Let's Not Forget the Accomplishments of William Dimorier
There's been many people who have devoted their lives to the education of children in Erie. Some have school buildings named after them. Others are not well known at all, despite accomplishing some great things.
Ann Silverthorn wants people to know about longtime Erie educator William Dimorier. The things he did were so impressive, she wrote a book about him.
Ann didn't know a thing about Dimorier until 2004. That's when she bid on a journal of his poetry at an auction in Erie. She was so taken by the poetry that she wanted to know more about the man.
"As I started doing that, I started realizing what an amazing man he was and how much he gave of himself,” says Ann.
Ann found out the poet was an Erie School District educator from 1906 to 1940. The research for her book took at least ten years. She was so involved that she quit her job as director of the online MBA program at Penn State. She learned that Dimorier was involved with the establishment of what is now Ainsworth Field in 1914. The field is still used today.
"He was very involved with acquiring the land, brokering the deal for the land, raising money for the field which at the time was called 'The Athletic Field.' It was going to be used for baseball, football, and track,” says Ann.
The school district soon wanted to build a bigger stadium that would accommodate lots of fans for football. It wanted the stadium built near the new Academy High School on State Street. Dimorier, who became assistant principal at Academy, was known as the ‘First Advocate for the Stadium.’ A community fund raising effort was started.
"They raised about $140,000, which would be about $2.5 million today. And they got that stadium built,” says Ann.
Dimorier raised $30,000 to purchase a pipe organ for Academy High School during the start of the Great Depression. 1,300 people showed up for the dedication. Also, Dimoyier was business manager for The Academy Singers. They were high school kids, but they toured throughout the nation.
Ann hopes her book will teach people about the contributions of William Dimorier. She is disappointed that the man who did so much for the construction of Ainsworth Field and Vets Stadium Is not in the Erie Sports Hall of Fame.
Ann's book is titled, William Dimorier : Servant Leader. A copy is in the library of every school in the Erie School District. It can be purchased online through Amazon and Etsy and at Ann's web site: annsilverthorn.com. It can also be purchased at Werner Books and Pressed Books and Coffee. Both stores are located in Erie.