Final Defeat – Norwalk HS Basketball 1907

Saturday afternoon, March 23, 1907, a day after the Junior boys’ basketball team’s intramural victory over the sophomores, the Norwalk High School regular boy’s basketball team was defeated badly in an away game by a Sandusky squad, 52 to 12. Leonard Delamater did not make the trip, and The Norwalk Evening Herald attributed this embarrassing loss to his absence, even though him missing the intramural game the night before did not keep the junior class from winning the championship.

The Norwalk Daily Reflector did not cover the Saturday afternoon match at all. So much for supporting the home team through thick or thin.

After a couple premature reports of the end of the 1906-1907 Norwalk High School basketball season, I can now report with confidence that March 23, 1907 was indeed the last game.

As we wrap up the season, let’s look at who in the Norwalk High School Class of 1907 went out for basketball their senior year.

Clockwise from top left they are Harry Holiday, Robert Venus, Arthur Young, Homer Beattie, and Sheldon Laning. (click on the links for posts about each boy).

These boys were not as successful in basketball their senior year as they would have liked, I am sure. Who was successful at basketball that season? The girls of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907, that’s who. We’ll see how successful, and launch a series of articles about the “Athletic Girl” movement, in my next post.

Sources:

“Senior Girls and Junior Boys are Champions,” The Norwalk Daily Reflector, March 23, 1907, page 1, column 3.

“Decides Basketball Superiority,” The Norwalk Evening Herald, March 23, 1907, page 4, column 3.

“Sandusky Defeats High School Team,” The Norwalk Evening Herald, March 25, 1907, page 4, column 3.

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More Basketball – Class of 1907: Which Side of the Tracks?

Basketball Exciting ContestIn “Ending the Season with a Loss” on March 1st, I posted that the boys and girls basketball teams at Norwalk High School had played their last extramural games of the season with losses to Fremont and Clyde teams. It turns out I was wrong–at least about the Norwalk boys team. They had at least one more loss to go–this time an away game against an Elyria squad they had defeated the month before.

According to The Norwalk Daily Reflector, the match on this day, one-hundred ten years ago, was hotly contested, Norwalk led through most of the second half. But Elyria rallied, and when the whistle blew at the end of the game, they had won, 20 to 16.

As in the previous game against Elyria, the Norwalk High School Class of 1907 was represented by Arthur Young and Sheldon Laning. Look at the images of these young men that I cropped from their class commencement photo. Well-dressed and intelligent looking boys, were they not? But were these young men, and their classmates, representative of all of Norwalk’s youth?

The population of Norwalk in 1907 was around 9,000. [1] Twenty-eight students were in the class of 1907, fewer than I would have expected from a city that size, and almost all of them came from the “upper class” of the city. Sheldon Laning’s father had a successful

Norwalk Street Scene

Main Street, Norwalk, Ohio

publishing company, and had recently been elected to be a U.S. Congressman. Arthur Young’s father was also a leader in the community, and Harriott Wickham, who is often featured in these posts, was a descendant of the founder of the town, and her father was editor of The Norwalk Daily Reflector.

Surely, not all young people in Norwalk had such fortunate backgrounds. By this time, the town had become a modest manufacturing center, employing hundreds of workers in factories around the city. What kind of education did the children of those men and women receive? From my research so far, I’ve found that in 1907 few, if any, sons and daughters of factory workers were in the public high school. Did they mix at all with those who were fortunate enough to attend? We’ll look further into those questions in later posts.

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The same issue of The Norwalk Daily Reflector that reported about the basketball game, also carried an article that told of another young man, not much older than the students in the Class of 1907, who was in a very different place: a state penitentiary. More about him in my next post: Young in Years – Old in Crime.

Sources:

“Exciting Contest,” The Norwalk Daily Reflector, March 9, 1907, page 1, column 7.

“High School Stung Again,” The Norwalk Evening Herald, March 9, 1907, page 4, column 4.

[1] 14th U.S. Census: Summary for the United States by Divisions and States, page 18. (https://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/06229686v32-37ch3.pdf).

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Basketball: Two Games at Norwalk High School

Friday evening, February 8, 1907, a night of basketball at the School Hall of the Norwalk High School began with a game between girls’ freshman and sophomore teams. According to the Norwalk Daily Reflector, the six to one score in favor of the freshmen team, did not reflect the excellent play on both sides. The newspaper opined that the high level of play bode well for the future of the junior/senior girls’ team in the coming years.

One exciting game was followed by another. A boys’ team from Elyria High School had come to School Hall to play the Norwalk Squad. The game began in a rush and the high pace was sustained throughout the contest. At the half, Norwalk led 9 to 5, and they continued to lead the rest of the game, winning at the final whistle 14 to 11.

The Norwalk squad was represented by two seniors and three juniors: Captain Arthur Young, and Clifford Williams as forwards, Leonard Delameter at center, and guards Ross Culp and Sheldon Laning. (The seniors of the Class of 1907 are indicated by links to their WeRelate pages).

arthur-young-commencement-photo-1907

Arthur Young

sheldon-laning

Sheldon Laning

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leonard-delamater

Lucy Rule, Harriott Wickham, Sarah Barnett, Sophie Harkness, Walter Evans, Leonard Delamater

The Norwalk High School girl’s team did not play in Norwalk that evening. They had traveled to Clyde, for a game against the “Clyde Maidens.” More about that in my next post.

 

Sources:

“Basket Ball School Hall,” The Norwalk Daily Reflector, 2/9/1907, page 1, column 7.

“Boys Won But Girls Lost,” Norwalk Evening Herald, February 9, 2017, page 1, column 6.

A Republican Banquet to Honor a Fallen President — Who Was Not Named Lincoln

banquet-headlineMonday morning, January 27, 1907, a technological drama unfolded in front of the New St. Charles Hotel in Norwalk, Ohio. The next evening, another drama, this time of a political nature, occurred in the lobby and corridors of that hotel, as the Republicans of the city gathered for a banquet in the honor of the late President William McKinley.

sheldon-laning

Stephen Laning

Toastmaster of the banquet was Jay Laning, father of

eugene-bloxham

Eugene Bloxham

Sheldon Laning, a member of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907. Stephen was also in attendance at the banquet, along with fellow classmate Eugene Bloxham. Although they were at least four years from being eligible to vote, these two young men already showed an interest in politics. The Norwalk Daily Reflector reported that young men made up “fully three-quarters of that gathering,” and editorialized that their attendance bode well for the future of the party.

jp-laningToastmaster Jay Laning was a long-time member of the Grand Old Party, and a leader of the community. The previous year he had been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and in March, he would begin serving in the Sixtieth U.S. Congress, representing Ohio’s Fourteenth District. Jay Laning was born in New London, Ohio, and in 1882 moved to Norwalk, where he practiced law and established a successful publishing business. He served on the the city council from 1887 to 1889, and in the Ohio Senate, 1894 to 1898. In 1904 and 1908 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention. Now he was a U.S. Congressman, and his star seemed on the rise, as alluded to in this poem of introduction.

jay-laning-poem

This poem may seem ridiculous to us today, but I think it gives us the image of a man driven by ambition. And what were those ambitions? Did he aspire to the highest office in the land? If he did, he did not achieve it: there never was a President Laning.

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Here is another curiosity from over a hundred years ago: the banquet of the menu.

banquet-menu

Quite a spread, don’t you think? I would have enjoyed it. At least there wasn’t any kale!

 

Sources:

“Greatest Banquet in Club’s History,” The Norwalk Daily Reflector, January 30, 1907, page 1, column 1.

“Orators Tell Again of the Greatness of McKinley,” The Norwalk Evening Herald, January 30, 1907, page 1, column 5.

 

Norwalk High School Basketball – A January 11, 1907 Rematch with Berlin Heights.

Today is the 110th anniversary of a rematch between the Norwalk High School boy’s team and Berlin Heights. In the first game on December 18, 1906, the Norwalk squad traveled to Berlin Heights, and won 19 to 11. This time, on Friday, January 11, 1907, Berlin Heights made the trip to Norwalk, but suffered an even greater loss than in the first match: 39 to 16.

boys-basketballBoth The Daily Reflector and The Evening Herald had extensive coverage of the game in their Saturday editions. The Norwalk team started strong, scoring eight unanswered point in the first few minutes. The Reflector’s article cited the Norwalk team’s “fast play and brilliant basket-shooting” as the reason for their win.

Here’s the roster for Norwalk, with the number of points for each. Those who were in the Class of 1907 are identified with links to their WeRelate pages.

 

 

The girl’s apparently did not play that weekend; there is no mention of the in either paper. That would change soon enough. The post that will cover that game will be the first of series of the “New Athletic Woman” movement of 110 years ago.

 

 

Basketball Again! Victory in Berlin Heights

In the last post, we saw how on December 8, 1906, the senior boys of the Norwalk High School basketball team defeated the juniors. On Friday the following week (one hundred and ten years ago today), a combined Norwalk boys team traveled to Berlin Heights to play that schools team in their first extramural game of the season.

berlin-heights-high-school

Berlin Heights High School

Back in Norwalk, preparations for Christmas were in full swing. Newspapers had grown from four to six pages most days to accommodate advertisements for discounts and appearances by Santa in stores and shops around the city. And in the following days edition of the Daily Reflector, came more cheer: the Norwalk squad had defeated their Berlin Heights opponents, 19-11.

This was the first year Berlin Heights had fielded a basketball team, so the result was expected, according to the Daily Reflector. But the paper also reported that this year’s Norwalk team was the fastest ever, and had exceptionally strong shooting, with many long baskets from the floor.

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

Forwards: Arthur Young, captain, and Clifford Williams.

Center: Pitt Curtiss, Jr.

Guards: Leonard Delamater and Sheldon Laning.

Substitutes: Homer Beattie and Harry Holiday.

Arthur Young was captain for a good reason: he led the squad in baskets from the field with five. Clifford Williams, a junior or underclassman, also had five baskets, but two of them were foul shots.

The team would have the holidays to savor their victory: their next game would not be until January 11, when they would face Lorain High School.

Tomorrow we’ll see how the girls team fared the following day, Saturday, December 15, at Elyria High School.

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Norwalk, Ohio Thanksgiving – 1906

thanksgiving-1906Thanksgiving Day in 1906 fell on November 29, the last Thursday of the month, which is the day President Lincoln established in his proclamation of 1863 during the darkest days of the Civil War. It would not be until December 1941, at the beginning of another war, that President Roosevelt would sign a bill changing the day of the holiday to the fourth Thursday of the month, where it is celebrated today.

In 1906, the day of the month wasn’t the only tradition different from today. Traditions varied around the country. In many places, rowdy parades marked the day. In New York City, boys from poor families would turn out in costumes, often castoff dresses of their sisters, and beg door to door, much like children do today, trick or treating on Halloween. In New England, raffles were held for turkeys and other holiday fare.

evening-herald-friday-11-30So, what did the Norwalk High School Class of 1907 experience on Thanksgiving Day in 1906? At that time, Norwalk had two newspapers: The Daily Reflector (still published today as the Norwalk Reflector), and The Evening Herald. Neither paper published on Thanksgiving that year in honor of the holiday. Perusing both newspapers on the day before and the day after the holiday, I found no mention of members of the class. I was able, however, to sketch out what all of them would have experienced.

Thanksgiving was a day of “reunion and rejoicing,” said a New York Racket Store advertisement in The Evening Herald on Thanksgiving Eve. “Black Friday was not a tradition, but there were sales the day before the maydole-hammer-ad-27-07holiday. The Racket Store ad offered customers corsets marked down sixty per cent to four pennies. “Genuine” Maydole hammers were on sale for thirty-nine cents. The department store Steins not only had similar discounts for “Fancy Linens” and “Table Damasks,” they promised “Red Trading Stamps with every purchase.”

Many saloons in town had planned the New England tradition of raffling turkeys and geese, but the city fathers axed the event, leaving the saloon owners furiously holding the bag—a bag filled with holiday fowl instead of cash.

Thanksgiving Day in 1906 Norwalk was a family and religious holiday, just as it is today. The Evening Herald published “Lest We Forget,” a poem by Doctor T. F. Hildreth that began, “this is the Nation’s Sabbath.” The Daily Reflector ran a full column announcing family reunions and feasts, both grand and humble. Both newspapers gave readers a wide choice of church services around the town.

football-1906After church and a family dinner, residents could choose several entertainments. Football was already a Thanksgiving tradition in America dating back to the 1890s. On Thanksgiving Day, a Norwalk Men’s Team played a Cleveland squad at the Broadway Athletic Club in Cleveland to a 5-5 tie. The Daily Reflector reported that an enthusiastic crowd of 400-500 fans watched the game–and apparently took part at times. From time to time, the crowd would surge onto the field, despite the efforts of officials to keep them back. Back in Norwalk, a

sheldon-laning

Sheldon Laning

High School Team lost their match 5-5 to the Century Club. Unfortunately, The Daily Reflector reporter covering the game neglected to inform it’s readers of the names of the Norwalk High School players. However, from reports of other games, we know that Sheldon Laning and either Arthur Young or Stephen Young also were on the team.

The Gilger Theater had a performance of “The Country Jay,” staring “the jolly comedian,” Duke Vailes as “Zeb, the Jay,” and his co-star, “the petite soubrette,” Miss Beatrice Earle, as Sally.

Charity was also a thing in 1906. The Salvation Army “looked after” nine needy families, and delivered food baskets to many more. Churches took up collections at their services.

As you enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends, take a moment to think of those who came before us and of Thanksgivings past. Just as they did, we have the same desires this time of year—to give thanks for what we have, and for those we love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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