Frontier Museum home now on city’s ‘landmarks’ list |

Frontier Museum home now on city’s ‘landmarks’ list

The former Dean/Edinger house is now the location of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

Excerpts from Marice Doll’s narrative about the dean/edinger home

Dr. Marshall Dean

Marshall Dean rode the rails into Glenwood Springs on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in 1887, a befitting arrival for Dean because he later became the surgeon for the railroad company …

The energetic doctor followed the rails on up to Carbondale. There, he joined forces with C.H. Schen and Harry Van Syckle to collect minerals, building stone, slate, marble and different kinds of coal, and then opened the “Carbondale Mining Exchange” as “the headquarters for mine investors and prospectors and to handle the properties of all who are seeking buyers.”

Their vision was basically to expand their capital search to Avalanche and Bull Dog Creeks and to all the Elk Mountain country, including Crystal, Elko, Schofield and Gothic.

… Dr. Dean was one of the first physicians practicing in Carbondale and at the nearby mines for many years (and) served as treasurer on the Carbondale school board.

In 1878, Dr. Dean married Mildred, the eldest daughter of the Cox family, one of Carbondale’s early pioneering families. In 1885, their only child, Paul, was born. He later became a teacher at the State Agriculture College.

When the Dean family moved to Glenwood Springs in 1893, Dr. Dean joined the Denver Rio Grande and Western Railroad and served as surgeon for 20 years.

As a prominent “Mason of the State,” the Masonic Lodge in Glenwood Springs entertained him at a lodge banquet. And by 1900, he was also a member of the Populist Party, acting as its chairman of the judicial committee and elected from the group to attend the annual Populist Convention and the Senatorial Convention.

The doctor made headlines when his old clock arrived from his home-state of Pennsylvania: “The eight-foot high black walnut clock was made by hand with a dial telling the date, the month, the year, the day of the week, the hour, the minute and the second. It drew much attention.”

Dr. Dean started creating controversy in 1901 when he was appointed local health officer and court physician. When other physicians wanted to enforce the quarantine regulations, Dr. Dean was known to “laugh” at them and refused to quarantine …

Physicians in the town, notably a Dr. Robinson, served a lawsuit to the district court against Dr. Dean, only to be countered by Dr. Dean with an affidavit for the arrest of the any physicians signing the lawsuit. In the end, Dr. Dean lost, but not in a way expected: The notoriety cost him in the next election for his contract as county physician and the vote went to his nemesis Dr. Robinson.

… By 1903, as Grand Master of Masons, Dr. Dean went to Boulder to lay the corner stone of the State University Library. A special train took the Grand Master and about 100 members of the order from Denver to participate in the ceremonies. While at Boulder, the Grand Master also laid the cornerstone of the new Methodist Church …

The family home at the corner of 10th and Colorado in Glenwood Springs would also serve as the location for his medical practice. The handsome pressed-brick residence was described as one of the “most up-to-date residences in Glenwood Springs.”

Julius Wulfsohn

Julius Wulfsohn was ready for the rough and rugged West when he arrived in Colorado in 1904. Shortly after he and his accomplice, Harry Cohn, arrived in Denver, they were arrested “for burglary and malicious mischief” for pouring sulphuric acid over “the stock of clothing in the clothing store of Mr. Minowitz of Denver, completely destroying goods of great value.”

For unknown reasons, there was always “bad blood” between the Minowitz family and the Wulfsohn and Cohn families, a feud that had started long ago in their native Russia. In the end, the police decided “there may be some mistake about the affair” and the two prisoners were released; they left Denver immediately for Garfield County …

Wulfsohn eventually bought Cohn’s grocery and clothing store in New Castle, becoming well-known in the business, although he eventually fell into bankruptcy and moved his dry goods store to Aspen.

On Jan. 4, 1906, the Denver paper gave a long description of the horsewhipping that took place in front of the Hotel Glenwood on a Saturday when “Mrs. Max Schwartzman used a whip on the person of Julius Wulfsohn.” Mrs. Schwartzman, mother of Wulfsohn’s wife, Sallie, claimed to have been insulted by Mr. Wulfsohn. … There is some indication that Wulfsohn had a temper and was a drinker …

Wulfsohn purchased the home at 10th and Colorado from Dr. Dean and recorded it in his wife Sallie’s name, a custom of the times. He eventually sold it to George Edinger for $5,750 and then purchased 500 acres of the Atkinson Ranch for $20,000 (site of today’s Glenwood Meadows development and the trail system that bears the Wulfsohn name).

George Edinger

If nothing else, George Edinger’s life was notorious: After exploring the state on horseback seeking wellness for an undiagnosed throat infection, he rode his horse into Glenwood Springs in 1885 and, upon finding immense financial opportunity, he decided to stay.

Immediately becoming assistant postmaster and proprietor of the general store, he was easily “trusted by the residents.” As assistant post master, he issued the first money order and registered the first letter that went out of the Glenwood Springs Post office.

At his store, he loaned money in exchange for personal items as security for those loans. Soon his pawn business was replaced by real estate and insurance deals. He underwrote city, county and school projects with warrants. He also became a stockbroker … and expanded his wealth by purchasing properties for back taxes and starting to take on larger loans, insurance, real estate, ticket scalping and buying tax title lands. He underwrote city, county and school finances and the methodical purchase of registered warrants …

Edinger also served the public with a brokerage for buying stocks and bonds and invested his money with “uncanny wisdom.”

“Before long, his private banking enterprises advanced him to a position where he was the largest taxpayer in Garfield County, even surpassing the railroads,” the local paper noted.

… Not all of Edinger’s business practices were ethical: As a money lender, George Edinger bought discounted blocks of railroad tickets to be resold individually at a higher price called “scalping.”

Edinger purchased the home at 10th and Colorado from Julius Wulfsohn in 1912. On Nov. 20, 1924, Edinger’s wife, Emma, passed away at age 60 after “a long and lingering illness during which she suffered a great deal” … and Edinger himself died a “sudden death of unknown causes in Community Hospital” on May 31, 1944.

Their only child, Estella, nicknamed Stella, was born Nov. 29, 1886. She married Churchill Shumate April 28, 1923. Her father left an estate worth more than $200,000, which he willed to his daughter and son-in-law.

Stella and Judge Churchill Shumate

Stella Edinger lived in Glenwood Springs for 57 years and witnessed its change from a settlement of Indians and drifting whites to a thriving and prosperous town.

From his bench, Judge Shumate ruled on many topics and incidents, but his biggest stand was protecting Western Slope water: “To steal a man’s water is more serious than to steal food from his table for the victim of the theft not only loses his crops, but his hard labor.”

In another case, the town’s water supply, which came from the Roaring Fork River, was believed to be polluted from the ore tailings coming down the river from Aspen. Shumate researched the situation and ruled that a bid be written and accepted for using No Name Creek.

Shumate served as county attorney, county commissioner, city attorney, city councilman, judge for the 9th Judicial District, state legislator and won the democratic nomination for county judge. He lost the county judge seat to John Noonan and blamed the newspaper for the defeat, claiming, “The paper comes from the south where Democrats run conventions and elections on the Arkansas plan with the shot gun and rifle.”

At first, Churchill and Stella made their home at 10th and Colorado “for the present with the bride’s parents who are loathe to give up the companionship of their only child.”

Upon Stella’s death in 1971, the house was donated to the then Frontier Historical Society.

Source: Glenwood Springs Historical Society application for local landmark designation of 1001 Colorado Ave. The full narrative can be found on the city of Glenwood Springs website.

A Colonial-style house dating to the early part of the 20th century that has been home to much of Glenwood Springs’ archived history for the past 45 years has itself been given the official historic local landmark stamp by the city.

Glenwood City Council recently approved an application from the Glenwood Springs Historical Society to add to the local landmarks list the former residence at 1001 Colorado Ave. that now houses the Frontier Museum.

The museum building joins a growing list of local landmarks, including the Pioneer/Linwood Cemetery where Doc Holliday’s grave marker is located; First Church of Christ, Scientist at 10th and Cooper; First Presbyterian Church on Cooper; and several downtown residences and commercial buildings.

A local landmark is not the same as state or national historical designation, but is a way to acknowledge the local significance of certain buildings and sites for their various notable family associations and uses over the decades.

The Colonial Revival-style home at 10th and Colorado was constructed in 1905 by Marshall Dean, a local physician who conducted his practice in the building until moving to Denver in 1908, according to a historical account prepared by city Historic Preservation Commissioner Marice Doll.

“Dean arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley in 1887 and, with two partners, opened the Carbondale Mining Exchange, a headquarters for mine investors,” Doll wrote. “In addition to his mining interests, Mr. Dean was a practicing physician in the Carbondale area. He and his family moved to Glenwood Springs in 1893 where he joined the Rio Grande and Western Railroad and served as the company surgeon for the next 20 years.

“In 1904-05 he financed the construction of this prominent home at the corner of 10th.”

Upon Dean’s move to Denver, the house was purchased and lived in for a short time by the infamous Julius Wulfsohn and his family, before being sold to George Edinger.

An early resident of Glenwood Springs who arrived in 1885 and operated a general store and had a loan and insurance brokerage business, Edinger became wealthy purchasing and reselling real estate. He resided in the house at 10th and Colorado until his death in 1944.

Edinger’s daughter, Stella, and her husband Churchill Shumate resided in the home for the remainder of their lives. Upon Stella’s death in 1971, the home was donated to the museum and historical society.

“Not only does the home at 10th Street and Colorado Avenue tell its own story, it also holds the town’s history as the Glenwood Springs Frontier Historical Museum,” Doll continued. “As a museum, photos, letters, newspapers and records of the town’s history are found inside its drawers, closets, and display cases.

“When Stella Shumate, the last survivor of these families, finally closed the door of her home in 1971, she passed its keys to the local historical society as a donation. She left behind beautiful oriental carpets, dining room furniture, old doors with thick beveled plate glass windows, priceless Persian rugs and a magnificent fireplace topped with a Seth Thomas Clock, all part of the original home.”

The home qualified as a local landmark under the city’s guidelines by virtue of being more than 50 years old, with few major exterior alterations, plus its association with notable Glenwood Springs residents.

Local landmark designation qualifies the property for certain competitive grants from the Colorado Historical Society that would not otherwise be available. The historical society will also be given a bronze plaque to hang inside or outside of the home.

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