This week in Aspen history
“No one can be legally compelled to pay toll on the road between Aspen and Independence and there is no use of doing so,” declared The Aspen Times on December 15, 1883. “All the money so far has been appropriated by Pat Meeney and he stands waiting with orders on the county treasury for any money that may come in from the hard working freighters. Two competent courts of this county have decided that the tolls are illegal and we will undertake to defend any man who refuses to pay toll free of cost if we do not ultimately win. Pat Meeney agreed to take charge of the road between Aspen and Independence for $2 per day. This he drew in cash very promptly from the treasury. On Nov. 1st Potter Plumb drew up two bills for Meeney amounting to $849. Mr. Plumb O.K.d them and on the next day at a commissioners’ meeting, in the absence of commissioner Turley, Mr. Teuscher and Mr. Meeney allowed the bills. Meeney drew out of the treasury all the money credited to the toll road and now stands with open hands for all that may be paid in by the traveling public. Not to say anything about other derelictions in office this one alone is sufficient to arouse the just indignation of all citizens both republican and democratic, against Mr. Meeney’s actions. Next Monday he will try to defeat the will of the people by contesting Mr. Cramer’s election in order that he may continue his wholesale unjustifiable greed, to the injury of every tax payer of this county. We have faith that the court setting next Monday, although two -thirds democratic will have the true interests of the county at heart and show their willingness to stand by that overwhelming opinion and will of the people.”
The image above shows travelers on Independence Pass, circa 1890. (Aspen Historical Society)
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.