25-50-100 years ago…
A heist in Glenwood Springs in fall 1909 led to an arrest in Denver early the following year. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:
James Morgan, alias James Evans, was arrested at noon today by Denver detectives in the Colonial rooming house, suspected of being one of the robbers who held up the Glenwood Springs bank last September and carried off $10,000. He was positively identified by Mayor Drach and State Senator Napier.
Morgan was shown a picture of John Wilson, now in the Denver county jail as a suspect in connection with this affair, and winced visibly as he admitted that the man looked familiar.
There is no doubt in the minds of the men who identified Morgan that he is the right man and they are willing to testify to that effect in the court. Morgan will be taken back to Glenwood Springs at once.
• • • •
Local firefighters hosted an entertaining evening a century ago, judging from a report in The Aspen Times-Democrat:
As was to be expected, the smoker given by the Aspen fire department Friday night was the best of the many given in previous years by the local fire laddies. In addition to the members of the several companies invited, guests were present and enjoyed the hospitality of the firemen.
An elaborate program of music, songs, step dancing and boxing contests had been arranged and each of the numbers were enjoyed immensely. The program opened with a selection by a string band composed of Florence Harrington, Tom Flynn, Billy Tagert and Judge Spruill. These talented musicians were followed by a quartet which sang several popular songs for the pleasure of the big crowd. Jigs and step dances followed in rapid succession and then came a touching ballad by the Brown-Williams-Baker trio which made such a hit that several encores were called for. Several boxing bouts followed and each was fast and furious while it lasted.
The unstable backcountry snowpack has been the stuff of avalanches lately. A ski company employee escaped a slide with his life 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:
A Basalt man employed by the Aspen Skiing Corporation narrowly escaped death last week when a bulldozer he was driving on the back side of Aspen Mountain was buried in an avalanche.
The driver, John Hyrup, was plowing the road to the Sundeck shortly after noon when the accident happened.
While crossing the slope near the Bill Hill cabin, the dozer was caught in a powder snow slide. Although it was swept off the road, it was not completely buried by about two feet of loose snow.
Although unhurt, Hyrup spent 1 1/2 hours digging himself free and then returned to the Sundeck by foot.
The following day a crew of Skiing Corporation employees returned to dig out the vehicle.
• • • •
Many are keeping tabs on the Winter Olympics in Vancouver these days. Fifty years ago, an Aspen physician was keeping tabs on Olympic athletes. The Aspen Times reported:
One Aspenite attending the Olympics, which started this week at Squaw Valley, Calif., will combine business with pleasure.
Named one of the U.S. Olympic orthopedic surgeons at the Games by the U.S. Olympic Committee was Dr. Robert R. Oden. He received notification of his selection late in January, but the dates of his duty at the Olympic site were not established until this week. …
At Squaw Valley, Dr. Oden will join a staff of physicians and surgeons assembled by the U.S. Olympic Committee for service to all athletes.
On the staff of both the Pitkin County Public Hospital and Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Dr. Oden has had extensive experience with ski injuries while practicing in Aspen.
• • • •
Aspen was in line for a new post office 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:
Aspen’s new post office was authorized yesterday, The Aspen Times learned today in a telegram from Senator Gordon Allott.
Site authorized by the Postmaster General was at the SW corner of East Hyman and S. Spring St. Plans call for a building with 3,500 feet of floor space, plus a loading platform.
Bidding for the project will begin March 1, Allott’s telegram stated.
The existing post office is on the corner of East Hyman and Galena, 1 3/4 blocks west of the new site.
The Veterans Memorial next to the Pitkin County Courthouse is the site of a ceremony each Memorial Day in Aspen, but 25 years ago its construction was a matter of debate. The Aspen Times reported:
“The Roaring Fork Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission cannot conceive how a tribute to men and women who served their country in war and who are now serving their communities in a myriad of other ways could possibly detract from the facade at the Courthouse.”
The comment was made in a letter sent to the Board of County Commissioners last week by Chuck Cole. Cole has been spearheading an effort by Vietnam veterans to locate a memorial in Aspen honoring the vets.
But the effort has run into numerous snags. Again and again, Cole has been denied permission to locate the memorial statue on public land in Aspen. His most recent effort to get the memorial placed on the courthouse grounds has met with another stone wall.
But this stone wall may bend. The County Commissioners have already approved a plot of land on the courthouse grounds and, in general, support the idea of a memorial. The Aspen Historic Preservation Committee feels differently.
• • • •
How many lawyers does it take…? Whatever the question, Pitkin County had plenty of legal beagles, The Aspen Times noted in February 1985:
A doctor or a lawyer.
Baby boom dreams have drawn a crowd in the fields of law and medicine and, according to the president of the Pitkin County Bar Association, only a handful of the 65 local attorneys are “getting rich.”
Erin Hazen, a former Florida prosecutor who has practiced in Aspen for six years, says the average income for Aspen attorneys likely is in the $30,000 to $35,000 range, about the same as the state average.
“This area definitely has more lawyers than most communities of this size,” said Hazen.
– compiled by Janet Urquhart
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