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128 Years Ago, Three Students in First SHS Graduation

May 21, 2022

Sheridan College Graduates 2022

May is graduation month for Sheridan area schools. For many years, the high school graduation ceremonies have been held on Memorial Day weekend, and this year they are on May 29. In this story we will take a look back at graduations in Sheridan through the years.

The first high school graduation from Sheridan high school was held on May 17, 1894. The Sheridan Post, May 24, 1894, reported it in this way.

Commencement Exercises The Sheridan public schools were closed for the term last Thursday, and commencement exercises were held in the city hall that evening. Popular interest and pride felt in the remarkable success which has attended the earnest and efficient labors of Prof. Ogden and his able assistant teachers was manifested by the large and attentive audience, and after the rendition of the following program many congratulations were showered upon both teacher and pupils:

The graduating class composed of Misses Delia Collier and May Farley, and Mr. Herbert Zullig are justly proud of their accomplishments, and the patrons of the school derive much satisfaction from the knowledge of the fact that we have an institution in our midst from which their children may step directly into the State University, take up their studies in the same line and at the piece when they leave off here.

In Buffalo, The Peoples Voice reports on the Buffalo schools graduation in December of 1897

High School — Enrollment 39; Average attendance 35.

Ninth grade: Glen Barlett, Martha Braden, Floreance Worth, Willie Boyce Willie Shortill

Juniors: Mamie Griffin, Eva Armenta, Leroy Minnick, Joel Taylor, Mary Given, Ida Hyatt.

Seniors and Graduates Barney Herttzman, Beulah Sage, Anna Ackerman, Robert Newell

R.L. Hoff, Principal.

And in a Buffalo Voice, December, 1898 there is an article about education.Education: Johnson county is fortunate in having an abundance of good schools, teachers in every case being thorough and efficient, both in the matter of scholarship and discipline. The standard of morality is high, and no where in the State does a better record exist. There are nine districts… the school buildings are comfortable and up-to-date structures and as conveniently located as possible. At the head of the Buffalo schoolsis R.I. Hoff, a graduate of the University of Kansas. The school contains eleven grades and, upon graduation, with the exception of one yearsLatin, the pupil is prepared to enter the freshmen class of a university.

And this article on April 8, 1905

School Notes: Eighth grade and seniors are! working on their coming commencement events. School will close June 2. …. It is a great mistake to allow pupils to quit school now or any time before the close. They lose in these two months a half year’s standing in the grades, and practically a year’s standing in the high school.

In a Sheridan Daily Enterprise, in May of 1908 the author bemoans the fact that so much money is spent by the young women graduates and their parents.

The Increasing Extravagance of Graduations The layette of the sweet girl graduate has reached such startling proportion a that it vies with the bride’s trousseau. This condition exists chiefly in the common high school and not in the college. There a semblance of equality is maintained by the use of cap and gown.

Here a spirit of rivalry leads to a competition which almost, and some times does, outdistance the poorer members of the class, and which is always a severe drain on the financial resources of the family. It is now considered necessary to have not lees than three new gowns, with all the accompanying lingerie— shoes, hate, gloves, wraps, etc, ate, to say nothing of flowers and gifts which must be provided, sometimes this means that the mother must do outside work to help to raise the extra money, sometimes the burning of midnight oil mending, patching or making over in an attempt to make last year’s junior gown do for this year’s senior.

Even in the case of the family with plenty, this extra money could be used to much greater advantage in preparing the girl’s wardrobe for college or sending her away for a vacation or allowing her to use it for travel, all which means more knowledge an a greater and larger views of life.

The only remedy is for public sentiment to advocate simpler dressing and less attention to the outside appearance and more thought to the inside dressing and equipment. One good, plain white dress, with cap and gown, should suffice for all occasions.

Hard to imagine today, when the North East Wyoming area was just starting to bring in settlers and establish schools, there were only from three to five graduates.

While today’s graduation occur in or around the high school, in a gym or auditorium, the Daily Enterprise, Sheridan, on May 31 1910 had this report about the graduation exercises.

Hats in the Air at Tongue River High School 2021

The Baccalaureate Sermon was Delivered by Rev. O. Albert Traut it the Klrby Opera House Sunday Evening. Sunday evening started commencement week off at the Klrby opera house, when the class of 1910 gathered there to hear the annual baccalaureate Sermon and which was preached this Rev. G. Albert Tram of the Congregational church. The service Blind in by majority of the lies In the city. By 8 o’clock the hall was well filled and shortly alter that hour every seat was occupied and many went away preferring not to stand up. After the audience was seated the senior class of twenty-five members marched down the front of the hall, they were clad In black caps and gowns and truly an imposing sight as they stood before being seated This class ls the largest to ever graduate from the Sheridan High School.

Notice that the class of 25 was the largest class at SHS to graduate up to that time.

Graduation was looked upon as a city-wide event as per this article in The Daily Enterprise, June 1, 1910

Our Graduates. The streets of the city of Sheridan are being made more than ordinarily attractive this week by the presence of so many fine and manly school boys and winsome and modest school girls.

The children of Sheridan are much interested in the graduation exercises, which have been going on for the past few days, and it is with great pride that mothers and fathers, relatives and friends look upon our children, and smile at their enthusiasm and the earnestness of all, memory carrying them back to the time when they too had finished school life, and clad in cap and gown, received diplomas of excellence.

We doubt if there is another city in the world the size of Sheridan which could produce so many and well-trained school children, with their rugged health and strong constitutions acquired by life in the open air; the clearness of brain, the sparkling eyes, and the loyal loving hearts that beat in the breasts of our loved ones. Sheridan is proud of its school graduates, and we give cordial welcome into the affairs of life at the conclusion of your school days. May your lives be long and prosperous, and ever happy, with only enough shadow to enhance by contrast the sunshine which we trust may ever encompass thee round.

As today, graduates were honored not only with diplomas but gifts as well. The Sheridan Enterprise, June 1, 1917, and merchants were quick to jump on board with advertisements for gifts.

And this one from Buffalo Voice, June 8, 1907

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Last modified: May 21, 2022

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