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This week in History for December 31, 2014

Walsenburg 1882: John Lowenbruck, a native of Germany, and Gertrude Hendren, daughter of Captain Cornelius and Damiana Hendren of Walsenburg, were married Dec. 26 by Fr. Ussel. 1889: The masque ball in Mazzone’s Opera House on New Year’s Eve, given by the Social Ten, was a grand success. 1894: Died at his home on Turkey Creek, Jose Mariano Valdes, 88, a veteran of the Indian Wars who came here in 1867 from Taos. He was the father of Judge J.A.J. Valdes and J.B.N. Valdes. 1899: Fred Roof’s new warehouse, the largest in Huerfano County, is now complete and will provide ample room for the storage of grains or wool. It was opened with a Christmas dance including dinner at the hotel. 1905: Jessie Caddell married Dale Jellison on Christmas night at the home of her parents Mr. and Mrs. William Caddell. They were wed by the Rev. W.W. Jellison, the grandfather of the groom. 1910: There was a Christmas Tree in the Walsen school with lots of fruit and candy distributed to about 250 children. 1915: Students of the Fairview School in District No. 25, Cucharas, gave a pleasing Christmas program with music and readings. 1922: The seventh and eighth grade students at Pictou will now be brought to the Walsenburg junior high by bus to alleviate the overcrowded conditions at their school. 1927: During the past year, new schools were built at Gardner, St. Mary’s, Rattlesnake Buttes and Pictou at a total cost of some $30,000. 1932: Mr. Martinez played Santa Claus for the children of the Pass Creek School during their Christmas party and program. 1939: Since its inception on Oct. 1, 1935, the Works Progress Administration has expended $2,821,432.44 in Huerfano County, all but

about $600,000 having been spent on labor. 1944: Word was received this week of the death of Sgt. John Naglich, 23, of Walsenburg, who was reported killed in action Dec. 2 over the Adriatic Sea. He served as a radioman and gunner on a B-17 bomber in Italy. 1949: New construction in Walsenburg during the past year reached an estimated $54,000, compared to $31,400 in 1948. 1954: In the annual holiday basketball game between the graduates of Huerfano County and St. Mary high schools, the Crusader alums defeated the former Panthers 46-38. 1959: Dave Mockmore, 22, was enlisted into the Air Force Monday in Denver. 1967: The U.S. Department of Labor, Health, Education and Welfare has approved $94,190 in grants for general office training for 35 weeks for 30 unemployed persons in Huerfano County. 1972: Chester Sperandio is retiring after almost 20 years with the post office. A resident of Walsenburg for 25 years, he is the owner of Chet’s Motel, Nora’s Liquors and the Sears and Central apartment complexes. 1977: Region 7 Drought Council members will ask Gov. Richard Lamm to send ground based cloud seeding generators to the Sangre de Cristo and Wet Mountain areas. 1982: A Christmas Eve storm dumped 16 inches of snow on Walsenburg and another four inches fell Christmas Day, accompanied by high winds and severe drifting, limiting visibility.

La Veta 1881: Col. A.G. Boone of the Southwestern Land Company informs us he has had 12 applications for houses in town, and could rent 50 more if he had them. 1895: A large number of La Veta people bid farewell to the old year and celebrated the birth of the new one with a grand ball in Ryus Hall. 1900: The Woodmen of the World’s New Year’s Eve dance in Ryus Opera House was quite a success with a poverty lunch counter. The last guest left at five in the morning. 1905: At the Christmas Dance in the Opera House, J.O. Francisco attempted to extinguish the lights with the aid of a six shooter. Ovie was somewhat exhilarated and vented his enthusiasm in this manner, for which he was fined $15.00 and costs the following morning. 1911: The year is being ushered out with a temperature of 20 degrees below zero and the snow is falling. 1916: Ice harvest is underway: it is about 12 inches thick. 1921: The local Farmers Union had a social with their families in their hall to celebrate Christmas. 1926: The Methodists have started excavation for their new church which will measure 50 by 70 feet. 1931: Mrs. Leonard Clark will open up a beauty shop in Mrs. Gallant’s apartments around the first of January. 1937: All Christmas programs and gatherings were cancelled because of the presence of scarlet fever in town and it is possible the reopening of school after the holidays will be postponed. 1943: La Veta sounds like a factory town again since the Excelsior company installed another whistle at their mill. 1948: The high school journalism class went to Walsenburg last week to see The Advertiser and the Huerfano County News press room and were told about the process by editors E.E. Engberg and Earl Gault. 1953: The County Welfare Department dispersed more than one million dollars to pensioners and the needy in the past year. 1958: Mrs. Ruth Underwood and children and Mrs. Helen Weir have moved from the La Veta Motel to the Edward Falk house at the corner of Virginia and Oak streets. 1965: Temperatures have been in the 50s all week but still no moisture has been received. 1972: Eighteen members and guests attended the Christmas party of the Tuesday Night Study Club at the home of Mrs. Barbara Edwards in Cuchara. 1979: The annual Friends of the Arts Guild Christmas show and sale in the old Presbyterian Church was a huge success. 1985: About 110 school employees and their family members enjoyed their annual potluck dinner in the school cafeteria and most toured the new junior high gymnasium facility afterward. 1991: About 40 people attended the Christmas covered dish supper at the First Baptist Church which featured the story of the birth of Christ put on by the children from pre-school through the eighth grade.

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