Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Early Sutton High Annuals - 1940 and 1942

Received a call recently from Washington State. Seems our caller was going through the belongings of a relative and found copies of the 1940 and 1942 Sutton High annuals. Having no direct connection with the flatlands, she offered to send the two volumes.

The first striking thing about the annuals are that they are in great condition. One visualizes that they have spent much of the past 70+ years packed away in something approaching a sterile environment.

Secondly, both volumes are of a physical size differing from most annuals we have from earlier and later though the 1947 is similar. These are 6 X 9 inches as you can see in the photo. Both have 40 pages. And they are hard-bound unlike the annuals of years just prior to 1940 which had cloth covers which have generally not held up well.

The 1940 and 1942 Sutton High annuals in their distinctive appearance - 6 X 9" with textured hard covers. Attractive and in great condition - a gift from a friend in Washington State.
The third thing was a surprise which I expressed in the phone call. I had the impression that the school did not publish annuals during WWII. The 1940 preceded the war but 1942 came out months into the conflict. The 1946 annual is a full format hard-bound volume with a lot of pages which I remember being told was produced in response to the long dry spell. In fact, while I was on the phone the copy of the Mustang Round-up school newspaper dated May 23, 1941 was on my desk. It has the class prophecy, will, senior photos, sneak trip story and other features about the 1941 seniors. Yes, this was also before the U.S. entered the war in December but this is the format I've seen for mid-war end-of-year papers that were published in lieu of a regular annual.

So, what unusual thing do you notice about these annuals, at least the one on the left?

What is this "Blue and Gold" thing? I've been commenting that those were the school colors in 1940 though it might have been the colors for the senior class (do classes still do that? I was somewhat baffled by that tradition.)

Okay, onto the innards. Senior pictures are what these things were all about, right.

The first dozen - alphabetically. There's Fritz Bender: "If arguing were money, I'd be a millionair." Always fun to catch a 74-year old typo, isn't it. Studious fellow, Fritz. Samuel Carney would have been Sam III, his father and grandfather ran a hardware store bridging I. N. Clark and Les Bauer in that business.

Lorene Griess married Rolland Johnson ('42), a successful farming couple on the road to Harvard.
The Heinz name was quite common in Sutton with 30 graduates listed in the Sutton High rolls through 1959.

Group 3:

Here is Artis Johnson, later Lemkau and brother of Rolland Johnson (my cousins). Levander was a common name
as was Lohmeier (17 grads of our school), both names fading out. The Nuss name however persists.

and Group 4

Another distinguished looking group including down in the lower left, Mr. Roger Sheridan.

and to Zimbleman, an even dozen per page for five pages, good planning.

Gloria Yost (Griess) was President of S. N. T. (Sutton Normal Training) for her senior year.
That's the senior class of 1940. Oh, and they did have underclassmen that year:

The Juniors:

The Sutton High School Junior Class of '40. You may spot a few familiar faces here. I'll start you off with an
easy one there in the second row toward the left side, Wayne Erickson.

The Sophomores:

The note that went home to Moms on dress code met with mixed results. I am sincerely partial to the fashion statement
represented in the white shirt, tie and overalls. That's a young man just oozing self confidence.

And the Freshman Class of '40 to graduate in 1943.

What we have here is a photographer with strong feelings about style and form or maybe design. That, or maybe a
frustrated choreographer with dreams of working a major musical stage production, one with a train theme perhaps.

And there were sports in 1940:

This is the Sutton High Basketball Team for the 1939-1940 season. The back row: Mr. George Clark, a graduate of Doane College; Morris Schneider, Junior; Milton Scheerer, Senior; Jim Barbee, Junior; and Mr. Jess Weyand, U of N grad and School Principal. Front row: Gerald Sharkey, Junior; Roger Sheridan, Senior; Frederick (Fritz) Bender, Senior; Melvin Levander, Senior and Wayne Lohmeier, Sophomore.


The write-up for the football team from the fall of 1939 mentioned injuries to Roger Sheridan and Leon Scheideman as though that affected their season. Maybe so. Check below.

The 1939 Sutton football team had a serious Jekyll and Hyde season.

Opponent                      Sutton               Opponent

Fairfield                           32                         0
Hebron                             22                         0
Exeter                              40                         0
Clay Center                     41                         0
Friend                              14                         0
                 (pretty good so far, don't you think?)
Superior                             0                       48
Geneva                              0                        19
Nelson                               7                        21
Harvard                             3                        19
                 (kinda took a turn for the worse there in mid-season. May need to flesh out this story.)

There had been girls' athletics in the schools decades earlier but that disappeared and was not revived until the '70's. Athletics and physical activities in general were seen to be unladylike, I guess. Though can you explain cheerleaders in that context?

There was a Pep Club and this may be the highlight of the post, they were called the Ponies. Isn't that just worth the effort to get this far down the page?

The girls of the Pep Club were called the "Ponies" back in the day. Did not know that.

"Saddle your blues to a wild Mustang,
And gallop your troubles away."

Nothing personal regarding the person or persons who wrote or chose that epigram, but I think they could have worked on the question for another hour or two with good results. Just sayin'.

There were 60 graduating seniors in 1940, 60 juniors, 56 sophomores and 48 freshmen by my count, or 224 in high school enabling the music department to excel in gross numbers at the very least.
Gertrude Traeger, a grad of Wisconsin was responsible for the vocal music teacher;
W. O Sanberg, NU had band and orchestra.

Sutton Normal Training was still going strong in 1940. These were the prospective rural school teachers destined for the dozens and dozens of schools in the surrounding area (67 in Clay County alone.)

Miss Anna Moehring, far right, was the Normal Training teacher and a graduate of Midland College.

And finally, the group that put the annual together had to take a bow. This is the Applied English Class which likely was or included what we later called Journalism.

Unsure how today's graphic designers would react to this collage but it does identify the folks, tells us they were responsible for the school newspaper and likely they produced this annual. The advisor and English teacher was Marlys Bell who is pictured in the upper right hand corner and a graduate of Hastings College. And yes, she is quite young looking but that is the same photo that appears on the faculty page.

This post covers most of the 1940 Sutton High annual. We received the 1942 annual at the same time and we have quite a number of the collection but with major gaps. Stop in the Sutton Museum or contact us to learn what we have and which annuals are missing from our collection. We would like to accumulate as many as we can and make them readily available to graduates and friends and especially the offspring and grandchildren of graduates. Nothing brings a smile to a kid's face like a picture of 17-year old grandmas and grandpas. Deal with it.

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