Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, May 21, 2017, pg. 5
Each year at this time we feature the Albion High School class of 100 years ago. Class president was Walter Clark Dean. The class valedictorian was Gertrude V. Pratt. The class colors were orange and black, with the yellow rose being the class flower. The class motto (not in Latin this time) stated, "Finished, Yet Just Begun."
It was the largest class that Albion High School had up to that time—55 members. 30 were girls, and 25 were boys. It was an ominous time of uncertainty for the male members of the class, as our country was gearing up for war with Germany. A few days before, 902 young men in Albion had registered for the draft, and a mile-long local parade celebrated the "event." Several class members did indeed subsequently serve in World War I.
The 40th annual Commencement Exercises were held at the Methodist Church, as was the custom of those days, on Thursday June 7, 1917 at 8 o’clock in the evening. Special speaker for the event was Dr. John Merritte Druin [last name printed as Driver in the Recorder] of Chicago, who spoke on the topic "Higher Citizenship." The Albion Recorder reported, "Dr. Driver made a strong plea for more male teachers in the public schools and for the instructors to teach the students something else besides what is in the books." New Albion Superintendent Lusius Wade Fast handed out the diplomas for his first time here.
A couple of names in the list of graduates stand out. Walter Clark Dean (1898-1980) of course, later became president of Union Steel Products in the footsteps of his father, George E. Dean. Walter also served as Albion Mayor during 1945-46. Dr. Gordon H. Sindecuse (1898-1993) became a prominent dentist and philanthropist. His $1 million gift to Western Michigan University established the Sindecuse Health Center there, while another $1 million gift to the University of Michigan established their Sindecuse Dental Museum. Read my article about him in the October 24, 2010 edition of this column.
It is interesting to note that the list of names of graduates in the commencement program were not in alphabetical order. One wonders if the listing was done by grade point average or by some other method? The list of graduates is as follows, as printed. Do you recognize anyone? Walter Clark Dean, Dorothy W. O’Brien, Iva P. Ray, Lucia J. Sweeney, L. Adeline Pierce, Dorothy C. Culver, Charlotte La Mastus, Hal LaVerne Shields, Herbert Morton Foote, M. Ione Reed, Carrie B. Hamlin, Gertrude V. Pratt, Hazel Marie Wicker, Alice Lurene Smith, Nellie Allys Ford, Clarence O. Burrows, Cecil B. Andres, William D. Pahl, Ina Fay Weston, Katharyn A. Sackett, Floyd I. Van Sickle, Arlene E. Woodliff, Mark Ansel Abbott, John Richard Osborn, Archie D. Shultz, Roy W. Anderson, Lillian-George McGuire, Ora May Palmiter.
Maude Belle Clark, Nettie M. Davis, Esther C. Bryden, Vera Elizabeth Hahn, Eleanor Lubelle Haight, Sara Elizabeth Murray, Idamae Fisher, Frank Doe Linn, Russell T. Des Jardins, Willard Warren Reed, Elton Elmer Ball, Sidney Normal Geal, Donald Frederick Herrick, Grace Bedient, August Robert Holtz, Elmer Frederick Eberling, Gordon Hugo Sindecuse, Gertrude C. Radee, Marguerite L. Boyd, Howard L. Smith, Mae Wilke, Dewey Russell, Ralph R. Bullen, D. Clare Boyd, Donald Glascoff, Kenneth Charles Grier, Marjorie M. Thomson.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1910s era postcard panoramic photo of the Central School complex which contained Albion High School. Notice the horse hitching post on the left across the street on Michigan Avenue.
Panoramic Photo of Albion High Central School, circa 1905
All text copyright, 2018 © all rights reserved Frank Passic