100 Years Ago: April 1919


Popular Alamosa Girls Wed Waverly Farmers

“A pretty double wedding was the one Thursday evening at the home of Mr. Mrs. A Hof, parents of the brides, when Miss Jennie became Mrs. John Tolsma and Miss Cornelia became Mrs. Adolf Heersink.” 

A man on Cascade Avenue was the first to report mosquitoes in April of 1919.  Alamosa got three new gas stations and was making big strides in modernization of the streets.  First, the streets would be cleaned and leveled followed by application of oil.

A new music store opened up on 4th Street at the former Weiss Tailoring location.  This is a most timely coincidence because the Alamosa Band leader said the band needed more pep and Madame Alice Stanfield was advertising modern method voice lessons. 

Fifty pansy plants could be ordered, prepaid for $1.00. Five new, identical houses were for sale on South State Street.  All the houses had six rooms.

  Animals always seemed to get loose around Alamosa.  In April it was one brown mare and an old sorrel.  If these animals were not claimed by May 17th they would be sold. 

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The War was still on the forefront of every April edition of the Courier.  LC Almond wrote a letter to Alamosa friends about “Hill 304.” “The devastation wrought here is so terrible that I can surely call hell a picnic grounds compared with what this battle was and what is left of the Verdun section.”  One million men lost their lives.  (The Battle of Verdun was a nine-month, three-week, six-day battle between German and French Armies in 1916.)

It was reported that 11% of the population in Petrograd died of the plague.  Smallpox, typhus and starvation claimed 113,000 people there. 

Eight Alamosa men were named and identified as deserters.  One Alamosa man had died in battle from seventeen wounds. 

Church was delayed and 500 people turned out in Hooper to look at the Baby Fighting Tank, “Little Zeb,” so called because they attempted to scale Pikes Peak with the tank.  The paper claimed Mount Blanca was a ‘real mountain’ and they should try it there.  The tank was transported by rail and stopped in Hooper for residents to observe.  (This lightweight tank was designed by Renault.)

On Thursday, April 24, 1919 the fire whistle will go off at 7:00 am to remind people about what the army and navy had done to obtain peace and victory.  All businesses will close at noon and a parade will be held at 2:00.  An address will be given at the Isis Theater about Victory Loans.  “To be American is the help in this loan.  To argue and refuse to lend at this time is Un-American.”  (This was the fifth bond issue called the Victory Liberty Loan.  WW I cost the US 30 billion dollars.  This program was vital to raise funds.  It was found that patriotic motives only played a minor role in people making the decision to purchase a bond.  The US government raised a total of 17 billion dollars in bonds.)

Poor Excuses- was a column in April about buying bonds to support the USA.  Twelve excuses were explained.  A few examples were: “I’ m not rich,”  “I might need the money for an emergency,” and “I’m exhausted with war work.” 

Finally, in April, an amusing story from New York:  Four boys, ages 11 to 14, didn’t like their teacher so they inserted her obituary in the morning newspaper.  “Miss Maud A. Stewart died yesterday morning of heart trouble.  Death came as a complete surprise to her family and many friends.  The funeral will be Wednesday from her late home, 810 Summit Ave. and then to the Jewish Synagogue in Nott Terrace.  Friends and relatives are invited to the funeral.”  The boys said they had no regrets. 

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