Class Day 1907 – Who’s Missing – And Why?

In my last two posts about Class Day 1907, Bachelor Hall and The Chorus Girls Who Are They, I identified all members of the cast of the play Bachelor Hall that was performed at the Norwalk High School on June 5 and 6, 1907. The cast, however, did not include the entire Norwalk High School Class of 1907. Six students did not perform those two nights: Myrtle WoodruffAlice McCammon, Gertrude Ryerson, Inez Adams, Earl Sinclair, and Fred Osborne. [1]

 

Clockwise from upper left: Myrtle Woodruff, Alice McCammon, Gertrude Ryerson, Fred Osborne, Earl Sinclair and Inez Adams.

Were these six young people working backstage? According to the Norwalk Daily Reflector, [2] the actors’ “makeups were true to life, [and] the stage settings were in excellent taste.” Someone had to apply the “makeups” and someone was needed to manufacture the stage settings and change them between scenes.

But then again, perhaps these six were not involved at all; age and place of residence may be the reason they did not participate in these follies.

Three of the young women lived outside Norwalk, and were older than their classmates: Myrtle was twenty years old and lived in Fairfield Township, [3] Alice was the same age and lived in Greenfield Township, [4], Gertrude was a year younger and hailed from Bronson Township. [5] Inez and Fred lived in Norwalk, but she was nineteen [6] and he was one month shy of his twenty-first birthday. [7] Earl Sinclair was nineteen and lived on a farm outside of Norwalk. [8]

Bottom line, it seems that older students did not participate in school activities as much as their younger classmates, most of whom were seventeen or eighteen years old. Location also seemed to be a factor. Those who participated in extra curricular activities were more likely to live in Norwalk.

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In high school, I enjoyed performing in theatrical productions. But I and my fellow cast members were not the most popular in our class. In 1907, however, all the younger members of the Norwalk senior class were involved in the class play, and many other activities. Class spirit in my high school in 1972 can only be characterized as dismal. In 1907, however, with the Norwalk High School Class of 1907, it was everything.

 

Footnotes:

[1] The links for each student lead to that person’s WeRelate person page.

[2] “Brilliant Success,” The Norwalk Daily Reflector, June 6, 1907 – page 1, column 3.

[3] Fairfield, in Huron County, Ohio. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Roll: 1288; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0020; FHL microfilm: 1241288.

[4] Greenfield, in Huron County, Ohio. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Roll: 1288; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0022; FHL microfilm: 1241288.

[5] Bronson, in Huron County, Ohio. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule, ; Roll: 1288; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 1241288.

[6] Kenton Ward 2, in Huron County, Ohio. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Roll: 1288; Page: 13A&B; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1241288.

[7] Kenton Ward 3, in Huron County, Ohio. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Roll: 1288; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0032; FHL microfilm: 1241288.

[8] Norwalk, in Huron County, Ohio. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Roll: 1288; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 1241288.,

 

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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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