(Information was gleaned from copies of the Wet Mountain Tribune, all from the second week in April.)
100 Years Ago – 1914
The mass meeting of the citizens of Westcliffe on Tuesday evening to protest against the further expenditure of the town’s funds in boring wells to increase the water supply was a large and representative gathering and we believe it will result eventually in an increase water supply if the present supply is insufficient. Many favor the present system with a small additional cost for improvements. Silver Cliff, our near neighbor, is always cited as an example of what might be done. When that town built its water works it was a city of 7,000 or 8,000 people and the indebtedness incurred was so heavy a burden that the water plant was finally shut down. Think about placing a heavy bonded indebtedness upon a small town of 350 souls.
Another fine chunk of ore from the Bull-Domingo flat may be viewed from the Tribune window. The specimen is from the Immortal Mine and was extracted at about forty feet depth. It carried five per cent copper, 103 ounces of silver and $2 gold per ton.
Steiner, Myers and Cavender, leasing the Augustus, loaded another car of ore for shipment to the smelter at Pueblo this week and expected that they would have out another shipment by the end of this week.
Tom Clark is having lumber hauled upon his lot in the east end of town preparatory to erecting a six-room frame house there a little later, to be built in the bungalow style.
Jerome Becker is surrounding his several properties with new fences. Commendable enterprise on the part of the old gentleman.
50 Years Ago – 1964
Mrs. Dorcas Rhodes of Springfield, worthy grand matron, and John Peach of Grand Junction, worth-grand patron of the Colorado Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, officially visited Sangre de Cristo chapter No. 134 last Saturday evening at a meeting held in the school gymnasium. The officers of the local chapter are headed by Mrs. Frieda E. Hanssen, worthy matron, and Walter W. Hanssen, worthy patron.
Seven members of Sangre de Cristo Electric Assn. participated in the 22nd annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn. at Dallas, Texas. Those attending were Norman Knudsen, manager; Donald Collins, line superintendent; board president Paul Huntley; and local directors Willard A. Walker and Leon C. Hook.
Bonnie L. Berry of Hillside has won a commendation for safe driving and will compete for the Highway Safety Award. Following an occasion in which she was seen operating a vehicle in an exceptionally careful, defensive manner, Miss Berry was issued a “congratulations” card by Colorado State Patrolman Richard L. Downey of Canon City.
25 Years Ago – 1989
Dr. Karen Dolby will begin her practice at the Custer County Medical Clinic on Monday, April 17, according to Keith Hood, chairman of the West Custer County Hospital District board. Dr. Dolby formerly practiced here and most recently has been affiliated with the Monte Vista Community Hospital. Dr. Brian Whittington, who has been commuting from Colorado Springs on a weekly basis for the past several months, will continue to see patients here on two consecutive Wednesdays, April 19 and April 26. A “welcome home” party for Dr. Dolby and her husband, Jerry, will be held April 23 at the Senior Center in Silver Cliff.
After having served on the C-1 Board of Education for the past 24 years, Jack Geroux has decided to step down from his position as board president. Two candidates are seeking his District 3 seat, Len Lankford and Ben Kettle. Geroux has served as board president the past 15 years, and only missed one meeting in his 24 year tenure. Over the years, he has presented diplomas to all four of his children and one grandchild.
Custer County High School senior Eric Piquette has been selected to receive a prestigious Boettcher Scholarship. He is the son of Bud and Cathy Piquette of Westcliffe.
10 Years Ago – 2004
A rural Westcliffe man has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in the death of his wife whose body was discovered in a roadside ravine nearly a year ago. Cecil L. Mercer, Jr., 34, was arrested last Wednesday evening, April 5, at the sheriff’s office where he was checking in daily as part of an agreement over a previous arrest. Mercer is being charged in the death of Diane Mercer, 38, whose body was discovered in a decayed state on May 20, 2003. The body, bound in a blanket and tarp, was found by county road and bridge workers down a steep embankment at an illegal dump site on the Junkins Park Road, CR 358. Authorities say the victim was shot to death and it is believed the body had been there at least three months. The suspect is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond. Sheriff Fred Jobe said some 4,000 man hours have been devoted on the case, and he credited the work of deputies Linda Leslie, Ivan Esau and Donna Esau.
The county commissioners have met twice in recent weeks with officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation to discuss concerns about the new maintenance building under construction on Highway 69 just north of Westcliffe. C-DOT apparently failed to obtain necessary zoning permits, and the building, at 32-feet in height, exceeds the county limit of 25-feet. C-DOT director Bob Torres said he will discuss the matter with chief engineers.
The 60-year-old Silver Cliff Club has been formally disbanded by its three officers, Peggy Lewis, Evelyn Hanssen and Wilda Entz. The club, formed in the 1940s, once had as many as 40 active members who were involved in various civic projects. The club’s remaining account balance of nearly $4,000 is being donated to VALI Assisted Living.
5 Years Ago – 2009
A 56-year-old man from Centennial Ranch who was shot in the abdomen by his girlfriend last week is facing charges of domestic violence. Early last week, the woman called 911 and informed authorities she had shot her boyfriend after he apparently broke into her bedroom. The shooting victim, who is expected to recover from the shooting, has a lengthy criminal record, according to Sheriff Fred Jobe. He most recently served 15 years in a Florida prison on charges of killing four people in a DUI incident. Jobe said it’s unlikely charges will be filed against the girlfriend.
Library employee Ted Ballard was honored last Thursday for his ten years of service to the library.
Memorial services were held Saturday for former long-time state legislator Harold “Mack” McCormick, late of Canon City. McCormick died March 28 at the age of 90. He represented this region of Colorado for some 30 years, first as a state legislator and later as a state senator. In recent years, he and his wife lived in a home in the Lake Isabel area.
1 Year Ago – 2013
A house trailer in the Querida area was destroyed by fire last Saturday, though the couple and their two children escaped unharmed. The home belonged to Randy and Amber Hansen. Authorities believe the fire was electrical in nature.
It was the blizzard that wasn’t: a potent spring snowstorm that moved across much of Colorado dumped less snow than predicted here, though some blizzard-like conditions were reported. One to three inches of snow was reported in most of the county and temperatures remained in the teens most of Tuesday.
County commissioners Lynn Attebery, Allen Butler and Kit Shy expressed concerns this week that former commissioner Jim Austin continues to serve on the regional planning board for the Colorado Department of Transportation. During his four years as commissioner, Austin was instrumental in working with C-DOT on a major project on Highway 69 here.