Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Anticipating Events in the New Year

As 2015 draws to a close, Hudson is looking forward to the inauguration of its first elected woman mayor. A hundred years ago, as 1915 was drawing to a close, Hudson was looking forward to the dedication of a brand-new high school building, which, in spite of a major collapse during construction, was touted as "constructed and equipped according to the most modern ideas." Apparently the redesign after the collapse resulted in a better building. In announcing the dedication, the Hudson Evening Register reported: "So many excellent features have been added since it was originally planned that Hudson has a much better high school building than she realizes."

The article heralding the dedication appeared in the Evening Register for December 31, 1915, and was accompanied by photographs of the Hudson Board of Education and the faculty of Hudson High School. Because pictures in newspapers were rare a hundred years ago, and because these are particularly interesting, both are reproduced below.

Here are the names of the people in the picture, from left to right: (standing) S. Mitchell Rainey, William Kritzman, and Superintendent C. S. Williams, for whom the Charles Williams School, now the Second Ward Foundation, was named; (seated) Mrs. J. W. Gillette, John F. Brennen, and H. S. Rivenburgh.

The captions give not only the name of each member of the Hudson High School faculty but also the person's degree and the subject matter taught. That information is repeated here: (Row 1) Guy P. Davis, B. S., Principal; Mabel C. Dowsland, Expression; (Row 2) Margaret A. Tymeson, A. M., Physics and Algebra; Eleanore Bowman, Ph. B., Library, Assistant Teacher, and Orchestra; Bertha R. Collins, A. B., Chemistry and Biology; (Row 3) Margaret Stevens, A. M., German; Prof. Ernest T. Bond, Director of Vocal Music; Ruth S. Rafferty, A. B., English; (Row 4) Ethelwyn Wardles, Mathematics; Everett S. Hewes, Commercial Department; Alice Ruth Parker, A. M., Latin.


  1. "Expression." And that would be ... visual arts? (I see that music is covered, as is English.) Physics?

    1. I'm not sure about "Expression," but I took it to be elocution, public speaking, dramatic reading, that sort of thing--quite distinct from "English," which probably would have been English literature and/or grammar and composition. Note that the faculty member who taught "Expression" did not have a college degree.

  2. Curious, I poked around.

    Expression was Oratory and Physical Culture was a combination of strength building and health. Guess that is why Miss Bell taught gym and health at HHS. I believe she is still alive and 90+

    ​Directory of teachers in Hudson Public schools listing their education, subject taught and home address.​​

    Mabel C. Dowsland, Emerson College of Oratory. Expression and Physical Culture, 3 Willard Place. Several others also lived at 3 Willard Place.

    There were three women teachers, last name Wardle, living at 1 Warren St. Which was the location of Wardle's drug store.

    Some of high school teachers, in 1914, had bachelor's degrees and most of the rest had gone to Normal schools aka Teachers Colleges.