Colorado Preservation Inc. has named the historic bridges of Colorado as one of its Endangered Places for 2021. Included is our favorite bridge, the green bridge at Red Cliff which has been an iconic landmark since 1941. Click on the link below to see CBS coverage of the historic bridges.
Want to express your admiration for a politician? Try baking a birthday cake.
When United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned 56 years old on January 30, 1938, Eagle County was involved in the celebration.
Specifically, a Minturn woman, Ruth Jackson, spent a month making and decorating a magnificently tiered cake as a token of her respect for the president.
Jackson, 31, a divorcee with a four-year-old son, worked as a private housekeeper and lived in a boardinghouse just east of Minturn. She likely was an admirer of the president and his “New Deal” programs intended to spur economic recovery during the Great Depression. Records indicate that her annual income in 1938 was $360. In 1935 her meager income was bolstered by a $10 monthly payment from Eagle County’s “Mother’s Compensation Fund,” a relief program created by the federal government.
The white fruit cake that she baked for Roosevelt’s birthday required 10 dozen eggs and 15 pounds of dried fruit and nuts. The various sized round cake layers collectively weighed over 40 pounds, and when stacked, frosted, and decorated stood about five feet tall.
Sensitive to the safety requirements involved in making a cake for a United States president, Jackson assembled the pastry masterpiece in a room at Minturn’s Eagle River Hotel, isolated from the general public. Every utensil used to bake the cake was sterilized before use. Only Mrs. Jackson touched the cake.
The cake top was topped with a sugar replica of the federal capitol building and flanked by Uncle Sam figures drawn with icing. A written greeting from “The People of the United States” was piped in gold icing on the top layer. The cake’s sides were decorated with frosting flowers representing each of the 48-states, true to color and form. Jackson had written to every governor in the continental U.S. requesting a color photo of their state flower — and every state responded.
Photographer Jim Buchholz was summoned from Eagle to snap photos of Jackson’s culinary masterpiece. The intent was that the photo could be used for postcards.
The completed cake was packed into a special wooden crate. Together with the crate, the weight of the cake now approached 70 pounds. The towering cake was loaded onto an eastbound Denver & Rio Grande train, and shipped express to Washington, D.C., accompanied by an unnamed “guard” who stayed with the cake until it was delivered to FDR.
Whether the president actually ate the cake is unknown. But a week after his birthday, Roosevelt sent a gracious note to Jackson, writing: “Thank you very much indeed for the especially fine birthday cake. I more than appreciate your friendly thought in presenting it to me. Very sincerely yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt.”
Eleven months later, Ruth Jackson honored another politician with a culinary masterpiece. In December 1938, she baked a similar birthday cake for outgoing Colorado Governor Teller Ammons, who had recently been defeated in a bitter election by Republican Ralph Carr. Ammons, an advocate of New Deal-type programs, had been instrumental in securing funding for major road improvements for Highway 24 over Battle Mountain in Eagle County.
For Ammons, who was the state’s first Colorado-born governor, Jackson created a five-tiered cake with a replica of the state capitol building on the top, and Colorado flowers etched in icing around the sides of the layers. With additional piped frosting, Jackson extended a friendly message:
“Wishing our son of Colorado a very happy birthday December 3, 1938.”
Then she offered a frosting poem:
“Events come and go the lives of all mortal men,
Be whatever their hearth, clan or kin.
But when a life has served a needed post,
Remember it more than talk or boast.
So this token here which surely is not of clay
Represents our affections for Governor Teller Ammons
On this his forty-second natal day.”
Again, the cake (which the local newspaper described, presumably inaccurately, as a “200 pound cake”) was shipped, most likely via train, to Denver. Ruth Jackson had her moment of glory when a photo of Gov. Teller Ammons, his wife Esther, and the towering cake was printed on the front page of the Rocky Mountain News.
In 1940, Ruth Jackson married William Bergquist, the man who owned the rooming house where she and her young son lived in Minturn. In 1942, the Bergquists moved from Minturn to Arizona, citing the need for a location change because of Ruth’s health. Beyond that point, the history of Eagle County’s resident cake-maker gets vague.
Still, this woman with an eighth-grade education, an appreciation of politicians, and a talent for baking made an impact in Eagle County, and had her moment of fame in both Colorado and the United States.
Perhaps it is time to go back to the tradition of expressing our feelings for politicians with cake, frosting, and kindness.
Written and researched by Kathy Heicher for the Eagle County Historical Society, January 23, 2021.
Along with the delivery of ballots this week, the Eagle County Clerk’s Office and Eagle County Historical Society delivered a little bit of election history. An early day ballot box, patented in 1884, is on display in the History Department of the Eagle Public Library through election season.
County Clerk’s office employees recently discovered two of the 136-year-old, wood-and-glass ballot boxes during some storeroom cleaning and handed the artifacts over to the Eagle County Historical Society. Supplementing the ballot boxes is the county’s first Voter Abstract Ledger, a large record book detailing the results of local elections from 1884 through 1924.
These artifacts and record books tell the story of a fledgling county whose citizens were eager to take on the responsibilities of democratic self-government.
ECHS Archivist Jaci Spuhler spent hours cleaning grime and dust off the ballot boxes and researching the history of the artifacts. Marketed as the National Ballot Box, the boxes were invented and manufactured by Amos Pettibone of Chicago in response to election corruption in San Francisco. The election-rigging involved a ballot box with a false bottom that concealed pre-marked ballots for a specific candidate. Angry voters demanded more transparency in the election process.
Pettibone figured out the solution: A locking wood frame containing a glass dome that ballots could be dropped into and observed constantly. Opening the box to reach the ballots involved undoing three locks with several different keys. Citizens could watch the voting process and be certain of the results.
Give those early day Eagle County commissioners credit for investing in state-of-the-art election equipment. Two much simpler locking wooden box ballot boxes, probably decades younger than the National Ballot Boxes, were also donated to the Historical Society. The homemade hinged boxes with a ballot drop slot and a latch designed for a padlock probably reflect the frugality of a budget-conscious county clerk and Board of Commissioners.
The ballot boxes will ultimately be displayed in the Eagle County History Museum.
The Voter Abstract book is archived at the Eagle Public Library, which partners with the ECHS in making historic records accessible to the public. That book too reveals some interesting bits of local history. For example, 306 ballots were cast in the county’s first election on Nov. 4, 1884. There were nine voter precincts in the county, including the mining camps of Taylor Hill, Mitchell, Red Cliff, Cleveland (Gilman), Rock Creek and Dotsero. The agricultural precincts were Sheephorn, Brush Creek and “Lakes” (Edwards). Minturn, Avon, Eagle and Gypsum are not part of the picture until a few years later.
The ledger book also reveals the county’s steady population growth, settlement patterns and social trends. In 1893, when Colorado gave women the vote, Eagle County was on board, voting 415 – 257 in favor of women’s suffrage.
Voter registration was also a much different process in 1899. An article in the Eagle County Blade (Red Cliff) newspaper on Oct. 19, 1899 indicates that every precinct had its own Voter Registration Board, and notes that people registering to vote needed to be vouched for via affidavits from two already registered voters. “Voters should personally see that they are registered as very often names are overlooked by the boards,” advised the newspaper.
Eagle County’s first historic ballot box will be on display on the second floor of the Eagle Library through election day. Stop by to take a look. Consider it a reminder to cast those 2020 ballots. The Voter Abstract ledger can be viewed upon request to the library’s History Department.
Researched and submitted by Kathy Heicher.
Eagle’s downtown flowerpots overflow with bright petunias this summer. The pretty petals are both decorative and historically correct. Since 1934, the petunia has been Eagle’s official flower, thanks to the forward-thinking and sometimes formidable ladies of the Eagle Garden Club.
They were community activists, using their flower seeds, charm, and persistence to advance the town. Civic improvement was the primary goal when the club formed in July 1932. Twenty-two women members signed on at that first meeting. The club’s first president was Mrs. George Watson, the wife of a prominent, cattle-ranching county commissioner.
For several decades, the fourth Wednesday of every month was Garden Club meeting day. The women educated themselves by researching and presenting “papers” on topics including the study of plant names, the benefits of birds in the garden, and storing vegetables for winter.
The civic projects started out small. The club transformed an old horse watering trough at the north end of Broadway into summer flower garden. Mrs. A.B. (Laura) Koonce planted flowers and vines, then toted water to the trough throughout the summer to keep the plants alive.
The success of that project led to a competition recognizing the best-kept homes and gardens. The townspeople responded enthusiastically. Small cash prizes were awarded, and pride abounded.
In August 1932, the ladies hosted the first-ever Flower Show in Eagle. They expected limited participation, theorizing that only a few varieties of flowers could be grown at Eagle’s mountain elevation. To the Club’s surprise, 35 contestants showed up with over 57 varieties of flowers displayed in baskets, jars, and vases. The flowers were exhibited with considerable community pride. The Flower Show became a beloved annual affair.
Next up was a Christmas outdoor lighting contest that the Garden Club initiated with the help of the men (mostly Garden Club husbands) of the Eagle Commercial Club and the Lions Club. The enthusiastic response from businesses and homeowners made Eagle the talk of the Western Slope that holiday season.
The civic projects grew bigger. The new county courthouse lacked landscaping. The Club ladies responded with shrubs, grass, and trees. The Eagle Cemetery was a dusty patch of sagebrush-strewn gypsum soil. Led by Mrs. Caroline Thoberg, the Garden Club ladies spent months working with the Cemetery Association on a landscaping plan. They strong-armed their husbands into providing the muscle. The community effort resulted in the grassy, tree-dotted oasis that provides a peaceful final resting place for Eagle residents today.
Their work went beyond grass and gardens. During the Great Depression, needy families were supplied with generous Christmas baskets. When World War II started, the Garden Club ladies turned their attention to salvaging silk, nylon hosiery, and waste fats. They also sewed for the Red Cross.
The women raised money by selling subscriptions to “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine, and hosting luncheons and card parties. The prizes were often flower bulbs.
It was not easy to deter the garden club ladies from an identified project. In March 1934, at the suggestion of Helen Allen (the wife of local bank president J.D. Allen), the Club declared the petunia, something of a floral newcomer to the county, to be Eagle’s official flower. The plan was to plant petunias in every local garden. The Garden Club handled the cost and the labor of planting petunias in public places including gas stations and Broadway businesses.
The petunia decision was dutifully reported in the Eagle Valley Enterprise newspaper. However, the following week, an anonymous writer (most likely Enterprise editor and publisher
Adrian Reynolds) expressed disappointment in the selection of the petunia as Eagle’s flower. He was a fan of sweet peas and suggested that would have been a better choice.
Affronted, the Garden Club ladies did not back down. Their response letter-to-the-editor acknowledged the sweet pea as a beautiful flower but pointed out that the petunias were ideal for many more purposes including porch boxes, flower beds, borders and rock gardens. The women also noted that petunias come in many varieties, blossom from early summer through frost, and could be wintered indoors. Also, the town of Aspen had already claimed the sweet pea as its official flower. Nobody likes being second.
Duly chastised, the editor meekly declared his intent to plant “a solid bed of petunias this year.”
The Garden Club thrived. They hosted a delegation from the Colorado Federation of Garden Clubs. They joined in a state-wide discussion of the need to reign in the proliferation of billboards along highways and byways (and indeed, there are no billboards in Eagle County today). The little Eagle group became affiliated with the National Federation of Garden Clubs.
Despite their many good works, the women of the Eagle Garden Club probably never got the recognition they truly deserved. True to the social customs of the time, the women were recognized in newspapers or public discussion by their spouse’s names, rather than their own. Even their obituaries rarely mentioned a female first name. Yet, these women figured every bit as prominently in the history of Eagle County as did their husbands.
Consider the example of a few of the club’s founding members. Mrs. George Watson (Francis) was a very capable horsewoman, as good as any ranch hand at rounding up cattle. Mrs. Nick Buchholz (Jeanette) served as the superintendent of Eagle County Schools. Mrs. A.K. Ethel (Mabel) was the wife of a county judge (she was his court clerk). When he died in 1933, the county commissioners appointed Mabel to the judgeship … and paid her $20 less per month. Her very first case was a highly controversial and precedent-setting issue involving a sheep rancher trailing his herd across public land designated as cattle range. She presided over the court for over 10 years.
The Garden Club ladies grew more than flowers. They grew a community. And if they were to stroll through downtown Eagle today, they would be pleased.
Kathy Heicher July 3, 2020
These days most down-valley locals associate the name “Abrams” with a street in the outer reaches of the Eagle Ranch subdivision, or a challenging mountain bike trail in the adjacent open space.
In reality, the Abrams family was among the first homesteaders in the lower Eagle Valley. As a group, they exhibited pioneer pluck, daring and ingenuity, and a dark streak of violence. More than once, the deaths of family members were attributed to what the newspapers of the day described as “unnatural causes.” Indeed.
David A. Abrams, the family patriarch, was born to Irish immigrant parents in Philadelphia in about 1847. During the Civil War, he joined the Pennsylvania infantry and distinguished himself with remarkable bravery and fearlessness in battle. As the ranking captain, he led recalcitrant troops into fire in the Battle of Petersburg, Va., a Union victory that cut off a major supply hub for the Confederates and ultimately led to the Rebel surrender.
After the war, Abrams became a Philadelphia police detective with a reputation for effective work. In 1878, the silver mining boom drew David, his wife Jennifer, and their youngest children (there would eventually be seven Abrams children) to Leadville, Colo. Abrams mined, then was quickly hired by the local police force. His police work sent him to the Taylor Hill mining district on Tennessee Pass to quell a violent mining claim dispute that killed several men. Abrams, exhibiting considerable nerve, secured and held possession of the mines until the conflict could be resolved in court.
Abrams was prominent in Leadville, and knowledgeable about mining affairs. He and his sons had mining in their blood.
In 1883, Abrams became a rancher, leaving Leadville for a 360 acre homestead on Brush Creek, a tributary to the Eagle River. (The Abrams land included what is now the heart of the Eagle Ranch golf course, and the denser Village Homes housing development.) He and a Leadville physician, Dr. Eyer, partnered on the ranch. Abrams provided the land and the labor, Eyer paid for the cattle and farming equipment. The Abrams family built a cabin about five miles up Abrams Creek, where they also dabbled in copper mining. When the mine proved non-productive, they built another, more comfortable home down at the mouth of Abrams Creek in the Brush Creek Valley. The Abrams sons sometimes stayed at a third cabin, located midway between the two homes. Newspapers described the Brush Creek property as a “magnificent ranch.”
From the start, there were problems with the neighboring land owner, David Sutton, who also claimed a strip of the same valuable ranchland. Sutton succeeded in evicting the Abrams family from their comfortable cabin in the dead of winter, sending them scrambling for a new home. The several-year land dispute went all the way to the Secretary of the Interior. Ongoing rulings favored the Abrams family, according to newspaper reports, but Sutton kept appealing. The hostility between the neighbors was constant.
David Abram’s personal land battle ended abruptly with his unexpected death in September, 1886. The Leadville Herald Democrat newspaper attribute Abram’s death to “unnatural causes,” related to a serious knife wound to his spine suffered a year earlier. David Abrams had literally been stabbed in the back.
The origin of that knife wound will forever remain a mystery. No reports of the original incident can be found in the newspapers of the time; yet the stabbing seemed to be common knowledge. The Abrams family and friends would not talk about it.
“Those who are familiar with that tragic affair declare it to have been an accident and preferred to have no reference made to it,” noted the Leadville Herald Democrat on Sept. 18, 1886.
The infected knife wound rendered Abrams increasingly feeble over the following year, eventually causing his death at the age 45. Where David Abrams is buried is unclear.
William J. Abrams
A year after David Abrams’ death, the Abrams-Sutton land dispute reached the boiling point. On Nov. 30, 1887, David’s oldest son, William J. (Bill) Abrams, 21, shot and killed Sutton.
The incident started a couple of days previously when Abrams turned several of his horses out on the disputed strip of land, which was fenced. Sutton, a bachelor rancher, gathered the horses and secured them in his barn, refusing to give them back until the courts issued a final ruling on the disputed property. Sutton demanded legal documents showing proof of the land possession and insisted that Abrams pay for the damages.
A violent confrontation ensued, witnessed by the neighboring Hockett brothers and two ranch hands.
Newspaper accounts of the incident conflict. Sutton and Abrams definitely argued. According to one account, Sutton advanced toward young Abrams with a sledge hammer. A different report suggests that Abrams may have been the aggressor, threatening to kill Sutton if he touched the horses. Sutton kept advancing toward Abrams, who drew his revolver and fired twice, hitting Sutton in the stomach and then in the left eye.
Bill Abrams immediately went to a neighbor’s house and turned himself over to the authorities. Fearing mob violence, Constable Ed Thompson avoided taking his prisoner to the Eagle train depot for transport to the county jail at Red Cliff. Instead, the constable and the suspect walked up the valley to the next rail stop.
Sutton was a prominent player in early Eagle County. He had recently been elected Eagle County commissioner, but had not yet taken office. His remains were taken to Denver where he was buried in Riverview Cemetery in the White family plot (the Whites also homesteaded on Brush Creek, and Sutton was Sarah White’s cousin as well as the White ranch manager).
In June 1888, a grand jury in Leadville indicted Bill Abrams for first degree murder. He awaited trial in the Leadville jail, where a stream of friends visited him, offering support. The local newspapers sympathized with Abrams, describing him as a “quiet, inoffensive-looking young man, with flaxen hair and a small moustache of the same color, with nothing about him to indicate the desperado.” The newspaper flatly states that the Sutton killing was self-defense.
Newspapers did not report the result of Abrams trial, but the course of his life afterwards suggests that he was acquitted. A marriage in 1895 ended in divorce less than two years later.
He volunteered for the Spanish-American War in 1898 achieving the rank of lieutenant during that 10-month conflict. Shortly afterwards, he was reported to be living in Crestone, Co., a small mining camp in the San Luis Valley. By 1901 he was in Defiance (now Glenwood Springs), mining with his brothers.
Bill Abrams was not destined for a happy life.
On Jan. 1, 1911 Abrams was blinded in a dynamite mishap inside a lead mine in the cliffs above Shoshone in Glenwood Canyon. Five months later, he was declared insane and sentenced to a stay at the asylum in Pueblo, Doctors blamed the loss of eyesight and damage to his brain.
By 1912, Abrams was out of the asylum, and out on the streets of Denver, selling newspapers and flowers from a stand outside the Montview Hotel. He made headlines in August of 1912 when he wrote a letter to the warden of the state penitentiary, requesting that that the eyes of a condemned murderer be harvested immediately after the fellow’s hanging. Abrams believed he had a doctor who could transplant the eyes and restore his vision.
“I’d go through hell to regain my sight, and no operation, however painful, would deter me from taking the one chance I have had to be able to see,” Abrams told the newspapers.
Abrams’ sight was never restored. Blindness led to his death in Denver in September, 1920. He became disoriented, and stepped into an open hotel elevator shaft, apparently mistaking it for a door. He fell three stories to his death. Bill Abrams is buried in a family plot at Rosebud Cemetery in Glenwood Springs.
The Abrams rumors
Jennie Abrams, David’s widow, married William J. Paye, a road overseer, in 1899. They continued to ranch the Brush Creek land, along with the younger Abrams children. In April 1908 she was granted a divorce, with the newspapers noting that her husband was a fugitive from justice and did not contest the lawsuit.
In 1924, William Mayer, who had been ranching in the valley for about 25 years, purchased the Abrams property. In his memoir, William’s son Chet Mayer raised some interesting stories about the Abrams family.
Mayer could remember a double grave up Abrams Creek, well-marked with a board fence around it. The story he heard as a child was that the stepfather (possibly Paye) and one of the Abram’s sons got into a fight while cutting timber. Both raised axes and attacked each other. One reportedly died from a split skull, and the other bled to death from a severe wound in the neck and shoulder.
However, another Eagle pioneer, Ernie Nogal, offered a different version of the story, saying an Abrams son came upon his stepfather beating his mother, and buried an axe in the man’s back. The son died a few weeks later while swimming … or, another version of the story suggests he was poisoned.
Mayer also repeats a rumor that perhaps Bill Abrams was a hired gun, whom local ranchers used to take care of cattle rustlers, and may have been the person who murdered the outlaw Charlie Johnson in 1901.
None of those rumors can be verified by archive research, and the stories are likely a mix of miss-remembered history and flat-out rumors. If there are twin graves up Abrams Creek, nobody has seen them in decades.
Jennie Abrams outlived five of her seven children. She spent her life on that Brush Creek homestead, dying in 1924 at the age of 78. She is buried alongside several of her children in the family plot at Rosebud Cemetery in Glenwood Springs.
Photos are from the Abrams family album and are shared courtesy of the Eagle County Historical Society and Eagle Valley Library District.
Compiled by Kathy Heicher
May 30, 2020
Sometimes local history arrives unexpectedly. In the case of Hume Stanley White, it was the donation of a collapsible opera hat that first piqued the Eagle County Historical Society’s interest in this Eagle County pioneer. When collapsed, the hat, which has an internal spring system, looks like a flattened black silk pancake. Pop it up, and it’s a shiny top hat, suitable for a society event. Couple that hat with a box full of yellowed papers that came from Hume White’s roll top desk, add in the research time made available courtesy of the spring of 2020 corona virus epidemic, and this pioneer story comes into focus.Hume Stanley White (the middle name comes from a prominent mining family in Idaho Springs), born in 1882, was the youngest son of George G. and Sarah Morton White. The Whites were adventurous pioneers. Originally from Kentucky, George served in the Confederate Army, that including a six-week stay in a Union prison. After the war, he pursued higher education with the goal of becoming a lawyer. He established both a large farm and a law practice in Missouri and married Sarah Anne Morton in 1867. Intrigued by tales of the mining boom out west, the young couple and their children left their comfortable brick home in Missouri and headed to Colorado.
George quickly established a successful legal practice. In 1876, he helped write the Colorado Constitution. Eventually, his adventurous nature drew the White family to the bustling Leadville mining camp, where he served as a judge. In 1891, the Whites went exploring down the Eagle River, and found the country along Brush Creek (south of Eagle) promising enough to prompt them to file several homestead claims. Those homesteads encompassed 480 acres including what is now the heart of the Eagle Ranch subdivision, and rural properties farther up the creek.Hume was the youngest of the four White children. Born in 1882, he likely never really knew his father, who died unexpectedly in Leadville in 1884, at the age of 38.
The widow Sarah proved her strength and independence by establishing a cattle ranch on the Brush Creek property, where she raised her children. Determined to provide her children with a high quality education, Sarah’s success at the ranch, along with the money left by her husband, enabled her to send her children to boarding schools. The boys, Ben and Hume, completed their elementary education at Notre Dame. Hume spent his higher education years at William Jewel Academy College in Missouri, completing college in 1905, the same year that his mother died after a several-month illness.The White brothers took over their mother’s ranching operation. Ben was particularly prominent in Eagle County’s agricultural industry. Hume was drawn to Denver, where for several years he worked as a newspaper reporter, including a stint at the Denver Republican working alongside the famous writer, Damon Runyon. Hume was not destined for a newspaper career. After he was “fired for his own good,” as he later recalled, he obtained a law degree from the University of Denver in 1911.
Hume began his law practice in Denver, working in the office of his father’s former law partner. In 1913, Hume married Genevieve Fisher Chilson. Several perfectly preserved engraved wedding announcements were among the papers in Hume’s rolltop desk.
From 1916 until 1920, he worked as a Deputy District Attorney, prosecuting criminals in the City and County of Denver.
But he always had strong ties to Eagle County, where he enjoyed the ranching, the hunting and fishing. When silver was discovered at Horse Mountain on Brush Creek in 1913, Hume was one of the investors in silver mines.In 1920, Hume, Genevieve and their son George G. White II moved to Eagle to be nearer the ranch operation (Hume leased out his portion of the ranch.) He established a law practice in Eagle, and quickly became drawn into the county seat fight that had roiled Red Cliff and Eagle for nearly 20 years and through numerous court battles. The White brothers were prominent players in the fight. In 1920, Ben chaired the committee fighting to move the county seat down valley; and Hume was both a committee member and legal advisor. The papers from his desk include a flyer detailing a dozen arguments promoting Eagle as the better location for the county seat. Eagle finally won that battle in 1921.
Like his father, Hume was a skillful lawyer. The family memoirs claim he never lost a case. He was also a politically savvy Democrat. He represented Eagle County in the State Legislature from 1922-1924, a job that probably required the occasional use of a formal opera hat. His work included stints as the Eagle town attorney, Eagle County attorney, and a term as a District Court judge.
Hume was the vice-president of the First National Bank of Eagle County. He served on the Colorado River Water Conservation Board for 23 years, including the time during the late 1940s and early 1950s when the controversial Fryingpan-Arkansas water diversion project (resulting eventually in the construction of Ruedi Reservoir) was taking shape. Hume White was well known in Democratic Party circles throughout the state; and in 1936 was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention.Throughout his life, he was an approachable, integral part of the Eagle County community. In addition to his high-profile legal work, local newspaper columns report White’s adventures ranging from making a local splash by driving a large Thomas Flyer touring car into town in 1920 to his adventures fishing at Deep Creek, exploring Fulford Cave, and moving cattle to market throughout the decades. Hume was apparently a good sport. In 1945, he was one of numerous Eagle County competitors participating in a men-only “War Loan Beauty Contest,” a fund-raising event where people voted by making donations in the name of specific contestants. The newspaper suggested that Hume was attempting to capture votes by asking the local beauty shop to design a new hairdo for him. At that time, Hume White was quite bald.
Genevieve White died in 1951. Hume White retired from his law practice but remained prominent in county affairs. He died 1968. The opera hat and the desk drawer of papers are small artifacts of the accomplishments of a man who played a big role in Eagle County.
Complied by Kathy Heicher
Eagle County Historical Society
April 25, 2020
History of Eagle County + a Walking Tour of Gypsum
First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 400 2nd St., Gypsum
Tuesday March 10, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Special Offer for Eagle County Historical Society members
And the First Evangelical Lutheran Congregation
Local historian Kathy Heicher will present a slide show and talk that will reveal Eagle County history stretching from the Ute occupation in the early 1800s to the development of the county’s ski resort economy in the 1960s. The lecture will be followed by a walking tour of Gypsum’s Historic downtown.
To reserve a spot in the class, RSVP to: ECHS@eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com by March 8. Cost of the class is $10 for ECHS members. (Pay cash at the door or via the “Donation” button on our website, eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.)
*** Note: Local realtors seeking “Vail Pro” education credit for the class must register through the Vail Board of Realtors (http://www.vbr.net)
Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 6 pm
Haunted History: Eagle County’s Dark Side
Avon Library, Avon, Colorado
Eagle County’s early history involves more than adventurous miners and hard-toiling farmers. There are also stories to be told about murder, tragedy, and perhaps the ghosts of a pioneer or two who just don’t seem to be at rest.
And what about that shadowy monster that was blamed in early decades for the mysterious disappearances of miners and soldiers?
Join local historian Kathy Heicher for a Halloween version of local history and an entertaining evening at the Avon Library.
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 2 pm
Eagle County Pioneer Sarah Doherty
First Christian Church, 1326 N. 1st Street, Grand Junction, CO.
Sarah Doherty was a frightened Irish immigrant when she first arrived at the Red Cliff train depot in 1883. An independent, unmarried woman, Sarah eventually homesteaded at Dotsero where she became known as the “Cattle Queen of the Badlands.” Hear her story at a special presentation by local historian Kathy Heicher for the Territorial Daughters of Colorado, Western Chapter. Free.
Sunday, September 8, 2019, 9 am
We covered about 80 years of Eagle County history in our recent Camp Hale history hike with Walking Mountain Science Center. Hikers spent the morning up on Tennessee Pass, checking out the 1880s charcoal kilns used to create fuel for mine smelters.
Camp Hale historians Flint Whitlock and David Little shared stories of the 10th Mountain Division and their training site in Eagle County. They even regaled the group by singing a few bars of some World War II soldier songs. History is fun in Eagle County!