25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

The Pitkin County Commissioners decided to go to court to force their predecessors in county government, former commissioners Edwin Powell and Sherm Smulling, along with B. Clark Wheeler of The Aspen Times, to pay back $837 in alleged overcharges for the printing of legal notices. Editor Charles Cap Dailey of The Aspen Democrat reported the commissioners action in straightforward news style, apparently choosing to forgo his practice of lampooning the three alleged miscreants, other than a parting shot.Evidently there will be something doing down in the court house in the not far distant future.A couple of days later, however, The Democrat published a small item at the top of the front page that seemed to be meant to make up for the earlier measured reportage, and to give readers a hint about Wheeler that would prove prophetic.Yesterday morning Crazy Horse [the editors new nickname for Aspen Times manager B. Clark Wheeler] had a bad case of tummy ache and his paper was full of paints. And all owing to the fact the board of county commissioners has instructed County Attorney Clark to bring suit against Crazy Horse, et. al., to recover $837 of the peoples money which was fraudulently received by him for the publication of the delinquent tax list last year Poor old Crazy Horse is on his last legs.(Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Societys archives. These excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.)

Aspen was about to enter the ranks of normal American cities.After seven years as a second class post office, Aspen will become a first class station this spring and may get partial [home & office] mail delivery, it was announced this week by George Ware, local postmaster. The change will be made on a basis of reported post office income during 1958. Post offices taking in more than $40,000 are moved into first class status [and Aspen took in] in excess of $46,000.The Times was not so community-centric as to ignore a bit of glory that was shining on a nearby town.The first of many to orbit around the world in outer space may be an Air Force officer from Carbondale Captain LeRoy G. Cooper, Jr., 32, son of Colonel and Mrs. Leroy G. Cooper, who own a 40-acre ranch. Cooper and the other six [pilots chosen for the fledgling space program] are all graduate engineers as well as test pilots who have logged 1,500 hours or more.

In the wake of the controversial departure of Aspen Police Chief Rob McClung, who resigned rather than wait for a likely criminal indictment concerning a gun-related charge, the city council hired outside applicant Rich Rianoshek, an academic with less than two years of experience as a cop on the streets of Chicago. In retaliation, a number of veteran officers quit rather than work for the new chief.In office for no more than nine months, Rich Rianoshek is only now getting his chance to prove whether he can do the job he was appointed to do give Aspen the police work it wants, or whether, as his critics maintain, the community will regret hiring a man with only a few years of street experience.The case of Bozo, the dog that allegedly led a pack of other dogs in an attack on a deer at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, went to court before Pitkin County Judge Tam Scott.[Bozos owner, Darlene Vare] pled not guilty to five alleged violations of local animal control ordinances including allowing her dog to harass wildlife and run at large failing to acquire a license, vaccination and tags for her 4-year-old Samoyed. Bozo was shot between the eyes [the day of the attack, and] two other dogs were caught at the sanctuary and also were destroyed. Vares attorney, Charles Fagan, requested that the carcass of Bozo be exhumed from a mass grave above the Pitkin County dump for the purpose of gathering evidence.Hotel Jerome owner John Gilmore announced he would be renovating and expanding the venerable local institution. Gilmore bought the hotel in 1968, and its most recent renovation had come in the 1940s when it was leased by Aspens benefactor, Chicago industrialist Walter Paepcke.When the hotel was built [in 1889] the cost was $125,000 with $40,000 more spent on furnishings during the 1920s and 1930s [it] became home for many townspeople In the 1940s [it] was the center for events for the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies and the Aspen Music Festival [and] a favorite hostelry for visiting skiers. compiled by John Colson

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