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A look back at the week Jan. 29-Feb. 4

Intersection of Chuska and South Church Streets in Aztec, 1908. (Aztec Museum archive photos)
This Week in History

The following is a recap of local events for this time period throughout history.

40 years ago (1984)

Old buildings and homes in Aztec are being surveyed this week by architectural historian Chris Wilson to determine their historical significance. Wilson works with the state Historic Preservation Division and is here to expand a survey begun in 1981 by Beverly Barsook, an architectural graduate student at the University of New Mexico. … Wilson said he would probably recommend 2-3 blocks on Church, 2-3 blocks on Mesa Verde and one block on Lover’s Lane as a historic residential district.

Aztec Independent Review

50 years ago (1974)

On January 31 at 9:30 a.m. a heartless person stopped on the highway near Bloomfield High School and dumped three pure-bred female Collie puppies about two months old out on the road and drove off. The person was driving an older model green car. Several students noticed the puppies being put out of the car but did not get the make or tag number. The little puppies were scared to death and caused quite a traffic problem which was heart-breaking. Bonnie Chivers, who happened on the scene, stopped after almost hitting the smallest puppy and with the help of two high school boys was able to round up the three puppies. She took the puppies to the home of Mrs. Bridget Williams, Bloomfield’s Animal Officer, where they were fed. Within 30 minutes Mrs. Williams had found a good home for each of the puppies where they will be taken care of.

Aztec Independent Review

75 years ago (1949)

John Eaton, County Chairman of the March of Dimes campaign, was in Aztec last week-end making arrangements for the drive here and while here appointed Bob White of the Aztec Hardware as local chairman. Mr. Eaton disclosed that more than 100,000 polio cases have occurred during the past six years, and that in coping with last summer’s severe outbreaks – the worst in history – the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis exhausted its emergency epidemic aid fund so it is absolutely necessary for people to give liberally this year. Funds are badly needed to carry on the campaign fighting polio, Mr. Eaton said.

Aztec Independent Review

100 years ago (1924)

Just before the noon hour yesterday the San Juan County National Bank at Farmington voluntarily closed its door as a result of deposit withdrawals and minor adverse influences. In a brief phone conversation with W.S. Barnes, president of the bank, he stated the suspension was an act voluntarily taken and expressed belief that the bank would probably reopen at an early date and that deposits would be paid in full. Bank failures have been increasing rapidly during recent weeks in New Mexico and elsewhere, but it was hoped that none of the four banks in San Juan County would be stressed to even temporarily close doors. The remaining three banks are said to be in perfectly sound condition and will not be affected by the regrettable incident that occurred at Farmington.

San Juan Review

110 years ago (1914)

Word has been received here that the contract has been let for the construction of the Shiprock bridge. The El Paso Bridge Company was the successful bidder and we understand that material is now in transit for construction work. Superintendent Shelton will be back in a few days and things will show up active down at the agency, for Shelton is always full of energy. This is good news for Farmington as well as Shiprock.

Farmington Times Hustler

120 years ago (1904)

Sheriff Elmer of San Juan Co., N.M., accompanied by Deputy Sheriff Tompson of La Plata County, Colo., were in town yesterday for the purpose of arresting Robt. Gillespie, of this place (Mancos), for taking a horse from Farmington that has been attached and bringing it into Colorado. The charges of burglary and grand larceny had been made, requisition papers were in the hands of the officers, and Deputy Sheriff Hays of this place made the arrest and turned Gillespie over to Elmer and Tompson, who took the prisoner to Durango last night. Gillespie has always bourne a good reputation, having been a long time resident of San Miguel County. He has an excellent family, has recently purchased property here and it is believed he will come out all right.

San Juan County Index

This Week in Local History is compiled by Debi Tracy Olsen, local journalist and member of the Aztec Museum Board of Directors. The stories are pulled from newspaper archives and are reprinted as they appeared, errors and all.