Reflections: Graduation 121 years ago


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



Reading past graduation programs, it’s fascinating to see the evolvement of the ceremonies from “hours” long to today’s ceremonies, that are just as meaningful, but completed in less than half the time.

The 1900 Cardington graduation program was held in May, 1900 with 14 seniors. The program included invocation , a symposium, (three parts) four different music performances, two orations, one declaratory, a Narrative, class poem, a debate, a Paraphrase, a Pantomime, and the Valedictory speech before diplomas were awarded.

Whew! A day long event, I would surmise.

Members of that class were Elsie Smith, Wilbert Lentz, Bessie Kaylor, John Burr, Walter Shaw, Frank Steger, Anna Scheurman, Delphia Kaylor, Edna Salisbury, Blanche Campbell, Carl Mozier, Eva Shaw, Clifford Liggett and Mabel Darling.

Do any readers recognize these names? Perhaps they may be some ancestors. These graduates were the school’s 23rd class, the first having graduated in 1877. There were no graduation ceremonies held in 1879, 1885 and 1892.

• Looking back from 2021 but forward from 1900, the Class of 1947 with 41 members was the largest in Morrow County. Valedictorian was Ruth Alma Mosher and Salutatorian was Lucille Ruehmurnd.

• Two years later, the class of 1949 had 41 members, Martha Kanable was Valedictorian and Jeanne Benson, Salutatorian.

• In May, 1952, there were 46 seniors graduating when Rosanna Thomas was Valedictorian and Dwight Bean, Salutatorian.

• In 1953, there were 45 seniors receiving diplomas and there were co-valedictorians: Franklin Curl and Charlotte Patterson, Jeanne Rengert, was Salutatorian.

• The 78th Commencement in 1957 was held for 49 seniors when Lowell Strine was Valedictorian and Phllip Conaway, Salutatorian. The Class of 1958 graduated 53 seniors in the 79th Commencement when Jane Patterson was Valedictorian and Melvin Zeigler, was Salutatorian and in 1967 there were 70 members graduating when Carol Ackerman was Valedictorian and Paula Owens, Salutatorian.

This is just a peek at the students who are Cardington-Lincoln High School alumni. Perhaps some may be your parents, or grandparents or even children.

Notes from the past

June, 1941: Three Cardington men, Ralph Miley, Harold Currier and David Eggleston, left for service in the U. S. Army Miss Claudia J. Peck, former professional musician and since 1934, the manager of her father’s lumberyard in Cardington, died at her South Marion Street home on June 12. She was 44 years old and had been in failing health for more than a dozen years. Her ashes were interred in the Peck Vault in Glendale Cemetery.

June, 1951: William Maxwell of Cardington, signed a minor league contract to play baseball in Minnesota over the summer.

June, 1971: Winners of the Cardington Rotary Club’s first bicycle rodeo were Kim Foltz, Debbie Grimm, Tina Jerome, Gary Squires, Dennis Cowles and Tom Lee.

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By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist