Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
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Source: July 1979 Volume 17 Number 3, Pages 67–70

The Class of 1900 at Malvern Public School

Page 67

Dear Friends

Our class consists of only five members, and one set of twins at that, and the oldest only a little over sixteen, so our class hitstory must necessarily be very meager.

Our Valedictorian A. Earl, and our Salutorian L. Elinore Stephens, son and daughter of Abijah and Lydia Havard Stephens, were born in Charlestown Township, on Jan. 1st 1884, thus taking time by the fore top, and starting with the New Year.

At the age of five years, they started to school in Philadelphia. After going there two years, they came to the country and attended the Valley Creek school for three years. In 1893 they attended the Malvern Friends' School. After going there for four years, they entered the Junior class of the Malvern Public School, on the first of October 1898. Thus far they have had fourteen teachers. They are distinguished by their love for each other, and the sister has been known to say that there is only one thing better than having a good thing herself, and that is to see her brother have it. Our Valedictorian is also distinguished as a sprinter, and we expect to hear great things of him in that line. Let me give you an instance: On the last day of our examinations by Prof. Moore, by some unaccountable fatality, it was found that our questions in Physiology were lost.

Page 68

A page (reduced in size) from Miss Snyder's manuscript in the "vertical penmanship" she was taught (Original in the Chester County Historical Society.)

Our teacher knew just what depended on that, and she was in a state of collapse. It was thirteen minutes past twelve, and our Valedictorian was eating his luncheon. She said: Earl, can you make that 12:17 train to Berwyn School, get me a set of Physiology questions, and be back on the train that reaches here at 10 minutes of one? Do not fail me, come back on that train. Yes. I can.

He inquired of three different persons in Berwyn for the school­house, didn!t know it when he saw it, got the questions all right, came to the station, got on the wrong side of the railroad for the up trains, and at 3 minutes of one, was sitting in the school room, finishing his luncheon.

Page 69

He can win in other races than that too. In the early part of last year, the Committee of the Circulating Library of Chester Co. of­fered prizes for the best essays on the books read in the different departments in the schools. A number of pupils wrote, and our Valedictorian of this year took second prize, and it was left for our Valedictorian of last year to carry off first prize. So you see he is a winner.

His sister, our Salutatorian can move around right lively too, if occasion requires. Our school gave an entertainment on the Friday before Christmas. The great feature of our entertainment was the Christmas Brownies. She took the part of Mrs. Santa Claus, and instructed a class of Brownies in making toys for poor children who had no Christmas, and as Brownies are very swift workers, it kept her moving quite briskly, and if you had seen her instructing those Brownies in doing good deeds, you would have thought her almost equal to her brother.

The next oldest in the class, Cassella V. Davis, daughter of Nathanael and Nettie Davis, was born in Schuylkill, on Jan. 14, 1884. At the age of seven, she started to the Leopard, in Easttown, taught by that veteran teacher, Miss Sallie Embree, now Mrs. Joseph Dickinson. After moving to the Green Tree, she attended the school there, taught by Mrs. Dean. She then came to Malvern Public School and entered the Primary Room, taught by Miss Lizzie Cox, now Mrs. William Holland, and from there passed all rooms until we find her in the graduating class. She is a soprano singer of some note already, and we expect to hear further from her in that line.

Your historian, daughter of Joseph and Alda Snyder, was born at Wisdom (a very suggestive name), in Juniata Co., Oct. 7, 1884. At the age of six, she started to school, near Peru Mills, to Miss Naomi Yohn. On the first day of her school life, although there were other seats, she chose the last one in the row, without any back to it, on the principle that some one must, as Mrs. Whitney says, eat drumsticks. She went to that school just one month, then moved to Malvern, where at the age of seven, she started to the Malvern Public School, to Miss Lizzie Cox, and passed through all rooms until tonight, she has reached the sublime height of the graduating class. She is modest but thinks that she ought to blow her own trumpet just loud enough to tell you that this is her fourth year at school, without missing a day.

The youngest in our class, Grace A., youngest daughter of G. W. and Hannah Lewis, was born in Malvern, Mar. 26, 1886. She never knew a mother's love nor a mother's patience, for she was only 16 months old when her mother died, but her oldest sister supplied her mother's place, and she grew up to work and play as all healthy girls should.

Page 70

She is to the manor born, and never went to any other school except Malvern.

Thus you see we have all lived through three blizzards and think we could stand another.

We all go to Sunday school, and to Church, and are quite regular in attendance. Some of us belong to Church and some do not.

We have studied all the branches in our school, and have vertical pennmanship [sic]. We can do some things well, and many more things not so well, but we hope to go on and learn more.

Our first music teacher was Mr. Esler, who taught us for a year or two. At his death, Miss Bessie Smedley and Mr. Burke taught the music until the end of the term. The next term Miss Helen Calvert came, and has been with us ever since.

We have been very busy in our school work this winter; all through the year the thought of examinations was before us, and at last the time came for these to begin, and ever since Easter we have sat with a pen in our hand, and doing nothing but think and write. After our examinations were over, we adjourned to the ice cream parlors of Mr. Breuninger, and were treated to ice cream.

Our combined weight is 552 lbs., our average weight is 110 2/5 lbs., average height is 5 ft. 2 3/5 in., our shortest is 4 ft. 11 in., our tallest is 5 ft. 9 in. We have plenty of time to grow.

When our class first came upstairs, like Wordsworth, we were seven, but two of our number, Edna Hogeland and Florence Tompkins, moved away, and left us only five. Florence was our sweet singer, and we were loath to part with her.

Other classes have prided themselves on their mottoes, and point with pride to the remarkable years in which they graduated. Some called themselves the pioneers, others say they belonged to the antediluvian class, still others graduated in the year of the flood, but we are distinguished in belonging, as you see by our decorations, to the naughty-naught class. We are distinguished in finishing our school life on the day of the eclipse, and therefore have eclipsed all others.

Our class colors are green and white, and our class flowers, the wild cherry blossom, because of its sweetness and its strength. The most of our history is to make yet, as the most of life is yet before us, but we would like to make our lives tell, and live up to our motto: It is worthwhile.


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