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Decorah High School
1897 Graduates

Source: Decorah Republican July 1, 1897 P 5 C 3
Source: Decorah Republican July 8, 1897 P 4 C 2

this page was last updated on Friday, 19 June 2020

High School Graduations.
The graduating exercises of the Decorah High School will take place on Friday forenoon, in the High School auditorium. The graduating class numbers six, and is as follows:

Goddard, Fred R.
Hanson, Mary H.
Hegg, Hannah A.
Hegner, Hobart W.
Lennon, Hawley D.
Thompson, Mamie C.


Graduation of the Class of 1897—A Delightful Occasion.

The graduating exercises of Decorah High School, held last Friday forenoon, were not merely interesting or entertaining. They were an innovation upon the '‘commencements” of the past—an innovation that is in every way to be commended. It could not have been accomplished before. The new school building permitted it: its facilities suggested it, and lent themselves to the exercises of the occasion, to a degree really enjoyable in every way.

The large high school auditorium and the commodious halls of the building proved conveniences that will be appreciated for years to come. The school seats were taken up, rearranged so as to make them center upon the large doorway in which a stage had been built. Behind it, in the hall, were seats occupied by the High School Glee Club, whose music was a decided feature of the exercises. Across the lintel was the class motto, “Esse quam Videri,” and at the sides were banked masses of flowers in bouquets, and other evidences of sympathy and regard for the young men and maidens who were then and there to close their school lives.

In their orations and addresses there was another most sensible departure from standard customs. The young people were not urged to undertake the settlement of great vexed questions that will never be permanently decided; neither were they encouraged to enter upon what may be styled flights of literary pyrotechnics. The subjects chosen were such as best suited the years and the attainments of young people just entering the broader field of education which lies outside the doors of the school house.

The subject of Mr. Robert W. Hegner’s address was entitled “Feathered Gems.” This gave little indication that he was going to furnish a charming history of the humming bird, which, he said, was this continent's contribution to the feathered world. A century ago there were less than a score of known varieties: now there are five hundred or more. Mr. H. had mastered his subject: made it exceedingly interesting: and his delivery was all that could be asked.

Miss Hannah Hegg discussed “Historic Bolls"—large bells—celebrated bells — national bells such our own “Liberty Bell.” She also spoke at length of the uses of bells, mentioning wedding bells, funeral bells, curfew bells, etc. Descriptive in style, the oration was rhetorically excellent and gracefully delivered.

“Arbitration” was treated by Hawley D. Lennon as the latest and best contribution by our country to the civilization of this century. It was well written, finely delivered, and in some respects the best of the orations from an oratorical point of view.

In selecting “Eugene Field” as her topic Miss Mary A. Hanson was very fortunate, She was a kindly critic, if one who has only praise and love to bestow can be considered a critic. A brief sketch of Field's life was given, and some of his best work in his chosen lines of literature were charmingly rendered.

“Athletics,” by Fred R Goddard, glorified of the physical culture which now goes hand in hand with mental culture in all the great halls of learning. Sound, vigorous bodies, along with busy brains, is now a requisite of every successful school or college. Mr. Goddard's manner and matter were both high class.

Miss Mamie C. Thompson's use of “Little Jack Horner," from whom to "draw a moral and adorn a tale” was, in the literary point of view, the best of the orations. She used Jack as a type of dillerent classes of persons we can easily find in the world: the boastful man, the greedy man, the selfish man, Her comparisons were felicitous and very happy.

Supt. Parks, in conferring the diplomas, made but n brief address. He congratulated the class upon a happy conclusion to their years of school life and closed with the kindliest wishes of a loved teacher for their future.

The school rooms was well filled with parents and friends of the participants including also many who are deeply interested in the school and its work To them all the exercises were very delightful, yea, intensely gratifying They unanimously approved the new way.

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