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Walnut Grove High School (from 1909 thru 1912)

This item appeared in the Johnstown, PA Tribune  On April 1st 1949

Walnut Grove High School Really Existed 

   In answer to a question asked in last night’s Tribune, “Did you ever hear of a Walnut Grove High School?” the answer today is “Yes.” According to all available sources yesterday, it was determined that there never was actually a high school in that area. Rather it was a grade school.

   Today members of the graduating classes of 1909, 1910, 1911 and 1912 took issue with that conclusion. They informed the Tribune that there certainly was such a school. They were graduates of the institution.  The school was then known as a two-year school with finances coming from state appropriations.  The principal at the time of the 1909 graduation was William Kinsey, who later entered the ministry and now is living in an eastern city.

   Members of the 1909 graduating class were: Ella May Jacoby - Elsie Gertrude Constable - Lillian Mae Repp - Ethel June Strayer - Zella Grace Lehman - Florence Mae Miller.  The exercise was held in the Walnut Grove United Brethren Church, now occupied by the German Lutheran Congregation. County superintendent at that time was Herman T. Jones, now a resident of Ebensburg.

   Members of the class of 1910 were; Roy Griffith - Leroy Strayer - Mary Schrock - Verna Fyock  - Fred   Mohr.

   Only four members were graduated in 1911. They were: Verda Griffith - Kathryn Dyer - Anna Sann  - Hazel Simmons.

   The largest and final class was graduated in 1912 when 15 students received their diplomas. They are: Elsie Griffith - Florence Leventry - Ruth Hileman - Mary Wertz - Mary Strayer - Ethel Grumbling - Ethel Shively - Sara Keller - Joseph Coyle - Joseph Moore - Regina McGirr - Margaret McGirr - Stella Eckel - Belvie Dyer  - Pearl McConnell.

   At that time Walnut Grove was part of Stonycreek Township and was annexed by the city in the late summer 1912.   C. F. Helt was the supervising principal at the school in that year. 

   F. H. Fyock was the first president of the school board. The high school was established in 1907, but the first class finished in 1909.

   Members of that 1909 class were known as jolly girls. They always sang a little ditty that went something like this: A lot of jolly girls are we, From toil and care now free, We’ve done our lessons, now we’re here, All full of mirth and glee. Our schoolhouse, dear, farewell to thee, Now ring upon the air.

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