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This Week in History, for August 19,2021


1890: Harry L. Gross married Florence M. Grantham, sister of the Grantham brothers of the drug store August 14. [In 1899 she became the first woman in Walsenburg to have, and use, the first chainless bicycle in town].

1895: Work on the new Denver and Rio Grande depot is progressing finely and it will be an elegant structure when it’s completed. It is to be done in three weeks.

1900: Marcial Martinez, who was reported to be dying after a chunk of coal fell from a train and crushed his skull, is on our streets again and almost cured.

1905: John Thill has let the contract to W.B. Wayt for a six room pressed brick house to be erected on his property on West Third Street.

1910: Nine deaths, including five infants, died the past week while five births were reported.

1915: Reopening August 21, the Empress Theater, with a new machine. Saturday night’s show will be William Fox and Theda Bara in “A Fool There Was”.

1920: Sheriff E.L. Neeley and wife spent Tuesday in Cuchara Camps rusticating.

1925: Grand Opening: Bain’s Golden Eagle, August 25. Children’s Shoes; 89 cents, Girl’s Corselets, 29 cents; Towels, 9 cents and up. Be sure to visit our baggage department on the balcony.

1930: Frank Mauro will be general chairman of the annual St. Mary Catholic fair which will be held this year on October 22-25. A.J. Dissler is vice president, Albert Pazar, treasurer and Father Ernst, general secretary.

1935: The Kit Carson Round-Uppers from Trinidad gave a free show at Fifth and Main streets last night for about 1,000 people.

1940: Fern and Zel Bonicelli Auto Repair Stop is opening in the Zellar Service Station building at Eighth and Main streets.

1945: Died, J.F. Coss, former editor of the Walsenburg Independent 1918-1924 and a Christian minister. He was elected state senator in 1922 for Huerfano, Costilla and Conejos counties and introduced the first old-age pension bill in Colorado.

1950: Eloy Bustos, 15, won two buckles and a pair of cowboy boots as winner of the calf roping and calf riding at the Kids’ Rodeo in La Junta.

1955: Fifty guests yesterday attended the tea honoring twins Betty Jane and Rose Marie Jellison who will be married August 27 in a double ceremony.

1960: Mary Margaret Crump had both the champion and reserve champion in the 4-H sheep sale last weekend. Her 79-pound champ sold at 50 cents a pound to Safeway Stores.

1965: Sons were born August 14 to Mr. and Mrs. Sig Sporleder and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bressan.

1970: New teachers this year at Walsenburg High School are Michael Finn Jr., machine shop and welding; Elizabeth Klein, home economics and Robert E. Hemphill, industrial arts.

1975: Winning the 4-H Breeding Beef grand championship was Lori Corsentino with Billy Riggins of La Veta, reserve. Tim Roberts’s gelding won the grand championship and Dianne Hasenack of La Veta took reserve honors.

1980: Huerfano County youth received $22,691.65 for their 33 animals, including cattle , sheep, hogs and rabbits, in the livestock sale Sunday during which 13 cattle were sold at an average price of $1,212.65.

1985: An Economic Development Committee for Huerfano County was formed with Tom Powell, Duane Hamilton, Janet Kinniry, Ellen Trujillo, Mary Nelson, Ed Ludvik, James Conder, Hank Summers Jr., Jill Clark, David Perkins and Sandi Dotter.

1990: Federal funding of $5.5 million has been awarded to the Huerfano County Hospital District to assist in building a $14 medical center and veterans home, thanks to Veterans Service Officer Ed Joseph who first perceived of the idea of a Huerfano County veterans center in December 1976.

1995: Mountain View Manufacturing, its owners Jerry and JoVonne Fitzgerald and its 37 employees invite all to an open house Friday, August 25 to celebrate 10 years in Walsenburg. The firm is located at 408 Russell Avenue.

La Veta

1876: The congregation of the Baptist Church of La Veta voted to appoint a committee to find an appropriate lot in the new town for the church so as to be more convenient to its members.

1881: It  has been suggested to the Town Board to fill up the old well and open cellars along Francisco Street before a team falls into one of them.

1891: A board fence four and a half feet high will be built around the north and west sides of the town cemetery to keep livestock out. A carriage entrance will be added as well as a picket fence and gate for foot traffic.

1896: The Presbyterian Society of Christian Endeavor held a very pleasant social in Ryus’s Grove on Thursday evening, about 40 being in attendance.

1901: Every person, during the month of August, regardless of sex, color or nationality, may enjoy a warm bath at Sulphur Springs for 25 cents.

1906: Union High School will be opened September 3, based on a two and a half mill levy, for students of District 7, Sager, District 9, La Veta, District 15, Bruce or Wahatoya,  and District 21, Upper Cucharas.

1911: Leroy P. Springer rented the Galassini store building on Ryus for a jewelry and watch repairing business.

1916: Charles Shroades, R.W. Atchison, Albert Campbell and Mr. Shull purchased Ford cars this week from Allen Roush’s La Veta Automotive.

1921: Out east of town, J.S. Shearer threshed out about 750 bushels of wheat this week which ran 22 and a half bushels to the acre.

1926: Ernest Clifford has been working as a miner underground all his life but it remained for him to get badly injured on the street. He was cranking his car and it somehow ran over him, breaking his leg.

1931: Two weeks ago the ball games were called off in La Veta due to rain so the team remained in first place in the league with 11 wins and no losses. The first loss of the season was last Sunday when the Red Ramblers of Pueblo won 4-3, but it was not a league game.

1936: Jab Taylor and His Mellotonians, a ten piece orchestra, will play Sunday night August 23 at Sulphur Springs. The next week the resort will have an exceptional old time dance on Saturday night and a high class modern dance Sunday evening, which will be closing dance of the season.

1941: Activities for the young people of Cuchara Camps this week included a hay ride, scavenger hunt and ice cream social.

1946: Elementary teachers this year will be, for first to sixth grades, respectively, Alice Kopine, Nell Frost, Minnie Mathews, Emma Vories, Frances Willburn and Bessie Moore.

1951: Camp Tobin, an integral part of 4-H activities at the Colorado State Fair August 19-24, was canceled due to the polio epidemic.

1956: Died, Silas Lemuel Smith, 77, railroad worker and farmer and resident of La Veta since 1906. He leaves his wife, one brother and 12 children.

1961: Barbara Willis of La Veta received the top price of $38 per 100 for her 810 pound steer at the 4-H Fair livestock sale Sunday.

1966: Governor John Love opened the 4-H Fair in Willis Arena in La Veta last weekend.

1971: Richard Sardello is now in charge of B&B Auto and Machine Shop at Sixth and Albert streets in Walsenburg.

1976: A total of 200 young men and women from throughout southern Colorado participated in the annual 4-H Rodeo in La Veta last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Winning the senior boy bull riding was Chip Crump of Walsenburg and second went to Malcolm Riggins of La Veta.

1981: Spanish Peaks Garden Club’s Flower and Plant Show at the 4-H Fair received 131 entries with Teddi Hall of La Veta taking Best of Show.

1986: Cement is being poured for the new tennis  and basketball courts west of the junior high/gymnasium building.

1991: A Sporleder family reunion in Cuchara drew 56 people to Yellow Pine Ranch.