Edwina Hume Fallis

The grand-daughter of a president of the Denver school board, Edwina became an exemplary student of Denver Public Schools and an outstanding teacher, as well as a creator of story books and characters that enriched many children’s lives.

After graduating from East Denver High School and earning a degree from Colorado State College of Education, Edwina attended the University of Denver and Columbia University. She then studied advanced teaching in Chicago. Back in Denver, she went to work as an assistant in a kindergarten. Her official career as teacher began in the Gilpin School and continued at Whittier and Lincoln Schools. A dedicated teacher, she taught many pupils who later became city and state leaders.

Edwina wrote in a Denver Women’s Press Club publication that is was her job as a teacher to help children listen to and tell stories. Through her use of creative toys and props, stories were brought to life for kindergarten children. Eventually, there were eighty different figures illuminating more than twenty-five stories. Edwina was convinced of the educational value of these visual aids and with financial help from her family, opened the Fallis Toy Shop. To help streamline the arduous process of these making these toys, she contacted a manufacturer in Minneapolis.

As an educator, Edwina Fallis wrote textbooks and articles for teachers. After forty-two years as a kindergarten teacher, she retired and turned to writing children’s stories for Child Life Magazine She published 100 poems, some of them selected for anthologies. She was recovering from a heart attack when she began writing When Denver and I Were Young, a charming children’s book in which she related her memories of growing up in Denver. The narrative covers the years from 1876 to 1890, when irrigation ditches watered wildflowers growing in vacant lots throughout the city. It depicts typical happenings in the everyday life of a middle-class Denver family living in a big home on Acoma Street. Edwina described how as a child she got around town by taking horse-drawn cars, hitching rides on the family grocery wagon, and of course, on foot.

Always active in public life, Edwina served on the Fox Street Community Center Board. She was a president of Denver Women’s Press Club and also belonged to the Colorado Author’s League, the Territorial Daughters of Colorado, and the Colorado Historical Society.

After her death in September, 1957 . Denver named the Edwina Hume Fallis Elementary School after her as a tribute to her contributions to education. She was the first Denver Public Schools teacher to have a school named after her.



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