Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas 1970: Madison Central High School alumnus John Schmelzer channels R. Crumb for a Christmas poster

Wisconsin Historic Image ID: 62100

One of more than 200 posters in the Madison People's Poster Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Note: If you don't recognize the name R. Crumb and/or the "Keep on Truckin'" slogan, click on the links embedded in this sentence for more information.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Members of the Class of 1907: Part 2 (Surnames J-W)

Listed below are the members of the Madison High School Class of 1907 whose surnames begin with the letters J-W and whose photos are included in the 1907 Tychoberahn.

The italicized information under many names is the information I have been able to find about that person; or, in some instances, speculation about how that person may be related to other alumni, or what they may have done after graduation. The quotations and information about high school activities are from the 1907 Tychoberahn.If you have any additional information about any of these members of the Class of 1907, please contact me by email or leave a comment.

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.

Thora Jacobsen
Hugo Koltes
Esther Kayser (1889-1983)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; married John Frank Kessenich
Clarissa Kuhns (1889-1979)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; married William B. Rowland
Adelaide Kleinheinz
Albert Leonard
Sara Longfield
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912; married surname Lyden
Elmer Lorch (1889-1977)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; in 1921 was a pharmacist in Chicago
Linnie Leslie
Norman Littlewood
Maud Lea
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911
Ada MacAdam
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1910; married Charles J. Moritz; in 1926 they were living in Effingham, Illinois
Vera Mutchler (1890-1978)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911 with a degree in home economics; married Frank Karl Gutsche
Charles J. Moritz (1888-1972)
In 1956 was an alternate delegate from Illinois (21st district) to the Republican National Convention
Ellah Mosel (1889-1979)
Probably Ella Mosel, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; married Harry M. Merrill
Jennie McCarthy
Edgar Norsman (1888-1969)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912
Leonard Nelson
Martin Nelson
Gladys Owen (1889-1975)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912; also attended Smith College; in 1916 married William Henry Kiekhofer, who during his long tenure as a professor in the UW economics department became known as "Wild Bill"
Robert O'Malley
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; in 1932, The Wisconsin alumni magazine (Volume 24, Number 7) reported that, "Robert O'Malley Madison, cashier of the State Bank has been suffering from a nervous breakdown."
Mary Payton
Bryon Potter
Elizabeth Proudfit
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; married Kenneth S. Templeton
George Potter
Marjory Park
Robert Post
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911
Nina Parker
Joseph Porter
Edna Pease
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1913
LaGertha Stromme
Ethyl Swan
Edna Swenholt
Helen Thursby (1889-1985)
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1910; died in California in 1985
Olive Taylor
Bessie Tyrrell
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911
Herman Veerhusen
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912; in 1924 was working for AT&T in New York City
Alie Warnock
Paul Weaver
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1911; in June 1925, The Wisconsin alumni magazine (Volume 26, Number 8) reported that, "PAUL WEAVER formerly of Madison, who is directing the Glee Club at the University of North Carolina, is achieving marked success in his work, according to reports recently received.- Carl Adams, music critic for the Cincinnati Enquirer,: said of the Glee Club, after hearing a recent concert: "With such an organization as this it is safe to. say that the University of North Carolina will assume the musical leadership, of southern colleges, just as Harvard has in the North."
Walter Wellman
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1912; died in Madison, Wisconsin in 1956
Edith Winslow
Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1913; married Professor J.M. O'Neill; a sister of Horatio Winslow, editor of the 1900 Tychoberahn
Emily Winslow (1888-1973)
May have been a member of the Class of 1906 (her senior photo appears in both the 1906 Tychoberahn and 1907 Tychoberahn); graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1913; a sister of Edith and Horatio Winslow

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Joe Franklin (Class of 1964) inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Saturday evening

Joe Franklin (Class of 1964) was an outstanding basketball player at both Madison Central High School and the University of Wisconsin. But did you know that when he graduated from the UW-Madison, he was drafted by both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Cowboys?
That's one of the things I learned from Joe's brother Jerry tonight while we were standing outside the Marriott Hotel, taking a break from the long (more than 2.5 hours) round of announcements, speeches, videos, and rounds of applause that followed dinner at the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association's 31st Annual Hall of Fame Banquet. Joe sat through all the proceedings, except when he was called to the front of the banquet hall by WBCA executive director Jerry Petitgoue ("the winningest coach in Wisconsin basketball history") to accept a plaque honoring him as a member of the WBCA Hall of Fame, the first Madison Central High School player to be recognized by the organization.
Among the other players inducted into the Hall of Fame were Gary Armstrong of Madison La Follette (Class of 1970) and Max Walker of Milwaukee Lincoln (Class of 1962). Jerry, who was a sophomore when Central closed in 1969 remembered playing against Armstrong. Joe and Walker played together after college in the Continental Basketball League.

Close-up photo of Joe's award plaque. He also received a ring and a framed copy of the original drawing featured on the plaque.

WBCA 2008 Hall of Fame members pose for a group photo at the Marriott Hotel in Middleton. Madison Central High School alumnus Joe Franklin (Class of 1964) is in the back row, fourth from the left (wearing a brown suit); to his right is La Follette alumnus Gary Anderson (black suit and red tie); on the far left of the row is Milwaukee Lincoln alumnus Max Walker.

For more information about Joe's basketball career at Central and the UW, click on the image below, which is a scan from the banquet program booklet. Also read my previous post about Joe, written in February 2007, and Rob Hernandez's recent article in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And you wonder why I love research... serendipity leads me to a copy of the newspaper article with the identities of the 1946-47 basketball team

In the process of looking for some other information, I found an online source for a copy of the page in the February 19, 1947 Wisconsin State Journal that includes the photograph of the Madison Central High School basketball team (shown in the previous post) -- and identifies all the players in the photo.

First row (left to right): Pat McCann, Al Dockery, Mel Troia, Bill Withers, Allen Sweet, Frank Fellows, and Keith Tipler

Second row (left to right): Robert Gesme, James Weaver, Robert Schaeffer, Alvin Starck, Robert Ziesch, James Wilcox, Ken Sticha, Don Gasser, and Coach Robert Alwin.

And for those of you who want even more details, I was able to download a copy of the page from the Wisconsin State Journal and save it as a PDF. If you'd like to read the whole page, you may download it by clicking on THIS LINK.

Identifying the players on the 1946-47 Madison Central High School Basketball Team

Madison Central High School 1946-47 Varsity Basketball Team: Photograph by Arthur Vinge, originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 19, 2008 (Image ID: WHi-45880)

The Wisconsin Historical society regularly adds photographs to its online collection of images, but sometimes the descriptions accompanying them are woefully lacking in detail. The above image of the 1946-47 Central High School is described as: "Group portrait of the Central High School basketball team and coach, including three African-American players, Al Dockery, Bill Withers, and James Weaver."

Why are the names of the other players omitted? Surely, if the photograph was published in the Wisconsin State Journal it was accompanied by a caption listing all the names. Since I don't have the time to go to the library and pull up a microfilm copy of the newspaper, I hope Central alumni (and anyone else who know's who's who) will supply the names of the players. Leave a comment or send an e-mail indicating the name of the player and the number he's wearing.

Also notice the boys peeking through the stairwell. Their names probably aren't in the newspaper caption, but it would be fun to know who they are, too.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Banister-sliding at Madison [Central] High School merits a lengthy article in The New York Times

On Saturday, August 30, 2008, Madison Central High School alumnus Monsine DiSalvo (Class of 1966) was featured in an article in The New York Times -- but that's far from the first time The New York Times took note of what was happening in Madison's oldest high school.

On March 20, 1880, a story titled "Coeducation in Madison" appeared on page 4 of The New York Times. It's opening sentence was, "The question of the coeducation of the sexes is now disturbing the people of Madison, Wis." But the focus of the article was on banister-sliding, a practice that "is the direct result of the coeducation of the sexes."

I've had a copy of this story in my files for quite a while, but until now I didn't have a really acceptable way to reproduce it -- short of retyping the whole, long story. I tried making JPG images, but the results were less than satisfactory. I've inserted a JPG image of the first part of the story here. You may enlarge that image in your browser window by clicking on it. The entire article, however, is quite long and when I tried to reproduce it as a JPG, it looked ugly on the blog page and was difficult to read. I yearned to be able to present it as a PDF, but Blogger isn't equipped to upload and store PDFs.

Now, however, I've acquired some space on a server where I can store PDFs that can be easily downloaded to your computer. Almost everyone has Adobe Reader on there computer, but if you don't you can easily download a free copy.

When you're ready to read the entire story, just click HERE to download it. Once you've downloaded it, you can use Adobe Reader to resize it if necessary. You can also print a copy for yourself.

Note the PDF is 1.8 MG so it may take a while to download if you're still using a dial-up connection to the Internet.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Madison Mirror is now available on line...sort of, anyway

Please use this link to read my post on the Class of 1965 blog about the online availability of The Madison Mirror.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Central Students speak out on behalf of their high school in a 1967 advertisement in The Capital Times

Sometimes when I'm browsing through microfilms and databases, I stumble across something unexpected -- such as an ad that appeared in The Capital Times on May 13, 1967 protesting the closing of Madison Central High School.

If you want to read the names of the students who sponsored the ad, click on the image below to enlarge it in your browser window. In order to publish the image on this blog, I had to convert it from a PDF to a JPG file, so some of the resolution has been lost. If you want a copy of the PDF (which you may be able to enlarge even more than the JPG) and your e-mail server lets you accept very large attachments (up to 5MG), I'll be glad to send you one.


Note: Look closely and you'll also see a reunion notice for the Class of 1952. It's just above the advertisement.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Something else to do: Read posts about two Central alumni on my personal blog

Recently, I wrote two posts featuring Madison Central High School alumni for my personal blog (Something else to do...). One features John Bardeen (Class of 1923) and the other features Alfred Buser (Class of 1907). Since the posts deal with broader issues such as who we remember and why we remember them, I wanted to try to give the posts a wider audience than they might receive if I just included them on a blog originally aimed at communicating with CHS alumni. I hope you'll use the links I've included here to click through and read more about these men and what prompted me to write about them.

Note: This post also appears on The Class of 1965 blog.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Restoring the Central High High School arch on Wisconsin Avenue: The uncut story

Stonemason and sculptor Jacob Arndt working on the restoration of the Central High School arch in October 2007

Researching and writing a page-one feature story for the Wisconsin State Journal about the restoration of the Central High School arch, was one of my most satisfying assignments in 2007. Trying to tell it in 1,500 words or less was a real challenge.

The State Journal has consistently been generous about giving me plenty of space for feature stories, but occasionally there isn't quite enough room on the page and some paragraphs have to be cut. Quotations from Central alumni Nils Olsen (Class of 1965) and Sidney Iwanter (Class of 1967) were omitted from the story published on October 31, 2007, as were a few other paragraphs, and two sidebars. For those of you who would like to read my original, uncut story, I'm going to post it here, along with the the two sidebars.

Later, I will post some material I had to cut from my story before I submitted it to the State Journal.


Restoring the Central High Arch (the uncut version)

A lone worker stood atop yellow scaffolding and began repairing the Central High arch on Wisconsin Avenue earlier this month. The sight brought sighs of relief from admirers of the arch, who noticed what seemed to be visible signs of structural disintegration this summer.

The arch is all that remains of the Cass Gilbert-designed Madison Central High School building torn down in 1986 to make room for a MATC parking lot. At that time, the arch was allowed to stand as a means of mollifying local preservationists, Central alumni, and the occasional fan of Gilbert, an architect whose works also include the Woolworth Building in New York City and the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

In 2002, a proposed development plan involving the Madison Children's Museum threatened the arch. It survived because the Museum found another home.

However, many Central alumni and preservationists worried the arch's increasingly fragile condition continued to pose a threat to its existence. Some, including Central alumnus Mark Pankow, tried unsuccessfully to organize a project committee to raise funds to pay for restoration of the arch or to move it to another location. Others feared that MATC, which owns the arch and the property on which it stands, was deliberately allowing the arch to disintegrate so it would eventually become unsafe and have to be torn down.

Now the worrying can cease and the conspiracy theories can be abandoned.

Jacob Arndt, the stonemason and sculptor who's doing the repair and restoration work, says continued worry about the condition of the arch is unnecessary – and not just because of what he's been doing for the past several weeks. "The arch is not delicate," he says. "It's robust and healthy: It just looks disheveled." Furthermore, says Arndt, owner of Northwestern Masonry & Stone in Lake Mills, "With regularly scheduled routine maintenance these masonry buildings last forever: My partner, Gayal Oglesbay, and I own one in France that was built in the 15th century."

Kelly Thompson, principal architect at Facility Engineering, Inc., the firm that sub-contracted the restoration work to Arndt, agrees. He says when his firm analyzed what work needed to be done on the arch for MATC, "We looked at it with our historic preservation glasses." The firm's assessment was that the structure was solid, not sinking, but needed to undergo routine maintenance.

Fred Brechlin, MATC Professional Services Manager-Facilities, says the current work being done on the Central High arch – including tuck pointing and making certain there are no loose bricks – is part of its regular 10-year maintenance program

"We're maintaining the arch," says Roger Price, MATC Vice President Infrastructure Services. "There's been no discussion about moving it."

One of the reasons the arch looked especially disheveled this summer was because white streaks were appearing on the stonework, particularly at the top of the arch. Arndt says the white streaks are salt deposits created by moisture leaking from the roof and pulling salts from the Portland cement used in the building. When the moisture evaporates, it deposits the salts on stonework.

Arndt says the maintenance work he's doing will solve this problem by replacing the roofing material – currently a rubber membrane – atop the arch. He originally planned to use leaded copper and masonry, but Thompson says there are some concerns about copper discoloration of the bricks and stone, so he and Arndt are discussing alternatives before making a final decision.

The rubber membrane was a cheap and quick way for taking care of the problem for a few years, says Arndt. However, Douglas Maki, CEI, Asset Manager for Facility Engineering, says "Nowadays we would never specify using it, but for its time the skin was a pretty decent way to protect the roof."

Arndt, who has created stonework and sculpture for the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul (another building designed by Cass Gilbert) and the British Museum in London, says he was eager to work on the restoration of the Central High arch because, "We didn't want to see them tear it down because you don't see this kind of exquisite fabrication any more." He notes that the heads and faces on the arch are "excellent, world-class sculpture."

But are the quality of the workmanship and the reputation of the architect enough to justify the continued existence of the arch? Five years ago, when it seemed likely the arch would have to come down to make way for a museum, City of Madison preservation planner Kitty Rankin told Isthmus reporter Melanie Conklin, "The only thing historic about the arch is that is used to be attached to a historic building."

Since then, Rankin has changed her mind about the arch. "I don't believe that any more," she says when asked about the comment she made in 2002. It was telephone calls from Central alumni responding to her comment that persuaded her to reassess her original opinion. "For a lot of people who grew up in the Bush, much of their neighborhood is gone," she says. "The arch is a reminder of their youth and a monument cherished by a lot of people."

Central alumni from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s agree with Rankin that the arch is a reminder of their youth, but also believe it is historically significant not because it was designed by a pioneering architect, but because it represents both a bygone era in Madison history and a very unique institution.

"The Central High arch is the last remaining, nostalgic sign of where I went to school," says Joan Severa (Class of 1943), retired Curator of Costume & Textiles for the Wisconsin Historical Society. She recalls that, "We took a lot of ribbing from kids at other schools because it was popular to be prejudiced and Central had so many Jews, Italians, and Blacks." Like alumni from at least three decades, she still remembers the way students from other schools substituted ethnic and racial slurs for some of the lyrics of Central's school song.

"The arch is a very valuable piece of history to me," says Donald Gothard (Class of 1953), a retired electrical engineer who now lives in Michigan. One of the first Black electrical engineers to graduate from Notre Dame, Gothard worked on the guidance and navigation systems for the Apollo Lunar Landing Mission. During his senior year at Central, he served as student council president and remembers, "At that time Central was a very diverse school, but we were all working together harmoniously, not like East and West."

Nils Olsen (Class of 1965), Dean and Professor of Law at the University at Buffalo Law School in New York, says, "The arch is a very nice monument to what was a very special place – a school that was small, diverse, and provided a great education." Furthermore, he adds, "Central was an important institution in the city and it is only appropriate to have some testament to where it was."

Sidney Iwanter (Class of 1967), an independent producer who lived in the Greenbush neighborhood and now lives in Los Angeles, says, "The arch is evocative of a portion of Madison that no longer exists except on microfiche. If you've moved to Madison recently and you walk down West Washington Avenue, you wouldn't know that this was once a ghetto for Jews, Blacks, and Italians." What makes the arch important, says Iwanter, is that, "It is a monument to a school that helped produce the American Dream for so many parents in Greenbush by serving as a feeder school to the University of Wisconsin."

Judy Karofsky, a longtime Downtown Madison resident and activist, who not a Central alumna, says it was "pathetic" to save such a small piece of the Central High School Building, but she's glad the arch survived. "At the beginning, it may have seemed frivolous, but the importance of the arch has increased over time," she observes.

"The presence, size and elevation of the arch influences people as they walk by" says Arndt. "Beautiful architecture inspires a sense of worth that's not there in today's fabricated buildings."

But if there seems to be a broad consensus that the Central High arch is something that should be maintained and preserved, why has it taken so long for routine maintenance to be performed? Terry Gulmire, who recently retired after 15 years as MATC's facility director, says a 1999 exterior repair cost estimate for the Central High arch prepared by Angus-Young Associates, Inc. was $152,000. Repair of the arch was one of four projects MATC was considering and the high cost could not be justified, says Gulmire, because at that time the arch was deemed to have little historic significance.

The cost of the current maintenance work on the arch is $18,500, says Brechlin.

"One of the things we specialize in is historic structures," says Maki. "They (MATC) have their priorities in place. The arch was up in the air. We provided a second opinion."


A brief history of Madison Central High School


1854: Madison High School founded. First classes in the basement of a Methodist church

1858: School Board purchases the Female Academy on the site where the Central High arch now stands

1873: North wing of the "old building" replaces the academy

1877-78: South wind if the "old building" erected; "old building is occupied until 1906

1906-1908 – "Two years of wandering" (high school classes held in various buildings in Downtown Madison)

1908 – The new, Cass Gilbert-designed building built on the site of the "old building" opens its doors

1922: East High school opens and Madison High School is renamed Central High School

1930: West High School opens

1966: Wisconsin High School on the UW campus closes and merges with Central, which is renamed Central-University High School

1969: Last class graduates from Central-University High School; building subsequently becomes part of Madison Area Technical College

1986: Central-University High School building is demolished to make room for an MATC parking lot, but Wisconsin Avenue entry arch is left standing


Notable Central High School Alumni

Georgia O'Keeffe (attended 1902-1903) – Artist

Margaret H'Doubler (1906) - Credited with establishing, in 1926, the first dance education program at a U.S. university (at the University of Wisconsin)

Timothy Brown (1907) – Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice from 1949-1964 (Chief Justice 1962-1964)

Alfred Buser (1907) – Captain of the undefeated 1912 University of Wisconsin football team

John Hasbrouk van Vleck (1913) – Nobel Prize-winner in Physics

Wayne Lyman Morse (1919) – U.S. Senator from Oregon 1944-1969

Walter Frautschi (1920) – Madison businessman and philanthropist; father of John J. and W. Jerome "Jerry" Frautschi

John Bardeen (Class of 1923) – Only person to win the Nobel Prize for Physics twice

Edward Withers (1947) – All American defensive football player at the University of Wisconsin

Tracy Nelson (1963) – Blues and country singer


Notes: The links in the above text did not appear in my original copy, but were added for this post. My original copy had an error, which I have corrected here. Both my original copy and the story published in the Wisconsin State Journal stated that Donald Gothard graduated in 1953. He did not: He graduated in 1952. A sharp-eyed alumnus caught the error and contacted the newspaper, which subsequently printed a correction. This post also appears on the Madison Central High School Class of 1965 blog.