THE  GROVE  COMET 59th  YEAR FINAL  EDITION VOLUME  6

Section  Three  ~   Page  2

 

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Grove's  First  Two   Grads

 

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MRS.  PAUL  DORAN

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GRADUATION 1906 - Mrs. Calhoun, then  Miss Madole, is certainly beautiful in her elaborate graduation gown of lace.

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MRS.  JAMES  CALHOUN

The first graduation exercises were held at E. W. Grove in 1906. Louise Jonsonius and Fern Madole were the only graduates that year.

Louise Jonsonius, now eighty years old, married Mr. Paul E. Doran who was a Grove graduate of 1907. Mrs. Doran is living in Sparta, Tennessee.

Mrs. Doran has these recollections of her school days at Grove:
"At the organization of the school there were four or five in the junior class; Fern Madole, Mattie Diggs, Kate Brook, and I. I think there was a fifth but I am not sure. There was a larger class of sophomores, who had some classes with us. By 1905 Kate Brooks' family had moved away from Paris, and Mattie Diggs had taken a teaching job in another state, so Fern Madole and I were the first graduating class in the year 1906.

"I could not tell you how much those years at Grove have meant to me. I could write of so many pleasant memories."

Fern Madole taught school for two years in Paris after she graduated from Grove. After her marriage to Mr. James B. Calhoun they moved to Elkton, Winchester, and then to Brownsville. In Winchester Mrs. Calhoun taught kindergarten for two years. One of her pupils was Dinah Shore. Mr. Calhoun was the principal of the high schools in each of these places. They moved to Nashville in 1930 where Mrs. Calhoun still resides. Although Mrs. Calhoun is eighty years old she is still active in both her home and several organizations. She has helped boys and girls get through college by helping them obtain scholarships, grants, jobs, and by assisting them in choosing their fine citizens. This, she feels, is her one gift to society beyond the call of duty. Mrs. Calhoun has four children and seven grandchildren.

Some of Mrs. Calhoun's memories of the early Grove are:
"My earliest recollection is perhaps the most interesting in comparison with the present, that of our first registration. The new building was not completed, We were asked to report to the court room in Henry County Courthouse with whatever credentials we had. Since up to this time there were no state-regulated high schools problems arose as to classification. The old Paris City High School, as I believe it was called, consisted of nine grades but the curriculum was in no way parallel to that of today's first nine grades. Our diplomas listed all the subjects we had studied including physics, geometry, rhetoric, entymology and others seldom included now and yet some were taught in the most elementary form. There was no Latin unless paid for privately. Many of the new students had been elsewhere to private schools but few had graduation from the new Grove. I shall never forget the look of bewilderment on the faces of our co-principals, the brothers Clovis and Ashley Chappell, when they perused our diverse school records, none of which seemed to place students in the proper year. Finally they hit upon a scheme and announced, 'All who have had no Latin get in corner I; those who have had one year of Latin get in corner II; those with two years in comer III, thus designating the students for the first three years. Since Louise Jonsonius and I were the only ones with two years of Latin we made up the junior class, hence no graduating class the first year. This manner of selection proved unjust to some and over-generous to others, but so it was.

"It was in the late fall or early winter when the building was ready for use. A loosely nailed single-file plank walk through the often muddy, newly opened road up the hill held some minor tragedies. A loosened plank would sometimes fly up scattering mud on the following pedestrian. Frequently, after-school hours the next day.

"Sometimes we would take the route up 'Peden Hill". We passed the Jonsonius home. Then there followed a climb up a rough embankment before reaching the school. One day as I climbed up that bank through '.the snow I fell, sliding all the way down, books scattering along the way. 'Mr. Clovis', standing in that front portico, laughed at the free show I provided.

"Mr. Clovis Chappell had graduated from Webb School before attending Vanderbilt University. At Webb, a private school, social out-of-school activities were strictly regulated so Mr. Chappell thought he could do the same in a public school. The regulation of no dates on school nights was bitterly resented by the 'town boys' who had chosen not to finish high school. They were the protestors of that day and let it be known in various ways that such regulations were not under the principal's jurisdiction. During this feud between 'town and gown' Mr. Clovis remarked one day, They may not like me but they've got to respect me.' That statement has been a bulwark to me through the years when being true to myself was not always the popular course to pursue.

"How would students today like to be required to have four years of Latin, four of mathematics and two years of a modem language? And how would they like. to have chapel every day with a sermon, literally that? We dedicated, grateful students were the guinea pigs for Mr. Clovis and Mr. Ashley Chappell, both of whom went directly into the ministry.

 

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