Postcard from the Past - Commencement Exercises in 1910Written by Dick Perue
A historic graduation announcement proclaims, “The Class of 1910 of the Saratoga High School requests your presence at the Commencement Exercises to be held at Jensen Hall Thursday evening, May 19 at eight o’clock.”
The gold embossed card continued, “Baccalaureate Sermon at Presbyterian Church, Sunday evening May 15 at eight o’clock.”
Class motto of the nine graduates was “To him that o’re cometh, God giveth a crown.”
The printed four-page program was neatly tied to the cover with a blue and gold cord, representing the class colors of “blue and old gold.”
Listed in the program was the invocation, renditions of “Ehren on the Rhine” and “Twilight” by a trio, Salutatory and Valedictory addresses, presentation of “Just a Bit of Cloth, but It’s Red, White and Blue” by the school choir, two orations “Launching Our Ships” and “Kipling,” piano solo, a contralto solo entitled, “Roses,” the address entitled, “How Shall We Educate Our Boys and Girls?”, class prophecy and presentation of diplomas.
1910 Class Prophecy
With clean, crisp, precise, flowing penmanship taught in schools at that time, Anna D., in part, penned:
When I found that I was selected as the prophet, I was overcome with many conflicting emotions, to think that by some means, I must find out the future of the members of our class.
However, I sat my brain to working in various directions. I first hunted up all the dreams and omen books, but they contained nothing satisfactory. Next I tried the art of chiromancy, endeavoring to read their hands; I tried podomancy, seeking to read their fates in their feet; I tried the art of austromancy, listening to the whispering winds; I tried the art of astrology, gazing up at the winking stars. Indeed I tried all the arts known to man but all to no avail.
One night during my slumbers “Old Father Time” appeared to me and told me he would let me step ahead with him a goodly number of years. Then he suddenly disappeared and I found myself a worn out old maid school ma’am seeking another position . . . as a traveling saleswomen for a large manufacturing company, selling facial cosmetics, false hair, fancy toilet soaps and perfumery.
Fifteen years in the future Anna D. discovered the following about her classmates:
– Florence had not married and operates an “Old Maids Matrimonial Club” in a small town in Kansas.
– Anna H. is married and lives in Lincoln, Neb. in a pretty cottage with a beautiful lawn and garden and wants for nothing. She has twin boys.
– Corinne resides in Tyndale, S.D. She played and sang for the illustrated songs in a 10 cent picture show. She had taught school for a number of years but had taken up that work out of love for travel.
– Alma is Head Matron of an Orphan Asylum in Anaconda, Minn. She had some child named after each one of her old school friends. Alma was also very fond of historical names. There was Napoleon, Nero, Portia, Cleopatra, Charlemagne, Caesar, Victoria and many other such names among them. She had attended College at Dennison, Iowa and had then taken up her life work of helping the poor.
– Manford wanted to become a prize fighter but had decided to become a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Bayhorse, Idaho.
– Chas. is principal and Latin teacher at a large school in Walcott. He is single and said that he had been so taken up with his Latin that he had no time to think of matrimony.
– Ruth was found to be an artist. She had always liked drawing but had hardly expected to find her such a prominent women. Her three most important pictures hang in the art museum at Boston, Mass.
– Nora, while attending college in Denver, fell in love with and married a widower with seven children and still resides in Denver. Her husband is 65 years old, sits by the stove smoking and suffers from Rheumatism.
Concluding the eight-page handwritten prophecy Anna wrote, “Just then I awoke and found myself in dear old Saratoga and still a school girl.”