Jean’s Birthday Celebration 1924

December 5, 2013

The gossip column in the local newspaper is so much fun to read.  Here we find a little excerpt about Jean’s birthday celebration in 1924.  Her actual birthday was June 30th.

July 4, 1924 Jean's birthday party

July 4, 1924 Jean’s birthday party

It reads:  “In honor of Jean McDonald’s birthday a picnic was held at Fish Lake Saturday.  Those present were the Misses Nellie McDonald, Jean McDonald, Edna McDonald, Harriette Murphy, Doris Ryker and Velma Ryker.”  Cheney Free Press 7/4/1924.

The next photo was taken in 1927 and although it is not from the actual date above,  I thought it was fun.  On the left you find Vivian, then Miriam, Aunt Nellie and then Jean.

Vivian, Miriam, Aunt Nellie, & Jean 1927

Vivian, Miriam, Aunt Nellie, & Jean 1927


Eddie’s Collection of Junk: Sister Jean the Actress 1924!

November 28, 2013
Jean in 1925 but the gesture is almost the same...

Jean in 1925 but the gesture is almost the same…

On a visit to my aunts Jean and Miriam in the  1980’s, Jean acted in a very curious manner. She was standing at her backdoor to her house in Selah, WA and she put her hand to her brow, palm out, and said in a very melodramatic manner.  “I must go inside now and get beautiful.”  She turned and swept into the house. I doubt beauty was really on her mind but something had inspired her.  We were about to go on a drive somewhere so she was probably teasing me a little. The picture above is Jean in 1925 a little after the play below but I think you can see the actress in her. HA!

When I found this article in Eddie’s Collection of Junk and in the Cheney newspaper (Feb. 24, 1924) mentioning Jean acting in a play, I was delighted.  The scenario above clicked and “I got it.”  I do regret not questioning her about her actions for it could have produced some wonderful stories.  I had been in an old-time melodramatic play in college, so we would have had a wonderful chat about our experiences.  Sigh!

The Fascinating Fanny Brown 1924

The Fascinating Fanny Brown 1924

Eddie had this comment in her Collection of Junk and the names she mentions are in the program below.

Eddie commenting about a play in Junior year.

Eddie commenting about a play in Junior year.

Here is the program for the Fascinating Fanny Brown:

Program for a Play 1924

Program for a Play 1924 – click to read about the plot!!


Jean’s Cheney High School Activities 1924

November 21, 2013

Jean was featured in the Cheney High School year book on page 58.  She was a member of the Student Council. Apparently they had their first meeting on December 1, 1924.

Cheney High School Student Council 1924

Cheney High School Student Council 1924 – click to open

Members of the council were:

President: Alfred Erickson

Secretary-Treasurer: Lola Sherar

Faculty Advisor: Mr. Hodge

Charge of Assemblies:  Lola Sherar, Jean McDonald, Beulah Liedloff, Velma Ryker, Theresa Burke, Vesta Clever, John Fishback, Victor Wilson, Roy Huse, Merville Ryan, Nolan Brown and John Nedwed and Cyril Byrnes for acting as substitute.

The Photo:  Jean is the one with the big white-collar front row second from right.


Eddie’s Collection of Junk: The 3 Sister Reporters & Editors!

November 12, 2013
Eddie is featured in the Cheney High School Year Book

Eddie is featured in the Cheney High School Year Book – click to open – back button to return

According to the Cheney High School yearbook (circa 1925) the Cheney News was founded in 1923 and Eddie is the Editor?  In the picture above Eddie is smack in the middle.  Now I know why she kept the 15 issues of this paper.  This newspaper meant a great deal to my Aunt’s Miriam, Jean and Eddie.

“The High School News”  In the long forgotten year of 1923, before the edition of an annual was every dreamed of, the High School News was originated, under the auspices of the Senior Class.  Finances were provided for by general subscription and by advertisements. A faculty adviser and staff were selected by the student body, and the first edition was published in January.  The News was reorganized the following September.  In the fall of 1924 a temporary editor and a business manager were appointed to edit the paper until a permanent staff could be elected. Under this arrangement the first two editions were issued.  The regular staff was elected in November and edited the December issue.  It was as follows:  Editor, Edna McDonald; assistant editor Helen Hochtritt; business manager, John Burke; assistant business manager, Virgil McGee; faculty adviser, Miss Anne Norwood; reports, Majorie Arrasmith, Verne Bacharach, Clarence Dykes, Juanita Eads, Noel Guertin, Lottie Mason, Gertrude Michel, and Elanor Williams.  —Edna McDonald. 

Well, I then went back through all the issues I had of this newspaper and sure enough she was Editor for the January 13, 1925 issue Vol. III, No. 8.  Now Jean was also editor for the November 18, 1924 issue and Miriam was an Associate Editor at one time before Jean.  They were all reporters or on special assignment.  HA!

It is always wonderful to be surprised.  I have scanned the issues of the Cheney High School Newspaper from 1923 to 1925 and created a page.  Go to the top of this blog and you will find it.  Enjoy.

Jean as Editor of CHS News

Jean as Editor of CHS News

Here Eddie is featured:

Eddie is an Editor of the CHS News.

Eddie is an Editor of the CHS News.

Apparently Eddie held Miss Norwood, the advisor to the newspaper, in esteem for she had a picture of her in her Collection of Junk.

Miss Anne Norwood, Adviser for the CHS News

Miss Anne Norwood, Adviser for the CHS News


Eddie’s Collection of Junk: Halloween Favors Cheney, WA style!

November 7, 2013

Halloween for 2013 has come and gone but that is okay.  I want to share some items I found in Eddie’s ” Collection of Junk,” before I continue on with more from her pile of stuff.  They are Halloween napkins and decorations.  They have survived and are probably about 90+ years old, maybe even older.  My Aunt Eddie was a craftswoman as you will come to see.

A Napkin that is very fragile

A Napkin that is very fragile

The next two Halloween Decorations are made of black construction paper and are rather hardy.  The bat has a good ten inches wingspan.  The Owl is about six inches high and 5 inches wide.

A Bat for Halloween circa 1923

A Bat for Halloween circa 1923

Nite Owl circa 1923

Nite Owl circa 1923

This party favor is quite clever, using black construction paper, a pipe cleaner and crepe paper.  The face is very well done.  It could be a cut out.

Scary Cat cira 1923

Scary Cat cira 1923

This napkin is regular sized and was extremely fragile and difficult to scan without tearing it.  Can you believe it lasted 90+ years.  The decorations wrap around the napkin over 2/3rds of it and are quite involved.

Large Napkin circa 1923

Large Napkin circa 1923


Eddie’s “Collection of Junk” – Sister Jean, the Editor!

November 7, 2013

My research on Eddie and Jean revealed that Jean had jumped ahead a year in her schooling.  I believe this happened before High School because Jean seems to appear in tandem with Eddie in the memorabilia and documents that I have found and studied for Cheney High School.

Jean and Miriam were part of the staff for the Cheney High School newspaper.

Jean and Miriam editors of the Cheney High School Newspaper.

Jean and Miriam editors of the Cheney High School Newspaper.

Here is a copy of two of the pages of the Cheney High School newspaper, mentioned above, for February 13, 1923, Vol. I, No. I Cheney, WA.  Looks like it was their first issue.

Feb 13, 1923 Cheney High School Newspaper

Feb 13, 1923 Cheney High School Newspaper

Cheney High School News, Feb. 13, 1923.

Cheney High School News, Feb. 13, 1923.

On the second page up in the top left corner you will see the names of the staff.  It Reads:

Published by the Associated Students of the Cheney HIgh School, Cheney, Washington.  Editor:  Bob Schick; Associate Editors:  Miriam McDonald and Alberta Victor;  Senior Reporters, Mary Bruihl and John Rutherford; Junior Reporters, Clarence Rayburn and Harry Rothrock; Sophomore Reporters, Eleanor Shaw and Jean McDonald; Junior High Reporters, Robert Macartney and Ruth Kulp, Margaret McCroskey, Business Manager, Eunice Montgomery, Faculty Adviser Miss Nellie C. Catton.

Look who is also listed, Miriam.

Seems to me I have seen some of these names on Miriam’s graduation from high school memorabilia in the last post.  I have approximately 16 issues of this high school newspaper that I found among their possessions.  I am thinking at some point I need to scan them and give them to the Cheney Historical Society.

Eddie kept in her “Collection of Junk” an article in the newspaper in which Jean was mentioned as Editor.  I do not know what newspaper or the date of this article.  I tried to find it in the newspaper collection of the Eastern Washington University but ran out of time.  It would guess it was about 1926.  This article means that Jean continued to pursue her interest in journalism when she started attending the Normal School.

Jean as Editor in Normal School.

Jean as Editor in Normal School.

“Jean M’Donald Journal Editor, Chosen by Cheney Normal Students — Chewelah Man Heads Association.”

State Normal School, Cheney, Sept. 25 — the election of officers for the students’ association for this quarter resulted as follows; President, Robert Reed, Chewelah; vice president, George Walker, Rockford; secretary, Lila Conner, Whitefish, Mont.; chairman of the finance committee, Lloyd Howton, Kahlotus; chairman of social committee, Clara Moats, Orting; editor of state normal journal, Jean McDonald, Spokane; business manager of journal, Leroy Fulton, Dixie; chairman of program committee, Emma Morris, Pomeroy…”


Cheney Normal School and Miriam 1923 to 1925!

October 24, 2013

Miriam headed for the Cheney Normal School right after she graduated from High school.  This photograph below was among Miriam’s possessions.  When I visited Cheney in 2002, I saw that the pillars were still standing.   By 2003 it was now called Eastern Washington University and it was very different from what this photograph suggests.  It was all grown up as an institution.

The Entrance to the Cheney Normal School

The Entrance to the Cheney Normal School

For some reason, I think this photograph that follows was taken at the Normal School. Miriam does not look happy.  It is one of my favorites of her for she didn’t like having her photograph taken.

Miriam surprised

Miriam surprised

Below are some Normal School yearbook page and we find Miriam is active in the Avon Club and so is Eddie.  I do not see Eddie in the picture but I believe the person on the end in the front row is Miriam looking very serious.  Both are listed in the 3rd column next to each other. This leads me to believe that Eddie attended the Normal School for a short while before she headed to Spokane to enter nursing school.

Miriam and Eddie are members of the Avon club

Miriam and Eddie are members of the Avon club – click to open

Much to my surprise Miriam was also a member of the French Club or rather Les Membres Du Cercle Francais.  Miriam is listed in the center column about half way down. I cannot be sure but I think she is the one in the front row in the center, with a hat and a white-collar. The second page you will find Miriam’s name at the bottom as a Rapporteurs.  I don’t ever remember her speaking French.

Miriam and French Club at Cheney Normal School

Miriam and French Club at Cheney Normal School

More French club for Miriam

More French club for Miriam

Someone wrote in more information about Miriam on the page where the names of the graduates are listed.  It reads “McDonald, Miriam, Cheney High School.”  The additional information reads:  “Honor Roll, Press Club – Vice President, Avon Club, French Club and Journal staff.”  Under the French club is some writing I cannot make out.  It looks French.  I am so grateful to the person who added the information about Miriam.

Miriam Graduates from Cheney Normal School 1925

Miriam Graduates from Cheney Normal School 1925

Miriam probably attended the Commencement exercise in May of 1925 for the Normal School for a copy of the program was among her possessions.

Commencement 1925 Cheney Normal School

Commencement 1925 Cheney Normal School

Image777

In the scrapbook page above, Miriam is listed under the 3 year diplomas.  They also had four-year diplomas.  There is another page that lists two-year diploma students but it is huge so I am not going to feature it here.

Miriam must have been on a speed course, attending in the summer to be done by August 13, 1925 having graduated in 1923 from high school.  She may have been small of stature 5 ft. 2 inches but that didn’t slow her done. She was ambitious.

I have mentioned that she was teaching in Noxon, Sanders, Montana from July 1925 to June 1926. If you study the dates you see that she was definitely on the move.  She followed that up with teaching in Ritzville, Adams County, Washington for 8 months from July 1, 1926 to June 1927.  She then headed to Heppner, Morrow Co., Oregon from July 1929 to June 1935 doing 9 months each year.  She then returned to the Normal School and obtained an advanced degree.  I will share that in a future post.

My Aunt Miriam is the person responsible for all my genealogical madness.  She sent me 6 pages of family notes and later I found 3 more.  I have honored her in a post at the beginning of this blog. Thanks again Miriam.

Note:  Under the Freedom of Information Act, I obtained Miriam, Vivian and Jean’s school retirement files, so that is why I know where they were teaching over the years.  I tried for Gordon but they didn’t have anything for him, so his teaching in Big Timber, Montana is probably lost or with those school records in Montana.


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