Rio Blanco County Days Gone By

The Meeker Herald — 125 years ago
• At Ronges, a small stage station about 60 miles north of Rawlins, Wyo., a shooting fray took place on the 19th in which Eli Signor shot and killed Charles Davis to save himself. Signor runs a road ranch at Ronges and Davis has been in his employ for some time past. The latter is spoken of as a quarrelsome fellow, always ready to make a gun play to carry his part of the argument. On the day mentioned, he engaged in quarrel with Signor, and after passing a few words drew his pistol and attempted to shoot him. He was standing close to the bar at the time, and Signor, who was behind the bar, reached over and caught him by the wrist, turning the weapon (which was discharged) toward the ceiling and the bullet passed over Signor’s head and lodged in the rafters. Signor, still holding Davis’ wrist, with his left hand reached under the bar and seizing his own pistol shot Davis through the left breast in the vicinity of the heart, killing him almost instantly.
• The assessed value of property in Colorado this year foots up about $20 million more than for the year of 1887, or in the vicinity of $160,000,000. Not a bad showing for the Centennial State.

The Meeker Herald — 75 years ago
• Judge Murrah, holding court in the federal building in the absence of Judge Symes, has sentenced more than 20 first-time offenders to go to church every Sunday all the way from three to 10 years. He first sentences them to the federal penitentiary. Then he says if they will go to church every Sunday for the same length of time he will change the sentence. They must have a statement from the pastor, on the pastor’s stationery, that they were in attendance.
• Knees are shaking and voices were quaking this past week and Monday of this week as the girls of the high school trudged into the auditorium for Glee Club try-outs, but all were put at ease by Mr. McNew’s encouraging words. Mr. McNew reports that there are between 20 and 25 in the Boys’ Glee Club. McNew announced that he wishes to have a mixed chorus that will meet every Friday.
• The GAA met Tuesday evening after school and discussed plans for this year. Plans for raising money for letters and sweaters were taken into consideration. It was decided that they would have yellow gym suits. The sports they will take up this year are: softball, basketball, volleyball, tumbling and tennis. The girls plan to play softball this next Thursday afternoon.

The Meeker Herald — 25 years ago
• Farm tractor mishaps account for less than 10 percent of the reported agricultural accidents in America, but they result in about 25 percent of the fatalities, according to the National Safety Council. Proper maintenance of farm equipment and safety device could prevent many deaths and serious injuries, says Jack Burke, program manager for agricultural safety at the council. Many farmers are enduring financial difficulties and are unable to buy new equipment, but Burke emphasizes the importance of maintaining existing equipment.
• Meeker High School gymnasts competed in the Gunnison Invitational the past weekend that included all the powerful teams on the Western Slope. Alamosa won the meet with a team score of 143.5, with Gunnison finishing second and Buena Vista third. Meeker’s team score was 71.15 for sixth place. The three Meeker gymnasts distinguished themselves with outstanding performances despite lower-than-usual scoring and gained three more state qualifications.
• Meeker has been awarded an unrestricted enrichment grant and a matching materials grant from the Sears-Roebuck Foundation to support the local Officer Friendly Program. The grants are part of more than $3.8 million being distributed nationwide this year by the foundation for its 1987 activities. The announcement of the grants was made by Rod Martinez, store manager in Grand Junction on behalf of the Sears-Roebuck Foundation. In the Meeker area, Meeker Police Department will receive a grant totaling $100. The unrestricted enrichment grant is to be used to support the educational efforts of the Officer Friendly Program for kindergarten through third grade students.

Rangely Times — 50 years ago
• Now that hunting season is almost on us, we hope this year’s sportsmen will hunt more carefully, know what the target is before shooting and shoot only legal game. Last year’s big game season left the woods full of animals unlawfully killed and left laying to become coyote and magpie bait. If you observe unlawful and unsportsman-like manners by other hunters in your area, the Game and Fish Department would like your help in reporting these people so that they can be dealt with properly by the law.
• The Yard-of-the-Week plaque from the Rangely Garden Club has been awarded to the Claude Whites at the Moon Lake Electric Plant. This yard was given an honorable mention last week. Receiving honorable mentions this week are the Russell Hubbles of Bell Street, Cecil Gross and the hill below the hospital. The White yard is notable for its great variety of bloom, a bed across the front of the yard and annuals and perennials in profusion.
• If you haven’t been up to see the 1964 models of Chevrolets, Fords, Internationals or Oldsmobiles, take an hour or so to look over the widest choice of automobiles in history. The new Cadillacs will be out next week.
• Some were surprised to learn that the movie “The Longest Day,” to be shown here next month, concerns an episode in World War II rather than the day before payday.

Rangely Times — 40 years ago
• Retail sales in Rangely continue the upward spiral, passing the $2 million mark for the second quarter for the first time in the short history of the town. Actual increase was 9.2 percent of the Business Research Division of the University of Colorado indicated last week. Sales increased from $1,980,000 to $2,162,000 for the period. Rangely does 55.3 percent of the business in Rio Blanco County. This was an increase of more than 100 percent in the past four years as total sales were $1,443,000 for the same period.
• Re-entry drilling of the Project Rio Blanco nuclear stimulated gas well was started Sept. 23. When the re-entry drilling has been completed, gas from the well will be flared (burned) in a production test to determine the success of the experiment. The production test-flaring is expected to start in late October. The procedure calls for flaring 30 million cubic feet of gas per day over a 10-day period.
• Anthony Bianco is the new Rangely District Hospital administrator, succeeding Richard Seals, who resigned last month to begin college administration work. Bianco began his duties Sept. 24 at the hospital. The new administrator’s hospital experience extends from 1949 until the present. His first employment was at a large hospital as lab-technician followed by other similar positions in Oregon and Minnesota.
• A public hearing on a request by Superior Oil Co. for rezoning 7,000 acres of public land on Piceance Creek to industrial use was postponed last week by the county commissioners.

Rangely Times — 30 years ago
• Rangely High School has all kinds of things planned for the week. As tradition has it, there is a certain way to dress for each day of this week.
• Individuals interested in cutting firewood on public land for personal use may purchase a permit at any Bureau of Land Management office. The cost is $7.50 per cord for pinyon and $5 per cord for all other species. A $15 minimum purchase is required. In addition to the charge areas, several areas are open to the public for firewood cutting free of charge.
• Colorado 4-Hers will join nearly 5 million other 4-H members across the country to observe National 4-H Week, Oct. 2-8. During the week, Colorado members and their volunteer leaders will celebrate in their counties with activities that promote individual growth and accomplishments, creativity, social responsibility and family involvement. Many Colorado 4-H members will be involved in the first annual National Western Junior Fall Classic. The 4-Hers will show livestock and help with a 4-H activity area that will include a petting zoo and hands-on displays.
• Officer of the Year of 1983 to Kay Nickson, Rangely ACO of Rangely, Colo. The decision of this award comes after an ACO has attended the spring and fall training schools, which are held each year to further educate all ACOs in their lines of duty throughout the entire United States.
• While almost everyone loves pets, our furry companions often bring lingering odors into otherwise clean, fresh-smelling homes. Even birds, hamsters, fish and other small pets that are not free to roam can add their own animal smells to your rooms. An easy way to freshen the areas where your pet spends a lot of time is to place solid air fresheners where their continual fragrance will keep the rooms smelling nice.