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This Week in History: April 7, 2016

by Nancy Christofferson


1877: Among those from this place who attended the Grand Ball and Banquet in Brink’s Le Grande hotel in La Veta were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Walsen, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Unfug, Mr. and Mrs. R.A. Quillian, Mr. and Mrs. M.V.B. Jackson, Sheriff and Mrs. Lewis, and the Misses Schaefer and Lillie Sporleder.

1883: The Walsenburg brass band visited Pueblo last week and rendered some exquisite music, causing Pueblo papers to complement the musicians.

1889: Work began Wednesday on Henry Snedden’s new brick block next to Dr. Baird’s office. It will be 25 by 50 feet and built by contractor W.A. Kearns.

1895: The county road from Malachite to Mosca Pass is well supplied with rocks at present.

1903: A car loaded with coal ran into an open switch at the Hezron miner Monday and the wrecker from Pueblo was called to replace it and clear the tracks to make way for other trains.

1910: Died, Josefita Valdez, 22, pneumonia, Gordon, Clarinda, 1, daughter of Candido Montoya, Gordon, John Neckel, 53, fall of rock in the Ravenwood mine, Marita, 3, daughter of John D. Salas, Walsenburg, Spemanio, 1 month, son of James Martinez, Hezron.

1917: The Walsenburg Independent, J.W. Thomas, editor. Office on Seventh Street near Main in the Cash Supply Store.

1923: A gas explosion occurred in the Ideal mine when a hole was cut from No. 4 into the abandoned No. 1 where gasses had accumulated.

1929: Colorado Fuel and Iron Company has announced the Lester mine is permanently closed and the rails will be removed.

1935: Farms in Huerfano County have increased in number in the past five years, from 760 in 1930 to 845 presently.

1941: High taxes, unemployment, heavy debts and lack of Works Progress Administration projects in Huerfano County have been blamed on the county commissioners by District Judge John L. East.

1947: Two county mines, Gordon and Butte Valley, were judged unsafe and ordered closed today by the government following a coal mine disaster in Illinois that killed 111.

1952: Fox Theater: “Distant Drums” starring Gary Cooper, plus Judy Canova in “Honeychile”, a cartoon, “Drip Dippy Donald” and the Fox News.

1958: County coal production for 1957 was 70,331 tons, with most coming from Calumet No. 2, Morning Glory and Gordon. Other operating mines are Maitland No. 2, Major No. 2, Rugby No. 6, Blue Blaze, Black Beauty, Maitland No. 1, Leader No. 3, Caddell No. 2 and Klikus (Taylor No. 1).

1964: Four year old Alvin Vallejos won the theater ticket offered in the Easter Egg Hunt sponsored in swimming pool park by the Walsenburg Elks.

1970: Alan Tomsic, St. Mary School eighth grader, won the county spelling contest, Sandra Kenner, Washington seventh grader, won second and Tammy Smith, La Veta, was third.

1977: Bernie Atencio has been selected to represent the United States at the World Games for the Deaf in Romania as a member of the wrestling team.

1984: Seventy-six couples attended the Walsenburg High School prom last week where King Charles B. Vigil Jr. and Queen Dawn Newman reigned with attendants Ken Salazar, Gerald Lucero, Anna Green and Katie Trujillo.

La Veta

1881: I herewith inform the citizens of La Veta and vicinity I have opened Retail Grocery Store in this place and will keep every thing usually kept in a store of that kind. D.N. Roberts.

1888: The regular town election passed off peacefully through the diligence of the judges of election, S.L. Strange, M.T. Hills, C.J. Adams, Rev. Vories, James Waldrop and Charles Paine.

1894: Belle Willis will teach in the Mack district school on the upper Cucharas where the summer term begins Monday.

1901: The high wind Tuesday blew down some of the rafters on the big ice house above the mill lake. The damage will be difficult to repair.

1908: The school board has purchased several lots from D.E. Fitton just west of Felix Estes’ property, facing south on Virginia Street, for the new high school location. Although it is on the sidewalk, it is not as centrally located as the board had desired.

1915: I.R. Voorhees has purchased what is known as the McWhirter residence in North La Veta and has moved his family in.

1921: A new moving picture machine has been installed in the Pastime Theater in Kincaid Hall that will show 6,000 feet of film with but one stop.

1927: Mr. and Mrs. Kato have cleaned and rearranged their restaurant in the Micheletti building for the coming season.

1932: A county wide Parent Teacher Association program will be presented in the Methodist Church Saturday afternoon featuring Barbara and Melba Byouk, Bonnie Doles, several classes and the glee clubs.

1938: The Smalley brothers took charge of the Sinclair Filling Station on Ryus Avenue after purchasing it from Mr. McComb who has operated it for some time.

1943: The livestock sale and auction held for the benefit of the Red Cross totaled sales of $2,731.50 which included 27 cattle, four horses, 19 sheep, 21 hogs, three goats and a Brahma calf plus farm products. John Kreutzer was the auctioneer and attendance was estimated at 1,000.

1950: Last week’s school operetta, “Jack and the Magic Beanstalk”, featured Jimmy Geiser as Jack, Donna Morgan as his mother and David Kreutzer as the magician. About 100 children formed the chorus.

1957: La Veta graduated its first senior class 50 years ago this spring when Professor Kent and Miss Armstrong were the teachers. Miss Armstrong later married J.M. Jones and is the mother of the musician Spike Jones.

1963: Mr. and Mrs. John Tompkins have purchased the old Jewell residence north of the railroad and are repairing the house.

1969: William Gardner “Bud” Tompkins, 67, died in Oregon. He leaves his wife, four children and his brother John of La Veta. Bud was a former resident of Ojo.

1975: The Cow Shed, destroyed in an explosion Saturday, was built in 1947 and passed to St. Mary Credit Bureau in

1961. Nola Geiser purchased it in 1962 and had completely remodeled it.

1981: Panadero General Manager Dwight Harrison paid $60,000 in delinquent and current property taxes.

1988: Bubby Morgan, Jim Hoad and Troy Kreutzer were placed on the Fishers Peak All-Conference high school basketball team.

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