Tuesday, March 13, 2018

High School Class of 1898

My great aunt Margaret Appleton Nichols (1878-1968) was a member of the Holton High School Class of 1898.

Among family papers inherited from the estate of her father (my great-grandfather) Andrew Nichols of Danvers,  I have found a box of photographs of her classmates – 33 photographic portraits by A. O. Elwell of Danvers.

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Her photograph was not in that box. In another file I found two copies of her photograph, also by A. O. Elwell, in the same style, but now in very poor condition.  One is torn, the other marred by foxing.

I wrote to Mr. Richard Trask, Danvers Archival Center, to ask if the Archive already contains copies of these graduation photographs. He replied that the Archive has such photographs, but only seven for the Class of 1898. Fortunately one of those, in excellent condition, is of Margaret Nichols. He scanned that image for me and I am posting it here:

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I am thankful to have this much clearer image of my great aunt Margaret.  I remember her well, though only when she was much older.  It is fun to catch a glimpse of her younger self.

I imagine that she is the one who wrote notes on the back of some of the photographs, adding information about college attended, or a married name, or other new information about her classmate.

Here is one example:

D. F. Lyons,
D.H.S '98

Dartmouth '02

Most of the students are identifiable by the names handwritten (signed?) on the back. As I compare the various cards, I see that the handwritings vary, and do look like signatures written in ink.

The supplementary notes are all in pencil, in a consistent hand (probably by Margaret).

It is my intention to donate the box of 33 photographs to the Danvers Archival Center, to join the seven there. Hopefully that will make a complete set, or close to it.

Only one card lacks identification. I'll post her photo below. Perhaps someone who views this blog will be able to recognize this student and provide her name.
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Mr. Trask reports that 41 students graduated in 1898, according to the annual report shown here. And now we can see a list of all the names, and the courses of study they completed. Thank you Mr. Trask!

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