Turning Back the Pages

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30 years ago – July 3, 1987

This week commemorates the 125th anniversary of the Weekly Register-Call. It is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Colorado. For over a century, it has served the people and interests of Gilpin County. Originally known at the Tri-Weekly Miner’s Register, the first issue was published in Central City, Colorado Territory, on July 28, 1862. Alfred Thomson, editor and proprietor, stated in the first issue, “The enterprise we have undertaken is, under the most favorable circumstances, an extremely hazardous one.” He mentioned the “enormous expense” of the task he was undertaking, saying that “the cost of every article consumed is more than double the cost in the States – labor is in proportion.” Thomson related, “Unless, therefore, the citizens of this region take hold of the matter heartily and with unanimity, the experiment must prove a failure, and for years to come they must rely solely upon Denver papers for late news. Let it once become apparent that the Miner’s Register is the medium through which the trade of the mountains is secured, and we need not ask anyone to insure us all the patronage we desire. To effect this, it is only necessary that mountain men should interest themselves, at once, in its behalf – not by words alone, but by material aid – by increasing its business of all kinds. Will you do it? Let your acts answer.” The acts and actions of the mountain men have answered Thomson – 125 years later the paper continues to be published in and serve the people of Gilpin County. It is today the only newspaper published in the Little Kingdom of Gilpin.

Letter to the Editor: We, the students of Gilpin County, have a proposal to keep the recreation center open. It was brought to our attention that the rec center will be closed unless Rose is allowed a salary. This seems fair to us since she does have a family to support. We estimate that Rose’s salary for one year would be $8,840. According to last year’s enrollment figures at Gilpin County School, there were 150 junior high and senior high students. If each student could pay $5 to enjoy the center’s activities, we could raise $9,000. This would not only supply the money for Rose’s salary, but also leave money for the center. We need Rose and we need the center. Please send your check for $5 for one month’s membership or $50 for a year’s membership to the Gilpin Community Center in care of Marie Jones and Cindy Thompson. Sincerely, Marie Jones and Cindy Thompson.

Minerva has returned to Central City! Thanks to Dave Herndon of the Denver area, Minerva was returned on Sunday. The historic, priceless, 40 pound bronze statue, previously placed at the bottom of the staircase at the Teller House in Central City, was stolen June 20 during the “Madams and Miners Ball,” celebrating Madam Lou Bunch. Once it was discovered missing, the Teller House began offering a $100 reward for her safe return. Herndon reportedly caught a glimpse of the statue while en route through Gilpin County on Highway 119. He was a participant in the motorcycle ride to benefit the Freedom Run for muscular dystrophy. According to the report by Central City Police Chief Mike Brewer, Herndon stopped in Black Hawk and told his friends that he had seen something unusual off to the side of the road on Highway 119. Herndon returned to the site, about 400 to 500 feet from the Black Hawk-Central City sanitation plant, to identify the object. He returned to Black hawk and informed the Central City Police Department of his discovery. Brewer responded to the call and met Herndon at mile marker seven where the statue was retrieved. Minerva was transported to the police department and as of Monday was in custody. The theft is under investigation, according to Brewer. Although the reward was offered to Herndon, he declined, and asked that it be donated to the muscular dystrophy Freedom Run. An invitation for a free dinner for two has been sent to Herndon, courtesy of the Teller House.

60 years ago – July 12, 1957

Rollinsville Amalgam

Hardly a day passes when tourists do not express dissatisfaction because the east approach to Rollins Pass is barricaded. Many of them report that the trip is included in the itineraries of travel agencies and their disappointment is keen when they find that they cannot make the trip over “the top of the world.”

Mrs. Ann Mortenson and the Edward Walkers vacationed at their cabin in Moon Gulch.

On her way to East Portal Saturday, Mrs. Kathryn Nelson of Ault called briefly here. She was accompanied by her daughter and a friend.

Visiting at Stage Stop Saturday evening was Mr. Rae Martin.

Black Hawk Gold Dust

Mr. Forrest Paul was here for several days last week, to look after his home on Main Street.

County Commissioner Martin Nelson has been staying with his sister, Mrs. Alice McKenzie while recovering from an attack of tick fever. He is much better now.

Mrs. Lettie Gray was hostess at two tables on bridge at her home last Monday night. The occasion was in honor of Mrs. Kathryn Smith’s birthday, who also won a high score.

Dr. Kenneth Green and wife of Smith Hill were seen on horseback early Monday morning driving their large herd of cattle up toward Apex for summer pasture.

Mrs. Daisy Leck, whose husband is in the Navy, was a Wednesday visitor at the home of her mother in law, Mrs. Ella Neck in Dory Gulch.

Mrs. Hilda Cooper of Dallas, Texas, returned Tuesday to her home on Swede Hill.

The Henry Klein house has been leased to Father Fredric J. Nelson at Piers Lake, North Dakota, while he is assisting at St. Mary’s Church in Central.

Died: Mrs. Mabel Hunt: Word was received here Thursday noon from Denver, saying that Mrs. Mabel Hunt had died that morning at the Charm Cone sanitarium, where she has been for the past ten days receiving treatment for a heart ailment. She was about 71 years old age, and has been ill for the past year. She has spent her entire life here in Central City, being a graduate of the local high school, and was universally loved and admired by all who knew her, and news of her death will prove a distinct shock to her numerous friends in Gilpin County and the State. She is survived by her daughter, Mrs. Maxine Gray, and a brother, Earl Quiller, both of this city. Funeral arrangements have not been completed.

90 years ago – July 8, 1927

The tungsten ore mill and equipment at Nederland, owned and operated by the Wolf Tongue Mining & Milling Company, was destroyed by fire which started from an unknown cause shortly after midnight, causing damage estimated between $50,000 and $100,00 by William Loach, general manager of the concern. The plant was only insured for $25,000. It is understood the mill will be rebuilt. The building was 150 feet square, and constructed of wood. The flames spread so rapidly that the local volunteer fire department was unable to extinguish them. A telephone message was sent to the boulder fire department for aid, but the local fire department did not reach Nederland until two hours later. Night Watchman Babe White left the main building at 11:45 o’clock Saturday night and went to an adjoining structure to build a fire and prepare a lunch. Half an hour later young people who had been attending a dance saw the flames breaking out of the mill and spread an alarm. The plant had been operated for twenty three years and was the main support of Nederland. The company employed twenty men in the mill, which was operated only in the daytime, and thirty men in the tungsten properties it owns. The night was hot and sultry, with no wind blowing, which eliminated any danger of the fire spreading. Lewis J. Firth of McKeensport, PA, president of the Wolf Tongue company, arrived in Boulder Saturday afternoon and intended to inspect the mill and mining properties Monday. When the fire started, he and General Manager Loach were summoned by telephone and hurried to Nederland in an auto.

Ill luck frowned upon the Black Hawk baseball team in their games during the holidays, and they were defeated in both games played. Sunday they crossed bats with the Nederland team at Nederland and lost by the score of 15 to 14. Monday, in their game with the Idaho Springs team at that city, they lost by the score of 7 to 1.

From the Idaho Springs Gazette: Died: Alfred G. Dobbins: Alfred G. Dobbins, 69 years of age, editor and manager of the Mining Gazette for the last fifteen years, and one of the most widely known newspapermen in Colorado, died yesterday in a Denver hospital following a long illness. Death was due to a complication on diseases which baffled the most skilled physicians and surgeons. Alfred was a real pioneer of the Centennial state, and dated his residence from April 27, 1882, when he followed the advice of Horace Greeley and migrated from his home in Washington, Indiana, and first set foot on Denver soil. A printer of the old school, and a member of the International Typographical Union for 48 years, he soon found work on the Denver papers, and it was during the “hand-set” days of these good old times among the “profresh” that he became intimately acquainted with such notable men as Eugene Gield, Bill Nye, Rothaker, John Arkins, J.M. Burned, and Kemp Cooper, all prominent in the early history of Colorado. Dobbins was a resident of Denver almost continuously from 1882 to 1912. His first employment in that city was on the old Denver Tribune, edited by Field. Later he went over to the Rocky Mountain News, and then again transferred his activities to the Republican, only later to again move over to the News. He was one of the very first to master the use of the Linotype, following their introduction in Denver, and was given a machine where only the most difficult work of a tabular character was performed, holding down the situation until he purchased the Mining Gazette in 1912. Deceased was widely known among the newspaper fraternity of the state and was a regular attendant upon the meetings of the State Editorial Association, and his advice was always sought by fellow members touching up on the newspaper business in general. Deceased is survived by a widow, Mrs. Mattie Dobbins; three daughters, Mrs. Paul Wallick, of Wheatridge, Mrs. Richard Donnelly, of Idaho Springs, and Miss Edna Dobbins, of Los Angeles; and son, Dwight Dobbins, of Santa Monica, California; a sister, Mrs. Katherine Lynn, and brother, Samuel Dobbins, both of Fort Logan, Montana. The people of Clear Creek County mourn over the death of this longtime resident, and extend to the bereaved relatives their deepest sympathy, in this their hour of sorrow. The funeral will take place Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock from the Elk’s Home and will be under the auspices of Idaho Springs Lodge No. 607, of which deceased was an honored member. Interment will be in the City Cemetery.

120 years ago – July 9, 1897

Mr. Charles Shaffner, Sr., of Humboldt, Kansas, arrived here on Sunday evening, on a visit with his son.

Rev. C.W. Harned, wife and children, of Idaho Springs, were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. John Dodgers of this city, the early part of the week.

George West, of the Golden Transcript, was a visitor to this city on Monday, and enjoyed the races that took place that day, returning home on the evening train.

William Harvey, who, since leaving Colorado has been living in the northern portion of Illinois, arrived in Central in time to take in the many attractions of the celebration.

Leonard Shaffnit and daughter, Miss Emma, spent several days of the past week in Central visiting friends.

Charles Collier, of San Diego, California, arrived in this city on Wednesday last, on his way home from the east. He and his father, David C. Collier, one of the early proprietors of the Miner’s Register, and a well-known resident of Central City in the early days, are prominent and successful lawyers of Southern California. Charley met many old school friends during his short stay, and departed Thursday for his home.

Born: In Black Hawk, July 3rd, 1897, to the wife of William Henghan, a daughter.

Died: A telegram was received in Central Thursday, from Aspen, bringing the news of the death there of William Henry Johns, known by many residents of Central City as “Nipper” Johns. He was 40 years of age and left a wife and 12 children.

Died: A telegram from Phoenix, Arizona, said that James Stevens, at one time boss on the Hubert Mine in Nevadaville, had been buried in a mine on Superstition Mountain. The mine is owned by Sullivan and Hall of Denver, but up to the time of going to press, nothing further had been received concerning him.

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