This week in Colorado History: Notable Demises

Golden lost a war hero this week in 1921, as Harry Brown died of complications from severe poison gas exposure received in France during World War I. Brown was 31 years and 10 months old. He had attempted to enlist when the United States. entered World War I, but was rejected. Undeterred, he made three more attempts and was rejected each time. He ultimately was drafted and trained at Fort Deming before heading to France with the “Old Hickory” division. He was a member of the 114th machine gun battalion, and it was during this battalion’s drive on the Sambre Canal he was gassed. Brown fought admirably in six major movements and at home was a member of the postal service and a forest ranger.

This week in 1921, a fire began in H.M. Perry’s meat market. The cause was unknown, though a cigarette was suspected. Perry had some insurance, “but not enough to cover his loss,” he said. The meat market was housed in the Avenue Hotel Building, and thus some of the hotel rooms were filled with smoke. The residents of these rooms “were forced to flee in their night clothing.”

Two boys were nearly suffocated by the smoke, and one Herbert Petrie had a close shave after entering the burning building, believing someone trapped inside. “The Colorado Transcript” reported, “Unseen by anyone, petrie crawled into the room and got as far as the partition door when a stream of water was turned in [sic]. He was knocked against a corner and painfully hurt.” Luckily, he was able to call for help before passing out.

Colorado pioneer Anthony Tripp died at St. Luke’s hospital from pneumonia this week in 1921. He had lived in Jefferson County for 50 years. Tripp was born in Cornwall, England in 1853, and came to Baltimore as a boy. Later, he moved to Central City and “engaged in mining in Gilpin County until 1879, when he moved to Jefferson County, taking up a ranch near Guy Hill.” He retired in 1919 and moved to Golden, where he was active in the Golden Masonic lodge and affiliated with the Methodist Church. He was survived by his wife and five sons.

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