D in deportment for disgruntled applicant
“Envy is the ulcer of the soul.” – Socrates The neat white school at Cardiff was a gem. Situated south of Glenwood Springs, the school served the educational needs of the children living within the 250-person community, as well as those living in rural areas outside the town. The school was built in the early 1890s. In the decade following, enrollment quickly increased. This prompted the school district to build an addition to the school, making the facility larger and up-to-date.In 1900, 47 children enrolled in the Cardiff school. However, with the departure of teacher F.H. Sommers, the school needed a new instructor. Two men applied for the position.Mr. S.L. Lewis was the first to apply. The second applicant was Sylvester Stillman, who, according to the Glenwood Post newspaper, accompanied his application with “the same diverse testimonies to his character and ability as a teacher.” The board members of Cardiff District Number 25 met, and hired Stillman as the Cardiff school’s new teacher for the 1900-01 year.Lewis was angered at being passed over. He verbally declared that Stillman should “never teach at that school.” Lewis then began to spread secondhand tales which reflected poorly upon Sylvester Stillman’s character.The disparaging remarks, however, did not emotionally satisfy Mr. Lewis, and did not reverse the school board’s decision. Still angered, Lewis decided to confront Sylvester Stillman personally at Stillman’s place of work, the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. During the vicious verbal altercation, Stillman defended his honor, challenging Lewis to verify his claims. Rough language filled the air. Lewis departed having lost the battle, but not his desire for a fight.Later in the day, Lewis returned again to the pool grounds, this time brandishing a knife. He followed Stillman about the grounds using “vile and abrasive language.” The pool’s manager, Hervey Lyle, was alerted to the situation. Lewis was arrested.To prevent his case coming to trial, Lewis paid all court costs and agreed to stop circulating rumors about Sylvester Stillman. Additionally, the July 19, 1900, Glenwood Post newspaper published a written statement by Lewis admitting that the stories clouding Stillman’s character were of a secondary and unverifiable nature. S.L. Lewis did not apologize for his actions. However, what was termed the “Row Between Pedagogues” was over.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 945-4448.
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