Presented by the Laurens County Historical Society, Dublin, Georgia. For questions and information, please contact Scott B. Thompson, Sr. at dublinhistory@yahoo.com.

Friday, May 27, 2016

HAIL TO THE CLASS OF '16

        Now that all of the tears of joy and pride have been shed.   Now that all of the caps and gowns have been stored in their keepsake places. Now that the diplomas are ready for framing.   It is time to say a fond hail to the Class of '16.  Not the class of 2016, but the Class of 1916.  It was one hundred years ago when the first school class in Laurens County's history  had its own school annual filled with photographs, tributes, mottos and sponsor's advertisements to remember their high school years.



Schools  were much different a century ago. High School students attended only through the 11th grade.  Dublin High School had a principal, N.G. Bartlett,  and four teachers.   Grady McKee taught mathematics.  Misses Velona Posey and Mae Allen King taught English, French and history.  Mrs. K. Walton was the science teacher.  Students attended school in a two-story brick building, which is now occupied by the Dublin City Hall.

The year 1916 was the first year that Dublin High School published a school yearbook or annual at the end of the school year. Printed by the Courier Herald Publishing Company,  the first volume was naturally named "The Shamrock."  Ida Robinowich was the Editor in Chief.  She was assisted by Associate Editors Madge Hilburn and Cecil Ray.  Rogers Powell and Elma Tripp handled the business aspect of the printing, while Annie Braddy contributed her whimsical cartoons.

Athletic progams at Dublin High were relatively new.  The school fielded teams in  track, baseball and basketball.  An organized football team would not be outfitted until 1919.  The four-man track team performed well at the district meet inspiring the boys to try even harder the next year.  Principal Bartlett's basketball team, in its third year of existence,  had a winning record playing teams within a 40-mile radius.  Prof. McKee's baseball nine were the pride of the school in its athletic endeavors.

School activities were not all playing ball.  The seniors formed an 11th grade literary society under the leadership of Madge Hilburn, Olive Bishop, Elbert Brunson and Nina Carter.  These students worked hard to educate themselves through books on matters of educational, scientific, social and historical matters.

At Dublin High, there was a strong tradition of celebrating Christmas in the school by having parties with grab bags, gifts, entertainment and delicious food.    The seniors also celebrated Thanksgiving with an extraordinary feast of food and frivolity.

A big part of the daily life at Dublin High School was a position which is rarely mentioned in a school annual.  The Shamrock's editors paid an extensive tribute to "Big Henry," the school's janitor.  "Teachers come and go, likewise pupils, but Big Henry remains forever," the yearbook staff wrote.  Henry's giant size and voice of thunder enhanced his power over the little children in the primary department.  Henry kept the older children in check after witnessing their  mischievous deeds.  Henry would often feign deafness as a front to disguise his true  perception of the world around him.  At Christmas, the students and teachers filled Henry's wheel barrow with a large load of fruit.

In those days and as late as World War II, 8th graders were considered high schoolers.
Vincent Mahoney, the President of the 8th grade class, would become an eminent journalist of national note for his coverage of Hollywood news and national political events.

Estelle Burch was president of her 9th grade class.  Elizabeth Chumbley, Sadie Daniel and George Powell rounded out the class officers.

Ottis Burch lead the 10th graders with the assistance of Clyde Smith and Earl Arnau.  Clyde Smith would become an imminent librarian in North Carolina.

In the early decades of the 20th Century, it was rare that boys completed high school.  The same was true in 1916 as three boys (Elbert Brunson, Marvin Grier and Rogers Powell)  graduated with twenty one  girls.  School Board President, Lucien Q. Stubbs blamed the imbalance on the parents of the boys who allowed their sons to quit their studies for the sake of earning a few dollars.   Too many of these young men would wind up fighting for their country in World War I.  Clarence D. Fordham was one of the boys who didn't graduate. He joined the National Guard at sixteen, served 5 months on the Mexican border   and died in France from his wounds at the Battle of Chateau-Thierry, in July 1918. He was only 18 years old.
 
At the end of the school year, Principal Bartlett retired and a month later,  was named as the new Director of the  Dublin Chamber of Commerce.  Professor McKee was chosen to succeed  Bartlett.

In the second week of April, Dublin students competed in the 12th Congressional District Literary and Athletic meets.  Dublin and Cochran tied as co-champions of the district.  Annie Braddy and Henry Rutland competed in the writing competition.  Other competitors were: Estora Woodard in music, Mildred Arnau in recitation,  William Brandon in declamation and  Sarah Walker and John Walton in spelling.

The track team led by 100 yard dash runner, shot putter and high jumper Manning Stanley, 220 and 440-yard dash runner Elbert Brunson, hurdler Marion Kendrick and broad jumper Chris White did well.  Stanley came in first in the high jump while Brunson finished ahead of all other runners in the 440-yard dash.  Both were invited to attend the state championship in Athens in June.   Two decades later, Marion Kendrick held a high ranking journalistic position as the New York editor of the Associated Press.

The Dublin High School Class of 1916 were presented their diplomas by Superintendent William T. Garrett and Principal Barrett in the school auditorium on May 26, 1916, one hundred
years ago tonight.

The students, parents and friends were treated to musical entertainment as well as the commencement address of Rev. N. H. Williams, the Presiding Elder of the Dublin District of the South Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Marvin Grier, the best orator in the class, spoke highly of retiring principal Bartlett and presented him with the obligatory gold watch fob and a matching set of cuff links.

Madge Hilburn, the associate editor of the Shamrock, went on to become the most successful member of the Class of '16 as the long time editor of the Vienna News. In 1994, as Madge Methvin, she was inducted into the Georgia Newspaper Hall of Fame.











BASKETBALL TEAM


BASEBALL TEAM 


TRACK TEAM 
 -------------------------

CARTOONS BY ANNIE BRADDY







8TH GRADE - 1915 - 1916


9TH GRADE - 1915 - 1916




10TH GRADE - 1915 -1916 

No comments: