Sunday, February 20, 2011

Matthew E. Eagleton

The distinguished-looking man in the back row of the 1913 class at Garden Place School is Matthew E. Eagleton, principal from 1901 - 1920, and one of three Eagleton brothers who devoted their lives to schools in Denver.* When he began his career in 1901, Eagleton was in charge of three schools Argo, Globeville and Garden Place, driving a horse and buggy from one school to the other. 
Eagleton was respected by the immigrant community, helping parents with the process of Americanization and holding citizenship classes in the evenings. The teachers at Garden Place admired "Mr. Eagleton, who did everything in his power to make things easier for us...getting supplies and books." He inspired teachers to fill the educational gaps for children who were out of school for several months to work in the beet fields. When Globeville's German-Russian population came under suspicion during World War I, Eagleton defended their patriotism, reminding public officials there were "72 service stars on the service flag, two of which are gold." Matthew E. Eagleton died in February, 1920, leaving his widow (and Garden Place teacher, Maude Long) and a grateful community.
*Brothers J. S. and W. H. Eagleton were also educators and principals in Denver.
 History of Garden Place School, typed manuscript 1950
1913, Picture used with written permission from Maxine DeDonato

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