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Turning back the pages

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30 years ago – December 5, 1986

Marko Lah was recently awarded $3,500 by the city of Black Hawk’s insurance company. According to Mayor Bill Lorenz, Law had previously written a letter of intent to sue the city and Black Hawk Marshal George Armbright. The letter was handled by Lah’s lawyer Tom McFarland. Mona Dawkins, city clerk and treasurer, said Tuesday that several months ago Lah had threatened to sue the city and Armbright for “harassment.” The city council, after receiving the letter from the attorney, forwarded it to the city’s insurance company. Lorenz said that in the insurance policy there is a clause that gives them the right to settle claims. Western World Insurance “acted on their own” behalf, Lorenz said. The company representatives did not consult with the city council members. Dawkins concurred that “the city did not have any input on this at all.” It is not known if the city’s insurance rates will go up as a result of the claim. According to Dawkins, the lawsuit was filed by Marko Lah, a resident and business owner in Black Hawk. Joanne Lah, who is a Black Hawk city council member, was not involved. Lorenz said Tuesday that the city council is checking to see if an investigation was completed by the insurance company before the settlement was made with Lah.

To the delight of many locals the old Engine No. 71 arrived home on Tuesday evening. The train was placed in Black Hawk along Main Street. Angelo DiBenedetto, spokesman for the “Save the Train Fund” and representative for the Gilpin County Historical Society, said that $32,000 was donated to the fund. He hopes that people will not forget about the fund because money is still needed to complete the restoration.

Gregory Binckley, 23, of Denver, has been charged with felony murder, second degree kidnapping, and a violent crime. He allegedly murdered Wendy Klein, 20, of Denver, on November 17. Her body was found off to the side of Mammoth Lake Road, five and a half miles west of Rollinsville, in Gilpin County. Binkley and Klein were reportedly classmates at Temple Baptist. Further details of the case are not being released by either the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Department or the Gilpin and Jefferson counties district attorney’s office. Judge Frederic B. Rodgers has been appointed by Governor Lamm to serve as the county court judge for Gilpin County. The appointment was made in November. Rodgers will assume the new responsibility at the beginning of February, in 1987. Rodgers will replace Judge Andrew J. Krodshen who is retiring after serving as the county court judge for 18 years.

Died: Daniel T Bartkowiak, previously of Gilpin County, was fatally injured in a car accident December 1, 1986. He was 32 years old. Barkowiak lived in Gilpin County for many years before he recently moved to the Glenwood Springs area. While living in Gilpin County he was a member of the High Country Volunteer Fire Department, the Central City Volunteer Fire Department, Gilpin County Search and Rescue, and was an emergency medical technician. Bartkowiak worked for the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Department as a reserve officer in 1980. He went to work for the sheriff’s department full time as a deputy in 1985. He was born August 11, 1954, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. He was in the military. Survivors include his father, David A. Bartkowiak; his mother, Frances Carro of Gilpin County; four brothers, Michael, Mark, Gary, and Kelly; his sister, Sandra McNamara; his paternal grandmother, Rose Bartkowiak; and his maternal grandmother, Grace Taylor. Services were held at Woods Mortuary in Golden yesterday, December 4. He was buried at the Dory Hill Cemetery in Gilpin County. He will be greatly missed by his many friends in Gilpin County.

60 years ago – December 7, 1956

Across the Crossroads by A.F. Mayham: The tie that binds proved to be the snowstorm of last week. It bound a lot of people to the fireside and the world’s most treasured vermouth, affording that period of relaxation for reminiscence and philosophy. Uncle Ed and the old philosopher took advantage of the situation and held open house, no holds barred. They agreed that some folks scuttle the good others have accomplished, and like a serpent leave their slime in the pathway of fellowmen, displaying only a veneer of civilization, degraded to the level of an insect. One of Ed’s war buddies blew in wearing his chest display of scrap iron, and averred that there are those who go through life seeking out the evil, the ear being a broom to sweep together all the faults and frailties of a community of an individual and the tongue becomes a scavenger’s cart to convey the filth. Making a silk purse from a sow’s ear is a long and tedious operation, they agreed. Being a lackey and a lickspittle for a phony buildup was decried by all present in the chamber of imagery, as the eighth of buffoons and vulgarity. Bigotry obscures the truth as the mist hides the mountain, and punitive attacks are a form of evasive conscientiousness. The vermouth was running low, but Ed’s war buddy unloaded his views in stating that what is foolish and wasteful is not necessarily unconstitutional, so praise the Lord and pass the resolutions. He resolved never to shave a whisker from his horny hide, but hammer them in and bite them off inside. Coffee was served with the thumb.

The bodies of Mrs. Percy Alsdorf and Earl Dickerson were found in the Alsdorf house on Eureka Street, Thursday afternoon, both having died from natural causes. From the condition of each body, it was apparent that both had been dead for the past several weeks, Earl’s body showing the more decomposition, and it appears he had been dead for close to a month. His body was found in bed, and the body of Mrs. Alsdorf was found on the kitchen floor in front of the open oven door of the kitchen range. The pilot light was burning and was the only heat in the house. She was dressed in a night dress with a small blanket thrown ‘round her shoulders and apparently had fallen from a rocking chair, which had partly toppled over. Any supposition or idea as to what happened, could be reasonable, but it is quite hard to understand that with a phone on a small table near where Mrs. Alsdorf was found was never used for asking aid or assistance. It is also difficult to understand how she survived for a week or more without any food or help as she was a semi-invalid and has been for the past two years. Both Mrs. Alsdorf and Earl had been living in Denver for several years and after she suffered a stroke, Earl acted as a nurse. They came up from Denver to again make Central City their home in her house, about the middle of October, and either one has been seen since about the 1st of November. Earl was an old age pensioner, and his check for November had never been taken from the post office. Coroner Charles Robins, in company with Sheriff Floyd Campbell, and Norman Blake made an extensive search of the house to ascertain if a will had been made by either of the deceased parties, but nothing was found of this nature. However, an old pocket book contained about $500 in currency, and a number of valuable diamond rings and other jewelry, also a Series Govt. Bond. Only about $25.00 was found in Earl’s clothes. The bodies were found by Norman Blake, of Black Hawk, an old friend of Mrs. Alsdorf. He made a visit to the house, but no one answered his knock. He then peered through the kitchen window and saw Mrs. Alsdorf lying on the floor. He enlisted the aid of City Marshal Warner, and they broke into the house and found them both dead. Sheriff Campbell was out of town on business, and District Attorney George Priest and his investigator Lou Hawley, of Lakewood, were called to come up immediately. Coroner Charles Robins was immediately contacted and also the Tomford Mortuary in Idaho Springs, who took the body of Earl to his mortuary and the body of Mrs. Alsdorf was taken to the Moore Mortuary in Denver, after both bodies were released by the Coroner after ascertaining that no evidence of foul play existed. An autopsy was later performed on Mrs. Alsdorf in Denver, but the results were inconclusive as to the real cause of her death. Mrs. Alsdorf was 83 years of age, was born in Illinois and came to Colorado shortly after the turn of the century, where she was married to Percy L. Alsdorf, who passed away in 1946. She is survived by a sister, Mrs. Gertrude Ripley, who is in the Colorado State Hospital in Pueblo. Funeral services were held Wednesday from the Moore Mortuary in Denver, with interment in Crown Hill Cemetery. The American National bank, of Denver, has been appointed as Conservator of her estate, such designation being made by Co. Judge Wm. S. Barrick. Earl Dickerson was 69 years of age, was born in Nevadaville and has spent almost his entire life in Gilpin County. For many years he operated many mining claims in the Perigo section, several of them showing good values in gold. He is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Edith Klein, of Denver; Mrs. Ethel Straight, of Bellview, Colorado, and Mrs. Edna Bauerie, of Salt Lake City. Funeral services were held last Saturday from the Tomford Mortuary in Idaho Springs, with interment in Bald Mountain Cemetery.

90 years ago – December 10, 1926

“The Ancient Mariner,” a William Fox production, and the regular Fox News reels will be shown at the Opera House on Saturday evening.

Central City News:

Percy Alsdorf and Mr. Foster came up from Denver the first of the week on mining business.

Attorney Leroy J. Williams was up from Denver Friday evening, to attend to professional matters before the county court, returning Sunday morning,

Mr. and Mrs. Guy M. Laird and little son Lawrence, who had been here for the past ten days on a visit with his parents, brother Ray and wife, returned to Littleton, Colorado, Tuesday morning. While here, Guy set up by the hand the type for a twelve page booklet, of his translation of “The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians” from the new testament, and had 500 copies printed in the Sango language, which he intends sending to the missionaries in Africa, for distribution among the natives, who will have for the first time in history the chance to read in their own language the words of the gospel. The Sango, is the trade language of the Ubangi-Sharl Colony of French Equatorial Africa, and of the Yakima River tribes in the northern portion of the Ubangi Province of Belgian Congo Central Africa.

Vernon Haines motored up from Denver Saturday evening to spend the Sabbath here. No, Vernon did not come up to view the scenery.

Black Hawk News:

Mrs. John Rohling, who had been visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Noah Mitchell, for the past week, left for her home in Denver on Monday morning last.

Wilfred Fritz motored to Denver Saturday, on a business trip, as well as a short visit with his family, returning Sunday evening accompanied by his father.

The Rose City Mill shipped a carload of concentrates to the sampling works at Idaho Springs the first of the week.

Contractor John Stroehle has completed all the stone and cement work on the foundation for the bridge at Rollinsville, and is now waiting for the steel framework which is to be shipped from St. Louis.

The basketball games between the girls and boys teams of the high school at Central City, and similar teams of Idaho Springs, will be played in the gymnasium here on Friday evening.

The sympathies of the whole community are extended Mr. and Mrs. Reily, in the supreme sacrifice which they have been compelled to bear, in the loss of their baby girl, as the result of an accident on Sunday evening at their home here.

120 years ago – December 4, 1896

James Marcucci was seriously injured while working in the incline on Tuesday night about half past ten. Marcucci was engaged in filling the large ore car in the 665 level, and when the car was full it was his work to help pull it to the incline, a short distance away. Just at this point there is a slight down grade, and as the car started Marcucci’s candle went out, and in order to get out of the way of the car he tried to stand between the car and the drift. Unfortunately, the space was too narrow, and the heavy car in passing caught him about the waist, crushing him against the timbers and dragging him for several feet. When the car was finally stopped his companions went to his aid and quickly brought him to the surface. Dr. Richmond was called in at once and found that the young man had received internal injuries. A considerable amount of blood had to be taken away in the hope of saving his life. Marcucci was reported as being very low at an early hour this morning, and his chances for recovery are believed to be slim.

Harry Seymour, of Denver, who was up for several days last week visiting his father B.E. Seymour and friends, left on Monday intending to resume his school duties.

Mrs. E.W. Stevens of Denver, who was visiting friends here during Thanksgiving week, returned to her home in the Queen city last Saturday.

George Maloney, “The Baron,” returned on Saturday from a visit to his home at Elizabeth, where he was summoned by the sudden illness of his father. George found his father improving and so he returned here to resume work with his many friends.

Jacob Dear, the handsome Arvada ranchman, was calling on his numerous customers in the county on Tuesday last.

Born: In Central City, December 1st, 1896, to the wife of Frank Rule, a daughter. The new woman is the great, great, granddaughter of Mrs. Moyle of Lawrence Street, and commences her life with an honor which falls to the lot of a very few.

Born: In Central City, November 21st, 1896, to the wife of James Hannalin, a daughter.

Born: In Nevadaville, November 20th, 1896, to the wife of John Riley, a son.

Born: In Nevadaville, November 30th, 1896, to the wife of William Way, a son.

Died: John Opie was killed in the Puzzler Mine in Cripple Creek on Wednesday afternoon. Deceased leaves a wife and 5 children, and was the brother of Mrs. Richard Manor of this city. He was well known in Clear Creek and Gilpin counties as a respected citizen.

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