House was Packed to Overflowing Last Night
A SEASON OF MUCH ENJOYMENT
Graduate’s Essays were Splendid
The Music was Superb
Flowers in Evidence
Article from unknown newspaper, typed as written. Found in the belongings of Hattie M. Ferris of LaHarpe, Kansas
Amid the applause of hundreds of their friend and well wishers, buried beneath masses of flowers, and cheered on their way by beautiful music, VIRGIL MCCARTY, BERTHA SICKLY and HATTIE FERRIS were formally graduated from the LaHarpe High School. The audience began to gather early in the evening and by 8 o’clock the house was crowded. At 8:30 PROF. M. POTTER step to the front of the rostrum and called upon REV. W. L. FRENCH to invoke the Divine blessing. The vast audience stood while the invocation was offered in measured tones, the speaker’s tones falling like a benediction on the ears of the assembly. The orchestra, under the direction of PROFESSOR LIEURANCE, then gave a selection entitled “En Regle March,” (Godfrey) which was loudly applauded. VIRGIL MCCARTY delivered the salutatory oration his theme being “A Modern Nazareth.” The trend of his remarks was a comparison of the great state of Kansas with the Nazareth so hated and despised by the Jews. As out of Nazareth, said the orator, came Jesus, the greatest character of Time or Eternity, so has good come out of Kansas. Despised, belittled, condemned, she has kept sturdily (unable to read next word) on and on until she is now recognized as one of the dominant factors in the sisterhood of states. “Adastra per aspera,” the motto of Kansas, he said, means that through difficulties or by striving we reach the stars or achieve excellence. The speaker’s general idea was to give a review of the progress and development mentally, morally and physically of the state which in times not so long past it has been the habit to refer to in severe and unmerited language. A wave of applause followed MR. MCCARTY to his seat, and MISS SICKLY advanced to greet the audience. Her subject, “The Aristocracy of Brains,” was a parallel drawn between the conditions existing in a free country and those prevailing in monarchial countries. The coronation of George III as King of England in Westminster Abbey in 1760 was contrasted with the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 as President of the United States, showing the circumstances which enable a country having the men of great mental capacity to honor them with the highest office within its gift, while the monarchical country is compelled to accept as its ruler the person standing nearest the throne, whether suitable, acceptable, or competent to be entrusted with the government of his fellowmen. At the conclusion of her address MISS SICKLY was loudly applauded. The orchestra in superlative style played Frankel’s Concert Overture after which MISS FERRIS rose to deliver the valedictory. Her address had for its subject “Women in History.” Before the mental view of the audience as the speaker proceeded there passed review all the women who have contributed to the world’s greatness and have left their impress on the clay which hardens into history. Zenobia, Margaret of England, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen, Catherine of Russia, Queen Victoria, Florence Nightingale, and Jenny Lind were commented upon and their achievements and renown compared with those of men similarly situated, the comparison being most favorable to the so called weaker sex. Nor did the speaker neglect our American women. She told in graphic language of their deeds and trials, of Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, of the wives of our presidents who have shone, not by the reflected glory of their husbands, but by their own brightness and sweetness of character. Rounds of applause showed how highly the speaker was appreciated for her fine effort. The selection by the orchestra was entitled “Cupidetta” (Tobani) was a familiar one and was skillfully rendered.
PROF. PATTON then introduced PROF. S. A. LOUGH, who said that the “Commencement address” which he came here to deliver must be considered as being the remarks of the audience to the graduating class expressed through him, similar to a reproduction by phonograph. Therefore, he said if he said anything that the graduating class considered not exactly proper that they must blame the audience and not the speaker, as he was only the mouthpiece of their friends. It is too bad that we cannot reproduce the speaker’s address in full as it fairly scintillated with wit and humor and sparkled with epigrams. PROF. LOUGH has a snappy taking delivery on the confidential, conversational order that makes friends with his auditors in an instant. The keynote of his address was “Be a Master”. He illustrated in several anecdotes the need that in any occupation in life one must be master of details as well as generalities. His remarks were received with most unmistakable approbation and at the close he was the recipient of a storm of applause.
PROF. PATTON then in a short talk along appropriate lines presented the graduating class of 1904 with its diplomas. His words were well chosen praising them for their efforts to secure an education these endeavors just closing their connection with our high school having been successful to the last degree.
The closing selection of the orchestra was the Register March a late personal composition of PROF. LIEURANCE, It was accorded an ovation as an encore the selection “A Dream of Paradise Waltzes,” was rendered. The musical part of the exercises deserves a higher praise than the writer is capable of and can only testify to our appreciation by saying “Well done.”
This closed the Commencement Exercises of the first graduating class of the LaHarpe High School. May the members acquaint themselves with honor equal to their performances last night wherever they may be placed.
This account imperfect and brief as it is would be still more imperfect should it omit to mention the beautifully draped and decorated rostrum. The hangings were of intertwined purple and gold the class colors, while in the rear against the wall hung the national banner. At the close of the ceremonies three little girls the MISSES MARGUERITE HACKNEY, RUTH ADAMS and ESTELLINE HAVERFIELD carried up the presentation bouquets. There were so many there that the little ladies had to make five trips each before their work was done.
transcribed by: Sharon A. Wilson who may be reached at email@example.com