Eveline’s Senior Year: Graduation Memorabilia

I shared a photo of my grandmother Eveline Coates’ high school graduating class in Mystic, Iowa a few weeks (now months!) ago. Along with the photo and her diploma, a couple of other mementos were saved. One is the program for the Junior-Senior Banquet in honor of the graduating Seniors. It was interesting to see how World War I seemed to be the overarching theme of the festivities. I decided to take a deeper look at what her life may have been like during the 1917-1918 school year. There was a lot going on, a war and the beginning of an influenza pandemic to name the two biggiesThe list of related posts is getting long, so I’ll link them at the bottom.

Today I’ll share a few bits of ephemera that remain from Eveline’s senior year in high school.

A picture of the high school

Mystic High School, Mystic, Iowa

Eveline’s report card

From her report card, we can glean the following information:

Eveline attended Mystic Public Schools.
She was in Grade 12 during the school year 1917-1918.
No room number was provided, just Room H. S. (High School). Does this mean that all high school students were in the same room? I don’t think so? The high school surely housed a number of classrooms.
The principal of the high school was Nevah O. Prior.
Eveline was absent 7 1/2 days during the fall semester, presumably when she had smallpox, and 2 days during the last period of the spring semester. Eveline’s absences were excused.
Eveline was never tardy for school.
Eveline received high marks for conduct – in the high 90s during the fall and just a little less (95) during the spring.
A grade of 95-100 was Excellent. 85-95 was Good.
Eveline earned grades in the 90s in all of her classes.
She studied American Literature and Physics throughout the year.
She studied American History and Physiology during the fall semester.
During the spring semester, she studied Civics, and Economics.
Both of her parents signed her report card.

Another paper saved is this two-fold invitation from the Junior class. The size is about 5×7 inches. The paper is pink and the ink is green. Decorative notches have been cut into the paper.

On May 10, 1918, a Junior-Senior Reception was held at the Masonic Hall in Mystic. It was the program for the reception that prompted me to begin this series.

I’m not sure what this hand-drawn card is. It is the size of a calling card. Perhaps it marked Eveline’s place at the table for the reception.

Also saved was the graduation invitation, held together with green and pink ribbons. An eagle atop a shield decorated with stars and stripes can be seen through a cut out in the invitation cover. I believe it is hand colored.

The inside provided details of the commencement exercises.

The second page of the graduation invitation lists all of the senior class events leading up to and including commencement.

The last page provides information about the class officers, colors, motto, flower, and a list of the graduates. Tucked inside is a graduation name card for Eveline.

I hope to identify some of the people mentioned in the reception program and Eveline’s class photo. I’m not sure how successful I’ll be. It may be like trying to identify the unknown people in the prompt photo below.

Gather around and bring the dogs while you enjoy posts by others participating in Sepia Saturday.

If you would like to read other posts about Eveline’s Senior Year, you can find them here:
Eveline’s Senior Year, Part 1
Eveline’s Senior Year: The Draft and a Carnival
Eveline’s Senior Year: A Look Around Town
Eveline’s Senior Year: Musical Notes
Eveline’s Senior Year: Smallpox
Eveline’s Senior Year: What are you Serving?
Eveline’s Senior Year: Root Beer on the 4th
Eveline’s Senior Year: Miners, Miner and Maps
Eveline’s Senior Year: The Weight of Mining
Eveline’s Senior Year: Gatherings and Gossip
Eveline’s Senior Year: Knit Your Bit
Eveline’s Senior Year: In Search of a Back Story
Eveline’s Senior Year: Sign the Food Pledge
Eveline’s Senior Year: Produce, Preserve, Conserve

Eveline’s Senior Year: Produce, Preserve, Conserve

I shared a photo of my grandmother Eveline Coates’ high school graduating class in Mystic, Iowa a few weeks (now months!) ago. Along with the photo and her diploma, a couple of other mementos were saved. One is the program for the Junior-Senior Banquet in honor of the graduating Seniors. It was interesting to see how World War I seemed to be the overarching theme of the festivities. I decided to take a deeper look at what her life may have been like during the 1917-1918 school year. There was a lot going on, a war and the beginning of an influenza pandemic to name the two biggiesThe list of related posts is getting long, so I’ll link them at the bottom.

Shortly after the United States entered World War I, the U. S. Food Administration was formed, with an unpaid Herbert Hoover acting as the administrator. Hoover believed that if he volunteered his time, he would be better able to convince Americans to voluntarily join the three-pronged effort to produce, preserve, and conserve food. As I mentioned in my previous post, these educational and persuasive efforts were primarily directed at women.

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen, Centerville, IA
1917 May 01
Centerville Daily Ipwegian and Citizen, Centerville, IA
1917 Jun 11

Women were guilted (I know that isn’t really a verb) and “invited to co-operate” to win the war in their kitchens.

Increase Production

(1917) Uncle Sam says – garden to cut food costs Ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., for a free bulletin on gardening – it’s food for thought / / A. Hoen & Co., Baltimore. United States, 1917. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/00653180/.

Families were encouraged to maintain a “war garden” to increase the available food supply locally. This would save on transportation costs to get food to families that could better be used for transport of soldiers or food to feed solders and our allies. In the words of today, “eat local.” The Centerville paper ran a gardening column 2-3 times a week, provided by the federal government. The topics varied from pest control to growing particular fruits or vegetables. Here are some sample headers from the Centerville newspapers:

1917 sample headline of gardening articles
1918
1918

Any idle land or vacant lot was to be used for gardening. The Burlington Railroad offered right-of-way for this purpose.

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen, Centerville, Iowa
6 April 1918

I didn’t find anything particular to Mystic, but the county seat of Centerville formed a War Garden organization and local businesses also got on board.

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen, Centerville, Iowa
1918 Mar 23

Since no vacant lots were to remain idle, I guess kids around the nation lost their playing fields.

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen, Ceterville, Iowa
1918 April 11

Preserve

Now that your war garden was producing well, it was time to preserve the food you grew. Do not waste any food! Americans were told that this would also relieve the canning industry so that products that could go to soldiers would not be diverted for domestic use. I had never thought about when home canning became popular, but the war was a great motivator to increase home canning. Newly organized home demonstration agents were assigned to each county to teach canning and drying methods to preserve food.

Semi Weekly Iowegian, Centerville, Iowa
1917 Jun 01

A canning demonstration was held in Mystic the morning of July 7th.

In addition to the canning demonstrations, there were frequent articles about canning prepared by the federal government for publication. These included instructions for making vinegar, a variety of pickled produce, tomato sauce, ketchup, and other food stuffs, but my favorites would have been the fruit butters. I had never heard of fruit pastes until I read the article below. Maybe fruit paste is similar to modern fruit roll-ups?

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen, Centerville, IA
1917 Sep 18

I don’t know the extent that food preservation was encouraged at school or if kid’s clubs or after-school programs encouraged the youth of Mystic to join the effort to preserve food. Perhaps they heard about a Girl Scout who won the first canning award in Washington.

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen, Centerville, IA
1917 Oct 15

German propaganda was reported to be hampering the efforts of the food campaign, particularly in rural areas with high numbers of immigrants. I wonder if this happened in Mystic, a small town with a large immigrant population.

Conserve

Again, the federal government supplied articles for publishing. Below are a few headlines. Each included instructions or recipes.

Another tool of the food campaign encouraged families, hotels, and restaurants to plan meals around Meatless Tuesdays and Wheatless Wednesdays.

And, of course, it was important to conserve sugar.

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen
1917 Nov 13

A local cartoon implied that Appanoose County was doing its part to conserve food.

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen
1917 Jul 16

Another bit of propaganda aimed at women was a series of letters purported to be written by Frances, a woman in Washington, D. C., to her sister Edith, in Michigan. The letters all had the tag line “The Soldier-Woman.”

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen, Centerville, Iowa
1917 Nov 28

What did this all mean for Eveline?

Well, of course, I don’t really know. My grandmother Eveline always had a very large garden and canned lots and lots of vegetables for the winter. I assume that this was a practice learned in her early years. Her family was subject to rations of sugar and flour, shortages, and the pressure to change dietary and cooking habits. One thought that came to mind while doing this research: Eveline was a young mother during the Depression and my mother was a Depression baby. My mother was a “saver” as were many people of that generation – a result of being raised during that time of lack. But this made me think that, not only did Eveline live through the Depression, but through this rather intense campaign to save and never waste food – a double whammy of influence that was likely passed on to her children.

I found this interesting/amusing pamphlet about war gardens if you have further interest in the subject. It is full of cartoon and poems. The War Garden Guyed.

And just because, I’ll end with this poem that was printed in Eveline’s local newspaper.

Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen, Centerville, Iowa
1918 Jan 29

Once again, this is my very late contribution to Sepia Saturday – or in my case, Sepia Tuesday! Please visit the more timely entries in response to the prompt photo below.

If you would like to read other posts about Eveline’s Senior Year, you can find them here:
Eveline’s Senior Year, Part 1
Eveline’s Senior Year: The Draft and a Carnival
Eveline’s Senior Year: A Look Around Town
Eveline’s Senior Year: Musical Notes
Eveline’s Senior Year: Smallpox
Eveline’s Senior Year: What are you Serving?
Eveline’s Senior Year: Root Beer on the 4th
Eveline’s Senior Year: Miners, Miner and Maps
Eveline’s Senior Year: The Weight of Mining
Eveline’s Senior Year: Gatherings and Gossip
Eveline’s Senior Year: Knit Your Bit
Eveline’s Senior Year: In Search of a Back Story
Eveline’s Senior Year: Sign the Food Pledge

The Weekly Journal Project #3

Fellow blogger Barb Rogers has been joining me in this weekly journal. (We met though Sepia Saturday!) She called her post “The Weekly Journal Project” and, if she doesn’t mind, I’ll use the same title. Feel free to join us. Just post a journal entry on Monday summarizing the previous week. Or make your journal a photo a day. Whatever you like. If you are a family history researcher, you know it is good to remember to document your own life! Link your journal entry in the comments of my post so I’ll be sure to read it and so will anyone else who sees it. If more people join, maybe I’ll learn how to do a “linky”party.

Week of August 22-28, 2022

Monday, August 22

We have part of our back yard gated so that the dogs can’t run back behind the garage. Long story. During this very hot summer, we rigged a sun cover over part of that area because it was so hot and ruining what plants we had. There used to be a little shade from a couple of fruit trees, but we lost them during the extended freeze in February. Anyway, my husband kept telling me about a bunny back there, but I had not seen it. The rabbit feels very safe because the dogs can’t get to it and my husband started putting water out for it. I finally saw the rabbit and took a picture, but I was too far away for a good photo so it’s not that great. I appreciated that it was eating weeds!

We had another downpour. At our house, it came down fast and furiously, but fortunately didn’t last very long. Part of the city had some flooding.


I am trying to go dairy free to see if that helps with some issues I have. I didn’t like plain coconut yogurt on my usual breakfast bowl. 🙁

Tuesday, August 23

Finally finished my Sepia Saturday blog post by deleting half of it. Eveline’s Senior Year: Sign the Food Pledge

Wednesday, August 2

Found this link to recipes from Three Pines. I really enjoy Louise Penny books. New one out in November!
I’ve been slowly going through cabinets and closets to get rid of things. I was pretty successful with my Buy Nothing group this week. I reposted a bunch of things that I had posted before but were not picked up or no one showed an interest. This week, my trash was someone else’s treasure. You never know… One woman wanted the bunch of decorated pencils I had – probably unused party bag gifts from years ago. She is a pediatrician and said she is making a treasure chest for her patients. I found my son’s old basketball pencil collection and a few more things and she sent me a Tik Tok video of my things in the chest. Fun!

Thursday, August 25

I gave up on dairy free already. I want to start my day with the breakfast I enjoy. Oh well. Breakfast was good today!


The Thursday ESL book group finished reading Holes last week, so we watched the movie together today.

Friday, August 26

The Friday ESL book group finished reading and discussing the Boxcar children book Mystery Ranch. It is not as good as the previous three, plus there is a fireplace made out of uranium ore in the house. No wonder Aunt Jane has been sick!
I took all our cassette tapes out of a cabinet to post on Buy Nothing, although I didn’t post the kid ones or the ones we recorded ourselves. I want to listen to some of the kid ones for the memories before letting them go.
I received a very nice email from one of the students who read Holes. She didn’t think she would ever be able to read a book in English, but now she is motivated to keep reading!

Saturday, August 27

Today made me think about connections – the many I have missed out on due to procrastination, laziness, or just wanting to hide in my house.

I shared this on Facebook related to the photo above:

Connections, ESL edition:

In 2018 Gloria and her husband lived in Austin for three months. While they were here, Gloria took the free ESL classes offered at Austin Community College. She became friends with one of her fellow students, Anita. When Gloria finished the class, she was tested for proficiency and was told that her score was too high for the free class and that she would need to pay for any future classes. Her friend Anita, a long-time student/former student of our ESL class, told her about our zoom classes during the pandemic. Gloria joined our ESL class from McAllen and has continued to attend.

Gloria and her husband were in Austin this weekend to see their son and his family and she invited me to meet up with them so we could really “meet.” We met at Easy Tiger at the Linc and shared a lovely hour or so together – and they brought me “McAllen” tamales, which they said will be different from Austin tamales. (I had other dinner plans, so the tamales will be eaten tonight.) She said I look different in person than on zoom – I didn’t ask if I looked better or worse! Before meeting up with me for coffee, Gloria and her husband had already visited with Anita. How wonderful that they met in a class at ACC, maintained a friendship over these years and distance, and now Gloria and I are connected because of that connection!

Anita made two best friends at our ESL class years ago – K and A. Their friendship represents Mexico and Thailand and China. It is a friendship born in ESL class and continues to this day.

Pre-pandemic, I made it a point to know every student who walked through our doors, but we use two zoom accounts to provide our two levels of classes, so I don’t get to maintain or make new connections in the lower level class. In July I offered a book club to the lower level students. This was our fourth book (Boxcar Children) for this group and it is how I met Gloria.

Like Gloria, another student in the book group has never attended our in-person class. Y lives in Illinois. K (one of Anita’s best friends) and Y are both from Thailand. K traveled to Thailand a few weeks ago. We were all so surprised to learn that Y was joining us from Thailand and that she met K at the airport! They spoke frequently and went several places together over the next couple of weeks.

Life is crazy and beautiful. And interconnected … if we make the connections.

My husband and I continued maintaining connections by having dinner with our Sicilian cousins. Well, one is a cousin of some degree to my husband – and his wife. We tried a new restaurant – an English pub in Round Rock. The fish and chips were good, but that’s all we liked about it.

The day ended on a sour note when our grand dog jumped out of his dog bed just as we were all settling in for the night. He had been stung on his paw by a scorpion in his bed. I didn’t sleep well, watching for any signs of an allergic reaction. He was finally able to go to sleep, and slept much better than I did.

Sunday, August 28

I was very tired today from lack of sleep. Watched church on Youtube. Worked some more on my blog post, but still didn’t finish. It seems to be turning into Sepia Tuesday for me lately.

Well, that’s my long journal for this week. I’ll be more brief next time.

Have a good week!