Paw Paw
High School

Photo from Karen Holt

Paw Paw High School Class of 1902
Back Row: Ralph C. Mann - Donald M. Swarthout - James W. Wheeler
Front Row: Frances Dalton and Eunice Fisher
Eunice Fisher graduated with honors and went on to Madison Universitiy. She was qualified to teach high school but chose to teach country school so she could be near her widowed mother. She was the daughter of Jacob and Elma (or Alma) J. White Fisher.)

Contributed by Marilyn Widler

Last week was one of great activity in school circles here in Paw Paw. The fore part of the week, up to Thursday, was devoted to examinations, and afterwards, during the evenings and afternoons, everybody connected with the schools was strictly busy. On Thursday evening, a Commencement Recital was given complimentary to the Class of '02, which consisted of twelve numbers, music, instrumental and vocal, and readings. Thursday afternoon was devoted to the field day sports the result of which is given in another place.

Friday afternoon, the children of the lower grades gave an exhibition consisting of drills, music and readings. On Friday evening the commencement proper took place and it included seven numbers. One of these was the address to have been given by Dr. Cook, of the Northern Illinois State Normal of DeKalb. Owing to death in his family he was unable to fill his appointment, and sent in his stead, Rev. Morris, of the First Baptist church of DeKalb. While Dr. Cook is considered a man of great attainments as a public speaker, the audience which listened to the Rev. Morris felt that they had lost nothing in the change, for his address was spoken of by many as one of the most substantial talks ever given in the town.

A very pleasant event happened during the evening, which had not been inserted in the program. At a convenient time, Mr. C. F. Preston was given the attention of the audience and he made a short talk on the pleasures the patrons of the school derived from the knowledge that we have such a superior school and wound up with stating that much of the credit for the superiority was due to the services of Mr. Frederick Deibler, who had been for the past two years principal and assistant to Mr. Kleinsmid. It was felt that though these services had been paid for, that a small testimonial of appreciation would not be out of place, and Mr. Preston ended by presenting Mr. Deibler with a purse of fifty dollars which was to remind him of his many Paw Paw friends. Mr. Deibler was unprepared for any such demonstration, but responded in a way that showed his appreciation of the good will. In connection with this little matter it might be well to record that no testimonial of like nature ever met with the same popularity which this one did. Mr. Deibler has been with the school for two years, as above mentioned, and during that time we have failed to find a person who could find any fault with his conduct or character. His example has been most excellent and the improvement in conduct of the scholars has been marked during the last three years. Not all of the credit however, for this very gratifying condition must be given to him but his influence has been felt.

The Third Public Recital on Saturday evening concluded the week's work and this consisted of ten numbers.

Those who attended these events went away from the church and wondered how it was possible for the young men and women and the children to attain so much perfection in music and readings. It was especially noticeable in the work of the little children in the exhibition of Friday afternoon that they had at so young ages received so much knowledge in music. The High School Chorus, the Semi-Chorus and the Vireo Quartette are all examples of what can be accomplished in the way of vocal improvement and concert singing. Any one of these taken as a body is of great excellence. Besides the choruses, there have been some very superior individual voices developed.

When one attends these recitals and enjoys the pleasures of them there is much to reflect. Everything passes off so smoothly and with such systematic precision, it seemed the participants were doing their parts without any special efforts. But there is where one may be mistaken. There was labor without end, and drills, keeping everlasting at it, as the saying goes. Let some person undertake to organize such work and then he would find what it means.

The taxpayers of district No. 149 have been paying for a good school of late, and they have not been buying gold bricks. It is certainly gratifying to those who are interested to the right principle in our schools to have these things so evident. Mr. Kleinsmid has worked incessantly since he has been in our town for the betterment of the schools and now has things in such shape that his work can be somewhat lessened. It is one matter of congratulation to the patrons of this school that the movement started by one or two jealous persons here in town this spring to tear down the present efficiency failed signally.

Below is given the entire program as rendered during the several evenings.

The commencement on Friday evening was a change from what had been followed out heretofore, and the members of the class were present while the address was given. The friends remembered them very kindly and the rostrum of the church was scarcely large enough to hold all the offerings of presents which they received. This year's class was not very large, but on the whole, it was one of the best which has graduated from the school. Mr. Don Swarthout, who is numbered among them, will leave for Europe early in July to pursue the study of music. James Wheeler, who has been an efficient and obliging assistant to the postmaster, will remain here until fall. As regards the plans of the other members of the class, we are in the dark, but presume that they will not be satisfied with the high school graduation.

Additional article on the class of '02

The class of '02 issued their invitations to their personal friends and relatives last week. This is the tenth commencement of the Paw Paw High School and the exercises this year extend practically over the whole week. This year's class consists of five members: Misses Frances A. Dalton and Eunice Fisher, and Messrs. James W. Wheeler, Donald Swarthout and Ralph C. Mann. Though the program had been arranged to have commenced on last Saturday afternoon by the field day, this had to be postponed on account of rain, and then the program read as follows:

June 8, 6 p.m., Baccalaureate Sermon.
June 9 to 11, Term Examinations.
June 12, Field Day, Recital 8 p.m.
June 13, 3 p.m. Department Exhibition.
June 13, 8 p.m. Address to Graduating Class.
June 14, 8 p.m. Recital.

The recitals and address all take place in the new Presbyterian church, which was tendered for the accommodation and convenience of the different events.


Class of 1922 - 20th Reunion 1944
Dixon Evening Telegraph 09 August 1944

A class reunion with members of the 1922 graduating class of the Paw Paw Community High School was held Thursday afternoon at the village park. It was an ideal day for the event and a large number of the class members were able to be on hand. The afternoon was spent in visiting and the many fond and happy accidents of their high school days were once again relived. As the group discussed their lives since that always to be remembered graduation night, it was interesting to note of the many changes of each member of the class. Each member is a little bit older and a little bit wiser than that night when they graduated but if they had to do over again that they would no doubt do just as they have done throughout these many years.

The class history of 1922, written by Mrs. R.S. Tarr and Mrs. Harry Politsch was read by Mrs. Agnes Risetter during the afternoon. This did indeed bring back the fond memories of those happy carefree days when they were attending good old Paw Paw High School.

It was also decided to take the picture of those present so that each one may enjoy this day all over again at some future date, upon looking at this picture.

The girls then enjoyed a delicious lunch downtown at H.R. Towns restrauant where tables were reserved for them. Huge dishes of ice cream were placed before them and Mrs. Harry Politsch made a delicious devils food cake. Another class member Mrs. Wayne Rosencrans made an angel food cake, beautifully decorated with pink flowers places artistically around it and she wrote the name of every class member on top of the cake with pink frosting. It was indeed beautifully and expertly done.

Following the luncheon the girls each wrote a short greeting to Mrs. Elinore Merriman, a member of the class who was unable to be present because of being in distant Denver, Colo.

Yes it was anjoyable afternoon and everyone enjoyed getting together again after so many years. The good wishes of each was extended to each other and those able to be present were: Mrs. Vernon Kent of Maywood; Mrs. Agnes Risitter and Mrs. Alice Reese of Scarboro; Mrs. R.S. Tarr, Mrs. August Schlesinger, Mrs. Harry Politsch and Mrs. Wayne Rosenkrans of Paw Paw. Those members of the class who were unable to attend but were remembered by all were; Mrs. Lyle Pettinger of Hinckley; Mrs. Irvin Knauer of West Brooklyn; Mrs Albert Herrick, Mrs. Ralph Yennerich, and Mrs. Jean Baker of Rollo; Mrs. Elinore Merriman of Denver, Colo. and Mrs. Marie Gallagher of Paw Paw.

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