Teens In Ties
June 13, 2015 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Presenting the 1911 Spokane High School Yearbook! Of particular note are the "Ambitions" of each graduating student, from "To marry a single man" to " Murder the faculty." PDF link
posted by The Whelk (53 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Yeah, you, uh... 'single' is kind of implied there, you know?"
posted by Navelgazer at 9:54 AM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I imagined that some fellow probably listed "to stay single" as his ambition, and that ambition was the response.
posted by idiopath at 9:56 AM on June 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


A lot of their ambitions and descriptions were quite funny.. and a few were pretty insulting!
posted by srrh at 10:10 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ambition: To keep on beating it.
Born to soon, alas. What that chap would have though of the information age we can only imagine.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 10:11 AM on June 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Eleanor Elliot's ambition is "To rival Emma Goldman." HELL YEAH, Eleanor.
posted by nonasuch at 10:43 AM on June 13, 2015 [52 favorites]


I wonder if Roy "To marry a waitress" Boughton was sweet on Placie "To be a waitress" Munter.
posted by Flannery Culp at 10:54 AM on June 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


ELIZABETH BROWN

Description: Supernatural
Occupation: Complaining
Ambition: To get 2 per cent more.
posted by Windopaene at 11:10 AM on June 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wonder if those captions were written by the students themselves, or if they are in-jokes composed by the yearbook staff. My guess is the latter.
posted by themanwho at 11:10 AM on June 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Anna Louise Berggren's ambition is "to be thinner than G. C." The only student in the book with those initials is Guy Romaine Coe, whose description is "Underfed."

Make your own conclusions.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:20 AM on June 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


This one made me laugh:

ALICE WINSLOW

Description: Peaceful.
Occupation: Resting.
Ambition: To continue resting.
Song: "Please Go Away And Let Me Sleep."


I was impressed at how many girls seemed to have something other than matrimony as their ambition--e.g. averaging 100 percent, rivalling George Eliot, becoming a reporter, pursuing the "flowery path of knowledge."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:23 AM on June 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Also note how they all seem to have a different song.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:30 AM on June 13, 2015


Also note how they all seem to have a different song.

Yeah, and the description/occupation/ambition/song text with each student doesn’t quite seem like what I’d expect people to say about themselves. Even if it is closed based on what each student said, I detect an editor’s hand. I suspect it’s all a bit contrived by the yearbook editorial staff.
posted by D.C. at 12:00 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


So many expellable offenses. Delightful.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:11 PM on June 13, 2015


Ambition: To run a boarding house.

Dude.

DUDE.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:14 PM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


If my memories of yearbooks and community theatre programs are anything to go by, the goofy writeups were no doubt written by the staff when the kid in question failed to submit their actual answers in time.
posted by Spatch at 12:29 PM on June 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Eleanor Rebecca Elliot
Description: Shocked
Ambition: To rival Emma Goldman

The patron saint of Metafilter, that one.
posted by kanewai at 12:40 PM on June 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Barara Carrol Bateman
Description: Sleepy
Occupation: Keeping quiet.
Ambition: To live as easy as possible.
Song: "Dreaming"

I've found my soul mate.
posted by selenized at 12:49 PM on June 13, 2015


Parts of this are almost unintelligible. Like runes from a distant past. That joke page for instance.
posted by chisel at 1:16 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


> I wonder if those captions were written by the students themselves, or if they are in-jokes composed by the yearbook staff. My guess is the latter.

That's my guess as well -- these were almost certainly NOT written by the students themselves. Still pretty fascinating.
posted by mosk at 1:39 PM on June 13, 2015


nonasuch: "Elliot"

Heh - I'm an Elliot so I felt mighty chuffed to see that :)
posted by symbioid at 1:48 PM on June 13, 2015


Hey, guess what -- that school, South Central High, burned to the ground in 1910 [article starts on page 1, center of page], but was apparently rebuilt by the time this yearbook was published.

I just spent a few hours looking up some of these folks in old census records and stuff to see how they ended up (which is how I came across the article about the fire). The men are much easier to find, obviously, since their surnames don't change when they marry.
  • Albert Edward Abbot owned a machine shop, where his wife Clara was bookkeeper.
  • Clarence Ray Anderson, who was African American, moved to Seattle and became a lawyer.
  • Altus Edward Bower ended up owning a bakery, rather than running a B-hive, and his wife Gertrude was the Superintendent of Bonner County (Idaho) schools.
  • Grant Illion Butterbaugh became a university professor.
  • In 1940, when the average American annual salary was just under $1,400, Guy Coe made $5,000/year as a buyer in the fruit industry.
  • Earl Dickson variously listed his occupations as an electrical engineer with the Electric Power & Light Company and a blacksmith at a coal mine.
  • When he registered for the draft in 1917, Ned Edris was a law student. By the 1942 draft, he owned a movie theatre in Tacoma.
  • Robert Edward Freeman became a doctor.
  • Alfred Hanke followed his ambition to get a raise and run a bank by becoming the treasurer of an investment company, where he made almost $4,000/year in 1940.
  • Carl Krafft moved to DC. On his 1917 draft card, he listed his occupation as a clerk at the US Patent Office. He had the same job 23 years later, according to the 1940 census.
  • Paul Kruessel became a manager at a mining company.
  • Elmer Carl Miller moved to Iowa and became a farmer.
  • Earl Justin McWilliams became a plumber and owned his own shop.
  • Harvey Edward Miller was a school bus driver, at least at the time of the 1940 census.
  • Urban Phillip O’Connor was a dentist in Bellingham.
  • Odin Gehart Olson was a “link cutter” in a “chain and forge factory.” (Who knew that was an actual job??)
  • In 1917, Robert Horton Peddycord was the Deputy County Treasurer of Shoshone County, Idaho. At some point he moved to LA.
  • In 1940, Harold Phair was a salesman of either tire equipment or fire equipment — the census-taker had poor handwriting. Sadly, when he registered for the draft two years later, he was unemployed.
  • Clifford Dale Rinear was a carpenter. No word on whether he incited any riots.
  • Edgar Stilson was a hotel bookkeeper.
  • Alfred Oliver Stuberg did not become a “supreme judge.” He became an insurance salesman. He asked for an exemption from the WWI draft because of “bad eyes” and “support of wife,” but by 1940 he was living alone in a boarding house, and his 1942 draft card lists his (ex-?) wife at a different residential address than his own, yet she’s still listed under “the person who will always know your address.”
  • Arthur Elmer Warren worked his way up from grocery store stenographer to owner of a gas station.
Those are fun and all, but the two most interesting stories that I found were George Pynn and Leigh Inman.

George Albert Pynn became a dentist in Spokane, but not before becoming a basketball star and swim coach at the University of Minnesota.

This was a turn of events of sorts for Pynn, who in 1907, several years before this yearbook was published, was expelled for participating in an egg-throwing assault on the principal.

This principal turned out to be a magnet for controversy, and he was removed from office in 1907 or 1908. You can read more about all the stories that swirled around Principal Cloyd by searching the Google Newspaper archives: principal cloyd site:news.google.com/newspapers. (And maybe Chronicling America -- I didn't search for him there.)

The more interesting (and hearbreaking) story is Leigh Ora Inman. He stated that his ambition was to be a football star -- and he was, in high school anyway. He was also a local hero. Remember when I said that school burned down? Well, as it burned, Leigh Inman rushed into the burning building to save the school's athletic trophies.

But poor Leigh was injured in a high school football game (don't know when), breaking a rib that in turn punctured his lung. He eventually developed tuberculosis, possibly as a result of the injury, and traveled to a warmer climate hoping for a cure. Those few years in the Southwest did not cure the Leigh of his TB, and in 1915 his mother drove to New Mexico to gather him, then took him back to Spokane so he could die at home. He was 25.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:17 PM on June 13, 2015 [285 favorites]


The full text is also available, so we can run it through that recurrent-neural-network-thingie and generate infinite Spokane graduating classes.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:25 PM on June 13, 2015 [16 favorites]


The same Carl Krafft that the yearbook says would talk your ear off about the Fourth Dimension actually did wind up writing his book- several of them, in fact, and still available from a New-Agey publisher.
posted by fifthrider at 2:53 PM on June 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


Carl Spurgeon Bell was apparently helping "Kraft" with his "aeroplane," so the patent office doesn't surprise me at all.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:55 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The same Carl Krafft that the yearbook says would talk your ear off about the Fourth Dimension actually did wind up writing his book- several of them, in fact, and still available from a New-Agey publisher.

Hey, cool! I was prepared to argue that the author was a different person with a coincidental name, but Krafft's entry in the "World Science Database" lists his profession as patent examiner.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:58 PM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow, RobotVoodooPower, that research is a post-within-a-post.

Carl Krafft moved to DC. On his 1917 draft card, he listed his occupation as a clerk at the US Patent Office

Since he was a clerk, it's safe to assume he was also a murderer.
posted by univac at 3:00 PM on June 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


mudpuppie! That all kind of brought me to tears. I went to a bar mitzvah today, and something about the whole lifecycle event thing and family coming together plus this has me all teary... Y'never know where exactly life will take you, but people's tendencies and predilections do stay remarkably the same over time. I was never that into biographies as a kid—never thought they were all that interesting—but these micro bios of ordinary people are great.
posted by limeonaire at 3:45 PM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


mudpuppie, flagged as fantastic comment!
posted by leotrotsky at 3:48 PM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Clifford Dale Rinear was a carpenter. No word on whether he incited any riots.

We do know, however, that he moved to California and lived to 90.
posted by fifthrider at 4:22 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eleanor Elliot's ambition is "To rival Emma Goldman." HELL YEAH, Eleanor.

SPOILER ALERT:





She became a high school teacher. In Spokane, WA.

posted by mudpuppie at 6:24 PM on June 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


TBH, should we ask of any less of ambition in our high school teachers?
posted by Navelgazer at 6:58 PM on June 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's hard to think about the fact that not only are all these people surely dead, but all the people that knew them, all the lives they touched in their time here are going fast. I'm sure none of them aspired to die and leave their wealth and memories to those they left behind, but by coincidence that's what each of them did in the end.

It's nice knowing they're remembered here in this strange little way. I bet most of them wouldn't mind.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:30 PM on June 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


A lot of their ambitions and descriptions were quite funny.. and a few were pretty insulting!

I felt some of them were mean-spirited, in a way. But hey, high school!

My favorite:

Hugh Brown
Description: Crazy
Occupation: Breathing
Ambition: To be a bartender
Song: "Don't Take Me Home"

mudpuppie, yes, thank you for the research. It made this thread come alive, so to speak.
posted by wallabear at 9:00 PM on June 13, 2015


MINNIE LEONA ANDERSON
Ambition: To partake of the matrimonial bliss.

Everyone, this does not mean she wants to get married. I mean, maybe she does, but I'm pretty sure this is 1911 code for gettin' freaky.
posted by GuyZero at 11:09 PM on June 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


Seems likely that Guy Coe was an ancestor of Kevin Coe [Spokane's 'South Hill Rapist']. Especially considering his apparent prosperity and K. Coe being from a privileged Spokane family.
posted by arnhdgs at 11:28 PM on June 13, 2015


The first one is one of the best:

ALBERT EDWARD ABBOT

Description: Decidedly weak
Occupation: Smoking stogies
Ambition: To depart on the 27th
Song: "Red Head"

I like to think that The Cynic's Word Book/The Devil's Dictionary was in vogue around this time and that everybody in this yearbook emulated Bierce's sardonic worldview.
posted by blucevalo at 11:28 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie, flagged as fantastic comment!

Me too, then I realised it was already on the sidebar. Oops.
posted by Ned G at 7:08 AM on June 14, 2015


I guess until we get definitive proof that PB really isn't a time travelling AI, it would be rash to speculate about the nature of causality on metafilter though.
posted by Ned G at 7:12 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also inspired by mudpuppie, I did some considerably more inept searching (Google, basically) to see if I could track down any of the women:

Abbie Elizabeth Boggs ("to marry a single man") wedded Edward Wheeler Goss in a quiet ceremony in 1916 and moved to Seattle. She was "one of the most popular maids in society circles," and known for her "charming personality"; he was "the son of a wealthy New England family" and a successful lumberman. He was later elected to the House of Representatives, and she "made a big hit in Washington."

Nina Evelyn Burch ("to get over having stage fright") attended a a Baptist training school and moved to Portland to do "city work for the Baptist board of home missions" among the Italian community.

Mary Elizabeth McEntee ("to be an actress") attended the University of Washington where she joined the Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Placie Munter ("to be a waitress") attended the University of Washington for a year. She married a civil engineer in 1916 (his father, the newspaper notes, attended school with her mother 45 years earlier in Montgomery, Alabama). They moved to Montana and had one son. She passed away at age 48 after being "a semi-invalid for nine years."

Lila Verle Sayre ("to learn to waltz") became a music teacher and singer, and is credited with creating Spokane's Lilac Festival. From the article: "The late Lila Sayre's name may not elicit immediate recognition. But her civic legacy to Spokane will be abundantly evident Saturday evening when thousands of Lilac Festival enthusiasts line downtown street." She died in 1973.

Zora Arlene Shaffer ("to argue with the sphinx") married in 1912, and took a round-the-world tour with her husband, about which she gave "more than 200 travelogue slide presentations." She was active in "story leagues" and square dancing clubs. She died at age 91 in 1984.

Gladys Philena Wiley ("to hold a young man's love") graduated from the University of Idaho in 1916. In 1960, the then-Mrs. Gladys Philena Wiley Staufenbeil willed more than $20,000 to the college to "establish a loan fund for deserving students needing financial assistance," citing her "profitable and pleasant years" there.

Alice Winslow ("to continue resting"), a descendant of pioneers, was a teacher for 35 years. She died at age 93 in 1984.

Lilla Margaret Young ("to average 100 per cent") graduated from Whitman College in 1915 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Muriel Wilson Leigh ("reviewing the civil war") went to the University of Idaho and became a schoolteacher. She died in Spokane in 1963. Decades later, the couple who bought her childhood home discovered a trove of love letters written to her by a fraternity member.
posted by eponym at 7:27 AM on June 14, 2015 [48 favorites]


I just tweeted this thread at Spokane's Northwest Museum Of Arts And Culture. Seems like the sort of thing they'd dig knowing about.

The follow-up research is amazing, and adds so much more texture and depth to this threat that I want to give mudpuppie and eponym medals for MetaFilter Awesomeness!
posted by hippybear at 8:52 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seems likely that Guy Coe was an ancestor of Kevin Coe [Spokane's 'South Hill Rapist']. Especially considering his apparent prosperity and K. Coe being from a privileged Spokane family.

Guy's older brother, Harlan, was Kevin (Frederick) Coe's grandfather. That would make Guy his great uncle.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:10 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The various follow-up stories are amazing -- I'm really glad this was posted to the sidebar, as I would have missed it otherwise.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:12 AM on June 14, 2015


Couple more things:

* It was hard to find any info on Earl Gimble Dickson because his actual first name is Carl. He moved to Weed, CA, and became a farmer. I hope having his name misspelled in his high school yearbook was the greatest injustice he ever suffered.

* Clarence Anderson, the African-American Seattle lawyer, was sort of a civil rights pioneer. A contemporary article in the Spokane paper claims that he was the first African American to get a law degree from the University of Washington. Then, in 1919, he sued the local Pantages movie theatre for $10,000, for denying him entry based on his race. He won, although he was only awarded $300. The Pantages company appealed, but the decision for Anderson prevailed. The case is still cited. (I don't know enough about legal research to know whether this case was among the first racial discrimination cases.) Anderson was also part of the group that started the protests against the Coon Chicken Inn in Seattle, a crazily-racist-themed fried chicken chain (1, 2, 3). He died in 1938 at age 45.

* Thomas Arthur "Bull" Durham went on to become the star quarterback of the undefeated 1915 Washington State football team. He led the team to a 14-0 victory over Brown University in the 1916 Rose Bowl -- and also kicked his team's two extra points. You can watch some footage of the players, the Rose Bowl parade, and the game in this silent short film. (He appears at 3:46.) Here's the program from the game.

Good ol' Bull was in the Navy in WWI and eventually rose to the rank of Commander. This link says that a film was made about him, but I can't find any record of it, nor any additional info on his naval service. He died in 1973 in San Diego.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:23 PM on June 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


mudpuppie, eponym... amazing. You've turned a curiosity into real, actual biographies. I am so impressed, and thank you for your efforts.
posted by wallabear at 9:17 PM on June 14, 2015


Pretty illustrious class, really.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:55 PM on June 15, 2015


Song: "Don't Take Me Home"

For those not adept at reading sheet music, you can listen to a recording at LoC's National Jukebox.
posted by fings at 1:46 PM on June 15, 2015


After that, I started to put together a list of song links, only to find someone at reddit had beat me to it.
posted by fings at 2:13 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fae Dyke, who as the staff member in charge of "Jokes" presumably wrote many of the entries, appears to have been Hazel Fae Dyke, who married an architect named Earl W. Morrison, who seems to have been of some minor renown in Spokane. She died quite young on March 31st, 1927.
posted by tavella at 5:30 PM on June 15, 2015


In terms of falling out of living memory, for some of them it will be a while yet. Norma Ethel Warmoth ("Looking for Trouble") died 4 days after her 100th birthday in 1991, outliving her twin sister Alta by 55 years.

Not all the entries are jokes; Zoe Zimmerman is described as "Athletic", and indeed she was the captain of the basketball team:

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1314&dat=19111119&id=SuRVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YOADAAAAIBAJ&pg=4697,5442055&hl=en

Apparently the successor school was Lewis & Clark High School, and you can find some bits in the Alumni section of later yearbooks.
posted by tavella at 7:12 PM on June 15, 2015


I just found Bull Durham's obit from 1973 and it mentions nothing of a movie made from his life; I wonder if they didn't just confused and think "Bull Durham" was about him. He did, however, win the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Military Order of the Empire presented by King George VI of England, which is a pretty impressive array of awards.
posted by maxsparber at 8:46 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Phyllis B Johnson
Ambition: to murder the faculty


Wow!
posted by chapps at 9:34 AM on June 24, 2015


I love this, and it makes me want to take the 1926 University of Missouri yearbook I have in the basement (for who knows what reason) and see what I can find out about the people in it.
posted by jferg at 4:10 PM on June 27, 2015


Huh. Be interesting to see if my grandfather is in that. He would have been a freshman at the university that year, I believe. Robert Callaway.
posted by tavella at 12:11 AM on June 29, 2015


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