Our School 1900-1909

OUR SCHOOL 1900-1909

1900 COMMENCEMENT  (as reported by the Sandusky Register) – Giving due credit to Prof. Overmeyer and his associate teachers, the citizens of Kelley’s Island witnessed one of the best commencements ever given on the island. Notwithstanding the fact that the novice orators, both male and female, displayed a great amount of reserve, tameness and monotony in reciting their pieces, they are given credit for having memorized them well. The boat song was charming, Mr. Henry Kelley, the violin artist, touched the chord of patriotism by his violin solo, ‘Hail Columbia Fantasia.’  Mr. Kelley has a keen sense of harmony and the beautiful in music.
Prof. J. C. Park of Ada gave the class address in which he insisted on the threefold elements that make education perfect: The physical, intellectual and divine symmetry, stating with Emerson it takes six generations to make a gentleman.
Mr. Elfers as president of the board of education presented the graduates with the diplomas. Messrs. John and William Moysey, Misses Ward, and Petette rendered a gentle quartet in conclusion. Masters Carl Lange and John McGurn, Birdie Toley and Ella Lynch from St. Michael’s parish school passed successfully the examination for admission to the A class. The success reflects credit on said school.
The board of education is composed of the following gentlemen: Messrs. F. Elfers, Chas. Seeholzer, Wm. Burger, W. Beatty, Francis Houser and John Miller, clerk J. T. Breman. An imposing solid edifice put up in stone is in contemplation. Said school house built from the estate of the late J. Estes.

(as reported by the Star) – KI High School holds successful commencement exercises – June 22 – The KI High School had one of the most successful commencements ever known in the history of the institution. A class of six young ladies and one young gentleman were graduated. Prof. J. G. Park, of the Ohio Normal University at Ada, delivered an interesting address to the class, and his remarks were appreciated by the large audience present.
Perhaps the most interesting of the class productions were ‘The Class Prophecy’ by Miss Gussie Hamilton and an oration, ‘England’s Injustice to the Boers’ by Mr. Gus Ott, both of which brought down the house.
Mr. Henry Kelley, always popular as a musician, rendered an excellent violin solo. Everyone says that much credit is due to the principal of schools. Mr. W. W. Overmyer and the corps of teachers under him for the general excellence of the program and for the beautiful decorations in Kelley’s Hall where the exercises were held. The members of the graduating class were: Clara Van Nostrand, Sarah Myers, Gus Ott, Freddie Lewwe, Gussie Himilton, and Hazel Hamilton.

July 17 1901 – A teacher for the school has been engaged for one year’s service.  The old school houses have been sold at auction.  F. Elfers securing the larger stone building.  Kelley Hall is nearing completion. The commencement exercises have been postponed till September.

1901 was a little unusual for our graduating class. Commencement exercises were not held in June as was the tradition, they were delayed until later in the summer. The reason for the delay, they were waiting for construction to be completed on improvements to Kelley’s Hall.

August 21 1901– The commencement exercises took place at Kelley’s Hall Friday, August 16.  The hall has been remodeled, enlarged by a new stage, an oak floor put in and is now being painted and decorated.  For the occasion it was elegantly and pleasingly festooned with our national colors.  The stage was transformed into a California grove by oleanders and evergreens.  There is to be little surprise to learn there were about 400 people attending the exercises.
The director of the schools, Mr. Overmeyer, made a few introductory remarks, explaining the reasons for the postponement of the exercises and pleading indulgence for the graduate maiden speakers of the evening.  In touching terms the professor referred to his pleasant and kind social relations with the islanders and thanked them for their appreciation of his work.  ‘With Malice to none, with charity to all, he bade them a touching farewell-forgiving his enemies, and hoping others will succeed better than himself.’
If the professor counted his warm friends by the scores last evening he increased their number by the hundreds-and we may voice their feelings of sadness and regret at the departure of this one of ‘God’s noblemen,’ a man with a big, large heart, a man with character, a man without fear and reproach.
He governed the schools at the earlier period with kindness and mildness, whilst a stricter method of severity might have been more availing and effective for some scholars.
A chorus of six pupils rendered a pleasing salutation.  The invocation was given by Rev. Father Schoendorff of St. Michael’s Church with the Lord’s prayer, adding thereto: ‘Be though propitious to the children of this island and the world over, that they may know and love Thee, the Father of all, and believe in Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who with Thy Holy Spirit, buildeth and ruleth the world without end.  Amen.’
Miss Clara Van Nortrand gave a pleasing solo to the delight of her audience.  Master Lee S. Collins in his salutatory, ‘Master the Situation,’ proved himself to be a little master.
A quartet was rendered next in order by a troupe from Sandusky – I surmise – and a welcome troupe of troubadours, the Misses Edna Schmidt and Dorathen Scheuffler and Messrs. Alva Hamilton and Paul Patterson.  They would not respond to an encore till January isolates up from the mainland.
Gertrude E. Smith evinced rare talents in rendering her essay on ‘Queen Victoria.’  Ah, was not that action song pretty! by the smaller pupils.  And that recitation, ‘How He Saved St. Michael’s’ by Rhea F. Brown!  It was simply grand!
We could have listened to Otto Brown’s girl declaimer all evening.  She has talents in that field above the average, and we hope to hear her again in Kelley’s hall.  For gracefulness of gesture and artistic taste and Italian classic pose we mention Jessie Rheinheimer.  She gave a lovely essay on the verse: ‘Over the Alps Lieth Tiny Italy.’
Miss Jean Moysey gave expression to a true and earnest thought mostly forgotten by pupils.  ‘Not for School, for Life We Learn,’ the class motto of 1901.  She had a splendid, deep, vigorous, manly voice, a cool, deliberate delivery, a pleasant bearing and gave a very thoughtful address.
Mr. W. L. Nauman, a personal friend of Mr. Overmeyer, addressed the class, and to crystallize, or rather epitomize his remarks in a few sentences, he showed and provided conclusive to the graduates and their parents, that there can be no real education without knowing and loving God, without being a kind servant for love of Jesus Christ, that there can be no happiness in this life without being actuated by the Spirit of God.
Mr. Henry Elfers, president of the board of education, presented the six graduated with their diplomas.  The closing exercises reflect credit on the teachers who worked silently and modestly, often thanklessly in their close school rooms.  Their efforts were crowned with success and the people have once more appreciated their worth.

June 17 1908 – The Junior class of the Estes school entertained the Seniors a few evenings ago by giving a dance in their honor at the town hall.  Every body had a delightful time.  Commencement exercises will take place on June 23rd.  The whole affair promises to be very interesting.  The class is making every effort to have the decorations very artistic.  The graduates are: Miss Ruth Rosswurm, William Fedderson, Helen Seeholzer, Ada Himmelein, Alfred Moysey and Irving Elfers.
            The June 23 graduates were Ruth Roswurm, Wilma Fedderson, Helen Seeholzer, Ada Himmelein, Alfred Moysey, and Irving Elfers.