Mystery Girl

In my last post, A Play – A Dance – A Test, we saw that according to newspaper accounts, there was a member of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907 not pictured in the class commencement photo. Who was this mystery student?

Her name was Gertrude Ryerson.

Gertrude, or Gertie, as she was known, was older than most of her classmates; born in 1886 in Richmond Township, she was twenty years old at the time of graduation. [1] Gertie was a country girl; at the time of graduation, she lived in Bronson Township. [2] The Ryersons were a pioneer family, having arrived in the Firelands from New Jersey around 1842. [3]

Gertrude Ryerson 1Although she does not appear in the commencement photo, I was able to find her photo in the 1906 Senior Junior study hall photo, so she was attending school her junior year. But what about her senior year.

She was not listed as a cast member in the upcoming play, Bachelor House. Nor would she have a part during commencement exercises. So, did she even show for the ceremony? I searched the Norwalk newspapers for an explanation, but found not a clue.

It’s a mystery.

Do you have the answer?

 

Footnotes:

[1] “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962.”, in Ohio. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973. (ancestry.com), FHL Film Number: 410277.

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Bronson, Huron, Ohio; Roll 1288; page 6A; Enumeration District 0018; FHL microfilm 1241288.

[3] “Obituary of Mrs. Elizabeth Galley, nee Ryerson,” The Firelands Pioneer, Volume XXII, April, 1825, page 485.

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