Highlights from the
75 Years Ago
Busy Afternoon For
July 1, 1946
The Leadville fire department had a busy afternoon yesterday, and for one of the firemen it was most disconcerting and trying. A call came from Stringtown at 3:15 p. m. — Fireman Anton Krizman’s house was afire. The truck made a record run to No. 36 Stringtown, the attic of which was ablaze, fanned by the gusty wind.
The department’s pumper and auxiliary 100-gallon tank were put into use and amply proved their worth. Well water could not be drawn by suction, so a bucket brigade was formed, water being pumped by hand and passed along to refill the auxiliary tank. Had it not been for this bucket brigade, Fire Marshal Joe Plute said, the house very likely would have been destroyed.
As it was, the attic was badly charred and one downstairs room was badly damaged by fire. The asphalt roof outside did not burn, and downstairs rooms were damaged mainly by water.
The cause of the fire was first thought to be the wearing through of insulation on wires entering the attic, however further investigation by Fireman Krizman indicated that a spark had landed just under the eaves of the house and started the blaze in the attic. The fuses had not been blown, he said.
Not long after the fire truck had returned from Stringtown — at 4:25 p. m. to be exact — a call came from West 8th street. A grass fire had started by the D&RG railroad tracks below 508 West 8th. The firemen again used the booster tank to extinguish the blaze.
Sparks from a passing locomotive apparently started the grass fire, according to Marshal Plute.
There have been two forest fires during June in this region. One was on Homestake Creek above Red Cliff and was caused by picnickers. Another, in the vicinity of Pando, was caused by sparks from the engine of a passing train.
Fire danger is increasing with the dryness in the forests. Be sure your picnic fire is out when you leave it, and be careful with cigarets.
Leadville to Have Quiet, Sane Fourth
Practically all of Leadville will take a holiday Thursday and make it a grand and glorious Fourth. Although there is no celebration scheduled here, there are numerous attractions nearby, and just getting outdoors, if the weather’s at its best, will be something.
Stores will be closed Thursday, as well as government and local offices. Housewives are buying ahead today and tomorrow from the commodities available, meager except for vegetables and fruit. Herald Democrat ads today are a boon to shoppers. There will be no paper issued Thursday.
Mining and milling will be at a standstill. The Resurrection, A. V. Plant, Hamm Mill and others will close down so that employees can take a holiday. Climax employees will have the rest of the week off, Thursday through Sunday.
A dance will be given tomorrow night at the L. H. S. gym by Leadville Post No. 7 American Legion. Efforts were being made today to arrange a softball game Thursday. Over at Red Cliff, the Battle Mountain Legion Post will sponsor a Fourth of July picnic.
Fireworks are forbidden within the city limits and also in the national forests. City and county authorities had curtailed setting off firecrackers up to last evening, but, either knowing or unknowing, violators of the city ordinance were busy around town. Bang after bang cracked the rarefied night air.
Precautions Against Infantile Paralysis
July 15, 1946
“Pay careful attention to personal cleanliness such as thorough hand washing before eating,” warns the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in its list of precautions against serious attacks of the disease now threatening many communities in the United States.
Scientific authorities agree on one thing about polio — the virus causing the disease is widespread during epidemics. How the virus gets into the body is a point upon which they do not entirely agree, but the bulk of the evidence thus far indicates that one frequent way the organism can enter the body is through the mouth. Dirty hands might readily carry the infecting virus into the body.
English Youth Seeks Girl “Pen Friend”
Mayor John Cortellini is in receipt of a letter from a youth in England who wants someone with whom to correspond. From Streatham, London, Ernest W. Harrison writes:
“I have always liked and admired the people of your great country and I would very much like to have a girl pen-friend, aged about 14, which is my own age, so that I may become more closely associated with the United States.”
The British youth enclosed a letter addressed to “Dear Miss X.” If a Leadville girl of about 14 is interested in corresponding with Ernest, please come to the Herald Democrat office. The letter, with the youth’s complete address, will be given to her.
May Company’s Start Here Is Recalled
July 29, 1946
The current announcement of the merger of the May Department Stores company with Kauffman’s of Pittsburgh, Pa., recalled the start of the former firm in Leadville. The May company was founded in 1876 here by David May.
Old-timers recall that May began modestly with shoes and possibly with a partner in the 100 block of Harrison Avenue. The May Shoe & Clothing company later was located further up the avenue, just north of the opera house. The May company began operating in Denver in 1881, and now has stores in St. Louis, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Akron and Baltimore as well.