25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Compiled by John ColsonAspen Times Weekly
Courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyA work crew, made up in part of men pulled from town for a temporary job, threshes grain at the Vagneur Ranch in Woody Creek in about 1910.

One of the chief features of The Aspen Democrat, which published six days a week, was a daily column of local tidbits of news called About The City, which typically occupied a central column of space on pages one, two and perhaps three. It detailed the comings and goings, ups and downs and health or lack thereof of as many residents, visitors and sundry citizens as Editor Charles Cap Dailey could keep tabs on. A few samplings:Dolores McNichols was very much improved yesterday.The Aspen Mission will give an outdoor camp meeting in the near future in this vicinity.Mrs. Vernie Raymond was reported quite ill yesterday at her home on East Cooper Avenue.John Andrews was an arrival in the city Monday night from Leadville to visit friends in the city.Mrs. Miller is still in a very precarious condition, and so far there is no change for the better.Fred Anderson came in yesterday from Snow Mass to purchase supplies and attend to business matters.Mrs. Haskel and children came up yesterday on the Grande from Glenwood to spend a few days in the city.Eric Anderson left last evening for the Smith Ranch on Capitol Creek where he will be employed for the harvest.The Little Hills and the Smugglers played a game of ball near the fire station yesterday. The latter won the game by a score of 17 to 9.True Smith, who has been shopping and attending to business matters in the city left last evening overland for his home on Capitol Creek.For Rent Furnished Clean, cosy house. Reasonable. Inquire at Vezas.In addition to the social goings on, the editor maintained a steady drumbeat of political boosterism for his favorite political party, the Democrats, and their standard bearer, William Jennings Bryan, who had been nominated recently at the national convention in Denver. An example of his frequent, front-page diatribes:While it is recognized that this is [a] Democratic year, all true Democrats should and will keep their fighting garments on and will be found at all times right up in the collar pulling for the success of the party, the party of the people and the party that will give us popular government.And, as any newsman in a mining town would do, he kept up a continual roll-call of miners and their activities, including the rise or fall of the prices of various critical commodities, silver in particular, since it was that mineral that made Aspens fortunes as a boom town in the late 1800s.Denver, Aug. 19 Silver touched the lowest price today that it has reached since 1903. It was quoted at 51 & 1/8 cents per ounce. The decline is attributed to a reflection of the panic of last October and is considered to be of a temporary nature only. In 1903 it reached 17 cents, the lowest figure in years.But, to counter the bad news on the mining front, he gave equal play or better to whatever civic celebration that was being planned by the towns leaders, among whose number the editor counted heavily. This one was the Roaring Fork & Crystal River Fair, scheduled for Sept. 29 through Oct. 2 and featuring, among other spectacles, Real Roman Chariot Races Every Day.Ts all settled. The Roaring Fork and Crystal River Fair promises to be nearly double the Tri-County Fair which has been held here for the last two years … It is being arranged to have so many of those special features that it would not do to tell them all this morning. However, we will mention The Old Cider Mill, where one and all may see an old-fashioned cider press at work and drink the juice of the apple fresh from the mill.Travel between Carbondale and Redstone was accomplished either by rail, on the Crystal River Railroad Company that ferried stone from the Yule Marble Quarry in Marble and coal from the Redstone mines, or by wagon, horseback and foot in what often entailed some cross-country scrambling. The Pitkin County commissioners agreed that the situation needed to be improved.T.M. Gibb and Judge D.C. Beaman of Redstone appeared before the board … in regard to the wagon road on the Crystal River. A thorough discussion of the subject … resulted in the following memorandum of agreement: That the Crystal River Railroad Company grant to Pitkin County such portion of the old Elk Mountain and Aspen and Western railroad right of way and grade … not now occupied by the Crystal River Railroad as may be required for a public highway, the same to be located and constructed by Mr. Gibb and paid for in the first instance by Mr. J. C. Osgood … The Crystal River Railroad to pay one-third, not exceeding $1,000, the County of Pitkin to pay one-third, not exceeding $1,000, and Mr. J.C. Osgood to pay the balance … [and other conditions].(Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Societys archives. These 1908 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.)

The local postal employees were vital members of the community throughout the history of the West, as they provided a variety of services and connections that were not directly linked to their official jobs. So when a position for a substitute clerk came open in Aspen, it was published as news rather than relegated to the classified pages.People living within the delivery area of the post office here or regular patrons may file applications for the job, which pays $2 an hour and is a part-time position. No specific education or experience is required, however, applicants must take a written test designed to test aptitude for learning and the ability to perform the duties of the position.A temporary injunction was granted against the United Mine Workers of America, the union that was attempting to unionize miners at the Mid-Continent Coal & Coke Companys coal mines in Redstone, who already belonged to an organization known as the Restone Workers Association.The temporary [restraining order kept] the UMW and its members from in any manner intimidating, coercing or threatening the employees of the … firm. It also enjoined the UMW and its members from molesting or interfering with the property of the Redstone miners … [but the court] denied the request for an injunction against establishing picket lines or from assembling in force for the purpose of talking with employees of the [company]. [The injunction was based in part on] an incident on Saturday, July 26, when a UMW member was arrested in front of the Denver Hotel in Glenwood Springs for punching a Redstone worker as he came from the hotel.

Although it was normally thought that banks in resort towns were a safe bet due to the large sums of money that poured through them, the Aspen Industrial Bank announced it was liquidating all its assets, listed at $2 million, after 14 years in business.The decision to liquidate the bank was based primarily on the rapid changes in the banking industry, [a spokesman] said. Another spokesman for the parent company [Colorado National Bankshares, Inc.] pointed out that many of those changes were the result of industry deregulation.A suit against the Aspen School District filed by four dismissed teachers in 1979 was decided in the districts favor by District Court Judge J. E. DeVilbiss, as the trial got under way. DeVilbiss ruled that the district had acted legally in dismissing the teachers Michael Hubberd, Anthony Baran, Paul Andersen and Robert Merritt, all of whose contracts were not renewed in 1979.[The teachers] contended at the time that the district violated its own policy of notifying teachers whose jobs were in jeopardy, and also that their contracts were not renewed because of their affiliation with the teachers union, the Aspen Education Association [and that] their [constitutionally guaranteed] right of free association had been violated. [The] constitutional claims, which would have required a jury decision, were withdrawn by the teachers, leaving only matters of law, which DeVilbiss decided.

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