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Al Look details the murder of Maggie Herrick by Henry Herrick in 1883, committed shortly after the founding of Mesa County, Colorado. This recording is made available via signed release by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries and the Museums of Western Colorado.
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Vern Wood discusses his life as an early Mesa County resident, homesteader in Pinon Mesa, and cattle rancher on Glade Park. Wood and his wife Bernice also discuss the building of the Serpent’s Trail on the Colorado National Monument, life at local schools, country dances on Glade Park, transportation methods, and murder scandals that occurred around Glade Park. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration...
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Siblings Ella O'Brien and Earl Foster talk about the history of their pioneer family in the Paradox Valley area of Montrose County, Colorado, about living near and working in the mines, about their father John "Peg-leg" Foster and his involvement with labor issues in Telluride's mines, and the murder of Henry "Indian Henry" Huff by their stepfather John Keski. They also discuss the discrimination that Utes and other Native Americans faced from whites...
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Roy Dinkins, co-owner of Costanzas Liquor Store in Grand Junction, Colorado during the 1930’s, talks in detail about the murder of Biltmore gambling hall owner J.W. “Big Kid” Eames. He describes special investigator Walter Byron’s involvement in the case, the community’s reaction to the murder, and the trial. He also speaks about his upbringing in Salida. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration...
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Andrew E. Riddle describes life in the Paradox Valley area of Montrose County, Colorado. He focuses on the violent history of the valley, and describes several murders that occurred there. In the second recording, Riddle talks about religion in Paradox, Colorado, including the building of the non-denominational Red Church in the 1940’s, which once had a shooting range in the basement. Riddle also touches on bootlegging days, burial procedures of...
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Fritz Becker, a former officer in the Grand Junction Police Department, discusses crime in Grand Junction, including: murders, the clean-up of prostitution and vice on Colorado Avenue, gambling houses and bootlegging. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries and the Museums of Western Colorado.
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To mark the centennial celebration of the town of Grand Junction, Colorado in 1981, the Mesa County Oral History Project wrote and recorded several radio plays about local history. Beginning on September 26, 1981, local radio stations KSTR, KREX-AM, KREX-FM, and KMSA broadcast the plays. Authors of the plays used interviews recorded by the Mesa County Oral History Project as inspiration. This archival recording contains the play Aces and Eights, which...
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Four radio programs written by Wilson Rockwell, based in part on short histories he wrote for his book Sunset Slope, and broadcast in the Grand Junction area on KREX in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. The programs include: Episode 9 – The Maneater (0:00), Episode 10 – The Maneater (14:00), Episode 11 – The Hog Pen Murder (29:16), Episode 12 – The Manhunt (42:43). These broadcasts are made available via signed release by the Mesa County...
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In an interview recorded November 8, 1977, Fred Ames and his wife Emma Lillian (Stocks) Ames discuss the history of Sinbad Valley and its settlement by his family and others. In second and third interviews recorded on November 15 and December 3, 1977 (transcript only*), Fred Ames talks about the McCarty Gang, their stomping grounds in Sinbad Valley and nearby Eastern Utah, and about meeting Tom McCarty as a child. He discusses homesteading and...
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Catherine (Saxon) Moore discusses her early life and education in Mesa County, her nursing experience and training at St. Mary’s Hospital, and her life as a homemaker in survey encampments. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries and the Museums of Western Colorado.
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James Brouse discusses moving and going to school in Glade Park, Colorado as a young boy in 1915. He tells tales of cowpunching in the canyons near Westwater, homesteading, the difficulties of dry farming, and the methods and difficulties of transportation into town from up on Glade Park. He also talks about local murders, sheep and cattlemen wars, and the history of different schools in the area. His wife Ellen (Morse) Brouse, longtime Mesa County...
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Al Look talks about taking groups of teachers on tours of the Colorado National Monument and about the history of Grand Junction’s Avalon Theater. He describes the Biltmore, a gambling hall on Main Street owned by J.W. “Big Kid” Eames, and the murder of Eames by dance hall owner and would-be robber Fern “Bubbles” Sadler. He also discusses Pretty Boy Floyd’s brief stay at the Yellow Jacket in Delta, Colorado and his frequenting of Grand...
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Kip Wood recites original poetry, talks about his life as a cowboy, and discusses his acquaintance with John “Peg-leg” Foster, Butch Cassidy, and other memorable and disreputable characters from Colorado history. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries, the Museums of Western Colorado and the Mesa County Historical Society.
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Dudley W. Mitchell gives an account of the Lamar Bank Robbery of 1928, and discusses the role of Grand Junction, Colorado resident George Abshier in the crime. He also talks about his teenage years working for the Holly Sugar Company in Grand Junction and describes the process by which the factory made sugar from sugar beets. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries, the Museums...
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Siblings Ella O'Brien and Earl Foster talk about the demise of their family friend Henry "Indian Henry" Huff at the hands of their stepfather, and the events that followed. They discuss their living situation in Bull Canyon, mentioning the work their parents did for the mine, their chores, education, livestock, and farming. They speak of their move to Utah and their experiences there, including meeting Chipeta. They transition to talking about their...
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Four radio programs written by Wilson Rockwell, based in part on short histories he wrote for his book Sunset Slope, and broadcast in the Grand Junction area on KREX during the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. The programs include: Episode 1 - Death of an Outlaw (0:00), Episode 2 - The Meeker Bank Robbery (14:52), Episode 3 - The Escalante Canyon Duel (29:34), and Episode 4 - The Disappearance of Howard Carpenter (43:10). These broadcasts are made...
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Wyatt Wood and Al Look discuss their involvement in the construction of Rim Rock Drive on the Colorado National Monument, early scenic photography of Mesa County, early Mesa County bands and parades, and Wood’s time spent working for the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries, the Museums of Western Colorado, and the Mesa County Historical...
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Armand de Beque describes the early days of his father, W.A.E. De Beque, as one of the founders of De Beque, Colorado. He also talks about the cattle ranching business, local legends of the valley, oil rigs in the area, and sheep and cattle ranching wars. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries, the Museums of Western Colorado and the Mesa County Historical Society.
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Dorsey G. Son discusses his career as a surveyor for the Colorado State Highway Commission operating in Southwestern Colorado. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries and the Museums of Western Colorado.
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Al Look discusses his days spent in the Durango, Colorado area, including his time as a homesteader near Dove Creek, his exploration of Mesa Verde’s Anasazi ruins, and his job as an advertising agent for the Durango Herald newspaper. He also talks about his knowledge of the Durango Silverton Railroad. This recording is made available via signed release by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries and the Museums...