100 Years Ago Today: Murderer Ends His Life in Prison

Moffat County Courier, March 13, 1919

The tragedy of Celina Haberl reached its conclusion when her murderer, Richard H. Baugh, ended his own life by hanging himself in his jail cell in the Canon City State Penitentiary.

Miss Haberl was just 21-years-old when Baugh shot her to death on June 7, 1918. She and her sister had been visiting their grandmother when they got off their streetcar and Baugh snuck up on them from an alley, saying to Celina Haberl, “you don’t have to run, Ethel.” Police reports reveal that he’d been stalking the woman in the neighborhood the last two nights. Baugh killed Haberl with a gunshot to the head, and then Baugh attempted to kill himself by shooting himself in the head. He later recovered in the hospital.

Apparently, Richard Baugh mistook Celina Haberl for Ethel Lane, who he said wronged him, according to a conversation he had with Police Chief, Hamilton Armstrong, in the hospital. The Police Chief informed Baugh, “you got the wrong girl.” Side note: remember when a lunatic threatened to cut off Chief Armstrong’s head and send it to Governor Shoup?

One confusing complication to the story is that today’s article refers to Baugh as a “blind convict.” Does this explain why he mistook Celina Haberl for Ethel Lane? But how would he be able to identify her in the first place, let alone shoot her? Or, did the attempted suicide after her murder cause his blindness? Baugh’s blindness is not mentioned until reports of his trial, when he is referred to as “blinded in both eyes,” and his expression at his sentence is described as “immobile.”

In September of 1918, Baugh was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor. He took his own life on January 20th, 1919, although the story didn’t make it to the Moffat County Courier until March 13, 1919.

100 Years Ago Today: Women Vying for Fire Lookout Jobs

Fort Collins Courier, March 11, 1919

The first woman ever hired as a Fire Lookout by the U.S. Forest Service was Hallie Morse Daggett, who was the Lookout at Eddy’s Gulch Lookout Station atop Klamath Peak in Klamath National Forest in Northern California, starting in 1913, when the Lookout log cabin seen below was first built. She stayed on board there as Fire Lookout for 14 years.

Hallie M. Daggett and her pack horse ready to leave the Eddy Gulch Station in the fall.
Hallie M. Daggett at the Eddy’s Gulch Lookout Station in California

A full page, illustrated article about Hallie Daggett ran in Colorado’s Wet Mountain Tribune on October 30, 1914, and other mentions of the “Only Woman Forest Fire Lookout” appear in newspapers across the country in the years leading up to 1919, so today’s article about women applying for Colorado Fire Lookout positions may have been sparked by Daggett. However, women applying for these positions were in for an uphill climb.

To get a sense of the discrimination Daggett was facing at that time, consider the following recommendation she received from Assistant Fire Ranger, Mr. M. H. McCarthy, who writes of Daggett:

The wide-awake woman of 30 years…is absolutely devoid of the timidity which is ordinarily associated with her sex as she is not afraid of anything that walks, creeps, or flies.

M. H. McCarthy in a letter to W.B. Rider, Supervisor of Klamath Forest
Groundhouse with woman LO
Woman standing beside the Twin Sisters Fire Lookout in Rocky Mountain National Park in 1919

Daggett was not only one of the only female Fire Lookouts in the country, but she was also one of a handful of women doing any kind of field work for the Forest Service at that time, and indeed for the next several decades. Women were hired by the Forest Service almost entirely as office clerks and educators, and some men wouldn’t even hire women for that.

The employment of women clerks in the Supervisor’s office was not looked upon with favor and the policy was established to employ men only the idea being that a woman clerk could not handle the “rough” work required in the administration of a forest, such as assembling and shipping fire tools, rustling fire fighters, etc. Such work properly was for a “two fisted” ranger or forest officer. However, it was not long before it became apparent that there was another element in forest officers’ work which had not been taken into consideration. That was paper work: reports, letters to forest users, etc. Such work proved to be too much for the “two fisted” rangers and supervisors.

Albert Cousins, U.S. Forest Service

Some other women cutting through Forest Service sexism in this era were Edith R. Mosher, Founder of Environmental Education in the Forest Service, who entered the Forest Service in 1902, and Margaret March-Mount who was a conservation educator for the Bighorn and Shoshone National Forests.

The WWII era would provide more opportunities for women in the Forest Service, but this was not exactly due to a sudden equality in gender politics; rather, it was due to an increased need to fill positions vacated by men enlisted in military service. It wasn’t until the women’s movement of the 1960s-70s that the Forest Service was challenged to change its hiring practices in fieldwork positions such as Fire Fighters and Forest Rangers, as well as leadership roles like Chief Forester.

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Twin Sisters Fire Lookout, 1916
Courtesy National Park Service

Today’s headline refers to the Twin Sisters Fire Lookout in Rocky Mountain National Park, which was a 7 x 7 foot wooden fire lookout, built by the Forest Service in 1914 under direction from fire guard, H.G. Knowles. In 1925, the National Parks Service took over operation of the Fire Lookout.

The Lookout was the highest in RMNP, at 11,436′ atop Twin Sisters Mountains. It was lined with glass windows that were always under threat from high winds, but it was a great location to view the forests below 14er Longs Peak and the nearby town of Allenspark. Inside the Lookout was a map of the area used to pinpoint the location of a fire, and a telephone to call in the fire.

Stone house residence, 1925
Twin Sisters Stone Residence in 1925

If you were hired as the new Fire Lookout of Twin Sisters, first you had to get to work, which involved a four-mile hike up a trail that gained 2,300 feet. That’s steep! Once you reached the summit of Twin Sisters, you were greeted by your new home, a squat 10 x 12′ stone structure with a bunk bed and a fireplace.

The original Fire Lookout and Stone Residence
Courtesy National Parks Service

The house was built of “uncoursed fieldstone and mortar,” with the stone sourced from the area surrounding the house. According to the National Register of Historic Places, “the arched or box-car roof represents an important trend in Colorado architecture during the period when the Forest Service constructed this building.” This arched roof was a popular design during WWI construction projects.

The house functioned as a living quarters for those stationed at the Fire Lookout until 1969, at which time it was converted into a radio repeater station and storage unit. Although the Lookout has been taken down, the living quarters remains today.

Walter E. Kiener, a Swiss mountain climber, lived in the shelter house in the 1920s as a research biologist. He lost every finger except one and all of
Walter E. Kiener, famed climber of Longs Peak, also served as Fire Lookout for the 1926 fire season
Twin Sisters Fire Lookout Shelter House, today

100 Years Ago Today: When Skiing Meant Ski Jumping

Creede Candle, March 8, 1919

Before the advent of the Telemark turn or the Stem Christie turn, the Nordic-imported term, skiing, meant either ski jumping or cross country ski travel, rather than the shussing down steep slopes that we think of skiing today. The earliest ski areas in Colorado were all originally built for ski jumping, like Inspiration Point in Denver (built 1913), Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs (built 1914), and Genesee ski jump near Evergreen (built 1919).

Genesee Ski Jump Built in 1919 near Evergreen, Colorado.
Today, highway I-70 is at the base of this jump
Courtesy, US Forest Service

In today’s article, Chicagoan Einar Jensen’s jump of 128 feet at the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival is very impressive, especially for someone in the amateur division of the contest. But the so-called Jumping Jack of the Great Lakes would perform even better at the Norge Ski Club Jumping Tournament where he won the contest with jumps of 140 and 160 feet. Not bad, considering how much these 7-8 foot wooden planks must’ve weighed!

Einar Jensen
Great Lakes Recruit: A Pictorial Naval Magazine, Volume 5, 1919

In 1921, Jensen would go on to win the amateur division of the National Ski Jumping Championships held at the Genesee Ski Jump. My ski hero, Carl Howelsen, would win the professional division that year. And that mention of my guy, Howelsen, leads me to nerd out with a quick game of Six Degrees of Pick and Sledge, because today’s article has connections to several 100 Years Ago Today posts from the last few months.

Einar Jensen in flight at a ski jump contest
Great Lakes Recruit: A Pictorial Naval Magazine, Volume 5, 1919

Carl Howelsen, who I wrote about last month regarding the Winter Carnival in Steamboat, was also one of the founding members of the Norge Ski Club in Chicago, which is now the longest running ski club in North America. The ski club was started in 1905 by 28 Norwegian immigrants that wanted to build the sport of Nordic ski racing and ski jumping in the U.S., and Howelsen found them a place to organize their club. Today’s article champion, Einar Jensen, won several of the club’s tournaments.

The Norge Ski Club famously built a giant ski jump inside Soldier Field in Chicago (where Da Bears play, yah?) in 1937, where they held a spectacle of events, including a ski jump contest that has been called “the most dangerous sporting event ever held in Soldier Field.

In 1937 the Norge Ski Club built this huge ski jump in Soldier Field, Chicago

In 1919, Einar Jensen was a Navy man, stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes, the same boot camp where Hugo Frey received the inoculations that would leave him at death’s door for the next two years. Check out the #5 sweater Jensen is wearing in the top picture in the post to see the NTS with anchor insignia of the Navy.

Thanks for joining us for Six Degrees of Pick and Sledge. We only covered two or three degrees, but whatever, it was fun anyway!

100 Years Ago Today: Murder-Suicide at Tolland Station

Oak Creek Times, March 7, 1919

More tragedy on the old Moffat Road this week. On January 29th it was a boiler explosion on the hoodoo Engine No. 100 near Dixie Lake that killed two coworkers. Today it’s a murder suicide at the Tolland railroad station of the Denver Northwest & Pacific that left two friends dead.

In 1919, Tolland was the last railway stop before the big climb on the Moffat Road known as Giant’s Ladder, which topped out at the Continental Divide. The town is in a valley along the S. Boulder Creek, surrounded by mountains, with the crown of them, 13er James Peak, visible in the distance.

James Peak as seen from Tolland, CO with the railroad station on the right
Courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History Department

Tolland was previously called Mammoth in its pre-railroad days, when it was a mining community and a wagon stage stop. The name changed when an attorney, Charles Hansen Toll, bought the land in 1893 for $1,000, renaming the town after his wife’s ancestral home of Tolland, England. Toll died in 1901, leaving the land to his wife, Katherine, who saw an investment opportunity when the DNW&P railroad came through in 1904. She and her children platted the land and sold off parcels.

Toll Inn, in Tolland, CO, burned down c.1910
Originally called the Mariposa Inn

Tolland had a year-round population of 250 in 1919, many of whom, like our soon-to-be-dead, W. H. “Shorty” Allen and James Carton, worked for the railroad. Commuter trains allowed for seasonal residents as well as day-trippers from Denver to come up to the cool and scenic Tolland at 8,900′, and the town grew a reputation for being a resort town. Tolland had shops, a dance pavilion, picnic shelters, saloons (until Colorado Prohibition in 1916), hotels, and the University of Colorado even built a Mountain Laboratory of Field Biology aka the “Bug House” in 1909.

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Tolland circa 1900

But March is not tourist season. It’s cold season. And by the end of the day on March 6, 1919, two bodies would be very cold indeed. Shorty Allen and James Carton were both from Colorado Springs, and by other accounts were intimate friends. They had worked together in Tolland for the past six months. They were bunkmates, coworkers, and bachelors. I imagine them spending a lot of their time together. Maybe a bit too much time in the end.

Tolland Depot, rebuilt brick by brick from a Denver station
Giant’s Ladder railroad cuts in the background

The trouble between the men started over wash day duties, of all things. It’s unclear whether we’re talking clothes washing or house cleaning/washing. Regardless, Shorty Allen got mad at his friend, James Carton, because he thought Carton had shirked water carrying duties the previous week, and this week Carton was using too much water, which he didn’t have to carry. Every week, you see, the other one had to carry the water back to the railroad car where they bunked.

Allen got so mad over spilled milk…err…water that he picked up a broadaxe that had been sharpened to a razor’s edge and when Carton was bent over, he plunged the axe into Carton’s back, which severed his spinal cord and sunk into his lung. Carton fell to the floor and quickly bled to death.

Two other coworkers, Frank Hullenback and H. H. Wilson, who were also on the Moffat Railroad Bridge and Building Crew, witnessed the gruesome murder and ran out to tell others what happened. While they were gone, Allen, crying over what he’d done, took his .22 caliber rifle, and shot himself in the head, falling down dead over his friend’s body.

Tolland, Colorado in 1926
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Restored Tolland School House, today

100 Years Ago Today: Golden Buys Its First Fire Truck

Colorado Transcript, March 6, 1919
A better picture of Golden Fire Department’s Engine No.1 from 1919
Photo Courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History Department

In 1880, the Golden Fire Department rose from the proverbial ashes of three different, independent fire fighting companies: Excelsior Hose, Everett Hook and Ladder Company, and Loveland Hose Company. Coming together to form some kind of fire fighting Voltron, each company was able to contribute a different piece of equipment that it had acquired during its brief existence. Excelsior Hose had the best engine, called the “Fire King,” Everett Hook and Ladder had the best truck, and Loveland Hose had the best hose.

Before the merger, Excelsior Hose and Everett Hook and Ladder were both stationed at the Golden Central Fire Station, which was located on 12th street downtown, near where Meyer Hardware now stands. Somewhat poetically, the Central Station was situated across from the Astor Hotel, Golden’s first hotel, built in 1867 as the town’s first stone-constructed building, a fire-resistant structure in a town built out of wood, which also symbolized the permanence of Golden as a town.

Competing fire fighting companies housed at Golden Central Fire Station on 12th Street
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department
Loveland Hose Company
Loveland Hose Company
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department

By 1918, Golden Fire Department’s equipment was entirely outdated, since they didn’t even have an automobile fire engine like neighboring big city Denver did. The Golden City Council approved funding for a new fire truck powerful enough to be capable of climbing the many hills in town. Alderman Nolin argued specifically against a small Ford truck that other towns of Golden’s size have because of the mountains nearby.

Instead, the Golden Fire Department bought a truck and 1,000 feet of new hose from the Denver-based Julius Pearse Fire Department Supply Company. The supply company was started by Julius Pearse, a German-born immigrant who moved to Central City, Colorado to work in the mines before settling with his new bride, Maggie Prosser, in Denver. He helped organize the first volunteer fire department in Denver, and became one of the city’s first fire chiefs. Pearse also went on to found the Colorado State Fire Association.

Pearse started the lucrative Julius Pearse Fire Department Supply Company in 1897 and was its president until he died in 1917 due to blood poisoning that was the result of a fire truck running over his foot some two years earlier. He left behind his wife and his 11 children, one of whom, Julius Pearse Jr., took over the company after his death.

Julius Pearse, owner of Julius Pearse Fire Department Supply Company

The brand new Golden Fire Department truck made its first run on May 28, 1919. It was a false alarm. Womp womp. It was not until 1930 that the Golden Fire Department added as second motorized unit.

One other fun fact concerns the fire bell at the Golden Central Fire Station. On Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, the bell was rung for five hours straight in celebration of the end of the Great War. However, all this ringing cracked the bell, making it look like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Golden citizens renamed the bell the Golden Liberty Bell, which was located at City Hall until the building was demolished in 1961. It can now be found at the current location of Golden City Hall at 911 10th Street.

The bricks of Central Station were painted white and the building expanded to encompass all of City Hall. In the picture below from 1933, note the remaining stylized windows over the engine bay doors that are still the same as Central Station. Also note the Golden Liberty Bell between the fire engines.

1933 Central Station
Golden Fire Department in 1933
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department
A weather-beaten look to the Golden Central Fire Station, circa 1950-1960
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department
Golden Fire Department Engine 1
Golden Fire Department Engine No. 1, today
Photo Courtesy of Golden Fire Department
A fully restored 1921 American LaFrance Fire Truck on Jay Leno’s Garage

100 Years Ago Today: Blizzards and Lizards

Montrose Daily Press, March 4, 1919

M. H. Loeffler was a tailor and prominent Grand Junction Elk member who was known not only for his custom suits, but also for promoting and selling the Hynes Level Measure, which was the first instrument of its kind that could measure the angle of a person’s shoulders.

Hynes Level Measures as sold by Loeffler

Anyway, he was riding the not-mentioned-by-name Rio Grande Southern Railroad in today’s article. The RGS was a narrow gauge railway built between 1890-1893 by the legendary “Pathfinder of the San Juans”, Otto Mears.

The railroad navigated through the steep, majestic San Juan mountain range in southwestern Colorado in order to connect the mining towns of Ridgway and Durango. It featured several hundred-foot long stretches of trestle bridges in order to pass through such dramatic mountain terrain, which also meant it was expensive to build and maintain.

Lizard Head Pass on the Rio Grande Southern Railroad Line

Soon after it was completed, the RGS suffered from the Silver Panic of 1893 when the area’s mines closed en masse. The railroad would continue to struggle financially through the Great Depression, but it managed to survive until 1953 by pivoting from expensive steam locomotives to the odd-looking hybrid railcar called the Galloping Goose, which ran from 1931 – 1952.

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Galloping Goose with Lizard Head Rock in Background

The fleet of seven Galloping Goose railcars had motorized bus bodies fitted with cow catchers up front, and they featured a passenger car in the back. Originally painted black and green, all seven were painted silver in 1935 and remained so until their end. The Galloping Goose railcars were all built in manufacturing plants in Ridgway, and they carried mail between the small San Juan towns in addition to becoming popular tourist rides as well. Today you can find Galloping Goose railcars #2, #6, and #7 at the Colorado Railroad Museum, railcar #4 in Telluride, CO, railcar #5 in Dolores, CO, and railcar #3 at Knott’s Berry Farm in California.

Colorado Experience episode on the Galloping Goose railcars

Now let’s head back to the year 1919, where our friend Loeffler is on a steam-powered train on the Rio Grande Southern, heading over the iconic Lizard Head Pass when the train he’s on runs into a natural phenomenon that today’s weekend travelers on I-70 may have seen pummel their route: a huge avalanche.

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Avalanche covers I-70 near Copper Mountain on March 3, 2019

Another reason why the RGS was so expensive to maintain is that any winter service required a constant battle against snow. Loeffler says that 20-30 feet of snow has piled up near Windy Point, which is located just north of the iconic Ophir Loop. That snow total seems like a stretch, but ok.

If he came from Lizard Head Pass in the south, traveling north to Montrose, then that means his train also passed through the notoriously avalanche-prone Ames Slide area, where I’d fully believe that 20-30 feet of snow could have piled up. Regardless, I can only imagine the anxiety of traveling by rail through so much snow.

Blue Line is the Rio Grande Southern Line near Ophir
Rio Grande Southern being dug out from massive snowfall

Today, you can drive over Lizard Head Pass on CO-146 and see the titular Lizard Head Rock spire, which was once featured at the center of the Rio Grande Southern seal. In 1911, a huge rockfall occurred on Lizard Head Rock which took out the larger, taller spire and left the smaller spire as the most prominent feature, which it still is today. Albert Ellingwood, storied mountaineer, recorded the first known ascent of Lizard Head Rock in 1921. Read his trip report here.

Rio Grande Southern Railroad logo featuring the iconic Lizard Head Rock
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Lizard Head today
Rio Grande Southern Railroad on Lizard Head Pass

100 Years Ago Today: Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and VDs, Oh My!

Herald Democrat, February 26, 1919

Dr. Alice L. Goetz (née Littlejohn) was a lecturer on the subject of sexually transmitted infections, then known as venereal diseases, from the late 1910s into the 1920s. She joined the Bureau of Social Hygiene in 1920, which operated under the State Board of Health as a part of the broader American Social Hygiene Association (ASHA). Sadly, she died at the young age of 48 in 1929. She is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in her home state of Ohio.

Bureau of Registration of Nurses
Report for December, 1921

The Bureau of Social Hygiene was started by John D. Rockefeller Jr. after he served on a grand jury investigation of “white slavery,” aka forced prostitution, in New York City and became proactive in addressing the social ills of the day. According to the Rockefeller Foundation, “from 1911 to 1934, the Bureau of Social Hygiene (BSH) funded research and sought to influence public policy on a number of issues related to sex, crime and delinquency.”

John D. Rockefeller Jr. cph.3a03736.jpg
John D. Rockefeller, Jr., founder of the Bureau of Social Hygiene

In 1920, the State Boards of Health reported that there were 326,117 cases of STIs, with 172,387 cases of gonorrhea and 142,869 cases of syphilis in the U.S.. In New York City in 1917, it was reported that there were more cases of syphilis than tuberculosis, with syphilis occurring at a rate of 3.5 cases per 1,000 people. The stigma associated with discussing VDs, let alone reporting them, meant that thousands more likely went un-diagnosed or treated.

If syphilis goes untreated, it could result in neurological problems, stroke, blindness, deafness, dementia, and a host of other problems. Untreated gonorrhea could lead to infertility in both men and women, infection that spreads to other parts of your body, and (today) an increased risk of HIV/AIDS.

The American Social Hygiene Association was “established to stop the venereal disease epidemic by educating the public about sexually transmitted infections, working to break down the social stigma attached to VD, and encouraging high moral standards.”

Anti-Prostitution Pamphlet published by the Bureau of Social Hygiene, 1920

As the U.S. began enlisting and drafting 18-30 year old men into military service for WWI through the Selective Service Act of 1917, the ASHA was thinking of STIs. They contacted the War Department with a set of guidelines to help keep its soldiers sans syphilis and gonorrhea. They advised the U.S. military the following:

“While there is no single panacea for the venereal diseases, they can be kept in control by a fourfold campaign that embraces law enforcement, medical treatment, sex education, and wholesome reaction, – a program that is now often spoken of as the ‘American plan'”

A History and A Forecast (c.1919) by the American Social Hygiene Association

The War Department took the American Plan into action — focusing on the law enforcement part especially — by passing the following law prohibiting brothels:

The Secretary of War is hereby authorized, empowered, and directed during the present war to do everything by him deemed necessary to suppress and prevent the keeping or setting up of houses of ill fame, brothels, or bawdy houses within such distance as he may deem needful (~5 miles) of any military camp, station, fort…and any person, corporation, partnership or association receiving or permitting to be received for immoral purposes any person into any place, structure, or building used for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution…be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than twelve months, or both.

Federal Reporter, 1917

They also adopted a philosophy of NO, which was NO sex, NO alcohol, NO prostitutes, NO spreading diseases.

The Social Hygiene Bulletin, 1917

After the war was over, they brought the so-called American Plan back to the U.S., promoting “the cultivation of a healthier, more normal sex life among people generally, and conversely the elimination of prostitution, venereal diseases, and pathological sex conditions of whatever type.”

This largely amounted to a nationwide crackdown on brothels and other prostitution rings, but it also included the introduction of reform schools, industrial schools, and other institutions that aimed to set prostitutes on a different path now that their livelihood was gone.

Pamphlet produced by the Bureau of Social Hygiene,

Bureau of Social Hygiene, 1916

The following are excerpts from a Social Hygiene periodical from 1919:

Regarding law enforcement:

When the prostitute is convicted and punished for violating the criminal code, her male companion is given a similar sentence.

Regarding sex ed:

Sex education in institutions for formal instruction, namely high schools, normal schools, colleges and universities.

The efforts to direct the attention of parents to the vital importance of instructing children in matters of sex health and morals are being renewed and redoubled.

Regarding brothel studies:

From the studies made in a good house of detention it is found there is no single type of camp follower. There is the silly, run-away girl, who ought to be sent home; feeble-minded girls who need permanent custodial care; girls who can respond to strict probation; and nervous, under-nourished, over-sexed girls and women who need training in an institution.