Malachi's Promise "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers...." Malachi 4:6

Saturday, October 2, 2010

In the 7th Grade in 1927-1928




7th Grade, Mineral Ridge School,
Mineral Ridge, Ohio
School Year 1927-1928

Audrey Meinzen, my mother,
is in the 2nd row from the back, right end.





I found this class photograph in my mother's photo album last spring. It was taken about 82 years ago. I am a little disappointed that it appears so small on the screen, especially considering that the original is at least 5" x 7" in size. (Some of the other photos I've posted appear as large as this one even though the originals are only 2" x 3".) Still, if you left-click on the photo, you'll be able to see a larger version of it. I was pleased to be able to clearly see the faces of the students (or would they have been called pupils in 1928?).

There seem to be some close friendships among the students. Notice the 3 boys in the front, 4th through 6th from the left. And the two girls on the front row, 2nd and 3rd from the right. A few other students seem to have their heads tipped together and look like they could be close friends. Still others look a little unhappy. Are they standing by non-friends? (Isn't that how it went in 7th grade? You never knew from one day to the other about friends.) One boy stands completely alone in the center. The man on the left with the bow tie is C. O. Taylor, the superintendent.

Just recently I was looking through some other papers and memorabilia that my mother saved and found a 1928 school yearbook, "The Ridge Mirror." It also has a 7th grade class photograph and beneath it the students are identified by name. I was hoping that I could scan and enlarge that photograph and by comparing both photos, learn the names of the students in the above photo. The yearbook image was not clear enough to give a good copy. However, below you'll see the cover of the yearbook and two pages from inside. (Don't bother to enlarge them unless you just want to read the writing....)











The 1928 Mineral Ridge High School graduating class had 16 students; all but 2 were females. Mineral Ridge wasn't a particularly rural community but it was a township school which had students not only from the village of Mineral Ridge but from outlying areas that were not part of other towns and cities in the township. It's possible that the young men who might have been in the upper grades had left school after the 8th grade to help on farms or work outside to help support their families.

I look at the students in this class, which would become the class of 1933, and wonder what their lives were like. Little did they know that within two years the stock market would crash. What changes did the ensuing Great Depression bring for these young people and their families? I think my mother was forever changed: with 3 sisters in her family, frugality became a way of life which she practiced until her death.

But in this photo they didn't know what was coming. They probably struggled with little challenges and enjoyed life as it was. It's a good thing not to know the future.
...............

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. There are a group of us who post old photographs every Saturday. Go to the Sepia Saturday blog to see who else posted this week.

15 comments:

  1. beautiful job, both on the pics and the explaining the details. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Every time I look at an old class photograph, I always wonder what happened to the children. There they are all gathered together in that precise moment in time, a shared history ... but later, what were their stories? You make some very poignant observations ... friendships, loneliness. Thanks for sharing Audrey with us.

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  3. I wonder too what happened, where they are, etc. For some reason that looked so familiar and perhaps it's because there were several class photos shared on Sepia. That was a big class and I wondered then about the small size graduating, but it was common for them to leave school and go to work. Nice job explaining.

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  4. The 1928 graduating class was very small. The photograph above would become the graduating class of 1933. I don't know the size of the 1933 class because my mom didn't have a yearbook. (I assume financial situation during the Great Depression prevented the purchase of one, but I don't know that for sure.) Her class in the photo above is large, but there may have been some young people who dropped out or moved by the time they graduated.

    As I looked through her 1928 yearbook, I noticed that each subsequent class seemed to be larger than the previous one. I don't know if the population of Weathersfield Township increased because people moved in... or what.

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  5. I love the first photo, I double clicked it and it was quite large and it shows all the details, I think the children are so good looking. It's wonderful to have these and I enjoyed this post.

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  6. What a darling photo. . . the kid in the back center looks like a rascal! It's interesting that the boys on the front row have their arms intertwined. Too fun!

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  7. How interesting. I bet you're right that the boys were off doing farmwork. Great photo.

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  8. it really does prompt some wonderings, doesn't it? someone could write some good short stories around this photo. And there are some hair styles there that would be pretty trendy today

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  9. ignorance is bliss, as far as the future is concerned. i remember my parents' behavior that reflected the hardship of that era that affected them their whole lives.

    HUGZ

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  10. Brenna, I agree that he looks like he could be a rascal. Perhaps no one wanted to be close enough to take the chance of being pinched.

    Lettuce - Yes, some of the hairstyles could fit in today quite easily.

    Ticklebear - Reading your comment here and remembering the photo of your mother on your Sepia Saturday post this week - I think our parents may have been close in age. How could they overcome the lack of so much during the Depression, even years later, when they didn't know what the future would bring? I think my parents' attitude was that it was better to save than take a chance and not have if needed later.

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  11. my dad was born in 1926, mom, in 1928. so, i heard of hands-me-down and food stamps, but i believe my mom's family fared better than some others. my grandpa was a smart, hard working man.
    the only thing my parents passed me down is my repulsion to hold on to any things beyond their usefulness. i have no problem purging the place once in a while...

    HUGZ

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  12. From what my mother tells me, I think that farm families that didn't lose their farms during the Depression fared better than many city families, because they usually had food on the table. This was an interesting time, with many challenges for those who lived through them. I suspect the same will be said of our times, too.

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  13. A Great Class Photo.Yes, Its Interesting To Read The Body Language Here.

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  14. Hi Nancy, I love your blog! I noticed you were wondering about the yearbooks. I work at the school and am involved in the Mineral Ridge Historical Society. There were no Mineral Ridge yearbooks published from 1929 to 1944. A paperback yearbook was published in 1945. There has been a yearbook published every year after that. There was a Trumbull County yearbook published in 1929 which includes Mineral Ridge and there is a copy at the Superintendent's office.

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  15. Hi, Marci --
    Thanks for coming to visit. I'm glad you enjoy my blog. Thank you for the information about years the yearbooks were published. In the county yearbook, does each school have just one page with a photograph of the seniors, or ...? Thanks again for visiting.

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I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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