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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Yearbooks in the Library - Mt. Pleasant

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, January 8, 2012


The library has received the donation of a copy of the 1936 “Gold and Blue,” which is the yearbook for the former Mt. Pleasant High School.


Actually it was a photocopy of the yearbook, which we had digitized and reproduced for use in the Local History and Genealogy Dept.


Clearly, a lot of work went into the research and production of this particular yearbook, as it contains local history relating to the school and village.


The title page says that it was produced by the Commercial Dept. of the high school, and it begins with the story of the Mt. Pleasant schools.


The earliest school was a private school, which met once a week on property owned by George K. Jenkins, and the story of an excuse for absence was told.  He said, “Mother detained me to stir apple butter, if it’s any of your business.”


Beginning in 1813, the school was operated by The Friends Society.  The school moved several times over the years, with the building destroyed by fire in 1875.


A public school opened around 1854 with the teachers paid based on the number of students and classes.


The first grade and high school building was erected in 1868 called the Union School, on the site of the current (1936) school and served until 1917.


William Reid served the school as director for 43 years, and was given a gold cane upon retirement.


The new high school building was erected in 1917, with a major addition completed in 1931 and the complex was called the “Mt. Pleasant Consolidated School” with students bussed from neighboring communities.


The yearbook begins with a photo of Kermit Daugherty, the Superintendant of Schools in 1936.  A traditional photo of the yearbook staff follows, with photos of the 23 teachers and administrators serving the school in 1936.


The senior class of 1936 included 37 graduates, with Paul Pickens as valedictorian and William Denger giving the salutary address.


The various departments of the high school included English, Industrial Arts, Agriculture, French, Latin, History, Dramatics, Sciences, Commercial, and Mathematics.


Other activities include Glee Club, Band, Orchestra, as well as clubs that support the curriculum.


Sports included both boys and girls basketball, as well as tumbling.


A section regarding alumni of the Mt. Pleasant schools shows that in 1936, there were still 3 living members of the first graduating class of 1873.


The text for the yearbook was clearly “pounded out” on a manual typewriter.  The pressure applied to each letter varies slightly, and the space bar on the typewriter sticks as there are occasional spaces in the words.


Catherine Cleaver did a wonderful job with the art work, with graces each title page of the sections having appropriate pen and ink drawings.


Someone spent a lot of time posing the photos, as every student in group photos has their arms folded the same way, and the front row has their legs crossed in perfect unison.


The commercial advertising in the back of the yearbook has businesses from all over the county, as well as southward into neighboring Belmont County.


The yearbook concludes with a page showing the printer, the Gray Printing Co., of Fostoria.