25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

The Republicans swept the state and national elections in 1906. However, the Democrats prevailed in Pitkin County, crowed Editor "Cap" Dailey of The Aspen Democrat. Aspen's Republican Headquarters are pictured here in 1900, as posters of presidential candidate William McKinley and running mate Theodore Roosevelt are displayed in the windows. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.The Aspen Democrat began their Election Day summary with a weather report,Yesterday was a typical Democratic election day. The weather was somewhat stormy during the afternoon but the clouds and storm indications did not prevent the people getting out to vote, and a tremendous vote was the result in every city and county precinct.

The purity of the ballot ruled in all voting places … clean politics prevailed all over the county with the possible exception with the vote in the coal camps where the Colorado Fuel & Iron company methods prevailed. … however, good Democrats were on the ground to hold down the vote as much as possible to the legal right of franchise, compelling each voter to show his naturalization papers. It was impossible to receive word from the coal camps last evening, but it is believed by those best posted that the C.F. & I. vote was cut from the fraudulent registration of 350 to at least 150. If this true it must be conceded that the Democratic ticket has been elected by majorities ranging from 100 to 250.After listing total party votes for both state and county candidates, the Democrat wrote with some resentment, It looks like a Republican victory [see photo], doesn’t it? And that party did elect some with the assistance of the vote of the Colorado Fuel & Iron company coal camp vote, where a large majority of the franchise expresses no thought, no interest in the country’s welfare, no Americanism – simply the will of “the boss” – that’s all, dear reader, and the intelligent voters, those who read and think, could not overcome the will of “the boss.” However, it is a matter for self congratulation when it is considered that the registered vote in Redstone Gulch and Coal Basin numbering 321 was held down to an actual voting strength of 186, nearly half. This fact is due to the sheriff’s office of the county which sent Mike McNichols and Tom Carter to Redstone with authority and instructions to prevent any illegal voting. You did your work well, gentlemen, and the thinking people thank you for it. If it had not been for the Republican landslide in the coal camps the Democratic candidates would have been elected by rousing majorities with but two exceptions – Miss Canning and Mr. Conner, candidates for school superintendent and county clerk, respectively. But all is fair, they say, in politics and the Republicans are to be congratulated on being able to control the coal camp vote – the Democrats don’t want office that bad. …THOSE WHO WERE ELECTED IN PITKIN COUNTYThe Democratic state ticket from top to bottom. The tremendous vote given our own townsmen, Hon Ben R. Kobey, for the office of state regent is a strong endorsement of his personality and reputation as a businessman and citizen. We couldn’t elect you, Mr. Kobey, but your home folks were loyal; an honor most state candidates cannot claim. Henry Beck, the Republican candidate for the legislature, will represent this county in the next assembly of Colorado by a plurality of 59 votes only. Mr. Ebner, the Democratic nominee, went to the coal camps with a handsome plurality over Mr. Beck, but “the boss” was for Henry, and Joe must stay at home. And now, Mr. Beck, your election places a great responsibility on you. You are no longer a representative of the Republican party but of the people of Pitkin county. It is your duty to vote for measures to benefit the people, the miner, the women and children of your county and NOT TO VOTE in the interests of corporation smelter trusts and other instruments of torture.

The Aspen Times assessed the election of 1956, which was a polar opposite to the political climate in 2006. Repeating its 1952 voting record almost to the last voter, Pitkin County again went Republican in all major contests. While agreeing with national voting trends, Pitkin County is at variance with Colorado at large , which chose Democrats for governor, senator and two Congress seats.In 1952, Eisenhower and Nixon got 556 Pitkin County votes while Stevenson and Sparkman got 399. Tuesday, Stevenson-Kefauver racked up 334 votes to incumbents’ 550. …Incumbent Wayne Aspinall running for re-election in the fourth district for the House of Representatives picked up only 334 votes in Pitkin County, while Republican Hugh Caldwell got 535. But, through the whole district, Aspinall was re-elected with a 19,000 vote margin of victory.

In the governor’s race, Republican Brotzman was given 461 votes to Democrat Steve McNichols 412.However, McNichols carried the state with a 22,000 vote lead. …A total of 885 votes were cast in Pitkin County. Total voter registration is 1026.Editor Bil Dunaway wrote that the time had come to take the Chamber of Commerce to another level.A few days ago Mrs. Ellie Bealmer resigned as executive director at the Aspen Chamber of Commerce. After three years, during which she constantly labored more than a full workweek for half a week’s pay, she decided to devote more time to family life. …Although aided in many of her undertakings by the voluntary effort of various residents, she was the driving force of the organization. Hundreds of people had their queries answered by her letters. Thousands received brochures which she mailed. …At present there is a full-time job to be done, but only funds for a part-time employee. …

There are two choices open to chamber directors: hire someone to work part time and attempt to accomplish as much as possible with volunteer aid, or try to increase the budget enough to employ a professional, full-time director. We advise the latter course. Aspen is no longer just another small town. Nor is it a newly created community, just beginning to reach out for tourist business. It is an established resort. Many consider it one of the world’s leading tourist areas. …To compete with other resorts in a highly competitive business, Aspen must have a central office to correlate and carry out the work needed to keep a resort alive.Sometimes shelter is wherever it’s offered, as the Around Aspen column noted,Aside from the incidental fires in the press , the most exciting thing that’s happened to the Aspen Times recently was last Friday when the entire Gypsum football team spent half-time in the Times Office. Since the day was a chilly one, Publisher Dunaway invited the team to have their half-time huddle around the Linotype machine, which they did. The 18 members, ensconced in blankets, their coach, Steve Romero, and several Gypsum rooters were quickly trundled in several cars to the Times where they took up their positions among the type fonts.

The Gypsum football team made a return visit to the Aspen gridiron 25 years later – again in cold weather. Was it the same Gypsum coach as in 1956, with a misspelled name? The paper reported,In their last game of the season, the Aspen Skiers went down to a 40-0 defeat in the hands of the league-leading Gypsum team. Playing in a snowstorm last Friday with 6 inches of snow on Wagner field, Gypsum was held to a 14-0 lead by Aspen at the half. …Running mostly on the ground, Gypsum went around the end and through the line for repeated long gains, while Aspen tried a few passes, but in the cold and with gloves on, the squad couldn’t hold on to the ball.Coached by talented Steve Romeo, Gypsum had a well-coordinated team with a strong, fast defense and powerful offense strength.

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Aspen just couldn’t match their power.This defeat gives Aspen Skiers a record of 4 wins and 3 losses in league play for the season.Aspen said goodbye to its first director {see photo} of the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts. This profile by Mary Eshbaugh Hayes confirms that Philip Yenawine built a good foundation on which today’s Aspen Art Museum continues to expand.A gala farewell party for Philip Yenawine, director of the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts since August 1978, will be held Friday, Nov. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Paddy Bugatti’s Restaurant in the Continental Inn. …Yenawine is leaving the Visual Arts Center to accept the position of director of the Heydt/Bair Gallery in Santa Fe. …He says he took the job with the Aspen art center “because I was sick to death of what other museums were doing.”They are all hung up on art history,” he says. “They are not concerned with artists who are living and struggling now.

“And museums care little about people. They mouth concerns about the public but don’t have good educational programs.”Looking back on his record, the major achievements are Yenawine’s educational programs – the tours for schoolchildren, the Thursday night wine and cheese parties with tour and lecture of the current show, the artist’s showcases for local emerging artists, the special lectures with visiting artists, the avant-garde film series, the exhibits and lectures about avant-garde music, the dance performances.The police report in the paper of Halloween night {see photos) noted, An unusually quiet Halloween saw Aspen police make only four arrests, not far from the total on most Saturday nights.Though the street and bars were clogged with the usual array of weirdly costumed characters, who may have been inspired by recreational chemicals of all sorts, only two persons were arrested for possession of narcotics.

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