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The Marble booster. [volume] : (Marble, Gunnison County, Colo.) 1911-19??
Place of publication:
Marble, Gunnison County, Colo.
Geographic coverage:
  • Marble, Gunnison, Colorado  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Frank P. Frost
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Mar. 18, 1911)-
  • English
  • Italian
  • Colorado--Marble.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01266565
  • Marble (Colo.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from the Colorado Historical Society.
  • Includes column in Italian.
sn 86063232
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The Marble booster. [volume] March 18, 1911 , Image 1


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The Marble Booster

Pristine, pure white marble was discovered along Yule Creek in Gunnison County, Colorado as early as 1873. Eight years later, the aptly-named town of Marble was laid out by William Woods and William Parry near the Yule, at the confluence of Rock Creek—later Crystal River—and Carbonate Creek. At the same time, the nearby town of Clarence was founded by John Mobley and William Mason. Marble didn't have enough of a population to merit a post office until 1890, and even then it moved to Clarence in 1892, but by that time Marble and Clarence had merged. The Silver Crash of 1893 did not affect the town, and it continued to grow. Numerous marble quarry operations were established along the creek, but it was the Colorado Yule Marble Company that ultimately dominated all other operations. The town of Marble reached its peak between 1910 and 1914, with a population of around 2,000.

Marble was essentially a company town owned, built, and controlled by the Colorado Yule Marble Company, and freedom of the press was suppressed in favor of politics and views that backed Colorado Yule. The Marble City Times was one in a series of newspapers operated by Sylvia Smith, who used her press to criticize large corporations, taking on the behemoth Colorado Fuel and Iron and the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, and to champion freedom of the press and women's rights. When she arrived in Marble in 1908, she took the helm of the Marble City Times and used it as a bullhorn against the influence of the Colorado Yule Marble Company.

The Marble Booster was founded in 1911 as a progressive and positive counterpoint to Smith's critical and fiery Times and as an organ to boost the town, as the title suggests. The Booster was founded by Frank P. Frost and printed with equipment supplied by Colorado Yule. In the Booster's first issue, published March 18, 1911, Frost proclaimed, "The Booster will be a 'booster' for everything that appears designed to up build the town. I believe a newspaper in a small town should speak only good of the town." The Booster professed to be absolutely independent of politics and absolutely independent in its news: "The editor has no strings tied to him and beholden to no man," Frost printed. Frost also established the Frost Circulating Library in the office of the Booster, where readers could rent books for 10 cents.

The Booster was a typical company town weekly that focused on quarry news, particularly that of Colorado Yule Marble Company, where a subscription to the Booster also included a subscription to the Colorado Yule Marble News. Frost printed items of local interest, news from across the state and nation, and social happenings. The Booster even featured a special Italian language column, "Cronaca Della Colonia Italiana." However, the Booster's fortunes were very much tied to that of the town of Marble and specifically the Colorado Yule Marble Company. The Craig Empire reported on the decline of both in October 1917, stating that the company ceased operations due to "internal troubles" and the town "gradually [went] the downhill path." The Booster followed, with Frost suspending publication in September 1917. The Morgan County Republican reported: "The town of Marble has met with disaster and has become deserted. From a thriving village of 2,000 it has come down to a few. The principal industry of the town, its marble quarries, which still contain the finest marble in the world, have been submarined and sunk in the sea of finance, the people have gone and now the editor of the Booster who has made a good fight is gone to more fertile fields of journalism."

Provided by: History Colorado