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Weekend celebration
a major happening here

This weekend's celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the opening of E.W. Grove High School promises to be a gala event rarely matched in the community's history.

Alumni from across the nation are filling motels. Class reunions have multiplied to the point that it has become difficult to find a time and a place for a gathering. The main banquet on Saturday night has been sold out for weeks, and the demand for tickets resembles something at a major sports stadium.

To all the returnees and celebrants, a hearty welcome. A smorgasbord of activities awaits you: Ceremonies, re-enactments, exhibits, an arts-at-work festival, speech-making, plaque unveiling and more.

The occasion is worth celebrating. Grove High holds a proud place in this community's history. In its day, it was a cut or two above the average high schools in this region in terms of academic excellence. Many of its graduates have gone on to make their mark in the world.

Its uniqueness includes its status as a privately endowed public high school and as the home of the nation's first federal vocational agriculture program. Not many public high schools occupied an imposing tower upon a commanding hill. And no other traces its origins to a bottle of patent medicine.

The connection between the school and its namesake is a treasured one hereabouts. E.W. Grove obviously was fond of the town that gave him his start and of the school he helped establish. Part of Saturday's observance takes place at the City Cemetery, where he and his wife are buried.

Our hat's off to the hard working chairman of the anniversary celebration, county historian David Webb. For months, he has thrown him self into the planning process, and his attention to detail will be obvious this weekend to anyone who pays much attention. Hardly an event will take place that Webb hasn't had a hand in.

Beginning on Monday this week, this newspaper has published a daily front-page series of feature articles on aspects of the celebration. Visiting alumni may want to drop by the newspaper office to get copies as keepsakes.

It is fitting that the Grove Tower building continues to serve education needs of this county's children a hundred years after it first opened. Edwin Wiley Grove would be proud.

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Reprinted from the Paris Post-Intelligencer
Friday, June 23, 2006  Editorial  page
Used  by  permission