Huerfano County, Colorado
Contributed by John Bellotti, page contributed by Karen Mitchell
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The Dante Alighieri Society is a non profit organization whose objective is to promote and foster Italian language and culture.
Inspired by the Nobel poet Giosuč Carducci, the Dante Alighieri Society was founded in 1889 by a dedicated group of men of letters with the aim of promoting Italian culture and language. From its very beginning the Dante Alighieri Society received an enthusiastic welcome particularly among the many Italian communities that had established themselves throughout the world.
It was not until 1926 that the Society set up its present headquarters in the Firenze Palace in Rome. There are currently 450 "Dante Societies" around the world with the number continuing to grow.
The Dante Alighieri Socity in Huerfano County was established at Rouse on October 26, 1902 by the many Italian immigrants who came to Huerfano County to work in the coal mines. It was then transferred to Walsenburg on December 21, 1913.
In a booklet owned by John Bellotti it says:
the object of the Society is
"to enliven and keep between its members the principles of brotherly
love and solidarity which is the best guarantee and good will of a
colony, the same must exemplify the proper activities in the midst of a
grand and civilized nation and to maintain highly and honorable, the
It goes on to say that, in the deliberations of the Society, political
and religious matters would be excluded. Membership was restricted to
males of ages 16 to 45, with a graduated schedule of admission fees
ranging from $5.00 to $12.00.
Interestingly, "The funds of this society which will be gotten by
initiation fees, fines, dues, and other sources after deducting the
expenses of the Society the balance of the fund will be used to pay sick
and death benefits to our members."
The back of the booklet lists the founding members, numbering 70, which
looks like a collection of the pioneering Italian immigrants who settled
in the Walsenburg area, mostly coal miners.
Soci Fondatori (Founders):
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