This Week in Colorado History: Black Powder Blues

Two CSM freshmen had a close call this week in 1914 when they found and accidentally detonated a can of black powder. The students chose to spend their Saturday exploring Mt. Zion, but became cold. They came across an old blacksmith shop and decided to warm up by building a fire in the forge. The students began experimenting. They grabbed a piece of steel, heated it, and “struck [it] sharply over the anvil.”

According to “The Colorado Transcript,” “The heated end flew off and sizzling and sparkling it landed on the thin top of the black powder can.” The students noticed the situation and ran, but were only able to make it a few yards before the powder exploded. One student scorched his whole body and the other “plunged headfirst into a snowbank, and the exposed part of his anatomy was blistered.” Both were expected to make a full recovery and faced a mixture of ridicule and relief from their classmates.

This week in Colorado history Sister Mary Andrew Tobin of Mercy hospital became a registered pharmacist. She was the only woman to pass the state pharmacy board’s examinations and was expected to take charge of the Mercy hospital pharmacy.

State Land Board Register Volney T. Hoggatt argued that every Colorado school teacher could receive a 50% increase in salary “if the state law providing for state loans of school funds were enforced.” Hoggat said, “Iowa stopped buying state bonds and warrants with her school fund 25 years ago, when it only realized 4 percent on the investment and loaned its entire fund to the farmers of the state, thereby helping its development and giving to the school teachers of the state and the Iowa State Agricultural college… 50 percent more funds for salaries to teachers and maintenance of the college.”

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