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Monday, May 9

  1. page Primero edited ... {http://scalar.usc.edu/works/primero/media/PicsArt_1461782775248.jpg} High School students o…
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    {http://scalar.usc.edu/works/primero/media/PicsArt_1461782775248.jpg}
    High School students of Primero, 1921
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    high school.
    By

    By
    1924, an
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    of Primero.
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    crowd attended.
    Over the course of Primero’s history it obtained two churches the first is estimated, by the Industrial Bulletin, to be built between 1901 and 1910, the second church was constructed in 1916-17. Between the two churches there were two denominations at Primero, catholic and protestant, and they both shared the first church until the second was constructed.
    Plans to build a Protestant Church were spurred by John D. Rockefeller when he announced his willingness to contribute to the construction of churches in the mining camps. Other donations to the project included sums from the Catholic denomination that was set to take over the original church, and employees of CF&I, The Industrial Bulletin points out that many of the employees were immigrants.
    Exclusive rights to the original church were turned over to the catholic denomination and a dedication ceremony was held on November 19th, 1916. Members attended the event from the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company as well as individuals from nearby towns. Father August Forster presided and communion was administered to a class of twenty-six children.
    {https://s3.amazonaws.com/pastperfectonline/images/museum_362/004/cfi_min_pri_0026.jpg}
    Once the Protestant Church was finished a council, made up of the protestant congregation, was in charge of drafting a constitution and electing the first Pastor. By January of 1917 they had obtained both and a dedication ceremony was held on March 25th, 1917. The ceremony was a notable event in the CF&I company since the church at Primero was the first church to be completed following Mr. Rockefellers announcement to aid in the building of churches. The new pastor, Rev. W. J. Gregory and three other prominent Colorado ministers, Rt. Rev. Irving P. Johnson, Rev Frank T. Bayley, and Rev. M. H. Macleod, conducted the sermon. Throughout the Protestant church’s life it hosted many sermons, events and holiday gatherings. In 1921 the church organized a “Young People’s Society. That same year about two hundred people attended the Mothers Day Program.a
    The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company built 175 houses in the town of Primero and rented them to the employees that worked there. Most of the houses had three or four rooms and only seven of the houses had indoor plumbing. Standard rent was about two dollars a month with increased cost for amenities. For example, to have a running bath was an additional three dollars a month, a sink with running water added two dollars a month and if the home had power, each outlet cost thirty-five cents.
    In early 1900 the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company implemented a beautification initiative throughout the company to improve the outdoor appearance of the company and the connecting mining towns. Beatification focused on the landscape of the public areas as well as the individual homes. Along with trees, shrubbery and other foliage, construction projects like sidewalks and fences were to improve the overlook and feel of the towns. Beautification at CF&I was an annual project and they held contests and gave prizes to the residents with the best-kept yards.
    Beatification was not only intended to improve the landscape of the town, it was connected to a much more important way of life for the residents. Many argued that beautiful, cleanly outdoor areas aided in the individuals ability to thrive and be successful. As the secretary of the American Park and Outdoor Art Association, Warren H. Manning said to the employees of CF&I in 1903, “The Character of the Community is indicated by its treatment of public grounds.”
    By January of 1916 Primero’s dispensary was established following Colorado Fuel and Iron Company decision that dispensaries would be build in the coal camps to aid with minor ailments as well as provide temporary care to injured workers while they waited to be transported Pueblo. There was also a traveling nurse program that sought to educate housewives in the camp on sanitation and hygiene.

    All pictures and information used with permission of Bessemer Historical Society, 215 Canal Street Pueblo, CO 81004.
    Bessemer Historical SocietyPlease Visit the Bessemer Historical Society for more infomartion.
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