After completing the first six years at the red brick Graham Annex building, I attended the next two years in Junior High School on the top floor of the yellow brick Graham High School. This was the second high school built at this location on Perkins Street as the first had been destroyed by fire. While it was being replaced classes were held in local facilities that had room for numbers of students.

When our sixth grade class moved to the Graham High School, so did the Belle Gregg, Havens and Washington sixth graders, forming a much larger total class destined to graduate from high school in 1935.

I did not have nearly as many steps to climb and most of us were seated permanently in the large upstairs auditorium. I understand that this was the room where basketball games were played before the proper basketball area had been built in the Graham Annex.

Our principal was Earl Chamberlain who had a small office located above the north stairway. M. Chamberlain became mayor of Rushville sometime after his retirement from the school. He also had a daughter Winona who was in our class. We were assigned to classes in other upstairs rooms and moved from room to room for them.

Margaret Morton (whom we secretly called Maggie) had our Math classes, Mary Alice Parish taught English classes girls were required to take home economic classes of food preparation and sewing. Mildred Landis and Irene Beatty were our Home Ec teachers and I’m not sure which one was our cooking teacher. At this time there was no lunch time program and I think the kitchen area was in the basement. Here we worked in groups of four and learned some basic food preparation processes as well as planning proper nutrition. In our sewing we were required to make two articles of clothing. I’m not sure what training the boys had. It probably was a nuts and bolts building class of some sort. We had regular art courses under the direction of Henrietta Coleman who kept her hair a flaming red.

As we moved into high school we met a different group of teachers. Arie (Pop) Taylor was the Grand Old Man of the faculty. He taught the higher math classes and repeated succinct metaphors that broadened our view on life. The one all of us remembered was, “The time that was about to arrive, has arriven!” Many times this meant a test was coming. When he reached the age of 70, I was assigned to write an article about him for the Rushlite and remember well drooling over the septuagenarian state to which he had arrived! These were depression days and the WPA organized by President Roosevelt sent artists to schools to paint portraits. Pop’s picture was painted and hung in the high school for many years. It now is in the Rush County Museum across the street from the building where it originally hung.

Pop also had musical talent and it is said that one time he led a band to cheer for Rushville at a game being played with arch rivals Connersville. In a fracas that ensued, the entire band was remanded to the Connersville jail, which gave them the name of the Jailbird Band! Pop was a remarkable teacher and had held several public offices before he came to teach at Rushville High School.

Bob Hinshaw came to RHS in the early ‘30s and coached all sports for 20 years. He was of Quaker descent (although the Shaws attended St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Rushville) and he inspired many of his “boys” to complete their high school education. He coached football, basketball, baseball and track, assisted by Omer Warneke. They worked together for all sports and their years of service resulted in several appearances at the “Sweet 16” at Butler Fieldhouse. When the football field was remade several years ago his daughter Helen Ann Hinshaw Johnson, a 1948 RHS graduate, was present for the dedication of Hinshaw Field. Omer Warneke, assistant coach, married Janet Dean, a 1920 RHS graduate and was a highly respected member of Main Street Christian Church.

Donald Myers came to the Music Department of Rushville Schools after playing with an orchestra which featured Hoagie Carmichael and his immortal tune “Stardust.” Mr. Myers soon put into action an elective program of music appreciation for any interested student. I did not play any musical instrument, but I had a “good ear” and was frequently asked to cite the persons who were off key in the chorus. To get me in the band he taught me to play a bass fiddle when the band marched I was a designated female drum major behind Knute Green and keeping up the rhythm. In this capacity I got to go to band contests when we entered. I remember particularly a weekend when we went to Evansville for a weekend. I also remember that my mother was active in securing uniforms for us even as current parents are raising money to replace their worn out uniforms! Don married Mildred Landis, my Home Ec teacher.

Mr. Myers was still teaching at RHS when my children entered high school and two of them participated in his very popular Twelve Girls program. They received invitations to sing all over the state. In later years when Don was in the nursing home I used to visit him in spite of his protests and remind him of his brighter past at RHS.

In high school days in the 1920s I had three memorable English teachers in Maude Jones, Margaret Ball and Florence Madden. Miss Jones, a Rush County native, had taught in the Philippines and came to teach at RHS. She had an attractive personality and I can still see her swinging a set of amber beads as she described her activities.

Margaret Ball had grown up in the directly across the street at 1033 North Morgan Street, but she was out of college by the time I was seven or so. She was teaching in Noblesville when her Molly Ball had a heart attack and died, leaving Margaret’s nine-year old brother Dick and father Merrill by themselves. Margaret returned home immediately to care for them and then started teaching at RHS. As an English teacher she had a knack of putting words together that meant exactly what she wanted them to say! And if in a written composition you misspelled a word your grade was automatically an F-C+!

Florence Madden roomed with Margaret, Merrill and Dick at the home on North Morgan Street and moved several times with the family until they bought a house together on East Tenth Street. Margaret Ball continued to teach until she had a stroke and died sometime later.

Florence Madden had her senior students write a biography concerning their family so that they would know some historical background about their roots. We had many histories of our family whose work easily could have been copied. But my oldest daughter Mary Carol decided she wanted to trace her father’s background, so we went to interview her grandfather Oster and his brother Ben to find out about Philip Oster who had migrated from German Alsace Lorraine when he was 16. (My current work on that family history is being written from clues left to us from Miss Madden’s English class!)

There were many other teachers who influenced my high school years. Helen Matlock taught me Latin for three years. Miss Jaehne had me one week in short-hand before I gave up and withdrew and lost all the Palmer Method writing lessons I had from Mrs. Ray in grade school.

I have saved the last really influential high school teacher until the last – Miss Madeline Gullion. Miss Gullion had been at RHS long before I arrived. A Math teacher, she had coached the first girls RHS basketball team as early as 1911! She coached the team in spite of the fact that she had a decided limp, probably caused by an early experience with polio. I believe she continued to improve her education while teaching at RHS and when I was a freshman I had the privilege of being a reporter on the Rushlite, a biweekly newspaper for RHS. Miss Gullion chose the subjects to be covered, assigned them to the reporters and then corrected them before they were taken to the office of the Rushville Republican to be printed. I first was assigned to a humor column and eventually in my junior year to be assistant editor. In this capacity I got to go to the Republican office. I learned from their staff the basic mechanics of how to get the Rushlite into printed form. Their staff was very helpful. At that time they were doing most of the town’s printing, including the telephone directory.

Every year there was a meeting at Franklin College where high school students had their newspapers graded and the Rushlite did well. At the end of the year the junior and senior editors both received bound copies of the Rushlite.

Following graduation I continued friendships with my former teachers, by then calling them by their first names.

Madeline was married at a later date to Lloyd Knight who had come to Rushville with his brother to start the Knight Brothers Store in the old Payne Bank Building on Main Street. She retired from teaching but when her husband died she returned to RHS. She enthusiastically embraced Lloyd’s children and grandchildren as well as the family of her brother Blair.

When she retired from teaching Madeline did many types of hand work with greeting cards, yarn and cardboard. Her friends kept her well supplied and I have many of her projects in my home. When she decided she could no longer manage to live alone she disposed of her household goods and moved to Hillside Haven. After a time she had them take her to the kitchen to teach the cooks some of her recipes that were better than the food they had been serving. I visited her often in the nursing home where she had a small room by herself and her many projects stacked under the bed. She was looking forward to her 100th birthday but she had a fatal heart attack before that day.

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