Plaque to honor Frank and Theta Brown
BRECKENRIDGE – Breckenridge town officials held a dedication ceremony Sunday at the Riverwalk Center bridge to honor Breckenridge pioneers Frank and Theta Brown.
The plaque will be mounted on the west side of the Riverwalk walkway and face the mountains.
Long-time resident and historian Maureen Nicholls remembers Theta Brown as a generous lady who loved to “dress up,” particularly in her grandmother’s wedding dress. She was active in planning community social events, including Breckenridge’s Centennial, and loved to dance. She never sat out a dance at the Fireman’s Ball at No Man’s Land.
She designed some of her own clothes – many residents still remember her leopard-motif hat and coat.
“Theta had her favorite black current berry patch, but was totally secretive about it,” Nicholls recalls. “She was a self-taught piano player.”
Theta worked beside her husband in the county treasurer’s office as a clerk, saying she did all the work and he did all the socializing.
Nicholls remembers Frank as the best individual chamber of commerce the town ever had.
“He never resented changes or development, and loved to make his rounds after retirement to the Bank of Breckenridge, my store Quandary Antiques, Jim’s (Nicholls) office and the town offices,” Nicholls said. “Frank had such total recall of events, tax amounts on certain properties, different mines … he was a local encyclopedia of facts.”
One of Nicholls’ best memories of Frank was with him on a panel on stage at Colorado Mountain College for Breckenridge’s 1980 Centennial.
“Frank proceeded to regale in the memories of the cesspools on the Blue River left from the Tiger Dredge and the ensuing complaints he received as the mayor of Breckenridge,” she said. “Sewage was piped out of the houses that backed the Blue – not a problem in the summer or if one lived at the south end of Breckenridge, as Frank did. But during the winter, when the Blue ran underground, the citizens at the north end of town became incensed – Frank had the audience rolling in the aisles with laughter.”
Frank was the politician, Nicholls said, and Theta was the homemaker and worker bee, both in the treasurer’s office and at home.
During his time here, Frank was elected as county surveyor, was a war bond chairman, mayor, firefighter and secretary on the Breckenridge Volunteer Fire Department. He also served on election committees, was active in the Republican party and worked as the school board’s secretary.
Theta died in 1993 and Frank in 1994. Both are buried in Valley Brook Cemetery at the north end of Breckenridge.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or
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