100 Years Ago: Car thief thwarted when he runs out of gasoline; Windsor residents form vigilante committee to protect town | MyWindsorNow.com

100 Years Ago: Car thief thwarted when he runs out of gasoline; Windsor residents form vigilante committee to protect town

Mike Peters
For The Tribune

One hundred years ago, from the pages of the Greeley Tribune-Republican newspaper, for the third week of October, 1917.

Two newly-recruited Greeley men are learning trench warfare at Fort Sheridan, Ill. They are being taught to dig and fight from trenches by a captain of the French Army. The captain is very popular with the soldiers, and is here because his right shoulder and part of his face were shot away in the war.

Rats from dumps have been invading Boulder and biting children while they sleep at night. Myriad rats have been bred in the city dumps, and despite attempts to destroy them by dynamiting the dumps, they are invading the city.

An employee of the Lincoln Highway Garage was badly burned last night when his auto machine exploded. The man was checking to see if he had gasoline in the auto tank, and used a match to try to light the inside of the tank.

The Greeley Creamery Co. is building a new salt cellar under the sidewalk in front of their business. The salt will be stored in there for making ice cream.

One of the most daring robberies in Greeley history occurred Saturday night. Will Bliss parked his Lincoln auto in front of the new courthouse when the area was busy with many people. Less than an hour later, it was stolen. However, the car was found a short time later parked on Godfrey Bottoms Road. It had run out of gasoline, and the robber left it there.

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A minister in Hudson bought a package of breakfast food in Denver, and while he was pouring out the grain for his son, noticed there was a lot of broken glass mixed in with the grain. There is talk the food was filled with the glass by a German spy.

A Pierce farmhand is being sought as a deserter from the Army, and there is a $50 reward offered for his capture. He was supposed to take his physical exam two weeks ago, but didn't show up. Officials have not been able to locate him and have sent out photos to Weld County towns. If captured, he is likely to be executed.

Windsor area residents are angry with the sheriff, and are forming their own Vigilante Committee to protect the town. There is evidence that member of the International Workers of the World union are vandalizing the area and set fire to a doctor's ranch home last week. The sheriff said he couldn't send out a permanent patrol to guard the area, so Windsorites are recruiting vigilantes.

Work will begin next spring on a concrete highway to connect Denver and Greeley. The federal and state governments have given more than $1 million each for the building of new roads in Colorado, and the Denver-Greeley highway will be one of them.

The Johnstown night police officer is credited with stopping the theft of potatoes. Officer Harry Mathewson saw two men loading sacks of potatoes from the Johnstown Elevator, and ran at them, firing two shots. Both men ran from the scene and got away, but Mathewson thinks he shot one of the men in the rear end.

— "100 Years Ago" is taken from the original pages of the Greeley Tribune, the Weld County Republican, and, when they merged, the Greeley Tribune-Republican. Questions or comments may be sent to mpeters26@comcast.net.