|(Information was gleaned from copies of the Wet Mountain Tribune, all from the second week in January.)
100 Years Ago – 1918
A large and enthusiastic meeting was held at the court house Wednesday when the Custer County chapter of the Red Cross Society was organized. Mrs. Reginald Cusack was elected chairman, other offices elected are Mrs. L.D. Miller, G.B. Beardsley, and Miss Eugenia Kennicott.
Assessor C.M. Sweeten came up from the east end of the county the first of the week. Mr. Sweeten is delighted to have his son Clifford home for a few days, the young man being off on a furlough from Camp Funston where he has been recruiting. Clifford reports plenty of everything at the camp to make life pleasant – good eats, good beds, fine amusements and a whole lot of hard training work. He has gained fifteen pounds during his stay at the camp.
Word was received from Camp Kearney yesterday that Joseph Beck, who has been ill of pneumonia for some time, was in a very serious condition.
“Heiny” Henry and Mr. Williams, engineer and fireman respectively on the branch train for the past couple of months, went to Pueblo Tuesday and their places are now being filled by Mr. Jennings as engineer and Al Ball as fireman. Heiny’s voluminous speech will be missed. Mr. Ball is well known here because of his former service on this run and his many friends are glad to have him back.
Changes in the Rio Grande Railroad schedule will take place on the 13th inst. The branch train will leave Westcliffe at 11:15 and return same as now, 5:00.
Chas. A. Menzel has purchased the Davis ranch of 320 acres at Ula. Consideration $10,000.
See “Charley’s Aunt” at the Silver Cliff opera house Jan. 26.
The three mail boxes at the Wm. Schulze corner on the rural route in the Valley have recently been tampered with, the flags on some having been bent over, evidently the work of boys. Such malicious mischief will not be tolerated by the government and if the perpetrators are apprehended it will no doubt result in their being seriously dealt with.
50 Years Ago – 1968
Word has been received here that the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad is planning to close the railroad station at Texas Creek. This is the closest railroad station to Westcliffe and could be another hardship pushed off on small town people by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. At this time not much business is handled at the Texas Creek station from Westcliffe but during last year more than 600 cars of rock were loaded from Coaldale. The freight on these cars more than paid the expenses of the station. If any mining operations are resumed in Custer County, the station at Texas Creek would be of vital importance. If the station is closed, any express or railroad business for Custer County would have to be handled at Canon City or Salida.
The Wet Mountain Valley is still sporting more than a foot thick white coat of snow and prospects are very good that some more might be added.
Postmaster Jim Christoff said the post office is still getting a lot of cards and letters mailed with insufficient postage. Effective Jan. 7, the rate was increased to 6 cents per ounce on letters and 5 cents on postal cards. Air mail letters were increased to 10 cents per ounce.
25 Years Ago – 1993
Snowmaking equipment at the Mountain Cliffe ski resort here has been working overtime in recent days as Mother Nature cooperates with bone-chilling nighttime temperatures. Storms last weekend also left several inches of new snow, with a total of 31-inches of snow reported mid-mountain. The resort will have extended operating hours for the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Also, local 4-H members can take part in a learn-to-ski program at the resort; Kelley Camper of the county extension office said kids are encouraged to sign up by Jan. 22.
The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union says the USDA is proposing the closure of more than 1,200 county field offices, including the Soil Conservation Service office in Silver Cliff, one of 23 Colorado offices targeted for closure. Local Soil Conservationist Alex Parrott said the reason for the proposed cutbacks is budgetary; the proposal came during the Bush administration but now lies in the hands of the incoming Clinton administration.
Custer County Bank announces the hiring of a new vice president, Bob Lynch. He and his family have moved to the Valley from the small town of Metamora, Ill., where he worked in the banking industry for the past 17 years.
10 Years Ago – 2008
The lease with the nonprofit Family Health and Education Council to operate a childcare facility in Westcliffe has been terminated by the town of Silver Cliff, which has served as the fiscal agent for the organization. The unanimous decision by the Silver Cliff town board came after it was learned that some $30,000 in state and federal liens have been placed on the building due to non-payment of unemployment taxes. The Family Council had been leasing the former Christian School facility on Jerry Court in Westcliffe.
On Tuesday, Republican Lynn Attebery announced that he will seek the District 2 county commissioner seat now held by Dick Downey, who is term limited. In 2004, Attebery narrowly lost the GOP primary election to Downey.
John and Laura Palermo of Challenger Electric have had their names emblazoned on the marquee at the Rialto Theater in Florence for their involvement in the renovation of the historic theater.
5 Years Ago – 2013
WinterFest activities are underway at Custer County High School. The annual week-long celebration will include a wrestling scrimmage, dress-up days, a dance and other activities. Royalty for this year’s WinterFest are Wyatt Wommack, Karly May, Brendon Ham, Casey Nordyke, Alissa Spencer, Caitlin Johnson, Brian O’Connor and Ashton White.
Outgoing District 3 county commissioner Jim Austin, in reflecting on his four years in office, cited his involvement with the state transportation boards and local Department of Transportation projects as among the most gratifying. “You choose how involved you want to get, and I took on as much as I could possibly handle. I loved every minute of it.”
Despite minus-16 degree temperatures, 16 birders turned out for the recent Christmas Bird Count for the National Audubon Society. The group counted 45 species and 1,645 individual birds within a 7.5 mile radius of Westcliffe, including a bald eagle and a family of Great Horned Owls.
1 Year Ago – 2017
Custer County’s two new commissioners were sworn into office Tuesday at the courthouse by County Judge Amanda Hunter. Taking the oath were Donna Hood and Jay Printz; Bob Kattnig is the carry-over commissioner.
Rachel Simmons is the new owner of the Artistic Edge Dance Studio in Westcliffe. Last weekend’s open enrollment at the studio saw some 50 students ages 4 to 64 sign-up for classes.
The South Colony SNOTEL course shows the snow-water equivalent to stand at 95 percent of long-term average. The entire Arkansas River Basin network has a healthy 110 percent of normal.
Rollie and Bonnie Elkins of rural Westcliffe celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past Thursday, Jan. 7. The couple has four children, 20 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.