Denny donates 80-year-old newspapers to Luther Bean Museum

(09-22-2010)

Article by Lace King

Lee Denny, Vancouver, Wash., recently donated issues, April 1928 through April 1930, of the La Jara Gazette to the Adams State College Luther Bean Museum.

His family has an extensive history with the La Jara Gazette beginning with Mary V. Sanders Cooper Mudd, Denny's grandmother. "The newspapers were originally in my grandmother's, estate," Denny said. Mudd worked for the La Jara Gazette, then known as the La Jara Gazette Weekly, beginning in 1916. The La Jara Gazette Weekly merged with La Jara Enterprise in 1917 to become the La Jara Gazette. Mudd returned to the Gazette in 1926, eventually buying the newspaper from Delvin Gee in 1946.

In 1961, Who's Who of American Women featured Mudd for continually operating the newspaper for 15 years, "longer than any other woman in Colorado's journalism history," Denny said. Mudd owned the newspaper until 1981.

The Denny Collection will be displayed in the Luther Bean Museum's main room from September 2010 until December 2010. "A main function of the Luther Bean Museum's mission is preserving and promoting the history of the San Luis Valley. Conservation of the valley's newspapers and the information they contain is critical to that goal," said Kat Olance, director of the Luther Bean Museum.

The Luther Bean Museum, located on the south end of the second floor in Richardson Hall, in conjunction with The San Luis Valley Museum Association, plans to digitize the valley museums newspaper collections. "Digitization will make them more accessible not just to the local schools and community but world-wide through online access," Olance said. "The Luther Bean Museum is very grateful to Mr. Denny for his donation. His work to preserve the family's history here in the San Luis Valley is very much appreciated."

The museum is open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and is free and open to the public. Group tours can be arranged by calling 719-587-7151 or emailing asclutherbean@adams.edu.

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