1926 IOOF School
Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas


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Three boys and seven girls were
presented certificates of gradua-
tion in a very impressive and in-
spiring commencement exercise
held at the Odd Fellows Home
Friday night. The diplomas were
presented by J. M. Pouncey, State
Grand Master of the Odd Fellows
Members of the 1926 graduating
class are Mae Newbill, Arveal
Blankenship, Egelee Brandon, Ar-
tie Lee Hays, Ruby Mae Porch,
Mary Lewis, Etta Haney, Lloyd
Smoke, Carlton Roberts and Eld-
ridge McCandless.
Mary Lewis class salutatorian,
will attend Southern Methodist
University and Carlton Roberts,
salutatorian, will got to Aus-
tin College.
Dr. H. F. Estill president of the
Sam Houston State Teachers’ Col-
lege, made the class address.
The exercises were held in the
high school auditorium. All the
children and teachers of the Home
and a large number of Corsicana
people were present. The Girls’
Orchestra directed by W. O. Bar-
low played the processional as
the graduates filed down the main
aisle and seated themselves in
chairs forming a semi-circle.
The ex-students’ annual ban-
quet was held in the main dining
room following the graduation ex-
Elsie Dunnell, Georgia David-
son and Mae Noble were awarded
first, second and third medals in
expression and music by Mrs.
Pearl McCoy. These pupils had
made the highest percentages in
these two courses of study during
the term.
The Wray prize, $25 in gold was
awarded to Carlton Roberts, as
having made the best and highest
general averages in study and de-
portment during the term. The
presentation was made by H. J.
Emmins. Mr. Emmins also pre-
sented to Neil Nelson $15 in gold
as the Sacshe prize. S. P. Spald-
ing presented the Spalding prize
of $20 to Aileen Jones as the sec-
ond high ranking student. Ruby
Mae Porch was awarded the jewel
for making the highest grades in
the commercial work of the school.
The presentation was made by
Mrs. Forbes.
Each of the graduates were pre-
sented with gifts from the Corsi-
cana Lodge No. 128, in accordance
with the annual custom.
E. A. Johnson, secretary of the
school board made his annual book
awards. Mr. Johnson makes a
book gift to the pupil in each
grade making the highest record
of averages in their annual re-
ports. The pupils receiving their
books made not less than 90 per
cent, during the year and one
made as high as 98 per cent.
Beginning with the kindergarten
class the books were given to Marie
Allen, Lavern Smoke, Emma
Lillie Burgess, Aileen Jones, Neil
Nelson, Maggie Lou Holland, Wood-
row Blankenship. Dorothy Perdue.
Georgia Davidson. Opal Whittaker.
Evelyn Knight. Ruby Mae Porch.
The invocation was pronounced
by T. G. Brooks as the class made
its assembly and every seat in the
auditorium was taken. Mary Lewis
made her salutation as follows:
“G” is for the Gulf of Life’s dom-
Tonight we sail upon its troubled
But to us ever be this consolation
That others have defied the puls-
ing grave,
And passed it o’er with scarce an
With the terrors deep beneath its
frowning lace.
A brighter course galore will take
us to the shore,
Where we’ll meet deception firm-
ly, face to face.

“R” is for the clashing, frenzied
Deep beneath the bosom of the
Wailing, crying, screaming,
drowning, moaning,
Calling from the depths to sea-
men free,
But still encased in hope we’ll
never falter,
Nay, never turn toward this de-
spairing shore,
But with a way made smooth by
fate in our youth
We’ll follow success while the
breakers roar.

Two “Es” the poet is fond of rec-
“Eagerness” to combat higher
The “Eyes” of friends upon us
still directing
The steady stares of love and lib-
To guide us on our way across
that ocean;
Without those steady orbs, what
could we do?

“T” is for the tide about us seep-
The tide of life, the whirlpool of
Before us shall ascend the higher
hopes of men
If e’er we reach the harbor over
But to our boat belongs the oar of
Above us flies the flag of life di-
We’ll reach the shore some day if
the tide will slightly away
From its path to slowly move us
o’er the brine.

“I” is for the Island where we
The isle of rugged harbor, total
Where lives the gale of chance,
our colors to entrance
In mirrors of a great inflated cost,
But at last, we too, may win, to-
night we, parting shall begin
The trip into the setting of the
And at last, as in our boast, Age
will find us on the coast
Of happiness, our good work just

“N” is for the Nature of our jour-
When we alone shall guide the
boat of chance;
To us the act of launching is a
To age ‘tis but the polish of the
But in this boat will sail the jolly
A final “G” the good they hope to
Aboard, ye bravest vanguards, ‘tis
ours to raise the standards,
To you, my friends, I trust this
“GREETING” true.
Miss Lewis was followed by
Lloyd Smoke, who gave the Class
History as follows:
A History,
“The year’s at the Spring,
And day’s at the Morn;
Morning’s at seven,’
The hillside’s dew-pearled.
The lark’s on the wing,
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His Heaven—
All’s right with the world!”
In the beginning, the school
appeared to us merely as the in-
centive to higher ambitions and the
pathway to a plainer road of human
endeavor. We labored merely for
the conquest of letter, the humor
and interesting facts which we
obtained from the fundamental
principles of the “Little Red
School House.” But from our la-
bors came the further desire to
extend minute personal principles
and to paraphrase the deductions
thus gained from the results. Fur-
ther, we mastered the dimensions
of elaborate study and gained a
lesson of practical use, that “the
love of conquest ever leads man
onward to a greater harvest,” or
as Elbert Hubbard once remarked,
“There is no such thing as Success,
but always a greater goal just ahead.:
“And thus we came to the point
in our lives when a career of greater
possibilities appealed to us, and a
more highly magnified enthusiasm
of such a conquest led us on to
“the goal just ahead.: At the parting
of the ways some among us faltered
and paused, but we grew grim with
determination and hurried on. And
all the while Time rolled by like an
ocean wave, escaping like moisture
from our tired grasps as bonds of
trials and labors fastened themselves
about our struggling countenances.
Then summer came. The heated
peril of Uncertainty closed about
us, mellowed, receded, and passed
us by. The leaves of our ambitions
slowly turned from the shade of
green to a richer and more experi-
enced color, the hue of emerald and
pearl. We were in the throes of
expectancy, awaiting a trial of life
just ahead, a trial that would allow
us to test our own resources, to rely
upon our own thoughts, to convene
with the Gods of Art and Learning,
and to compete with Life in our
own way. To descend to the vern-
acular, we were awaiting that day
when we were to enter the diminishing
passage of High School, when we were
to comply with the proved laws of the
universe and evolve to a greater under-
standing of the truths we sought to
fathom: Lest we should expire of
expectancy, at the very apex of our
innermost thoughts we left the
realms of preparatory work and
entered the aisles of a tried and
proved institution, sat in the seats
of those of our predecessors who
never faltered, and concentrated upon
the expense of the magnificent problems
before us, until many among us left
the aisles to take a shorter, yet much
more difficult trail.
And now we have come to the
end of a perfect day. Tonight we
have entered the final stage of
preparatory perfection. At last
we have conquered, and the few,
final steps of our youth are just
ahead. For only a few brief mo-
ments shall we gaze into the palace of
Childhood, that magnificent palace
of joy, and realize that we are “babes
in the woods” no longer.
“The curfew tolls the knell of
parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o’er
the lea,
The plowman homeward winds
his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness
and to me.”
And now, in the few allotted
moments in which I have to dwell
in the harbor of agitated expecta-
tion, to me the last few rays of
the sun are slowly turning from
purple to gold. The sails of Life’s
ship are spread, and we, the
trusting mariners who sail under
the banner of Conquest, are gazing
into the far horizon, staring into
the face of Time, wondering what
snares and deceptious we are
soon doomed to face, what smart-
ing troubles we must soon tread
upon, and what medium of Success
awaits us in the end.
And as darkness overcomes the
last tender rays of mellow gold,
the craft that has weathered the
storms and waves for more than
a decade slowly puts out to sea.
The large brazen anchor has been
lifted, the last reef has been con-
quered, and the sails are filled
with the air of the universe. A
last salute to our many instruct-
ors, wherever they may be, and
the Trip into the Path of the Set-
ting Sun is begun. “Tonight we
launch; where shall we anchor?”
For us, what will Time hold?
“Up, the silver dusk returning,
Up the beach of darkness brims,
And the ship of Sunrise burning
Strands upon the eastern rims.
Clay lies still, but blood’s a rover,
Breath’s a ware that will not keep;
Up lad, when the journey’s over—
There’ll be time enough for sleep.”
Miss Charlie Esther McCarley,
member of the graduating class
last year, and who is now teach-
ing sang a solo, accompanied by
Miss Annie Barker at the piano.
Etta Haney gave the Class
Prophecy as follows:
Class Prophecy.
Brother Odd Fellows, Sister Re-
bekahs, friends and classmates;
if you will go with me a distance
of about ten or fifteen years into
the future of life, you will behold,
so the seer says, a scene of vital
interest. The setting is in a large
opera house in one of our leading
cities. The characters represent
various types of interested men
and women of the day. They are
attending a new type of first-class
“That singing was beautiful. I
have never heard anything like
it!, exclaimed Madame Whitman
to her husband at the conclusion
of a spirited vocal solo.
“Miss Porch does have a melod-
ious voice,” responded Mr. Whit-
man. “She sings like a knighting-
“Yes, and did you notice the
beautiful costume she wore?”
asked Madame Whitman.
“It was one of the most beauty-
ful I have ever seen,” said Mad-
ame La Marr, “Miss Brandon de-
signed it. Miss Brandon is a
wonderful designer. She designs
the costumes for almost all the
actresses and performers.”
“Yes, and here comes another
of her designs, a dance costume”
exclaimed Mr. Lyons, “Doesn’t
Miss Newbill dance well?”
“She is the world’s greatest
classical dancer,” said Madame La
Marr. “She is traveling with this
opera, and she certainly does
help to make it interesting.”
“Now we shall see Mr. Loyd
Smoke’s latest play,” said Mr. LaMarr.
“Mr. Smoke has written many plays. He
is a famous play writer today. He is
also a great cartoonist. He makes his
own sketches sometimes to accompany
his plays.”
“Who is the leading lady playing?”
asked Madame Lyons.
“She is Miss Hayes. She certainly
is a wonderful actress,” answered
Madame Whitman. “She has the most
beautiful eyes I ever saw.”
“She does. She is very prominent.
She plays in all of Mr. Smoke’s
plays,” replied Madame Lyons.
“Here’s the Fox News,” said
Mr. Whitman. “I am always interested in
the news. It is directed by Mr. Eldridge
McCanless. He has taken over the
entire publication now and has made a
splendid success by his skillful
Just then flashed on the screen “News
From Washington.”
“ President Roberts, on his trip to
Europe to attend the League of Nations,
will take with him his new secretary,
Miss Blankenship. Miss Blankenship has
stenographic championship in the United
States now.”
“Latest Work Done by Foreign Miss-
Miss Lewis has established a new church
in Japan. She is the greatest woman
missionary America has ever sent abroad.”
Miss Haney, who wants the women to
take an active part in the business world,
has established a new business college
for women in India.”
Dear Classmates as you go out into the
world, I hope each of you will be successful
in life. I wish you all the happiness that can
be discussed by the interested men and
women of the day.
Set your aims high in life. Even though
they exceed your grasp, remember Browning’s
consolation in “Rabbi Ben Ezra:
“What I aspired to be,
And was not, conforts me.”
Mae Newbill expressed appreciation
in behalf of the class for the Home, the
school, teachers, management, to all Odd
Fellows and Rebekahs, who had made the
institution possible. And that as the graduates
would go forth into the world they would look
back to the school as their childhood home.
Her remarks were brief and very much to the
point, well expressed, and as well received.
The pupils cheered with each rendition. The
program was well balanced, well directed and
rendered. Less time was consumed in the
presentation than is usual for the graduating
Dr Estill, in opening his class address, said a
commencement speech was like a wagon wheel—
the longer the spoke the greater the tire. His
speech was predicated upon the myth of the
goddesses and the apple of discord, in which
a hidden lesson lay. He first declared that there
are two real seasons of the year, Christmas
and holiday times and commencements,
the times of the diplomas, white dressed,
speech-making, singing. These commencement
exercises he recalled did not exist in high
schools up till fifty years ago, but were in vogue only
in colleges, but today there are more high school
graduates than there were college graduates before.
The speaker said Texas is the biggest State in area, first in agricultural development and first in
many things called natural resources and advantages, but is far down the line in education.
The responsibility of remedying the educational situation rests upon the graduates of today, he said.
To improve these conditions graduates each year must go forth and seek to better the conditions from year to year.
The speaker stressed wisdom as
the most desired and valuable
thing to be sought—not beauty or
pleasure or power, only as power
comes through wisdom. In this
connection he referred to the wedding
feast of the goddesses, where
the apple of discord fell upon the
banquet table. Juno, Venus and
Minerva disputed over the apple,
and it was finally awarded the
latter as the goddess of wisdom,
which is greater than pleasure
and power and properly applied
controls all else.
Declaring that, all work and no
play makes Jack a dull boy and
all play and no work makes Jack
a weakling, he urged the gaining
of knowledge and wisdom and
give your golden apple to the goddess
of wisdom.
Self-knowledge, self-reverence
and self-control were the three
controlling lements set forth, and
in conquests that give so much
joy and satisfaction, the conquest
of self is the greatest, he satd.
Mental, physical and spiritual
development and adding strength
to all these was the road to wisdom,
power and success. He urged
that they study their own
minds, discover where the strong
and weak points are, do the things
that are not so interesting or
tasteful that duty requires, take
physical exercises and use proper
food for physical upbuilding and
keep the conscience clear and
thereby add strength to the spirituality
which rounds out the true
character that is intended. He
mentioned Roosevelt as a child
was physically weak and through
proper exercising and diet built his
body into that of a giant. The
mentality and spirituality is improved
and builded up in much
the same manner, exercise and
proper intellectual diet.
Carlton Roberts, valedictorian of
the class, spoke as follows, this
feature closing, the program:
This, my friends, is a time
when we must bid you farewell.
We have passed down the halls of
this, our beloved I. O. O. F. High
School and tonight we stand at
the first turning point in our endless
grasp for the knowledge of
life. From year to year we have
watched others attain this landing,
and eagerly anticipated our
reaching it. Each year the preparation
has been a little more
careful, until, tonight, we feel
confident that, no matter how
rough the way, we are ready to
cast lots in the unknown channels
of life.
As we. the class of 1926, stand
before you, the pages of our memory
reflect long glances upon the
many friendships and associations
that have been formed during our
stay in this wonderful Home.
Dear schoolmates, we have come
to the parting of the ways. Let us.
as we go forth, never forgot the
Gordian ties that have bound us
so closely together. May the
troubles we have triumphed over
and the experiences we have
profited by, be both an incentive
and an inspiration to you to reach
this goal of graduation, so that
you will be further prepared to
direct your effort toward bettering
the citizenship of our great country.
Dear teachers, Mr. and Mrs.
Hawkins, members of the Board,
Grand Officers of the Odd Fellows,
and all others who have to do
with the direction and support of
this Home, we cannot go our way
without expressing to you our
gratitude for the influence yon
have exerted in moulding our
young lives. We thank you for
all you have so cheerfully done
for us, and trust that the years
to come may demonstrate to your
satisfaction as well as to our own
that you have succeeded in turning,
out men and women of principle.
We tonight are resolved that
we will keep our record stainless,
our ideals lofty, and our account
with life so balanced that there
will never be any grave debts
against, us.
In closing we ask you to permit
us to slightly paraphrase the
words of St. Paul and say: "We
are now ready to be offered and
the time of our departure is at
hand. We have fought a good
fight; we have finished our
course; we have kept the faith.
Henceforth may there be laid up
for us a crown of reward for our
achievements which shall be given
us at that day; and not to us only
but to all those also who follow
the line of duty as we have fol-
lowed it."

The Corsicana Daily Sun - Saturday, June 5, 1926
Submitted by Diane Richards


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Edward L. Williams