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  • Last modified 178 days ago (May 22, 2019)

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1914 yearbook photoS

This Marion High School domestic science classroom, as shown in the school’s 1914 Crimson and Blue yearbook, was created in 1910 to expand educational offerings beyond cultural preparation for college or teaching.

Marion also had a laboratory, which was used to teach physics and agriculture, including the testing of seeds for local farmers.

Commencement of modern education

A century ago, high schools were only beginning to resemble what they are today.

Until 1908, high school education fell within one of two tracks — college preparatory or “normal,” for students who wanted to teach grade school.

The first venture away from that came with the founding in 1909 of a domestic science department at Marion High School. It was quickly followed by creation of a manual arts department.

“The members of the school board are alive to the fact that our public school system of today needs revolutionizing or at least evolutionizing,” the Record wrote at the time, inventing a word. “More practical training is the imperative need.

“The vast majority of public school students follow some trade after leaving school, and it is even too well known that little if anything of real practical value is given the student during current courses.”

Students acknowledged the change in their 1914 yearbook, writing:

“A generation of two ago, people demanded that education be strictly cultural. In recent years they have come to look upon education as a thing which will help them to better living by making labor more efficient.”

Six years before women earned the right to vote, the yearbook went on to say:

“Woman is not satisfied with a training which develops only the intellect. In addition to this the new education gives attention to the physical, aesthetic, social, domestic, economic and spiritual development.”

Domestic science, covering health, sanitation, budgeting, and cooking, was joined by domestic arts, including creating and repairing garments and laundering them.

The school’s laboratory was used to teach both physics and agriculture, including testing of seeds for the benefit of the community.

In those days, schools had glee clubs and sports teams, but their main competition often was a town team or musical group, not other schools.

Still, students were students, and they tended to be a bit risqué with their cheers.

This official high school yell, complete with grammar error but with one word censored from it, appeared in the 1914 yearbook:

One a-zippa, two a-zippa, three a-zippa, zam!

Marion High School don’t give a damn!

Rip Van Winkle or a little bull pup,

We’re the kind that never give up!

The yearbook was named “Crimson and Blue,” modeled after University of Kansas colors, but within eight years they had changed to red and blue and the yearbook name had been changed to “The Marion.”

Virtually every page in 1914 was adorned with a then-popular symbol — a left-facing swastika, which remained popular until Nazi Germany adopted a right-facing version as its logo in the 1930s.

From 1914, when there were only 16 graduates but an impressive football victory over Wichita, to 1922, when there were 43, the inexorable move toward schools becoming a primary source of local sports and entertainment began.

It wasn’t until the mid-’20s, however, before Marion sports teams began being referred to as Warriors.

Their previous nickname began in 1921, when a powerhouse football team that drew attention statewide became known as the Terrible Tribe.

Starting the next year, soon after the opening of the current high school building, members of the Terrible Tribe sometimes were referred to as warriors. As the years wore own, the Terrible Tribe moniker faded, and Warriors stuck.

Expectations for the ’22 Terrible Tribe ran high, and the team opened its season with unprecedentedly lopsided victories over two county teams: 125-0 over Burns and 205-0 over Hillsboro.

It followed up with a 65-6 victory over Peabody and a 51-0 victory over Chase (the Rice County community, not Cottonwood Falls, county seat of Chase County).

Dividing schools into classes by enrollment was unheard of in those days, and as might be expected, scores were closer against bigger schools.

Marion defeated McPherson, 44-6; El Dorado, 13-0; Newton, 27-0; and Lindsborg, 14-0, before finally losing to Hutchinson, 13-7, and to Emporia, 10-0.

Last modified May 22, 2019

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