Optimism continued even as prosperity ebbed

The prosperous days were starting to fade as Durango entered the decade of the 1890s. Optimism and expectation had been a Durango trademark and locals expected that better times were just around the corner. Meanwhile, “high society” made some news.

Great Southwest

Aug. 5, 1892

Dan Shively is taking out some good ore from his claim, the Mountain Lily, situated in the La Platas.

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Miss Millie Kavanaugh has been appointed to the position of teacher in the main school house in the Durango district.

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A school will perhaps be opened at the Porter mine (coal mine in Wildcat Canyon) this fall. This has been sadly needed and as it is a portion of the district, should be attended to by the board.

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The Great Southwest has just completed arrangement with George Goodman to erect a brick addition at the rear of the present office for the accommodation of our new Cranston power press and for the job room.

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H. J. Kavanaugh is one of the most successful teachers in our rural schools one whose constant endeavor is to raise the procession to a higher plane.

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The Crawfords played to a fair house last night in “Joe the Waif.” The play is weak but the company retrieved many of the bad features and will have a better chance tonight in “Myrtle Fern.”

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Given in Honor of Two Eastern Ladies Visiting in Durango.

Details Perfectly Arranged. Beautiful Costumes were There in Abundance. Delicate Refreshments Served. A Large List of Invited Guests Paid Their Respect to the Ladies Who Were Receiving.

One of the leading society events of the season occurred yesterday afternoon in the grand reception by Mrs. Frank Young and Mrs. Richard McCloud in honor of Mrs. H. N. Wood of Omaha, the sister of Mrs. Young, who is visiting here and Mrs. James Doggin of Norwich, Conn. who is visiting here her sister Mrs. McCloud.

The hours for the reception were from 5 o’clock until 7 and during that time the house was crowded almost to overflowing with invited guests, of who there were over 150.

It does not often fall to the lot of editor to attend such social affairs as it is taken for granted that gentlemen are not expected. However plucking up courage, we ventured in and found the four ladies standing ready to receive. The ladies are admirable entertainers and decided that it would be better to have a gentleman or two among the guests to give variety.

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The following is the report of school district No. 9 for the past year.

Number of students residing in the district 876

Average daily attendance 370

High school 77

Grade school 370

Number of teachers 11

Money paid teachers $9,573.60 (which would average to $870.32 per year)

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There is not a town in all the West where athletic exercises for ladies would be more beneficial than Durango. Riding, driving, walking and occasional dancing are all good but the wives, mothers, sister and daughters of Durango should have a suitable building in which they can enjoy regularly such exercises as they most need for their physical development. (Durango Weekly Tribune, June 1, 1891)

Duane Smith is a Fort Lewis College history professor. Reach him at 247-2589.

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