Saturday, December 16, 2006

Members of the Class of 1907: Part 1 (Surnames A-H)

Listed below are some of the members of the Madison High School Class of 1907 (surnames A-H) whose names are listed in the 1907 Tychoberahn. However, it's a good idea to keep in mind that a yearbook is not an official listing of graduates. Yearbooks are also not always entirely accurate. Sometimes they contain typographical errors; sometimes they contain inside jokes that affect their "accuracy" as far as outsiders are concerned.

In order to avoid creating a long, visually annoying list, I'm going to list about half of the class members in this post and the rest in a future post. I hope posting their names will draw some responses from relatives or others who can provide additional information about these Madison High School graduates.

Longtime Madisonians may find some familiar surnames in the list. I have also included some comments with tentative biographic information for a few of the graduates (shown in italics). Each entry in the yearbook includes school activities (if any) and a brief description (shown in quotes) that presumably says sometime about the person's physical appearance, background, or personality. I'm including some of these as well.

Again, I hope this will help jog memories and elicit responses, comments, and corrections.


Caroline Adams
Attended the University of Wisconsin, but did not graduate; the November 1910 issue of the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine (Volume 12, Number 2) reported that, Caroline Adams, daughter of Mrs. Anna Adams and of the late Congressman. H. C. Adams of Madison, and Frederick A. Chamberlain of Wheeling, W. Va., were married on October 18 at the home of the bride. At home at Wheeling, where the groom holds a position with the Electric Light and Power company of that city."
Florence Anderson
Josephine Allyn (1889-1981)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912; married Henry Roscoe Trumbower
Frances Beck
William Bird
Alf B. Bondi
Clyde Brown
Irving Brown
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; the 1923 Badger yearbook section on distinguished alumni included this sketch of Brown: "IRVING BROWN, B.A. 'II, M.A. '12, the foremost authority on the American gypsy, will contribute the article on this subject to the new Britannica. His "Children of the Earth" was the feature article in the October issue of the Survey Graphic. He is assistant professor of Romance languages at Columbia University."
Alfred Buser (1888-1956)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912; was captain of the undefeated 1912 University of Wisconsin football team; in 1924 was director of athletics at Central High School in St. Paul, Minnesota
Timothy Brown (1889-1977)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; graduated from Harvard Law School in 1914; Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice from 1949-1964 (Chief Justice 1962-1964)
Rose Carlson
Lillian Clapp
Harry Coffman
Lolita Cooper
Charles Cunnien (1888-1912)
Irene Curtis
Attended the University of Wisconsin; daughter of Madison mayor W.D. Curtis; died in 1927
Glen Custer
Father of G. Stanley (Class 1934), and twin brothers Frank and Rudy (Class of 1931)
Bessie Dexter
Attended the University of Wisconsin, where she was a member of Delta Gamma
James Dean
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; became a Madison physician
Marie Fess (1890-1977)
A.K.A. Leone Marie Fess; Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912 with a degree in home economics; married C.A. Le Claire; was living in Boston in 1917; in 1925 later married Thomas E. Spence; died in 1977
Arno Froelich
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912; in 1921 was teaching English at Washington High School in Milwaukee
Evangeline Fryette
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1913 with a degree in home economics; married John Hugo Johnson; in 1917 was living in Billings. Montana
Dorothy Frankenburger
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; married Raymond Y. Sanders; in 1916 was living in Evanston, Illinois
Alfred Flint
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; in 1925 was practicing law in Madison, Wisconsin
Alice Frautschi (1888- )
Married Eugene Sutliff Allen, Sr. Living in Chatham, Virginia during time of 1930 Census.
Everett French
Grace Gorry
Rose Gallagher
Joseph Hubbard
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912; in 1926 was living in Cambridge, Massachusetts and working as editor of the Weekly Letters of the Harvard Economic Service
Moulton Babcock Goff (1889-1982)
Attended the University of Wisconsin; graduated from Cornell University; married Agnes Davis; The Wisconsin alumni magazine (Volume 26, Number 7) reported in May 1925 that,"Moulton GOFF, who operates a fruit and dairy farm in Door county, recently had an article published in the Atlantic Monthly in which he evaluated the work of a score of county agents." The Wisconsin alumnus (Volume 63, Number 10) reported in Febaruary 1962 that, "Mr. and Mrs. Moulton B. GOFF, Sr. (Agnes DAVIS '12) have temporarily relocated in Los Angeles, Calif., after narrowly escaping serious injury in the great Bel-Air fire which destroyed their home."
Elizabeth Goe
Mabel Gratz (1888-1984)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912; married John Glaettli, Jr., who designed the Rennebohm Building on the corner of University and Randall Avenues in Madison; in 1913 the Wisconsin alumni magazine (Volume 14, Number 8) reported that, " Mabel Gratz is associated with the economics department of the Railroad Commision of Wisconsin, State Capitol, Madison. Her home address is 1213 West Johnson Street, Madison."
William Hammersley
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; probably one of the Hammersleys associated with the Hammersley Drug Store in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Laura Hollatz
Hester Harper
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; daughter of Charles Lewis Harper, a Wisconsin pioneer who moved to the state in 1848 and later served 41 years at state superintendent of public instruction; in 1922 Hester was teaching in Appleton, Wisconsin; died in 1955 in Waterloo, Iowa (surname was Rumsey at time if death)
Roman A. Heilman
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; became an attorney; was elected Madison City Attorney in 1923; in 1927, served as president of the Central Madison Lions Club
Margaret Head
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; married Walter Buchen
Henry Hetzel
Florence Holcombe
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; taught at Whitewater State College; died in Chicago in 1957
Elsie Hoebel
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; in 1921 was an examiner for the Los Angeles Civil Service Commission in California

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A poem written for the 50th reunion of the Madison Central High School Class of 1956

Cheryll Moling Thompson wrote a poem for the Class of 1956's 50th reunion and was kind enough to e-mail a copy for posting on this blog. It arrived nicely formatted, but Blogger wouldn't let me present it in two columns. So I've reformatted her word processing document and turned it into a JPG image, so you can read it as she wrote it. However, the JPG image is small, so you'll have to double click on it in order to enlarge it in your browser window.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The 1906 Madison High School football team "was a machine, not a bunch of individual players"

In 1906, the Madison [Central] High School team was still playing home games at Camp Randall. The new high school building on Wisconsin Avenue was under construction, so the Madison High School students were scattered around Downtown Madison. The Class of 1907 spent its final year in "the most disreputable" facility: the combined engine house and police station. But the school still managed to have a successful football team

"In spite of the obstacle of having no gymnasium and no regular football field, last year the Madison High School boasted of a wonderful team, a team that was probably better than the famous one of '97," wrote the editors of the 1907 Tychoberahn.

Below is a photo of the 1906 Madison High School football team. The photo caption is from the Tychoberahn. Long-time Madisonians probably will recognize the surnames of some team members.


Upper row from left to right: George Wahl, William Hammersley, Basil, Casey, Alfred Buser, Melvin J. White, Percy Mehlig, Louis Heyl, Perry Fess, and John Edwin Moll.

Lower row: Mandus Scott, Everett French, George Trainor, Edward Trainor, Elmo Cooper, James Dean, Walter Wellman, and Thomas Malone.


I am still researching the "who's who" of the Madison High School Class of 1907, although not all football team members were members of that class. John Edwin Moll, who went on to become a football coach at Purdue, is not listed as a member of the Class of 1907 in the Tychoberahn. It's likely he graduated in 1908. Tragically, he died on Christmas Day in 1912 (click on one of the links to read his obituary). Alfred Buser graduated in 1907 and was captain of the 1912 University of Wisconsin football team that was undefeated in the Western Conference. If you have any additional information about any of these athletes, please send me an e-mail or leave a comment.

Below is a scan of the page in the 1907 yearbook describing the football team's season. Unfortunately, there is no complete listing of the games played or the final scores.




Note: Double click on either image (the photo or the text from the Tychoberahn) to enlarge it in your browser window.

Updated 12/15/2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

William Windsor, a member of the Class of 1875 who became a renowned phrenologist

Thus far, the Class of 1875 is earliest Madison [Central] High School graduating class for which I've been able to locate a comprehensive list of graduates. One member of that 14-member graduating class, William Windsor, became a renowned phrenologist and author "Phrenology, The Science of Character" (Ferris-Windsor Co., Big Rapids, Michigan, 1921)

Phrenologists believed character and personality (including criminality) could be determined by the shape of someone's head. If you'd like to learn more about this theory, have a look at The History of Phrenology on the Web , "...the most comprehensive website for the history of phrenology -- the most popular Victorian science." created by Dr. John van Wyhe, Director of the Wheeler Library of the British Society for the History of Science.

When Windsor died in Milwaukee in 1923, he left what at that time were considered unusual instructions about how his funeral should be conducted, including a statement that "I do not want the notice of my death printed in the obituary columns." Fortunately for historians, The Wisconsin alumni magazine published a short obituary in its February 1923 issue. You can read it by clicking HERE.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Some impressive Madison Central High School alumni connections to Xerox Corporation and Universal Studios

I've just completed two posts (below) listing the members of the Class of 1910 by surname: A-L and M-W.

There are lots of interesting people in the class. I hope you'll read the lists carefully. You may be surprised to learn that two of your fellow alumni became high-level executives at the companies that were the precursors to Xerox Corporation and Universal Studios. Homer Piper, who was class orator, became chairman of the board of Haloid Company, the company that eventually became Xerox Corporation. Harry Grinde became an executive at Universal Film, a company founded by one-time Wisconsin resident Carl Laemmle, that eventually became Universal Studios.

When you read the two class lists, you'll see that there are still a lot of alumni about whom I have no information. If you can provide any additional information about any of these alumni, please send me an e-mail or leave a comment.

Note: A slightly different version of this post also appears on the Class of 1965 blog.

Members of the Class of 1910: Part 2 (Surnames M-W)

Listed below are some of the members of the Madison High School Class of 1910 (surnames M-W) whose names are listed in the 1910 Tychoberahn. However, it's a good idea to keep in mind that a yearbook is not an official listing of graduates. Yearbooks are also not always entirely accurate. Sometimes they contain typographical errors; sometimes they contain inside jokes that affect their "accuracy" as far as outsiders are concerned. I hope that posting their names will draw some responses from relatives or others who can provide additional information about these Madison High School graduates.

Longtime Madisonians may find some familiar surnames in the list. I have also included some comments with tentative biographic information for a few of the graduates (shown in italics). Each entry in the yearbook includes school activities (if any) and a brief description (shown in quotes) that presumably says sometime about the person's physical appearance, background, or personality. I'm including some of these as well.

Again, I hope this will help jog memories and elicit responses, comments, and corrections.

Katherine McArthur
Frank Maher
Rolland Mauerer - "Muggles"
Alice McCarthy
Margaret McGilvary
Esther Melass (died 1949 in Milwaukee) - "I love not any man."
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; married Werner Lutz in Milwaukee on October 30, 1919.
Frieda Melby
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914
Gladys Meloche
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1916; in 1921 she made the first broadcast on WHA radio devoted to home and family; the March 15, 1954 edition of The Wisconsin Alumnus (Volume 57, No. 11) reported that, "Prof. Gladys MELOCHE, '16, who has recently retired from the home economics department, was voted emeritus standing by the University regents. Miss Meloche, a clothing specialist, has worked with rural homemakers and 4-H dub leaders throughout the state."
Gladys Miller
Jeanette Munro
Agnes Nelson
Edward Newman - "Shorty"
John O'Connell
Katherine Parkinson
Allen Park
Maurice Park
Helen Pence
Bessie Piper
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1915; married Gustav Sell
Homer Piper (1892-1968) - Class Orator
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; became board chairman of the Haloid Company (later Haloid Xerox, then Xerox) in Rochester, New York
Emil Pott - "The man who wears a frozen face."
John Proctor
Newman Quam
Theodore Reed
Clara Reichertater
Edward Reichert
Anita Rhodes
Clark Richards
John Richards
Sherman Rideout
Vernon Reider
Gertrude Salsman
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; married J.J. Knudson
Frieda Sauthoff
Lorena Sauthoff
Josephine Scherer
Elsie Schneider
Merrill Skinner (1893-1973) - "Skinny"
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; in 1931 was vice-president of the Niagra-Hudson Company of New York
Florence Sprecher
Mortimer Stanley
Arthur Strelow (1891-1979)
Idelle Stelow
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1915
Ella Struck
Anna Sullivan - "Puff, puff, puff."
Regina Sullivan
Horace Tenney - "Little, but oh my."
Albert Tormey (1891-1970) - Manager of the Tychoberahn, Captain of the football team
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; became a physician
Katherine Turville
Margaret Weiss
Laura Welsh
Minnie Wilson
Margaret Woll

Members of the Class of 1910: Part 1 (Surnames A-L)

Listed below are some of the members of the Madison High School Class of 1910 (surnames A-L) whose names are listed in the 1910 Tychoberahn. However, it's a good idea to keep in mind that a yearbook is not an official listing of graduates. Yearbooks are also not always entirely accurate. Sometimes they contain typographical errors; sometimes they contain inside jokes that affect their "accuracy" as far as outsiders are concerned.

In order to avoid creating a long, visually annoying list, I'm going to list about half of the class members in this post and the rest in a future post. I hope that posting their names will draw some responses from relatives or others who have information about these Madison High School graduates.

Longtime Madisonians may find some familiar surnames in the list. I have also included some comments with tentative biographic information for a few of the graduates (shown in italics). Each entry in the yearbook includes school activities (if any) and a brief description (shown in quotes) that presumably says sometime about the person's physical appearance, background, or personality. I'm including some of these as well.

Again, I hope this will help jog memories and elicit responses, comments, and corrections.

Joseph Alexander
Ruth Andrus
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914 with a degree in Home Economics
Florence Bardeen
Daughter of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Charles Valdo Bardeen and his wife, Frances Miller
Stella Baskerville
Daughter of Reverend E.J. Baskerville, who built the Baskerville apartments on South Hamilton Street in Madison. Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914. Married A. Roy Meyers.
Charles Brandt
Daniel Brasted - "A good hearted fellow, but not a mixer."
Helen Brooks
Possibly the Helen Brooks who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1916 and who, in 1923, married Blaine Shimmel in Arizona.
Arnold Buser - Class Historian
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914
Robert Buser
Lutie Chamberlain
Thomas Coleman (1893-1964)
Became president of the Madison Kipp Corporation and a dominant figure in Wisconsin and national Republican affairs for three decades
Walter Coleman
Margaret Coniff
Edward Connor
Robert Connor
Frederick Conover
Edward Corcoran
Bernice Crosby
Anna Curtin
Marjorie Davis
Frank Davy
Lucile Deming
Attended the University of Wisconsin where she lived in Chadbourne Hall
Marion Duke
Carl Fehlandt - "Runt"
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914
Adolph Field
Donald Fitzgibbons
Josephine Fleckenstein
Rebecca Flint
Carrie Fox
Jean Frederickson
Herman Gaertner (1892-1972) - Salutatorian
Frederic Goff (1893-1957) - Manager of the Tychoberahn; Editor of the Yellow Journal
Agnes Grady
Harry Grinde (1893-1979)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1915; in 1920 became one of the directors of the Universal Film Company (now Universal Studios) in Los Angeles
Eva Haak
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1915; married Charles F. Shimel on November 16, 1919 in Tisch Mills. According to the announcement in The Wisconsin Alumni Magazine (Volume 21, No. 3), "For two years Mr. Schimel has been connected with the Educational Department of the Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D.C."
Carl Harper (1892-1975)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; became a physician ( was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin. When he retired from the UW in 1962, The July 1962 issue of The Wisconsin Alumnus (Volume 63, Number 15) published the following summary of his career: "Dr. Carl S. Harper, associate clinical professor of gynecology and obstetrics-was a pioneer in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, being the first obstetrician and gynecologist with residency and training in his specialty to practice in Madison. He helped found the obstetrics and gynecology department at the University in 1925 and was an outstanding teacher for 37 years. The name of Carl Harper brings up other memories to long-time Wisconsin basketball fans. Dr. Harper was a member of the now fabled UW basketball team of 1911 through 1914- the team that lost only one game in three years. In fact, Dr. Harper never played in a losing Wisconsin game. He was out with a sprained ankle in the one game they lost, that to the University of Chicago. Dr. Harper, who will continue his private practice after retiring from teaching, is on the active staff of Madison General Hospital and the courtesy staff of Methodist Hospital."
Selma Hanson
Ruth Haynes
Lucile H'Doubler
Catherine Head (1891-1986) - Valedictorian
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; married Thomas E. Coleman, an alumnus of the University of Chicago, in June 1917; living at 2006 Chadbourne Avenue in Madison in 1919 and 141 Lathrop in Madison in 1924.
Jerome Head
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; in 1915 was teaching at St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin.
Marie Heim
Regina Heim
Mary Hobbs
Leo Hoeveler
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1915
Dorothy Hubbard
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914
Margaret Hudson
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914
Stewart Hughes
Marjorie J. Jackson
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; married Erwin Meyers
Florence Jarvis
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1915; in 1918 was teaching domestic science at the Milton [Wisconsin ] High School
Helen Kayser (1892-1985)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1914; in 1933, she was appointed assistant dean of women at the university, a position she held until 1960
Ella Kittleson
Amelia Kleinheinz
Mary Leary
Charles Longfield
Leola Lorenz
Lucile Leutscher


Friday, November 24, 2006

New and improved blog search engine

I've been disappointed with the results from the Google search feature I had installed in the right hand column in order to make it easier to search this blog. It was more interested in searching all of cyberspace than focusing on the contents of this blog.

Now, I've replaced it with a Technorati search engine. Its appearance isn't quite a fetching as that of its predecessor, but I think you'll find it is much more effective at locating people or subjects. If, for instance, you want to read all the posts that mention Beda Mackin just type her name in the search box and "Voila!" Technorati will show you a list with links. If you type in a date, e.g., 1960, it will show you a list of links to posts that contain that date.

You'll find the Technorati search engine in the right hand column under the list of links to web sites for other Madison schools. Have fun!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Robert "Boomer" Harris and other Madison Central High School teacher who were also alumni

The man on the left (you do recognize him from his senior class photo, don't you?) is not the only Madison Central High School alumnus who later returned to teach at the school.

Although my list of teachers who were also alumni is a work in progress, I think you'll find it interesting. I also hope some of you can add more names to this list, or provide some of the information I'm missing.

Here are the alumni teachers I've identified thus far: Anna Syftestad, Marjorie Greenwald Neller, Regina Groves, Marguerite Shepard, Beda Mackin (Class of 1919), Robert Harris, Robert Herreid (Class of 1936), and Albert Denu (Class of 1895). Principal Earl Brown was also an alumnus.

If you know any other names that should be on this list, please leave a comment or send me an email.

Beda Mackin: The one teacher almost every Central alumnus can remember

You may not have been in her homeroom or taken one of her classes, but if you're an alumnus of Madison Central High School, you probably remember Beda Mackin because she taught at Central for almost 40 years: from 1928-1966.

And Miss Mackin was involved with Madison Central High School well before she became a teacher. Like many members of Central's faculty, Miss Mackin was also an alumnus. Along with Wayne Morse and Mildred Downie, she was a member of the Class of 1919. Below is a scan of a photo of the [Girls'] Debating Club from page 83 of the 1919 Tychoberahn. Beda Mackin is seated on the far right side of the middle row.

Double click on the above image to enlarge it in your browser window


As I wrote the paragraphs above the scanned image, I was keenly aware of the fact that I was violating generally accepted style rules for second references. Honorifics such as "Miss" are rarely used in newspapers and magazines these days. But that wasn't the case prior to 1969 when the last class graduated from Central. Teachers were always referred to as "Mr." or "Miss" or "Mrs." or maybe "Coach" -- unless, of course, they were referred to by a nickname that probably wasn't ever used in their presence.

Miss Mackin graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1924. You can see her senior class photo from the Badger yearbook by clicking HERE.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Remembering Wayne Morse, the Madison Central High School alumnus who served four terms in the United States Senate

Tuesday is election day, but Wednesday is the day many of us have been looking forward to for weeks. Regardless of the outcomes, we'll have something to cheer about on Wednesday: those annoying telephone calls interrupting our dinners and clogging our voice mail with messages about how we should vote will cease, as will those obnoxious political ads that have been polluting the airwaves.

This evening, I've unplugged my telephone (the television is rarely on these days) so I can write in peace and quiet about some Madison Central High School alumni who went into politics. It seemed a seasonally appropriate subject.

Actually, I'm going to focus my attention on just one alumnus. Although Madison Central High School alumni have served as elected officials in state and local government (including at least two Madison mayors), and one served as Secretary of the Interior under President Harry S. Truman, only one was elected to the United States Senate: Wayne Lyman Morse (Class of 1919), who served as a U.S. Senator from Oregon from 1944 to 1969. Six months ago, Madison Guy (whoever he is), wrote about Morse (photo on left), and referred to him as "one of my favorite alums." Now it's my turn.

Born in rural Dane County, near Verona, on October 20, 1900, Morse graduated from Madison High School (Central's name prior to the opening of Madison East High School) in 1919. According to biographic material researched and written by David Cecil for a 2001 exhibit at the University of Oregon about Morse's contributions to labor relations, Morse commuted to Madison High School by horseback, riding a round-trip circuit of 22 miles every day.

Morse's long daily commute did not prevent him from becoming very active in high school activities, but he wasn't a student council president. He was president of the debate club and served on the Tychoberahn board. He was also a member of the dramatic club. Below is a scan of page 112 of the 1919 Tychoberah, featuring a photo of the dramatic club. Wayne Morse is in the second row on the far right.



Double click on the above image to enlarge it in your browser window.

According to Cecil, it was at Madison High School that Morse "discovered two interests that remained with him throughout his life."

In Madison, he was able to attend schools that prepared him for the rigors of the University of Wisconsin, one of the more prestigious colleges in the early twentieth century, which Morse attended from 1919 to 1924. It was at one of these Madison schools, Madison Central High, where he discovered two interests that remained with him throughout his life. One was a love for public speaking and debate that propelled him to a master's degree in speech and a life in politics. The other was his love for Mildred Martha Downie, “Midge” to those who knew her, who was his constant companion at Wisconsin and, after 1924, his wife for the rest of his days.
Mildred Downie (Class of 1919) is also in the dramatics club photo. She's third from the left in the front row.

Like Morse, Downie was also on the Tychoberahn board. When you look at the Tychoberahn pages with their senior class photos and lists of activities, you may decide they were fortunate to have some control over the page layout of the yearbook. Both Morse and Downie participated in so many activities, it was necessary to use a smaller than usual font to squeeze them all in such a limited amount of space.

While they were students at the University of Wisconsin Morse was a member of the varsity debate team and the Student Senate and Downie was class vice-president. Both Morse and Downie graduated from the UW in 1923.

Morse and Downie continued to stay involved with the University of Wisconsin long after they graduated. In the Wisconsin alumnus Volume 51, Number 6 (March 1950), editor Dwight A. Johnson noted that, "Whenever Wayne Morse stops in Madison -- even if it's just between trains -- he is sure to do two things: Drop over to Sterling Hall and visit with his favorite professors, Selig Perlman and Edwin E. Witte of the economics department, and go uptown to see his friend and classmate, Atty. Ralph Axley."

Although Wayne Morse was originally elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican, according to the Senate Historical Office, "During the 1952 presidential campaign, Morse broke ranks with Republican leaders over the party's platform and Dwight Eisenhower's choice of Richard Nixon as his running mate. Claiming the Republican Party had left him, Morse announced his switch to Independent status."

In 1953, Morse's debate skills must have been useful as he set a filibuster record:
"When he concluded after 22 hours and 26 minutes, he had broken the 18-hour record set in 1908 by his mentor, Robert La Follette."

In 1955, Morse became a Democrat, a move that returned the Democrats to majority status in the U.S. Senate.

Although he'd graduated decades earlier, Wayne Morse was an alumnus whose name became well-known to students at Madison Central High School during the 1960s because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1964, Morse and Ernest Gruening of Alaska were the only two U.S. Senators to vote against the Tonkin Gulf resolution.

In 1968, Morse lost his bid for re-election to the Senate to Republican Robert Packwood, who later resigned from the Senate in 1995, after the Senate Ethics Committee
unanimously recommended expelling him because of sexual and official misconduct.

After an unsuccessful campaign for the United States Senate in 1972. Morse ran again in 1974. He was actively engaged in campaigning when he died July 22, 1974, in Portland, Oregon. Thus far, I've been unable to locate an obituary for Mildred Downie Morse. However, according to her grave marker, she lived to be 93 years old, dying on December 15, 1994.

There are several memorials to Wayne Morse and Mildred Downie in Oregon, including the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon in Eugene, and theWayne Morse Ranch Historical Park, also in Eugene.

Super Centralites from the Class of 1919: Wayne Morse and Mildred Downie

I'm going to write a rather long post about Wayne Morse and Mildred Downie, so I've decided to put a couple of images in a separate post, in order to make blog pages load a bit faster.

Below are scanned copies of page 28 and page 37 of the 1919 Tychoberahn, the pages that include senior photos of Morse and Downie. Rather than just excerpt photos of the two students, I've decided to include the complete pages for two reasons: (1) The activities lists show just how active both were during their years at Madison [Central] High School; and (2) It gives you an opportunity to see some of the wonderful Art Deco design featured in the Tychoberahn that year. Double click on the images to enlarge them in your browser window.

Mildred Downie's photo is the second from the top in the right hand column. Other seniors on this page are Catherine "Kate" Digney, Ellen Dodge, George Doerfer, Gustave "Gus" Drives, John "Johnnie" Drives, Lorraine "Lloyd" "Dunnie" Dunn, and Dorothy "Dot" Easton. Please contact me by e-mail or leave a comment if you can provide additional information about any of these members of the Class of 1919.

Wayne Morse's photo is on the bottom of the right hand column. Other seniors on this page are Ethel Metz, Rosina Metz, Gladys A. "Gladdie" Meyers, Janet "Jane" Millar, Barnard "Bernie" Monfreid, Eleanor "Gug" Morgan, and Erwin Morgan. Please contact me by e-mail or leave a comment if you can provide additional information about any of these members of the Class of 1919.


Note: For those of you too young to remember, "Super Centralites" were senior class students profiled in The Madison Mirror newspaper. This once regular feature was discontinued in the mid 1960s, apparently because there was disagreement about how the Super Centralites were selected. Although The Madison Mirror was not founded until several years after Morse and Downie graduated, there's no doubt in my mind that they deserve the appellation.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Schmelzer's web site is back


Several months ago, I had to remove John Schmelzer's name from the list of alumni web sites because the link wasn't working.

Tonight, however, I discovered his web site is again up and running. If you miss his funny, rude, and sometimes raunchy artwork, click HERE for lots of Schmelzer drawings. Unlike the ones that made the 1963 Tychoberahn one of the best yearbooks ever, many of these more recent drawings are in color.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

1962-1963 Central Junior High School basketball team wins first championship since 1947


Pictured above are members of the 1962-1963 Central Junior High School basketball team, the first team since 1947 (the year before most of these guys were born) to win the city championship (with a10-0 record).

The photo appears on page 127 of the 1963 Tychoberahn. The original caption lists only first initial and last name, but I've added some of the first names. If you can help with the others, leave a comment or send me an email.

The photo shown above is the actual photo used in the yearbook (not a scan from the yearbook). I acquired it at one of Mr. Herreid's end of the year sales of photos used in the production of the Tychoberahn. The photo was cropped when it was used in the yearbook, so the man sitting in the bleachers on the right does not appear in the yearbook. I don't know who he is. Do you?

Here's the caption under the photo:

R. 1: David Williams, R. Epstein, G. Wiersma, B. Richter, John Allhiser, Bruce Victor, B. Cerniglia, G. Henderson. R. 2: John Olson (coach), Bill Bissett, R. Stuessey, Bill Withers, Dave Melum, Dave Orvold, Pat Corcoran, J. Goldsby. R. 3: Dan Gronli, John Anderson, Thomas Greene, Doug Rahn. R. 4: Moe Wee, Bill Blandino, Al Verdin, M. Hensen.

Note: For more information about Bill Withers, who died earlier this year, click HERE and HERE.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

When the Big Eight was still the Big Six and the Camp Randall field was frozen like cement: remembering the Madison Central High athletes of 1929-1930

The "Custer Files" in the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives contain a treasure trove of items about Madison. Many are related to the history of Madison Central High School.

The letter I've scanned and reproduced below is one of these items. It was written to the sports editor of The Capital Times in July 1980, by Frederic "Bud" Holt, who had recently retired as superintendent of schools in Janesville. In the letter, Holt notes that the Madison Central High School Class of 1930 is about to hold its 50th reunion, and he suggests that the sports editor should consider putting something into the sports section about the 1929-1930 athletes.

Apparently the letter was passed on to Frank Custer (Madison Central Class of 1931) who was writing the "Looking Backward Column" for the Capital Times. I think the various handwritten notes on the letter belong to Custer. I haven't had time to search through the microfilms from that time to determine whether or not Custer actually wrote about the teams, but I think you'll find the contents of the letter interesting.

I'm going to transcribe most of the contents of the letter so that (1) it's easier to read and (2) I can add some links. If you want to see the table of wins and losses for the 1929-1930 football and basketball teams, you'll have to click on the scanned image to enlarge it in your browser window, since tables aren't something blogger.com does very well (or easily).

If you have information about any of the team members for whom there are no links, please contact me, so I can add it to these archives.

HERE'S THE TRANSCRIPTION, PLUS A FEW OF CUSTER'S NOTES AND CORRECTIONS:

July 19, 1980

Dear Sports Editor, Capital Times

The Madison Central classes of 1930 will have their first reunion 50 years later on August 16th. In those days, there were graduating classes in January and June.

I hope you can put something in your sports pages about the 1929-1930 athletes prior to August 16th.

In football and basketball the records were outstanding in the then Big Six (which became the Big Seven in 1929 when Racine Horlick came in).

[Win and loss tables here]

Madison West opened in the fall of 1930 and thus the Big 8 was formed.

The 1930 grads included Ernie Kaeser, Bud Usilton, Eggs Schwoegler, Herb Dickenson, George Karstens, Fred Miller, Frank Miller, Red Logan, Jerry Hicks, Bob Karberg (President of the January class), Bill Reilly [note: Custer has crossed out "Bill" and written "Vince"], Norm Gjerde, Harry Younger, Red Hansen, Harold Tomarchenko, Larry Engelberger [note: Custer has crossed out "Larry" and written "Jim"], Bill Putnam, Chuck Olson, and Bud Holt.

Other "greats" in those days were Pip Nelson, Fred Staab, Stan Hankedahl, Jerry Femal, Stan Ferris, Harold Sylvester, Jim Madden, John Conlin, Jelly Williams, Stan Hungerford, Chuck Prieve, Len Forrest.

The final football game for the 1930 grads was the traditional Thanksgiving Day game in 1929 when the Camp Randall field was frozen like cement. Central beat East that day 13-0.

I'll appreciate hearing from you and hope that a story will appear in both the city and the state additions.

Sincerely,

FRED HOLT, JANESVILLE [note: signature is in light blue, so it doesn't reproduce well]





Note: "Athletics" image is from 1927 Tychoberahn, which has a series of photographs of football games being played at Camp Randall field. If someone has photos of the 1929-1930 Madison Central High School football and basketball teams, please contact me by email, so I can arrange to post them,

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Attending the Sun Prairie Corn Festival this weekend? If so, check out the Sun Prairie Georgia O'Keeffe "Central Connection"

If you're planning to attend the annual Sun Prairie Corn Festival this weekend, take some time to visit the Wisconsin Historical Marker honoring artist Georgia O'Keeffe. It's located next to the Sun Prairie City Hall on 300 E. Main Street, not far from Angell Park, where the corn festival is held.

A Sun Prairie native, O'Keefe is a Madison [Central] High School alumna. She attended Madison High School, as a sophomore, from 1902-1903. During this time, she lived with her aunt, Lenore L. Totto, who graduated from Madison High School in 1885. In June 1903, O'Keeffe left Madison to join her parents in Williamsburg, Virginia. She graduated from Chatham (Virginia) Episcopal Institute in 1905.

Although O'Keeffe was only there for a year, her experiences At Madison High School were important in her development as an artist. Recalling her art teacher at Madison High School, O'Keeffe later wrote, "I didn't like anything about her, not even the interest she aroused in me. But maybe she started me looking at things -- looking very carefully at details."

This afternoon, while looking through the "Custer Files" at the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, I found a 1927 clipping from The Capital Times about Georgia O'Keeffe, which I've reproduced below. It may be difficult to read unless you double click on it in order to enlarge it in your browser window. Material from the archives can only be photocopied on bright yellow paper. What you see below is a scan of the photocopy, which I've done my best to enhance using PhotoShop. The date is not complete, but there's enough information in the article for the really curious to determine (with a bit of research) when it was published.

The "Custer Files" are the research files of Frank Custer, a Central High School alumnus, who spent most of his career at The Capital Times, where he wrote the "Looking Back" column. It's likely his interest in O'Keeffe may have been sparked by the article's mention that she, too, had attended Madison High School. Although I haven't determined what year Custer and his twin brother, Rudy, who were high school cheerleaders, graduated from Central, I believe it was probably 1930 or 1931. When you remember that the O'Keeffe article was published in 1927, when Frank Custer was still in high school, it appears that his interest in Madison history may have started well before he joined The Capital Times staff.

Double click on this image to enlarge it in your browser window


Update:
9/17/2006 - I've updated the links in this post. They should all work now. Also, I've determined that both Frank and Rudy Custer were members of the Madison Central High School Class of 1931.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Meet a remarkable alumna who lived to be almost 104

"She's lived through 18 presidents, five wars, and the invention of airplanes, antiobiotics, automobiles, computers, motion pictures, nuclear power and television," wrote Wisconsin State Journal feature writer Sunny Schubert, in a 1987 article about Emma Glenz, who'd recently celebrated or 102nd birthday.

Born in Madison in 1883, Emma Louise Glenz graduated from Madison [Central] High School in 1902. I've posted her obituary and copies of several newspaper articles about this remarkable woman, who died in 1987, a week short of her 104th birthday, in the pre-1990 obituary archives. Click HERE to read more about alumna Emma Glenz.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Making this blog work better for all of us

I've made some design and layout changes to the blogs to make them more searchable and a bit less cluttered looking.

The blogger.com search box in the upper left corner of the blog has never worked very well, so I've added an option that works much better -- if you follow the simple instructions. You'll find a Google search box in the column on the right, preceded by some instructions about how to search. I've been testing it, and it seems to do a good job of locating names (of people, places, events) included in the blog text.

One hint: try using just a first or last name rather than a complete name -- e.g, use Walt or Disney, not Walt Disney. The reason for searching this way is that sometimes people are listed only by their first or last name. If you enter Walt Disney, for instance, you'll get only posts that contain both names (but of course, with the exception of this post, the guy who gave us the Mickey Mouse Club, doesn't appear on any of the Madison Central High School blogs -- so don't tell me you tried to search for him and didn't get any results).

I've also streamlined the archives listings. Instead of a long archives list, I've created a pull-down menu that takes up a lot less space. You'll find it near the bottom of the column on the right.

Never used the archives? Don't know what they are? The archives are a month-by-month grouping of posts. For instance, if you use the pull-down menu and click on December 2005, you'll see a page will see a page with all the posts for that month on a single page.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Class of 1961 sets a date for its 45th reunion

The Madison Central High School Class of 1961 will hold its 45th reunion on Saturday, July 29, 2006 at the Coliseum Bar (formerly known as Jingles), 232 E. Olin Avenue in Madison. Festivities are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

The reunion planning committee members include Angie Fiscus Klosterman, Chuck Kneebone, Joe Engelhart, Mike Caliva, Ann Melville Olson and her husband, Denny (who graduated from Madison East, but is getting credit for doing a lot of computer work for the reunion committee), Sandy McCord, Bob Hann, and Jim Deneen. If you're a member of the Class of 1961 and you haven't received an invitation, or you have questions about the event, you may call Angie at (608) 424-3649. Or send me an email and I'll forward your message to the committee members.

The Class of 1961 is still looking for some people. If you have a current address (or other information) for any of these people, please email me and I'll forward your message to the committee members. Here are the names of the "missing" members of the Madison Central High School Class of 1961:

Betty Bakke Zwerg
Janet Bode
Margo Cuccia
Gay Gilroy
Gloria Halverson
Charles Howard
Joyce Hungate
Fay Johnson Bonkamp
Kay Kamm
Karen Larson
Velmarie Lloyd
Judy London
Pat Morrick
Edward Mulhall
Sandy Noble Anderson
Toni Pankow Gronli
Michelle Rohr Maxwell
Barbara Ross
Mary Rubin
Angie Schiro
Susan Schmeling
Gary Schulz
Joann Tantill
Loretta Wein
Naomi Whitaker
Pauline Whittleton

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

You can't remember this (unless you're at least a centenarian)

Before the Cass Gilbert-designed building we all remember was built, this is what the building housing Central High School (then called Madison High School) looked like. Built in 1873 (and doubled in size by an addition in 1888), this building occupied the same location on Wisconsin Avenue as its successor. It was demolished in 1906 when construction began on the new building. Gerhard Ellerkamp (Class of 1966) provided the photo below, which according, to the note near the top, was taken in 1902. There's no indication of the photographer's name.


The "new" school building did not open until 1908, so, according to the 1907 Tychoberahn, the classes were split up during the construction period. The freshman class was housed in the "new" Doty School 0n the corner of West Wilson and South Broom Streets (the building is still there, but has been converted to condominiums). The sophomores and juniors were in the "most beautiful" building, the "new" public library on North Carroll Street (torn down when the library building on West Mifflin Street was built). The seniors studied in the combined engine house and police station (I'm still trying to determine the exact location of this building).

Friday, June 09, 2006

Central alumni at Festa Italia: part 3 of 3

It really was not my intention to depict Madison Central High School as an all-boys school, but I had a difficult time finding female alumnae at Festa Italia. The reports I received usually involved women who were "expected later this afternoon," or who'd already put in an appearance on a previous day. That's why this final round of photos of alumni from the Fifties and Sixties is a guy gallery.


Lewis Cassini (Class of 1955), keeping track of raffle ticket sales



Phil Clementi (Class of 1960), also seated at the raffle ticket sales table



Paul Washington, Sr. (Class of 1953)



Former Central Coach John Olson and Chris Ramos (Class of 1953)




Tom DiSalvo (Class of 1963)




Jack Parrino (Class of 1966)

Central alumni at Festa Italia: Part 2 of 3

Maybe they'd already eaten. Or maybe they were waiting until later. In any case, I wasn't having much success hanging around the food stand waiting for Central alumni to stop by for an Italian sausage. And then there was the name tag problem. People wear name tags at reunions, not at festivals. Maybe there were dozens of Central alumni walking right past me, but because they weren't decked out in school colors and weren't wearing name tags, I wasn't picking them out of the crowd.

Bill McDonald suggested I head to the beer tent to look for "Buffo," who could probably point to lots of unfamiliar faces and identify them as Centralites.

It was a good suggestion, and it produced results. It wasn't until I returned home, recovered from my sunburn, and downloaded my photos that I discovered a serious problem: all the photos I took in the beer tent were tinted red, a foreshadowing of what was happening to my scalp. I tried to use my photo editing program to tone down the reds, but the best I could do was make everyone appear as though they'd bathed in Dijon mustard. What to do?

I could omit my photo of "Buffo" and fret about my future, or bring in a consultant. The latter idea seemed to be the most reasonable. So I prevailed on a witty, erudite fellow alumnus who knows a lot more about color photography than I do (and, no, not the one formerly known as "Skip"), and received the following feedback about a sample photo catastrophe I'd enclosed with my entreaty for help:

"That's the problem with color photography -- it's so literal about colors in situations where our eyes adapt naturally, resetting our internal "white balance" so we don't even see the coloration caused by the light source (in this case, the red stripes on the roof of the tent, which are casting a strong reddish cast on everything)."

Along with the feedback, the consultant offered several options for trying to salvage by beer tent photos. I liked the last one best:

"Go for the arty black and white look and convert it to black and white (grayscale) in your photo editor."


I did. It worked. I liked the results. So here they are:




From left to right: Ed Corcoran (Class of 1960); Dr. Dan Maldne (not an alumnus, but definitely a member of the Italian Workmen's Club); and Joe "Buffo Cerniglia (Class of 1953), who also was kind enough to write down everyone's name and affiliation -- another reason to stay on his good side. Joe also pointed out the next couple and told me they were also Central alumni.




John Cuccia (Class of 1960) and Pat Donner Cuccia (Class of 1961)

Central alumni at Festa Italia: Part 1 of 3

This is the first of three posts featuring photos of Central alumni taken last Sunday at Festa Italia in Fitchburg.



As soon as I arrived, I headed for place where I expected to spot some Central alumni.




Chuck Cerniglia (Class of 1963, wearing gloves) and Bill McDonald (Class of 1950, wearing beads) were working hard, but took a brief break to pose for a photo in their Festa finery.



Joe Cerniglia (Class of 1959) was supervising operations.


These are Italian sausages on the grill, not bratwurst! The handsome man who was cooking them looked far too young to be a Central alumnus, so I focused on the food, not the dude.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Class of 1966 sets a date for its 40th reunion

They haven't settled on a links location, or put a price tag on the event, but the reunion committee for the Madison Central High School Class of 1966 has set a date and decided where they're going to have dinner. Here's the scoop on that 40th class reunion, courtesy of Sue Benell Puccio:

When: Saturday, September 30, 2006
Where: Knights of Columbus
5256 Verona Road, Fitchburg
Time: Cocktails at 6:00 p.m.,
followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

In addition to the main event, the Class of 1966 is also planning a Saturday afternoon golfing get-together and a Friday night gathering at an undetermined location. Sue's email hints at the possibility that alumni from other classes may be invited to attend Friday's event.

The email also reports that, "The Class of 1966 reunion planning committee includes Kathy Russell (Wolff), Angie Loniello, Dan Gronli, Dave, Melum, Jim Meuer, Karen Meuer, Gerhard Ellerkamp, Monsine Di Salvo, Tommy Doyle and me, Sue Benell Puccio. As usual, the reunion meetings are as much fun as the actual event. We spend lots of time reminiscing about all the good times at Central High."

If you have questions about the Class of 1966 reunion and you don't know how to contact any of the committee members, send me an email and I'll forward it.

In the meantime, if you're no longer living in the Madison area, but plan to return for the reunion, given serious consideration to where you're going to sleep that weekend. The Badgers will be in Bloomington on September 30th, but cow fans will be arriving from all over the world to attend the World Dairy Expo, which opens October 3rd. So book that hotel room now -- or make plans to reserve space on someone's sofa.

Update (6/26/2006): Reunion invitations will be mailed to members of the Class of 1966 this week. The class is also sponsoring an informal All-Central get-together at The Pub on Friday, September 29, 2006. It begins at 6 p.m. and runs until closing time or whenever all good Central alumni are tucked in their beds, whichever comes sooner.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Central High School basketball squad was "small but scrappy" in 1942

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, causing the United States to enter World War II. During the 1941-42 school year, students at Madison Central High School experienced “ a definite trend toward defense education,” according to the 1942 Mirror Magazine, which served as a yearbook that year. “Class schedules were changed in order to allow for new courses,” noted the magazine’s editors.

Many other things changed at Central during that year, including the nature of the auditorim programs. And school clubs and organizations chose defense activities to work on during the school year.

The 1941-42 school year also saw Central’s football and basketball teams bringing home honors: both won Big Eight championships. The image below, from the 1942 Mirror Magazine, shows the members of the 1941-42 basketball squad, but the photograph does not have a caption. I hope some of you will be able to supply the identities of these young men. Please leave a comment or send an email if you can help.

I have transcribed the text on the page and entered it below the image, so I could add some links, and so that people searching for the members of the squad might be able to locate this post.



Double click on the above image to enlarge it in your browser window


Madison Central possessed the strongest basketball squad in southern Wisconsin during the 1941-42 season. This team was one of the greatest teams in Madison in the last two decades.

The Orange and Black team was small but scrappy. They won the Big Eight championship, city championships, and the Beaver Dam regional championship, thus proving beyond doubt that they were the champs of southern Wisconsin.

"There is no doubt that Dom Schiro ranked as the outstanding player on the squad," Coach Diehl commented, "but we hit upon five boys with good speed and ability to play the game. They fitted together and thought together as all champions do."

The following boys were letter winners: Warren Colwill, senior, who played reserve forward; Ora Cox, senior, reserve forward; Edwin Helmicks, senior, all-city second team, regular forward; Nick Gandolph, senior, regular guard, all-city second team, one of the best guards in the conference; Dom Schiro, senior, regular center, all-city first team, all-state first team, one of the best centers in the state; Clayton Allen, junior, regular forward, all-city second team; Paul Berg, junior, regular guard, all-city first team; Lee Sanders, junior, reserve guard; Peter DiMartino, sophomore, reserve guard. Other boys on the squad were: John Brausen, George Schiro, Jeff Quin, Bob Nee, Chris Joseph, Dick Wagner, Dick Springman, Donald Burwell, Lafern Opsal, Bob Nelson, Isaiah Carthron, and George Capadona.

The Beaver Dam game was outstanding. The team was a strong as any other played. Beaver Dam was taller and heavier than the small boys of Central. Many sports writers picked this team to win the state tournament in mid-season.

The squad worked hard because they were slated as a second division team. Coach Diehl had little to work with because of losses by graduation last year. A great deal of the credit for this year's succes in basketball belongs to the coach, Mr. Diehl, as fine a coach as may be found.

Prospects for next year's team look bright with four letter men returning plus many good "B" team boys.

The boys Central will lose are: Dom Schiro, Ed Helmicks, Nick Gandolph, Tom Marsh, Warren Colwill, and Ora Cox.

Friday, May 12, 2006

"When you're with Miss Jin...fun will begin"

Ginny (Swenson) O'Brien celebrated her 80th birthday last night at the East Side Business Men's Association -- and Doug Moe was there taking notes. Moe's column in today's edition of The Capital Times lists some of the guests; reports that O'Brien, who sings Dixieland jazz with the Avenue Sizzlers every Monday at the Avenue Bar, shows no signs of slowing down; and doesn't forget to mention that the birthday girl graduated from Madison Central High School in 1944. Moe has certainly surpassed the one "Central connection" column a year I complained about in a post in January. Let's hope he keeps up the good work.

Note: The photo accompanying this post is from the 1944 issue of The Mirror Magazine (the name of the Madison Central High School yearbook during World War II).

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Central senior Rose Lynch was learning to fly in 1944 -- Help us discover the next chapters of her story

Inimitable (some say legendary), Wisconsin State Journal reporter June Dieckmann was a police reporter, not a feminist, but she knew a good human interest story when she saw one. On May 29, 1944, Dieckmann’s story about Madison Central High School senior Rose Lynch, a young woman who was taking flying lessons, ran on the front page of the newspaper It was accompanied by a photo taken by another inimitable WSJ staffer, Arthur M. Vinje, the newspaper’s first staff photographer, a man whose career with the newspaper spanned more than five decades (1908 to 1962).

When I was young, I was a “Journal brat” who loved to hang around the old newspaper offices on S. Carroll Street, where my maternal grandfather was the press superintendent. I knew both Dieckmann and Vinje, and learned to read newspapers long before I was confronted with the boring lives of Alice and Jerry, but the article about Rose Lynch ran before I was born. I read it for the first time a few weeks ago, after an email from Ann Waidelich prompted me to search for it on the microfilm copies of the WSJ available at the Madison Public Library.

Waidelich volunteers at the Wisconsin Historical Society, where she’s helping to index the McVicar and Vinje photo collections. She found the negative of the photo of Rose Lynch in the Vinge collection and then searched for the story that it had accompanied.

Ann wanted to know the rest of the story. She wanted to know what had become of Rose Lynch, a young woman who, in 1944, was spending eight hours a day attending Central, working at the Spanish Cafe on State Street, and taking pilot training at Royal Airport, hoping that training would lead to a career as commercial avaiation pilot after the end of World War II. Ann thought I might know the rest of the story, since I’m working on a history of Madison Central High School -- and if not, I just might be able to locate someone who did.

I don’t know the rest of the story, but I too would like to hear it. If you know what happened to Rose Lynch after she graduated from Central in 1944, please see me an email or leave a comment. If it’s a long story and you don’t want to try to write it all down, let me know if I can reach you by telephone. I’d be pleased to conduct a telephone interview.

Notes: A transcript of June Dieckmann’s story about Rose Lynch, published in the Wisconsin State Journal on May 29, 1944 is provided in the previous post. The narrow image of Rose Lynch acompanying this post is a scan of a copy made from a microfilm image of the May 29, 1944 Wisconsin State Journal; hence, the quality of the original image has been diminished. The other image of Rose Lynch is from the 1944 Madison Central yearbook, at that time called The Mirror Magazine.

In 1944, Rose Lynch just wanted to fly

Crowded Day No Bar to Rose,
She Still Flies


By June Dieckmann
(Wisconsin State Journal Staff Writer)


Because there are only 24 hours in a day doesn't stop one Madison girl from fulfilling her ambition to fly -- even after she has worked and gone to school for 16 of each of those daily hours.

The ambitious young girl is Rose Lynch, 18, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Lynch, 21 N. Butler st., who probably has one of the fullest 'round-the-clock schedules of any Madisonian.

Miss Lynch not only spends eight hours each day at Central high school, from which she will be graduated June 9, and works as a waitress at the Spanish cafe, 212 State st., for eight more hours during the day, but she finds time to take pilot training at Royal Airport.

Started When "Little"

Her ambition to fly started when she as "just a little girl," she said, living with her parents on their farm near Yuba in Richland county. When the family moved to Madison, talented Miss Lynch was delighted because she would be living near an airfield where she could receive flight training.

It was difficult to fit flying into her schedule after she had arranged her high school studies and working hours at the Spanish, she said, but it was accomplished and she expects to take her first solo flight Tuesday, after completing more than the required eight hours of dual flying.

"I Just Want to Fly"

"Anything with wings just sets me going -- even bugs," blue-eyed Miss Lynch laughed. "I just want to fly."

To help her along the road to fulfilling her amibiton of becoming a commercial airlines pilot after the war, Miss Lynch will enter the four-months radio-technicians' school at Gen. Mitchell Field, Milwaukee, June 10, the day after her high school graduation.

The course is sponsored by the army air forces and the University of Wisconsin extension. After completion of training in Milwaukee, she expects to be sent to Wright Field, Dayton, O., for the final phase of the course, where she will be able to stack up flying hours for her commercial pilot license.

At Central high school, the pre-aviatrix studied a preflight course under Faculty members T. Ruth Raeuber, Benjamin H. Ashmann, and Nina Frederikson. The course fives the pupils a knowledge of navigation and meteorology, aircraft maintenance and aircraft engines, similar to the army-sponsored course at the university. For two months last summer, she studied an aircraft maintenance course at the vocational school in Globe, Ariz.

At Royal Airport, she has been training in the Taylor craft, under the instruction of Louis Wullemeier, Pvt. Roy Leber, Walter Schultz, and Vincent Mann.

Miss Lynch has made excellent grades at Central, her teachers report. He work at the cafe is praised by her boss, Fred Nicholson, who says, "she makes fun out of work."

Then, too, there is work for Miss Lynch, who has six brothers and sisters, five of them younger than she. The two youngest, Jimmy, 3, and John, 6, idolize their flying sister. The four sisters are Patricia, 10, Regina "Gene," 13, and Mary, 20, and the one Miss Lynch says is another prospective pilot, Helena "Mike," 15.

"My mother and father want me to fly," Miss Lynch said, "but Dad wants his feet on the ground." Her father is an employe of Oscar Mayer and Co.

Besides all the other work included in her "no days off" schedule, Miss Lynch finds time to write morale-building letters to about 100 men in service.


Note: This feature story was originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on May 29, 1944. It began on the front page of the newspaper and jumped to page two. The photo that accompanied it appears in the next post. Also note, Nina Fredrickson's surname is misspelled in the article.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Inexperienced 1917 basketball team just kept on truckin' all the way to the state sectionals


The 1917 Madison High School basketball team didn't have high hopes for a winning season, but its inexperienced team managed to keep on truckin' all the way to the state championship sectionals, where, after trouncing every team it met during the regular season, it vanquished Brodhead and Whitewater. But then it met Edgerton and lost 12 to 14.

But before I tell you a bit about the team members, take a good look at the above illustration, which is featured on page 111 of the 1917 Tychoberahn. The hapless players it depicts certainly look like relatives of some of R. Crumb's creations, even though they were drawn about half a century earlier (and their feet aren't so large). After taking a magnifying glass to the initials on the lower right side of the drawing, I'm quite certain they're "R.G." I suspect, therefore, that the artist may have been Robert "Bob" Gilmore, a member of the Class of 1917. The quotation by his senior class photograph in the Tychoberahn adds weight to that suspicion. It says, "He fain would draw a picture."



According to information in the 1917 Tychoberahn, the six Madison High School (Central's name before the opening of East High School) basketball team members ranged in age from 16 to 20. They weighed between 140 and 165 pounds. There's no mention of height, but surely these young men were much smaller than most of the young men who play high school basketball today.

The team members were Ole Gunderson, Paul Tenney, Arthur Tauchen, Leon Mathison, Edward Zwicky, and Mark Kessenich. The coach was G.A. Crispin. One of the three members of the Madison High School faculty who taught physical training, Crispin was a graduate of Springfield College ('08) and the Harvard School of Physical Education ('12). Thus far in my research, I've discovered nothing else about these young men and their coach. If you have any information about any of the players or Coach Crispin, please email me.

Below is an image of page 111 of the 1917 Tychoberahn. It provides all the details of the baskerball team's season. Notice that the highest scoring game was a 46 to 13 victory over Portage.




Note: Double click on any of the three images in this post to enlarge them in your browser window.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Camerites

The piquancy of an in-joke fades over time. Unless someone records or otherwise reveals the basis for the smiles it evokes, an in-joke becomes unfunny, unfathomable. We no longer get it.

The Madison High School Camerites apparently shared an in-joke that's no longer accessible. Surely back in 1911, ten years before Gene Rodenberry was born, a group of young men interested in photography could not have known about Camorites, the humanoid residents of Camor V, mentioned in "Bloodlines," a 1994 epidosde of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" written by Nick Sagan. Why then did they convince the editors of the 1912 Tychoberahn to emphasize that the spelling of their organization's name was "C-a-m-e-r-i-t-e-s," not "C-a-m-o-r-i-t-e-s?"

Google "Camorites" and all the references are to "Star Trek." Hmmm. Let's check the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). Perhaps we're dealing with an archaic term.

Here we are: Camomile (a variant of chamomile; drink tea made from it, don't hurl it as an epithet). Next word: Camorra (an extra "r" -- didn't these young men know how to spell?). Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. What's a Camorra?

According to the OED it's either (1) "a kind of smock-frock or blouse" or (2) "a secret society of lawless malcontents in Naples and Neapolitan cities."

So here we are, more than nine decades later, left to wonder if these men, born in the late nineteenth century, wanted future generations to know they weren't a secret society of lawless malcontents whose members wore smock-frocks. Or were they trying to say something else?

The 1912 Tychoberahn has a photograph featuring ten of the twelve members of the Camerites. There is no caption identifying who's who. All we know is the membership included Alex Alexander, Theodore Hoeveler, Robert Johnson, Leslie Ketchum, William Marshall, Edwin Meisekothen, Paul Rose, John Sachs, Edward Schernecker, Theodore Scholz, Arthur Wilcox, and Edward Williamson.

I've reproduced the page from the 1912 Tychoberahn showing the Camerites. If you have additional information about any of these men, please leave a comment or send an email.


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