Columbia City Post ~ May 20, 1908
Biggest Commencement Ever. The Eighth Grade Class of Graduates Largest in History of County - Exercises Saturday Afternoon.
Saturday afternoon was a busy time for the large throng of people who were in the city to attend the various attractions which took place. The commencement exercises were called at 2 o’clock, but long before that hour the crowd began to gather on the east side of the public square to hear the address of Prof. Jonathan Rigdon, of Winona, and witness the presentation of the diplomas. The graduates, 199 in number, met at the assembly room of the court house and at 2 o’clock marched to seats which had been reserved for them at the bottom of the east steps of the county building, from which the speeches were made.
Seats Fall With a Crash. Just after the graduates filed out of the court house and took their places on the seats which had been constructed by C. O. Taylor for the occasion, half of the north tier, which contained about fifty of the young people and was heavily loaded, crashed to the ground. The most of those on the seats escaped injury, but Marjory Rhodes, a daughter of Willis Rhodes, of Thorncreek township, had her left knee badly twisted by the falling planks. Before the crowd had time to get away from the fallen seats the largest bank at the east side of the court house gave way with about one hundred graduates, a large number of whom were girls. The collapse was slow and the occupants of the seats were able to protect themselves so that the only injury was a sprained ankle sustained by Mary Sievers, a daughter of Trustee Henry Sievers, of Columbia township. All the parents whose children were in the accident were more or less excited and a great deal of pushing about occurred at the time. As soon as it was learned that no one was seriously injured the excitement died down and the exercises were continued with the graduates standing.
The exercises were opened by A. D. Sutherland, who offered the invocation. Prof. Tapy then introduced Dr. Jonathan Rigdon, president of the Winona Normal school, who talked only a short time owing to the amount of disturbance resulting from the collapse of the seats. At the conclusion of his remarks Rev. F. M. Porch made the presentation speech, pointing out the opportunities which lay before the people in the days to come. The diplomas were then distributed.
Following is a list of the graduates from the various townships in the county:
Opal Swank, Ruth Kreider, Bessie Enos, Minta Hinzie, Lizzie Havens, Lizzie Smith, Edward Blain, Pearl Hicks, Tina Brookins, Don Mishler, Ben Simmons, Grace Rau, Vada Pence, Fay Bollinger, Carrie Beatty, Harley Matson, Frank Austin, Sylvan Miller, Effie Sult, Edna Trumbull, H. M. Fields, Oden Schannep.
Urania Harris, Lyman Lawrence, Lloyd Lawrence, Forrest Sherwood, John Perry, John Schrader, John Stayer, Esther Sell, Mary Baer, Nellie Schrader, Mary Sievers, William Hunziker, Homer Eberhard, Archie L. Miller, Myrtle Smith, Vera Hurd, Ruth Keiser, Donald Foust, Henry Traster, Frank Smith.
Mary Bowlby, Pearl Bristow, Lodema Wickliffe, Elsie Batz, Carrie Batz, Ralph Crow.
Illie Bennett, Myrtle Ihrig, Ralph Yohe, Chester Smith, Emery Gillespie, Marc Jennings, Clayton Doolman, Charles Howenstine, Lizzie Hasty, Elmer Schinbeckler, Perry Schinbeckler, Reuben Aker, Frances Clark, Agnes Clark, George Clark, Herman Ramer, Vila Henney, Ruth Pence, Mabel Taylor, Vernon McWhirter, Harry Clark, Emit Smith, Hattie Seiver.
Mildia Miller, Faith Cummins, Walter Firestone, Augusta Thomson, Earl Hoover, Marie James, Minnie Davis, Ada Butler, Lydia Schuman, Opra Elliott, Helen James, Ruth Smith, Clyde Fox, Grover Brown, Lura Mowrey, Hazel Wynkoop, Alvin Schuman, Roy King, Alvin Sweeney, Florence Watson, Keith Anderson, Elsia Marchand, Birdie Schuman, Delta Egner, Esther Smith, Alfred Phillips, DeMaris Sattison, Goldie Beard, Dorithea Watson, Julia Miller, Ruth Watters.
Josephine Smith, Harry Gaff, Drusilla Gandy, Hazel Gaff, Lucy Wade, Lola Miller, Carl Geiger, Grace Knight, Earl Jones, Hermia Pooler, Velma Whan, Marta VanMeter, Mary Demony, Daniel Demony, Joshua Griffith, Roy Tulley, Silas Gavy, Mabel Miller.
Ethel Hill, Hazel Betzner, Alma Fisher, William Kessie, Cullie Phillips, Chloe Appleton, Simon Bender, Clara Egolf, Mirth Riley, Laver Pence, Clinton Hively, Benny Magley, Jennie Jagger, Bertha Hire, Samuel Egolf, Hulda Hively, Freedom Leaman, Lawrence Ott, Jesse Judd, Flossie Foster, Mary McConnell, Vera Geppert, Ethel Schuman, Marjorie Rhodes, Bart Barney, Josie Miller, Effie Leamon.
Scott Kisler, Dwight Kiester, Sadie Terman, Eva Terman, Elsie Adams, Jean Vanderford, Vaughn Trumbull, John Trumbull, Hugh Cummins, Hazel Karns, Neil Estlick, Iva Martin, Cecile Keister.
Mabel Lawrence, Lelia Yagel, Milo Gradeless, Valorus Worden, Wilbert Gaff, B. F. Wigent, Reedie Briggs, Lucinda Sisson, Delphos Winter, John Beeching, Charles Pettigrew, Helen Click, Earl Nichols, Rollie Metz.
Mabel Goble, Pearl Gross, Doris Chamberlain, Glenn Keppler, Hugh Merriman, Ruth Goble, Solon Merriman, Cletus Stoner, Rhue Keel, Anna Schneider, Arthur Ritter, Flossie Ummel, Waveland Dinius, Ruth Cupp, Esther Reece, Kate Gross, Herl Crawford, Millard Eberhard, Carl Dreyer, Bessie Hummel, Evan Rasor, Mabel Moyer, Melvin Arick, Charles Wagner.