The class of ’15 has always been to the front in all school activities. No other class has been more willing and helpful. Even when Freshmen and Sophomores, our influence was felt in all the important events. This influence has never ceased but was especially shown in “The Elopement of Ellen,” presented by the class in their Junior year. This play was given May 25th, 1914 at the Princess theatre under the direction of Mrs. Russell.
It seemed particularly adapted to high school presentation, for the characters were all young people about the ages of those who took the parts. The scenes were laid in an ordinary suburban country home, and the plot lingers on the servant problem. Enough amusing complications occur to keep up the interest of the audience. The play was clean and wholesome and the training was enjoyable and instructive.
Although several of the preceding classes gave Junior plays, none were more entertaining or better acted than “The Elopement of Ellen.”
The success of the play spread broadcast, for the president received many letters from neighboring towns wishing it to be played in those cities.
As Seniors, we have not been of less influence or help. In fact, we have advanced much in our great aim for education and power. On November 26, 1914, at the High School Assembly Hall, we presented “Whiskers,” a one act comedy. Not only those who had parts in the acting showed their talent, but the boys of the class who enlarged the stage and made the scenery, and the electricians among us who planned and arranged the foot-lights, all showed a marked degree of willingness. The play was full of humor and the chorus of Senior boys and girls was greatly applauded by the audience.
THE LITERARY SOCIETY
The present Russellonian Society of B. H. S. was organized September 10, 1910 by combining the old Lincoln and Douglas Societies. All pupils of the High School are members of this organization which holds its meetings every Friday afternoon.
Our Freshman year was merely a period of adjustment, getting acquainted with the older pupils and several of the teachers and planning our study periods in a different manner than ever before. Looking back it seems that we were more spectators than participants.
The latter part of our Sophomore year, James Dickens was elected president of the society. This office is very seldom held by a member of the two lower classes. February 13, 1913, we gave a program in commemoration of Longfellow’s birthday. A scene from “The Courtship of Miles Standish” was given by several members of the class, besides readings, recitations, etc.
James Dickens was treasurer during the September term of our third year. In the May term of the same year, Walter Duchardt, then a member of our class, was elected president; Cyril Von Fossen, vice-president; Zelma Leonhard, secretary; Clarence Broeker, treasurer; and James Dickens, attorney of the society – all members of the class of ’15. When Juniors our class gave a program in honor of Washington’s birthday.
Our Senior year has not been less successful than the previous ones. Cyril Von Fossen was president; Walter Nixson, vice-president; and Hale Burrus, Sergeant of Arms, in the September semester and Walter Nixson was elected president of the society in January. This year we gave a Lincoln program besides helping in all school activities.
JUNIOR –SENIOR RECEPTION
As is usual during the Freshman and Sophomore years our High School life was uneventful until our Junior year. But when we began preparations for the Junior-Senior reception the whole class awoke. A great deal of time was spent in decorating the Woodman Hall with the respective class colors of turquoise blue and gold, for the Juniors and maroon and white for the Seniors. On the evening of April 16, 1914 the two classes assembled. An excellent program was rendered, after which the assembly adjourned to the basement of the Congregational Church for lunch. The supper was served by the ladies of the church and consisted of four courses. The tables were arranged in a giant fourteen; and other appropriate decorations helped to beautify the room. Small ’14 and ’15 pennants and red and white roses were the evening favors. Walter Duchardt presided as toast master and toasts were given by members of both classes. After the banquet we returned to the hall and spent the remainder of the evening in dancing and various games.
The effects of the night were felt the next day when many students were reported absent. One of the sights of the morning was Mr. Haulman sprinting to school around 9:30 o’clock.
(Thursday Evening, October, 8, 1914)
When the frosty evenings of October came around, the class decided to enjoy the autumn atmosphere, and arranged to have a wiener roast. On looking into the matter it was found that Bluff Springs offered the best site for the picnic. So it was arranged to have the wiener roast in the hills of Bluff Springs. The faculty were invited to partake and everything was arranged. As is always the case, when something is looked forward to, it rained, thus spoiling our well-laid plans. The picnic was, of course, postponed. It rained all week. Finally, having purchased all or our supplies, we gained permission from the Congregational Church trustees to use their kitchen. The girls fried the wieners and we had a picnic indoors. The menu consisted of fried wieners on Parker House rolls, sour pickles and marshmallows. Although not what we would have enjoyed had our original plans carried out, we had a happy time that will long be remembered by the students.
As the wiener roast proved such a success the annual Senior Hallowe’en Party was looked forward to with great zest. The smell of Autumn was in the air; the corn was ripe and golden brown; the golden pumpkins lay basking in the sunlight, everything was just right for a Hallowe’en party. On the night of October 29th at the Woodman Hall, the Seniors and faculty gathered for an enjoyable evening.
The color scheme was a combination of High School and Senior class colors, together with pumpkins and shocks of corn. With these were mingled weird lanterns and an array of scary faces, amid scattered autumn leaves.
During the first part of the evening various games were played, after which a two-course luncheon was served by the girls of the class. The first course consisted of deviled ham sandwiches, apples and cider. Miss Ruth Nixson then rendered some very excellent music for the benefit of the dancers.
The guests departed for their respective homes in the “wee” hours.
JUNIOR-SENIOR RECEPTION, ’16
On Friday, April 16, 1915, the class of ’16 gave the twentieth annual Junior-Senior reception in the Woodman hall. The hall was very tastefully decorated in a combination of the two classes and high school colors. At the proper hour the guests began to arrive and were very cordially greeted at the door by the reception committee.
After a delightful program was rendered by members of the class and faculty, everyone was invited to the dining rooms of the Congregational Church, where an elaborate four-course banquet was served by the ladies aid. After the banquet those wishing to dance returned to the Woodman hall, where the remainder of the evening was spent in dancing, the music being furnished by Eisch’s three-piece orchestra.
From the beginning of the world, music has been most valuable in developing the human race. Today, music is universal; it is an inseparable part of every human being. Even the savages have their tom-toms and war drums. The modern family does not consider the home complete without a piano or other musical instrument. Therefore it is not surprising that the educational authorities have installed music in all modern institutions.
The Beardstown high school ranks among the highest in talent for singing, due to Mrs. Smith’s training in the high school and through the grades. Wylla Palmer and Grace Brewer, pianist and assistant pianist this year, have aided much in this by their exceptional ability in music.
The high school this year, has also been extremely fortunate in its orchestra, organized and led by Walter Nixson, who has worked faithfully to make it the best the school has ever had. It consists of the piano, two cornets, one trombone, four violins and the drums, which are played by the leader. He shows unusual ability with them and they add a great deal to the music. They have started an organization which we hope will grow in numbers and ability in future years.
The boys’ and girls’ glee clubs, composed of twenty-five and thirty members respectively, under the direction of Mrs. Smith, for the past four years have been the main features in the high school music. Nor have they fallen any in ability at the present time but have advanced steadily under careful training, until they have proven a great credit to our high school. Besides selections rendered at the Teacher’s Institutes, Parent-Teacher Meetings, and many other high school affairs, they give a concert, either in the form of a musical comedy or operetta, which is always carried through with much approval.
Ever since Mrs. Smith organized a quartette in 1900, the high school has its full share of quartette music. This year they are composed of: The Girl’s High School; The Boys’ High School; The Big Four and The Music Makers. They have all furnished the high school with an abundance of exceptionally fine music and the proficiency displayed by them has made them popular with the Literary Society, for which they appeared several times. Besides this they have also sang for the Parent-Teacher meetings and the Woman’s Club. All their work on every occasion has been approved and they have done much to improve the musical standard of the high school.