History

The following was taken from an article written for the OTOEAN that provides a bit of history:

NEWS FROM THE OTOEAN

BY MARY KELLOGG, N.C.H.S. ALUMNI, CLASS OF 1949

SEPTEMBER, 1996

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN COLLECTED BECAUSE OF A TELEPHONE CALL FROM MISSY CRUNK, A STUDENT IN THE PUBLICATIONS CLASS AT NEBRASKA CITY HIGH SCHOOL.  MISSY ASKED ME IF I KNEW WHEN THE SCHOOL BEGAN TO USE THE “PIONEERS” AND SHE ASKED WHEN THE SCHOOL SONG WAS WRITTEN.  I BEGAN MY SEARCH FOR THE INFORMATION BY MAKING ABOUT A DOZEN TELEPHONE CALLS TO ALUMNI WHO I THOUGHT WOULD KNOW THE ANSWERS!  NO LUCK!  I THEN BEGAN TO READ BACK ISSUES OF THE OTOEAN.  I SEE HOW PEOPLE GET HOOKED ON USING THE INTERNET AND ALSO HOW PEOPLE BECOME OBSESSED WITH GENEALOGY.  IT IS WORSE THAN TRYING TO EAT JUST ONE POTATO CHIP!

THE INFORMATION THAT I FOUND IS ONLY THE TIP OF AN ICEBERG!  I PLAN TO CONTINUE TO SEARCH FOR INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT OUR SCHOOL.  I WILL DO THIS IN MY “SPARE TIME”!  (SMILE!)

AFTER THINKING ABOUT THE SURGE OF IDEAS AND CHANGES THAT CAME ABOUT FOR OUR SCHOOLS IN THE LATE 1930′S, I AM WONDERING IF IT WAS BECAUSE OF  BRILLIANT ADMINISTRATORS, OUTSTANDING FACULTY MEMBERS, EXCEPTIONAL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, OR BECAUSE OF THE RECOVERY FROM THE DEPRESSION TIMES OF OUR COUNTRY.  IT IS PROBABLY ALL OF THE ABOVE!  THE SCHOOLS HAD MONEY TO SPEND!

ABOUT THE SCHOOL SONG:  IN THE NOVEMBER 5, 1972, EDITION OF THE NEBRASKA CITY NEWS PRESS THAT HAS BEEN SAVED BY ALUMNI MEMBER FLORENCE MCCORD, IVAN BEAUMONT WROTE IN HIS COLUMN ABOUT THE SCHOOL SONG.  THE ADDITONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE SONG WAS FURNISHED BY THE LATE MEL CONLEY.  THE 1895 EDITION OF THE GINN ACADEMY SONG BOOK HAS THE PRINCTON SCHOOL SONG (PAGE 54) THAT WAS WRITTEN BY CLARENCE B. MITCHELL AND FRANCES SHACHELTON.  MISS HARRIETT BELL, THE NEBRASKA CITY VOCAL MUSIC TEACHER FROM 1909 TO 1918, WROTE THE THREE VERSES TO “THE PURPLE AND THE GOLD” USING THE PRINCETON MUSIC.  THEREFORE, THE WORDS MUST HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BEFORE 1918.   (FURTHER RESEARCH CAN VERIFY THIS FACT.)

BOUND ISSUES OF THE OTOEAN ARE KEPT IN THE OFFICE AND HISTORY ROOM OF THE NEBRASKA CITY ALUMNI FOUNDATION LOCATED IN THE BASEMENT OF THE MEMORIAL BUILDING.  MOST OF THE  INFORMATION IN THIS REPORT WAS FOUND IN THE 1938-39 ISSUES OF THE OTOEAN.  MANY OF THE SCHOOL TRADITIONS WERE STARTED DURING THE LATE 1930′S AND HAVE CONTINUED FOR SIXTY YEARS.

DON MCGAFFEY AND HIS WIFE DORIS BEGAN THEIR TEACHING CAREERS IN NEBRASKA CITY IN 1938 AND 1939.  DORIS WAS HIRED TO BE THE CIVICS TEACHER.  DON WAS THE FRESHMAN MATHEMATICS INSTRUCTOR AND THE BAND AND ORCHESTRA LEADER.  NEW BAND UNIFORMS WERE PURCHASED AND FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS, THE MARCHING BANDS WERE CONTEST AWARD WINNERS.  NEW FOOTBALL UNIFORMS WERE ALSO PURCHASED AT THIS TIME.

THE INITIALS FOR THE SCHOOL WERE N.C.S.H. – NEBRASKA CITY SENIOR HIGH.  WE NEED TO SEARCH THE RECORDS TO SEE WHEN WE BECAME N.C.H.S.  (IT WAS SOMETIME DURING THE 1940′S.)

BOBBY BERGER, A JUNIOR HIGH STUDENT, WON THE INTERNATIONAL SOAP BOX DERBY RACE IN AKRON, OHIO IN 1938.  THERE WERE 60 HEATS WITH THE 61ST RACE A PHOTO FINISH SHOWING BOBBY WINNING AFTER ANOTHER BOY WAS THE ANNOUNCED WINNER.  A NUMBER OF NEBRASKA CITY BOYS TOOK PART IN THE SOAP BOX RACES IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS.

THE SPORTS TEAMS WERE KNOWN AS “THE GOLDEN AVALANCHES” AND “THE PURPLES” UNTIL DECEMBER OF 1938.  THERE IS A FRONT PAGE ARTICLE ABOUT HOW A COMMITTEE OF FACULTY MEMBERS AND STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES PICKED “THE PIONEERS” OUT OF 140 SUGGESTED NAMES.  OTHER SUGGESTIONS WERE:  BUCCANEERS, CRUSADERS, TROJANS, DRAGONS, AND CHIEFTANS.   AN EDITORIAL IN A LATER ISSUE EXPLAINED WHY “PIONEERS” WAS THE BEST CHOICE.  THE EDITOR SAID THE FIRST HIGH SCHOOL IN THE TERRITORY OF NEBRASKA WAS LOCATED HERE.  PLANTING TREES ALSO WAS PIONEERED IN OUR CITY.  THE EDITORIAL STATED THAT THE PIONEERS PREPARED THE WAY FOR OTHERS AND THE WORK IS NEVER FINISHED.  THE EMBLEM OF A COVERED WAGON WAS CHOSEN BY A COMMITTEE IN JANUARY OF 1939.  A HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR WAS THE ARTIST.

OTHER HISTORICAL FIRSTS ARE NOTED IN THE OTOEAN ISSUES.  THE FIRST INTERCOM SYSTEM IN THE JUNIOR HIGH WAS INSTALLED IN MARCH 1939.  IT TOOK THE PRINCIPAL TWO DAYS TO INSTALL THE WIRING AND THE LOUD SPEAKERS.

THE FIRST GLOCKENSPIEL WAS PURCHASED FOR THE BAND IN DECEMBER 1939.  (I PLAYED IT FROM 1942 TO 1949.)

THE FIRST JUNIOR HIGH LIBRARY WAS ORGANIZED IN MARCH 1937.  IT WAS LOCATED IN THE BACK OF THE SCIENCE ROOM.

THE FIRST PARENTS NIGHT WAS HELD IN 1939.  250 PARENTS ATTENDED THE OPEN HOUSE.  UNTIL THAT TIME, PARENTS VISITED THE CLASSROOMS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY, USUALLY UNANNOUNCED.

ONE OF THE FIRST CHEERLEADERS WAS HELEN RINNIE WIECKHORST, CLASS OF 1936.

THE FIRST SENIOR SUPPLEMENT OF THE OTOEAN WAS PUBLISHED IN THE MID ’30′S.  TWENTY-FIVE STUDENTS ORDERED THE FIRST PUBLISHED COPY AND ALMOST EVERYONE WHO DIDN’T ORDER A SUPPLEMENT WAS SORRY THEY MISSED THE CHANCE TO HAVE THIS KEEPSAKE, ACCORDING TO AN ARTICLE.  THE SUPPLEMENTS INCLUDED PICTURES OF THE SENIORS, THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, A HOROSCOPE, THE CLASS PROPHECY, AND THE CLASS HISTORY.   THE SENIOR SUPPLEMENTS WERE POPULAR UNTIL THE FIRST HARDCOVER YEARBOOK WAS PUBLISHED IN 1948.

THE FIRST HOT LUNCHES WERE SERVED IN FEBRUARY 1940 WITH THE COOPERATION OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.  ONE-HUNDRED TWENTY STUDENTS WERE SERVED HOT LUNCH THAT YEAR.  STUDENTS HAD TO FURNISH 1 CUP, 1 DISH, 1 TEASPOON, 1 SOUP SPOON, AND A SOUP BOWL.

THE FIRST SADIE HAWKINS DANCE WAS HELD IN MARCH 1940.  THE GIRLS INVITED THE BOYS TO THE DANCE BUT ONLY EVERY THIRD DANCE WAS GIRLS CHOICE.

IN THE MARCH 1939 OTOEAN IT WAS NOTED THAT THE APPEARANCE OF ALL STUDENTS HAD IMPROVED AT SCHOOL BECAUSE MIRRORS WERE INSTALLED IN THE RESTROOMS FOR THE FIRST TIME.

THE JUNIOR-SENIOR PROMS HAD BEEN HELD AT THE COUNTRY CLUB UNTIL 1935 WHEN THE LOCATION WAS CHANGED TO THE MEMORIAL BUILDING.  PICK AND HIS TOP HATTERS FURNISHED THE MUSIC.  THE PROM ARTICLES DESCRIBED THE DRESSES OF THE GIRLS IN GREAT DETAIL.

THE FIRST ALUMNI MEETING WAS HELD ON OCTOBER 26, 1938.  IT WAS CALLED HOMECOMING.  THE FIRST GRADUATE, CORNELIA PETRING KIMMEL, CLASS OF 1880, WAS HONORED.  155 ALUMNI ATTENDED.  THERE WERE SPEECHES AND A PARADE OF DECORATED CARS FILLED WITH ALUMNI THAT DROVE UP CENTRAL AVENUE.  THE SECOND ALUMNI MEETING WAS HELD NOVEMBER 3, 1939.  OFFICERS WERE ELECTED AND COMMITTEES WERE APPOINTED.  THE BAND PRESENTED A PROGRAM AND AMONG THE ALUMNI WHO SPOKE WERE SAMUEL KELLOGG, SR. AND ELLA STEINHART.  AFTER A PARADE THERE WAS A BANQUET HELD AT THE HOTEL GRAND AND THEN ALUMNI ATTENDED THE FOOTBALL GAME WITH COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS.  THE ALUMNI REUNIONS ARE STILL BEING HELD TO THIS DAY.  FOR MANY YEARS, THE ALUMNI ACTIVITIES WERE GUIDED BY WILMA MCINTIRE, CLASS OF 1924.  THE ALUMNI FOUNDATION NOW HAS 18 BOARD MEMBERS.  THE MAIN PURPOSE IS TO KEEP CONTACT WITH THE 8000 N.C.H.S. ALUMNI AND TO AWARD SCHOLARSHIPS TO DESERVING SENIORS AND THE NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENT.  THE ALUMNI REUNIONS ARE HELD DURING THE  MEMORIAL DAY WEEKENDS AND A GOOD TIME IS HAD BY ALL!

THIS HAS BEEN A LOOK INTO THE PAST.  LEARN FROM IT – INCLUDING ALL OF THE SUCCESSES AND ALSO THE MISTAKES.  REMEMBER, THE WORK OF THE PIONEER IS NEVER DONE.  LIVE FOR THE PRESENT AND STRIVE TO IMPROVE THE FUTURE!

The class of 1942 began collecting money for a scholarship by “passing the hat” to give to a deserving senior in 1992 at their 50 year class reunion.  Karl Nelson (Class of 1923) was instrumental in forming the Nebraska City High School Alumni Foundation board.  He helped to make the board “legal.”  Wilma McIntire (Class of 1924) started keeping records of the alumni addresses by hand.  She would address envelopes by hand of each alumni each year to let them know of the alumni banquet.

Wallace Giles (Class of 1927) donated $100,000 dollars to provide scholarships to college juniors.  We are happy to have the first recipient (1998) of that scholarship on our board (check out the Where are they now? page).  Since then, many classes have “passed a hat” to collect donations and for scholarships/grants.  There are also many scholarships given to honor or in memory of NCHS alumni.


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