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30 years ago – December 20, 1985

Many people that attended the seventh annual Christmas concert Tuesday night at the Gilpin County RE-1 School agreed that it was one of the best performances. The first through third grade classes sang a variety of songs while Shannon Blood narrated the story “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The kindergarten class sang the alphabet song and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” The fourth through the sixth grades sang while the high school drama class did the play “Christmas in Court.” Performances were also given by the girls’ chorus, the beginners’ band, the advanced band, the jug & bottle band, and the concert band. Directors for the play “Christmas in Court” were Ruthann Anderle and Fred Gribshaw. The musical director for the show was Lon Huckaby.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well and living in Gilpin County and in the hearts of those with connections to the “Little Kingdom of Gilpin.” Many people have contributed in many ways to make this a joyous holiday season for their friends and neighbors and even people they have never met. Sunday afternoon, a group of locals gathered at the Gilpin Hotel to wrap Christmas presents for the “Give a Kid a Christmas” community project. Gwen Thomas and Marion Lewis donated their time Sunday. Under the direction of Susie Lala of the county’s social services department and Jesse Andre of the Mountain Musicians Guild, gifts were wrapped for 38 kids. There are 19 families that will receive presents. Presents and cash for the project were donated by many local organizations as well as by many individuals. Some donations came from as far away as California and New York. Each year at Christmastime, the Central City Elks donate food baskets to the needy. Between the Elks and social services, 16 families will receive baskets this year. Tomorrow, Bob Brusco will host a party at the Gilded Garter Saloon & Restaurant for the people who are to receive presents. Santa will be on hand to pass out gifts to the children.

Letter to the Editor: Dear Editor, the past few weeks the weather has not been such as to encourage uncovered heads, but now that the ‘February Thaw’ seems to be manifesting itself at the Christmas season, let’s all take off our hats to Eric Klemp for his magnificent job in the Central City street maintenance department. Salud Eric! Warmest greets and thanks for making our winters unprecedentedly safe and convenient. Signed Kay Russell, Central City.

Juanita Alma Lee Crowson, known to her friends as “Nita,” died Friday, December 13, 1985, at Aurora Humana Hospital. She was 51 years old. She was born January 6, 1934, in the Houston, Texas area to Carrie Westbrook and Edward Thielen. Her mother preceded her in death, but her father is still living in Texas. Many Gilpin County people will remember Nita Crowson. She moved to a home on Marchant Street in Black Hawk in the early 1970s and opened the Vicarage, an antique store in the building that now houses the bank. Later, she moved to Spring Street in Central City and had Vanita Enterprises on Lawrence Street. There, she sold antiques, but also had the offices for World Wide Antiques, a company that has antique shows throughout the West and Midwest. The shows go as far as Lansing, Michigan, ad as far west as Seattle, Washington. Crowson was involved in world Wide Antiques until about a year ago. She moved from Gilpin County in 1979. At the time of her death, she was living in Aurora, Colorado. She is survived by her father; her son, Stephen Buck and Boulder, and several brothers and sisters. Memorial services were held Wednesday at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Denver. The body was cremated and the ashes interred at the St. Thomas Episcopal Columbarium.

60 years ago – December 23, 1955

  This is our Christmas Edition, a custom that has been followed for the past ninety two years. It represents a courteous gesture from the various business houses, in which they express their felicitations and good wishes. The wording of each greeting is not the same, but the meaning is the same. Through these columns, you receive their sincere greetings, the same as a Christmas Card sent through the mail and they, in this manner, join with the personnel of the Register-Call in wishing you a most Merry Christmas and a most Happy New Year.

Rev. Robert Wade, of Denver, will conduct Christmas services in the Methodist Church on Christmas day. He will also occupy the pulpit New Year’s Day in place of Rev. Hawks, the local minister, who, with his wife, is on vacation during the Yuletide holidays with relatives in Texas.

Mr. Lee Lyttle, of the Gold Mine Store, who has been making daily visits to Denver to be with his wife who is in one of the Denver hospitals, reports her convalescence has been most encouraging and she is now at her home in Denver.

Oscar Williams will spend the holidays in Denver with his daughter and family. He says he much prefers the warm climate of Central City rather than the icy blasts of the Queen City. He has been a resident of this city for more than a thousand years and he knows whereof he speaks.

A Christmas party is being given this afternoon at the Court House, and we understand that two turkeys will grace the festive board. It is an annual event for all the officers that each day in the year, lend their efforts and help to the citizens of Gilpin County. Food will be in abundance and so far at the “Christmas Cheer,” I will remain silent. However, I am sure there will be a Santa Claus, as County Commissioner Wm. Grenfell has the rotund figure to pay St. Nick and deliver the many presents and gifts sent to each county officer. We are sure a most pleasant afternoon was spent.

Mrs. Mabel Richards has been moved from the hospital to the McKay Memorial Sanatorium at 2639 East Colfax Avenue.

Funeral services were held Wednesday at Tomford Mortuary for Carl La Fevre, who died suddenly last Saturday at his home near Rollinsville. He lived with his sister, Margaret, and was 53 years old.

90 years ago – December 25, 1925

  Dear Santa: Please bring us a new automobile for Christmas as Daddy forgot to stop at the railroad crossing.

There was a large crowd of children at the Elks Christmas tree yesterday afternoon, where they were greeted by Santa Claus and given a bag of candy apples, oranges, and other goodies.

Walter McLeod returned Saturday from his vacation trip and has been busy ever since catching up with his work in the First National Bank.

Mr. and Mrs. Amos B. Clark came up from Denver Wednesday evening to spend Christmas with her parents Mr. and Mrs. G.M. Laird, and of course, brother R.L.L. and wife.

Mr. and Mrs. Everett McCoy and daughter came up from Denver Wednesday evening to spend Christmas with her mother, Mrs. Louie Welch and brother Jack Forest Welch.

Peter McFarlane was among the passengers to Denver yesterday morning to spend Christmas with relatives.

Edmund Lowe in “Greater Than a Crown,” and a Fox News reel will be the pictures shown at the Opera House Saturday evening, December 26th.

Married: At Plattsmouth, Nebraska, December 19th, 1925, Walter Scott and Miss Nora Livingston. Mr. Scott is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Scott of this city, the lady who now takes his name being a resident of Plattsmouth. The couple arrived here Sunday to visit his parents, leaving during the afternoon for Idaho Springs, where they will make their home for the present.

Died: In Denver, December 18th, 1925, June Belle Fraser, aged 11 years and 6 months. Deceased was taken down on Sunday previous with a severe attack of pneumonia, having suffered from two prior attacks of that dreaded disease, and while everything possible was done to combat the attack, her system was unable to stand the strain, and surrounded by mothers, sisters and brothers she passed on to the “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.” Miss June was born in this city, where she had completed six grades in the public schools, and in Denver was attending the Skinner Junior High School. She was a member of the Junior League of the Highlands Methodist church, and Rev. John L. Spargo, the pastor, officiated at the services. Mrs. Fowler, soloist of the Rogers’ Mortuary, sang two of her favorite selections, “The Old Rugged Cross,” and “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere,” and E. L. Harris conducted the funeral services, which were held Monday afternoon, interment in Crown Hill cemetery, beside her father, who died on June 18th, 1919. Of a sweet and loving disposition and a pleasing personality, she was beloved and endeared by all, and is survived by her mother, Mrs. Milla Fraser, two brothers, Clayton and Richard, and three sisters, Laura Fraser, Viola Fraser Clarke, and Mildred Fraser Altvater.

120 years ago – December 20, 1895

John Stephens and Thomas Flynn met death in the Brooklyn Mine last Wednesday evening by inhaling noxious gases. Coroner W.H. Parenteau was summoned to the Brooklyn Mine Wednesday evening last to examine the dead bodies of John Stephens and Thomas Flynn, employees in that property. The coroner held no inquest, deeming it unnecessary from the facts elicited regarding the fatal accident, which substantially are as follows: The day shift had fired their usual number of shots about 4 o’clock in the afternoon of that day. Stephens and Flynn worked on the night shift, their duty being to remove the crevice matter broken by the day shift and sending it to the surface. When going to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of over 300 feet, the air was so foul that it was impossible to work. Stephens came up to the surface, Flynn remaining underground, the former returning in a short time to the shaft. James Loughran, the night engineer, became alarmed as about 9 o’clock as there had been no signal to hoist, and James McGinnis went down the shaft. He found the lifeless body of Stephens at the foot of the ladder way, he having evidently become partially exhausted from the noxious gases and had attempted to climb the ladder. McGinnis immediately went to the surface and summoned help. Several miners then went down and found the prostrate body of Flynn face down on the pile of rock and dirt in the shaft. The bodies were raised to the surface and taken to their respective residences. Stephens was a man of 30 years of age and leaves a wife and two children, the youngest one but three months old. His father, an old citizen of the city, resides on Lawrence Street. Flynn is the eldest son of Mr. John Flynn who resides on Spring Street. He was a promising young man, who was born and reared in this city and was entering into his 22nd year. The bereaved parents of the unfortunate have the sincere condolence of a large circle of friends in their affliction. There is no blame attacked to the manager of the mine, Mr. Loughran, or the general superintendent Mr. Cleary. Every precaution had been taken to properly ventilate the workings of the property.

Married: In Baltimore, Maryland, December 10th, 1895, Mr. Jesse H. Mitchell, of Gilpin County, and Miss Bessie J. Hall, of Baltimore. The wedding took place at the residence of the bride’s parents, and was largely attended. The bride was the recipient of many valuable presents. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, after a trip to Florida, will take up a residence in Gilpin County, where the former has mining interests.

Married: In Denver, December 12th, 1895, at the residence of Rev. James McFarland, who officiated, Mr. Neil McKay of Central City, and Miss Katie J. McKay of Boston, Massachusetts. The wedding was a quiet affair. The groom is well known in Gilpin County, where he has resided for a number of years. The announcement of his marriage was quite a surprise to his friends. Mr. and Mrs. McKay have the best wishes of a large circle of friends for their future welfare, among whom is the Register-Call. They will take up a residence in this city.

Died: In Central City, of miner’s consumption, Simon Covacovitch, native of Talmazia, Austria, aged 55 years. Deceased leaves a wife and three children. The funeral occurred last Sunday morning from the Church of the Assumption under the auspices of the Italian and Austrian societies of this county. The remains were escorted to the church as well as to the Catholic Cemetery, preceded by the Black Hawk Silver Band.

Died: In Black Hawk, December 13th, 1895, Louis Percher, aged 49 years. He leaves a wife and four sons. He was a member of the Black Hawk Lodge No. 4, Knights of Pythias, who attended the obsequies last Sunday afternoon. Interment was made in the K. of P. Cemetery, west of Central.

Died: In Juneau, Alaska, December 1st, 1895, Myron H. Smith, after a short illness of pneumonia, aged 42 years. Deceased left Central City about ten years ago for that northwest region. Only a few weeks before being attacked by the disease which caused his death he had returned from the Yukon River, where he had been engaged in placer mining. His remains were buried in the Juneau Cemetery. He has relatives in this city.

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