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Wayne Aspinall describes his boyhood in Palisade, Colorado, his education at Mt. Lincoln School and the University of Denver, and his career as a schoolteacher, fruit farmer, lawyer, and U.S. Congressman. 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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Wayne Aspinall discusses a political career that spanned his election to the Mt. Lincoln School Board near Palisade, Colorado to his last election for the US House of Representatives in 1972. He speaks about campaigning in what was then the Fourth Congressional District in Western Colorado. He talks about his eight-year career as a teacher and school bus driver at the Mt. Lincoln School, taking students camping, dealing with ticks, and coaching girls...
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Essie Aspinall talks about her arrival in Palisade in 1910, her childhood there, and life in town. She speaks about growing up on a fruit farm and attending school at Mt. Lincoln, where she met her future husbands Frank Best and Wayne Aspinall. She describes teaching in a one-room school house in Sedgewick, Colorado. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries and the Museums of Western...
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He moved his family from Ohio to Colorado for his wife’s health in 1904. He bought land on First Street in Palisade, Colorado. His son was future Congressman Wayne Aspinall.
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Wayne Aspinall was a U.S. Congressman from Palisade, Colorado. He was a Democrat who represented Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District from 1949-1973. He was the head of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee for many of those years. His accomplishments included the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, which he initially opposed. He also actively promoted water reclamation projects in Colorado and throughout the West, including Glen...
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She was born in Missouri to Eddie L. Jeffers, a preacher, and Mary L. Jeffers, a homemaker. Her mother’s health caused the family to move to Palisade, Colorado in 1910, when Essie was 13. There, her father purchased a peach orchard. She graduated from Palisade High School in 1915 and obtained her Mesa County Teaching Certificate that same year. She moved with her family to Denver in 1916. She taught in Eads in 1916-17. She also taught in Sedgewick,...
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A July 1985 view of the Aspinall-Wilson Center. W Mountain is in the background.
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The Aspinall-Wilson Center main entrance, circa 1985.
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The Aspinall-Wilson center viewed from the north, circa 1985.
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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 Wayne Aspinall: Scholar,...
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Dudley Mitchell talks about the election campaigns of U.S. Representative Wayne Aspinall, and the campaign caravans they held in Western Colorado. Mitchell also discusses his work as the “ribbon candy expert” at the Miller Candy Factory in Grand Junction, the history of the Grand Valley’s Interurban line and the Grand Junction streetcar line, working at the Lyceum Theater on Main Street as a young man, and teenage escapades, such as causing...
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He was the longtime campaign manager for US Representative Wayne Aspinall and served in that capacity for twenty years. According to Aspinall, Traylor was a dedicated member of the Democratic Party, and worked unpaid for all of his campaign work.
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Dudley Mitchell discusses his political affiliation with the Democratic Party and his involvement campaigning for multiple Democratic nominees for the Fourth Congressional District. Dudley also discusses the fascinating political career of Wayne Aspinall and how he became the chairman of the House of Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. After talking politics, Dudley describes his experience with candy making as a young man at Miller’s Candy...
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During 1980’s annual meeting of the Last Squad Club, an organization of World War I veterans, Al Look reads the memorial service and former U.S. Representative Wayne Aspinall gives the keynote address. The club remembers deceased members and friends of the club. 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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A small school district with boundaries between the Clifton and Palisade School Districts. It was formed in 1898, before the consolidation of districts and the formation of Mesa County School District 51 in 1951. It administered the Mt. Lincoln School, of which Wayne Aspinall was an alum. Aspinall later served as a teacher in the district. Frank Roe and A.E. Martin were early members of the board, and Roe was the primary force behind the funding and...
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He was the hereditary chief of the Ute Mountain Utes. According to US Representative Wayne Aspinall, House would often accompany him on campaign trips around the state. Although he spoke English, House refused to speak in any language but Ute. The speeches he gave during campaign stops were also in Ute. His Wikipedia article calls him the last traditional leader of the Ute Mountain Ute. He died in 1971.
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A Palisade chapter of P.E.O., an organization for women, began in 1928. Original members included Ruth Tilton, who was selected as guard, and Julia Aspinall. According to Tilton, the Grand Junction P.E.O. would not sponsor the Palisade women who were trying to begin their own chapter and dismissed the Palisade members as “Just a bunch of farm women.” The CD Chapter sponsored the Palisade Public Library. According to the website of P.E.O., the...