Norwalk, Ohio High School Class of 1907

norwalk-high-school-commencement-1907

Norwalk High School Class of 1907: Front Row: Ruth Jenkins, Irene Eline, Irene Bragdon, Myrtle Woodruff. Second Row: Lillian Smith, Eugene Bloxham, Arthur Young, Carrie Spurrier, Harriott Wickham, Robert Venus, Ruby Hoyt. Third Row: Sarah Barnett, Fred Osborne, Nina Humiston, Earl Sinclair, Florence Davidson, Inez Adams, Stephen Young, Fred French. Fourth Row: Homer Beattie, Florence Bascom, Alice McCammon, Sheldon Laning, Edna West, Harry Holiday, Cleo Collins.

How many times have you come across an old family photo, but have no idea of the identity of the people in it? Unfortunately, too often our ancestors neglected to scrawl identifying information on the backs of their photos. Fortunately for me, my grandmother Harriott Wickham (second row, third from left in the photo above) understood how important it is to record names of people in her photos for future generations. She not only preserved this photo of her graduating class, she also recorded her classmates’ names on an accompanying scrap of paper.

old-norwalk-high-school0001

Old Norwalk High School

The members of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907 are no more. But in their day, at the beginning of their adult lives, they were full of enthusiasm and hope for the future. As I gazed at their faces, so serious, yet so full of life, I wondered who they were and how they lived their lives? I decided to find out.

Not only had my grandmother recorded the names of her classmates, she kept a diaries during those years that describe many of them and tell of her interactions with them. Unfortunately, the diary for her senior year is missing, but she did preserve one for May 1908 to May 1909. From it, and from information I gleaned from research, I began to form a picture of these young people and their families; of where they came from and how they spent their senior year–and the rest of their lives.

What did they do? In small town America of the early 20th Century, young people went to balls, hung out at the library, formed societies, performed in plays and concerts, and played basketball (both boys and girls). They had séances and house parties and spent their summers in cottages on Lake Erie, lazing away the days and dancing at “The Grove” at Ruggles Beach at night.

Who were they and their families? What stock did they come from and how did they spend their lives after graduation? Because I have their names, I’ve been able to answer some of those questions. One of the young men in the photo became a U.S. Senator, but the rest of the the class led ordinary lives: some did not do well, some of them had successful careers. But each one of them has a story I want to tell.

Using my grandma’s diaries and research on the internet, I’m continuing to flesh out the stories behind these faces. Over the next year, I’ll post what I’ve learned–and what I don’t know. I ask your help as I take this journey: to correct my mistakes, and to add your stories to the tale of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907.

 

Please like this post and let me know what you think in the comments. Thank you.

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18 Responses

  1. […] what did the Norwalk High School Class of 1907 experience on Thanksgiving Day in 1906? At that time, Norwalk had two newspapers: The Daily […]

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  2. […] Norwalk High School Class of 1907: Ninety years after Platt Benedict founded Norwalk, Ohio, his descendant Harriott Benedict Wickham, […]

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  3. […] of this brings us to the Norwalk High School Class of 1907. On this day in 1906, Norwalk High School kicked off its basketball season with two intramural […]

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  4. […] was on the team? Well, here’s the lineup. The Seniors of the Class of 1907 are identified by links to their WeRelate […]

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  5. […] was on the team? Well, here’s the lineup. The Seniors of the Class of 1907 are identified by links to their WeRelate […]

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  6. […] a picture of a holiday of celebration and good will. There was no mention of any students in the Norwalk High School Class of 1907, however. Fortunately, I do have an account of Christmas Day a couple years later from one member […]

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  7. […] a Sara Joslin, another Laura Joslin. But neither name appears in the commencement photo of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907, nor in any newspaper accounts of the class. So who was she? In this post, I’ll explain how I […]

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  8. […] we saw in my last post, Laura Tuttle, mother of Sarah Barnett of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907, lost her father Arad Tuttle when she was around twenty years old. Her mother, Calista Tuttle, […]

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  9. […] We continue with the heritage of Myrtle Woodruff, alumnus of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907. […]

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  10. […] continue his story, and of his descendants down to his great granddaughter Myrtle Woodruff, of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907, in my next […]

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  11. […] and Civil Wars. Chauncey’s son Lewis was the father of Myrtle Woodruff, alumnus of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907. Here is her family tree, tracing her ancestry back to those first pioneers of Norwich Township in […]

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  12. […] full week of 1907 fell on a Wednesday. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at what the Norwalk High School Class of 1907 was reading in the local newspapers. High School students in those days appear to have been […]

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  13. Despite spending 2/3 of my life in (southern) Ohio, I never knew the origin of the term, “Firelands.” What a great project. Thanks for your interest in Under Western Skies.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. […] oratorical contest at Bowling Green, Ohio. Among them was one of their own, Stephen Young, Junior, Norwalk High School Class of 1907, who would compete against fourteen students from other Ohio High […]

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  15. Oh, my gosh…I am utterly impressed by your ingenuity, initiative andcuriosity…and, soooo intrigued to learn more! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for your kind comment. I am glad you enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My pleasure 🙂

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  18. […] May 23, 1907 issue of the Norwalk Daily Reflector for articles about the June graduation of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907, the headline “Miss Ora Tuttle Goes to Korea” caught my […]

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