Highlights from the

Carbonate Chronicle

100 Years Ago

December 13, 1920


PREPARE FOR MAKING MOVIE HERE—Field Manager Gallagher announced last night that O. B. Thayer, director general of the Art-O-Graf motion picture company, would arrive in the city Monday and begin active preparations immediately for the production of the picture “Flat Gold.” M. J. Casey, president and general manager of the company, left for New York last night, according to Gallagher, for the purpose of arranging for the scenario of the picture, and also for the purpose of obtaining talent for the production. Miss Violet Merserean, the company’s leading lady, is in New York at present, and will probably return to Colorado with Mr. Casey shortly after, if not before, Christmas. On the 24th, Mr. Gallagher will leave for Denver to spend Christmas Day there and will return here within a few days.

Thayer, the director general, will bring with him a test print of the picture “Out of the Depth,” the latest production of the company, and an early showing of the feature at the Liberty Bell theater will be made. No other prints were available, according to Gallagher, and for the purpose of giving Leadville people an early showing the test print will be used. This print, according to Gallagher, is not as perfect as a finished print, but will have to serve the purpose at the present time, as all of the finished prints have their bookings. “Out of the Depths” was filmed in Delta with some scenes taken in the Grand Canon and Royal Gorge.

A feature of interest to Leadville people will be the announcement that Carey Adams, a former Leadville man, is a member of the board of directors and a member of the advisory board for the Art-O-Graf company. Others who are connected with the company are Messrs. Stocken and Hillman.

O. B. Thayer, the director general of the company, was the discoverer and maker of Tom Mix, according to Mr. Gallagher, and has during his career directed pictures featuring such well known stars as Kathleen Williams, Ralph Herz, Peggy O’Neill, Myrtle Stedman, Edwin Cobb and William Duncan.

W. E. Smith, first camera man of the company, has at present the filming of twenty-one feature productions to his credit. He has worked with several well-known people all over the country, including Francis X. Bushman, Bryant Washburn, Eugene O’Brien, Richard Travers, Edwin Mays and Henry Walthall. The second camera man, F. A. Parrish, has done photography work for the Fox News Weekly, the Chicago Tribune, Leslie’s Weekly, and during the war saw continuous service for a considerable period as an aerial photographer.


Leadville Greeted by White Christmas—Carols and Jingling Bells Mark Dawn of Nativity.

December 27, 1920


With snow falling, giving assurance of a white Christmas, and with a considerably moderated temperature, Leadville made ready yesterday for the holiday of holidays, and the message of good cheer was carried into all parts of the city with various unmistakable reminders of the season.

Prettily wrapped packages in the arms of rosy-cheeked shoppers, heavily laden mail carriers, express wagons filled to capacity and stores filled until late last evening by late shoppers all bespoke the spirit of the season, while as dusk came on lighted Christmas trees with all of their bright colored decorations could be seen thru windows, the shades of which it seemed were purposely left up that the passerby might catch a glimpse and be cheered.

Leadville Turnverein entertained the children’s classes of the order with the customary tree and tokens at Turner Hall on East Third street, and tho not as elaborate as has been seen at the hall in previous years, joy was evidenced by all in no lesser degree than last year. The Presbyterian Sunday school held their annual Christmas Eve program at the church last evening, and according to the custom of other years each child was presented with some small token of remembrance.

Carol singing came into its own after dark last night when a group of enthusiasts,  carried in a sleigh furnished by F. E. Brown and driven by Harry Kitt, went about the city singing their message of greeting. Stops were made by the carolers at the county hospital, St. Luke’s hospital, St. Vincent’s hospital, and at a number of “shut ins,” the homes of crippled people. The Herald Democrat was also honored by a visit of the singers.

A few small private dances were staged in various halls of the city and Christmas Eve parties were common, families and friends gathering together to participate in the joy of opening presents and reading the messages of seasonal greetings received from friends in other parts of the land.

At midnight services were held in the St. George’s Episcopal church on West Fourth street, which were attended by a good crowd of worshippers who wished to welcome the anniversary of the birth of Christ with prayer and glorification.

Following the close of the services at St. George’s church this morning, the first services to be held with especial significance to the day will be the Christmas mass at the Church of the Annunciation, for which special pains have been taken in preparation. Special Christmas music has been arranged for rendition by the enlarged choir.

Services will be held in other churches of the city during the morning hours, and in all cases effort has been made to have the services of today stand out prominently above the ordinary worship.

At ten o’clock the Knight Templars of the Mount of the Holy Cross chapter will gather at their asylum to observe the ancient custom of drinking the Christmas toast.

This afternoon celebration in the amusement line will be at hand with the staging of a dancing matinee at Armory hall by the management of the hall. The Top o’ the World orchestra will furnish the music for the occasion, as well as for the evening dance, at which the weekly prize waltz will be staged. The Liberty Bell theater also offers amusement in the afternoon with the showing of special matinee film.


It has been suggested that some startling, not to say disconcerting, results might be obtained if one were to halt the individuals who make up the busy throngs on the streets on Christmas Eve and ask them what it was all about. There are faces in the throng that look worn and sad. There are worried faces. There are those who have pinched and saved to make another happy, especially some child, and perhaps that may be compensation enough. Nevertheless, there must be some significance in all this industrious buying, all this worry of “What to give?”, all this tremendous expenditure of money and energy. We should find in it something better than the reflection in the next week’s trade review of Mr. Dun or Mr. Bradstreet. If its reaction is nothing better than a few extra millions in the bank clearings with no corresponding gain to the individual, then Christmas is rather an expensive luxury.

We enjoy our celebrations because they give us vacations and holidays—if we except the overworked caterers to these joys and merry-makings. In the spring it is necessary to buy a new hat or bonnet, and so Easter has become synonymous with millinery. When the harvest is gathered, the stomach craves a mighty feed, and thus we thank God much as our far ancestors did when the “kill” was brot in by the warriors.

Christmas is the feast of the children, and no doubt most of those who might be asked why they are so hurried and worried on the gladsome eve, is that they would bring happiness to the little ones. The children have been taught that this is the time when Santa Claus comes, when “good things” are abundant, when the Christmas tree sparkles and toys abound. It has come to be the time when, if there is really a “spirit of Christmas” abroad in the land, it should be passed on to those who are not quite so fortunate. It happens that this kindly spirit, in an effort to give little boys and girls a taste of the festivities of the day, encounters sadness and want, misery and suffering. It is the tragedy of it all that is sometimes necessary for this day of merriment to arrive before the sadder features of life are discovered, before the good samaritan learns that perhaps this suffering and want has been in existence for many long and weary days, and that it can scarcely be relieved by one big meal on Christmas.

“Give everybody, give the children, one merry day in the year,” seems to be the particular thot of this day. And yet childhood should have its whole life merry. That is its privilege, yet we try to crowd what should cover the whole year into a few winter days.

All this feasting, all this merry-making, all this gift-giving, all this thot for the little ones to make them happy and delight when Christmas morn comes should be something more than an ebullition of emotion, the reflex action from our own subconscious memory of the time “when I was a child.” Men profess to believe—tho their actions do not always seem to reflect it—that the hope of the world was cradled in a manger two thousand years ago. The hope of the world is to be found in every cradle rocked today by a mother’s hand, every hearthstone where little ones play, every breast where rests the head of babyhood. These countless millions, still sheltered from the world, or opening their eyes in want and suffering, cannot long pause on the threshold.

Make the path of the little ones pleasant, by all means, but why not “as the long train of ages glides away” endeavor to smooth the path, so that there may be fewer thorns and rocks? If Christmas is to be merry, why is it that so much misery and wretchedness is unearthed, why so many poor, so many who know this time of gladness thru the dole of the rich or well-to-do?

The task is not such a terrific one. It is not necessarily appalling in its magnitude. “Good will to men” translated into conduct makes the solution simple. If Christmas is merely a feast of fat things, the patter of sentimentality, or the “litanies of flattery and fear,” merely gloss over greediness and attempt to spiritualize material things. If the Yuletide really expresses the sentiment of the great gift of children, the hope and dawn of the world, then indeed it has its place in the calendar which marks the world’s progress.

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