Previous posts in this series can be found here.
My grandmother, Mary Lucile Crowe (Mary Lou) attended Emmerich Manual Training High School in Indianapolis from 10th grade (1940) to 12th grade (1943). The school itself was enormous. As beautiful as the building is, I can’t imagine attending school there – I would surely get lost! This is a current picture of the building that used to house the school. It moved to a newer (ugly) building around 1953.
Fortunately, she kept all of her report cards from high school. They came into my possession like this:
There might be a total of 1 inch worth of substance holding that entire envelope together. Once I took the cards out, this is what I had:
During her first official year of high school (she also attended Junior High here), Mary Lou took the standard courses of literature, composition, algebra, physical education, but also took Latin, shorthand, typing, and (again) health & safety. She did well with the shorthand, but the typing … not so much. She didn’t miss one day of school.
Her second year of high school was pretty much the same as the first, again with no missed days:
I note the addition of U.S. History and “Business Training” and the absence of Latin, P.E., health & safety, and algebra. I also note that her grades improved somewhat – even typing starting improving the last half of the year!
Her Senior Year in high school appears to have been much easier with fewer, perhaps easier, classes.
They added such courses as household science, salesmanship, and office training. But the last half of the year shows a course I can’t quite figure out: Mach. [something]. I’m pretty sure the first word means “machine” but I can’t tell what the second word is – if anyone is familiar with it, please let me know.
As is common in high school, there was a dance at the school (maybe prom, I’m not sure) during Mary Lou’s senior year. This is where she met THE ONE. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I picture two people locking eyes across a crowded room, and all else fades away until they are the only two people in the universe (cue the sappy music) …
Here’s the real scoop: My grandfather, John Joseph Gallagher, was in the Army and happened to be on leave in Indianapolis with an Army buddy. His buddy invited him to come with him to his old high school one evening. He said they were having a dance and he was going to see some of his old friends. My grandfather agreed. But he had grown up in Ridgefield, New Jersey – where they only had one high school – so he didn’t think to ask his friend which high school. As fate would have it, my grandfather accidentally showed up at Emmerich on the same night my grandmother was attending the dance. The rest is history (and will be told in later blog posts). I can’t help but think that if he had gone to the intended school, I wouldn’t even be here. Thank you, fate.
Mary Lou was recognized for her efforts throughout high school with a certificate for perfect attendance for all four years.
There’s no certificate for her pre-high school years, but I’m pretty sure my grandmother never missed a day of school. I vaguely remember her talking about it when I was younger, but I probably blew it off as a failed attempt to make me want to go to school all the time.
Mary Lou’s education culminated on June 9, 1943 when she graduated from high school, receiving this diploma:
Next: Goin’ to the chapel …Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com
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