Turning Back the Pages

CentralCity_donkey_EricMiller30 years ago – January 17, 1986

Monday afternoon, the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Department was notified of a supposed kidnapping. The reporting party also said another child was missing and an assault had occurred. The reporting party was from Russell Gulch. According to Undersheriff David Martinez, he immediately began patrolling the area south of Russell Gulch looking for the truck that was supposed to contain the kidnapped child. At the same time, Deputy Jon Bayne responded to the reporting party’s residence to take the initial report about the incident. Gilpin County Search & Rescue was notified to begin searching for the 9 year old boy that was reported missing. The boy was thought to be in the area, but could not be located. After patrolling the area for the suspected truck in the kidnapping case, Martinez was unable to locate it. He said he was not given an accurate description of the vehicle. Martinez received information that the woman who allegedly kidnapped one of the children was his mother. After further investigation, it was discovered that both of the children were safe in Adams County. The mother had legal custody of her son. The 9 year old went with them of his own free will when the mother took her son. There was, in fact, no kidnapping and no missing child. The boys are stepbrothers. Martinez said an assault did occur on the boys’ father. Charges of third degree assault have been filed against Christopher Robins of Westminster, the uncle of one of the boys. Martinez and Sheriff Rosetta Anderle said the case is under further investigation.

Louisa Ward Arps of Denver, a noted Colorado author, historian, and librarian, died January 11, 1986. She was 84. Her books include “Denver in Slices,” “Front Range Panorama,” “Chalk Creek, Colorado,” “Cemetery to Conservatory,” and “High Country Names,” a book she coauthored with Elinor Kingery. Governor Richard Lamm, in paying tribute to her in 1982 when she was honored by the American Society for State and Local History, said her work was “Central to any good Colorado history library” and “Central to our state’s efforts to preserve the past.” Arps was recently honored by the Colorado State Legislature because she was a “historian, writer, and naturalist who warmed the hearts and minds of Colorado’s old and young. She was born in Denver on June 20, 1901. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and a graduate library degree from Columbia University. From 1925 to 1946, she worked in two Denver high schools. From 1948 to 1962, she worked in the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library. From 1962 to 1967m she was with the Colorado Historical Society. She had a television series, “Denver’s Yesterdays,” on Channel 6 in the mid-1950s when the TV station began broadcasting. She maintained a busy schedule right up to the time of her death. She had been working on a historical landmark designation for a Denver neighborhood. She had been on an excursion to Rocky Mountain National Park the day before her death. She is survived by her husband, Elwyn A. Arps. They were married in 1940. He is well known as a photographer and mountaineer. He often collaborated with her on publications and at public appearances. Memorial services were held Wednesday at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Denver. Burial was at Fairmont Cemetery.

60 years ago – January 20, 1956

Whoever discovered that a bar of soap is the best gadget for picking up splintered glass or slivers from the floor should have a gold medal, but wait till the price of gold goes up—it will be worth much more. The soap can be used for usual household duties by shaving a little, just enough to remove the slivers. Also, it is good to wash behind Junior’s ears.

A crew of workmen from the Public Service Co. of Idaho Springs have been here during the week, setting new poles on High Street. The poles are much higher than those installed half a century past, and will also be used by the Mountain States Telephone Co. for their lines. One particular good feature regarding the improvements is that the pole at the corner of Second High and St. James streets will be removed, enabling cars ascending this treacherous piece of road to skirt the corner without bumping in the pole, thus eliminating the damage to fenders and tempers.

George McLaughlin was taken to Denver Monday morning, and is at St. Joseph’s Hospital receiving treatment for an asthmatic condition. We hope his convalescence is rapid.

Dinner guests at the Vern Haynes last Sunday were, Dr. Thomas Stansfield, of San Francisco, Grace Stansfield, Wm. Beggs, Mary and Olga Oakes, of Denver, the Partells, of Golden, and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Pierce of this city.

Mr. and Mrs. Earl Quiller and daughter, Miss Marjorie, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Gray and Mrs. Mertrand Mattivi attended the stock show in Denver last Friday evening.

Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Haynes and Mrs. Harry Pierce attended the funeral services in Denver, Tuesday for Miss Harper, an aunt of Wm. Begg, who is well known here, having been an assistant stage director for several of the plays and operas. They returned in a new ’56 Pontiac car which is a right smart looking job.

Funeral services for Mrs. Cora I. Costello, mother of Mrs. Doris Van Schaak and Mrs. Emily Wilson, were held yesterday morning in Denver. She was about 84 years of age.

90 years ago – January 21, 1926

The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams of the local high school, journeyed to Idaho Springs last Friday evening, where they played against the corresponding teams of that high school. The boys were defeated by the score of 26 to 10 and the girls, by the score of 32 to 6. From reports received from this city who witnessed the game, it would appear that an incompetent official handled the game and was not fully cognizant of many of the rules. However, the local teams have arranged another game with Idaho Springs in the near future, and we trust will prove victorious for the locals when they meet.

  1. Hancock left Sunday for Denver to meet with the Highway Commissioners and take in the stock show.

Mr. J. Daley, of the Metals Syndicate visited with his family in Denver over the weekend.

Joe Ress left Saturday for Denver to meet his brother from Telluride.

While driving the coal wagon to the Incidental Mine, the driver hit a ditch and was thrown to the ground on Saturday, and it was necessary for the doctor to put three stitches in his head to repair the damage.

Died: In Denver, January 15, 1926, Marcos J. Leahy, aged 58 years. A year or more ago Mr. Leahy suffered from an attack of the “flu” from which he never fully recovered, and the sudden heart attack which summoned him on Friday morning was but the after results of that terrible disease. He had been confined to his home for some time but could not rally from the encroachments of the disease, and passed on early Friday morning. “Marcus,” as he was so well known here, was born in Central City in September, 1867, attended the schools here, and spent the greater portion of his years in this city. During the years while his father was postmaster in Central, Marcus was made deputy postmaster and aided his father in attending to the business of the office. When a change was made in postmasters, he turned his attention to mining, and at the city election in 1907 he was elected City Treasurer, which office he held for several years. In that same year, he married Miss Kate Sutton, and nine years later moved to Denver with his wife and daughter, securing employment as chief clerk in the office of Secretary of State, and later being promoted to the head of the filing department in that office, which position he held until the time of his death. He was a member of Central City Lodge, Order of Elks, and also the Knights of Columbus lodge. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Kate Leahy; his daughter Miss Katherine Leahy; three brothers, Thomas, of Denver, William, of Fraser, Colorado, and Richard, of San Diego, California; three sisters, Mrs. Frank Jones, of Georgetown, Colorado, Mrs. John Hughes of Yampa, Colorado, and Mrs. Fred Feltch, of Vernal, Utah.

120 years ago – January 17, 1896

Anton Sessell celebrated his 60th birthday a few days ago by entertaining his many friends at the residence of Comrade H.M. Gray in this city. The evening was spent very pleasant, chiefly in story telling by Commodore Sessell and Comrade Gray, both of whom were in the Civil War. Anton was the recipient of many presents from his numerous friends, both in this and his native country, France. The Register-Call extends its congratulations to the veteran, and trusts that he may witness many, many more like events in the coming years.

Here is a curiosity for the youngsters to ponder over: Suppose a man and girl were married, and – which is of course impossible – that at the time of the hymeneal contract the man was thirty five years old and the girl five years old, which makes the man seven times as old as the girl. They live together until the girl is ten years old. This makes him forty years old, and four times as old as the girl. They live until she is fifteen, and the man forty five. This makes the man three times as old. They still live until she is thirty years old. This makes the man sixty, only twice as old. And now as we haven’t time to work it out, perhaps someone will be kind enough to tell us how long they would have to live to make the girl as old as the man.

Married: At the residence of the bride’s parents, on Gregory Street, on January 16th, 1896, at noon, Richard Davies and Miss Bessie Rule, Rev. J.W. Linn officiating. The ceremony was witnessed by friends and invited guests, who showered upon them the best wishes for a long and happy life. The couple will be home to their friends after Feb. 15th.

Died: On High Street, January 16, 1896, Mrs. E. Gilbert, aged 40 years. The deceased lady’s husband, E. Gilbert, died here several years ago, and left considerable property. Mrs. Gilbert has been acting strangely of late, and on Wednesday a brain specialist came up from Denver to make an examination into her condition, as to whether or not she should be removed to the asylum in Pueblo. Mrs. Gilbert seemed to grow worse during the evening and succumbed to an abscess on the brain at 7 o’clock Thursday morning. Deceased leaves an adopted daughter and relatives in this city, and had a large circle of friends. The funeral will take place on Sunday, services being held at the Methodist Church at 1 o’clock. Her sister, Mrs. Blewitt, of Steamboat Springs, arrived here on Wednesday to render assistance to the lady while sick, and it is expected that Mr. Blewitt will arrive here in time to be present for the funeral.

Died: In Nevadaville, January 14th, 1896, Mrs. Geo. Welsbeck, aged 43 years, of pneumonia. Deceased leaves a husband and seven children, for whom much sympathy is felt. The funeral took place this morning at 9:30 from the Church of the Assumption, interment made in the Catholic cemetery.

Died: In Central City, January 16, 1896, Violet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. McGinnell, aged 1 year, 2 weeks, of consumption.

146 years ago – January 18, 1869

From the Weekly Central City Register: In the Field, Indian Territory. It was what the Boys in Blue call a nice little fight. We had surprised Chief Black Kettle’s band in their village. We had marched for days through sage weeds, woods, morass, and sand, tediously, perseveringly. We had faced the pelting storm of snow, wading wearily through its increasing depth from its fall; and had taken brief snatches of sleep upon its soft cold bed at night. We had finally abandoned our train and supplies, and had marched all day on the enemy’s trail; and turning our backs upon the setting sun at night, steadily and vigorously pushed on. At times we nearly fell from the saddle with sudden sleep. It was after midnight when two Osage Indian scouts in the advance, announced that they smelt the smoke of a wood fire, a fire which we came upon after going a mile further. Around it were traces of Indian boys who had been herding ponies. On we pushed again, the crisp-frozen snow rustling softly under the horse’s feet, and our long, dark column winding through the valley like a huge black monster. Not a voice could be heard. Ten miles more were passed, and the scouts, who were ascending elevated ground, suddenly wheeled their horses and quickly moved to the rear reporting that ponies were grazing nearly a mile ahead of us, and that a village was doubtless in the woods beyond, which skirts the stream in the valley. Strict silence was observed, but no white man who looked could, but the utmost straining of the eyes, see a living object where the telescope vision of these Indian scouts has discovered so much. Soon a night glass verified the presence of the animals. The officers were assembled by Gen. Custer, and all cautiously crept up to the crest of the hill overlooking the valley below, and the surroundings were carefully noted. It was a moment of exultation, and the General’s enthusiastic instructions were quickly and eagerly given and received. The band struck up “Garry Owen,” and the platoons swept down with a yell from every side upon the doomed village. The savages sprang into ditches and holes, and behind trees and bushes and opened a raking fire from every direction with bullets and arrows. Some fled with the terror stricken squaws and papooses, fighting as they ran. These strove hard to reach the ponies to mount, but few were successful in doing so. Sharp and loud rang the rattling carbines, echoed back by the hills and bluffs on every side. Swift and sure rode the troopers, whose lines soon extended across the valley, furiously tearing after the flying enemy—many of whom hit the snow—miles beyond their village, where their bodies were not afterward seen nor counted. Gradually all the Indians were hunted from their cover like wild animals whose escape is cut off, and the fire slackened. One hundred and three bodies were found around the village proper, but many wounded escaped. A few of the squaws took part in the fight, using pistols. Others were spared, except those who had been seen to murder white captive children in their hands. These instantly met the fate of their warrior braves. The ground was strewn with blankets, robes, and clothing, shed by the fugitives. A great many rifles, pistols, saddles, lariats, bridles, robes, etc., were taken; also large quantities of ammunition, dried meat, and other food, all of which we destroyed, together with 51 lodges. When the squaws and children were overtaken, collected together, and turned back in their flight, they defiantly and resignedly chanted their war death songs. Even the youngest did this, expecting to be put to death. Capt. Louis Hamilton, Major J.H. Elliott, and Brevet Liet. Col. A. Barnitz fell in the fight. Chief Black Kettle had for some time had been disposed to keep peace with the whites, but had been overruled by his tribe. At the first sound of horse’s feet, when the cavalry approached, he sprang outside his lodge, and sounded the war whoop, then shouted that the whites were coming to kill them all, and that he was glad of it. Thus he fell, and died with his faithless braves, though “seeking for the right.” The battle is over, and the field covered with dead animals and savages, muddy and smeared, and lying upon each other in holes and ditches. The field resembles a vast slaughter pen. We have 55 prisoners.

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