Densmore Rural High School
Densmore Rural High School

Densmore Rural High School Alumni, 1924 - 1965

Densmore Rural High School Teachers, 1923 - 1965

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Densmore Rural High School Alumni to Celebrate 75th Anniversary

Congratulations to the Densmore Rural High School Alumni.  Their organization is very active and vital after 75 years, even now 34 years since the closing of the Densmore school.  They meet every other year here in Logan on Memorial Day weekend at the St. John's Catholic Church hall to renew friendships and reminisce.  It takes dedication and teamwork to keep an organization like this going.  It makes one think that the official school cheer, adopted in 1927 when Helen Mullen and Sarah (Sullivan) Pearson were the cheerleaders is still the official motto of the Densmore Alumni Association: "Razzle, Dazzle, never Frazzle.  Not a thread, but wool.  All together, All together, that's the way we pull.  Densmore!  Densmore!"

Densmore High School had its start in a frame house, beginning the second semester of the 1922-23 school year.  There were 14 students enrolled.  The new school building was built and ready for use the 1923-24 school year.  This is the year that Densmore had its first graduate, Averill Loughry, thus the birth of the DRHS Alumni Assoc.  (Averill married Amon Smith and they were the parents of current Logan resident Alexine Paden.)

DRHS was only open 41 years, but in that time 267 young people graduated from this school and went on to make a difference, somewhere somehow.  The Alumni of Densmore Rural High School have a heritage and a vital alumni association to be proud of.

Logan Republican, May 27, 1999, p. 1

This Sunday in Logan
  Densmore H.S. alumni to hold 75th reunion
compiled by Rose (French) Gulick, D.R.H.S. Class of 1939

Densmore Rural High School Alumni, spouses and friends plan to meet Sunday, May 30, 1999 at the Catholic Parish Hall in Logan to celebrate the 75th year  since the first graduate, Averill Loughry Smith, received her diploma in 1924.

A social gathering will be held from 2 to 5 p.m.; tea and coffee will be served.  The social hours are open to the public, and family and friends are invited to attend.  The Logan Republican and Norton Daily Telegram newspapers will be at the hall at 5:15 p.m. for group or class pictures.

The following history of Densmore Rural High School was taken from the school paper "The Optimist" , with additions included from school annuals.

A high school education, prior to 1922, for the children of Densmore and vicinity was available only from some neighboring school.  This worked a hardship on the parents and a great many children did not get to attend.  For this reason, the people decided that they might as well have a school of their own.

A petition was circulated for the purpose of forming a district and an election was called.  The election was a success and the district organized, but there was considerable opposition and some people brought suit because of a flaw in the petition.

District boundaries were rearranged and another election called.  At the second election, the people voted for the high school, but the bond issue was defeated.  The school board, Fred Spatz, Cal Mullen and Denver Archer raised funds to build the school by issuing warrants.

All this took place during the year of 1922.  To be official, they found they must have school at least a part of that term.  So they rented a vacant house, hired two teachers, Mr. A.W. Jones and Miss Hindman, and they taught a semester of school.  Nineteen students were enrolled but there were no graduates that first year.

The new building was completed in time for school the next year.  The teachers were T.I. Gifford, principal and Miss Brawley, the assistant.  Thirty eight students were enrolled.  Averill Loughry was the only one in the graduating class of 1924.

Editor of the first issue of the school paper, "The Optimist," was Mrs. Nora Mullen.  Additional issues of the paper were distributed on the occasion of a Christmas program.  The name was chosen by the students from a list which Professor Glenn L. Archer submitted.  He said the name was chosen because students were all looking forward optimistically to the day when they could have a gym, modern plumbing, and commercial and vocational subjects.  The Christmas tree was decorated in part by copies of the "Optimist" tied to the tree directly beneath the candles.

In those days the boys played basketball out doors, and took baths in a community tub in the furnace room.  Those who hit the water first looked fairly presentable when they emerged from the tub.  But the boys like John Showers, who brought up the rear, came out looking as though they had been through the muddy river Jordan.

Many articles, written by students, appeared in their school paper with pleas for a gym.  The boys and girls of the high school were using the opera house at Edmond to practice basketball.  They also practiced at Almena when their gym was available.  Articles continued asking, "Do We Need A Gym at D.R.H.S.?", and "Why We Need A New Gymnasium".  Prof. Archer recalls that the school did get the new gym in 1932.  With the gym also came a stage, so the need for curtains was discussed, but no funds were available.  A.K. Thompson, a board member, canvassed the businesses in Densmore and surrounding towns and was almost entirely responsible for the stage scenery and equipment.  He individually sold $1,000 worth of ads with which the stage scenery, canvas drop, and curtains were purchased.  The canvas drop is now hanging in Carol's Creations, located on West Main Street In Logan.

In 1932 and '33, Mr. Ed Mullen, a tower of strength in sponsoring athletics, produced from twenty boys the greatest football team that the Solomon Valley had ever known.  On this team were Stanley Bell, Loren Hewett, Victor Webster, Leonard Thompson, Ralph Thompson, Lester French, Homer Bernard, Howard Bell, Marshall Isaacson, Ivan Ruth, Roscoe Turner, Howard Leighty, Vivian Bell, Wayne Bernard, Chester French, Carl Boys, Jake Sonntag, Charles Bruinekool, Robert French and Francis Hewett.  Some scores Glenn Archer recalled were ...

Helen Mullen and Sarah Sullivan were cheerleaders.  The school adopted the following yell in 1927 as their official cheer:  "Razzle, Dazzle, never a Frazzle, Not a thread but wool.  All together, All together, That's the way we pull.  Densmore! Densmore!"  The mascot was the bulldog; colors red and white were chosen.

The first P.T.A. meeting was held in 1929 or 1930.  Nora Mullen and Mrs. George Stepper were two of the first to serve as president.  Continuing very active all through the years, a P.T.A. reception was held the last year of high school in Densmore.  Leland Archer was Master of Ceremonies.

The first annual "Densmoreland" was published in 1947.  All the pictures were taken and developed by the students.  The last annual was published in 1965.  The mascot was changed to Warriors.  The first school song, "Hail Densmore", and the music was written by Maxie Klagg, a teacher, 1930-32.  In later years, the pep song was "Hep, Hep, Hep."

The "Little Six League", consisting of high schools in Webster, Bogue, Clayton, Edmond, Prairie View and Densmore, was organized in 1948.  Harold Sutley and Alvin Gulick were responsible for organizing competition in music, one act plays, and sports among these schools.

As the years went by, more classes were offered, more teachers hired, more activities added, and the hot lunch program was started in the '40's.  The first cooks were Norma and Eleanor Methany and Averill Loughry Smith.  The community always showed an interest in school affairs, with their support, and above all a friendly attitude.  The school was always active in athletics, and considering the size of the student body, did very well. Students took part in debates and music contests, and no school year went by without at least one or two plays.

Enrollment began decreasing  in the sixties and it was evident the school would soon close.  An election was held in which patrons voted to unify with Logan and Prairie View high school.  In the fall of 1965, high school students were taken by bus to Logan.  The last graduating class members were:  Gloria Anderson, Edward Wilcox, Douglas Lambert, Robert Underwood, Mary Ellen Riemann, Carol Brooks and Victoria (Vickie) Bittel.

The Optimist school paper, January 19, 1928 states, "It is desired that all the members who have graduated from Densmore High School shall meet to organize an Alumni, Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.  COME!  ALUMNI!"  That meeting was called to order by Patsy O'Connor.  On a motion he was elected president; Averill Loughry, vice-president; Venus Wilcox, secretary; and Jennie Smith Archer, treasurer.

The association gave a play, "All on Account of Polly", directed by Miss Elsie Patton and Miss Loene O'Connor.  Members of the alumni taking part were Christena and Clara Glennemeier, Venus Wilcox, Naomi Archer, Laverne French, Averill Loughry, John Archer, Erwin Stepper, Burton Bruinekool, Ed Mullen and Patsy O'Connor.  The first alumni banquet was held May 17, 1928.  At that meeting, it was decided to donate money from their play to the high school.  This was before the new auditorium was built, so the stage was no doubt in a classroom at that time.

The alumni reunion has always been very active, a time to meet, reminisce, tell pranks and jokes, and visit.  Since the closing of Densmore High School, the alumni meetings are held in Logan every two years, honoring all classes.  All deceased members are remembered by a moment of silence.  Also honored are the deceased members accountable who died prior to the previous meeting.  Alumni members are grateful to all officers who have served in the past.  Appreciation goes to Robert Underwood, president and Rita Hockman, secretary/treasurer, the present officers who have served diligently many years.

The building was closed, the halls are silent, but the many memories within will remain in the hearts of the alumni forever.

©March 2001  Ardie Grimes
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