Then and now 718

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then and now 718, berthoud, history


  • For a time in the late 1890s the tiny town of Berthoud was served by two newspapers. The towns 300 residents also support-ed two department stores, two gen-

    eral stores, two drug stores, two novelty stores, two res-taurants and bakeries, two livery barns, one implement store, one jew-elry store, one millinery store, one meat mar-ket, one lumber yard, one har-ness shop, one barber shop, one bank, one machine repair

    shop, three physicians, two dentists, two carpenter shops, one feed mill, two paint shops, one plasterer, three blacksmith shops, one large hotel, one graded school, three churches, seven fraternal organizations, one mill and elevator company, and one boot and

    repair shop. The towns two newspa-pers were known as The Berthoud Bulletin and The Berthoud News.

    The towns rst newspaper, The Berthoud Beacon, began publica-tion in 1886, two years after the original settlement was moved from the Little Thompson river bottom to its new site on the southeast cor-ner of Peter Turners homestead. In 1887 the Beacons publisher, Mr. L.A. Thompson, took his talents to Longmont where he leased The Longmont Press. How long Thompson published The Beacon is unknown, but it is highly likely that the life of the newspaper was less than one year.

    In 1890 F.H. Davis founded The Berthoud Blade. Three years later, and after several changes in owner-ship, the name of the newspaper was changed to The Berthoud Bulletin. J. Mack Mills, a local attorney, took the reins of The Bulletin in 1897 only to nd himself in competition with George Johnson who had started The Berthoud News. At that time, in January 1897, the Fort Collins Express, noted, Berthoud requires

    another newspaper about as bad as a wagon needs a fth wheel.

    Mills, who also dabbled as a con-tractor, photographer and attorney, used The Berthoud Bulletin as a po-litical platform for his Populist and Peoples Party views. Johnson, who published The Berthoud News, was also a Populist, so it came as no sur-prise to local residents when the men conducted a running debate through their tabloids. In the 1890s, when Populism was on the rise in Colorado, the collapse of the states silver indus-try and the issue of womens suffrage were the main topics of discussion. Early in that decade Davis H. Waite of Aspen was elected as Colorados only Populist governor, and Colorado after Wyoming became the sec-ond state in the union to grant women the privilege to vote.

    The debates between Mills and Johnson, seldom cordial and frequent-ly personal, motivated local readers to subscribe to both newspapers, since The Bulletin was published on Thursday and The News was pub-lished on Friday. Mills, who the Fort Collins newspapers described as -

    ery, was particularly disparaging toward Johnson when his com-petitor backed a local movement to secure a sugar beet factory for Berthoud when the Great Western Sugar Company was establish-ing itself in Northern Colorado in 1898. Mills description of the groups efforts as build-ing air castles was later questioned when a similar effort by a Loveland group secured a sugar factory and al-lowed that community to prosper.

    Neither Mills nor Johnson remained in Berthoud for long. Johnson closed the doors of The Berthoud News in May 1898 and moved to Longmont. After Mills passed the bar exam he practiced law in Fort Collins and relocated his fam-ily to that town. His wife, Belle Mills,

    operated The Bulletin for short time before the newspaper passed into other hands in May 1899.

    Berthoud Weekly Surveyor July 18, 2013 Page 5


    The historical society and Mark French are interested in obtaining and copying old photos from Berthouds past. Please contact Mark at 532-2147 if you have any photos you would like to share.

    Surveyor Columnist

    Mark French

    Wildfire annual streetfest and silent auctionSpecial to the Surveyor

    Join the party and cel-ebrate with live music, dancers, food and fun at the 13th an-nual Wild re Streetfest on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 6 -10 p.m. in downtown Berthoud.

    The main band, Three Twins, an-chored by John Magnie of Subdudes fame, performs from 7 to 10 p.m.

    Other entertainment in-cludes Keith Hancock & Friends, Drumming; Zach Damburger &

    Friends, HipHop; and Tap Roots, Tap Dancers.

    A silent auction to bene t Wild re from 6 to 9 p.m. features local art-ists, including Pati Pelz, Grace Goodson, Gordon Middleton, and other gifts for sale include Eidelon CDs, B Squared Honey, gift baskets and certi cates.

    Food and libations will be avail-able.

    The street-fest will be held between Fourth and Fifth streets on Mass- achusetts Avenue

    Wild re, a not-for-pro t organiza-tion, offers classes, workshops and events for all ages in the greater Berthoud Community and is dedi-cated to building community through the arts.

    Berthoud Bulletin and Berthoud News were towns tabloids in 1890s

    Photo from the 1898 Berthoud News George Johnson was publisher of The Berthoud News in the late 1890s. Johnson also managed the Grand View Hotel at the northeast corner of Fourth Street and Massachusetts Avenue during the time he resided in Berthoud.

    Blair Colsey and Jessi Ryan are pleased to announce their engage-ment to be married Sept. 21, 2013, at the Dove House in Lafayette, Colo.

    Jessi is the daughter of Laura Stafford of Grand Junction, Colo., and Mike Ryan and Dorothy King of Berthoud, Colo.

    She is a graduate of Berthoud High School and Colorado State University. She works as an account manager on the health-risk management team at IMA Corporation in downtown Denver, Colo.

    Blair is the son of Margaret and Brian Greene of Longmont, Colo., and Alan and Virginia Colsey of Valley Cottage, N. Y.

    He is a graduate of Longmont High School, Colorado State University and St. Thomas Aquinas College. He works on the corporate nance team at Crocs in Niwot, Colo.

    They will honeymoon in Europe and make their home in Thornton, Colo.


    Blair Colsey and Jessi Ryan