Post by Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines
|Headstones of members of the National Typographical Union
photo property of the author
In 1892 the International/Nationa Typographical Union built a facility in Colorado Springs for the care of its ill members. Part of the reason for the choice was the reputation Colorado and Colorado Springs had for curing diseases of the lungs.
|Image from Pinterest
It was during the founding of the town in the Pikes Peak region during the early 1870s that those suffering from lung problems found that the clean air helped alleviate the symptoms. Dr. Samuel Edwin Solly and his wife arrived in the region hoping the cure the tuberculous they both were suffering from. Dr. Solly survived. His wife did not. Still, Dr. Solly remained and did much to promote the region as a cure. He published papers and articles on the subject.
At the time the typographical union decided to build its facility in Colorado Springs, a number of its members were suffering lung problems as a result of the carbon-based ink used in their profession. Due to this problem, the average life expectancy of a printer was about forty-one years. The facility and its grounds grew over the years to encompass more than 260 acres and included a dairy farm, gardens, and a power plant.
|Image from the Historic Preservation Alliance,
The Printers Home also had/has a large area in the local cemetery for their deceased members. Although the home is now closed, its presence and history continue to fascinate. And for those who might be interested, it is located close to where Nikola Tesla had his laboratory in 1899.
One such resident was Ezekial H Brady. Born in 1852 and he worked as a book-binder and printer in Des Moines, Iowa. The census shows he was still in Iowa in 1925 with his wife Mary, who he married in 1872, and still working as a printer. Sometime between 1925 and 1937, he moved into the home to live out his remaining years. He died in 1937 and is buried in the Printers Home section of the cemetery.
|Image property of the author
My short story in the Western Fictioneers anthology "Under Western Stars" is about a newspaperman. Although the work of reporters, printers, and others involved in the dissemination of the news is what we know, there was so much that we don't think about. Histories of places like the Union Printers Home help us to understand.
Colorado and Women's History