Ilion High School

1943 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1943"


For the past four years, Ilion High School has been the scene of a play. It has been our play, and we have been the actors. Some of it has offered comedy, some melodrama, and still more, tragedy which we are thankful, was the smallest part. The script of the play is so extensive that it would be impossible to print it here, but to preserve the most interesting events in our memories, we offer this synopsis which we will call



Setting for All Acts---Ilion High School



FRESHMAN YEAR In '39, we entered high school a dazed and bewildered class. For several weeks we stumbled around in the darkness of ignorance until, with the aid of our upper classmen and advisors we became as experienced as Freshman can be.

The Penguins and White Shirts were the first groups to bring fame to our class by winning the Junior League Basketball Tournament. To prove that our success continued, 16 of our members were elected into the Junior National Honor Society. Later in the year, the homeroom officers organized a class party under the direction of Miss Gordon.


ACT 11


SOPHOMORE YEAR For the first time in our career we exercised the right to vote by electing "Dick" Strife as Pres., "Bud" Strife as Vice-Pres., "Howie" Morse as Sec., and "Peg" Morris as Treas.

"Fid" Davis came into the limelight by winning the golf medal for the year. The first members of our class to win letters were: "Si" Garnsey, Dick Strife, Dave Chesebrough and Eldon Dibble for baseball. Track letters were awarded to Fred Goldner, Carl Couchman and Ray Steele. Bill Remmers and Bud Strife were the only ones to receive tennis letters.

The boys of the class donned aprons on St. Patrick's Day to give the rest of us a gala party. It was under the direction of Bob Bremer and Bill Chambers.

In July of 1940, "Billy" Chambers was taken from our midst after a long illness. We expressed our sympathy by sending him flowers and many of us attended his funeral.

When it was time for the 3,1 act plays to be presented, Mr. Swarthout chose many Sophomores from his public speaking classes for the cast.




Junior YEAR At the beginning of our third year in high school we elected Rudolph Backman as Pres., "Si" Garnsey Vice-Pres., Lydia Davis, Secretary and "Peg" Morris as Treasurer.

Girls tried out for Junior cheerleading with the result that "Lid" Davis, "Barb" McGowan, Camilla Jarvis, Ruth Alexander, "Barb" Foppes and Nancy Trimble were the six chosen. Other girls entered into the spirit of sports by bowling every Monday night under Mrs. Dodge's able supervision. For credits gained from these and other sports, many girls received block letters.

We had a star in our midst even in our Junior year. Bruce Daily was a member of the varsity football squad and played on that memorable day when we beat Herkimer 15-0.


"Bill" Remmers and Harrison Culver also stood out in that year. Harrison was awarded the "unsung hero's" trophy and "Bill" won the tennis cup. John Gilmartin received honors in the Boys' Oratorical Contest by winning first prize.

Ilion was represented at Boys' State by "Howie" Morse, Bruce Daily, John Gilmartin, "Bill" Billington and "Don" Wengert.

The next bright spot of the year came the week before regents. Class night proved lots of fun for us but a headache for Miss Wasmer. The setting was a theatrical agency ten years from now where the members of the 1942 class came to show their talents.

Many of the Juniors helped with the decorating scheme for the Junior-Senior prom. The theme kept in accordance with the patriotic feeling of the times. The prom was not the only scene of patriotism, however, for the Junior Girls who were Girl Scouts sold war stamps in all homerooms.

Five of us were accepted into the Senior Honor Society.




SENIOR YEAR-Three act plays are usual, but because our play is unusual in all respects; we have four acts to offer you; this being the fourth and, we might say, the best.

Officers were elected early in the school year after a big campaign by both the Gold and Brown parties. John Gilmartin, Pres.; "Bud" Strife, Vice,Pres.; Bernard Tracy, Treas., and "Peg" Morris as Sec., were the successful candidates.

Nine girls tried out for cheerleading and six were chosen: V. Hand, B. McGowan, B. Foppes, N. Trimble, R. Alexander and J. Robinson. They came out with some rousing new cheers during the year, and we especially liked their "Indian Pow Wow." (That's as near as it ever came to a name.)

Speaking of cheers, remember that "rather damp" Armistice Day, when the senior boys did the cheering for the girls? We're referring to that hard, fought contest between two teams composed of the so-called "weaker sex." They not only proved they weren't frail, but also that football isn't just a man's game. The teams were the "Residentials" and the "Skimmers" and both played equally well.

The next notable event in our senior year was Christmas vacation and with it the Christmas Ball. Lydia Davis reigned as "Snow Queen," and the ball was a great success; we actually made a profit.

To match this profit and add more to it, Mr. Swarthout directed our senior play, "Mrs. Miniver," based on the movie by the same name. We'll always remember "Barb" Foppes in the title role, and wonder if she was the reason for the big crowd that brought us $200. Soon after the play, Bruce Daily, who was Mr. Miniver, Fred Goldner, "Ray" Steele, Hiram Skinner, and David Jones left school to answer Uncle Sam's call.

Gym Class took up new appeal in March for the boys who were taught the rudiments of boxing, and then exhibited their knowledge of this sport in matches after school. After a series of elimination bouts in all weight classes, the final bouts were fought to determine the championship of each division. The exhibition was held in the evening and was open to the public.

Every year has something sad in it, and this one is no exception. Mrs. Wright and Mr. Swarthout, two of our well-liked teachers, left school: Mrs. Wright to join the WAACS, and Mr. Swarthout to work in a defense plant. After their many years of faithful service, they are missed by all.

Recently the honor students of our class were announced. They are in order of their rank:S. Pett, J. Hawes, H. Morse, W. Browning, D. Smith, M. Rowland, W. Billington, B. Duval, M. Garlock, E. Thom.


Now the time has almost come,

To say goodbye to all our fun;

And just to prove we're not so dumb,

We're going to graduate, by gum!


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Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

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First Published October 4, 1997 - Modified Sept 21, 2014