Rio Blanco Days Gone By

Listen to this post

The Meeker Herald — 125 years ago
• It is reported that a move is being made to have the Rio Blanco County Commissioners at their meeting to declare the office of sheriff vacant so that nominations can be made for the election of a sheriff in November. No one has heard from Sheriff Kendall since he disappeared from Denver more than three months ago.
• There was an attempt to rob the Union Pacific express train at Dana, a water station about 35 miles east of Rawlins, by masked men. About two dozen shots were fired by men hidden in the brush nearby. They finally withdrew and the train carried on. Before morning, an armed force was in pursuit of the gang who number from three to seven.
• The social given by the Ladies’ Aid Society was pronounced by all who attended it the most enjoyable affair. Mrs. Major kindly offered the use of her house for the opening of a series of public entertainments that the ladies intend giving through the winter.
• A new wagon bridge is to be built across the Grand at New Castle this fall. The county commissioners received bids this week.

The Meeker Herald — 75 years ago
• The Uintah railroad, which operates from Mack, Colo. to Watson, Utah, and which crosses about 12 miles of western Rio Blanco county, is slated to be abandoned if the application filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission is approved. The Uintah is Rio Blanco County’s only railroad.
• One of the most important meetings, so far as the future of northwestern Colorado is concerned, will be held in Craig at the Moffat County District Court room. This meeting is one of a series being held in every section of the Upper Colorado River Basin, which takes in every tributary stream that flows into the Colorado River, by the United States Engineer’s Office.
• Miss Letitia Watson, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Evart Watson, married Glen Edmonds in Glenwood Springs.
• On Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 8:45 a.m. Rio Blanco County High School will convene for a half-day session. This is the first day of school for the 1938-1939 school year.

The Meeker Herald — 25 years ago
• Nick Theos of Meeker was one of the five men elected to serve as members of the Vernal District Grazing Advisory Board. Members will serve a two-year term. They will advise the district manager in matters pertaining to grazing management plans, operations and practices, development of range improvements and expenditures of range betterment funds.
• A concern of many citizens in the community, the new paint striping job the State Highway Department did this summer which turned Market Street from a four-lane highway into a three-lane mess, was also a concern to Meeker Town Council members. The new striping on the 56-foot wide highway was supposed to improve the traffic flow through town along with vehicle safety.
• Seven Meeker students were hired for a special heavy maintenance and reconstruction project encompassing three trails in the upper White River area. Meeker students on the reconstruction crew were Julie Dunham, Kathy Nelson, Kim Parker, Scott Blazon, Todd Morris, Coley Turner and Joe Whalin.
• The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs provided a beautiful setting for the final swim meet of the year for Meeker swimmers Karrin Borchard and Matt Osse. Miss Borchard competed in the 13-14-year-old division and Osse in the 11-12-year-old division.

Rangely Times — 50 years ago
• The Colorado Range Managers Society has chosen Meeker for its fall meeting. The members will go to Little Hills Experiment Station, where they will be taken on a tour of the game pastures and other sections of the game department operation. William McKean will be in charge of the tour.
• Ten new teachers have been employed in the Rangely school system for the 1963-64 school year. Five will be in high school, three in the junior high and two in the elementary school.
• The Rangely Panthers started practice with the largest squad in the history of the school when 63 boys took physicals and reported on the field for the 1963 football season.
• A plan to use brick on the exterior of the new Artesia school building was approved by the Moffat County board of education at its August meeting, Cost will be $3,829.
• Humble Oil and Refining Co. has announced plans to begin oil shale core drilling on the Milo Love ranch on Piceance

Rangely Times — 40 years ago
• A 6-inch water line has been installed from Weber Street northward to Rangely Avenue, west to Birch and south to Rio Blanco.
• In an effort to make young drivers more safety conscious, driver education classes are turning to the rally A rally works by having two people make a team — one is driver the other the navigator. Following a planned route, each team is required to arrive at a specified designation exactly on time, driving against the clock, not each other. Penalties are given for arriving early.
• Colorado’s state brand inspectors will assist the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in determining ownership of branded or stray unmarked horses that may be found with wild horse herds in the state.
• Mr. Fred McCallister will be the new teacher in the junior high reading-literature class replacing Mrs. Nancy Burnworth. He is the assistant coach for the high school football team.

Rangely Times — 30 years ago
• John F. Mitchem, son of Mr. and Mrs. Billy Mitchem, will return to his senior year at Rangely High School with a better understanding of engineering following successful completion of Operation Catapult, a three-and-a-half-half week program for outstanding high school seniors conducted each year at Rose-Hulam Institute of Technology.
• Rio Blanco County Historical Society sponsored the replacement of two signs of local historical interest. The sign at Canyon Pintado, 16 miles south of Rangely on Highway 139, and the Meeker Massacre sign, west of Meeker on Highway 64.
• The canvas city of the Big John Strong Circus will be set up at the rodeo grounds in Rangely. The performers will presenting shows at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. It was more than 35 years ago that Big John Strong took his first circus on the road.
• Mel Tillis and his band, The Statesiders, are performing at the Garfield County Fair. Tillis, known for his stuttering speech and smooth singing, was booked for two shows at 7:30 and 10 p.m. The concerts are being sponsored jointly by the Rifle Lions Club and the Fair Board.