Horace Button was 10 years old when he saw the ski jump competition at the 1911 First Annual Hot Sulphur Springs Winter Sports Carnival. A railway man noticed that Horace was spellbound. The man asked Horace what he wanted to be when he grew up, to which Horace replied, “I want to be a ski jumper like Carl Howelsen.” The seed had been sown, and Howelsen taught Horace the skills of skiing.
Horace Button became an All-American Skier. Winning awards over nationally recognized competitive ski racers. The basic knowledge he learned from Howelsen was passed on which in turn sent Jim Harsh of Grand Lake, to be on the 1932 United States Olympic Nordic Combined team. The Olympics were held at Lake Placid, New York.
Barney McLean of Hot Sulphur Springs, also benefitted from Mr. Button, who was waiting at the ski hill every afternoon, when school hours were over. Barney was a 9-time national champion, and a 3-time Olympian. In 1948 he was Captain of the men’s alpine ski team that competed at St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Horace Button continued to advise ski techniques to students of East and West Grand School Districts, helping them compete at the university or Olympic level. They were; Dale Thompson, Wes Palmer, Zane Palmer, Landis Arnold, Todd Wilson, Kerry Lynch, Tim Flanagan, and many more. Horace coached 12 national champions.
Horace also was an accomplished artist. His specialty was carton ski scenes. Tim Flanagan honored Mr. Button for his work with local youths and created the Horace Button Ski Foundation.
Horace Button, Jim Harsh, Barney McLean, and Carl Howelsen have been inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame. Barney McLean and Carl Howelsen are honored at The National Ski Hall of Fame.