DAYS GONE BY: Graduates of Baldwin High School
What happened to the graduates of Baldwin High School? Where were they living 75 years ago? What did they go on to do in life? The 1939 Baldwin High School Yearbook included a section entitled “Alumni News”. This sheds some light on the “who/what/where” of Baldwinites at the conclusion of the decade. It tells of the marriages, the children, the post graduate schooling and of local businesses.
Two graduates of the BHS Class of 1923 were living elsewhere. Violet Chant was married to Lloyd Holms and was living in Reed City. Lottie Morlock Lores was living in Hart.
Graduate John Bradford was in the grocery business and had married Eva Strayer, also a 1924 graduate. Darcy Weaver was also married and in the grocery and meat business. Marie Duffing Drown had a small daughter Barbara Joan. Nannette Gleason had been the school commissioner for the last four years. She was married to Morton Peterson and by 1939 they had a small daughter.
Three 1925 graduates were in the alumni news. Fred Bradford was married with a daughter and son and was working in the bank. Alice Gleason, then Mrs. Frank Marion, was living in Sault Ste. Marie along with her husband and two children. Harold Strayer was working in Adrian, Michigan.
Lillian Morong, the lone graduate listed in1926, was living in Scottville.
Marie Bartlett, married to Howard Updegraff, had one daughter named Janet. She and James Foster II were 1927 BHS graduates. James was also married with one son – James III.
Georgene Duffing, then Mrs. Norman Anderson, was living in Ann Arbor and Wilma Gleason, then Mrs. Ford Kellum, and her daughter Glee Emma, were living in the Upper Peninsula. Both women and Raymond Patterson were 1928 graduates. Raymond was also married with a small daughter, but he remained in Baldwin.
The class of 1929 graduates included Roy Ashe and Lionel Dancer. Roy was the head of a CCC camp in Southern Texas and Lionel was a doctor in the United States Marines in 1939.
The status of five 1930 graduates was listed in the alumni news. Jennie Bayak was at the “Sunshine Sanitarium in Grand Rapids”. George Blass and his wife were living at Republic where he was a surveyor. Ruth Wilkinson was teaching the fourth grade in Traverse City. Coral (Buster) Bromley was managing the Clover Farm Store owned by Bromley & Sons, Beryl Bromley was married and living in Scottville.
1931 graduates included Cleo Bradley, Edith & Rose Gimmalva, Fontella Orlow, Rosalie Parrish and Grace Stinson. Cleo Bradley was married and living in Ann Arbor. Edith Gimmalva was married to Mike Fortune and Rose Gimmalva to Amosy Wallace. Fontella Orlow was working in Chicago. Rosalie Parrish had graduated from a Detroit hospital and was married and living there. Grace Stinson was working in a hospital in Detroit.
Seven of the eight 1932 graduates were working and living outside of Lake County in 1939. Leo Vigna was working in a hospital in Chicago. His friend Bruno Roti was also working in Chicago. Phyllis Updegraff was teaching kindergarten at Mt. Clemens. Irma James Cook had married Oliver LaGrone of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Irma had graduated from the Chicago Musical College where she majored in dramatics. She went on to the University of New Mexico where she majored in dramatics and creative writing. Julia Field had spent the winter in California, but was expected to return home. Robert Rouse was working at a gasoline station in Ann Arbor. Edward Robins was working at the local Ford Garage.
Information on sixteen 1935 graduates follows. Don Hodgins was a freshman and Bruce Davis a senior at Olivet College. Paul Johnson was attending Central State Teacher’s College at Mt. Pleasant. Olga Trucks was a senior at Albion College. Nora Libey, then Mrs. Walter Lanze, was living in Muskegon. She had a new baby daughter named Barbara Gertrude. Donald Pattie transferred from Michigan State College at Ann Arbor to Tri-State College at Angola, IN. He was studying civil engineering. Helen Newman married Carl Robinson of Grand Rapids in 1938. Dorothy West finished her training at a Detroit hospital and was back in Traverse City. Albert Horujko was attending the Houghton School of Mines in Houghton, Michigan. Charles Bray was working in Muskegon. Madeline Dunlap was doing office work in Chicago. Hattie Duffing was working at the “Blodgett Home for Crippled Children” in Grand Rapids. Stanley Bayak was managing a Mobil gas station in Baldwin. Helen Bradford was working at the Ford Garage and the Baldwin Theatre. Robert Camfield was driving a truck for the Camfield-Merrill Company and Romayne Gleason was working at the Lake County Road Commission.
The class of 1936 was represented in the news by the following graduates. Irene Bayak and Charles Moors were married in 1939. Louise Castle was taking nurses training at Hurley Hospital in Flint. Millard Johnson was managing a Camfield-Merrill Station in Decatur, Michigan. Lucille Johnson was teaching at Buick’s Corners near Scottville. Donald Hollister was in a CCC camp in the Upper Peninsula, but has returned home. Willis Merrill and his wife Alice Mitchell Merrill were managing a Camfield-Merrill station on M-37 north of Baldwin. Warren Smith, also a manager for Camfield-Merrill, was in Holland, Michigan. Ozie Bell was working in a Detroit drug store. Ruth Owens was going to school in Kentucky. James Plato was working in the Lake County Treasurer’s office. Robert DeLong was working in Weaver’s Market, and then as a towerman for the Forestry Department.
Nineteen graduates of 1937 were listed in the alumni news. Blanch Simmons was taking a post-graduate course at the high school. Donna Brail had a secretarial position at the State Prison office in Jackson. Beth Trucks was a sophomore at Albion College and had been initiated into the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority. Princess Lober was attending the University of Chicago. Ernest Smith was working in Kalamazoo. Martin (Bud) Castle was working at Mac’s Service Station. Earl Ellis worked all winter at the Pacific Hotel in Baldwin. Ronald Duffing was working for his father at the hardware store. Maxine Bradford Avery (Mrs. Ora Avery) became the mother of daughter Sally Lou. Dorothy Johnson was attending Central State Teacher’s College in Mt. Pleasant. Ruth Field was operating the Beauty Box. Virginia Camfield was taking nurses training at the Traverse City State Hospital. James Felt was working for the B.F. Goodrich Company in Cadillac. Elque Bell was doing office work in Chicago. James Curtis was at the CCC camp at Houghton Lake. Sara Jane Drilling was working in Dr. Stevens’ office. James Rouse was working as a guide for the Pere Marquette Camp. Bernard Bromley was working at Nolph’s Service Station. Laura Rice was working at a paper mill in Kalamazoo.
The class of 1938 was represented by six graduates. Paul Kirk was driving school bus #1 and taking a post graduate course. Luella Ives and Ruth Avery were working in the Superintendent’s office. Andrew Horujko was attending Houghton School of Mines at Houghton, Michigan. Virginia Bradford was working at the Colonial Café. David Kennedy was working at the Ford Garage. Harold Jones and Samuel Moore both held office positions at the Bitely CCC camp.
This is a veritable who’s who of Baldwin. It appears about one-third of the graduates during these years were employed and living in Lake County while the remainder had their sights on a life farther from home. As we conclude 2014 think back to earlier times, how these students graduated, became adults, and helped shape our community. Many of these families are still here today, carrying on the traditions of their ancestors making Lake County a better place to live.