Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Owl–Commencement Number, June 1908

Finally, I’ve made it to a Commencement Number!  As I understand it, the others were more like a school newspaper while the Commencement Numbers are like a yearbook – photos and all!  The June, 1908 edition has lots of photos so in the hopes of a descendant finding this blog, I’ll include most of the photos.

Front Cover

I love that they included a photo of the school – it’s nice to see how it has changed over the last 100+ years.  I don’t remember that any of my high school yearbooks have photos of the school back from my day.


Not a very large faculty in those days.

Left, top to bottom: Maude Schaeffer, E.B. Williams, J.W. Warner
2nd from left, top to bottom:  Helen Louise Sprague, Jeanette Minard, Edna Rowell, Joseph Christensen
Center, top to bottom: Hester Pardee Tefft, C.L. McLane, A.C. Olney
2nd from right, top to bottom:  Julia Warren, J.A. Nowell, W.B. Gladfelter, P. Nilsson
Right, top to bottom:  Edna Ecker, F.M. Fulstone, A. Clarence Smith
The gentleman in the center, C. L. McLane, was the Superintendent of City Schools.  I found it interesting that every one of the women was listed as “Miss” – I’m guessing that it wasn’t very popular to have married women in the work place.

And then the list of the Class of 1908 students.

Class of 1908

About 45 students.  While it would be a record-breaking small class in today’s standards, it seems like that was a fair amount of students in 1908.

Rainey LaRue was quite active in school but I have to wonder what “Senior Farce” meant?

Rainey LaRue

And here are the individual photos of the class.  I’d love to hear from you if you are a descendant of one of these students.

Seniors Page 1 Seniors Page 2
Top to bottom
Lucy Walker, Arthur Douglas, Marguerite Vogel, Edwin Einstein
Top to bottom
Belle B. Millward, Victor C. Gaines, Pearl Duncan, Lucie Davis
Seniors Page 3 Seniors Page 4
Top to bottom
Mary E. Hanner, Ena Lenore De Yo, Jennie S. Macdonald, Henry L. Hopkins
Top to bottomg
Victoria Cutten, Lynette Morgan, Maude Cassell, L. Bransford McWhirter
Seniors Page 5 Seniors Page 6
Top to bottom
Fred L. Prather, Olive H. McFarland, Elmer Chapman, Georgia Capps
Top to bottom
Blance Cummings, Joseph A. Reiss, Mabel Alberts McKnight, Roy Crissman
Seniors Page 7 Seniors Page 8
Top to bottom
Alta E. Wiseman, Robert F. Collins, Florence Sharer, Theodore A. Ruschhaupt
Top to bottom
Mabel A. Welch, Lottie Elizabeth Downing, Floyd Wellesley Cowan, Harriet W. Tuft

Seniors Page 9 Seniors Page 10
Top to bottom
Ora M. Traves, Bunnie L. Wyllie, Bertha Douglas, Lester G. Brownell
Top to bottom
Merle Mitchell, Ruby B. Shipp, Edith Keyes, Alfred Carl Becker

Seniors Page 11  
Top to bottom
Lottie Grounds, Thomas B. Wheaton, Jr., Daisy Wheeler, Ethel Irene Stutzman
Darn, not an ancestor of mine in the bunch.  But maybe a friend of someone!

Lots more to share – be sure to come back!


  1. This is one of my favorite covers. That owl on the branch just makes me happy.

  2. The La Rue family is pretty famous in Fresno. Attorneys and judges. The senior farce was the class play where they all played characters that were known to the audience, like local politicians, the faculty, etc.

  3. Love those senior photos---it would be fun to compare them with what high school seniors look like today.

    I think women basically could not work once married back then. It would have been an insult to their husbands who were expected to support them!

  4. Also, most of the faculty either graduated from UC Berkeley or Stanford, arch rivals. There was a football game between the two colleges that was quite a competition (and I believe still is). Therefore, when Roosevelt High School, the cross-town school, came on the scene, it became Fresno High's arch rival and thus began the Little Big Game which is still played today and is the oldest school rivalry game perhaps in the United States by now. It was the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi when I was teaching at Fresno High. The schools play for "The Pig," which is another story all to its own.