Joseph Schram was first Glenwood mayor
Case Number 280 was filed July 25, 1885, in Garfield County Court. The case was a petition brought by J.B. Hardcastle and bore the signatures of 40 residents. The petition was simple: It asked for the incorporation of the town of Glenwood Springs.Judge F.C. Childs certified the petition and appointed a five-man committee to oversee a special election. The election results dated Aug. 25, 1885, showed 81 men participated in the vote. Women were not yet allowed to vote in Colorado. Of the votes cast, 55 were for incorporation, 22 were against, and four votes were rejected for ballot irregularities. When the results were filed with the Garfield County Clerk and Recorder on Aug. 28, 1885, Glenwood Springs officially became incorporated.The birth of a new city required the formation of a city government. Glenwood Springs’ eligible male voting population again went to the polls, choosing the city’s first officers on Sept. 21, 1885. Five trustees were elected. Joseph Elihu Schram was chosen as Glenwood Springs’ first mayor.Schram, a Michigan native, was 35 years old when he took the position as mayor. He had come to Glenwood Springs with his cousin, Fred Schram, and the two had opened a successful grocery business. The Schrams had honest and clean reputations. The election of Schram as mayor brought those same qualities to city government.On Oct. 5, 1885, the new government met for the first time, setting to create the ordinances establishing a safe and civilized community. The mayor and trustees also selected the town’s first attorney, treasurer, engineer, police judge and marshal. During the next six months of their term, the new government strived to build a suitable jail, forging a positive working relationship with the officials of Garfield County to achieve that end. Recognizing the need for development, they also established a cooperative working relationship with developers.The new Glenwood Springs government made many accomplishments during its first six months. In April 1886, elections were again held, and a majority of the trustees, however, were replaced. Schram was succeeded as mayor by W.E. Shaffer. Schram never again participated in Glenwood Springs’ politics. He married Ida Barlow, and the couple, by 1890, relocated to California, where former mayor Schram became a successful merchant. “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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