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Primero- Colorado Fuel and Iron's Model Town

Blake Hatton, Abbie Specht, Authors

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Outdoor spaces and yards were important to both the residents of Primero and the CF&I company. The company held company wide beautification contests, in which a judge would be sent to the towns to pick a first, second and third place winner based on yard appearance. 

"Suggestions for Beautifying Home and Camp" 1903

In the February 1903 issue of Camp and Plant their focus article was centered around beautification and with the help of the secretary of the American park and outdoor art association, Warren H. Manning they suggested beautification ideas for the average Colorado Fuel and Iron worker to improve his home and community. In the article Warren's argument for beautification is centered around the idea that it helps the individual and the community be successful and hold more values. He says of schools, "Uninviting, uninteresting and untidy school grounds give evil impressions to children that later will be reflected on their home and businesses surroundings."Furthermore he argues that the "character of the community is indicated by its treatment of public grounds." Warren and many in the CF&I company held similar beliefs and began pushing for beautification in their towns and communities. 

Outdoor spaces and yards were important to both the residents of Primero and the CF&I company. The company held company wide beautification contests, in which a judge would be sent to the towns to pick a first, second and third place winner based on yard appearance. 

October 1916: Lawn Contest

The Industrial Bulletin notes how "Visitors from outside the state frequently during the summer expressed amazement at the progress made by the miners and steel workers in cultivating and beautifying the grounds surrounding their homes." As a thank you from the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company for improving the appearance of company property prizes were given at the end of the summer to the employee's with the best cultivated premises. In the 1916 contest Pueblo Parks superintendent G. Hennenhofer was the judge in several districts including Primero's district of Walsenburg. The awards for Primero are as follows;
    First prize 20 dollars: Steve Spancic
    Second prize 15 dollars: Joe Perrett, John Selak
    Third prizes 10 dollars: Mike Kosegi, Louis Valint, J. A. Bierman.

October 1918 

The Industrial Bulletin emphasizes the importance of lawn and garden contest in the years of WWI as they helped supply the nations food. The awards for Primero are as follows. 
First prize 10 dollars: Roy Reeder, Frank Urfer
Second place 7.50: Mrs. Mary Strangefield, Nick Palmero, Joe Perrett, Dave Lueras, Frank Newkirk, Nick Kosivich, Louie Valent.
Third place 5 dollars: Tom Roberts, George Fortune, John Ruffino, C. Palmero, Galt DeCicco, John Selleck, Carmen Nuccitelli, M. Kiesago, Chas Wilhelm, A. Sabastiano, Mrs. Mary Morrison, E. Johnston, Tony Bartelone, Dave Phillips, Joe Cortez, Doe Shain, John Lopez, A. G. Mentez, C. Gonzales, L. Piazzo, Tony Salvati, B. Wasnick, Valentine Zagor, S. Beres, C. Tolliver, Pete Janini
Fourth place 2.50: John Rishke, Glen Shoup, J. M. Brown, A. Cortez, Wm. Holloway, John Montenuga, Carlo DeCicco, P. Lopez, Pedro Wasquez, W. L. Hays, Pete Gordon, A Merlo, Carl H. Lava, Geo Givens, Mike Yanko, Pete Kler, Paul Valent, John Lucco, Tony Lepold, John Miller, Anton Turkovick, Macellino Ortez, L. Tomsic, F. Resnech, T. Mungino, Y. M. Cortez, O. A. Cummin, James Kosely, S. Parisi, John T. Tomsic, Nick Alfaro, F Kuhar, J. Cado, Valentine Montini, Louis Cargo, Mike Miller, Carmello Mondi, Silvio Fauri, Joe Softich, John Messlelea. 

October 1924 

The Undustrial Bulletin asked some women in the Colorado Fuel and Iron camps about the difference between an attractive and un-attractive surrounds, and what affects they have on a family. Primero resident Mrs. Fred Baker weighed in on the question for the bulletin. 
"Children who are reared in an atmosphere of attractive home surroundings are better physically, mentally and morally than those who are reared in ugly, sordid and unsanitary conditions. A clean body creates a clean mind, therefore in time, making better men and women. The workmen having homes that are attractive, being kept in repair, with lawns, gardens, ect... are more contented, and have no desire to be continually moving from one community to another seeking a change in employment. Moving is expensive. Attractive home surroundings indirectly create a spirit of thrift. When Beautification or the home and surroundings is once started it becomes contagious and creates a spirit of civic pride that reflects itself to the entire community."

October 1925 

In the Industrial Bulletin Dr. Corwin, the chief surgeon of Minnequa Hospital, is quoted. He was often heard saying, "The kind of hame and home life we have, so largely influences the lives of the children we are privileged to rear and give to the work of the world." Winners for the 1925 Beautification Contest are as follows 
First place: House No. 64, Mrs. Ernest Strangfeld 
Second place: House No. 55 Mrs. Angelo Merlo
Third place: House No. 3 Mrs. Vicente Lopez
Fourth place: House No. 2 Mrs. Pedro Vasquez
Continue to the next page on this path to see a slideshow of photos of houses in Primero.
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