This week in Colorado history: Charlatans and Chauvenets

Golden residents discovered the dangers of trusting patent medicine companies this week in 1887. The electric oil company was to have given a concert at the opera house September 30 and had given away a ticket for the concert with every bottle. The concert “failed to materialize,” as the salesmen “folded their tent and quietly stole away Friday morning.”

Dr. Regis Chauvenet, after whom a labyrinthine building would later be named, enjoyed a visit from his mother this week in 1887. Mrs. Chauvenet lived in St. Louis, and had no particular intention of relocating, much to “The Colorado Transcript’s” chagrin. The paper reported she was impressed with “her son’s choice in his residence in the rockies.” There was no word on her opinion of the Colorado School of Mines.

The “Transcript’s” motives were not entirely focused on Mrs. Chauvenet herself. Perhaps her presence could have been “some solace to what a few young ladies in Colorado are pleased to call her son’s obstinate bachelorhood,” said the publication.

“The Colorado Transcript” reported this week in 1887 that the newest member of the Colorado School of Mines faculty, Professor Soutler, had begun his career successfully. Soutler taught metallurgy and ore treatment. The school year had recently begun and the school had many new students.

Always the voice of Golden’s Democrats, “The Colorado Transcript” complained about another paper, “The Denver Republican,” in unfamiliar terms but over quite familiar topics. The “Transcript” took issue with the “Republican’s” statements on General Stoneman’s addition to the 1888 Democratic ticket. The “Republican” argued that this would “neutralize the indignation which the grand army now feel towards the president.” The “Transcript” retorted that “said indignation was bred by newspapers of the most intensely ‘asinine’ proportions whose partisan feelings overcome truth, honor, pride of country, expediency, and decency.” Also, Republicans felt that party loyalty trumped all other loyalties, according the “Transcript.”

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