Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

ALBION HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1919

Morning Star, June 2, 2019, pg. 28

Each year at this time we feature the Albion High School class of 100 years ago. The class of 1919 had 46 members. Twenty-four were girls, and twenty-two were boys. Class Valedictorian was Catherine Sturtevant; salutatorian was Laurie McDiarmid. Class president was Rae E. Corliss (1900-1989).

The class Memorial given to the Board Education consisted of a bronze tablet commemorating the soldiers and sailors of World War I who came from Albion High School. The 1919 Breeze yearbook was "dedicated to the soldiers and sailors who left Albion High to enter the great war," as stated on page 5. The class colors were olive green and gold. The class flower was the yellow tea rose. For some unknown reason, there apparently was no class motto, in either Latin or English, an anomaly for those times.

The 42nd Commencement exercises of Albion High School was held on Wednesday, June 11, 1919 at the Methodist Church on E. Erie St. in downtown Albion, as was the custom of those days. The featured speaker for the evening was Dr. Ray Morton Hardy of Chicago, who spoke on the topic "The Challenge of Democracy." Dr. Hardy was on the staff of the Commercial Research Corporation in Chicago, which trained business executives. Diplomas were presented by Albion Public Schools superintendent Lucius W. Fast, which was his last time performing that honor. Fast resigned that same month to become superintendent of schools at Mt. Clemens, Michigan.

The members of the AHS Class of 1919 were: Lawrence Abbott, Beatrice Austin, William Bennett, Warren Barkley, Phoebe Bryden, George E. Bullen, Donald Church, Rae S. Corliss, Louise Davis, Ethel Mary Dean, Ruth Diehl, Charles Finley, Donald Foote, Asenath Ford, Hilmar J. Fox, Nellie Gilmore, Dorothea Greenhaigh, Alice Hamilton, Marion Hayes, Viola Howard, Katherine Johns, Gwendolyn Johnson, Roger C. Lewis, J. Russel Lines, J. Glenn Longworth, Laurie McDiarmid, Warner McKinney, Victoria Michniewicz, Alfred Miller, Rhoda Peck, Wilma Reed, Mary Roberts, Donald Rutz, Luella Selee, Harry Smith, Ivan Stetler, Ethel L. Stone, Catherine Sturtevant, Harley Taber, Lena Wicks, Frank Williamson, Clarence Wochholz, Edith Yost, Russell Zimmerman, Marjorie O’Brien, Rae E. White.

In looking through the list of names, the one name that stood out of course was Rae Corliss. Rae was a prominent area newspaperman, and published area papers such as the Parma News, the Spring Arbor Times, and others. He concluded his journalistic career by launching the Journal of Albion in 1956 which he published until his death in 1989. Yours truly wrote historical articles in the Journal for several years. Another name I spotted was Rae’s good friend and classmate, Roger C. Lewis (1900-1986), who operated the Marshall Label & Tag Company on W. Center St. for many years. Another "stand-out" name is that of Valedictorian Catherine Sturtevant (1900-1970). She earned a Ph. D. and served as executive editor of the Cornell University Press in Ithaca, NY. for 20 years.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a page from the 1919 Breeze yearbook with the senior portraits of four of the classmates. Left to right: Donald Church, Rae Corliss, Christine Davis, Ethel Dean. How many of our readers knew anyone from the Albion High School class of 1919?


AHS Class of 1919

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - JUNE 1919

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