Harvard Park Memories


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Principal

Tom: The principal was Mr. J.C. Gannon.

Jo Ann: Mr. Cannon (or is it Gannon) was our principal. I also had the pleasure of having him as an instructor of mine at Springfield Junior College.

Teachers

Tom: Some of my favorite teachers: Miss Rice, Miss Annie Laurie Webster, Mr. James Coleman, Mr. H. O. Croft (later went to SHS to teach of course, and was also our basketball coach at HPS), Mrs. Young, and Mrs. Strubenger.

Lee: Okay folks, teachers, almost: 1st Miss Kirk, 2nd M(iss) Studebaker, 3rd Miss Dorothy Rice, 4th - 5th Mr. ?????, 6th Miss Rupelt (sp?), 7th M(iss) Young, 8th Miss Grisham, Art Miss Teagle, Music Miss King (I think she appeared near the end of our 8), Home Ec ?, Shop Mr.?, Principal Mr. ?, Kindergarden ?, I recall a Miss Webster (do not know which grade) who misspelled my last name (and it never got changed) on my graduation diploma.

Tom: The principal was Mr. J.C. Gannon, and I think that the only male teachers we had were Mr. Croft and Mr. Coleman (at least mine were).

Lee: When I became a teacher, I often thought back to teachers who "made that difference" in me. At Harvard Miss Grisham wins! Next I recall Miss Rupelt as being a very special lady. I recall making a monastery in her class. And making a poster of news articles of Queen Elizabeth's becoming monarch for Miss Young. Gosh the memories are starting. (At SHS, the lady who made the most difference was Lois Body. I thought at the time English couldn't be harder, but I eventually became one of "those teachers" and Miss Body was right behind me. The only two teachers I ever personally thanked after leaving high school were both Miss Grisham and Miss Body.)

Tom: Just got this feedback from little brother...one Kindergarten teacher was Miss Pierce. He says: "I am pretty sure Croft and Gannon have both passed away. I know I saw the obit for H.O. a few years ago .As far as I know, Anne Laurie Webster is still alive. She was at a reunion a few years ago that a friend of mine went to." [Editor: Miss Webster died on Dec 8, 2003. Here is the text and a copy of her obituary.]

Jo Ann: I remember Miss Kirk was my first grade teacher. Miss Webster was my 4th grade teacher and I remember her reading us the Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House on the Prairie " books. Mr. Cannon (or is it Gannon) was our principal. I also had the pleasure of having him as an instructor of mine at Springfield Junior College.

Debbie: Here's my version of the teachers at Harvard Park. 1st Miss Kirk. 2nd Miss Barton. 3rd Miss Rice. 4th Annie Laura Webster [love the name!]. 5th Miss Studebaker. 6th Mr. Lackey. 7th Miss Hopwood. 8th Miss Grisham. The principal was Mr. Gannon. My brother [Norman Baker] says the shop teacher was Mr. Stats. My sister had a teacher named Miss Streubringer (sp?) for 1st or 2nd grade.

Sylvia: It's been so much fun to share the emails and jog the memories of grade school. For Harvard Park, I don't recall Mr. Croft being principal while we were there--I remember having him for math in 8th grade. Mr. Gannon was the only principal during our years to my best memory. I don't think anyone has mentioned Mr. Blair yet --think I had him for 3rd and 4th, or 4th and 5th. Also have Miss Rupelt and Miss Neubar been mentioned? These are the only new ones I can think of at the moment.

Janet: Wow!! Where to begin?? We've been camping since all your wonderful e-mails started flowing--I'm looking at our 8th Grade graduation picture with teachers' autographs, notes, etc.--so, here goes! Tom & Lee, thanks for your confidence! Remember--I was only there for 6th, 7th & 8th grades!!! Mr. J. C. Gannon was our principal, Mr. Lackey (6th grade), Miss L. Ruppelt, 6th (yes, the Medieval Years came alive in her class), Mr. Croft was 8th grade math & coach and followed us to SHS, Miss Clara Tuegel--wonderful art teacher--I "did" trays & lap boards, Mrs. Frances Spaulding, music--remember how she smacked misbehaving kids' palms with a ruler?--Miss Margaret King followed her--Sandy Castles, Donna Cass & I, trio--"Blue Skies" was our signature song--7th, Miss Beatrice Hopwood, Louisa Grisham--she, indeed, was a super English teacher--"Hiawatha" and what penmanship--I thought she and Miss Webster (5th) had to be related to the Palmers! And dear Mrs. Ann Heiden, our Home Ec teacher--I still have the lefthanded scissors she ordered for me--her boys attended SHS, lived, I believe, on Dial and Mr. Heiden taught at Feitshans. Would you believe I ran into Mr. James Ronald Coleman here in Pekin at a quick oil place?--He lives in Morton. (Must try & get in touch with him to let him know how well his old Civics kids are, etc.) Mr. Robert W. Trail signed my pic, but I can't recall what he taught--can sorta visualize him as I do the Shop teacher---short, had dark hair, a limp of some kind--Mr. Stout, Stagg?????? something like that.

Judy: I remember that one of my favorite teachers was Miss Flock, a sweet and pretty woman who made learning so much fun for us in the 5th grade. I didn't see her name on the list, but she may have married, changed her name and continued teaching. Another favorite teacher and one who influenced my decision to become an English teacher was Miss Grecism. I remember diagramming sentences on those little slips of paper.

Tom: I just got back home from spending New Years in (not too warm) FL with my son and had a wonderful warm note awaiting me from my favorite grade school teacher, Miss Annie Laura Webster. What a nice surprise that she was able to respond to my Christmas card and note. Janet (Moody) Seiler had given me a heads up that Miss Webster had moved into the Presbyterian Home in Spfld., so I had sent her note there. She replied to my questions about some of our missing (and uncertain) names of HPS teachers on our HPS web page, and actually sent me back the page which I had printed off and sent her in Thanksgiving note, and filled in some of our blanks and corrected some too. Sadly, her always beautiful handwriting is now obviously somewhat shaky, but it is still beautiful and crisp. I hope that she is still living at our next reunion so that we can invite her to come and join us!! BTW, in case any of you are interested in sending her a note, her address is: Illinois Presbyterian Home 2005 W. Lawrence Ave. Springfield, IL. 62704

Mike: As to teachers, I had men grades 4, 5 and 6, but am not sure if it was Blair-Blair-Lackey or Blair-Lackey-Lackey. I remember Blair coming to our house to sell World Book encyclopedia, and I remember a group of us going to Lackey's wedding in, I think, Bloomington. And we had an old man (probably much younger than we are now) for shop. Mr. McCall?

Dan:1st Grade: Miss Genewitch: (First year teacher, very young, quite petite and beautiful, long black kinky hair. All the boys including me would have gladly died to please her. Understandably, she had no discipline problems). 3rd grade, maybe Miss Gillon? I know - it rhymes with Dillon, but that's the way I remember it.4th grade: Miss Dillon (not popular but a strong disciplinarian).

Stars

Tom: Some of the young stars at HPS: Doug Proctor and Bob Volk (went on to FHS) in basketball, Mark Evans in baseball, and of course Janet Beardsley as cheerleader.

Dan: Mr. Lackey had a tumbling class and one boy was clearly the star, but can't think of his name. Maybe Scott? They put on a show in the auditorium. Does anyone recall?

Kindergarten

Janet: Remember the little building south of the school that housed the kindergartens?

Sylvia: There would be a lot of excitement the first day of school, getting there and looking at the class lists posted on the door to see who would be your new teacher.

Debbie: I went to kindergarten and part of first grade in Melrose Park, IL. The kindergarten teacher was named Miss Rattenberry. Over the Christmas break, a mouse ate a cloth ball that was stored in the closet of the kindergarten classroom. In the impeccable logic of a 6-year-old, I thought to myself, "Well, for goodness' sake, what do they expect to happen to things if the teacher is named Miss Rattenberry?"

3rd grade

Debbie: Miss Rice, the Harvard Parkers may remember, was only as tall as a third grader.

Harriett: Does anyone remember a 3rd (?) grade teacher called Miss Ripen at Harvard Park? She was not listed, but was one of my favorites...unless my memory has failed!

Dan: We had this darling girl named Janet Jones in our 3rd grade class. She was the smartest, the most popular, the prettiest (think Snow White), and the nicest! One morning she came to class with a nose bleed and walked in dripping big spots of blood on the wooden floor. Naturally I fainted. Does anyone else remember Janet Jones?

4th grade

Tom: I think that Miss Webster (4th grade) had to be my favorite teacher, and remember all of those neat field trips to Lincoln's Home, and tomb, New Salem, the State House, State Library and Museum?! Neat stuff!!!

Jo Ann: Miss Webster was my 4th grade teacher and I remember her reading us the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie books.

Judy: As I write this, I can picture Miss Webster sitting in front of our class with the lights turned low as she read to us from The Little House on the Prairie and The Bird's Christmas Carol. I think she lit a candle for atmosphere. Does anyone remember?

I always liked school, and my memories of Harvard Park are good ones, but my memories of fourth grade are especially strong. I still have the Illinois scrapbook I made, and every time I have moved, that book has gone with me. My own children, Julie and Mike, proudly took that scrapbook to school for show and tell. Now our grandchildren are enjoying it. They are delighted with the pictures I drew of the Indian and the cardinal. I don't think my talents in art increased after fourth grade. In fact, that Indian may be the best picture I ever drew.

Jane Lemme was in my class and the two of us loved to memorize passages from Abraham Lincoln's speeches. I see Jane, Gary Kerber, and Bob Shuster at our SHS class of 1957 reunions. I have also seen Dena Petrelli and Emma Jane Bressan in recent years.

I remember our class trips and how proud I was that my dad took time off from work to drive a carload of kids to New Salem. Both of my parents are still living on South Fifth Street.

One of my favorite memories is of reading those biographies of famous Americans that Miss Webster kept on a shelf by the windows. When we finished our work, she let us read those books. They had orange covers, and I think they had black silhouette figures on the outside. I especially remember reading about George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington. I have looked for those books for my grandchildren, but I'm not sure who the editor was. If anyone knows where to find these old books, please let me know.

[Editor: The orange-covered biographies are a series called Childhood of Famous Americans. You may buy copies of these books on line at the Associated Book Exchange.]

Dan: One sunny afternoon after 4th grade recess about five of us decided to find adventure in Bunn Park and got back to class over an hour late. Miss Dillon seemed very angry and lined us all up in front of class and paddled our palms one at a time. Each of us tried not to show any sign of pain. One name I remember for sure in that group was Bob Volk because it was all his idea. Guessing on the other names, they may have included Linxwiler, Mc Coy, Heitzman. Can anyone confirm these names?

Harriett: After receiving the notice of Miss Webster's death via Tom Downs, I emailed Tom, thanking him for the info, and to let him know that our feelings toward Miss Webster were mutual. He emailed me back saying that he had kept in touch by letter with Miss Webster, and her most recent handwriting was as beautiful as ever. I had forgotten that she had such a stylish and clear, precise handwriting, the best in Harvard Park's faculty, that even though she was a third/fourth grade teacher, she always wrote out the eighth grade graduation diplomas. I am telling you this, because it is interesting to my husband, Romolo, who attended a very small school in northern Italy. You have been a catalyst in my remembering incidents entertaining and informative to him about American customs.

5th grade

Janet: Would you believe I ran into Mr. James Ronald Coleman here in Pekin at a quick oil place?--He lives in Morton. (Must try & get in touch with him to let him know how well his old Civics kids are, etc.)

6th grade

Janet: Miss L. Ruppelt, 6th (yes, the Medieval Years came alive in her class).

7th grade

Debbie: I thought all the teachers at Harvard Park were really good except Miss Hopwood, who had long since ceased having any patience. I mercifully avoided most of her class by being skipped into 7th grade near the end of the year. Unfortunately, I also avoid geography, which I've never caught up on. My twin had previously skipped from 2nd into 3rd because he was so bored, which I thought was egregiously unfair since I thought I was smarter than he was and I never exhibit any signs of boredom no matter how stultifying something might be (probably the "good girl" syndrome).

Janet: 7th, Miss Beatrice Hopwood, Louisa Grisham--she, indeed, was a super English teacher; "Hiawatha" and what penmanship--I thought she and Miss Webster (5th) had to be related to the Palmers!

8th grade

Jo Ann: Eighth grade class was always a lot of fun with Roger Ryan and Margie Ellis being in the class. Remember every Thursday morning we would go to the gym for movies?

Tom: we also had the 8th grade shoulder ribbons that Butler mentioned, and ours were blue and yellow colors.

Janet: And what about being "Patrols?" Still bet I could roll my patrol belt the correct way!

Dan: People I remember but can't find [in the 8th grade picture]: Tom Parks, Alma Sprinkle, Bob Heitzman, Harold Carter, Sandra Salmenson, Pricilla Allworth, Mary Williams, Frank Marconi.We had a first year young female teacher for elective music (or whatever). She was lacking on class control skills, and many of the 8th grade boys (not me) took advantage of her by having rubber band shooting wars in her class. She would say "Now you boys put those rubbers away". Poor thing! You can imagine the snickers she got, but she could never figure out why.

Art

Sylvia: It, would be remiss to not mention art class with Miss Teagle and the fun of making paper mache items and in due time tearing a paper towel into little pieces and pasting them on the animal or whatever we were making.

Tom: Sylvia's mention of the paper mache dolls that we made in Miss Teagle's Art class brings back fond memories...as I recall, we made paper mache heads and feet on wooden stick dolls, and then painted and decorated them to our own creations, and clothed them.

Janet: Miss Clara Tuegel--wonderful art teacher--I "did" trays & lap boards.

Music

Sylvia: For music we got to go to another room, in practice for moving all day at high school, and I can recall listening to records of the classics and trying to remember who wrote which one for the discussions and pop quizzes--also trying to learn whole, half, quarter notes and other music theory.

Janet: Mrs. Frances Spaulding, music--remember how she smacked misbehaving kids' palms with a ruler?--Miss Margaret King followed her--Sandy Castles, Donna Cass & I, trio--"Blue Skies" was our signature song.

Mike: There was an ill tempered male music teacher one year. He got in trouble more than once for getting too physical with kids. I challenged my final grade, we had words and he chased me down three flights of stairs and out the door. Could that be the Mr. Trail Janet can't place?

Home Ec

Jo Ann: The Harvard Park Home Ec teacher was Mrs. Heiden.

Sylvia: I remember having sewing and foods, in 7th and 8th respectively. Does anyone remember my powder blue skirt and weskit, we called them then, that I made in 8th grade and wore so proudly along with my blue and gold ribbon --that and having nylons and heels --boy, did I think I had the world by the tail!!! Foods class was fun, but eating what we made wasn't always fun when it was something you didn't like, like the oatmeal day--don't remember any more whether I had to eat it or not. Funny thing is that now I like oatmeal--go figure!!!!!

Janet: And dear Mrs. Ann Heiden, our Home Ec teacher--I still have the lefthanded scissors she ordered for me--her boys attended SHS, lived, I believe, on Dial and Mr. Heiden taught at Feitshans.

Shop

Tom: I also remember making a wooden cutting board for my Mom in shop class, but do not recall the shop teacher's name. I still have that cutting board today.

Janet: Mr. Robert W. Trail signed my pic, but I can't recall what he taught--can sorta visualize him as I do the Shop teacher---short, had dark hair, a limp of some kind--Mr. Stout, Stagg?????? something like that.

Mike: The first project was gathering felt hats, cutting them in strips, and gluing felt on one side and sandpaper on the other side of tongue depressors. The result was used to sharpen our drawing pencils so the lines would be fine and the arrowheads sharp. Since candy was not allowed, we would pick up dill pickles at Hemps for break time in McCall's class.

PE

Tom: I just thought of who I think it was that Mr. HO Croft married, who was also a teacher at HPS.... wasn't it Miss Bane? But she is not listed among our teachers that we have put together in our listing?? Seems that I recall that she was like a 3rd grade teacher perhaps? ...or was she a SHS teacher he married before he left HPS to go to SHS?

Trips

Tom: I think that I remember my Mom making some cowboy outfit for me to model mine after Roy Rogers. After all, we as a class had gone down to the ILL. State Armory to see Roy Rogers, and also Gene Autry perform (as well as the big circus), and a boys idol was those cowboys who we saw in the movies!! ;-) I also remember some classmate (blank on name) who's Dad was a car dealer, and we rode down to the Armory on one of those field trips in big Hudsons, like we were really riding in high cotton!!

Hangouts

Tom: I can fondly recall our big hang out was an old small neighborhood grocery store on the corner of 10th and Isles called "Kemps" (I believe?), and it was just down the street from Janet Beardsley's house, where we would all stop and buy our candy and gum supply, which we would then in turn get into trouble for having it in class.

Janet: The name of the grocery store was Hemp's not K--think it's a plumbing store now.

Tom: Thanks for correcting me on the little store, called "Hemps". I remember stopping there to get some goodies to take to shop classes.

Lee: How about John's between 8th (my street 2322 S 8th) and 9th street? Wasn't that a candy store? Wild!

Sylvia: I, too, remember stopping at John's and getting a popcycle--for a whole nickel, I think.

Mike: Remember the retired cop crossing guard at 6th Street and the year end picnics at his home on or near Lake Spfld? And the motorcycle cops?

Dances

Tom: Our big hangout spot for dances, Boy Scouts, and parties (6th - 8th) was the Harvard Park Dad's Club building, across 11th street, in the corner of Bunn Park. Homier's Dairy was the place for the greatest milk shakes (down the street from Allis Chalmers).

Sylvia: Also going over to the Dad's club after graduation and having a dance--one of the few times I ever attempted to dance, but did get to try to with my father.

Plays

Tom: Of course there were always the big fund raisers each year called the "Harvard Park Minstrel Show", which was a big variety show and also included black faced "end men", until that became politically incorrect.

Jo Ann: My Mom and Dad, Florin and Vivian Barton were involved in the Minstrel Show. Dad was Mr. Interlocutor and Mother would be in the chorus on stage. It was always a fun show to attend.

Lee: Dad"s Club. My dad Charlie Lochbaum was president of it it seemed forever. Also the minstrel shows: Dad was in that, selling publicity for the program as well as being the big fat guy in drag for She's Too Fat for Me. Recall vividly the year it went white faced. Many meetings were in my living room prior to that decision.

Janet: The Dad's Club---Thursday night movies!!! The Minstrel Shows that Lee recalled, were the best--and the revenue was used all for kids!

Tom: I remember well that your Dad (Charlie) was in the Minstrel shows, what great memories. How about the "Gruesome Foursome" (not sure of the spelling) ladies who dressed up in the old time outfits and sang and told jokes? A couple of those ladies were friends of my Mom's, and I still stay in touch with one of them, who is still living in Spfld. area on X-Mas card notes.

Sports

Tom: The Cy Young Little League was held in Bunn Park across the street from HPS (back in back of park by the old Lake Club), and many future high school stars played ball there.

Tom: Hey what about the yo-yos? Remember that the Philippine guys would carve the neat carvings and teach us all of the neat tricks and have those contests? I don't think that I ever mastered much more than walk the dog, around the world, and rock the baby in cradle!! But sure was fun!!!

Classmates

Tom: The kids who went to Harvard Park were split up in high school by the different school boundaries, and I believe that about 2/3 of us went on to SHS, and 1/3 went to FHS. Some of the other HPS kids from our SHS class of '58 who might have some inputs for you besides Janet Beardsley (that I recall being at reunions and in the booklet), might be: John Stuckey, Joe Ebers, Dale Jeffers, Sylvia Sharp, Debbie Baker, Sandy Castles, Carol Cribb, Marilyn and Mark Evans, Barbara Gregg, Leon Lochbaum, Janet Moody, Dale Oehler, John Linxwiler, and Doug Proctor. Other SHS classes from Harvard Park also include: Bob Aiken, Judy and Jo Ann Barton, who all look in on your wonderful work at the SHS web site.

Jo Ann: The 2500 block 5th Street Harvard Parkers used to walk the 7 blocks to school together. Tom, Judy and Jo Ann Barton, Bob Aiken, Dick Garfat and Bev Bell. We walked to school each morning, home for lunch, back to school and finally home again.

Janet: A few more names: Sharon Tietz Paine, Judy Walsh, Harriet Smith, Judy Guy, Carol Zoutte, Sharon Fathauer Volk--she & Bob are in Bloomington along with John Stuckey--will try & see if they know where the FHS gang are--Jack Matlock, Dale Jeffers, Dick Arnold, Floyd Crocker,--need to go to Springfield and do some brainstorming with Marilyn!! Enough, enough for one time!!!!

Lee: Last time I was at Harvard Park (10 years ago?), I was shocked to see the yard enclosed by high fence and having to get permission to "visit." Tough world.