Carl Anderson, formal portrait, c. 1911
A Tribute to Those Who Made Fort Collins and Community
by Carl Anderson
Friday, June 22, 1934 From the Your Column Section
Vision has been defined as possessed by those who can see the harvest when the snow is on the ground. Right now we are deplorably lacking in this quality of mind. I am a connecting link between men of yesterday and today and I recall many men to whom Fort Collins owes so much. Coming here a young man in 1898, I was taken into confidence of such men as N. C. Alford, J. B. Arthur, B. F. Hottel, James A. Brown, Abner Loomis, F. C. Avery, C. R. Welch, Chas. B. Andrews, W. C. Stover, Ansel Watrous and others and any public spirit which I may possess is only a reflection of their zeal in making Fort Collins and Larimer County what it is today. The mold seems to have been broken and we need so badly that spirit which they possessed. If we had it today we could go ahead with certain enterprises that are so badly needed and which without foresight and vision I am afraid will never materialize.
I remember when a few of our citizens almost succeeded in building an extension of a railroad which was partly graded toward Laramie. I remember when the sugar king, Havemeyer, built a factory at Loveland and flatly refused to build one at Fort Collins and how many of us became concerned as to whether Fort Collins or Loveland would be the county seat, for Loveland began to grow like a weed and Fort Collins stood still. It was such men as I have named above, and who, by the way, were not what would be considered wealthy men, who subscribed $350,000 and bonded for enough to build a 1200 ton factory to cost $1,000,000. How these same men bought the Barry farm and the Buckingham tract for the site and began to raise beets for the coming campaign. Then the great Havemeyer became alarmed and boarded a train and bought us out, for to raise that immense sum all of us had to subscribe something.
It was such men who built our reservoirs and ditches and these ditches were later carried on by such men as Clark Moore, A. A. Edwards, Gus Kluver, F.C. Grable, Ed Monroe and others. Only yesterday I was talking with one of the survivors who thinks that if we only could have team work as of old we could still get possession of enough early water rights to save our present fine irrigation system from being so much wasted money and energy.
It was such men as I have named who built our fine churches and schools, our Y. M. C. A. building and procured our street railway and park system. In my recent attempt to save the Y building for a Community Center and to have our street car system from being junked I got my daily inspiration by mingling with some of the old timers who were all for retaining these old institutions which we procured by such sacrifice and effort.
The slogan adopted by Chicago when they built the Colombian Exposition was "I Will". It took a similar slogan by only a handful of Chicago men to put over the Century of Progress for nearly everybody in Chicago had given up. But this year the Century of Progress will have the backing of these slackers and bids fair to become a permanent institution.
There are too many passengers on board in every enterprise and not enough who will get out and push the wagon of progress. There are too many who try to exploit the public and are veritable parasites. When such men die they are not missed, in fact, the load is that much lighter. I am an old newspaper man. I would like to see every newspaper filled with legitimate advertising. To pick up a paper and see that many of our merchants are being bled white by having to endorse our recent Decoration Day program gives me a pain in the neck for the old time spirit should prevail and the money thus misspent for such useless advertising should go toward literature to be dispensed through our Chamber of Commerce to tell the world what a fine city Fort Collins is.
Let's quit being passengers and put our shoulders to the wheel and I predict that we can still breed a generation of real men like I used to know and admire. Hats off to those old pilgrims who are nearly all now resting out at beautiful Grandview. Everyone of them should get a blanket of flowers spread over their graves for what they have done for the community. Let us emulate their example.