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.