Because  You Asked . . . .
Sunbury High 1884 Grad Recalls Comer Stone Ceremony
For Building of First Graded School in Sunbury

from "The Sunbury News", June 17, 1948

Editor's Note: Mrs. Minnie Williams of Sunbury, graduate in the class of 1884 from Sunbury High School, was honored as the oldest grad attending the recent alumni banquet. She was 'presented the oldest grad plaque and we bring you her response in the following:

I represent the class of 1884. When in school I remember a schoolmate saying, today is my mother's birthday and she is forty years old." I thought my, she can't live much longer at that age; but our viewpoint changes with the years. Now to me forty seems young! In the class of l884 there were ...four graduates. I am the only one left of that number. Our superintendent had a name unlike Smith, Jones or Williams- it was David DeMott Woodmansee, a lengthy name and he was 6 feet 2 inches in height. He was popular as a teacher and also popular with the girls. The boys for some reason didn't care for him. He was the second superintendent and taught three years.

Start of Sunbury Schools
I might tell you briefly of the start of the Sunbury schools. Before we had graded schools there was a. two-room school building across the street from here. This was for the youngsters and where I started. Down on the square in the brick building was a room for older pupils.

The first teacher I remember teaching older pupils was Mr. G. K. Sharpe. He came from Otterbein College and taught for a number of years. While he was teaching on the square this main school building was built. When the foundation was ready, corner stone ceremonies were held-this was something new for we youngsters and I remember it distinctly -a large crowd all standing through the ceremonies.

Corner Stone Ceremony

Mr. Sharpe gave the main address. The roll of papers with historical facts was tied with bright blue ribbon and placed in the corner stone. When this building was finished the pupils were all brought together, here and Mr. Sharpe organized the graded schools so he was the first superintendent of Sunbury schools.

He was popular as a teacher also impromptu speaker and singer and was in demand -a busy person but not too busy to fall in love with one of his pupils and so they were married. This pupil was my sister who is with me tonight.

First Mother-Son Grads

I have been living in California so many years that I have not kept in touch with the grads. I'm wondering if there are grads whose father or mother were also grads of Sunbury High? At the time my son graduated he was the only one I up until that time.

There is at least one alumnus, present who graduated while I was a member of the board of education.  The way I became a member was rather unusual; Mr. Williams' name was up for member when someone, put my name in without my knowledge. So imagine my surprise when I learned I was elected. So I beat my husband and was the first woman to be a member of the board.

. . . .And Now You Know
by Polly Horn


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