From the Vault: A Bruin and a Bear
November 16, 2017
"Peculiar names in court," announced the Aspen Daily Times on Nov. 20, 1895. "A Bruin and a Bear crossed swords in Justice Leahy's court yesterday over a board bill. The complainant was Mrs. A. Bruin, who conducts a popular private boarding house at the corner of Hyman Avenue and Monarch Street, and the defendant was D. Bear, a miner. Mrs. Bruin averred that she had used moral suasion to collect the $36 which she sued to get until patience ceased to be a virtue. Bear alleged before the bar of justice that his former landlady had locked him out of the house and had in her possession his valise and his paper collar. His defense was also that he had been out of work and had been a victim of bad luck generally. Mrs. Bruin further said that her bills must be met and that Bear's account for lodging and meals was really larger than the suit called for. The plaintiff told the defendant that she entertained no animosity toward him, but did insist on some consideration, and, if it was necessary to go into the courts to get it, she would not fail to go there. Justice Leahy held that a landlady had a perfect right to lock out a delinquent boarder, and hence that act on Mrs. Bruin's part was no reason why Bear should refuse to liquidate for his beefsteak and reposing. Mrs. Bruin was therefore given a judgement for $36 and costs. Bear insolently told her that she would 'have a hard time collecting the judgement,' but the landlady remembered that there is a statute which will punish by imprisonment boarding house and hotel dead-beats, even if they be ferocious Bears. Hence she did not worry about collecting such men's accounts." The photograph above shows a view of the west side of Aspen, circa 1895.
This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.
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