The Denver Post
Sunday, May 5, 1991
Willard Haselbush , ex-Post staffer, dies
Author: Judith Brimberg; Denver Post Staff Writer
Willard C. Haselbush , a former city editor and business editor for The Denver Post, died Thursday in at Rose Medical Center. He was 78.
One of the often-told stories about him is that while Haselbush was in high school, Frederick G. Bonfils, a founder of The Denver Post, advised him:
"The way to become a newspaperman is for you to work in the city room starting now and do your studying and reading at night, on your own time."
Haselbush took the advice, starting as a part-time Post reporter for three summers and then going to work full time in 1930.
But during a colorful career that spanned more than 50 years, he also held other jobs, including that of southwest division news manager for United Press (now UPI) in the 1940s, and news editor of the Wyoming State Tribune in Cheyenne in the late 1930s.
After rejoining The Post in 1947, he became city editor from 1951 to 1957 and then business editor until 1966. As city editor, he won two Pall Mall "big story" awards. He campaigned to rid the state of the infamous penitentiary warden, Roy Best, and also exposed the unscrupulous activities of chiropractor Leo Spears.
As business editor, he was honored by the Denver Chamber of Commerce for his contributions to business growth in the area. He broke stories relating to IBM's decision to locate a plant in Boulder, Johns-Manville's move to relocate its world headquarters from Manhattan and the decision to create Kodak-Colorado.
He also collaborated with the late Jack Guinn, another former Post city editor, on a novel called "The Wire God," the story of a newspaperman determined to succeed.
Haselbush was born April 2, 1913, in Crete, Neb., and graduated from high school in Brighton, where he was class valedictorian.
He was a former president of the Colorado chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, the Colorado Associated Press Editors and the Denver Press Club.
Services will be at noon Tuesday at Olinger Mortuary's Magnolia Chapel, 6601 E. Colfax Ave. Cremation will follow.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth of Denver, and a stepson, James Trout.