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Glenwood Springs: Women to remember!

As historic town, Glenwood Springs has many interesting stories to tell. Often we focus on our favorite Wild West Characters such as Diamond Jack and Doc Holliday.
With the help of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society we have gathered some interesting biographies of impressive ladies from Glenwood Springs. We will continue to gather stories of women to remember from Glenwood Springs but decided to publish this post to celebrate Women’s History Month!


Elizabeth Elliott was born October 30, 1881 at Ballansloe County, Galway, Ireland. She came with her parents at age 10 months to the United States and settled on a North Dakota homestead. She stated in an interview that “she was raised on oatmeal and the Bible”.

In 1899, her family moved to Brighton, Colorado and Elizabeth attended the Colorado State Teachers College at Greeley where she received her teaching certificate. She came to teach at Rifle in 1910, where she shocked the proper ladies of the community by riding a man’s bicycle to school while wearing ankle-length bloomers over her overskirt. Proper women felt the method of transportation and her attire was unbecoming to a lady and to a teacher.

Elizabeth Elliott taught first grade in Glenwood Springs for 34 years. When she retired from public teaching in 1956, she began teaching students privately in her home. Each morning before she began lessons, she hiked up the hill behind her home on Minter Avenue. The exercise kept her mind and body active until she passed away at the age of 92.


As a new bride, Eleanora Malaby traveled for six days by train to reach a stage stop at Granite, Colorado, just outside of Leadville. According to the plan, the stage would take her to Aspen where she would join her husband Perry, and together they would travel to her new home in Glenwood Springs.

At Granite, Eleanora was told that the Independence Pass road was impassable, and that she would have to wait until conditions improved. The men, however, could travel on by horse. Eleanora knew she could make the trip to Aspen by horseback, and she convinced the stage driver and the men in her party that she could travel on.

Along the way, she was befriended by two men. The travel over Independence Pass went well until her horse unexpectedly dropped to the ground and rolled, the result of an over-tightened saddle cinch. Eleanora’s male companions were impressed by her calmness through the incident. When the party arrived in Aspen, the traveling men would not release her to Perry until they were satisfied that he was indeed her husband.

Eleanora Malaby watched Glenwood Springs grow from a community of tents and temporary wood structures to a bustling tourist destination. She was a mother to six children. She also became a community leader, always lending a helping hand to her neighbors.


mary buresh

Mary Buresh was born February 5, 1877, in Saratoga, Iowa. She knew that she wanted to help others, so she sought out the nursing profession. She graduated from nurses training from the Burlington Hospital in Burlington, Iowa, in 1900.

She traveled to Denver, Colorado and then to Glenwood Springs. Because she was one of the few professionally trained nurses at the time in Glenwood Springs, she became part of the hospital staff at the Glenwood Springs Sanitarium. The Sanitarium, founded in 1906. included a nursing school. Mary Buresh was in charge of nurses training at the school.

Mary Buresh married contractor Charles W. Anderson on June 12, 1907, and the couple had four children: Roland, Charlie, John and Mildred.


Thommy Thompson

Tommy Thomson loved everything about horses. She also loved to entertain and knew how to make people feel welcome.  Using those special talents, she and her husband Rich in 1938 started nationally acclaimed trail rides into U.S. Forest Service lands.

The Thomson’s trail rides took people from all over the country into Colorado’s backcountry. Tommy and her husband provided a trail ride experience above the western norm. Matched strings of horses, loaded with gear and good food, traversed the landscape while being managed by several wranglers, cooks, helpers and a U.S. Forest Ranger. The 1938 ride included 30 guests, 15 workers and 80 horses.  Of the guests, two thirds of the riders were women.

Rich Thomson passed away in 1950, and Tommy carried on the trail ride tradition through 1956.


Marie Shelton Halloway did not initial intend to become a lawyer. Her brother had been selected by the family to study law, but, when he chose other career opportunities, the family persuaded Marie to study to become an attorney.

Marie Shelton Halloway received a degree in fine arts and science from Cotty College in Missouri. She attended the University of Southern California and received her law degree from the University of Oregon.

In 1933 she became Clerk of the Garfield County Court. She was appointed Garfield County’s first female judge in June 1948 and was elected to that position that following November. She was popular elected to three successive four-year terms, serving as Magistrate until 1960.


You would like to learn more about these or other great characters of Glenwood Springs!? Visit Frontier Museum of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society!

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Visit Glenwood Springs

Reservations to hike Hanging Lake are released on a weekly basis every Tuesday at 8:00 am MDT. 

 Visit the Hanging Lake page HERE for more information and the booking portal.