Saturday, January 28, 2006

Madison Central High School Once Had a Boxing Team

Browse through some of the old Madison Central High School yearbooks and you'll encounter lots of delights and surprises. In the June 1934 yearbook, which was called The Orange and Black rather than the Tychoberahn, I discovered that Central once had a boxing team. Reproduced below are a photo of the team and the accompanying text and caption. There are plenty of bare chests, but if you're more interested in Central history than beefcake, you'll find a lot of information in the text above the photo.





In order to make the text and caption easier to read, I am also reprinting it below. This should also make it easier for people using search engines to learn about this post. It would really interesting to receive some comments or additional information from friends and relatives of these boys -- and truly exciting to learn that some of these boxing team members are still around to share their stories.

Photo Caption: Back Row (reading from left to right) the senior high squad: Ruskin, Parisi, Wilson, Gervasi, Di Salvo, Motisi, Cuccia, Schiro, Flynn, and Dean; front row, junior high: Justo, Masino, Cuccia, Chiovero, Badenna, Loniello, and Toseff. Inset - Christopher Canepa.


BOXING PREMIERE By Fred Alexander

Central's newest and most successful team came through its first season undefeated in two team matches. Boxing in its second year here proved a bigger money maker for the athletic department than any other sport because of its small overhead. This year for the first time the boxers met fighters from other schools. They defeated West 8-2 and easily bested the Vocational school although the fights were non-decision bouts.

Seven champions from last year fought in this year's all-school tournament, but only four of them were successful in defending their championships. These were Julius Ruskin, Jim Flynn, Vito Schiro, and James Dean. Joe LaBella, Tony Cuccia, and Ernie Jones were the three who were dethroned. Other battlers who caome out on top this yuear were Chris Canepa, Pete Parisi, Joe Di Salvo, and Woodrow Wilson.

An unhappy event after the close of the season, the death of Christopher Canepa, rather dims the joy of an otherwise happy season. Chris was flyweight champ, undefeated in the five bouts he fought.

Parisi and Schiro were both post-graduates and as a result only Schiro fought against West, and his was an exhibition bout. Other men who boxed were Tony Cuccia, Tony Gervasi, and Sam Motisi, and two of these boys, Cuccia and Motisi dropped the only bouts to the West Siders. They were defeated by Schmidt and Manzer, respectively.

The outlook for next years team is rather good with Ruskin, Flynn, and DiSalvo returning, and several promising runnerups and junior high champions back. Chief among the latter is Steve Chiovero, who fought an exhibition bout against "Slug" Wilson, and did very well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Some Amusing Stories About John Bardeen (Class of 1923)

David, a physics professor who writes several blogs, appears to have been a graduate student at the University of Illinois sometime during the years when John Bardeen taught there. He's posted a couple of amusing stories about Bardeen, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who graduated from Madison Central High School in 1923. David's blog, "Working it out - Tales from Baby Boomer," also has some other interesting posts, including one about making Red River Cherry Cobbler.

Monday, January 16, 2006

One Way to Search for Alumni: An Afternoon Stroll Through Forest Hill Cemetery - Part 1

My father, his brother Wally, my paternal grandparents, a great-aunt, and many cousins are buried there, so I often visit Madison’s Forest Hill Cemetery. I usually drive my car to the sections where their graves are located and park nearby because street parking is often unavailable.

Today, however, was Martin Luther King Day, a school holiday in Madison, as well as a national holiday. As a result, Speedway Road was not lined with cars belonging to West High School students and faculty. So I decided to park on the street and enjoy the brisk, sunny day by walking to visit family graves. I also wanted to stroll through other parts of the cemetery, since I hoped I might sight some gravestones for members of the Madison High School Class of 1900. In addition, I wanted to look for the gravestone for John Bardeen, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who graduated from Central High School in 1923.

The photo below is of Bardeen’s gravestone, located in Section 25 of Forest Hill Cemetery. Notice the two symbols inscribed on the left, above his name. Bardeen was awarded two Nobel Prizes in physics.



The stone behind the gravestone for John Bardeen and his wife, Jane, is not there by accident. It marks the graves of his parents: his father, Charles R. Bardeen, founder of the UW Medical School, and mother, Althea Harmer Bardeen. The inscriptions are on the reverse side, as you can see from the photo below:



I did discover and photograph photos of a good number of other Madison Central High School graduates -- not all from the Class of 1900 -- and I will post some of them when I have more information about these alumni.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Members of the Class of 1900: Part 2 (Surnames J - W)

Listed below are members of the Madison High School Class of 1900 (surnames J-W)* whose names are listed in the very first Tychoberahn, which, alas, has no photographs. According to the Tychoberahn, there were 91 members of the Class of 1900. 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've listed the surnames from A through H in a previous post. I hope that posting their names will draw some responses from relatives or others who know something 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 reponses, comments, and corrections.

Fred L. Joachim
Gwen Jones
Frances Kayser
Jennie Irene Kelley
James Kennedy
Possibly the James Eugene Kennedy who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1905; City Clerk of Platteville for many years
Elizabeth Frances Kessenich
Perhaps a sister of Harry Kessenich the retailer?
Hattie Kuhns
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904; In 1906 she was teaching school in Lodi, Wisconsn
Clara A. Lea
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1905; married Walter J. Gallon
Stephen J. Leahy
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1905 (LL.B. degree); in 1921 an attorney in Wibaux, Montana; middle name James
Norman Lockwood
Bertha Lewiston
In 1902 was a stenographer in Madison
Daisy Eliza Lorigan
Mary Jane Lucas
Charles Adalbert Lyman
Salutatorian, Junior Class President; Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904; in 1921 was Secretary of the National Board of Farm Organizations in Washington, D.C.
John Lynch
Fannie Malec
Thomas McNamara
Sara Roxey McKay
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1905; in 1921 she was a stenographer in Hollywood, California
Zadoc Merril
Probably some typos here. This is probably the Zadok Musser Merrill who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904 with a degree in engineering
Marie Grace Miller
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904; married F.J. Petura
James G. Milward - "Who whiles the time with baseball and debate."
Literary Society President, Baseball Team; probably James Garfield Milward, who earned an M.S.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1909, subsequently joining the faculty as an assistant professor of horticulture
Roy Murray - "Stirring the air with heavenly harmonies."
High School Orchestra; The October 1903 issue of The Wisconsin alumni magazine reported that, "Roy Murray, ex-'04,has gone to Genevea, N.Y., where he will attend Hobart College."
Kate Mutchler
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904; in 1910 she was teaching in De Forest, by 1921 she had married Stephen Nordon
Olaf Molvin Nelson - "He is a quiet youth."
In 1902 was attending Milwaukee Dental College
Gertrude Amelia Parr
George Post
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904; in 1930 was vice-president in charge of power for Milwaukee Electric
Ida Paunauk
Probably Ida Alvina Paunack, the sister of August Oscar Paunack, Jr., president of the Commercial National Bank and founder of radio station WIBA. He also built the Capital Theater.
Ruby Ethel Peck -"A gem."
Senior Class Vice President; Attended the University of Wisconsin
Helen Pierce
Her name appears on the 1901 Graduating Exercises program, so perhaps she graduated late
Elizabeth Malinda Pyre
Otto Louis Prien
Arthur Winfred Quan (1880-1964) - "May pass for a wise man."
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904; Quan is mentioned in a recent City of Madison Landmarks and Landmarks Sites Nomination Form submitted by Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, seeking Landmark status for the building on the corner of University and Randall (across from where Wisconsin High School used to be) that once housed the very first Rennebohm's Drug Store. Citing a book by Russell Archer, the nomination form notes that in 1912, Oscar Rennebohm "purchased the bankrupt Badger Pharmacy, near the corner of University and Randall Avenues, from Herbert Bird and the eccentric pharmacist/archaeologist Arthur W. Quan." It adds, "The two men had started in the business in 1908."
Leslie W. Quirke (1882-1960)- "Appearances are so deceiving."
Possibly a deliberate mis-spelling of Quirk to make it sound like quirky. Leslie W. Quirk attended the University of Wisconsin, but did not graduate; He became a writer. Died in Los Angelese on November 28, 1960.
John Regan
In 1902 was attending Milwaukee Dental College
Elsie Alada Reid
Ina Josephine Reid
Minnie May Rimsnider
Alma Matilda Runge (1883-1985)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1906; As part of its oral history project, Historic Madison, Inc. interviewed her in 1983: "Alma speaks in her 100th year. She was a Wisconsin librarian with the State Library Commission and was then on the faculty at the UW Law School." Although she is listed as a senior in the 1900 Tychoberahn, the official graduation records of the Madison School Board indicate she graduated in 1902.
Lone Willa Samuels
Arthur Stack - "Our own Dewey."
James Raymond Stack
Earle Stocking
Sarah Canette Leveen
Listed here, out of alphabetical order, in the Tychoberahn
Elsie Thom
Walter H. Thom (1882-1967)
"After his graduation from the University of Wisconsin in 1903, Walter Thom went to South Dakota, where he became an employee of the First National Bank of Tyndall, and was promoted to cashier for a two-year period. Mr. Thom came to Wausau in 1904 and founded Wausau Furniture and Fixture Company, for which he served as president for seven years. He later served as president of Builders Lumber and Supply Company. He was president of Marathon Battery Company from its founding in 1923 until his retirement in 1952." (from the Marathon Historical Society's People in Marathon County website pages)
Ethel Caroline Upham
William Albert Van Deusen
Ada Mary Welsh
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904; Married George T. Bigelow
Harry Garfield Wilber
Horatio Van Outte Winslow (1882-1972)
Senior Class Historian; Horatio Gates Winslow, a son of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice John B. Winslow;. The "middle name" shown in the Tychoberahn may be an inside joke; Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904; Became a writer
Florence Woodward - "A nut brown maid."
John Woodward
Sybil McBride Woodward

*No surnames end in X, Y, or Z

Friday, January 13, 2006

Members of the Class of 1900: Part 1 (Surnames A - H)

Listed below are some of the members of the Madison High School Class of 1900 (surnames A-H) whose names are listed in the very first Tychoberahn, which, alas, has no photographs. According to the Tychoberahn, there were 91 members of the Class of 1900. 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 know something 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 reponses, comments, and corrections.

Frank Adams
Louis Anderson - "From Norway's sunny shores."
William Anderson
Amelia Askew
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904. Married Theodore W. Werder.
Fannie M. Baker - "Divinely tall."
Herbert Roderick Bird, Jr. - "Entered as a Senior from Mazomanie High School."
Was enrolled as a freshman in the "Four Year's'" Pharmacy program at the University of Wisconsin in 1903.
Iva Brown
James Brown
Eyvind Bull (1882-) - "Music hath charms."
Along with William Evjue, was a charter member of the Monastics, a junior-senior secret society a the University of Wisconsin in 1905; married Agnes Hagerup in 1912
Cassandra S. Bucey
John Butler
Herbert Edgar Chynoweth - "A cherub with ruby lips and curly hair."
Possibly born January 2, 1883 and died August 15, 1971 in Washington, D.C. Father may have been a Madison attorney.Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904.
John Corscot (1882 -1951) - "I never thrust my nose into other men's porridge."
The photo of Madison High School that appears in the front of the Tychoberahn is credited to John Corscot.
Fred Cummings - "His Irish wit was ever present."
John Cummings
Barbara Van Bibber Curtis - "A colonial dame is she."
John Raphael Doris
Clarence Dawson
Myrtle Downing - "A bicycle girl."
Richard Dudgeon - "Maidens count me for a stranger."
A son of R.B. Dudgeon, who later became Superintedent of Schools in Madison
Wanda May Dudgeon ( - 1953)
A daughter of R.B. Dudgeon, who later became Superintedent of Schools in Madison;
graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904

Elsie Duerr - "A right clever girl."
Senior Class Treasurer; Married Edgar A. Goetz, a 1903 University of Wisconsin graduate.
Margaret E. Duffy
Alfred Field
Morris Fuller Fox
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904.
Alice Gallagher - "A still small voice."
Hilda C. Grinde
Regina Eunice Groves - "Promenading the walks, reading strange, mystic missives."
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1904; later became supervisor of the commercial department of the Madison vocational school; in 1922, "was a successful candidate for membership on the public school board;" owned and operated a secretarial school in Madison for many years; married Earl Barnhart
William Grove - Winner, Declamatory Contest.
William E. Grove graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1905. He subsequently attended the John Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland; In 1921, he was a physician in Milwaukee
Agnes Josephine Gunkel
Arthur Hall
Harry Van Mucker Hatton
Possibly born November 4, 1881 and died September 15, 1966 in Norwich, New York
Petronilla Rachel Heim
Edward John Hammer
Name appears on the program for the 1901 Graduating Exercises, so perhaps he graduated late.
Aron Henry - "Based on a scientific plan."
Name appears on the program for the 1901 Graduating Exercises, so perhaps he graduated late.
James Russell Hobbins (1883- )
Attended the University of Wisconsin; was living in Great Falls, Montana in 1916
Carrie Bell Louise Huggins
Edwin Wardell Hurst - Senior Class Secretary (1880-)
In 1920, was proprietor of the Hurst Sash & Door Company in Grand Island, Nebraska


Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's a 60th Reunion for the Class of 1946

Don Swingle, a member of the Madison Central High School Class of 1946, sent me details about their upcoming reunion:

The Class of 1946 60th reunion will be in Madison on June 23 and 24, 2006.

On Friday, June 23, we plan to have a social hour at the Monona Garden Family Restaurant at 6501 Bridge Road, from 5:30 p.m. until who knows when. Those attending will buy their own beverages of various kinds. Food is also available.

We expect about 25 classmates and spouses to attend, but the private room has capacity for more.

Then on Saturday, June 24 we will have a buffet supper (Cost $25.00 per person - tax and tip included). The social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. -- beverages available at the bar -- with dinner at 6:30PM. This event will be at the VFW Post 7591 at 301 Cottage Grove Road (three blocks East of Monona Drive).

Any classmates who did not receive a notice can write or call Jean (Bassett) Younger 1813 Loftsgordon Ave; Madison, WI 53704 (phone 608-244-6938).


I also have an email address for Don, but to protect him from spammers, I'm not posting it here. Send me an email via this blog and I'll be glad to forward it to Don.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Versatile Central

Long before "diversity" was popular, before it became a hot buzzword (or a tired cliche), Madison Central High School was home to a diverse student body. You can see it as you look through all of the old Tychoberahns. You can read about it in all the back issues of the Madison Mirror.

Posted below is a page from the 1928 Tychoberahn that takes note of what its editors called "Versatile Central" You should be able to enlarge the image in your browser by clicking on it. The photo is not a sharp as I'd like it to be, but until our local libraries have better reproduction hardware available (somebody please buy them a scanner!), it will have to do, since the Tychoberahns do not circulate.

I also have retyped the text on the yearbook page and entered it below so that it is easier to read. This will also make the names searchable -- and, with luck, perhaps someone from that class (who would be very old), or someone related to one of the people mentioned in the text will stumble across this post on the Internet, or be directed to it by a search engine, and will take the time to send an email and share more of their story, or the story of their relative who attended Madison Central High School in 1928.


There were 217 students at Central who were born outside Wisconsin, thirty-one of whom were born in foreign countries, and six in Canada. Those not born in Wisconsin represent thirteen foreign countries and twenty-five states in the United States. The largest number, fifty-eight, came from Illinois. Iowa is next with twenty-two, followed by Minnesota with fifteen, and Michigan with fourteen. Other states contributed from eight to one. Nine foreign born are from Sicily. Russia and Canada each sent us five.

Those who came from foreign countries had many interesting experiences on their trip to America. Boris Schuster came from Russia in 1917 when he was seven years old. The trip lasting two months, was made by way of Siberia, Manchuria, China, Japan, Seattle and San Francisco, and then by train to Stoughton.

Stanley Jones came from England when he was eleven years old. His chief difficulty on the trip was the fact that the officers of the ship seemed to set the clock back an hour just when it was time for a meal.

David Greeley was born in Newfoundland, where his father was a missionary.

Russell Hibbard's parents were missionaries in China, where he was born.

Rebecca Nathenson was born in Russia and travelled for two years through Poland, Germany, and France, on her way to America.

Philip Porrino landed in America from Sicily in 1917. A submarine fired at the boat on which he was traveling, but no serious damage was done. This experience occurred a little way off the coast of Spain. Vito Intravia had the misfortune to be on a ship which ran into an ice-berg. By pumping water the rest of the trip all passengers were able to land safely. Joe Raimond came from Sicily in a small crowded boat. Many passengers died of seasickness and were thrown overboard for the sharks to eat.

Winfred Jones came from England on account of her mother's health.

Many other interesting experiences were met by various persons.



Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Science Stars Who Graduated from Central

Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr, and Marie Curie are all Nobel Prize laureates in physics. So are two graduates of Madison Central High School. Perhaps there's another high school that can boast its alumni have been awarded not one, not two, but three Nobel Prizes in Physics, but I'm still waiting to hear its name.

John Hasbrouk van Vleck graduated in 1916, when Central was still named Madison High School. In 1977, Van Vleck shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Philip Warren Anderson and Sir Nevill Francis Mott. It was awarded for "for their fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems."

John Bardeen, who graduated from Madison Central High School in 1923, is the only person to win the Nobel Prize for Physics twice. In 1956, Bardeen, whose father, Charles Russell Bardeen, was the founder of the Medical School at the University of Wisconsin, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Walter Houser Brattain and William Bradford Shockley. It was awarded for "for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect." In 1972, Bardeen shared The Nobel Prize in Physics with Leon Neil Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer. It was awarded for "for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory."

Karl Guthe Jansky also graduated from Madison Central High School in 1923. Although not a Nobel Prize winner, he to made important contributions to science. In 1932, he discovered that the Milky Way emanates radio waves. This discovery of radio waves from an extraterrestrial source laid the foundations for the study of radio astronomy. In recognition of this discovery, the unit used by radio astronomers for the strength (or flux density) of radio sources is called the jansky (symbolic form, Jy). The jansky is equal to one-hundredth of one-trillionth of a trillionth of a watt per square meter per hertz.


Note: The three protraits accompanying this post are from the 1917 and 1923 editions of the Tychoberahn.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Alumni Obituaries Published in 2005

The 1990-Present Alumni Obituary Archives currently contain 62 obituaries of Madison Central High School alumni who died in 2005. Creating links to them is a very time-consuming process, so for now you will have to browse them. You may access this archive by clicking on the link in the right hand column.

Among the 62 obituaries is one for Irene Mary Newman, who died shortly before her 110th birthday. For many years she was the oldest living alumna of the UW-Madison. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel published a long story about her when she died, which you may read by clicking HERE. Other Central alumni who died in 2005 include Damian "Boozie" Schiro, who was valedictorian of his class, and Joseph Petrus Wergin, the first living person elected to the Cribbage Hall of Fame.

If the obituary indicated when someone graduated, the class year is shown in the post header. However, that information was not provided for many of these people, and I don't have time to check through the yearbooks right now. If you can supply this information for anyone of these alumni, please contact me by email (or leave a comment). Your help will be appreciated.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Time to Launch This Blog



It's time for this blog to make its public debut, even though it's still, in many respects, a work in progress. This blog is intended to be a way for alumni (and their friends and families) of Madison Central High School to stay in touch and help to share and preserve the history of Madison's first high school.

I'd like to post announcements about class reunions, requests for information about "missing" classmates, news about Central alumni, and your memories about Central what life was like in your neighborhood (or Madison in general) when you were growing up. If your class has a website or blog, I'd love to add a link to it. I'd also love to add a link to your personal website. You may contact me by email by clicking on the "View My Complete Profile" link on the right hand side of this blog, under my photograph. This will take you to a page where you'll find a link to an email account for this blog.

If this post is the first one you've read, I'd like to encourage you to read the previous posts in order to learn a bit more about what prompted the creaion of this blog.