Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Owl

As I've mentioned probably too many times to count, I come from several generations of Fresno natives.  And within the last few weeks, I was made aware of (and joined) a wonderful facebook group called Fresno's Past.  As I was going through some things, I came across many, many 'yearbooks' from Fresno High School called The Owl.  Not only did both of my parents graduate from Fresno High School, but so did my paternal grandfather, Sigmund Levy, and all three of his brothers.  And I'll bet if I looked hard enough, I'd find other ancestors who graduated, maybe even my maternal grandparents who were both born in Fresno.  Add that to the list of things to do.

The earliest Owl copy I have is from May, 1902.  It makes me wonder, since I have copies from several months of the same year, if it was published monthly or just what the schedule was.

If you look closely in the top right hand corner, you can see Leon Levy, 04 FHS.  So this would have belonged to my grandfather's older (by 2 years) brother, Leon.

And in 1902 they put advertisements on the back cover.

I like looking at the advertisements.  For some reason, seeing an embalmer/funeral director advertising in a high school publication seems odd to me.  But I see it over and over again.

And The Owl staff was listed.  Maybe one of those names will be an ancestor of someone who reads this blog.

Good to know that Cutter's Fountain was open.  But, sadly, I DON'T know what that means.

This is interesting.  Have you ever heard the term Tonsorial before?  I sure hadn't.  But I learned from Merriam Webster that it means of or relating to a barber or the work of a barber.  Who knew?

Next issue is October, 1903.

Look at the list of athletes - my grandfather's brother was the Treasurer of the B.A.A. (Boys' Athletic Association?)

And also a member of the Senate.  I think all four boys participated in the Senate but it seems that Leon was probably the most active.

This reminds me of social networking of today - what are the alumni up to?  I wonder what a P.G. course is?

Look, it's an ad for undertakers again!  And not just one but two, side-by-side!

This cracks me up - SWELLEST???

I'm puzzled about the term Fresno Boy - my grandmother used to call my grandfather Boy.

And then we're on to December, 1903.

Here's The Owl staff in December, 1903.

Whoa!  Wonder why they're crossed out?  Was Leon upset that he wasn't on the staff? Did he cross off those he knew?

This must be a reverse psychology marketing ploy - PLEASE STAY AWAY?

I'd love to visit the Big Busy Drug Store for some hot chocolate with whipped cream.  I'll bet it really was the "best ever".

More to come!


  1. Also, the very early yearbooks, those published before during the year, had articles and stories written by students. It was difficult to get a photographer (and cost money) to provide those photos. The end of the year edition, the graduation edition, had photos.

  2. The Senate, the oldest club west of the Mississippi, did not allow girls until the 1970s. It was a very elitist organization in its day. When the school was recently remodeled, the Senate, who now allows girls, has its own room in the administration building. (I earlier posted about how the OWL got its name, but I don't see it now.)

  3. I wonder if the undertaker was the family of a student. Old school yearbooks and newspapers are so funny to read. KIDS wrote like they were all grown and authoritative.

  4. How did you end up with these? It is amazing to me that they've been saved for over 110 years!