Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, May 16, 2010, pg. 9
In just a few weeks Washington Gardner School will be closed forever. Classes have been held by the Albion Public Schools on this property ever since November, 1872 when the Central School was opened here. So that makes a total of 138 years of classes on this sacred ground. Consult my book “A History of the Albion Public Schools” (1991) for a chronology of education in Albion at this location.
Each year at this time we feature the Albion High School class from 100 years ago. The Class of 1910 was a relatively small class. It only had 25 members; 19 were girls, and just 6 were boys. The class valedictorian was Mabel Elizabeth Cuatt.
The class motto was “Possumus, Quia Posse Videmur,” which is Latin for “We can conquer because we are able.” The class flower was the yellow tea rose. The class colors were blue and gold. The class memorial was a bas-relief of the picture Aurora by Reni. Superintendent Warren J. McKone accepted the gift, which was placed in the assembly room at the Central School building.
The baccalaureate address at the Methodist Church was given by Rev. D. D. Martin on Sunday, June 5. He remarked to the scholars: “Most of you will be simply common people, and you needn’t be discouraged at that, because there is a place for all of you.”
The commencement was held on Thursday evening, June 9, 1910 at the Methodist Church. The High School orchestra played “Tulips and Pansies” by Burnett just before the commencement address. The commencement speaker was Dr. A. E. Winship of Boston, Massachusetts. His topic was “Getting Into the Game.”
Here is the roster of the Albion High School Class of 1910. How many of our readers knew any of these persons or are related to them? Leila R. Bangham, Mabel Cuatt, Marie M. Conrad, Donald MacFall, Hazel Gale, Pearl Howell, Gladys Hunt, Gertrude Hunt, Clinton Hafford, Marie Luedtke, Rolfe Power, Letitia Pettibone, Marcus Pahl, Lou Maud Pell, Irene Ruff, Ruby Shepard, Harry Barton Smith, Bernadine Marie Smith, Lenora Smith, Edna Strohmer, Jeannette Steele, Myrtle Stancroff, Floyd Withee, June Wood, and Etta Sarena Wright.
In looking through the list, a few names pop out. Etta Sarena Wright (1893-1996) of course was Etta Robillard Sessions, who came from nearby Parma Township. The Wright School was named after her grandfather Deodatus Wright. Etta graduated from Albion College in 1912 and was a teacher for several years. On her 100th birthday in 1993, Etta splurged her money and paid $1,700 for that State of Michigan historical marker which was erected in front of the former schoolhouse along M-99. Yours truly participated in the dedication ceremony with former Michigan Governor John Swainson. The marker was removed along with the school to Eaton Rapids several years ago.
In lieu of a photograph of the entire class of 1910, from our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of one of its members, Etta (Wright) Robillard Sessions.
Etta Sarena Wright (1893-1996)
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic