Elliott taught in Glenwood for 34 years
“Sixty-one years of teaching and (it’s) gone like a tale that is old. The year 1904. Our country is peaceful – no fear of war when I marched up on the platform with 82 others of the class to receive my diploma from Greeley State College in Colorado. Our caps and gowns were much like those still worn. All were black.”This is how Elizabeth Elliott remembered the beginning of her long teaching career.Born in Ireland in 1881, Elliott and her parents immigrated to the United States. Her father, Charles, became a circuit-riding minister in Missouri. It was while she was living in the Ozarks being “raised on oatmeal and the Bible” that she found her calling as a teacher.In the autumn of 1904, Elliott began teaching eight grades – 32 students – in a one-room school on the Colorado plains. Her mode of transportation to and from her parents’ home in Brighton was a bicycle. Her bloomers and bicycle raised eyebrows and created controversy in 1910 when she began eight years of teaching in Rifle. Her dedication to her profession soon dispelled any parent reservations. Elliott moved to Glenwood Springs in 1918, and for the next 34 years she educated the youngest of Glenwood’s population. Believing parental involvement was key to a child’s success in the classroom, Elliott helped organize the community’s first parent-teacher association (PTA). Elliott retired from the public schools in 1952, but she did not retire from teaching. She gave remedial reading lessons in her home.On March 6, 1974, the teacher to so many passed away at 92. Always thinking of education, Elliott asked that funds in her memory be sent to the Twin Wells Indian School in Holbrook, Ariz.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
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