Glenwood graduates four in 1890 |

Glenwood graduates four in 1890

Frontier DiaryWilla SoncartyRegistrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum

The future loomed large for Maud Beman, Minnie O’Hanlon, and sisters Kate and Julia Sale. On Thursday evening, May 29, 1890, these four ladies stood to receive the parchment that rewarded their academic achievements. These were the first graduates of Glenwood Springs High School.For a community, these graduates symbolized the successful building of an educational system. From a tent located at the foot of the Cooper Avenue toll bridge in 1884 to a log cabin at the corner of Bennett Avenue and Seventh Street, students received their first educational instruction in Glenwood Springs. As enrollment climbed, classes were moved in 1885 to a brick building on Cooper Avenue. Passage of a bond in 1887 financed the building of a two-story brick school on the corner of Eleventh Street and Blake Avenue. This new school provided enough room to educate children grades one through 12. C.M. Kiggins, taking advantage of the new space, organized the first Glenwood Springs High School in 1887. His curriculum took three years to complete.So, on the evening of May 29, 1890, the hopes and dreams of many, including the first high school graduates, were being realized. Major S.J. DeLan presented the diplomas to the young graduates and offered, in part, these eloquent remarks:”Ladies of the graduating class of Glenwood Springs – and Glenwood Springs can well be proud of her graduating class – this scene, this night marks an epoch in your lives, for to-night the reminiscences of your childhood become an experience of the past, for through the love and care of your parents and your teachers and the wisdom of your country, you are placed on the threshold of the future, and the gates stand ajar for you. … I am proud of the honor of presenting you, in behalf of the school board of Glenwood Springs, with these mementos of your scholarship earned by your studious industry.”And with that statement Glenwood Springs’ first high school graduates entered the adult world. “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.

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