Meet a Westside Pioneer!
Mary Nell Trapp

What kind of career have you had?
When I was at West Junior High, I ironed and did dishes for my neighbor, and at Colorado Springs High School (now Palmer), I worked at Kress & Co. department store. After I married and had children, I became a stay-at-home mom but was involved in many clubs, such as the PTA, Westside Historical Society, Knit-wits and many others. I also bowled for many years.

Can you tell us about your marriage?

I met my husband, Keith Trapp, at CSHS in 1936. He was a year older than I was. We got married July 13, 1938. He worked as a steamfitter (pipefitter) for Olson Plumbing and Heating company. We had a wonderful life together – fishing, camping, traveling in our motorhome and spending all our holidays with our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We had been married for 48 years when he passed away in 1986.

Did you have children?
We had three children, Margaret (Peggy), Linda and Mike. We also have 8 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Any of your family members still here?
Peggy and Mike still live on the Westside and so do most of the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Only four don’t live on the Westside.

Mary Nell Trapp through the years... With her daughter Peggy next to Balanced Rock in the early 1940s.
Courtesy of Vicki Bukowski-Clark
Can you tell us about your parents?

My parents were John and Margaret (White) Feathers, they were born in Indiana. My father won a car (Jewett Whippet) at the county fair and we all drove out to Colorado Springs, because my mother’s sister had TB. That was in 1926. My mother fell in love with Colorado, so after her sister got better, they decided to stay. My father, worked as a coal miner and worked in the Pikeview Mine. My mother stayed at home and raised four children, I was the second youngest.

Mary Nell Trapp through the years... With her late husband Keith in the 1970s..
Courtesy of Vicki Bukowski-Clark
What are your best memories of growing up on the Westside?

Climbing Kissing Camels in Garden of the Gods. Walking to Manitou to dance at the Hiawatha Gardens or downtown to see a movie with my friends. Swimming at the Monument Valley Park pool, and taking tap dancing lessons in Manitou.

What is gone from the Westside now that you wish had stayed?
The old corner grocery stores and knowing your neighbors.

What has stayed that you wish had gone?
The Highway 24 bypass.

How about the way things have changed? Growth of the city and traffic on 30th Street. It makes me sad that they are closing and changing some of the Westside schools. I wish my grandchildren could feel as safe walking or riding their bikes as I did.

Mary Nell Trapp through the years... With her grandchildren and great-grandchildren in a photo taken at Easter 1996.
Courtesy of Vicki Bukowski-Clark
Overall, is the Westside better or worse than when you were a kid here?

The Westside will always be a community within itself. For the most part, people are still friendly and try to help one another. Westsiders will always march to the beat of a different drummer, which is good. I do wish they would stop building so much over here and bring back the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“Meet a Westside Pioneer” interviews people who were born, raised and still live on the Colorado Springs Westside. If you meet that criteria (or know someone who does), please give us a call at 471-6776.