|The Great Depression of the 1930s worsened an already
dismal situation. A farm economy which had been depressed
since the end of World War I sank even lower as prices
fell to new lows for agricultural commodities. Drought
during the first half of the decade, combined with a
grasshopper plague, added to the hardships, especially
for plains farmers, many of whose crops were lost.
In the Fort Collins area the water shortage became so
severe that the city banned the use of water from the
waterworks system for lawns and gardens in September,
1934. The Cache la Poudre River was said to be at the
lowest level known since settlement of the valley. In
March, 1935, the city council approved a watering rule
which allowed townspeople to water their lawns one day
The Extension Service of Colorado Agricultural College
played a vital role in providing relief to afflicted
farmers. Extension personnel helped to gather and
distribute food, protect crops from grasshoppers, and
promoted tree cultivation. The Extension Service also
participated in the development of several New Deal
programs. The College's Experiment Station also worked to
alleviate the effects of the drought and grasshoppers,
and conducted other beneficial projects.
In Larimer County, unemployment was experienced by a
large portion of the population. By March, 1935, about
11,500 persons, nearly 35% of the county's population,
received federal or county relief. A variety of programs
were established to assist farmers and the unemployed.
Seed and feed loans were available to farmers, with
payment deferred until their crops were sold. The county
rented a seven acre garden in 1935, in which county
dependents could raise food for themselves. The Civil
Works Administration and its' successor, the Emergency
Relief Administration, put hundreds of men to work on
improvement projects throughout the county. President
Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps included Larimer
County's Redfeather C. C. C. Camps and Buckeye C. C. C.
Camp. These camps concentrated on flood control and soil
conservation measures, such as dam and reservoir
building, contouring, and tree planting. The Redfeather
camp also built roads, made campground improvements, and
built a ranger station.
DENVER POST ARTICLES
Ft. Collins National Bank to be liquidated (2-23-1933
F. L. Kokrda is receiver (2-25-1933 18/8)
Ft. Collins National Bank pays $20,263 (8-16-1933 24/3)
First National Bank to open (11-14-1933 12/4)
Allotted $738,000 for water plant (1-9-1934 5/5)
F. C. National Bank pays dividend (1-26-1934 5/5)
Fort Collins Productions Credit Association given charter
First National Bank to reopen (4-22-1934 1/8)
New charter being prepared (4-24-1934 25/15)
Wants to condemn Public Service Co. electric system
Superior Court denies Public Service Co. change of venue
Light plant suit delayed (1-11-1935 8/4)
Public Service Co. attacks power of state board
P. S. Co. hearings end 3-1-1935 28/3
Light plant contract let 10-25-1935 4/2
Sells refunding bonds at record price 1-15-1939 12/1
"NO SPRINKLING RULE"
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (9/21/1934, page 1)
"Effective immediately, use of water from the Fort
Collins waterworks system for sprinkling lawns and
irrigating gardens is banned..."
"The order results from the most acute shortage of
water in the Cache la Poudre River that has been known
since settlement of the valley. Less than 28 second feet
of water are being carried by the river, and the cities
of Fort Collins and Greeley are taking more than half
Water supply for sugar factory operation was a concern,
as was the possibility of severe cold weather freezing
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (3/29/35)
A strict watering rule was approved by the city council
allowing people to sprinkle one day a week depending on
address number and opportunity--Wednesday, Thursday, or
Sunday if can't do it then.
DENVER POST ARTICLES
Farm women demand cut in county costs (9-13-1933 1/7)
Chas. R. Evans is president of Lamb Feeders Association.
TOP NOTCH FIRE DEPARTMENT
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (12/31/1939, page 1)
"For the ninth consecutive year the Fort Collins
Fire Department held the title Saturday as No. 1 Fire
Department in Colorado, Fire Chief T.P. Treadwell
announced. The announcement came only a few hours after
the department learned Friday that it had placed sixth in
competition with other fire departments of the nation.
Both the state and national ratings were made by the
National Fire Protection Association."
FORT COLLINS AGAINST PROHIBITION REPEAL
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (9/13/1933, page 1)
"Remaining true to its' traditional conviction that
the principles embodied in the Eighteenth Amendment to
the Federal Constitution voted 3,288 to 2,674...against
repeal. Fort Collins gave a majority of 85 against
repeal..." (1,213 for; 1,298 against) unofficial.
State polls favored repeal by more than two to one
COLORADOAN (4/15/1984, page 7, Crossroads section)
Fort Collins prohibition law did not stop drinking.
Alcohol was available just outside the city limits and
from nearby towns. 3.2 beer available in town after 1933.
POLICE DEPARTMENT SHAKEUP
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (11/22/1936, page 1)
Mayor Ray R. Matthews planned to reconstruct the police
department on "an entirely different basis."
All positions were open to application except police
chief. Orville P. Kelley had recently been named to this
position. Personnel to be selected by
qualifications--possibly not done this way before.
DEPARTMENT OF UTILITIES
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (8/12/1938, page 1)
"An ordinance creating a Fort Collins Department of
Utilities and making the manager of the Municipal Light
and Power Department, G.H. Palmes, manager of the new
utilities department, was adopted by the City Council
Friday. Under the ordinance Mr. Palmes will be
responsible for the administration of utilities--the
light department, the street railway department, and the
water department--subject to necessary supervision of the
Commissioner of Works and the City Council. Earl Douglas,
Commissioner of Finance, explained Thursday that the
ordinance was a step toward making Mr. Palmes City
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (4/22/1931, page 1)
"By far the largest number of votes ever polled in a
city election--3,430--was the result of several weeks of
intense effort on the pact of both Sunday movie
petitioners and the anti-Sunday amusement faction to
secure a representative vote of qualified elections in
Fort Collins,..." Sunday movies won by 336 votes.
Also permits other entertainments "where any
admission charge is made." Believed that student
vote favored Sunday entertainment.
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (4/26/1936, page 1)
Ninety-six men and women who lived in Fort Collins in
1876 or earlier, still made their homes here in 1936.
List given from survey.
DENVER POST ARTICLES
M. C. Short is Chief of Police (1-8-1930 14/1)
Harry H. Hariman is mayor (4-9-1930 12/5)
Vote for city water plant (9-13-1932 8/7)
Three escape jail (1-11-1932 10/7)
Gets $738,000 from P. W. for power (11-3-1933 25/5)
Ordinance regulates light rates (2-15-1935 29/4)
Citizens vote for taking over power plant (3-20-1935
Drys win election (6-26-1935 12/1)
Liquor permit row (7-3-1935 17/4)
Old Age Pension fund ruling in their favor (7-5-1935 4/2)
Six die in fire in Mexican shack (11-19-1937 1/8)
Two drown near Ft. Collins, baby Padilla and 8 year-old
Billy Njak (6-6-1939 11/7)
COLORADOAN (4/15/1984, page 9, Volunteers article
"The community leaders in Fort Collins wanted an
organized fund-raising drive. The Community Chest was
born with their meeting in the Northern Hotel. The
group's members thought a combined drive would mean less
time, at less cost, and better meet the community's
needs. Their goal in 1936 was $8,000."--split among
five participating agencies.
It became United Fund in 1957, United Way in 1973. Budget
in 1980s--nearly $1 million. 1984--supports 28 agencies
and one program.
CITY PARK NINE
COLORADOAN (4/14/1984, page 12-13, Crossroads
"City Park Nine"--first Fort Collins golf
course. Built in 1938 on old Larimer County Fairgrounds.
It was a WPA Project.
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (8/17/1938, Society
and Clubs, separate section, page 11)
"The Fort Collins Newcomers Club was organized in
May, 1937, with the aid of the Chamber of Commerce and
the Fort Collins Women's Club, to fill a definite need in
the community. Since that time it has grown to a
membership of 125 and a position of importance in Fort
Collins. The object of the organization is to provide new
friendships, varied interests and pleasant social
contacts for women recently arrived in Fort Collins. Each
member may remain in the club for two years from the
January or July following her entrance."
TRANSIENT CARE PROBLEM
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (6/16/1938, page 1-2)
Care for transients in Fort Collins was becoming a great
burden for the Salvation Army as greater numbers of
transients came to Fort Collins. Consequently, appeals
were made by Frank Pulliam, Director of Public Welfare,
and Capt. Alice Askew of the Salvation Army to send
transients to the police station when they seek aid.
Salvation Army would provide supper, lodging, and
breakfast, and if needed, transportation out of town.
However, some stayed in town. Meals served transients
jumped from 683 in May to 710 in June. Budget won't allow
for feedings and boarding for so many.
To try to cut off source, warning sent that there would
be labor only for Coloradoans on Grand Lake diversion
project for at least a year.
DENVER POST ARTICLES
Full page of society women (9-4-1932 1-1-52)
Farmers-Merchants party 7th annual (2-26-1935 10/5)
Passion Play (8-21-1935)
Story and photos of Lamb Feeders' party (2-28-1936 5/1
Annual banquet (2-28-1936 3/4)
Annual Banquet (photos and story) (2/29/1936 5/1)
Sheriff Ted Schaffer wins prize fight to aid radio fund
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (9/22/1937)
Schools closed, public meetings were banned, club
meetings weren't allowed. Ordered by city health board to
fight infantile paralysis.
"Pursuant to order of the Board of Health, all
private and public schools, churches, theaters, library,
parks, lodges, places of amusement and public gatherings
are hereby closed, and all parents are hereby required to
keep their children of school age within their own yards.
Effective September 21, 1937, until further order."
Signed by Dr. T.C. Taylor, city health officer.
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (10/3/1937)
Rescinded order on October 1, 1937. "The health
board acted in response to petitions bearing the names of
more than 500 Fort Collins businessmen and other
residents, and a communication signed by 21 physicians,
chiropractors and osteopaths." Felt further
observance of order useless and a hardship. Children to
be closely observed by health service.
DENVER POST ARTICLES
Schools close due to infantile paralysis (9-22-1937 16/2)
Ban is lifted (10-2-1937 8/8)
FORT COLLINS EXPRESS-COURIER (2/17/1936, page 1)
"Driver examiners for the new State drivers'
licenses spent a busy day Monday as 54 drivers 'went
through the mill,' making a total of 134 examined."
Only one failed--forgot eyeglasses for eye test.
"Examiners grade each applicant on 25 different
phases of driving, scoring one point for less than
average ability on each phase, two points for fair
execution and three points for good. A score of less than
50 is rated unsatisfactory and will not obtain a license,
while 75 is a perfect score."
"The phases of driving which are considered include
starting, turning, observation at intersections, at
railroad crossings and under general driving conditions,
turning corners left and right, driving in traffic, at
the curb and in center parking, passing in traffic and in
the country, signals, U turns, road driving, unusual
district driving and stopping."
DENVER POST ARTICLES
Street Car fare is raised (4-6-1930 9/4)
Fort Collins - Cheyenne Highway to be opened (10-12-1936
Highway Dedicated (10/20/1936 19/3)