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1/24/2013 Peaks of the Past


(Information was gleaned from copies of the Wet Mountain Tribune, all from the  third week in January.)

100 Years Ago – 1913

The newly elected county officers were on Tuesday last sworn in to their positions. Charles A. Menzel has been sworn in by Sheriff Manning as his deputy and E.C. Vahldick by Coroner Eddy as his deputy. Have as little official business with this quartet as you possibly can.

Knuth & Ray were awarded the work of burying county paupers.

W.B. Jackson returned to Pueblo Wednesday. Mr. Jackson and associates contemplate putting up a small mill, an experimental plant of twenty tons capacity, with a view of treating the low-grade ores of this camp. Whether they will build the mill here or in Pueblo depends upon whether or not they can secure a desirable site here at a reasonable cost. The proposition is one worthy of encouragement and we hope they can get a suitable piece of ground here to establish the plant. With the improved processes for treating low-grade ores it is very reasonable to expect that a mill can be built here.

Quite a curiosity to our people is the petrified mountain rat which Harry Hendershot recently found in the old workings of the Ben Eaton tunnel at Rosita. The little animal sits curled up on a rock and looks almost as natural as life. The hair remains in its natural state but the body has all turned to stone. The specimen can be seen in the bar-room of Hismer-Belisle’s.

Thos. F. and Walter Putnam of Ilse left this point Monday, bound for the stock show in Denver.

Robert Kettle, of the Valley, with his household goods, stock, etc., departed yesterday for his new home at Rifle on the Western Slope. Mrs. Kettle and their daughter departed today.

50 Years Ago – 1963

Southern Colorado Power company on Tuesday paid its annual franchise taxes to the towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. William F. Stultz, Jr., commercial manager of the power company, brought checks of $626.58 to Westcliffe and $163.67 to Silver Cliff as payment of franchise taxes for 1962.Those payments are substantially greater than from the year prior, due to the fact that a new franchise was granted in February 1962 in which the towns receive 3 percent of the company’s gross revenue here instead of the 2 percent given in the old franchise.

CCHS senior Gloria Buzzi is Homemaker for Tomorrow for our school in the 1963 Betty Crocker Search for the American Homemaker of Tomorrow, having achieved the highest score in a knowledge and attitude test given senior girls on Dec. 4. Winning the homemaker award seems to run in the Buzzi family. In 1960, Jeanette (Buzzi) Fister received the award and in 1961 Carol Buzzi received the award.

Airman Basic Warren D. Rankin, a 1962 graduate of Custer County High School and son of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Rankin of Westcliffe, is being re-assigned to Keesler AFB, Miss., for technical training as an Air Force radio and radar maintenance specialist.

25 Years Ago – 1988

Custer County Commissioner Joe Reid died suddenly of an apparent heart attack at his ranch on the Oak Creek Grade Sunday afternoon, Jan. 24. He was 70. Reid had been elected chairman of the board of commissioners at its January appointments meeting. He was first elected county commissioner from the 3rd District in 1980 and won re-election to the board in 1984. A native of Middlefield, Ohio, Reid obtained a degree in veterinary medicine from Ohio State University in 1940. He had a private practice in Ohio and during WWII served in the U.S. Army in the China, Burma and India Theatre. He retired as a colonel in 1972 and moved to Custer County where he began his career as a rancher. He was involved in various civic affairs, and was a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International. Funeral services were held yesterday at Hope Lutheran Church; interment followed at the Ula Cemetery here.

Three members of the Conquistador Ski Area race team – Vince Bishop, Jerry Little and Ryan Senderhauf – skied away with medals from last weekend’s races at the Cuchara ski resort.

Funeral services are pending for life-long Valley resident Gladys Elze, late of Westcliffe. She died Jan. 24 at St. Joseph Hospital in Florence at the age of 74. She was a member of one of the Valley’s early pioneer families; her parents were Otto F. and Laura A. (Eikelman) Elze.

10 Years Ago – 2003

Old man winter is still on summer holiday in the Wet Mountain Valley. The South Colony SNOTEL site shows total precipitation this season to be just 7.8 inches, or 36 percent of the long-term averages.

The Colorado Department of Labor says Custer County’s unemployment rate stands at 3.6 percent, well below the Colorado rate of 6.2 percent and the national rate of six percent.

The executive chef at the Horn Creek Conference Center, James Mace, has a recipe so good it’ll bring tears to your eyes. His recipe for Colorado Onion Soup is being utilized by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to promote the state’s onion industry.

It was birthday central up in Silver Cliff last week. Alex Lepper celebrated her big 10th birthday in conjunction with grandma Jeannie Coleman’s and brother Shane Rafferty’s birthdays.

5 Years Ago – 2008

Serving on the Silver Cliff town board can be a family affair. Last week, Dorothy Urban was appointed to fill the seat vacated by her son, Alan Urban, who has moved to Rocky Ford.

Retired railroad worker John Campbell of Silver Park has announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for county commissioner in District 2. That seat is currently held by Dick Downey who can’t run again due to term limits. Earlier this month, Lynn Attebery announced his plans to seek the GOP nomination for the seat. Attebery narrowly lost to Downey in the 2004 primary election.

A 44-year-old injured Florence woman was rescued from her vacation cabin in the Sangre de Cristos near South Colony Trail on Sunday. She and a companion used snowshoes to reach the cabin earlier, but she was unable to get out after injuring her foot. Six Search and Rescue volunteers reached the woman by snowmobile.

1 Year Ago – 2012

For the second year in a row, Amy West has won the championship title in the 4-H Western National Round-Up speech competition. This year, she won first place in the prepared public speaking category; last year she won the championship in impromptu speaking. West is a 2011 graduate of CCHS; she’s currently a freshman at the University of Arkansas.

Three local special districts will hold board elections on May 8. In the Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District the seats held by Chris Haga, Paul Snyder and Charles Bogle are up for grabs. In the West Custer County Hospital District, four board seats are opening; those seats are currently held by Jon Wallestad, Dee Hoag, Karla Joseph and David North. And in the Wet Mountain Fire Protection District, seats currently held by Roger Camper, Dave Tonsing and Jeff Thomas are opening.

WinterFest activities are underway this week at Custer County High School. Royalty candidates are Jasmine Jones, Justin Reno, Karen O’Brien, Jack Woods, Lacey Petrone, Dylan Koble, Lacey Gomez, Carson Colgate, Alissa Spencer, Derek Staton, Christian Lovelette and India Fernandez.