Delaware High School 1928-1932

Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 1)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 1)


[page 1]

[corresponds to front cover of Delaware High School]




[photo of Delaware High School]


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 2)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 2)


[page 2]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 2 of Delaware High School]



The next time you are walking

down Winter Street, pause to

look at the big old brick building

set solidly between the Presbyte-

rian and Episcopal churches.

"Delaware High School," Yes, it

really was.

This series tells the story of

the last class to graduate from

that ancient structure, which was

more than half destroyed by fire

in the freshman year of the Class

of 1932. The series is something

more than that: It attempts to re-

capture what Delaware and life in

Delaware were like two genera-

tions and two high school build-

ings ago.

Yes, Frank B. Willis High

School, toward which we were

yearning for almost four years,

has itself been replaced by

Rutherford B. Hayes High School

--located, by the way, where Su-

perintendent R. D. Conrad had

wanted it in 1929.

Part of the story is painful be-

cause it circulates around the

struggles for a new building

which developed in the combined

disasters of fire and depression.

It is painful because it bears

on the lives of many citizens and

their families as they were caught

in the deprivations of the Great

Depression. But the pain was, as

always, mingled with joy and

even exuberance. Thus the story

is an archetype of human life.

Perhaps it may help bridge the

chasm which now exists between

the present crop of high school

students and their grandparents.

A few items I have kept in dis-

creet silence. Delaware is still a

small town; and, although there

are many features of small town

life I cherish, long gossipy small-

minded memories are not one of

them. The closet for our skele-

tons is not large, but neither is it


My sources are, simply: my

own memories and those of

some of my classmates, the four

Yearbooks, and the files of the

Delaware Daily Gazette. I am es-

pecially grateful for the coopera-

tion of the Delaware County Dis-

trict Public Library, the Delaware

County Historical Society, and

the editors of The Gazette.

I was given permission to use

issues of runs in the Gazette files

that were not available anywhere

else. Many of those file copies --

the more recent ones (because

of the quality of the paper) -- are

on the verge of disintegration. In

a few years the fragile pages I so

gently turned will no longer be in

existence anywhere in the world.
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 3)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 3)


[page 3]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 3 of Delaware High School]


"Nothing Much Happens in Delaware"

Most of the members of the Class of 1932 of Delaware High School,

newly Frank B. Willis High School, grew up in this town. Thus most of us

understood the element of truth in the old saying, "Nothing much happens in

Delaware." The rest of the world may seem to be rushing to a magnificent

future--or to the dogs. But this town placidly goes along, or just stays

put. It seemed to me during our years in high school.

Way off there important things were happening: a Kellogg-Briand Peace

Pact, Black Friday on the stock market, Gandhi and civil disobedience in

India, Japanese attack on China, Nazi victory in the German Reichstag. But

nothing much was happening in Delaware. Although some reports of these great

doings were made in the Delaware Daily Gazette, you read that newspaper mainly

to find out about local squabbles, sports, fires, who was in jail, who had

died, or just the "funny paper."

Nothing much happened in Delaware--except on 30 March 1928. That

year's great event was not the appearance of a new high school class, but

the sudden and shocking death of Senator Frank B. Willis, a home town boy

whom many knew personally, on the verge of his campaign for the presidency

of the United States. It happened right in Ohio Wesleyan's Gray Chapel as

thousands waited excitedly for the GO signal. There had been a colorful and

noisy torchlight parade which the Gazette termed a "gigantic Willis-for-Presi-

dent parade, . . . one of the greatest events ever recorded in Delaware's

history" [Gazette, 27 March 1928]. The C.D.&M. (Columbus, Delaware and Marion

Interurban Electric Line), ran eight special cars.

And then, while someone was speaking, the senator left the stage "for

some fresh air"--and died in the hallway at 9:09 PM, telling his secretary,

Charles A. Jones, "I never felt like this in my life. Something is very

wrong." A cerebral hemmorhage. It was the secretary who returned to the

stage, informed the audience that the senator was ill, and asked them

quietly to go home. Except for a half-hearted effort to "stop Hoover," that

was the end of that.

Ordinarily, however, the illusion of inactivity in this town remained

pervasive, born of complacency and a conservative desire to keep things the

way they are. Delaware does not produce many boat-rockers. As a result

great events which take place elsewhere seem to have little immediate

effect. Take this environment and add the natural disinterest of

adoslescents in the maneuverings of the adult world, and you can understand

why Great Events were little noted, concerned as we were chiefly with

classes and school sports, to say nothing of girls--and boys.

In retirement I decided it might be instructive to revisit Delaware

High School, 1928-1932, to find out what really had been going on. That led

me to the title, Delaware High SChool Redivivus, which I knew would please

Mrs. Crist (Herrick) and Miss Shults, our Latin teachers. I have tried to
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 4)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 4)


[page 4]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 4 of Delaware High School]

relocate our history in the larger context of our changing world, to focus

on what was happening in Delaware during those difficult years, and to

concentrate on our own history as recaptured from memory, the yearbooks,

and especially from the voluminous files of the Gazette and the "Weekly

Delhi Echo" which appeared in it on Saturdays.

You can go back and relive it. But it wasn't really the way it seemed.

Or is it the other way around?

The Wide Wide World

If a kid in Delaware in the 1920s wanted to see the "wide, wide world"

(like Bunky the Monkey on the children's record), all he or she had to do

was take the C. D. & M. interurban electric line from the station on the

corner of Sandusky and William. One way ran south across the high

viaduct twenty-three miles to Columbus. The other way ran twenty-five miles

across farm land via Prospect to Marion. Beyond these destinations (plus

now and then more exotic travels to Buckeye Lake or Magnetic Springs), what

else was there to see? Members of our class will remember fondly the sleek,

speedy electric cars, one of them a "parlor car" with revolving seats. Is

it a mark of progress that the C. D. & M. no longer exists except as

scattered abandoned right-of-way, one of the many victims of the Great


More local transportation for Delaware itself was provided by the

Delaware Electric Street Railway Company, which ran "dinkies" along four

routes. These small four-wheel, long-overhang cars, which careened over

brick-paved streets, must have been modeled after the venerable comic

strip, "Toonerville Trolley." One route ran up Sandusky Street, west on

Lincoln to Campbell, down past Monnett campus to William Street. Another

served the south side via University, Liberty, and back along South

Sandusky. An eastern route crossed the Olentangy River and ran along Lake

Street. A fourth spur went west on William to meet the Hocking Valley

Railroad and, for a while, to connect with another interurban to Magnetic

Springs. My memory says they were yellow. But, before the age of color

photography, color has a way of disappearing from history. Is it a mark of

progress that Delaware in the 1980s has no provision for public trans-

portation whatsoever? At this point Mrs. Crist breaks in with "O tempora!

O mores!."

The significance of all this is that Delawareans could see the wide,

wide world without any trouble at all. It was only more restricted. The little

street cars were already gone when the Class of 1932 entered high school. The

C. D. & M. lingered until it was finally done in by the Great Depression in

1933. We could go up to Marion in our first year to see what effect the new

local "blue laws" were having on Sunday movies or to attend the trial of

the theater manager. We could ride down to Columbus for what seemed to us

big city life, the state fair, or the amusement park. What else was there?

Well, there was radio. The sounds came into the squawking boxes from

somewhere outside, placed like KDKA in Pittsburgh. What would we have done

without Fibber McGee and Molly, Amos 'n Andy, Billy Jones and Ernie Hare,

". . . . ." [can you finish the line?] Sports came over radio and stretched
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 5)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 5)


[page 5]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 5 of Delaware High School]

our horizons a bit farther, to include Red Grange, Knute Rockne, Bobby

Jones, Helen Wills, Babe Ruth, and Jack Dempsey. The more intellectual made

room for cultural leaders like Walter Damrosch, Paul Whiteman, Will Robers,

and Major Bowes. This is to say nothing of the Goldbergs and the Rudy Vallee

Show. Who would dare accuse the Class of 1932 of being provincial?

A Few Inconsequential Events

I suppose our parents paid attention to some other news. Our teachers

certainly did, as from time to time they strove to impress on our spongy

and slippery minds the importance of these not very real events. Mr.

Hoover did not become President of the United States until we were well

into our freshman year. The banner headline of the Delaware Daily Gazette

for 19 October 1928 reported "Coolidge Stresses Prosperity in Speech

Today." We were no more excited by the stock market report a month later

that the bulls were "exultant" and the bears "begged for mercy." We had no

idea of what lay ahead as we learned in December that one half of one per

cent were paying something called an "income tax."

By the time we graduated the message had come home clearly, that some

of those far-off unreal events could have some very real local effects.

Some banks right on Sandusky Street closed for good, our meager savings

still lost somewhere inside. "Going out of business" sales visibly changed

the appearance of the familiar business district--along with the razing of

the Rutherford B. Hayes birthplace and the city hall fire.

There were even more distant rumblings, though adults and students

alike paid little attention. As we began high school Werner Heisenberg had

just knocked the underpinnings from under traditional physics (the kind we

were taught) with his Uncertainty Principle, adding another complexity to

the already confusing world of Einstein's Theory of Relativity. In 1930

Gandhi began his campaign of civil disobedience in India, which in a few

years would bring into being the second most populous nation in the world.

In 1931 Japan attacked China in the beginning of a greater Rising Sun. In

1932 the Nazis won control of the German Reichstag. We were already out of

school when Mao Tse Tung led his rag-tag army on their "Long March." In

act, we were already out when Franklin Delano Roosevelt began the series

of moves that would change life in America forever. When we graduated in

1932, the citizens of Delaware, their children, and the rest of the United

States and most of the world, were tumbling deep into the heart of the

Great Depression.

Indeed, very dark clouds were swirling around us all through those

four years. But not all was gloomy. Wiley Post and Harold Gatty flew clear

around the world in 1931 in only eight and a half days. Partly because of

the unsettling principles of Einstein and Heisenberg, deep research was

leading to discoveries about atoms and molecules, bacteria and viruses, and

the whole universe. There was good news. But many of those clouds were

ominous indeed. The freshmen of 1928-29 paid little attention. Much more

important was the whirl of school life--and presently, in the spring of

1929, the shock of the fire that destroyed our school building. We waited

four years to enter a new one. Now that--that--was something important.
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 6)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 6)


[page 6]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 6 of Delaware High School]

Chapter 1: On the Bottom

Runs, 1928-1929

How the Town Looked That


Delaware always revived after

the summer coma. By the time

Ohio Wesleyan students re-

turned, the city schools were al-

ready vibrating. The old brick

building on Winter Street, sand-

wiched between the Episcopal

and Presbyterian churches, be-

came a second home for the

Class of 1932, fresh from grade

school without any transitional

adjustment via junior high.

Some of us were uneasy.

Scared is another word for the

way we felt as we moved from

the cozier environment of one

room and one teacher in a rela-

tively modest building to this

great hulk of red brick, where,

though we still had a "home

room," we were sent scurrying by

clanging bell from English room

to math room to history room to

typing room to manual training or

(not and) home economics, study

hall, after school clubs, and


No wonder these new entering

freshmen had no time or thought

for anything else! Yet this was the

year Edmund D. Soper became

president of Ohio Wesleyan Uni-

versity (inaugurated February

15, 1929), and Herbert Hoover

was inaugurated on 4 March for a

term concurrent with our high

school career.

We may have heard our par-

ents talking about the increasing

importance of the automobile.

Some of us even had a family car

--though few, if any, students

even dreamed of owning one

themselves. Maybe we thought

about buying one of those sleek

Nashes sold by Oller Brothers, or

the neat Whippet coaches of-

fered by Armstrong Sales and

Service. A sign of the times was

the increase in speed limit on

country roads to 45 miles per

hour, to go into effect in July,

1929. Six other states had al-

ready taken this progressive ac-

tion, plus three others which had

no limit at all.

Delaware was accused of be-

ing a speed trap. The Columbus

and Marion auto clubs erected

warning signs on the highway

south and north of town about the

arresting habits of Delaware po-

lice on Sandusky Street, which

was the main urban bottleneck

between the two larger cities.

The local Chamber of Commerce

vigorously denied the charge,

and induced the auto clubs to re-

move the signs.

Another sign of the times was

the arrest by Sheriff Main of two

men on May 21, who were

caught with four gallons of

whiskey on a road near Stratford.

Although Delaware was an al-

most unassailable bastion of tee-

totalism, the W.C.T.U., and the

Anti-Saloon League, the forces

of Demon Rum managed now

and then to sneak in. The

Gazette dutifully reported cases

of citizens who thought the Prohi-

bition Amendment did not apply

to them. By this time a sizable

number thought so, even in


Except for the trauma of Sen-

ator Willis' death, however, it was

a relatively quiet year -- until the

middle of March, that is. Cussins

& Fearn opened a new store at

86 N. Sandusky. Klein's had

dress shirts for one dollar. They

must have been pretty fancy.

Norman Thomas, durable So-

cialist Party candidate for presi-

dent, and E. Stanley Jones,

world-famous evangelist, gave

speeches in Gray Chapel.

Charles Lindburgh and Anne

Morrow were married and went

off on a secret honeymoon. The

Graf Zeppelin completed a

round-the-world flight.

School Life

In one respect the educational

atmosphere in Delaware was

normal: The three-person school

board was beleaguered. Dr. A. J.

Pounds, president, was, as usu-

al, adamant in fiscal and political

conservatism. He was unflag-

gingly supported by Mrs. Martha

Battenfield, a devoted volunteer

who was serving as secretary of

the board. Almost always found

voting as a minority of one was

the third member, Fred Vergon,

who believed that changes and

improvements were needed,

even at the cost of increased tax-


Some citizens were calling for

the building of a new high school.

But Dr. Pounds said there was

not going to be any new school,

because "the citizens of

Delaware are not favorable to the

building of a new high school"

[Gazette, 3 February 1928].

Thereupon a local and vocal at-

torney, Francis M. Marriott, Kiwa-

nis Club president, let loose a

broadside. He said the high

school was no longer first class,

because of the "inefficiency and

thimble-mindedness of the ma-

jority members [of the board]."

They should either "gracefully re-

sign," or "become so ashamed of

their lassitude that they will make

amends for their two years of so-

porific inactivity" [Gazette, 21

February 1929].

The Superintendent, W. R.

Ash, was caught in the middle.

He recommended efforts to re-

lieve general crowding by provid-

ing more rooms, more teachers,

a two-session day plan, and ex-

clusion of non-resident pupils.

The high school library must be

"radically improved." He recog-

nized the problem of using text-

books of varying editions, sup-

ported raises for teachers, and

the employment of a full-time

school nurse. He was fired for his

pains by the usual vote, Vergon

alone supporting the superinten-

dent. R. D. Conrad was an-

nounced as the new administra-

tor, effective in June, 1928.

Another uproar -- all this be-

fore the freshmen began

their years -- arose over a

demonstration in mid-summer by

the recently graduated members

of the Glass of 1928 in front of

Dr. Pounds' William Street home.

The principal of the high school

was held responsible and fired,

even though there was no evi-

dence that he was in any way in-

volved or even knew of the plan.

T. M. Buck was elected the new
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 7)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 7)


[page 7]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 7 of Delaware High School]

principal. A letter of protest

against this alleged injustice,

signed by Guy Anderson, Mrs. B.

T. Cartmell, and Francis M. Mar-

riott, was printed in the Gazette

[4 August 1928], to no avail.

If all this could take place in

placid Delaware in the doldrums

of summer, how did that saying,

"Nothing much happens in

Delaware," get started? Maybe it

only seemed that way.

These doings of the grown-

ups had little impact on entering

freshmen. Even the defeat in

November of a 2-mill school levy,

blamed on lack of confidence in

the school board, was not at the

forefront of student minds. Much

more important was the new plan

for Delaware High School to en-

ter the Tecumseh League for

football. It then consisted of

Marysville, London, Urbana, and

Bellefontaine. Exciting also was

the victory of the basketball

squad over Granville, 26-24, in

early February. Turley, Burch,

Knight, Myers, Burnstead, Oller,

Ketterling, Platz, and Gallant be-

came heroes overnight.

If the seniors during our first

year appeared high and lifted up,

the reason is, they were. The

class officers were outstanding:

President Cecil Jones, Vice Pres-

ident Herbert Whitacre, Secretary

Mary Ludman, and Treasurer

Corinne Timmons. The Dramatic

Club was graced for four years

by Lois Brower, who was presi-

dent during our first year. Also

active for four years were Alberta

McFadden, Cecil Jones, Herb

Whitacre, and Vernon Willis.

President of Hi-Y was Myron

Dixon, who was active also in

dramatics and debate. Participat-

ing in almost everything was Al-

berta McFadden, president of the

Girl Reserves. Musically inclined

was Gwendolyn Sautter, presi-

dent of the Glee Club and pianist

for the Freshman Girls' Glee


All-Around sports figures were

Vernon Willis and Arthur Bum-

stead. Hallie Cunningham

adorned the 1929 Yearbook with

pen and ink drawings. One of the

most impressive achievements

was marked by the debate teams

(affirmative Leo Stone, Myron

Dixon, John Moist, and negative

Elmer McFadden, Alberta Mc-

Fadden, and Cecil Jones). Even

when Jones fainted in a debate

with Galion, the two McFaddens

carried on to another victory.

In early February the freshman

class elected its officers: Presi-

dent Marion Hubbart, Vice Presi-

dent Frederick Norwood, Secre-

tary Betty Ropp, Treasurer

Pauline Perley.

Freshman girls were also ac-

tive in music. A new Freshman

Girls' Glee Club grew quite large,

led by President Helen Laird,

Secretary Violet Knight, and Li-

brarian Margaret Anne Freshwa-


Now that I think of it, there

were indeed innovations pro-

duced by our class. In March

[Gazette 16 March] a new publi-

cation was reported. "A Dog's

Life," which had been circulating

around school. Edited by Robert

Newcomb, though staffed by up-

per class students, this publica-

tion, whatever else it accom-

plished, stimulated the organiza-

tion under school sponsorship of

a Reporters' Club, whose mem-

bers could share in writing re-

ports on school life for the Satur-

day edition of the Gazette. Annie

F. Kellogg was desginated super-

visor of the new project. Need-

less to say, "A Dog's Life" had no

supervisor. The "Dog," however,

did not expire. In April it was still

going around under the title "La

vie d'un chien," edited by New-

comb, Abbott (Bill) Rice, and

Elmer McFadden. A more

durable product was the "Weekly

Delhi Echo," which continued to

appear regularly in the Saturday

Gazette. Without it this history

could not have been written in

such rich colors.

The lowly freshmen were mak-

ing their presence felt, even

though they were not able to en-

ter very far into the student power

structure. Most organizations

were dominated by upper-class

leaders. Nevertheless, the "April

Showers" tea given by the Girl

Reserves in the Presbyterian

Church featured a string quartet

composed of Judy Ziegler, Ruth

and Barbara LeBaron, and Mari-

on Hubbart. This event had origi-

nally been set as a "St. Patrick's"

tea at school. The change of

name and place gives evidence

of the disruptive effects of the

great fire. The Hi-Y elected offi-

cers in April: President Bill Rice,

Vice-President Paul Gardner,

Secretary Herbert Soper, and

Treasurer Fred Herr. The fire also

explains the location of the May

band concert, directed by Vayne

Galliday at St. Mary's Parochial

School, the senior high play, "A

Lucky Break," directed by Ber-

nice Moran before 1,000 people

in Gray Chapel, and the senior

chapel in Sanborn Hall of Ohio


But freshmen shone in May as

they won a debate with the

sophomores on the issue, "Re-

solved, that the jury system

should be abolished." The team

was Polly Perley, Betty Higley,

Margaret Anne Freshwater, and

Sherman Moist as alternate.

There was even a freshman on

the new girls' basketball team,

Betty Ropp, who was the only

one to persevere through the

whole year.

Then came senior commence-

ment in Gray Chapel. Judge Flo-

rence Allen addressed the 95

graduates. Then the year was all

over, the freshmen rose a notch,

and had a class to look down on

the following year.

The Great Fire

Of course the entire flow of

school life was totally disrupted

by the firey event of 14 March,

when more than half of the old,

already inadequate high school

was destroyed, and much of the

rest, the surviving north wing,

was water-damaged. All the stu-

dents knew that at least this great

event in the history of Delaware

had an immediate and devastat-

ing effect on them. They would

live with this sobering knowledge

for the rest of their high school


The weather was almost

spring-like the middle of that

March. When on a Thursday the
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 8)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 8)


[page 8]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 8 of Delaware High School]

old brick building fronting on Win-

ter Street began to belch smoke

and flames, it was a fine specta-

tor sport as firemen struggled for

over two hours in the evening to

bring the conflagration under

control. The emotions of high

schoolers were mixed. As chil-

dren they exulted in the superb

spectacle: The school is burning

down! As aspiring graduates,

they shuddered: How can I get a

diploma for my life's work?

It was exciting for a while to

enjoy an impressive show, to

watch firemen and police rushing

about, to stand with the crowd

across the street, to see the

bursts of flame from the rear

parts and smell the billows of

smoke which rose high in the

evening sky. Soon, however, a

sobering reaction set in, especial-

ly the morning after. Some stu-

dents who had eluded authorities

brought out sodden charred

lumps from their desks -- what

was left of their cherished-hated

school books. A little later,

through a smart action by Super-

intendent Conrad, all remnants

from desks in home rooms and

study hall were gathered in indi-

vidual bags with student names.

Thus was brought home to our

excited consciousness the mess

we were in.

That week's "Delaware High

School Notes" (not yet "Weekly

Delhi Echo") in the Gazette be-

gan with a rather somber para-


"As students of Delaware High

School we feel sudden collapse

of the old school life. No longer

are the study halls and the home

room assemblies. We carry on

our program much in the same

old spirit, but we are crowded; so

crowded that some activities

must be temporarily discontin-

ued. This is unfortunate, but we

wait, hoping and believing that a

new school will be forthcoming,

with plenty of room and equip-

ment, safe and beautiful. We can

carry on in the old building, but

not for long. Delaware High

School is a growing organization,

one of the most important in the

city, but it is not self-supporting. It

must be supported by the taxpay-

ers. A new building will cost mon-

ey, but it will be worth all it may

cost. It will be a common meeting

place for the community,

where we can work and play to-

gether, can learn to be useful citi-

zens, can learn to live.

Adolescents are resilient. The

extraordinarily long report went to

announce that classes in chem-

istry and physics would resume

Monday in temporary quarters in

the ground floor at West Elemen-

tary School a few blocks out Win-

ter Street. We did not know that

those "temporary" facilities would

be used for the next four years.

Only four days after the fire,

on Monday, when classes more

or less resumed, the annual ath-

letic banquet, held in Bun's Colo-

nial Room, honored the football

team and boys' and girls' basket-

ball teams, with speeches by ev-

eryone from Professor Ben Arne-

son and Coach Mac Barr to Mrs.

Battenfield and Superintendent

Conrad. Forty had signed up with

Coach Fred Neff for the new

track program. The Aeroplane

Club, local chapter of the Aero-

plane Model League of America,

went on as if nothing had hap-

pened under the direction of Mr.


Yet throughout there was sad-

ness, "The condition of our library

is extremely altered...The books,

partially burned and water-

soaked, are piled in Room 22."

Usable volumes will be placed on

new shelves in the sewing room

on the third floor of the surviving

north wing and that will become

the new library. Damaged vol-

umes will be repaired if possible.

Books will circulate as early as

next week.

As school officials and state

fire marshals and engineers as-

sessed the damage, it was clear

that a fire door and partition had

limited direct fire damage to the

south wing. The north wing was

intact, but it had suffered from

much smoke and water damage.

The state fire inspectors left no

room for complacency. The

whole building, including the

north wing, was a "fire trap," with-

out any fire escapes even from

the vulnerable third floor. They

tartly reminded the board and

school administrators that the

need for fire escapes had been

urged before, but nothing had

been done.

The auditorium and study hall,

classrooms, laboratories, and the

superintendent's office had all

been lost.

Gradually the pieces of sec-

ondary education were patched

together. Some classes resumed

in the week following the fire.

Principal T. M. Buck gave

instructions for study hall periods.

Students who lived close enough

should go home to study. The

rest should carry on study hall in

the basement of West School.

On the 21st a school assembly

was held at St. Mary's School.

The band missed only one prac-

tice session. But the junior class

play just barely made it. It had

been scheduled for the auditori-

um, the scenery was in place,

and the dress rehearsal per-

formed. Then suddenly--nothing

left. The fire preceded the first

performance by just a few hours.

"Mother Carey's Chickens" were

all burned up.

Then came the announce-

ment that the play would be given

after all on Tuesday evening, with

new scenery, in Ohio Wesleyan's

Sanborn Hall. And that's what

happened. The juniors--Wyford

Jones, Mary Jo Main, Genevieve

Ewers, Fred Herr, Wendell Hart-

ley among them--directed by Ber-

nice Moran, put on their show,

surrounded by whatever scenery

could be "whomped up" over the


Then began a drawn-out, frus-

trating, discouraging story. It took

a bit of time for the process to get

under way, what with emergency

band-aid measures. Unbeliev-

ably, the first debate was over the

question of whether to try for a

new building at all. Both in and

out of the School Board argu-

ments were heard for making do

with what was left.

Then, when it became clear

that not much of anything was

left, the arguments swirled

around cost, method of financing,

authority to act, site, and other

controverted problems. The al-
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 9)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 9)


[page 9]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 9 of Delaware High School]

ready divided three-person

board, which had just fired one

school superintendent and one

high school principal and em-

ployed new ones, was further


On 11 April the Gazette report-

ed that Mr. Vergon and Mrs. Bat-

tenfield, under heavy pressure,

were resigning to make room for

fresh leadership. But Dr. Pounds,

the immovable president, refused

to resign on the principle that

continuing authority was neces-

sary under the circumstances. A

"citizens' advisory committee"

charged that the board had "be-

trayed confidence," and that the

people generally had lost faith in

the board's leadership. At the

same time the committee ex-

pressed support for the belea-

guered new superintendent.

A mass meeting proposed

names for temporary appoint-

ment by Probate Judge Ira C.

Gregory. One of the temporary

appointees was C. C. Dunlap,

who continued in leadership

throughout the long process of

getting a new building.

That process, after the in-

evitable decision was made to re-

place the old structure, forthwith

stumbled into c

Conflict over choice of an archi-

tect. Over Dunlap's objection

Glass & Ramsey of Columbus

was chosen.

Another fight ensued over site.

It seems everyone in town had

strong convictions on this. Some,

chiefly conservative, wanted to

stay on the old site, make use of

the unburned north wing, and

add it to the south along

William Street. Although this

would mean acquisition of certain

private properties adjoining, it

promised, in the short term at

least, lower cost.

But soon a movement was un-

derway to locate along the Olen-

tangy River between Winter and

William Streets. Another group

favored the Girls' Athletic Field,

an ample tract to the west held

by Ohio Wesleyan.

There were other sugges-

tions. Superintendent Conrad,

one of those with longer vision,

urged the necessity of providing

wide space as required in mod-

ern education, including space

for athletics and parking of cars.

The Gazette, in attempting a

poll, brought inconclusive results.

A first report showed 60 per cent

in favor of the river site, 16 per

cent for the present location, 14

per cent for the Girls' Athletic

Field and 7 per cent for the city

park. But later tabulation, though

it kept large support for the river,

put 18 per cent for the Girls' Ath-

letic Field, and only 13 per cent

for the present location [Gazette,

20 July 1929].

Already the Class of 1932 had

completed its first, traumatic year.

The struggle over a new building

would plague the elders and irri-

tate the adolescents for another

three years. But we kids had our

lives to live. We were more con-

cerned about Girl Reserves, Hi-Y,

Mac Barr's football, scholarship

recognition, and beauty queens.

Chapter 2: A Second Year,


The World and Delaware

As school opened for the

new year the stock market

was suffering attacks of jitters.

But not until the end of Octo-

ber did the now famous crash

take place, the Black Friday,

largely unanticipated. No one,

especially high school stu-

dents, really understood what

lay in store.

Signs continued to be am-

biguous. The Gazette rport-

ed on Nov. 1 a buying orgy:

"Nobody seemed to be selling.

Everybody is buying." In early

December President Hoover

told 400 businessmen that

"Work" was the best way to

stimulate business. By March

he was forecasting that the

country was coming out of the


That would have been inter-

esting news to the publishers

of the Journal Herald, whose

assets were bought by the

Gazette. The Journal Herald

had begun publishing in 1900

in an effort to balance the po-

litical influence of The

Gazette, which had been an

official expression of the Re-

publican Party. Now as

Delaware's only newspaper it

would henceforth be "indepen-


The news was not all

lugubrious. In England in

September an airplane broke

all speed records at 328 miles

per hour. At the fall annual

conferences of the Methodist

Episcopal Church Harold

Ruopp was appointed to the

pastorate of William Street

church and Stanley Mullen to


On Saturday, Oct. 19, Sel-

by Stadium, constructed be-

tween Henry Street and the

Olentangy River, was dedicat-

ed. A photograph on the front

page of The Gazette [Oct. 22]

showed the five participants:

Harold Elford the contractor,

coach George Gauthier, presi-

dent Edmund D. Soper, home-

coming chairman A. C. Conger,

and Mark W. Selby.

Early in November there

was a "Mardi Gras"

Hallowe'en party downtown,

which was a great success in

spite of rain. Large crowds,

some persons in costume,

gathered in the business sec-

tion to watch the parades and


That winter Professor Har-

lan T. Stetson of Ohio Wes-

leyan reported that there may

exist a hitherto unknown plan-

et outside the orbit of Nep-


Terrible news was the holo-

caust at the grim Ohio State

Penitentiary in Columbus,

where in April 317 convicts

lost their lives in a fire which

completely destroyed one en-

tire cell block. This was anoth-

er sad chapter in a continuing

disreputable side of Ohio his-

tory, its penal system.
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 10)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 10)


[page 10]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 10 of Delaware High School]

Closer to Delaware, howev-

er, was the happy arrival at the

end of May of the Robbins

Brothers Circus, in a train

composed of 30 cars. A long

parade down Sandusky Street

helped take accumulating

troubles off people's minds.

And the Jane M. Case Hospi-

tal drive was successful at

over $100,000.

These events tended to

overshadow other affairs.

Eugene O'Neill won the

Pulitzer Prize for "Strange In-

terlude" and Thomas Mann

the Nobel Prize, William

Faulkner came out with "Sar-

toris" and "The Sound and the

Fury", Ernest Hemingway with

"A Farewell to Arms", Sinclair

Lewis with "Dodsworth", Erich

Maria Remarque with "All Qui-

et on the Western Front", and

Thomas Wolfe with "Look

Homeward, Angel". John

Dewey wrote "The Quest for

Certainty", Walter Lippmann

"Preface to Morals", Bertrand

Russell "Marriage and

Morals", while Marc Chagall,

Salvador Dali, Lyonel

Feininger, and Georgia O'-

Keefe were painting.

Aaron Copeland com-

posed "Symphonic Ode,"

George Gershwin "Show Girl,"

and Cole Porter "Fifty Million

Frenchmen." But people were

humming "Stardust," "Tiptoe

Through the Tulips," and "Sin-

gin' in the Rain."

Building Pains

One persistent theme

coursed through the entire

sophomores year: the new high

school building. All con-

cerned, including the new

school board, now were

agreed on the necessity. That

was all they were agreed on.

Problems centered on the

choice of site, choice of archi-

tect, amount and method of fi-

nancing, and legality. When

attorneys got into the act, the

whole process ground to a

halt. At the end of a year and

a half of talk and conflict,

Delaware was no closer to a

new high school than at the


The frustrations of public

servants were excruciating.

No sooner was a decision

made, usually painfully, than

protest, including legal ac-

tions, grew louder. No one

benefited except the lawyers.

The chief losers, however,

were the students, who some-

how managed to keep on us-

ing temporary facilities -- or

none at all -- for education,

sports, culture, and recre-

ation. But most important, and

almost miraculously, the high

schoolers were educated, for

the most part well educated.

What the teaching staff had

to sacrifice has never been

told. Information oozed out

about the condition of class-

rooms, the state of the library,

problems of study periods, all

the rest; and presently the

squeeze of the Depression re-

sulted in restricted budgets,

abandoned projects, and low-

er salaries.

But the educational pro-

cess, using something a bit

better than Mark Hopkins' log,

survived. So did the students.

It helped to be young in those

days. Fire and Depression

were a "double whammy"

(comic page jargon of the


The Class of 1932 was in

the eye of the storm. Its histo-

ry coincided with the four-

year struggle to build a new

building, and ended in the

darkest year of the Depres-

sion. It barely managed to

stage its senior play and the

junior-senior banquet in what

was to become -- next year --

Frank B. Willis High School.

Well, The Gazette reported

[Oct. 1, 1929] that six of the

seven houses on William

Street, which occupied space

needed for the new building,

had been acquired. Contracts

would be let the end of the

month, and construction

would begin "soon." There

was still grumbling over the

choice of site which would

permit use of the surviving

north wing but offered very

constricted space. But the

board forged ahead and re-

ceived bids.

Enter the lawyers, engaged

by citizens opposed to the ac-

tions of the school board. G. K.

Hoffman, M. C. Russell, G. E.

Gauthier, H. M. Bing, J. P.

Salter, and W. H. Bodurtha

filed suit in the court of com-

mon pleas, and Judge H. W.

Jewel granted a restraining

order which prevented any ac-


The plot thickened, and

progress went "like tar uphill

in January." The suit argued

that the bond issue for

$400,000 was illegal because

of improper bidding and lack

of approval by the voters. F. M.

Marriott, Jr. and Russell Knep-

per argued the case in


On Nov. 18 Judge E. W.

Porter (of Marysville) declared

the bonds illegal. Hence, as

the newspaper averred,

"Delaware is no nearer to hav-

ing a new high school than it

was immediately after the dis-

astrous fire of last March."

The school board thought at

first that it would appeal the

decision, then decided to with-

draw the appeal. In the mean-

time a new board had been

elected with members Dunlap,

McFadden, and Vergon.

When the city solicitor, H. D.

House, refused to allow the

appeal to be withdrawn, the

board asked Marriott to file the

papers. In June (after the

completion of our sophomore

year) the Court of Appeals re-

versed Judge Porter's deci-

sion and declared the bonds

legal after all.

When it became apparent

Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 11)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 11)


[page 11]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 11 of Delaware High School]

that no further appeal would

be made, the board met to re-

sume planning. It hoped that

construction could begin by

fall. But only one reef had

been crossed. The question of

site was still not completely

settled. It was 1930.

What Was Really Going


Turley was the durable hero

in football, along with Oller,

Kettering, and others. Early on

Delaware beat Marysville 19-

0. The following week the

team defeated Westerville 20-

0. The "Barr machine" began

to look invincible -- till Mount

Vernon punctured the balloon

with a crushing 40-7 victory

over Delaware. Then came

two more DHS victories, over

Granville and Upper San-

dusky, followed in early

November by a defeat at the

hands of Galion, 19-0.

By this time members of

our class were becoming

prominent. Paul Sell, Dick

Swearengin, Bud Rybolt, Sam

Roberts, and Myron Stegner

were already experienced on

the field. And Fleming, Wilgus,

Downing, Elston, Coover,

Hilborn, Sell and Bright won

the inter-class basketball tour-

nament. Ropp was joined on

the girls' basketball squad by

Wilma Krichbaum, Marion

Hubbart, and Marie Jones.

The successful athletic year

was proved as DHS won both

football championships in the

Tecumseh League. The bas-

ketball team, taking first place

in the League with defeat of

Bellefontaine, 36-08, went on

to become in March "undis-

puted champion." Jesse Brod-

nax was a new star in the

100-yard dash. No wonder

students had little place for

the troubles of the school


Yet hope unfulfilled gnawed

unconsciously as they had to

put up with all sorts of ar-

rangements for classes, study

halls, assemblies, lunch, li-

brary, and innumerable small


There was more immediate

interest in the discussions the

board had with the superin-

tendent and principal about

secret fraternities and sorori-

ties. Conrad made the point

that, since these organiza-

tions were only partly in-

school activities, parents also

held responsibility. Existence

of secret organizations like

these was chiefly the respon-

sibility of the home. But he

had membership lists and had

talked with officers.

A more properly education-

al enterprise was organization

of a Quill and Scroll Club to

encourage writing. The seven

members were president

Vance Bell, Charles Hamilton,

Gladine Moses, Frank Fagley,

Elizabeth Mackley, Helen

Dixon, and Robert Newcomb.

Study halls continued to be

a problem. Students did their

reading and homework in a

variety of locations: home,

downtown stores, city hall,

cars, even the sidewalk.

For out-of-town students

the second-floor hallway was

being readied, with better

lighting and armchairs.

Stricter discipline in use of

study periods was being intro-


High honors in the Central

District scholarship test went

to Bill Rice, Betty Huffman,

Marie Jones, Gilbert Barnes,

Elton Woodbury, and Lloyd

Morrison. DHS accumulated

enough points to rank fourth

in the district.

The new Student Council

included the class officers for

the sophomore year, presi-

dent Paul Sell, vice president

Robert Hartley, secretary

Robert Newcomb, and trea-

surer Margaret Anne Fresh-

water. Our class was well rep-

resented on the debate team -

- Newcomb, Freshwater, and


On a lighter note, yet a

learning experience, Elmer

McFadden, serving for a day

as student mayor, Bill Rice as

safety director, and Wendell

Hartley as chief of police,

engineered the "arrest and

conviction" of Superintendent

Conrad for trespassing on the

circus grounds. He was sen-

tenced to 30 days in jail and

$100 fine, all remitted for good


A regular "School of the Air"

now came over the school ra-

dio, that magical machine

which broadcasts sound with-

out any wires, between two

and three in the afternoon.

The glee clubs put on an op-

eretta in April in the City Build-

ing, "Riding Down the Sky,"

with a cast of 140.

At Asbury church, Katherine

King won the Prince of Peace

medal given by the Ohio

Council of Churches. Second

place went to Betty Higley;

third to Helen Eagon, and

fourth to Elmer McFadden.

Students were glad to learn

(end of June) that Ruth Board-

man had been appointed prin-

cipal of West School, where

many had done elementary

training. Later it was renamed

in her honor.

Sixty-year alumni of the

Class of 1932 have long since

gotten used to the loss of class-

mates -- though not without


But in our sophomore year

we were unprepared for the

untimely death of two of our

classmates, Mary Helen Row-

land and Darlene Turney.

We were learning a lesson

not taught in classes, that

death is a part of life. We

should learn it again as World

War II clouded the horizon.

In our second year the se-

nior class did not seem quite

so formidable, especially after

beating them in intramural

Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 12)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 12)


[page 12]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 12 of Delaware High School]

basketball. But they were still

ahead -- Herr, Anson, Hartley,

LeBaron, McFadden, Rice,

and the rest.

But watch out! The Class

of 1932 was coming up fast!

Chapter 3: Upperclass

Juniors in Action

One of the most exciting

events of the junior year took

place during the summer: Gib

Barnes was chased in Canada

by a black bear. He also took a

160-mile canoe trip [Gazette,

Sept. 20, 1930].

More officially, the school

year began on Sept. 2 with an

opening assembly at Sanborn

Hall, where the band played

"Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here."

The new high school principal,

G. W. Stuart, presided. Frances

Sell, president of Girl Reserves,

and Leo Stone, president of Hi-

Y, spoke.

Toward the end of the month

class elections were held. Ju-

niors were headed by Elton

Woodbury, Miles Hall, Dale

Main, and Sherman Moist. What

had happened to that feminist

movement that dominated our

first year? Senior class officers

were Philip Edgar, Charles

Hamilton, Ruth Carson, and

Frank Fagley. Although we were

now upperclassmen, we still

had these seniors to contend

with -- Louise Hartman, Edson

Anderson, Clara Bundy,

Dorothy Conrad, Mary Emma

Emerson, John Shindoler, and

lots of other talent. But Gilbert

Barnes, who had tied with Merle

Law), Marion Hubbart, and

Marie Jones were on Student

Council; Bob Hartley, Sherman

Moist, and Helen Laird were ed-

itors of the "Weekly Delhi

Echo"; Don Mackley won an al-

titude record for model planes.

Juniors were thus coming

into leadership in all aspects of

school life. This was true in

sports as well. Although John

Turley was still outstanding in

football, the team could not

have got along without Sell,

Roberts, Rybolt, Kettering, and

Fleming. This season they won

all their games except one tie.

When the Tecumseh League fell

apart at the end of the season,

Delaware High School, which

had held the League football

trophy for two years, was given

permanent possession.

Juniors were equally active in

the strong basketball team: El-

ston, Hilborn, Stegner, Bright,

Sell, and Roberts. The girls'

basketball team continued to

enjoy the participation of Betty

Ropp, who had played three

years ever since the team was

organized, and Wilma Krich-

baum. Helen Laird was the

team manager. As if this were

not enough for juniors, both

Marie Jones and William (Bus)

Austin were regular cheerlead-


Some activities would sur-

prise high schoolers of a later

generation. There was an active

Junior Latin Club with Elton

Woodbury as president. Polly

Perley was chairman of the pro-

gram committee for the first

meeting, which began with the

singing of the "Star Spangled

Banner" in Latin, Betty Higley

spoke on Roman women and

Katherine King on Roman hous-

es. This meeting extended sym-

metrically with the singing of

"America" in Latin. The next

meeting, under the direction of

Fred Norwood, began with his

report on Roman gods. This

was followed by the recounting

of ancient myths by Woodbury,

Barnes, Victor Davis, and Es-

ther Carnes. Harriet Worline,

Marion Hubbart, and Dawer-

ance Skatzes would lead the

next meeting.

Toward the end of fall, on

Nov. 3, the high school cafete-

ria, which had been left in

shambles by the fire more than

a year and a half before,

opened. Macaroni and cheese

could be had for five cents and

milk for three cents.

Students began to hear of

some newcomers, kids called

freshmen, like the 25 girls in the

Freshmen Girls' Glee Club, led

by president Lois Zeigler, vice

president Mary Belle Whitacre,

secretary Eleanor Kissner, and

librarian Hester Denny, along

Janet Benton, Florence Stetson,

and other aspiring beauties.

Among the boys of that class

were David Grube, Wesley

Leas (already active as drum

major), Jim McKinnie, and

younger members of the Moist,

O'Keefe, and Swearengin fami-

lies. What were you kids like

these doing in high school?

The junior class party, which

had been scheduled for Jan. 13

at Della Dana Studio, was final-

ly held over a month later at

West School. Marie Jones was

head of the planning commit-

tee. Besides an hour of dancing

to the school's popular orches-

tra were songs by the boys'

quartet and readings by Betty

Higley and Smith Fry. Another

gala winter event was the Girl

Reserves play, "The Pied Piper

of Hamlin," which took place in

the Opera House (old City Hall)

on March 5. Dorothy Conrad

was the piper, luring some 30

elementary children with her

magic instrument. Vivian Coul-

ter, Margaret Sharadin, Betty

Higley, and Katherine King had

parts. In April the band put on a

half-hour broadcast over WAIV

in Columbus, part of "Neighbor

Palmer's Noon Hour."

The scholarly record of

Delaware High School contin-

ued strong, seniors William

O'Neal and Leo Stone scoring

high and some of the juniors

placing in state contests.

Some happenings were little

noted at the time because only

a few witnessed them, but they

loom large in the memories of

some students. Mr. Galliday be-

came an instant hero as he ef-

fectively used a fire extinguish-

er on a grease fire in the home

ec oven on the third floor. Re-

member, this was the notorious

third floor of the old north wing,
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 13)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 13)


[page 13]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 13 of Delaware High School]

still without the fire escapes.

The ingenuity of students in

coping with the crowded library

and inadequate facilities for

study is illustrated by the boy,

who unable to get further into

the library, sat in the hall out-

side, making sure he had his

feet through the door. There

was a school rule against

studying in the hall outside. The

"Weekly Delhi Echo" leaves the

impression he got away with it

[Gazette, April 11].

Then came baccalaureate

again (Rev. Harold Ruopp

speaking) and commencement

in Gray Chapel on June 5. After

school was over, the announce-

ment was made of a new athlet-

ic coach, Ervin F. Carlisle, who

had been a star quarterback in

O.W.U. football. There would

also be two new teachers next

year, Dorothy Bussard in

French and Dean C. Friedley in

mathematics. Another recent

teacher was Maxson Greene.

Troubles on the horizon were

suggested by the decision of

the school board to set start of

school the following year for

Sept. 14, 12 days later than the

past year, for a school year of

172 school days instead of 181.

The board had learned in Jan-

uary that it would face a 10 per-

cent cut in its budget, largely as

a result of delinquent taxes.

The school system was not

alone in facing rigors of a deep-

ening economic depression.

Still Not Brick on Another

The tempers of public ser-

vants were beginning to run

short fuses. Even patient volun-

teers could take just so much

frustration. The school board,

having dismissed architects

Glass & Ramsey, voted (the

usual two-to-one, only this time

Dunlap in the minority) to en-

gage McLaughlin and Associ-

ates of Lima to prepare new

plans. Dunlap wanted a citi-

zens' committee to participate

in making the choice [Gazette,

Sept. 3, 1930]. But the citizens'

advisory committee resigned in

less than two weeks because of

the continuing divisions in the

school board. Dunlap believed

the board should forget the past

and rehire Glass & Ramsey.

The board decided to pay

Glass & Ramsey for its services

a total of $10,000, which the ar-

chitectural firm rejected as inad-

equate. An arbitrated settle-

ment of $12,000 was finally ac-

cepted. In early November

McLaughlin and Associates re-

ceived a final contract, and at

the beginning of the next month

new plans were accepted by

the board (Gazette, Sept. 13

smf17; Oct. 24; Nov. 6, and

Dec. 3).

Work would begin in spring, it

was said, on a three-story build-

ing including an 850-seat audi-

torium and gym wing. Another

calendar year had gone by. It

seemed that in February and March

that these intentions were being

implemented. The Gazette

headline for Feb. 6 was

"Building May Be Ready for

Use Next Fall." Construction

bids would be received on April

1 and let around the middle of

the month. Construction could

begin by May.

And Delaware Stumbled


As the autumn winds be-

came sharper and threats of

snow whispered in the falling

leaves, responsible citizens

and leaders in both city and

state began to fear that the

coming winter could work great

hardship on the increasing

numbers of jobless people and

destitute families. There was

talk of a special session of the

state legislature to deal with

unemployment. Before Christ-

mas the Delaware Chamber of

Commerce set up an employ-

ment bureau. But, at the very

time when extra action was

needed, all agencies found

their resources dwindling as

tax revenues declined and vol-

untary contributions dried up.

The chamber of commerce it-

self was in trouble because of

unpaid dues and reduced


The school board was not

the only community agency to

face a stringent budget. The in-

creasing rate of delinquent tax

accounts affected everybody.

The city government faced a

shortage of $16,000 and the

county $18,000. Employees'

salaries would have to be re-

duced, perhaps drastically.

Then it was learned that high-

way grants from the state

would be reduced two-thirds.

The economic distress was

not alleviated with the coming

of spring. 1931 would be

worse. The Depression was

spreading all over the world.

Germany fell into complete fi-

nancial collapse, and this

brought failure all over Europe.

In the midst of this unprece-

dented depression, with no end

sight, Delaware did what it

could. A "Save-the Surplus"

campaign in August 1931 was

designed to store up food for

hungry people the following

winter. Relief committees were

organized in all counties of

Ohio with the slogan "Be Pre-

pared" -- for a hard winter. Just

possibly the labor pains of the

school board helped to conceal

in Delaware the broader more

systemic illness of the Great


As the Class of 1932 moved

into its senior year, however,

the effects of economic col-

lapse could not be hidden.

They were starkly visible right

down Sandusky Street. More

poignantly, though mostly invis-

ible, those effects gnawed in

the lives of school children and

their parents -- plans deferred,

hopes dwindled, self-confi-

dence weakened, personal re-

lations deteriorated, all on top

of the financial problems of

families, which now were work-

ing down into the lives of chil-

Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 14)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 14)


[page 14]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 14 of Delaware High School]

As is usually the case in

troubled times, however, things

were not all bad. In spite of its

own very serious financial prob-

lems, Ohio Wesleyan University

laid the cornerstone for

Stuyvesant Hall, freshmen girls'

dormitory, in September 1930.

And in August, 1931 the great

lens for the university's Perkins

Observatory was at last finished

and would be installed the fol-

lowing month.

Wesleyan students -- at

least the girls -- found time and

energy for shenanigans. The

Gazette reported [Nov. 21] that

the freshmen and sophomore

girls had a riot on Winter Street,

complete with hair-pulling and

clothes tearing. The hot issue

was the requirement laid on

freshmen to wear their "bea-

nies." The new girls objected

also to being ducked in the

showers in Monnett Hall and

having their faces plastered

with flour -- favorite devices of

the sophomores for enforcing

the beanie rule.

They fought their way down

Winter Street, cheered on by

the male students. The entire

night police force was unable to

do anything.

At last, when the primal in-

stincts had worn out, both

classes ended by parading vic-

toriously down Winter Street. It

was not quite clear who had

won. Only the police force lost.

For a brief moment you could

forget the Depression.

Also, Eddie O'Keefe of Boy

Scout Troop 96 was awarded

the rank of Eagle Scout by a

Court of Honor. He was the first

in Delaware County to attain

such a level [Gazette, Sept. 16].

1930 was the year when in Au-

gust the Children's Home at the

north end of town was badly

damaged by fire. Reconstruc-

tion would begin immediately.

Some alumni would remember

the grand old man of Delaware

patriotism, Captain R. H. Kel-

logg, Civil War veteran. He was

honored on his 87th birthday

with 87 roses and many letters

from school children [Gazette,

March 5, 1931].

At the end of that month

Notre Dame football coach

Knute Rockne, with eight oth-

ers, died in a plane crash.

Nicholas Longworth, longtime

Speaker of the House of Repre-

sentatives, died a week later.

In April in Columbus a bill to

permit Sunday movies was ap-

proved 71 to 42. And in mid-

summer Billy Sunday ad-

dressed-- if that is the word--

hundreds in William Street

Methodist church gathered for a

dry rally. He was "aged but still

vigorous" and let loose a "rapid

fire line of stories" [Gazette,

July 10.

All in all, it was quite a year

in Delaware, where nothing

much happens.

Chapter 4: Seniors at Last


A New High School

Building -- Almost

Even the Delaware Daily

Gazette seemed to be weary of the

long, drawn-out story. It had very lit-

tle to say of the actual construction.

After a brief restraining suit in June,

which was quickly thrown out, the

lawyers seemed too willing to

let things go ahead. The final razing

of the hulk of the south wing and the

mess of underground preparation

were accomplished.

That fall, high schoolers could

see beginnings on William Street,

watch progress from the old north

wing, and hear the whine of saws

and the clatter of hammers. It was

really happening!

Citizens were treated to an artist's

conception of the planned structure

on the front page of The Gazette on

Oct. 22. The accompanying account,

still incorrigibly optimistic, said the

work "nears completion." Bids have

been entered for furnishings and

equipment. Over 100 men were at

work (in stark contrast to the other

hundreds who had lost their jobs and

couldn't find any work). The gymna-

sium would be finished first, by

Dec. 1 (but it wasn't). Then would

come the auditorium.

Gradually, in 1932, portions of

the new structure were available for

at least partial use. But what would

become Frank B. Willis High School

would not be finally ready until the

following school year. By that time

the last class to graduate from

Delaware High School would be out

in the world.

The Great Depression

If we are to understand properly

the true history of the Class of 1932,

it must be cast in the context of the

Great Depression. Although our

minds were largely on other things,

that threatening backdrop was al-

ways there, setting the parameters of

our education and our lives. We in

Delaware were part of an immense

upheaval, caused by economic col-

lapse and expressed throughout the

entire structure of society.

Much of the large action took

place elsewhere. President Hoover

that fall proposed a "stupendous

prosperity plan" [Gazette, Oct. 7,

1931], including a fund by the na-

tion's bankers to rescue failing


It was certainly high time. Major

banks in places like Youngstown

were closing their doors -- with de-

positors' savings inside. In Delaware

the Deposit Banking Company

closed, then the Delaware Savings

Bank. Depositors of course lost ev-

erything they had. There was no

FDIC or FSLIC. This led to the in-

sertion of a front-page accounce-

ment [Gazette, Oct. 24] by the First

National Bank and the Delaware

County National Bank that both in-

stitutions were solvent and open for


The state was heading for a finan-

cial crisis, but so also were other

forms of government, including

school systems. All over Ohio voters

turned down tax and bond issues.

Collection of taxes already on the

books was becoming more and more

difficult as properties and businesses

fell delinquent. After the elections of

November it was feared that some

30 school systems in the state would

have to close. Schools in Marysville

were already closed, although they

expected to reopen in January with

other funds.

The Delaware city council

learned that there would be a large

shortage for operation next year. In

December both police and fire per-

sonnel were without pay until Jan-

uary. The Jane M. Case hospital
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 15)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 15)


[page 15]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 15 of Delaware High School]

feared it might have to close down.

That month also came a great

"hunger march" on Washington by

the unemployed. The coal fields of

southern Ohio were the scene of

continual unrest, agitation, and suf-

fering. The Hocking Valley Railroad,

which ran its long coal trains

through the western side of

Delaware, was in deep financial

trouble. By April miners and strikers

were in pitched battle near

Zanesville, and the National Guard

was called out.

Right in Delaware the Depression

became more and more evident. The

Gazette ran a full-page ad by the

Bentz Variety Store, which had been

in business for nine years, announc-

ing that it was closing out. "The end

has come." About the same time the

Delaware County Agricultural Ex-

tension Service closed because it had

run out of money.

Rumor multiplied the sense of

disaster. President Soper had to

make a firm official denial of the ru-

mor that Ohio Wesleyan University

would not open in the fall. But there

was cruel substance to the 10 per

cent salary cuts; these following a

first 10 percent cut in the fall of

1931. In addition, thirty faculty posi-

tions were being abolished.

Those were the sad facts. Before

we leave this unhappy story to deal

with the magnificent theme of our

senior year, let us give sober thought

to the effects of depression years on

our lives as students. They are diffi-

cult to measure, partly because we

were affected differently, and partly

because those effects were in large

degree emotional and mental.

The Depression played its part,

for better of worse, in molding our

personalities. Maybe we learned

how to deal with adversity at an ear-

ly age. But from its effects we, even

at our 50th and 60th reunions, are

not yet completely free. Our whole

generation still bends down to pick

up pennies, turn off lights, and save


Some of us escaped largely un-

scathed by hard times. Others of us

saw our fathers out of work, our

families without income and some-

times without shelter, our mothers

desperate to find food bargains, our-

selves or our brothers or sisters de-

prived of the chance to get ahead.

Some of us were marked for life. If

not we ourselves, we saw our neigh-

bors, our friends, our relatives, go

under financially.

Most endured all of it silently --

we didn't talk much about it in class

and cafeteria. But we knew what

was happening to us. There was

pain, but it was private pain, usually

known only in families, which had

yet been taught to seek succor from

the government. There was no un-

employment relief, no social safety

net. Men would work at any job,

crowding out the children who

might have done the work for the

pittance wage.

I spoke of permanent marks.

Some of us learned to shy away

from any personal relationship that

might imply future obligation on

which we might not be able to deliv-

er. Personalities could be stunted as

young people from depressed fami-

lies turned away from anything that

might cost money, might reveal

poverty. We learned not to plan for

the future. Was there any future for

anybody in 1932.?

Overstated? Perhaps, because

there turned out to be a future for

most of us after all. But that was not

at all clear as we worked up toward

commencement. Hope and expecta-

tion, promise and possibility, existed

for us too. But they were exceeding-

ly tender plants.

For escape from rigors of real life

there were the funny papers: "Bring-

ing Up Father," Joe Jinks," "Fritzi

Ritz," "Little Mary Mixup." "Ben-

ny," and "Looie." Or you could read

the daily segment of Robert Terry

Shannon's serial novel, The Love

Trap. When that ran out, it was fol-

lowed by Hazel Livingston's Em-

bers of Love.

If you just had to get out of town

altogether, you could buy a round-

trip ticket all the way to Cleveland

on the Big Four Railroad for $2.35.

It was cheaper, however, to stay at

home and eat a big 5-cent Isaly's ice

cream cone, or really live it up with

whipped cream for 15 cents a pint.

Yet it was our senior year

Did the Class of 1932 succumb to

gloom and depression? Of course

not. After waiting three years we

were seniors with nobody ahead of

us, and only what sometimes

seemed like little kids behind. Well,

there were John Heinlen and John

Sells and David Conrad, to say noth-

ing of junior and sophomore girls of

note. Privately we might admit con-

siderable talent down the line; but

they could wait their turn. We were

the seniors, and everybody better

know it. It was a heady feeling with

the world open before us -- such as

it was. We might even do a lick or

two to fix that!

School opened on Sept. 14, near-

ly two weeks late because of the fi-

nancial crisis. The "Weekly Delhi

Echo," which got under way in the

Gazette on Oct. 3, included Kathryn

Chivington, Margaret Ann Freshwa-

ter, and Helen Johnston on the staff.

Senior class elections were held

on Nov. 7. Frederick Norwood was

elected president, Helen Eagon (who

had tied with Walter Rybolt), vice

president, Gilbert Barnes, secretary,

and Margaret Anne Freshwater, trea-


In the Girl Reserves Marion Hub-

bard was president, Katherine King

vice president, Esther West, secre-

tary, and Marie Jones, treasurer.

Katherine Beck was president of the

Senior Triangle. She led in such ac-

tivities as the Dad's Banquet, where

she gave the opening welcome. Part

of the program was a skit,

"Courtship under Difficulties," by

Marie Jones, Katherine King, and

Betty Huffman.

Both Newcomb and Barnes were

successively presidents of the Hi-Y,

the other officers being Bob Miller,

Smith Fry, and Dale Main. This or-

ganization, as well as the Girl Re-

serves, had rather overt religious ori-

entation, common enough in public

schools in the earlier 20th century.

The Hi-Y was actually a branch of

the YMCA. Our Yearbook, the Del-

hi, edited by Newcomb, Barnes,

Max Brown, Helen Laird, and Frank

Minelli, with help from several other

seniors, gives more systematic cov-

erage of the school organizations.

A bewildering array of organiza-

tions proliferated. More than a mere

listing here would be boring. Many

of them were old standards. Dramat-

ic Club, with Smith Fry as president

and Violet Knight as vice president,

had 50 members. Several factors, in-

cluding financial stringency, pre-

vented major production; but several

one-act plays and numerous skits

provided entertainment throughout

the school year. The club was unable

to take advantage of the new audito-

rium because it was not available

until the end of the school year, when the

senior play was performed there.

Margaret Marshman was adviser.

The glee clubs, still divided into

girls, boys, upper and freshman
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 16)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 16)


[page 16]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 16 of Delaware High School]

classes, had large membership and

continued active. Betty Higley and

Marie Jones were vice president and

secretary of the upper class girls'

group. Polly Perley accompanied

both it and the boys' glee club. Both

of these clubs performed at chapels

and two high school nights.

A double octet, composed of

Fred Reider, Smith Fry, Sherman

Moist, Robert Hartley, Fred Nor-

wood, Robert Newcomb, Frazier

Shipps, Richard Steckel, Helen

Eagon Betty Higley, Betty Huffman,

Helen Shamrock, Violet Knight,

Marie Jones, Katherine King, and

Ruth Vought, did special numbers.

Its first appearance was on Dec. 18

at an assembly in Sanborn Hall,

where it celebrated the Christmas

season with carols. The Dramatic

Club put on a one-act play "Dust of

the Road," with seniors Smith Fry

and Robert Hartley.

The band was very visible as usu-

al under the director of Vayne Galli-

day. It was seen and heard of course

at athletic meets, high school nights,

and over radio station WAIV. A

magazine subscription campaign

helped provide a new bass horn and

much needed repairs on uniforms.

This outfit showed the school colors,

orange and black, more vividly than

other means.

For some reason seniors were no-

tably absent from debate teams.

Moist was almost done. It was an

off year, and both teams lost their

debates. But a new organization, the

Debate Society, came into being.

Communication skills were also pro-

moted through journalism, both in

the Quill and Scroll. The officers of

the later were all seniors, Newcomb,

Hartley, Moist, and Laird.

The Kiwi Club continued to en-

joy large participation of both boys

and girls. Don Mackley was still

prominent in leadership and in mak-

ing and flying model planes. He was

supported by officers Don Johnson,

Eleanor Kissner, and Florence Stet-


There were two strong language

clubs, both so large they had two

sections. The French club was

known as Notre Clique and Entre

Nous. At a meeting in April Paul

Sell gave a report on the role of the

French in the American Revolution.

At another meeting Betty Ropp

spoke on French cities.

The strong showing of Delaware

High School in football and basket-

ball continued in spite of the diffi-

cult change from Coach Mac Barr to

Ervin Carlisle. The latter, well

known in Delaware for his perfor-

mance at Ohio Wesleyan, quickly

whipped the football team, which

had only seven carryovers, into

fighting shape. Junior John Heinlen

worked well with Captain Sell to

bring a season of victory in spite of

a poor start. DHS, in defeating fa-

vored Bexley, 7-2, won second place

in the Central Buckeye League in

which the school now had member-

ship. With Ralph Bright, Bud Ry-

bolt, Bob Miller, Sam Roberts, Chet

Elston, Wayne Hilborn, Cy Fleming,

Max Brown on the team, the seniors

played a dominant part.

The basketball team had a mixed

season, but their performance im-

proved. There were several hard-

fought cliff-hangers. Toward the end

of the season the new gym was more

or less ready and saw both victories

and defeats. One of the new "ene-

mies" in the new league was Cir-

cleville, which now matched

Marysville in rivalry with DHS.

That spring Jesse Brodnax was

again outstanding in track events.

On May 20 he "was easily the star

of the meet" [Gazette] in winning

the 100-yard dash by 10 feet. Ed

Hagaman and Chet Elston also

placed. At the same meet Sell set a

new record in throwing the javelin

162 feet.

In the more formal aspects of ed-

ucation the seniors also left their

mark. In the preliminary Ohio State

Scholarship Contest they took all of

the first five places: Woodbury,

Newcomb, Norwood, Moist, and

O'Keefe. In early May came the

District contest, which included rep-

resentatives from high schools in 16

central Ohio counties. DHS won

third place (after Mount Vernon and

Urbana) in overall achievement.

Twenty-four of Delawrae's 30 repre-

sentatives placed among the upper

10 in various fields. There were four

first places and one second;

Gretchen Huntsberger first in ninth

grade English, William Hollister

first in plane geometry, William

Grube first in world history, and

Newcomb first in 12th grade En-

glish. Since Norwood came in sec-

ond in the same, DHS had the top

two places in senior English. Among

other placers were seniors Barnes,

Woodbury, Skatzes, and Miriam


Of smaller educational signifi-

cance but perhaps more interesting

were some of the personal aspects of

adolescent life. This year, so the

Gazette reported, girls were wearing

dresses with stripes, either vertical

or horizontal. These were embel-

lished with bright scarves and "roll-

your-own" tams. Plus mesh hose.

Boys favored corduroys of bright

colors, some with jackets to match.

The big thing was sewn-in creases.

Probably the most spectacular

performance of the year was that by

Max Rowland in early January,

when in a Thursday first-period

American history class he inadver-

tently lit some kitchen matches in

his pants pocket. None of us had

known Max as such a high stepper.

Some of the seniors were lucky

enough to find part-time work to

help out with family finances. Some

of the girls were babysitting. Hartley

had a dry-cleaning job; Harry

Phillian worked for Miller & Jones;

five seniors had jobs in Bun's

Restaurant; Myron Stegner was de-

livering milk; Helen Laird had a job

at McClellan's Five and Ten.

A springtime flurry of excitement

was stirring in April by news that

Eddie Cantor would judge the beau-

ty contest among six girls, two,

Frances Pearl Jones and Marion

Hubbart, chosen by the student

body, Violet Knight by the seniors,

Esther West by the juniors, Martha

May Galleher by the sophomores,

and Gretchen Huntsberger by the

freseman. All the seniors know how

that came out.

Two big events were the senior

class party on Dec. 11 and the senior

class play on May 20. At the

Delaware Club rooms the Christmas

party featured duets by Betty Higley

and Fred Reider, accompanied by

Katherine King; a skit by Eddie

O'Keefe and Doris Patterson; anoth-

er by Bob Miller and Dick Swearen-

gin; and still another by Bud Rybolt,

Victor Davis, Bob Ludman, James

Wooster, and Chet Elston. Katherine

King gave a reading, and Miss

Dorothy Bussard sang two songs.

After refreshments the evening was

given over to dancing and games.

The senior class play in the new

auditorium was "Seven Keys to

Baldpate." This was the first three-

act play of the year, as well as the

first dramatic performance in the

new building. Here is the review in

the "Weekly Delhi Echo" [28 May].

"Particularly noticeable was the

scenery and lighting effect. With

wind whistling, snow falling, and
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 17)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 17)


[page 17]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 17 of Delaware High School]

light dimmed, it was not hard to

imagine that one was atop the moun-

tain at Baldpate Inn, always gravitat-

ing toward the warm, glowing fire,

which blazed at one end of the inn in

a cheery manner. Miss Margaret

Marshman deserves special recog-

nition for the way in which she put

these stage effects across to the au-


"Frederick Reider, occupying the

center of the stage, kept his audience

amused, while Smith Fry, in a role

entirely foreign to his nature, han-

dled his part with becoming ease.

Marie Jones was charming in a part

that called for little dramatization.

Violet Knight walked away with the

feminine acting honors, managing to

keep the audience looking her way

to see what she might do next.

"Dale Main, in an extremely dif-

ficult role, reminded us somewhat of

Lon Chaney. Every other character

in the play had his or her own partic-

ular atmosphere to create and did so

with amazing ease and noncha-


Note was taken in the paper that

two of the actors, Wayne Hilborn

and Bob Hartley, were acting in the

place where their houses formerly

had stood but made way for the new

school building.

Before this year-end event, how-

ever, the seniors had "enjoyed" their

various roles in governing the city of

Delaware for a whole day, Thursday,

May 4. A two-party campaign at

school between "conservatives" and

"liberals" resulted in election of

Robert Miller over Sherman Moist

as mayor. Wayne Hilborn won over

Thomas Klee as president of the

council, Margaret Anne Freshwater

over Smith Fry as solicitor, Max

Rowland over Richard Swearengin

as auditor, Harry Phillian over Polly

Perley as treasurer. Members of city

council were also elected.

After filling all the appointive

posts, the seniors took over the oper-

ation of the city for the day amid il-

lusions of power and grandeur


Winding down

Everything crowded together in

the last days of the school year as

students but especially seniors tried

to wrap it all up -- or rather to wind

down from such frenetic excitement.

In early May came the senior chapel

(the first in the new auditorium), in

which they "bade farewell to their

public school days" and welcome

the new Class of 1936.

In this writer's memory the out-

standing feature was a melodramatic

creation by Frank Minelli and Sher-

man Moist entitled "Sam Sinister's

Revenge." Directing with skill

which suggests comparion with his

older brother's (Vincent) fame in

Hollywood, Frank brought hero,

heroine, dastardly villain, and other

such complex characters to a cliff-

hanging denouement, rescue at the

last minute! Barnes, Moist, Nor-

wood, Davis, and Miller were

conned into participation. Kathryn

Chivington, delivering the prologue

from a safe distance, shared fame

with the all-male cast. This was fol-

lowed by "The Dizzy Baton," direct-

ed by Mrs. Julia Sullivan.

How Principal George Stuart was

able to confer with proper dignity

the several awards and honors in the

midst of all this muck is a mystery. I

guess he did it by coming on first.

Awards were given to all placers in

the District scholarship contest. De-

bate letters went to Moist and some

among the seniors. Cheerleader let-

ters went to Marie Jones and Bus


Every day now brought ir-

refutable evidence that the high

school life of the seniors was wind-

ing down. On May 27 there took

place the Junior-Senior Banquet in

the new gymnasium. Margaret Anne

Freshwater's special report to the

Gazette ran as follows:

"The junior-senior banquet held

in the high school gym last night be-

gan at a high tempo with Miss

kathryn King playing some lively

tunes on the piano while the group

found their places. The gym was

decorated in pastel shades of crepe

paper streamers which were hung

from a drop light so as to form a

false ceiling. In each corner of the

room there was a red or green light

trained on the center of the room.

The tables were placed along the

east, south and west walls, while the

orchestra's flower-covered bower

was on the north. Lighted candles,

bouquets of flowers, and streamers

of vari-colored crepe paper decorat-

ed the tables. . . . A program taken

partly from "Alice in Wonderland'

followed the dinner which was

served by the sophomore girls.

"The White Rabbit, John Rine-

hart, was master of ceremonies. The

first number on the program was

'The Mock Turtle's Story' by Lloyd

Morrison, president of the junior

class. It was in the form of a wel-

come to the seniors. Fred Norwood

gave, 'Advice from a Caterpillar.'

Dodo, known to Delawareans as

Frank Minelli, played the 'Saint

Louis Blues' on his trusty friend, the


"Short speeches were given by

Humpty Dumpty, Principal G. W.

Stuart, and the Red King, Supt. R. D.

Conrad. . . . Miss Margaret Marsh-

man gave a talk on the 'Cheshire

Cat' and how he directed Alice to go

in any direction if she didn't care

where she went. Tweedledum and

Tweedledee, the boys' quartet, sang

the 'Little Gray church in the Valley'

and 'My Gal Sal.' This ended the

dinner program.

"The prom followed immediately

after the banquet. The dance pro-

gram followed the style of the dinner

with each dance being named by a

phrase from 'Alice in Wonderland.'

Music was furnished by Held's Or-

chestra. The prom ended at 11

o'clock, bringing to an end the out-

standing function of the high school


Earlier that same day the Year-

book, Delhi, was distributed, and ev-

eryone learned that Pearl was Eddie

Cantor's winner.

The same week saw the final ac-

tivity of the Girl Reserves, the moth-

er-daughter banquet in William

Street church. After installation of

next year's officers came a cafeteria-

style dinner and then a program by

students and mothers with solos, a

mother's quartet, reading and other

features. The banquet ended with

singing "The Quest," "As the phrase

'We cannot be lonely because we

stand together' was sung, the eyes of

the seniors were suspiciously misty."

[Gazette, 28 May].

There was not much left now, as

we staggered into Gray Chapel for

Baccalaureate Sunday evening, May

29. Rev. Stanley Mullen, who gave

the address "Follow the Gleam," was

assisted by several other Delaware

ministers. Prof. G. Raymond Hicks

played the great organ to provide the

processional, "Pomp and Circum-

stance," The girl graduates wore

white dresses and the boys dark


On Thursday, June 2, the mem-

bers of the Class of 1932 assembled

once again in Gray Chapel, anxious-

ly shepherded by teachers who had
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 18)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 18)


[page 18]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 18 of Delaware High School]

guided them and put up with them

for four years. Dorothy Bussard

made the great organ shake with the

processional, "War March of the

Priests." Rev. Clarence. S. Gee gave

the invocation and the string ensem-

ble played. James Bevan gave the

class oration, and the upper class

glee clubs sang. Charles M. New-

comb delivered the address, "High


Honors were awarded by Princi-

pal Stuart, especially to Marion Hub-

bard and Robert Newcomb as most

representative girl and boy in the

class. The class was presented by

Superintendent Conrad, and C. C.

Dunlap, president of the school

board, gave out the diplomas. After

the singing of the class song, Rev. D.

Finley Wood pronounced the bene-

diction. For about 100 seniors it was

all over.

And the new high school build-

ing, scarcely used, was waiting for

next year's classes.

[photo of Frank B. Willis High School]

Frank B. Willis High School was completed

during the Delaware High School Class of

1932's senior year. The class of about 100 got

to use very little of the new structure before

graduating in June. The new building, now

used as an intermediate school, began full ser-

vice in the fall of 1932.
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 19)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 19)


[page 19]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 19 of Delaware High School]


Looking back over this story, I can't help noting two small items.

First, the edition of the Gazette which announced the commencement program

ran a full banner across-the-top headline: "CITY WORKERS' SALARIES CUT 5-25

PERCENT." What a world to be turned loose in! Second, I am troubled by the

unintended symbolism of the stirring processional, "War March of the

Priests." A few years later some of our classmates lost their lives in

World War II. I am not a bit troubled by a third sobering thought: We are

thinning out because we are growing old. The first two were man-made and

part of the burden humans must bear. The last is not of our own doing but a

part of life.

No one can completely recover the "way it was." We have available only

memory and recorded materials. But history properly should include all the

way it was--all of the sense impressions that give life. You can't count on

ephemeral memory even within a short life span. What color were those

absurd "dinkeys"? You can't really see them anymore. Can you really hear

the whistle of the Hocking Valley steam locamotive as it rumbled north

drawing a hundred laden coal cars one sultry summer evening? And then there

is smell. Can you smell the old-time oleo, that ghastly white stuff you had

to convert from pale gob to yellow goop by mixing the color in? Can you

taste new green peas fresh from your backyard garden or the corn on the

cob picked no more than two hours ago? Do you know the feeling of riding

your bike on some shady brick-paved street?

Much of our high school experience consists of these sights, sounds,

smells, tastes, and touches. Some of it is still in our heads. But we are

not too sure about it any more. What was it really like? Maybe this

history will help bring back and preserve some of the real story,

D. H. S. redivivus!
Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 20)


Delaware High School 1928-1932 (p. 20)


[page 20]

[corresponds to back cover of Delaware High School]


Dublin Core


Delaware High School 1928-1932


Autobiographies-History--Memoirs--Delaware County--Ohio
Depressions--1929--Delaware County--Ohio
Local history--Delaware County Ohio--History
Schools--Delaware High School--1932--Delaware County--Ohio


Frederick Norwood's memories of his high school years (the Delaware High School Class of 1932), describing obstacles such as the Great Depression and the 1929 fire that partially burned Delaware High School.


Frederick A. Norwood









Still Image





Frederick A. Norwood, “Delaware High School 1928-1932,” Delaware County Memory, accessed May 23, 2024,

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