Highlights from

The Herald Democrat

100 Years Ago

February 3, 1921


LAKE LIED TO THE LAST—“Let’s roll the bones.” “What’ll you shoot for today?” “Got any more stores, keys or bonds that you would like to chance on the ivory cubes today?” “Has Lady Luck come back to you yet?” These and similar remarks were hurled in rapid order at Mrs. Laura Nicolai yesterday in the spirit of friendly badinage by her many friends who had read the account in yesterday’s paper of the assertions of Edwin Lake that he had won $1,500 in Liberty bonds together with the drug store and other of her possessions in a crap game. Lake made his claim to having won these things from Mrs. Nicolai in a crap game before Judge John C. Pollock in the United States district court last Tuesday while standing trial on the charge of stealing the bonds, and made his story of a crap game the basis of his defense. The story was declared by the court to be “incredible,” and in answer to this Lake’s attorney declared he believed that the story was true, as life in Leadville is “very primitive and harsh.”

This assertion touched the tender spot of many Leadvillites, especially in view of the fact that right at the present time the Chamber of Commerce is launching a publicity program which has as one of its motives the discrediting of false rumors which are spread thruout the state concerning this city. Another sore point touched in the trial is the referring to Mrs. Nicolai as a woman of “nearly 70 years.” While Mrs. Nicolai was strongly roused by the presumptuousness of the person who gave her age as such, she did not let the matter ruffle her to a very great degree.

“Why, I might have lost without knowing it,” she said, “for I can’t read dice and don’t know a thing about the game, but I feel pretty safe in saying that I still own this store and the bonds because I never played the dice game with Mr. Lake. If I lost to him, what I would be wondering now is how I managed to regain possession.”

Lake never was in charge of the store for a period of more than perhaps an hour at a time, she asserted. At times he kept care of the store for her while she went to supper, and on one occasion she went to a matinee, but at all of these times there was a boy in the store with Mr. Lake.

February 23, 1921


MOONSHINE SELLERS ROUNDED UP—Frank Hickey, bartender of the Anheuser Busch saloon, and the entire force of employees of the Jackson resort at the lower end of State street will be arraigned in Police court this evening on the charge of violation of the liquors laws as a result of the arrest of Tom Mitchell, a drunk, early yesterday morning.

Mitchell’s case was heard in the police court last night. The man stated that he was working at the Weir ranch and that this “stew” was the first one he had been on for a long time. “I don’t roll off very often, Judge,” he said in telling his story. When asked who he obtained the liquor from, he said that he had bought some at the Anheuser Busch corner and some at Jackson’s place. All purchases, he said, were made practically over the bar, tho at the Anheuser Busch he had to go round the end of the bar to be served.

He was unable to give the names of the men who had sold him the “mule,” but said that he believed they were the regular bartenders of the establishments. Magistrate Clarke ordered Police Captain Brennan to go at once to the two places mentioned and get the night bartenders. Brennan returned to the police headquarters a short while later with Frank Hickey, the bartender of the Anheuser Busch corner, and the bartender of Jackson’s place. Mitchell identified Hickey as one from whom he had purchased liquor, but said that he did not remember having seen the other man before. He explained that he had made his purchase from Jackson’s in the morning and believed that the man confronting him was the night man of the establishment.

When identified by Mitchell, Hickey denied that he had sold any liquor to him and stated to the court that Mitchell had entered the resort and that he had a bottle “on his hip” from which he drank. Mitchell, however, declared that he had had no bottle and that he had purchased machine whisky from Hickey.

Judge Clarke then found Mitchell guilty of the drunk charge, fined him $25 and costs, and ordered that he be held in jail to assure his appearance at tonight’s session of the court.

Police officers were instructed by Clarke to arrest the day bartender of the Jackson saloon, but Clarke later changed this order and asked for the rounding up of the entire force of employees of the place in order that he would be sure to get the right man. Hickey was permitted his freedom until tonight upon his own recognizance.

In instructing Hickey to appear tonight, Magistrate Clarke stated, “It has been said that the police of the city and myself did not want to round you fellows up, but now that we’ve got the chance, well, believe me. We’ll see!”

February 24, 1921


“FRISCO” HAS WAR RECORD—Canute and Frisco, the first an Airedale and the latter a Pit Bull, engaged in a friendly bout in the Postoffice building yesterday afternoon, which ended in a quarrel conceded by witnesses to be a real fight.

The dogs created a little stir for a few minutes, but were separated before either one was done any serious harm. The dog Frisco is a dog with a record. He was the mascot of a California troop during the world war and saw considerable action during his term of service. When his troopers were being transported across the continent to their demobilization point, the troop train was stopped at Malta for a few minutes, and, seeing his opportunity, Frisco leaped out for a little exercise and some fresh air. He heard the toot of an engine whistle and leaped to the platform of the nearest coach, which he found when it was too late was the stub train headed for Leadville. After his arrival here he spent several days in wandering about the streets, and finally in his roaming ended up at the plant of the Western Zinc Oxide company. He made the plant his home and the men of the company are his chosen masters. “Frisco,” painted in green on both of his white sides, gave the men there the clue to his name.

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