1917: The nerve of it
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.Ashcroft Townsite Was to Be Sold for One Hundred DollarsOur expose yesterday of the nice little dicker whereby the townsite of Ashcroft was to be sold to Joe Hunn for $100 created a sensation among our people who love nature in all its beauty, among the people who delight in spending their Sundays at Ashcroft and vicinity.One enthusiast this morning said: “What in the world is getting into our commissioners? The next thing we know they will again try to sell the Fair Grounds, or the mesa, or Oklahoma flats, or Hallam’s addition for a hundred or so dollars.”And the enthusiast wasn’t far off at that, judging from the past and the evident desire of the county commissioners to sell everything and anything, no matter of what benefit it might be to the county in the future just so they get a little money now!Great Scott, think of it they were going to sell the townsite of Ashcroft, 160 acres, for the measly sum of $100. And if the sale had been made Ashcroft would have been turned into a stinking sheep camp and our pleasure seekers wouldn’t have been able to camp within four miles of it for the aroma.Nothing doing in that deal to turn Ashcroft into a sheep camp – not on your life.If the commissioners must sell something and if they are desirous of bringing in money worth while why not divide the Ashcroft townsite into tracts of from one to five acres and sell them to people who will build cabins thereon and establish summer homes. A little judicious advertising can bring this about and we will have a beauty spot at Ashcroft and that would be much, oh so much better than a sheep camp. Don’t you think gentlemen commissioners?America’s Need to Fight for DemocracyThose who attended the meeting at the Isis theatre last night in the interest of the Christmas Membership drive for the American Red Cross, were not disappointed as the utterances of the several speakers were illuminating as to why the present world conflict was brought about and the reason for America’s entry therein, and inspiring in that it brot to those present the firm conviction that the war must not end without an allied victory, every person – man woman and eligible child – must do their part in the armed forces of the nation, in Red Cross work for the rescue and care of the wounded, burying of the dead, providing for the comfort of the soldier in trench or camp, and other activities tending to conserve the resources of the country.There is no doubt that all those who listened to the addresses last night returned to their homes thoroughly and firmly convinced that it is the bounden duty of all to become members of the Red Cross.The meeting was called to order by Hon. Benjamin F. Kobey, of the membership committee, who made a few explanatory remarks as to the object and aims of the meeting and called on William McIntosh for the opening talk.Mr. McIntosh spoke briefly but emphasized the need for enlisting the entire community in Red Cross work.Chairman Kobey before introducing the next speaker, took occasion to draw a comparison between world democracies and autocracies. He then requested the Hon. James M. Downing to address the audience.Mr. Downing in his usual forceful manner drew a mental picture of the Red Cross in action behind the firing line, which appealed strongly to the hearts of those who heard him.The speaker of the evening, the Hon. Franklin Ballou, then began his stirring All-American address. He is a rapid-fire talker and carried his auditors with him from climax to climax to the end of his address.Mr. Ballou began his address by saying:Self interest and patriotism are mutually concerned in winning the war against German autocracy and militarism. Winning it is now mandatory for protecting your job or your business: losing it whether with the United States fighting as now or remaining an unrespected neutral as before its war declarations, would spell disaster for everyone, except the Kaiser and his gang, and the only way it can be won is by the greatest and most unstinted support of the Red Cross and all the other war activities that strengthen the allies’ armies.
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