Throwback Thursday September 16, 2021Matt Thorenz
This week’s “Throwback Thursday” is this commencement brochure for the Washingtonville Union School Class of 1908 belonging to Ethel Wright Hudson (1891-1936). Before the construction of the Washingtonville Central School in 1932, School plays and ceremonies were often held at Moffat Library in what is now the building’s Adult Wing. According to one article “The hall had been prettily decorated, including in large letters W.H.S. 08,” and the class motto, “Through Difficulty to Grandeur”. Despite there being only four students in the graduating class and “excessive heat” of June, the library hall was “crowded to the doors”. The graduates were Ella Bull, Howard Conklin, Harold L. Sitzer, and Chadwick Gerow; who delivered the salutatory and oration on “Heroism and Bravery”. Sadly, Chadwick would be killed in action on September 29th, 1918, the only soldier from Washingtonville to be killed in action during the First World War.
At this time, Ethel Hudson was a Junior, graduating the following year. However she did attend this ceremony and inscribed on the cover “Mr. Smith told me he loved me on the 25 of Nov, 1908. He asked me to tell him first which I did. These are Mr. Smith’s words: “Ethel – Ethel I love you”. Whether this was true love or just a fantasy we can only guess.
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