Highlights from

The Herald Democrat

75 Years Ago

Electrical Storm Cripples Power Lines

August 1, 1945


Yesterday’s electrical storm, with 1.53 inches of rain falling, was one of the worst storms that this area has had in a number of years. The Public Service company reports that trouble was caused to the power lines at Alma, Fairplay, Dillon, Montezuma and Leadville. Although it will be about a week before work crews will have everything in good repair again, temporary service has been restored to the entire district. On the Tennessee Pass power line alone seven poles were hit by the lightning in yesterday’s storm. One of these poles was completely splintered, with pieces scattering 200 feet around.

In town, the lightning struck the wires going into the Texaco pumping station near Jacktown, causing a motor to catch fire. The fire was quickly put out, and no damage was done.

Basements on Oak Street were flooded when the Starr ditch broke near the Bohn mine, and after the storm let up a little, the fire department pump was used to pump the water out. Even though the ditch did not break in any other place, and the entire city street maintenance crew worked constantly to keep the water going through the ditch, it couldn’t hold all that came down, and the water poured down the east side streets onto the avenue, covering the sidewalks on the west side with water and mud, and on the lower end of West Third washed out a number of gardens.

Danger Of Shells In

Camp Hale Area

August 11, 1945


During the past few weeks, several unexploded shells have been found in the Camp Hale Maneuver area. These are being destroyed by the Bomb and Shell Disposal Team. In order to reduce the danger, it is planned to soon move in a few companies of service troops to sweep areas and explode all shells found.

In the meantime, use of the area by civilians is discouraged, according to E. H. Clocker, forest ranger at Minturn. Those who must use the area do so at their own risk. Users should not handle any shells discovered, but should report them to the authorities at Camp Hale or to Forest Ranger Clocker. The area is thoroughly and adequately posted, calling attention to the danger of handling any explosives discovered, but there have been instances of shells being picked up. Under no circumstances should shells be touched. If any shells have been picked up and carried off, this should be reported and the shells destroyed by someone qualified to do so.

Three Recovering From Eating Mushrooms

August 13, 1945


County Judge J. N. Armstrong, Mrs. Armstrong and Mrs. Armstrong’s mother, Mrs. Della Hauser, all from Kokomo, are recovering in St. Vincent’s hospital from the effects of poisoning caused by eating field mushrooms. All three are considered out of danger except for the possibility of a relapse.

The three were rushed to the hospital here late Friday night by H. H. Gilman of Kokomo, one of their neighbors, arriving shortly after 11 p. m. Mrs. Hauser was unconscious before leaving Kokomo, and later suffered severe convulsions. Judge Armstrong became unconscious during the trip, and Mrs. Armstrong collapsed just as the car reached the hospital.

Mushrooms picked by Judge Armstrong and served for dinner Friday evening were believed to be the cause of the poisoning, although Judge Armstrong has picked mushrooms for years and felt certain that he knew the edible variety. A neighbor who is somewhat of an authority on mushrooms had examined this particular lot and she also believed they were all right.

Grover Hauser, son of Mrs. Della Hauser, was summoned from Cheyenne, Wyo., and arrived here Saturday night. The Armstrongs and Mrs. Hauser have lived together in Kokomo for the past 33 years. Mr. Armstrong was just recently elected county judge of Summit County.

Leadville Scientist

Worked On Atom Bomb

August 14, 1945


A Certificate of Merit from the government of the United States, which was found among the effects of the late Dr. Arthur Stauffacher, gives a hint of the tremendous value of the research work he had been doing in the physics department of the University of South Carolina.

Now that the first atomic bombs have been dropped on Japan, it is realized that Dr. Stauffacher was one of the many scientists throughout the country who were working feverishly, and secretly, to produce that deadly weapon in order to help put a stop to the terrible slaughter of war. It was known that he was working with centrifuges; he remarked once that a group of them were “trying to break down atoms;” and speaking of a brother in service, he once said, “The harder I work, the sooner he will come home.” The research which Dr. Stauffacher did for his master’s and doctor’s degrees was of such importance to the war activity that these have not yet been published. Instead, they are locked away for release when safety permits their publication.

The Certificate of Merit, awarded through the Office of Scientific Research and Development, states: “This is to certify that Arthur L. Stauffacher has participated in the work of the Office of Scientific Research and Development contributing to the successful prosecution of the Second World War. On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, this certificate is awarded in appreciation of effective service.”

Dr. Stauffacher attended Leadville schools before going on to Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, and then to the University of Virginia. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Stauffacher.

Leadville Celebrated

Japs’ Surrender

August 15, 1945


A spontaneous celebration broke out in Leadville yesterday evening immediately upon receipt of the flash that Japan had surrendered unconditionally. Sirens screeched, whistles blew, church and school bells pealed, and hundreds of cars added the tooting of their horns to the general din.

Crowds of people appeared on Harrison Avenue as if by magic, and everyone shook hands or hugged and kissed everyone else. There were tears, too.

Large flags appeared on buildings, and children were parading the streets waving smaller flags. Firecrackers were dug out—or had they been just waiting for this occasion?—and shots were heard all over town.

A steady procession of cars formed an impromptu parade up and down the Avenue, all blowing their horns vigorously. And then the rain came about 6 o’clock, but the celebration went gaily on and lasted far into the night.

Many soldiers were in town from the 500 who are now at Camp Hale. A few battles broke out—they were spontaneous, too—but on the whole, the celebration stayed within bounds. Only one traffic accident was reported in the immediate vicinity of town.

Blast Shakes Town

August 16, 1945


A terrific blast which shook houses and rattled windows in widely separated parts of town was heard about five minutes past nine last evening. It was believed to have been an explosion of dynamite, but the exact location of the charge and the cause of it have not been determined. Many people thought it was a belated part of the surrender celebration.

Continue Salvage Of

Fats, Paper, Tin Cans

August 23, 1945


Leadville’s Salvage Chairman, John Nygren, has been advised by Arl H. Frost, State Manager Conservation and Salvage Division, that we are not through collecting fats, waste paper and prepared tin cans as yet. Although the fighting has ended, certain materials are in short supply. There are millions of our boys to bring home and to supply with food, medicine and clothing until they get home. This job still requires paper, fats and tin from salvage efforts, so collection of waste paper will be continued, and housewives are expected to keep in the habit of taking prepared cans to the grocery and fats to the butcher.

Business Picks Up

Since End Of War;

No Unemployment Here

August 29, 1945


From all indications, business in Leadville has picked up since the end of the war. The overall picture shows a definite increase in tourist trade. The majority of garage men report that there has been an increase in gasoline and oil sales and increase in jobs, as well as in tire repairing. Two stations reported they had almost doubled sales along these lines in the past two weeks. Garage owners expect to do a big business in new car sales later on because of the large number of orders already placed. Their salesmen don’t believe they will be swamped with second-hand cars, because they feel that there will be a good turn-over. Furthermore, many of the orders for new cars are from people who at present do not own cars.

Hotels and restaurants also reported improved business due to the tourist trade, and the drug stores and variety stores say there has been an increase in sales of pictures of Lake county scenery, postal cards, souvenirs and miscellaneous articles to the visitors.

The jewelry stores, dry goods stores and hardware stores report business about the same as usual, but expect to do gradually increasing business as articles that were scarce during the war are released within the next four to six months. A few of these articles are coming back on the market even now, but in very small quantities. An increase in the sale of men’s clothing was reported.

There has been little change in the grocery business except as a result of the end of rationing on canned fruits and vegetables. The shelves were almost cleared of the canned fruits, and there has been more sale of both the fruits and canned vegetables since. There are some indications of more meats, especially pork, coming on the market.

The cigarette shortage has eased up.

The manager of the USES office pointed out that there is no unemployment in Leadville. Probably a thousand men could be used to fill jobs now vacant in the various work fields in the country.

Even with the end of gasoline rationing, the Rio Grande Motorway reports bus travel still very heavy.

Real estate, however, has shown a slackening-up, with more houses than previously on the market. There is no housing shortage as in the days of Pando and Camp Hale. Two buildings of the Mount Elbert Housing Project are being closed. Very little remodeling, improving or repairing is being done by property owners.

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