It is hard to give up those we love, but Mrs. —– knows that it is only for a little time. * * * It is after dark now and I am up stairs in my own room. O, my dear friend, I pray to God that I may never yield to or heed the voice of the tempter again. Our blessed God and Savior are my last thoughts at night and my first when I wake during the night and in the morning. They make me, oh, so happy! Much happier than a beautiful dream – unless I am dreaming of Christ. * * * It was you and Mrs. —– who showed me the path to pursue, I am thankful that I chose it in preference to going back to a life of shame.” * * *Several such letters have been received from these fallen women. Besides references to themselves and their benefactors they contained much in the way of news about their surroundings and other matters of commonplace affairs. They even show evidence of learning and of a time in the far past when they must have been surrounded by refined influences. They show evidences of a heart not depraved beyond redemption, but still susceptible to kindness and love.
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An inspirational piece of 20th century artist Herbert Bayer is being installed on the staircase next to Aspen City Hall by his granddaughter, Koko.