Turning back the pages

30 years ago – May 5, 1989

After what he described as one of the longest “pregnancies” in history, Jack and Pat Curtis are the proud parents of a baby girl. The Curtis’s only recently learned that a five month old girl was on her way to them after waiting a year and a half.Angela Kay arrived from Korea and the Curtis’s proudly showed her off to staff, students, and friends at the Gilpin County School on Tuesday. Since it was her first day out and about in Gilpin County, Angela was a bit overwhelmed by all the oohs and aahs. Coach Curtis has been employed at the Gilpin County School for seven years; he is currently on paternity leave. Pat, who is a teacher down the hill, also has taken leave from her job to spend time with the couple’s new daughter.

Marge Quiller was found guilty Thursday of choosing to abandon her teaching duties after only 45 years of loving devotion to the students of Gilpin County. A jury of elementary students heard testimony from their peers, all Gilpin County School students, that “Ms. Q” gave her students lots of love, liked to play games and have fun with the kids, and that other children would miss out by not having her as their teacher. She helped students with reading, did a good job and made them feel good about themselves, other witnesses reported. In addition, during lunch period, Ms. Q was often seen helping students with work they hadn’t yet completed. Other testimony showed that Ms. Q not only ran the elementary library, she also made reading fun. “Teachers like her make the world go ‘round,” stated one witness. The evidence “against” her was overwhelming. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” said the prosecuting attorney to his fellow students, “as you have seen, the defendant has given much love and devotion to the students here at Gilpin County School. I believed we have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that future students are going to be deprived of the defendant’s special brand of love and teaching which has benefitted previous students here. I appeal to the jury to recognize the fact that Marge Quiller is guilty in the first degree of abandoning these duties.” Upon her conviction, the presiding judge sentenced Quiller to a long and happy retirement and to accepting the good wishes and symbols of appreciation being expressed to her. The guilty party was then given flowers and hugs by the students who had testified during the trial.

While working in the Clark Annex, formerly the Central City School, workers came across what was thought to be an old podium. Upon opening the cupboard doors on the back side, they discovered six fascinating relief maps of the contents, all in perfect condition, dated 1893. The maps, which represent the world as it was in 1893, along with the map cabinet, were presented to the Gilpin County School, and are now on display in the high school library. Many political changes have taken place since the maps were produced in the 1890s, and countries that were quite large then are non-existent today. The public is invited to view the framed maps during school hours.

Died: Glen Dale Braning. After a seven year battle with brain cancer, Glen Dale Braning succumbed to death April 30, 1989. He died peacefully at his home in Arvada. Born in Denver on August 2, 1939, he was the son of Theodore and Lotus Braning. The family moved to Central City shortly after his birth. Glen lived in Central City, where he drove a school bus, until he joined the Army in June of 1963. He married Glenna Ruth Lackey on November 25, 1963, just before he shipped out for Korea. Upon his discharge from the military, the couple returned to Colorado, where they lived in Denver and Arvada. Glen was employed as a highway maintenance worker by the State Highway Department. In addition to his wife Glenna, he is survived by his mother, who lives in Pawhuska, Oklahoma; sisters, Gloria Walker, also of Pawhuska, Anna Mae Redmond of Central City, Irene Richardson of Palisades, Colorado, and Carol Calvert of Black Hawk; and brothers, Vern of Golden, Leonard of Grand Junction, Melvin on Lakewood, and Ronald of Wheat Ridge. Preceding him in death were his father and brothers Larry and Kenneth. Military graveside services were held Wednesday, May 3, at Arvada Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Metro Denver.

Died: Jeffery R. Dwyer. To die unexpectedly at the age of 28 is always a shock for relatives and friends, but when death arrives on April Fool’s Day, one may wonder why. After all, Jeffery R. Dwyer was only returning from a journey to Baja, California, where in the company of his first real love, he had found peace of mind after a youth of inquisitiveness. In three letters written to his mother, Eleanor Romeo, Jeffrey had finally revealed himself as a mature human being full of love for life and deep concern for mankind in a world of anguish, injustice, and mystery. He had found himself after years of soul searching and was eager to begin a new life of usefulness, as indeed he was already doing designing solar grid equipment and working for Backwoods Cabin Electric, Inc., in Sandpoint, Idaho. He died of a fall, according to the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office, on April 1, 1989. Born in Denver, on March 11, 1961, as a twin of his sister, Janet, Jeffery manifested throughout his life an extreme sensitivity to the beautiful aspects of nature. A brilliant mind, he loved to take long hikes in the woods of Gilpin County, in the desert of Arizona, and in the hills of Idaho. A born musician, he had learned by himself to play the violin, the mandolin, and the guitar. He was also a painter using both oils and watercolor techniques in producing canvases of Indian themes, landscapes, and human figures. In addition, he was a carpenter who built solar rooms and implements, a capable mechanic fascinated by engines, and a passionate gardener of chemical free natural products. In essence, Jeffery had synthesized a whole American culture of enterprising youth for self-sufficiency pithing a planet of dwindling research. An avid reader, he used to devour books dealing with social issues, Oriental religions, and philosophy of introspection. A gentle, soft-spoken, caring person, Jeffery was a handsome young man, strong, tall, with green eyes full of smile, though at times betraying a tinge of cosmic sadness deriving from his concern for the fate of the world. Jeffrey passed away within the boundaries of the fabulous Zion National Park on a most spectacular sunset of a Saturday, just a few weeks after his 28th birthday. It was a befitting location, not only for the natural setting first explored by the Mormon pioneers on their way to a promised land, but also a near prophetic environment for one to die under the wings of a messenger of Gold at Angel’s Landing. Jeffery’s survivors include his mother, Mrs. Eleonore Andersen Romeo of Vancouver Island; his father, William F. Dwyer; two brothers, Douglas and David, and one sister, Janet. The grandson of former Gilpin County long-time residents Nels and Delia Andersen, Jeffery loved, in particular, Wondervu, from where he could see and admire the Continental Divide as a source of inspiration for his meditating at sunset with the hope of following the sun in his quest for happiness.

60 years ago – May 15, 1959

Central City Nuggets:

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Messina are here from New York State on a visit with their brother Antonio and wife. They expect to remain here during the summer months and will be in the employ of the Central City Famous Restaurant, and Antonio’s Restaurant.

The Boulder Bus Lines, through its owner, Don James, has filed a protest before the Colorado Utilities Dept., asking that a re-hearing be accorded them relative to the franchise accorded George Ramstetter. We hope the PUC ignores their request, as we are receiving better service now by Ramstetter than the Boulder Bus Line ever had given.

At the Centennial Banquet at the Shirley-Savoy Hotel in Denver last week, celebrating Law Day, U.S.A., sponsored by the various Bar Associations of Colorado, Leroy J. Williams, Esq., of Central City, was elected to membership in the “Honored One Hundred,” meaning that he has been a member of the legal profession for more than fifty years. Congratulations Roy!

Black Hawk Gold Dust:

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Utley left Monday for their home in Dallas, Texas, after a week’s visit with her brother, Ernest Wright and family.

The Margery Mill on North Clear Creek will soon be operating on dump ore, under the management of Dan Kelly.

Mr. and Mrs. Milo Navotny attired Sunday from Moab, Utah for a visit with her mother, Mrs. Mina Hartsock.

A weekend guest of Mrs. Lettie Gray was Mrs. Ola Sullivan of Otis, Colorado.

Tuesday, Mr. and Mrs. Gus Rudolph visited Mrs. Helen Robins at the Crestview Nursing Home near Golden.

90 years ago – May 10, 1929

The new store established by the Thomson-Zumsteg Dry Goods Company of Idaho Springs, in this city last Monday, was the attraction of the people of the county during the week, and was well patronized. Their goods are all new and fresh, of the latest styles and patterns, which are offered the people of the county at most reasonable prices, and you are invited to call and see the fine display whether you purchase or not.

Miss Marguerite Manuel of Denver, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Manuel, former residents of this city, was elected queen by the senior and junior boys, at an entertainment given in Denver last week.

Fred and George McFarlane came up from Denver Saturday, on matters of business concerning the estate of their father, Peter McFarlane.

Messrs. Gustave Kruse, W. Davey, and Morris Hazard left for Denver Friday morning to attend the funeral of Peter McFarlane.

Mr. T.H. Jenks, who spent the past few months in Paris, Illinois, returned to Central Friday, and after a few days visit here will leave or Bland, New Mexico, to look after his mining interests there, later returning to Central to resume work on the Coeur D’Alene Mine on Academy Hill, of which he has been in charge since operations commenced there.

Dr. William Mark Muchow arrived here from Evanston, Illinois, on Thursday last, to keep in touch with work being done in the mines and mill of the Chain O’Mines Company, returning Saturday afternoon.

Died: James P. Maxwell. From Boulder: James P. Maxwell, aged 90 years, whose life story was closely allied with the history of Colorado since 1859, died at his home here shortly before midnight, Monday night. Mr. Maxwell was a member of the territorial legislature, Colorado’s law making body before the territory had been admitted to the union as a state. His prominence in early state life came after a romantic career in the booming gold camps—Central City, Leavenworth, and Black Hawk. Mr. Maxwell was the oldest living graduate of Appleton University of Appleton, Kansas. Immediately after his graduation from that school in 1859 he came to Colorado to seek his fortune. He settled in Central City and was known prominently to the other ‘59ers of the entire district. In 1860 he was made sheriff of the Gold Dirt District, the location that later became Black Hawk. Shortly after that he located in Leavenworth Gulch, where he engaged in mining. He established the first lumber mill on South Boulder Creek in 1866 near Rollinsville. About three years later he left the mountains and moved to Boulder where in 1870 he was made deputy United States mineral and mine surveyor—a highly important post in the early mining days. Mr. Maxwell’s prominence in all civic affairs resulted in his election to the Colorado territorial legislature in 1872 for a term of two years and then in 1876 he became a senator in the first legislature of Colorado. With Mr. Maxwell at the time of his death were his surviving daughter—Mrs. Charles R. Burger, wife of the former registrar of the University of Colorado—and his two sons, Clinton Maxwell and Max Maxwell, who are engaged in ranching here.

120 years ago – May 12, 1899

James E. Lightbourn of this city and S. Wells, of Black Hawk, had a narrow escape from injury in Black Hawk on Monday, when they were thrown out of a buggy, on their way to Central, by the horse becoming scared at the train passing over the bridge, and upsetting the rig and throwing them out on the roadway. A couple yards of court plaster were needed to cover abrasions and cuts.

Mrs. J.V. Kimber and daughter, Miss Vernon left for California on Monday last, accompanied by Miss Loretta Doran, of Central, who will visit at their home in Santa Barbara, California.

Mr. John Key, of Black Hawk, returned Friday from Kansas, where he was summoned by the serious illness of his mother, and reported she was on the road to recovery from her illness.

The announcement was made of the 25th Annual Ball of the Rough & Ready Hook and Ladder Company, of this city, to be held at Turner Hall on Saturday evening, May 20.

At the Concrete Mine the usual working force is being continued and the usual heavy shipments are being made. Manager S. V. Newell reports that an underground survey is being made for the purpose of making a raise from the 1,125-foot west level of the mine to the Golden Treasure property for connection purposes. In the latter mine the shaft is being sunk with three eight hour shifts and a depth of a little over 1,100 feet has been reached. The west 600 foot level is being extended, the present operations being entirely in the shape of development work.

Tregay and company, working a lease on the Gold Dirt property near Perigee, received returns this week from 27 tons of ore sent to the State Ore sampling company in Black Hawk, which returned 2 ounces gold to the ton.

James Rule and company, of Nevadaville, who are leasing on the Waterman-Kansas Mine, received returns Thursday on a lot of mill ore sent to the stamp mills in Black Hawk, which returned 3 ounces gold to the cord, with tailings worth $23 per ton.

Born: In Central City, May 6th, 1899, to the wife of Richard H. Drew, a son.

Born: In Central City, May 10th, 1899, to the wife of Dr. Charles V. Shoop, a daughter.

Born: In Black Hawk, May 11th, 1899, to the wife of Leopold Fristner, a daughter.

Born: In Nevadaville, May 6th, 1899, to the wife of William Moore, a son.

Born: In Russell Gulch, May 9th, 1899, to the wife of John Lawry, a daughter.

Died: In Gilpin, May 7th, 1899, John Corozza, aged 44 years.

Died: Ed. Hunter, a well-known young man of Russell Gulch, lost his life in a runaway accident on Friday last, in that place, by the team he was driving running away, upsetting the wagon, and crushing him under the load. He was 21 years of age, and a brother-in-law of Frank Pearce, manager of the Aurora Mine.

151 years ago – May 14, 1869

Mr. Goldman had just received the finest showcase ever received in Colorado for his place of business.

A lot of ore from the Briggs Mine, sent to the Hill smelter in Blake Hawk, gave returns of 4 and 1-2 ounces gold and 16 ounces silver to the ton.

Richard White, with the aid of two men, took out from Russell Gulch last week, gulch gold weighing 6 and 3-4 ounces, worth $21.75 per ounce.

Mr. A.J. Hollister arrived in Central on Tuesday on a visit with friends before leaving for Utah as a collector of internal revenue for that state.

There were 500 stamps dropping in Black Hawk, including those in the Kip Mill at Mountain City, 45 in Lake Gulch, 12 in Russell Gulch, 100 in Nevadaville, 32 in Leavenworth and Quartz Hill, and 30 in Eureka Gulch, making a total of 719 in the county, with 100 more to be added to the list in a short time.

An ordinance was published relative to the issuing of school bonds to the amount of $15,000, for purchasing a site and erecting a school building, the bonds to draw interest at the rate of 15 percent interest per annum.

A gold retort weighing 21 ounces and 16 pennyweights from 1 3-4 cords of ore, was left at the Hussey Bank the first of the week.

Langrishe’s troupe played to good houses during the week at the Montana Theatre, presenting, “Ireland, as it was,” “The Swiss Cottage,” “under the Snow,” “Giralda,” “Last Man,” and “The Dead Heart.”

Married: Captain John McCammon and Miss Clara Weston were married at the Episcopal Church on May 11th, 1869.

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