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Victory No. 8 School Reunion - 2011


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 9/16/2011 at 20:40:10

"The Fairfield Ledger"
Monday, September 12, 2011
Page 2
Lifestyles Section

VICTORY NO. 8 Reunion

A 120th anniversary celebration for Lockridge Victory No. 8 Elementary School, located one and a half miles east of Four Corners, will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the school Sunday.

Former students and teachers, as well as their families or descendants, will gather at the old school built in 1891 to share memories of days prior to the school's closing in 1958.

Former students planning to attend will include the last two to graduate eighth grade from the school: Lea VORHIES BRADLEY and Don "Jim" FILLINGER. At least two former teachers have indicated intentions to attend: Elaine SHELMAN BAESE of Lockridge and Kathleen RODIBAUGH BOGNER, whose son will be bringing her from Oak Park, Ill. Other known Victory No. 8 teachers still living are Inez HILDEBRAND HISEL, Erma SHUPPY HOEFER, Ruth BUCKINGHAM HOYT and Evelyn REBLING SMITH.

Entertainment will include a play involving former students: Kay VORHIES MILKS, Gloria SWANSON MESSER, Thelma VORHIES SMIDDY and Lea VORHIES BRADLEY. Also, Fiddlin' Granny will provide musical entertainment.

Those attending are encouraged to bring folding chairs and a dessert to share. A brief business meeting will be held prior to refreshments. Homemade ice cream is being donated by Larry and Ruth Rhoades, and drinks will be provided.

A history was once done on the old school because 26 VORHIES family members attended there over the years. Among the 26 was Roberta VORHIES MATTSON and her five siblings, as well as their father and his 13 siblings. MATTSON later went on to teach fourth grade at Lockridge Elementary School and one day each year, she taught her class at Victory No. 8 for their unit on Iowa history. When the land on the site of Victory No. 8 was sold in the 1970s, the real estate contract included a clause reserving the schoolhouse and the grounds on which it sits so long as there was an annual community function held at the school.


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Friday, September 30, 2011
Page 3


Fifty-five former students, former teachers and families of same introduced themselves and explained their reason for attendance, and spent an afternoon enjoying memories during Lockridge Victory No. 8 country school's 120th anniversary celebration Sept. 18.

Eleven were in attendance from out-of-state -- Dallas City, Ill., Macomb, Ill., Oak Park, Ill., Rogers, Ark., and Fairfax, Va.

Those from Iowa were from Birmingham, Brighton, Burlington, Dubuque, Emmetsburg, Fairfield, Lockridge, Mount Pleasant, Mystic, New London, Wayland, West Point and Winfield.

A phone call of regrets came from former teacher Erma SHUPPY HOEFER indicating her disappointment that a health condition prevented her attendance. In attendance were former No. 8 teachers Kathleen BOGNER of Oak Park, Ill., and Elaine SHELMAN BAESE of Lockridge, both sharing their belief that students of "yester-year" were far more trusting, respectful and well-behaved than current scholars. In addition, they noted that support and cooperation of parents was better "back then."

BAESE told of a situation where a director explained the teacher was responsible for the students until they got home and that two boys were playing in the creek on the way home. Concerned for their safety and her job, she followed them one day and, sure enough, they were in the creek; both boys were present to confirm they got spanked. One of the boys also noted his nose had been on the blackboard several times; BAESE also recalled that same student walked in rather noisily in the presence of then-county Superintendent Arissa LYONS, who promptly asked him to come in again -- twice -- both times he stomped in louder and the superintendent just gave up.

The last teacher when the school closed in 1958 was Naoma SASSEEN; 17 students transferred to Lockridge elementary.

Comments from former student and new professor, Dolores GRAF WILSON, noted how her attendance at No. 8 had influenced her life positively, and agreed about the trust of students of No. 8 with the comment that "while playing handy-over, no one on the other side of the school could know whether or not the ball was really caught. This showed honesty on the part of the students.

Several students recalled sledding across the road during recess and not coming back to school until they heard the bell ring the second time.

Special email memories and regrets were read from Gloria BAESE, Marlon BAESE, Marilyn SASSEEN BELL, Martha "Marty" MILLSPAUGH DeWITTE, Eleanor BOOS GAUNT and Bob SMITHBURG.

Sisters Lea VORHIES BRADLEY, Kay VORHIES MILKS and Thelma VORHIES SMIDDY were joined by Gloria SWANSON MESSER -- all former No. 8 students -- in a short play called "The Mouse Escape," during which they showed no fear of wild cats, rattlesnakes, wolves and bears, but all leaped to a chair when a mouse showed up.

A worthy note unrelated to the mouse was the fact that MESSER's great-grandfather was the first director of No. 8, and three of his descendants from each of the next three generations attended school there.

During the business meeting, current officers were "railroaded" in again -- President Thelma SMIDDY, Secretary Kay MILKS, and Treasurer Gloria MESSER. Thanks and credit was given to those who donated and/or assisted with preparing the school for the celebration, as follows: Lea BRADLEY, Jim and Donna FILLINGER, Craig MATTSON, Roberta MATTSON, Larry and Gloria MESSER, Kay MILKS, Nathan MILKS, Allen RICH, Justin SAMMONS, Schaus-Vorhies Contracting, Themla SMIDDY, Bob SWANSON, Merle and Darlene VORHIES, Bernie WESLEY, Curt WESLEY, David WESLEY and Tom WESLEY.

A book will be purchased in memory of Raymond SWANSON.

Fiddlin' Granny, alias Joanne Ancell, shared her violin talents while people ate desserts, including five different flavors of homemade ice cream made and donated by Larry and Ruth RHOADES.

*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I am not related to the person(s) mentioned.


Jefferson Documents maintained by Joey Stark.
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