25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com
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25-50-100 Years Ago

Compiled by John Colson
Aspen Times Weekly
Courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyAspen at one time was ringed by farms and ranches. Here, Frank Warren of Warren Lakes and Paddy Sullivan, no address given, plow a field on the east side of town around 1915. The land is said to be located on Blaine Street, which no longer exists.
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Movies and books have given us everything from factual accounts to romantic renditions of the sheep and cattle range wars of the late 1800s and early 1900s in the American West, but the Democrat reported contemporaneously on one such outburst of violence with the standard breathless prose of the day.

In all the sanguinary history of the range dispute in Wyoming has occurred no more atrocious and cowardly crime than the assassination of Joseph and Allemand Emge and Joe Lazier, a brief report of which … came out of the Big Horn country today. The three men were shot down in cold blood by an overwhelming party of sheep camp raiders and the bodies of Alemand Emge and Lazier were cremated. Twenty-five head of sheep were slaughtered and 2,500 head were scattered over the range and left to fall prey to coyotes and wolves. All Big Horn county is horrified and aroused by the outrage.

In an adjacent column, the paper reported with equal enthusiasm on the re-election of the city’s head school official.

At a special meeting of the school board Tuesday afternoon Professor J. Adams was re-elected superintendent of the Aspen City schools at a substantial increase in salary. Professor Adams’ ability as an educator has been demonstrated in the management of the public schools, the efficiency of the corps of teachers and in the progress made by the scholars during the past year. Every parent in Aspen will rejoice with The Democrat in the fact that Professor Adams will have charge of the schools next year.

(Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.)

In characteristically quick action, the long arm of local law enforcement took less than two weeks to solve a recent crime by retrieving a cache of stolen goods.

All or at least part of the loot stolen from Stein Eriksen’s Sport Shop on April 5 was recovered yesterday afternoon, April 15, by Sheriff Lorain Herwick. Acting on a tip from an unidentified person, Herwick found the goods wrapped in bundles in a hiding place along Independence Pass road … the merchandise … consisted of over 40 pairs of Bogner ski pants, some sweaters and boots, [and] the sheriff stated that most of the items had been found. In addition, the sheriff said that he had a good lead as to the identity of the burglar or burglars …

Aspenites throughout the city’s history, as a rule, were avid pioneers and trekkers into far-flung wilderness terrain, as shown by one man’s decision to rough it in the wilds of the southwest.

[Arthur O. Pfister, Aspen rancher] joined more than 200 members and guests of the Desert Caballeros when they pulled out of Wickenburg, Ariz., this week on their annual five-day horseback rid through the rugged hills. The annual trek, one of the West’s most celebrated riding events, covers 130 miles of tortuous mountain trails, many of them unridden since the days of the Apaches.

The Aspen Flyer, published by The Aspen Times four times a week as an “in-season newssheet,” had developed a faithful following by the time its founding editor decided it was time to move on to something new.

Part-interest in the Aspen Flyer was sold this week by its editor, Peggy Clifford, to George W. Madsen, Jr., of Bloomington, Illinois. Madsen, a former General Electric publicity man, will take over the editorial responsibilities … Balance of the interest in the Flyer will be retained by William R. Dunaway, Aspen Times publisher. This particular version of the Flyer was begun in June, 1954, by Miss Clifford and Robert W. Craig, who abandoned the venture that fall to become assistant to the president of the Aspen Institute.

A noted Aspenite, famed author Leon Uris, warned of trouble between white, western cultures and what a headline referred to as the “Arab threat,” after he finished writing the latest of his epic novels, “The Haj.”

The mideast was such a desperately poor part of the world, in order to survive the people adopted a religion that was involved in fatalism. Uris says that the main thrust of the Islamic religion is hatred of anyone who is not a Moslem … In both Jewish and Christian cultures the family unit is the centerpiece of life. The value system of the Arab world is different. It is based on power.

Relating a startlingly freak mishap, the paper reported that a local man was killed when, after a drinking spree prompted him to call a cab, the taxi that had given him a ride home accidentally ran over him.

According to police [Stephen] Phelps, 23 … was intoxicated and [taxi driver] Mark Bentz “took it upon himself” to give him a free Tipsy Taxi ride home. While Bentz was filling out the forms for the ride, police say, Phelps went around behind the vehicle to throw up and Bentz ran over him as [the taxi] backed up … Phelps was dragged approximately 40 feet before Bentz stopped, and [Phelps] ended up under the right front tire.


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