Turning back the pages

30 years ago – May 3, 1991

Died: Lifelong Central City resident, Viola Laird died April 29 at St. John’s Hospice in Lakewood at the age of 95. For the past six years, Laird resided at the Christopher House in Wheat Ridge. She always had hopes of permanently returning to her home on East First High Street in Central City, although her dream never came true. Born June 3, 1895, Viola Oliver attended Clark Grade School and graduated from Central City High School in 1913. Two years later, she graduated from Colorado Teacher’s College, now known as the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley. Her first teaching job was in Nevadaville. She met her husband-to-be, Rae Laird, when he was the basketball coach for Central City High School. They were married in Central City on November 2, 1917. In an interview in 1987, Viola spoke fondly of their 54-year marriage, saying, “It was a good marriage. He was a nice man. We were compatible.” After the death of former Register-Call publisher George Laird, Rae’s father, in 1936, Rae began dividing his time between being an investigator and editor for the Register-Call. In 1953, Rae devoted all of his time to publishing the Register-Call, frequently being assisted by Viola. Viola’s husband was forced into semi-retirement for health reasons in about 1965. For a short time, Viola assumed the job as owner and publisher. On May 1, 1970, an era ended when the Register-Call, family owned since 1877, was sold to present owner and publisher William C. Russell, Jr. It was only the second time in a 92-year span that the publisher of the paper changed. Viola’s fond regard for the Register-Call never ceased. Until the time of her death she referred to the Register-Call as “My paper,” and the staff became known as “her girls.” Rae preceded Viola in death on April 11, 1971, and Viola continued to live at her lifelong home in Central City until March 1985. For health reasons she was forced to move to the Christopher House, but returned to Central City at least once a year to visit friends and former residents. Viola was a longtime member of the Order of Eastern Star. In previous years she played the piano and was the organist for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Central City for many years. Viola is survived by her close friend and companion Beverly Saxton and friends Ed, Barb, and Eddie Saxton; her nephew, Amos Clark of Arvada; her cousin, Darlene Knox of Tigard, Oregon, and numerous other relatives. Services are today at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Denver. She will be buried beside her husband in Fairmount Cemetery.

Died: Orlando Kenneth Johnson, formerly of Central City, died at St. Anthony Hospital April 18, 1991. Johnson moved to Central City with his family when he was 12 years old. He attended school here and later graduated. He served in the Navy during World War II, and married Delia Ress in 1948. They resided in Lakewood for 32 years. In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children: Karen Foote of Sterling, Candace Johnson of Denver, Diane Waltman of Fort Collins, and Harvey Johnson of Lakewood; and eight grandchildren. Memorial services were held at Lakewood Methodist Church on April 22. He was cremated.

60 years ago – May 12, 1961

Central City Nuggets:

A farewell dinner was given for Rev. John R. Kuenneth by the Episcopal churchwomen last Sunday evening at the Laird home. Twenty persons were preset to wish Father Kuenneth success in his new work at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Denver.

Mrs. Laura Ress, County Superintendent of Schools, announces that anyone under 16 years of age must have a work permit for summer work. These permits may be permitted at her office.

The one-man art show of paintings and watercolors from the studio of Mrs. Phyllis Hutchinson Montrose, which opened last Sunday at the Art Gallery in the City Hall building, has received much attention from all those who are interested in this particular kind of art. The show will be open until June 4th, and consists of oils and watercolors of Europe and Colorado. Mrs. Montrose has been a summer resident of Central City for the past twelve years, and moved here last year to make her permanent residence.

Died: William R. Chalmers, of Eldorado, Kansas, who with his wife and son have been visiting with his brother-in-law Harold Burrows, whose home is in the Hughesville section of the county, suffered an attack of Coronary Occlusion early Sunday morning, and died several minutes later. The Tomford Mortuary of Idaho Springs was called and the body taken to Idaho Springs for shipment to Eldorado, Kansas for interment. He is survived by his wife and a son, Lawrence.

90 years ago – May 8, 1931

Attorneys L.J. Williams and Lealey, accompanied by Miss Jane Williams, came up from Denver Friday, the former attending to legal matters before the County court, while the latter visited with friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Rae L. Laird, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Snyder, Mr. and Mrs. Kari Kalina, and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Cavanagh, all of Denver, motored up Saturday evening and spent Sunday as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Laird, returning home Sunday afternoon.

Messrs. Fred Pinkus and E.E. Carnahan, of Rollinsville, were here Monday, on business in connection with the sale of mining property by Sheriff Oscar Williams.

Dr. William Mark Muchow arrived from Chicago Tuesday, following a stop at Idaho Springs, on his way to this city.

Mr. H.J. Teller came up from Denver the first of the week, with the intention of opening up the Teller House for the summer trade.

Died: Halsey M. Rhoads, a pioneer of Colorado, and one of the oldest newspaper publishers in Colorado, died at Fitzsimmons Hospital, Denver, April 29, 1931, from injuries received in an auto accident, at the age of 84 years. The accident which resulted in his death occurred on March 11. He was visiting friends on Adams Street, Denver, and while crossing to a streetcar was struck by an auto driven by Ralph Freeze, which resulted in a compound fracture of his right leg and bodily injuries. Mr. Rhoads was born in Pierpont, Ohio, March 27, 1847, and while a boy went to Iowa with his parents. In 1863 he joined with the D.L. Southworth family, from Nevada, Iowa, who were leaving for the gold mines of Colorado. In the party were Edward Seymour and wife, his son Ben, and daughter Libbie, in all a party of 14, and of that number Mr. B.E. Seymour, of this city, is the only one surviving. It took 10 weeks to make the trip by ox team, the party arriving in this city in the summer of that year. Mr. Rhoads’ two brothers, Alonzo and Jut, were mining n Russell Gulch, and after a visit of a couple months with them he returned to Iowa and enlisted in an Iowa regiment, and was in some of the hard-fought battles of the Civil War. He returned to this city in 1866 and filled the positions as reporter and collector for the Miner’s Register of this city, published by Collier & Hall, and was connected with Colorado journalism since that time, having published newspapers in this city, Tin Cup, Longmont, Idaho Springs and other points in Colorado, and at the time of his death was publisher of the Rocky Mountain Mirror, in Denver. Mr. Rhoads served several terms as a Representative from Denver in the Colorado legislature, was one of the oldest members of the Grand Army of the Republic in the state, and was one of the charter members of Central City Lodge, No. 557, Order of Elks, of this city. He was an able writer, a genial and loveable companion, beloved by all in his association. He is survived by a brother, Ralph Rhoads, of Denver, and a stepson, Charles McCutcheon, of Pueblo. His funeral was held May 2, with interment in Fairmount Cemetery, Denver.

120 years ago – May 10, 1901

The Shakespeare Club met at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Jere Lee on Monday evening and enjoyed a reading from Act I of Anthony and Cleopatra.

Miss Beatrice Rule has taken a day position with the telephone company in this city.

Mr. and Mrs. Rapin have moved into their new residence on Spring Street, recently purchased from John Nicholls.

Miss Vera Sission, of Black Hawk, who had been visiting her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Bostwick, in Denver, returned home the first of the week.

Mr. Anton Mehrlich, of Cripple Creek, was shaking hands with his many friends in Black Hawk and this city during the week.

Between twenty-five and thirty gulch miners, both men and boys, are working at different points in Nevada Gulch, and the old mill tailings in the vicinity of the mills operated in the early days are being dug up and caught in boxes and later shipped to the sampling works, and reports are that some of the parties are making good wages from their operations.

At the California Mine, dams are being built at the 2,000-foot level to catch the water, and some delay has been occasioned by a cave-in below that level, making the progress slow at the present time. After this bad place has been overcome, the work of unwatering the mine to the bottom will not take much time, as there is very little open ground below that point. At the Hidden Treasure shaft the pumps are working well, and there is very little trouble at that point. Patrick McCann, the superintendent, says that the working force now numbers 30 men.

Born: In Lake Gulch, April 29th, 1901, to the wife of William Bishop, a daughter.

Born: In Central City, May 8th, 1901, to the wife of Mark Campi, a daughter.

Married: In Central City, at the Church of the Assumption, May 2nd, 1901, Rev. Father Desaulniers officiating, Mr. G. Zancanella of Russell Gulch, and Miss Mary Slavero, of Central City.

Died: In Central City, May 3rd, 1901, of miner’s consumption, Richard Trevithick, Sr., aged 49 years.

Died: At Aultman, Colorado, May 4th, 1901, Phillip, son of Mr. and Mrs. Al. Barton, aged 8 years.

Died: In Central City, May 5th, 1901, of blood poisoning, John Scott, aged 40 years.

Died: In Gamble Gulch, Gilpin County, May 9th, 1901, of pneumonia, Mr. C.V. Brinkerhoff, aged 70 years.

151 years ago – May 12, 1871

Alexander Cameron was advertising for gulch miners at his gulch claim on Clear Creek, below Black Hawk.

Mr. H. Jacob Kruse announced that he had taken in, as co-partners, his brother Gustave Kruse and his father, Henry Kruse, the firm to be known as H.J. Kruse & Company.

Fitzpatrick and Kreighbaum have leased a claim on the Gregory No. 2 Lode, which was furnishing ore that was returning 50 ounces gold to the cord in the stamp mill.

Jack Mellor, who was operating the Leavitt Claim at Mountain City, had opened up a big vein of ore, carrying good values in both mill and smelting product.

John McCunniff and sons, formerly of Nevadaville, had opened up a big body of silver ore in the Pelican Mine at Georgetown.

At a meeting held in Golden on May 11th, Henry M. Teller, of this city, was elected president, W.A.H. Loveland vice president, and John B. Taft, treasurer of the Colorado Central Railroad Company.

A social was given by the ladies of the M.E. Church at the residence of Mrs. C. Post, on Wednesday evening.

Married: In Central City, by Justice of the Peace William R. Kennedy, Mr. James McGovern and Catherine Kelly, both of Nevadaville.

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