FIVE: ACH DU LIEBER LUDEKE
"ALLS" stands for Ada Louise Ludeke Smith: Ada Ick in childhood, Ick at college, Icky to her husband, Mom to her daughters, Louise to her in-laws, Momine or Grandma or Goppy to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Smitty as a senior citizen. Her informal memoirs were written 1983-96, and several (purloined from Chapter L-7) appear below. Many redundant commas have been weeded out and paragraph breaks reduced to better suit hypertext format; but the original capitalization is largely preserved. Some of the late essays required a degree of editing for coherence.
Internet sources are indicated by tildes (e.g. ~internet). A complete list can be found on the Sources page. Due to the transient nature of Internet entries, only a few hyperlinks will be provided to outside webpages; such as ~a (www.ancestry.com), ~f (www.familysearch.org), ~g (www.findagrave.com), and ~w (www.worldvitalrecords.com). The United States Federal Census records for 1850 through 1940 cited below are available at ~a (except for 1890's, which was badly damaged in a 1921 fire and later quietly destroyed).
Grows Up and Goes to Miami (of Ohio)
● Merry Little School Chums
The first extant mention of ALLS in public print followed a preliminary announcement by the Mar. 31, 1914 Evening Journal:
DICKIE CHENAULT TO HAVE PARTY. Pretty little invitations were issued by Dickie Chenault today inviting a number of her friends to her birthday party. They read as follows: Come and play with me on my birthday. Saturday, April 4th, 2 until 5. 105 Dayton St.
Dickie Francis Chenault (1906-1980) was the daughter of Mabel Shepherd Chenault (1885-1939), who produced the amateur theatricals featuring Uncle Bob Ludeke. Not surprisingly, both Mabel and her daughter could often be found on Hamilton's society page, such as in the Apr. 6, 1914 Republican-News:
MISS DICKIE CHENAULT'S BIRTHDAY PARTY. Little Miss Dickie Chanault [sic], eight years old on Saturday, reached one of the crowning glories of childhood on that day, for she was a hostess and around her were gathered merry little school chums eager to start this first day of her new year in a joyous fashion. The Shepherd home on Dayton street was a playroom for the time, and the happy-hearted youngsters romped away the afternoon with their little hostess. A guessing contest and a pea-nut [sic] hunt brought youthful heads together to wonder "what could be next" and to "bump" in a search of the hidden peanuts, and each jolly contest ended with a pretty prize for the winner, Miss Helen Moore winning a book in the guessing game, and Eugene Gilligan a silver spoon for finding the hiding place of the most nuts. Four-thirty brought the time for the party lunch and it revealed all of the things that are dear to little folk, there was a long table with a birthday cake, eight burning tapers and best of all a favor for each young guest, Yankee Doodle hats, flags and Easter egg novelties, and the cake cut in many pieces was served with dainty nut cream.
Miss Dickie's happy playmates were: Helen Deam, Helen Moore, Katherine Flenner, Mary Louise Eastman, Susan Cochran, Thelma Huts, Katherine Seltzer, Genevive Shaffer, Betty Banker, Ruth Seegers, Ada Ludeke, Catherine and Elizabeth Mason, Jessie Bess Lebo, Dorothy Holbrock, Betty Radcliffe, Edna May Bisdorf, Huntington Parrish, Eugene Gilligan, Jack Bosch, Kenneth Emmert, Don Schipper, [Holin?] Hammerle, Marion Emerick, Charles Sohngen, Charles and William Mason, Harold Deam, James Semlet, William Bender and Gregory Holbrock.
may presume Uncle Bob was instrumental in Ada Louise's being invited to
this Event of the Happy-Hearted Season. Many years later ALLS would say,
"Only because of his urging, I joined a sorority (Z.T.A.) [Zeta Tau Alpha] at
Miami [University]—he had high hopes that I would like the social life also—but
[I'm] afraid I disappointed him—disliking that life intensely! Ha!" Even
so, her name would appear in a fair number of local society columns during the
● Role Models
Grandma Ludeke was as roost-ruling about the family's religion as she was about everything else. Her son Bob might be "interested in the stage—dancing, acting, music"—but to Grandma, as to many Ohio ladies of that era, the Stage equaled Sin and could lead to Lord Only Knows What. "Robert!" she might say, "what's this DECK OF CARDS doing in your bureau drawer?" "I play solitaire, Mama," Bob might reply, before further scandalizing her by trying (unsuccessfully) to make wine in the cellar.
Up till 1910, the Ludekes attended St. John Evangeline Protestant (aka St. John's Reformed) Church at 412 South Front Street. Rev. C. A. Hermann, Pastor of St. John's for all but two years from 1855 to 1903, officiated at August Ludeke's funeral; Carrie Ludeke delivered a recitation at a church service in 1894; Irma and Frieda were photographed with the choir in 1902 (see ~stjohnprot). The Jan. 8, 1902 Evening Democrat announced the St. John's Ladies Society was holding its first coffee of the year, with Louise (not yet Grandma) Ludeke on the committee in charge; while the Aug. 4, 1906 Evening Democrat reported that "Miss Freda [sic] Ludeke to lead Christ's League at St. John's."
In 1903 the late Rev. Hermann was succeeded as pastor by Herbert August (H. A.) Dickman, who officiated at Catherine/Elizabeth Wuechner's funeral. "After serving for seven years he left with his friends to organize Bethel Church," explains ~stjohnprot. Among Bethel's charter members were Irma and Frieda Ludeke, and evidently their mother and Aunt Annie Koeppendoerfer accompanied them there. Bethel Chuch was at 33 North B Street, just across the Miami River from 120 North Front. The Nov. 21, 1914 Daily Republican-News noted that "Morning worship (German)" was scheduled for 10:15 am, and "Evening worship (English) for 7:30 pm.
"Grandma Ludeke and family were German Lutherans, natch," ALLS would say. "About the time I arrived on the scene, the church split (reasons? I know not)—her clan went to a newly formed church—Ed and Dad went no place—Bob joined the Presbyterian church. Little Ada of course went with the females—until I got to High School, then begged to go with all my friends to the Presbyterian church. Joined that church—then was active in the Presbyterian church in Oxford [OH] for four years (sang in choir—etc.)."
On May 21-22, 1925 the Presbyterian Endeavor Society presented Miss Molly, a two-act comedy, featuring Ada Louise as "Pearl White, a colored girl and innocent participant in the plot." She was "the outstanding feature of the production... handled this part with the ease of a professional and produced an unlimited amount of mirth." How Grandma reacted to her performance is an interesting speculation; but if Miss Molly had been put on twenty times instead of twice, "Uncle Bob would have attended all twenty."
ALLS would be a regular churchgoer till old age robbed her of mobility (see the very late mini-essay on "Faith" in Chapter L-7); yet she cited teachers rather than preachers among her mentors—and in one case a nemesis—as related in "Help from Role Models":
I think every person needs some "role models" in their life, who have influenced them and in many ways taught them priceless lessons that they can use forever. I remember several of my school teachers whom I benefited from, and shall forever be grateful to them for their serviceable gifts.
The first one that I recall was my second grade teacher, Miss Carrie Jacobs, long past the age of retirement, but her great love of life and children kept her going. She had the ability to help not only normal but abnormal children. At that time there were no special schools provided, but she managed to help and teach a girl with extremely poor eyesight (being an Albino), even helping her to read after school hours. The other, a slightly retarded boy, was given extra help to adjust. But her love of nature, particularly birds, had the greatest impact upon my life. She had over many years collected dead birds (from several of her friends also) and a Taxidermist had turned each into a beautiful exhibit. One day each week she would bring one or two of these to our class, and carefully teach us about them. She instilled the love of all birds, so that in the next grade we were more than enthusiastic to join the offered "Audubon Society." The third grade teacher gave an hour each Friday to further our bird knowledge, with the added help of literature provided for a small cost, and this all has given me a lifetime of enjoyment. [ALLS spent 1914-15 in second grade, and 1915-16 in third.]
My Sociology teacher in High School, Miss Marjorie Grafft, emphasized all the special benefits derived from social work, so she gave me the incentive to adopt that as my future position, a decision I have never regretted. At Miami University my physical education instructor, Miss Margaret Phillips, taught me how to develop my physical skills, making each sport a new challenge to me so that I was involved in everything, developing a strong body.
But life is not all beautiful, and I had one teacher who had an adverse influence upon my life. Unfortunately, arithmetic was always my worst subject, so fifth grade [1917-18] problems seemed a hopeless mystery to me. My previous teachers had always been aware of my weakness and patiently helped me each year. But Miss Belle Hirsch, a very stern, non-smiling woman, had the ability to recognize each pupil's weakness, and instead of helping she delighted in choosing to ridicule. Each day I was sent to the blackboard, and she would loudly announce a difficult problem. Naturally fear took over, and I was unable to solve it. Then she would encourage the class to laugh at my predicament, and say, "You are the dumbest girl in arithmetic I have ever had." I stupidly made no reply, and did not talk about her at home. Fortunately I escaped her class with a "D," but to this day all forms of arithmetic are my "Waterloo"! She was the only bad apple in the entire barrel, and I realize I was a very fortunate individual in having the best teachers available at that time.
P.S. We still are the ORAL teachers of those who follow us!
● An Event of World Importance
As we noted in Chapter S-2, the years 1917 and '18 were harsh ones for German-Americans. As long as the United States had remained neutral in the Great War, they could cheer for Das Vaterland; but no sooner did America join the Allies then backlash struck. As described by Ohio History Central at ~antigerman:
Many Ohioans began to target German-Americans in their zeal to promote patriotism. Raymond Moley, a professor at Western Reserve College, was the chair of the [Americanization C]ommittee. Members of the committee were soon influenced by anti-German sentiment and began to enlarge their responsibilities to include censorship of German literature as well. Committee members sometimes recommended removing "pro-German" books from libraries during the war. The committee also published a list of "approved books" that were not considered to be "pro-German."
Towns like Cincinnati, which had a number of streets with German names, chose to rename them during the war. The community of New Berlin changed its name to North Canton to show its patriotism. The state legislature passed the Ake Law, which banned the teaching of the German language in all schools below the eighth grade. Anyone who was suspected of being sympathetic to the German cause was treated badly by fellow Ohioans. Because there was a significant German-American population living in Ohio during World War I, anti-German sentiment was a serious problem. Many Ohioans assumed that people of German descent, conscientious objectors, and those who were not in favor of the war were traitors, even if there was no evidence to support those assumptions.
Today an historical marker in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine district memorializes the "tragic display of hysteria directed against everything and anything German... German teachers were dismissed from public schools, German professors were censored, German collections and publications were removed from circulation at the Public Library, businesses with German names had their names 'Americanized' and, by police order, only English language public meetings could be held."†
Of all this, the only traces ALLS would recall were Grandma Ludeke refusing to give up her German Bible when all Deutsch books were being rounded up in 1917—and Grandma's "boys" teasing her with shouts of "Hoch der Kaiser!" ("Hush! Hush!" Grandma would respond.) Will, Bob, and Ed all had to register for the draft, and their registration cards are on file at ~a: Will's occupation was "accountant with Niles Tool Works"; Bob's was "bookkeeper, Miami Foundry Co... sole support for mother"; and Ed's was "clerk with Champion Coated Paper Co." Will and Bob had gray eyes and Ed had brown; Will had black hair, Bob brown, and Ed dark brown. As married men, Will and Ed would not be called up, while Bob failed to pass the army physical and was consequently rejected from service (as reported by the Aug. 23, 1917 Evening Journal: 200 were examined by the draft board, and only 44 exempted).
Ada Louise's chief memory of the Great War was its conclusion, as she illustrated in a Memoir titled "An Event of World Importance":
The young girl ran all the way home from school that morning and burst into her kitchen shouting, "School is dismissed today, isn't that wonderful?" Her grandmother looked up from removing fresh baked bread from the oven and answered, "Young lady, what are you doing home at 11:15?" "Mr. Clark, our principal, has dismissed school," the child answered. "I have heard you give many excuses for getting out of doing arithmetic, but this is the worst! Turn yourself around and return to school immediately." The youngster burst into tears and said, "Honest, Grandma, I'm telling the truth."
Fortunately at this time a daughter [Frieda] appeared also, out of breath and happily announcing, "Oh Mama, the war is over and the Armistice will be signed." Mama's reply being, "Why has everyone else found out this news and not me?" Her answer soon came with ringing of church bells, neighbors banging on tin pans, and soon the fire engine was driving down the main street, joining in the clamor with the siren screaming. It was November 11, 1918, and at 11 o'clock each school was notified by phone by the Superintendent of Schools, after the city Mayor had called him. Phones were the main source of notification to relay the wonderful news to all manufacturing firms and business in general, and soon all transactions came to a standstill as hundreds of people left the buildings to join in the joyful, milling crowds downtown. In early afternoon a makeshift parade was formed and all were invited to join it, armed with their own particular noisemaker, usually just their own shouts of happiness.
Yes, the young girl was myself, and as I skipped along in the parade I was overjoyed remembering that this was the best excuse ever to get away from arithmetic. The seriousness of World War I had not been discussed at home (at least not in my presence), so it took a long time for me to realize I had survived the first big event of world importance in my life.
● Flapper Days
The 1920 census recorded the following two households on Hamilton's North Front Street:
* Keppendorfer [transcribed as "Keppendoufer"], Anna (age 68, single) head of household, renting, Ohio born, parents German born, occupation "none"
* Falkinstein [sic], Ed. (age 47, single) roomer, "solicitor, laundry"
* Shubert, Oscar (age 45, married) roomer, "travelling salesman, machine shop"
* Beatty, William (age 45, single) roomer, "porter, hotel"
* Ludeke, Louise E. (64, widowed) head of household, renting, Ohio born, parents from Germany (Bavaria) [scored through], occupation "none"
* Ludeke, Frieda L. (39, single) daughter, father born in Germany (Hanover), "bookkeeper, laundry"
* Ludeke, Ada L. (12, single) granddaughter, occupation "none"
* Ludeke, Robert W. (33, single) son, father born in Germany (Hanover), "bookkeeper, foundry"
ALLS began ninth grade at Hamilton High School in 1921. Till then her wardrobe tended to be "blue and white checked gingham dresses made by Grandma—long black stockings—high laced shoes—knit caps, scarves and mittens... There wasn't too much friction between [Grandma and me] until High School days—then the two-generation gap showed up quite often!... In High School, I wanted clothes like the other girls wore—really 'fads' I guess!—fringed dress, galoshes worn unbuckled—long beads to knees, etc. etc. (Hose were rolled beneath knees and rouge put on knees after I arrived at High School in the mornings—one of many things to make a yes out of [Grandma's] NO). Cutting my hair was the biggest hurdle to leap. (My hair was very long—to the waist—parted in middle and two long braids—hideous.) I finally went to a barber shop when I was a Junior [1923-24] and had it chopped off. No one in the family even spoke to me for about two weeks except Uncle Bob and Aunt Annie—WOW!"
She would document her secondary education, and parallel forays into trendy fashion, in these four Memoirs:
"My First Day of High School"
My friend Helen Stevenson and I had planned this special occasion for weeks: what time we would meet, on what corner, what we would wear, and what teachers we hoped to get and not get. One week before school began we shopped for our school supplies, and the bookstore gave each of us a black oilcloth bag to hold our purchases. This finished, we directed our attention to the important issue, what we would wear to make a proper impression. During the summer, we each had bought black wool skirts with matching black sweaters and black oxfords. After many dress rehearsals during August, we each approved each other's appearance.
Unfortunately, on the last day of August cool weather turned to beastly hot overnight, and after a frantic phone call early on the opening school day, we decided to wear the sweaters with white summer skirts. We met, carrying our heavy bags of supplies, and trudged the six blocks to an apprehensive experience awaiting us in the huge building. Upon our arrival we were overwhelmed with big crowds in the halls, all headed for the auditorium. We were welcomed by the Principal, and also given information from members of the faculty. Then the final announcement was given: "We are sorry the lockers have not been assigned to each student as yet, nor is the Cafeteria ready to serve you."
So Helen and I and a few of our friends headed for home, dragging the bag of supplies and feeling frustrated. But we chose a different route, using High Street, stopped in our Coney Island hot dog store for sandwiches and soda pop, and munching on these we strolled through our three five-and-ten-cent stores, so the day wasn't completely wasted.
In elementary school I was forced to wear overshoes to protect my hightop leather shoes from getting wet. I disliked them very much, and also it caused a problem in the cloakrooms: somehow one overshoe always got lost or misplaced, and returning home wearing only one resulted in a scolding from my Grandmother, and eventually the purchase of a new pair. Finally, after reaching High School age, I was relieved to graduate to a new style of shoe covering: the Galoshes. Black rubber also, but high enough to cover ankles, and fastened by four or five buckles. These were the wonderful "Flapper Days," so to be in style we left all the buckles open to flap. My Grandmother issued strict orders to me to keep mine buckled up always, to prevent accidents. I would leave home buckled, but one block away I would unbuckle. For months I lived the happy flapper life, until one day on the way home from school a sudden downpour arrived, and in jumping over a water-filled hole in the street, my buckles got entangled with each other and I fell flat, thoroughly soaking myself.
Need I elaborate on my reception at home? Once more my wise Grandmother knew the worst punishment for me, for disobeying her, was to make me wash my own dirty clothes. Remember, these were the days of using metal tubs, a washboard, and Fels Naptha soap. Also, the wash had to be dried in the attic during inclement weather. For about a week after this, I wore my galoshes buckled, but eventually peer pressure won out and the flapper emerged happily, joining all the rest with our unbuckled galoshes flaunting all authority.
"Victory at a Cost"
I inherited naturally curly hair from my parents, which was a blessing, but in 1923 when I was sixteen years of age, it was a curse to me. Bobbed hair was in, Irene Castle having introduced the fad in 1914. I was the only girl among my friends who did not have her hair cut short. I thought as a high school senior, I just could not live being the only girl still having long hair. I had begged my Grandmother many times for permission, but her answer was always the same: "Never, it is immoral, and the Bible states that is a sin to change a woman's crowning glory." My crown was made of thorns!
I was desperate, so finally one day after school I was brave enough to go into our city's only barber shop, and for twenty-five cents, the floor was soon covered with my blonde curls. The barber put them into a paper sack and I trudged home carrying it, feeling as if it weighed ten pounds. I was banned from communication by most family members for two weeks, but despite my long term punishment, I loved the way I looked. Also, my senior picture for the High School yearbook showed a new happier me: the "Flapper"!
"My Wonderful Flapper Years"
Recently I saw a drawing by John Held Jr. of a flapper, and it immediately sailed my memories back to my own flapper years. They were happy for the most part, but most frustrating also, remembering the many arguments I had with Grandmother about my dress code. Naturally, I wanted to dress as my friends did, and she insisted I wear what she chose for me to wear: a middy and skirt, with long black cotton stockings and sensible "Buster Brown" oxfords.
One friend, being raised by her father, was my role model since she appeared in High School wearing the styles of the day. A dress reaching just below her pink knees, rolled silk stockings, and patent leather pumps with three inch heels. Also, a short haircut with a flat curl above each ear, plucked thin eyebrows, powder and rouge, and lipstick. With all that as my goal, it took quite a bit of planning on my part to attain that look.
I left home each morning without any arguments from Grandma's inspection, but when I arrived at school I went to the restroom for my "re-do." Pulling up my skirt and lapping it over on the top took care of the length. Rolling my stockings below my knees and using borrowed rouge [on the knees] made them acceptable. My lips were red enough, as were my cheeks, and talcum powder covered my shining nose. My hair being naturally curly was the problem, so I pulled down pieces over each ear, and by applying water and soap made them stick to my skin. These were called "Beau Catchers" by Grandma. My ample curly eyebrows had to remain, and so these small changes were the best I could do.
The big dream that kept me going was planning for our Senior Prom, because I hoped to own a formal dress. I knew asking Grandma for it was not possible. so I had no other choice except to throw hints toward my Stepmother, who unfortunately was an enemy. But eventually my Dad took charge, and I was bought a formal of my choice: a turquoise colored crepe-de-chine, long waisted, the length just below my knees, and the skirt hung in uneven points. On the skirt front were pastel colored butterflies, each outlined in tiny gold beads. The dress was sleeveless and had a neckline below my throat, so I could wear a pretty necklace. I owned an old pair of white leather pumps, and buying a bottle of gold paint turned them into a result that wasn't too bad. Jewelry and long hose could be bought at Woolworth's.
Finally the big night arrived, Senior Prom, and my so-called date (another duty-bound classmate) came for me, and we walked the six blocks to the school gymnasium. As we made our appearance (not to applause) the Jazz Group was playing, so we went to the dance floor. Only then we discovered he preferred to waltz, and I wanted to Charleston. We compromised by finding a deserted corner for me to do my thing, and he went to the refreshments, satisfying both of us! About 10:30 my feet hurt, and he had developed a case of hiccups, so we mutually decided to go home. But for a few shining hours I was dressed like all the rest of the girls, and I was in "Seventh Heaven."
Flappers also wore glass bracelets, four to each arm above the elbows, very long strings of beads, and rings with bright glass stones in each (worn on middle and forefingers). Fortunately for me, all could be bought at the five-and-ten-cent stores. All of our so-called cosmetics came from the same source. Flapper styles were cheap for me, and also more exciting since all had to be bought and hidden in my house for further use.
Going away to my University, I could choose my own clothing, but by then I was deep into Athletics and more comfortable in my gym outfit. This was so fetching also: huge black bloomers, white middy, black cotton long hose, and laced athletic shoes! So it seems I progressed the full circle, ending up wearing practically the same type of clothing that I had rebelled against in the very beginning.
Contemporary documentation is offered by the Apr. 3, 1923 Evening Journal:
Delightful Party At Ludeke House. Miss Mary Loughman and Miss Ada Ludeke delightfully entertained at a merry dancing party, at the Ludeke home, Saturday evening. Decorations in the color scheme of yellow and white, pretty Easter flowers, and softly shaded lights furnished an ideal setting, and the happy young folks spent several hours in dancing to the strains of victrola music. Late in the evening delicious ices, cakes, mints and nuts were served. Those who participated in this enjoyable party were Misses Naomi Koehler, Edith Theile, Sara Marshall, Mary Shearer, Ruth Barry, Dorothea George, Mary Loughman, Ada Ludeke; Messrs. Bruce King, Cliff Fuget, Albert King, Clyde Bowen, LaMond Meyers, Marque Brown, John Lewis and Carlton Minnis.
● "How Can Job Turn Jester?"
ALLS graduated from Hamilton High School on June 16, 1925, having been a member all four years of its Glee Club, Hi-Y Club, and Girls's Athletic Association. Commencement for "the largest class in the history of the school" was extensively covered by that day's Evening Journal:
The invocation was offered by Dr. Charles Matthew Brown of the Presbyterian church, following which the class sang "Lovely Appear" from Charles Gounod's "The Redemption." As representatives of the class, Faye Cochran then spoke on "The Homes of Our Ancestors"; Ed. Neiderauer on "Scaling the Heights"; and Charles Massie on "Wealth for the Common Good," following which the class sang Julius Eichberg's "To Thee, O Country." The remaining speakers then were heard: Lillie Morris having for her subject "Bird Protection"; Erdine Morton, "The Wonder of the Commonplace"; and John Woolford, "Our Highways." The class then sang H. Lane Wilson's "Carmena."
(Perhaps Lillie Morris had also been a second-grade pupil of Miss Carrie Jacobs.)
The class address was delivered by Glenn Frank, editor of the Century Magazine and president-elect of the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Frank has for his subject, "Can Western Civilization Be Saved?" ...a really constructive message, one deserving of deep thought and one which faced the present situation from the standpoint of a well posed man... He said in part: "It may be that the most serious need of the human race just now is comic relief. At any rate, H. G. Wells has ventured the confident guess that the world is about to trade its sackcloth for cymbals and enter an era of humor. He predicts that 'between now and 1940 or 1960, when the nationals will be tested by their next bloody tragedy, they will look chiefly for fun.' The notion of a carnival mood settling down over Europe with its paralyzing fears, its quivering insecurity, and its contagious unrest sounds paradoxical at least. How can Job turn jester while his boils last?..."
● Why Social Work
ALLS: "My family had no objection to me attending college (Uncle Bob assumed the financial part) but seriously objected to my choice of careers—but Social Work had always appealed to me, and I took the stand, 'this, or nothing.' My choice was University of Chicago, who offered a fantastic Sociology curriculum at that time, but here I was voted down by the entire family. (Too far away and their precious child should not be sent to a large and wicked city—Ha!) So Miami, being only 15 miles from Hamilton, was the logical place!!!"
A later Memoir, "Why Social Work," provided more detail about her choice of major:
In my junior year of High School I enrolled in Sociology, because I enjoyed Miss Marjorie Grafft as a teacher. The first two weeks were rather uninteresting, but later on when she began telling about "Hull-House" in Chicago and the wonderful work Jane Addams had accomplished, I became fascinated, and decided that I too would like to pursue a similar career. At that time the University of Chicago offered the best teaching staff for Social Work.
My Uncle Bob had promised me a four year college education in any University, so I carefully made my plans to present to Grandma at a later date. Near the end of my junior year, when the entire family was seated at the dinner table, I made my presentation. Unfortunately there was a unanimous "No," each giving excuses because of the dangers to my safety and health, and contracting diseases, and possibly vermin. Grandma also added that Chicago was much too far away from home. The arguments continued, so I politely excused myself, knowing that the session was ended for that time, at least.
During the summer I sent for brochures from other Universities on Social Work, determined I was not changing my mind. Later, in my senior year, I was given papers to fill out for information about your decisions of a University, and your major. I gave these [filled out] to Grandma saying nothing, and left the room. I heard nothing from her or any other family member, until finally at one evening meal Grandma said, "We as a family have talked this over carefully, and have decided to permit you to pursue Social Work as a career, if you promise to enroll in a University nearer to home." I was elated and said, "Thank you all very much, would Miami University only fifteen miles away be alright?" I had previously studied the brochure from there, and knew that Dr. Read Bain, Chairman of the Sociology Department, was rated highly. They all agreed, so that problem was solved, and I have never been sorry for the decision I made. I was always supremely happy in my life as a social worker.
● Miami Years
"In 1803 a college township was set aside in the almost uninhabited woodlands of northwestern Butler County," begins ~oxford/miami. And in that wilderness township, Ohio's second institution of public education was chartered in 1809 as Miami University—though a year passed before the village of Oxford was laid out, and no students would be admitted till 1823. Three years later William Holmes McGuffey became a professor at Miami, and there he created the pioneering McGuffey Readers that were used as primer textbooks for well over a century. Though Miami would be known as the Yale of the West, it “was a restive, smoldering college” as early as the 1840s (as we saw in Chapter S-1B) and closed its doors for a twelve-year stretch between 1873 and 1885. Prosperity arrived with the 20th Century, as enrollment rose from around 200 in 1902 to over 700 in 1907—one-third of them women, after Ohio mandated coeducation at all its public schools.
In the spring of 1902 the State Legislature passed the Sesse Bill, establishing normal colleges at Miami and Ohio universities. "The girls are coming," Dr. [Guy Potter] Benton announced in September. He was sanguine enough to accept fifty of them, and all at once seventy-eight girls were lugging their baggage from door to door in the village, begging for rooms. It was worse the next June, when Miami's first summer session opened. Two hundred and fifty summer students were expected; four hundred sixty-nine came, and Oxford's homes were overflowing... Now the long drowsy Oxford summer, with grass going to seed on the campus and an occasional farm wagon stirring up the dust of High Street, was only a memory.
With a third of the students women, Miami needed a new residence hall. Dr. Benton proposed using one of the men's dormitories, but the trustees preferred to wait for state funds for a new building. Hepburn Hall was built in 1905 and Elizabeth Hamilton, a graduate of Oxford College and a teacher there, was appointed dean of women. Generations later, looking back to the first years in Hepburn Hall, Miss Hamilton recalled: "I didn't really know what a dean of women was supposed to be, or know, or do." But she filled the office with humor, dignity and distinction for forty years, while the women's enrollment grew to two thousand.
Hepburn Hall could not have been less appropriately named. Andrew Dousa Hepburn, staunch foe of coeducation, was nearing retirement, and the trustees, apparently with no sense of irony, chose his name, over Hepburn's "vehement protest," for the first women's building. He was still opposed to women at Miami, though he had grudgingly acknowledged them in his chapel prayer: "...Guide, direct and bless all these young men—and bless too these young women. Thou knowest, Lord, that thirty-five per cent of them are women." In ignorance or charity the girls hung a large crayon portrait of him in their main parlor. A handsome likeness of the robed and snowy-bearded patriarch, it dominated the reception room.
(As per Chapter XIII of Walter Havighurst's The Miami Years, 1809-1984: viewable at ~miamiyears. Andrew Dousa Hepburn, a Presbyterian pastor and son-in-law of William Holmes McGuffey, had served as Miami's president from 1871 till its closure in 1873; returning when it reopened in 1885 to be Professor of English Literature till his retirement in 1908. "It is not recorded that Dr. Hepburn ever stepped inside" the women's residence hall that bore his name.)
ALLS was admitted to Miami University on July 31, 1925 with 16½ entrance credits: four in English, three in History, two each in Latin, Mathematics, and Domestic Science, one each in Biology, Physics, and Other Science, plus ½ a Commercial credit. Attending for the next eight semesters and one summer session, she would be a member of Freshman Commission; the Women's Athletic Association; Botany Club (1); Classical Club (1, 2, 3); YWCA (1, 2, 3, 4); Madrigal Club (1, 2, 3, 4); Vesper Choir (3); Arion Choir (4); and Miami Chest (4); serving as a Big Sister (2, 3, 4) and participating in the Track Meet (2); Indoor Meet (2); and Class Hockey (2, 4).
"My athletic career... not a career—just doing what I enjoyed!!! Four years in High School—four years in Miami—and always pulled an A which helped too—Ha! I think I tried every kind of athletic class offered. As a Senior [Fall 1928] a group formed a FOOTBALL TEAM (hush! hush!) and we were darned good—but were found out and made to disband by the DEAN OF WOMEN—'LADIES DO NOT PLAY FOOTBALL'—HO! HUM!" A later Memoir of ALLS's athetic past would be titled "Ecstasy":
I was always interested in physical education, and while attending Miami University, I participated in every sport that was offered each of the four years I was a student there. Being young and healthy, I enjoyed each challenge that was offered: rough, tough hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, and volleyball. We even formed a football team my senior year, but the Dean of Women refused to give her permission to play this "unladylike sport"! Tennis, archery, discus and javelin throwing, running different distances in track, leaping over the hurdles, all gave me sheer joy. Bowling, roller skating, swimming, canoeing, and boating were also enjoyed in my later life. Unfortunately years later, a nasty fall, a broken bone, and a hip prosthesis reduced me to a much slower gait, using a cane for security. But I still have those great memories of being a happy athlete.
Midway through her sophomore year, ALLS was initiated into Zeta Tau Alpha (as per the Feb. 5, 1927 Miami Student):
Zeta Tau Alpha will hold initiation in McGuffey Building Saturday afternoon. Initiates are: Dorothy Botklet, Xenia; Ada Ludeke, Hamilton; Jane Story, Chillicothe; Eleanor Dibble, London; Janette Cox, Carlyle, Ky.; Mary Myers, Cleveland; Helen Kydd, Cleveland. Following the Miami-Wesleyan basketball game, the new initiates will be entertained at a banquet to be held at the Spinning Wheel Tea Room.
This was followed three months later by another initiation, recalled by ALLS in a late Memoir titled "May Day 1927":
After more years than I care to remember, May Day always recalls to me one of my most embarrassing experiences. I was asked by a sorority sister at my University to please help her. I promised if possible, then asked what I could do. She told me it was the custom to have a Maypole ceremony the first day of May, and this only involved ribbons around a pole. This did not seem too difficult so I promised to do it. Little did I know then just what else was involved in this simple sounding ceremony.
The following day she called me, and asked if I could come over to her dormitory and pick up my costume. I agreed, and on my way there, I had visions of a flowing chiffon gown, possibly in a pastel shade. Arriving at her room she handed me an old white bedsheet with a large hole in the center, to slip over my head. I thought it was a joke, but she assured me the Sorority was short on finances, so they had decided to just improvise. The next surprise was being told we were to wear no shoes. I promptly refused to appear barefooted, so was told I could just wear my white tennis shoes. As I was leaving, she remembered also that each girl had to wear a wreath of flowers on her head. I wanted to scream at this point, but since I had made a promise, I retreated.
There was supposed to have been a rehearsal, but none was requested, so I assumed the task would be easy. How wrong I was. I prayed for rain, but when the first of May arrived, the day was beautiful. I gathered up my sheet, tennis shoes, and head wreath made from a clover chain. All of the victims changed clothes in the girls's gymnasium, near the ceremonial scene. As each girl put on her costume there was instant hysteria. Looking at each other, we realized it was a scene from Halloween. The sheets were of different lengths, and several were raveled, also many shades of white. Our homemade garlands consisted of dandelions, violets, lilacs, and any kind of weed or flower that we could find on or near the campus. Our feet were a disaster. Some bare, some covered with bedroom slippers, sandals, and whatever. But not to be daunted we emerged confronted by a crowd of fellow students, who erupted into a roar of laughter.
No time to turn back now: we marched to the Maypole, and each grabbed the end of a crepe paper streamer. Then the music began, which consisted of a cracked record being played on a Victrola. I had never realized how clumsy ten young women could be, stumbling around attempting to weave the streamers, but only resulting in a horrible tangled mess. To add to the confusion, a dog joined us, barking and happily running under our already tangle of feet [sic], causing one girl to fall. By now the catcalls, whistles, and explosive laughter drowned out the music, so we dropped our torn paper and made a hasty retreat.
The final blow was only much criticism from our sorority sisters, which caused all of the Mayday troupe to never, but never, accept such a hideous involvement again. I don't know about the others, but I am sure I had learned a lesson the hard way, and even now it hurts me to watch a Maypole dance taking place anywhere.
In April 1928 ALLS would be elected the ZTA sorority treasurer, possibly as acclaim for an appearance she'd made a few months earlier. The Nov. 30, 1927 Student reported:
GIRLS PROM PRESENTS QUAINT COSTUMES. Ada Ludeke and Miriam Hartledge Receive Prizes For Funniest And Prettiest. Characters ranging from clowns to Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale and little Pearl, sombre New England characters of Hawthorne's creation were represented at the Annual Girls' Prom, Friday night in Herron Gymnasium. Sailors, Russian dancers, pirates, Spanish senoritas, a wounded soldier and his nurse, stately Colonial ladies and a diminutive bell hop mingled together in dancing to music provided by Carl Feigert's orchestra. The feature of the Prom was the grand march led by Martha Baker and Nancy Grimes. At this time Miss Mary Schlenck, Miss Mellie Smith, and Miss Naomi Baker acted as judges and decided upon the prettiest costume and the funniest makeup as the girls passed in review. Ada Ludeke was made up as a dark [sic] received a black Japanese doll as a prize for the funniest make-up and Miriam Hartledge who wore a Colonial costume received a bowl of narcissus bulbs for the prettiest costume.
("Pearl White" rides again.)
ALLS met Mellie Morris Smith "first as a librarian, later as a house mother in the dorm where I lived." This was West Hall, built in 1919 as a temporary structure that would remain in use for over forty years. The Oct. 29, 1926 Hamilton Evening Journal had announced:
MISS MELLIE SMITH TO BECOME ASSISTANT DEAN. Miss Mellie M. Smith, of Miami university's library, will in a few days become assistant dean of women at the university in charge of West Hall. This is the position that has been held by Mrs. Ada J. Carson, but on account of ill health Mrs. Carson has been unable to perform her duties this school year... It is said to be doubtful whether she will be able to resume her duties before the beginning of the second semester; perhaps not then. Since the opening of school in September Miss Helen Keil has been acting as assistant dean at West Hall. Miss Keil is now retiring and Miss Smith takes her place.
And the Nov. 6, 1926 Miami Student had added:
MISS M. M. SMITH NEW HOUSE MOTHER AT WEST. Former Librarian Takes Place of Miss Kyle in Absence of Mrs. Carson. Miss M. M. Smith who was formerly a librarian at the University Library, is the new house mother at West Hall. She takes the place of Miss Kyle who was there temporarily until someone else could be found. Miss Kyle left Saturday afternoon, and it was quite a surprise to the girls who came back from Dayton to find a new house mother.
What ALLS found was another mentor: one of the most significant of her life, at college and afterward.
Mellie became my friend in the Miami University Library, and also when she was house mother of West Hall where I was living. Her Aunt Alice [Earsom] was a frequent weekend visitor, and I enjoyed being with her also. One weekend I was invited to Urbana as a guest, so also met more [of their] relatives at that time. In one of Mellie's apartments in Oxford, my best friend "Casey" (Marie Glass) and I were frequent visitors for meals, and sometimes overnight. Mellie was [also] a frequent guest in my home in Hamilton... When I went to summer school before my senior year (credits lost when I dropped Latin as a freshman) I stayed with Mellie in her apartment, free rent and board. Our weekends were great, sometimes going to Cincinnati to shop, go to theater etc., Sundays to church, rides, or just quiet relaxation at home. By now, the strong bond of love had deeply grown between us.
And Mellie began matchmaking efforts for Ada Louise—about which (and their ultimate result) more will be told in Chapter L-6.
● The Happiest Graduate
In her four years at Miami, majoring in sociology with a psychology minor, ALLS accumulated a total of 129 academic hours. These included a course in Shakespeare, and its textbook—an edition of the Bard's Complete Works, purchased for $3.00 in 1928—gives "Ick Ludeke's" address as 48 West Hall / Oxford, Ohio / Miami University. The book's endpapers are covered with handwritten notes and lists, plus a starkly circled "EXAM" reminder. Among the points to be covered: "Essential facts of S's life after 1600," "Identification of Ben Jonson (friend), Beaumont and Fletcher (romances)," "Difficulties of Shakespearian scholarship, esp. an understanding of the problem of dating the plays & the determination of authorship (internal & external evidence etc.)," with an admonition to "Know about Plutarch."
Despite her 129 accredited hours, ALLS could not leave college without colliding against scholastic bureaucracy, as she recounted in a very late Memoir titled "Too Close for Comfort":
It was early June, and my class at Miami University was planning graduation after being together for four years. It was a happy time and a sad time too, because we might never see those living out of state again. One day in my mail I saw a letter from the Dean of Fine Arts, and opening it I read, "After reviewing your file, we find that you failed to take one class that is necessary, so you will not be graduating with your class this June"! I called my advisor, the Dean of Women, to please set up an appointment for me. She told me to come to her office at two o'clock and to bring the letter. I did so, and she had my complete four year file on her desk. Slowly and carefully she went through each page. After fifteen minutes she said, "I don't know how it happened, but somehow I failed to advise you to take Philosophy your senior year. I will call the necessary board members as soon as possible, to consider all that needs to be [done], immediately." I thanked her, and returned to my room to pray. Hours later a letter arrived stating, "We the committee have carefully reviewed everything, and since your advisor takes full responsibility for the mistake, we have decided you can now graduate with your class"!! Happiness, relief, and the answer to my prayers took over, and I called my advisor to thank her also. I have also felt that I was the happiest graduate that June, so many years ago!
Ada Louise Ludeke was presented with her Bachelor of Arts diploma on June 10, 1929, and her senior picture appeared in that day's Evening Journal:
RECEIVE DEGREES AT MIAMI. Four Hamilton girls are among the three hundred graduates who this morning received diplomas at annual commencement exercises at Miami University. Misses Maude Shaper, 23 North Second street, and Ada Ludeke, 124 North Front street, received the Bachelor of Arts degree, while Misses Loevanna Rank, 904 South Fifth street, and Mildred Tuley, 15 South Seventh street, received Bachelor of Science degrees.
"I have always been overjoyed I went there," ALLS would say. "Four of the happiest years of my life!!" During a visit to her alma mater in 1961, she found West Hall being torn down—and (much to her husband's consternation) snuck a loose brick off the demolition site. It would be used for decades as a cloth-covered doorstop.
● The Right Decision?
In Chapter L-6 we will review Ada Louise's career (brief but vivid) as a social worker, and the beginning of her much lengthier career (also colorful) as a wife and mother. But first we must glance at a Memoir ALLS titled "The Right Decision?":
I was privileged to attend a concert in the late 1920s which was given in Music Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. At that time the great Madame Ernestine Schuman-Heink was traveling in the United States, singing in many cities from coast to coast. The Music Hall was sold out every night that she performed during her three nights's visit in Cincinnati. Even though she was in her older years at that time, her voice had not aged. Standing alone in center stage, she looked like a plump white-haired Grandmother, smiling at the audience, but when she sang, that glorious strong contralto voice filled the entire hall with heavenly music. Her selections were simple, appealing to all, but when she sang "Danny Boy" there were few dry eyes in the entire audience. The concert was over far too soon, and in closing she received a standing ovation for ten minutes.
I had an Uncle Bob who also heard the concert, but on a different night than I did. After it was over, he went backstage to congratulate her, and she was kind enough to talk with him. She told him that during World War I, she had two sons in service. One fought with the German army, the other with the Americans. She said it broke her heart wondering about the possibilities that just maybe they would kill each other. So she was relieved when peace was declared, and both sons returned to their respective homes.
My Uncle was aware that Schuman-Heink intended to offer a voice seminar in California after her tour was finished, and since I was taking voice lessons at that time, he inquired about the possibilities of my obtaining at least an interview with her. She assured him her classes were not closed at that time, so if I could meet with her, she would gladly give me a voice tryout. Several days later, while our family ate dinner together, my Uncle told about this wonderful opportunity offered to me. Each member enthusiastically accepted the news except my Grandmother. With all eyes upon her waiting for her decision, she calmly said "No, I don't think that is a very wise plan." She explained that California was too far away from Ohio, and that her little girl would not be safe there alone. My Uncle explained that I was almost twenty years old, and that I would not be alone, but would live in a dormitory with many other girls. But my Grandmother replied again, "No, I cannot allow her to be that far away from our home, even if it is only for a short time." I left the table in tears, but our family knew when the "Matriarch" made a decision there was no changing it, and also she was usually right, so the subject was dropped.
It took me a long time to really understand and forgive my Grandmother, but now I realize there was not much of a chance of me passing all the voice tests, but I do know just being with the great "Diva" would have been a chance of a lifetime, and for that I am deeply disappointed.
encounter with the famous contralto may have been in Nov. 1926, when Madame
Schumann-Heink played the Cincinnati Music Hall (noted in the Nov. 20, 1926
Hamilton Daily News). Whether a trip to California would have amounted to more than a daydream is open to
debate. Definitely certain, however, is that Grandma's Little Ada did end
up "far away from our home"—and barely seven months after she graduated from
† This marker is pictured on page 111 of German Cincinnati by Don Heinrich Tolzmann, Arcadia Publishing: 2005.
Mabel Simpson Shepherd, daughter of Riley T. Shepherd (1853-1935) and Ida May Simpson
born in Troy, Delaware County OH on Aug. 17, 1885. She married Zebedee
Francis Chenault (aka "F. X. Chenault, an actor in musical comedy and burlesque":
born Oct. 2, 1880)
and produced Dickie Francis Chenault on Apr. 4, 1906. By 1910 mother and
daughter were living with Mabel's parents in Hamilton at 809 High Street.
Mabel's occupation in the 1910 census was "teacher elocution," and her marital
status was heavily blotted. That same year, her uncle William C. Shepherd
(1855-1940) and aunt Eleanor Nichol Shepherd (1852-1931) were boarders at the
Bosch family's hotel—along with a "Mable
Shepherd," divorcee, occupation "actress stage."
Coincidence, or census double-dipping?
● In 1920 William and Eleanor Shepherd lived at 105 Dayton (site of the 1914 birthday party) with niece Mabel (here W for "widowed," occupation "teacher dancing") and grandniece "Francis Dick Chenault." Ten years later this household remained intact (with Mabel clearly D for "divorced," occupation "producer amateur theatricals"). But the Daily News "Wedding Cards" column on Aug. 13, 1930 proclaimed: "Mrs. Mabel Chenault requests the honor of your presence at the marriage of her daughter DICKIE FRANCIS to Mr. Domingo Bethart y Alvarez"—son of the owner of a Cuban sugar plantation. The wedding took place Aug. 27th at Hamilton's Trinity Episcopal Church.
● Mabel Chenault died Jan. 24, 1939 and was eulogized by the Daily News Journal: "Since her retirement as a dancing school teacher, Mrs. Chenault had managed various theatrical performances and entertainments throughout the country. She held a national reputation in this field... Although not so active in business in recent years, Mrs. Chenault held a keen enthusiasm for her work and Hamiltonians still reminisce about the lovely affairs which she so capably managed for social Hamilton at Chenault's dancing school. Besides a wide circle of friends drawn to her through a personality of quiet charm and dignity, Mrs. Chenault leaves one daughter, Mrs. Louis Rutledge (Dickie Chenault)." As late as May 25, 1963, correspondents were still "thinking of some of the remarkable productions put on by Mabel Chenault." Her daughter died Aug. 4, 1980, as Dickie C. Fielding. (Sources include ~f, ~greenwood, and ~tree/bethart.)
● Some information about Rev. H. A. Dickman came from his World War I registration card and the 1920 census (where his occupation was "clergyman Bethell [sic] Independence Church." In Hamilton's 1938-39 city directory, Bethel is located at "117 and 119 Park av," and Rev. Dickman is still pastor. Today it is the Bethel Christian Alliance Church at 127 Park Avenue, around the corner from its old site on North B Street.
● Nowhere did ALLS remark on how Grandma Ludeke reacted to two of her sons taking four different Roman Catholic brides. Ed may have never converted, and Will/Bill may not have been a renowned churchgoer; but both would be buried with their wives in St. Stephen's Catholic Cemetery.
● Hamilton's [First] Presbyterian Church was located on the "west side of Front between High and Court Streets" (as per the 1900 city directory) "opposite the Court House" (added the June 27, 1925 Daily News) and is still there today, at 23 South Front.
● The review of Miss Molly—"Presbyterian C.E. Play Is Big Success"—came from an unidentified clipping hand-dated "May 21 & 22 1925."
● The Mar. 11, 1926 Evening Journal noted that ALLS had been elected associate superintendent, Young People's Division, at the Presbyterian church; and its Memorial Choir, including ALLS, was treated to a dinner mentioned by the Mar. 9, 1929 Daily News.
● In Hamilton's 1920 census, Carrie M. Jacobs (born circa 1865, occupation "School Teach") lived with her sister Louise A. Jacobs at 331 N. Seventh Street. The Mar. 26, 1927 Daily News featured a column, "Our Feathered Friends—The Birds," begun a week earlier "by Miss Carrie M. Jacobs of Lemo[o]re, California, formerly a teacher in Hamilton."
● Marjorie E. Grafft, the daughter of John A. Grafft (1866-1927) and Jennie Beal (1867-1938), was born on May 11, 1897. In Hamilton's 1930 census she and her mother lived at 15 North B Street and Marjorie's occupation was "Teacher, High School." She died in Hamilton on Nov. 17, 1965, aged 68. (As per ~tree/enyeart-wright.)
● Belle Hirsch (born circa 1866, occupation "Teacher, Public School") lived with her sister Theresa Hirsch at 232 N. Second Street in Hamilton's 1920 and 1930 censuses.
● On Apr. 9, 1918 the Cincinnati City Council changed the following street names: German to English, Berlin to Woodrow, Bremen to Republic, Brunswick to Edgecliff, Frankfort to Connecticut, Hanover to Yukon, Hapsburg to Merrimac, Schumann to Meredith, Vienna to Panama, and Humboldt to Taft.
● A small "FOR RENT—ROOMS" ad in the Oct. 30, 1924 Evening Journal was placed by "ROBERT W. LUDEKE, 124 North Front Street."
● ALLS dated "My First Day of High School" 1922, but her yearbooks confirm she attended Hamilton High from 1921 to 1925.
● Helen Stevenson was born July 7, 1907, daughter of insurance agent Barton Carr Stevenson (1873-1928) and Freda Kennedy (1877-1939). They lived at 213 (or 233) Buckeye, about four blocks/squares northeast of the Ludeke house. Helen married John F. Burnett in Dayton KY on Dec. 27, 1924, yet was listed among Hamilton High's Class of 1925 the following June; so perhaps she completed coursework a semester early. Helen died in Hamilton on June 3, 1979, aged 71 (as per ~tree/stevenson).
● ALLS and Helen Stevenson were among the "happy young guests" mentioned by the Mar. 18, 1921 Daily News: "Miss Katherine Flenner... gave a most delightful St. Patrick's Day dance last evening at her home on the hill. Victrola music accompanied the dancers and the guests were a number of Miss Katherine's school friends." The daughter of Dr. Merle Flenner (1878-1943) and Mary Adrienne Nosler (1878-1955), Katherine Flenner rivaled Dickie Chenault for dominance of Hamilton society pages. Her family's "home on the hill" at 420 North D Street was valued at a princely $12,000 in 1930. Born on Sep. 11, 1906, Katherine graduated from Hamilton High with Ada Louise and Helen in the Class of 1925; then attended Hollins College in Roanoke VA, married Luther Elmer Bard in 1935, and died "unexpectedly" on Oct. 12, 1967. The "Remember When?" column in the Nov. 18, 1971 Journal News had a photo of Katherine and her brother George "viewing with childish awe the devastation of the 1913 flood in Hamilton." (Some details from ~tree/flenner.)
● The original Fels-Naptha laundry soap, developed circa 1893, "was historically used as a home remedy in the treatment of contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, and other oil-transmitted organic skin-irritants... However, in its own caution use sheet, Dial Corp. stated that Fels-Naptha was a skin irritant and not to be used directly on skin." (As per Wikipedia.)
● In her senior year at Hamilton High, ALLS chaired the Hi-Y Club's Convocational Committee; as per the Sep. 20, 1924 Daily News.
● The June 16, 1925 Evening Journal headlined their transcript of Glenn Frank's commencement address: "TRADITION WAS SHATTERED / By The World War Frank Tells Commencement Audience / ERA OF FRIVOLITY / Is Faced Unless It Is Challenged By Something Really Creative."
● Read Bain (1892-1979) was the founder and first chairman of Miami's Sociology Department, and the founding editor of American Sociology Review. He edited or contributed to eleven books, wrote a hundred papers, was a visiting professor at Harvard and other universities, served on numerous state and national advisory committees, and helped organize Oxford OH's chapter of the NAACP.
● The Rev. Guy Potter Benton (1865-1927), a Methodist minister, was president of Miami University from 1902 to 1911; then president of the University of the Philippines from 1921 to 1925. He died of sleeping sickness and was buried in the Oxford [OH] Cemetery. Miami's engineering building is named after him.
● A small picture of Andrew Dousa Hepburn can be viewed at ~miami/hepburn: "Amid a learned clutter in Old North Hall lived 'Heppy,' foe of coeducation."
● The Oxford Female Institute was founded in 1849, with the Rev. John Witherspoon Scott as its first president. His daughter Caroline graduated from the Institute in 1853; her boyfriend Benjamin Harrison had transferred to Miami to be near her, and they would go on to become President and First Lady of the United States. Over time the Oxford Female Institute would become Oxford Female College (1867), then simply Oxford College (1890), then the Oxford College for Women (1906); in 1928 it merged into Miami University. At this time the Daughters of the American Revolution honored Caroline Scott Harrison (their first President-General) by donating $70,000 towards remodeling the old college hall into a dorm for freshman Miami co-eds. But though it was renamed after the late First Lady, “the official name did not take. For nearly a century the long verandahed hall on College Avenue had been Oxford College, and when the Miami girls moved in, it was 'Ox College' still.” (As per Chapter XVI of ~miamiyears.) ALLS purchased a Caroline Scott Harrison plate as a gift for DAR member Mellie Morris Smith.
● On the same page of the June 12, 1895 Hamilton Daily Republican as the two columns ("SPLENDID PROGRAM" and "PERSONAL MENTION") mentioned in Chapter L-3, is this article: "FOUR PRETTY JUNIORS Expelled From the Oxford Female College for a Year for Taking a Ride With the Boys. Oxford people are enjoying a sensation which concerns four young ladies of the junior class of the Oxford Female College. During the past few days the young ladies have been in the habit of disobeying the rules by meeting young men clandestinely and driving about the country with them. Yesterday they were caught in the act and were suspended for one year, by Dr. Walker. There is a good deal of talk going the rounds, some believing that the punishment was too severe for the character of the offense. The girls will have to leave the school at once."
● The Miami Student Newspaper Digital Collection can be found at ~miamistudent.
● "Misses Elizabeth Shelhouse, Caroline Shear, Mary Shear, Ada Ludeke, Edith Thiele, Josephine Nudd who attend Miami University will spend Thanksgiving in Hamilton," announced the Nov. 25, 1925 Daily News. On Sep. 17, 1926 both the Daily News and Evening Journal reported that "Miss Ada Louise Ludeke and her college chum, Miss Doris Hayes, of Cleveland, left today to re-enter Miami University."
● Zeta Tau Alpha's creed, adopted in 1928, is "to realize that within our grasp... lies the opportunity to learn those things which will ever enrich and ennoble our lives; to be true to ourselves, to those within and without our circle; to think in terms of all mankind and our service in the world; ...to prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served; to seek understanding that we might gain true wisdom; to look for the good in everyone; to see beauty, with its enriching influence; to be humble in success, and without bitterness in defeat; to have the welfare and harmony of the Fraternity at heart, striving ever to make our lives a symphony of high ideals, devotion to the Right, the Good, and the True, without a discordant note." (As per Wikipedia.)
● West Hall—originally called East Hall in 1919—was renamed Anderson Hall in 1948-49.
● Attending Miami during ALLS's freshman year was Alyce Evans, whose brother Bergen Evans (1904-1978) went on from Miami to become a Rhodes Scholar, earn his doctorate at Harvard, teach English at Northwestern, write The Natural History of Nonsense, and serve as "Question Supervisor" of The $64,000 Question.
● ALLS's best friend Marie Louise "Casey" Glass was born in Aurora IN on May 25, 1909, the daughter of T. Oliver Glass (1875-1915) and Elenore Alice Rabe (born 1885). After Oliver's death, Marie and her mother lived with Elenore's parents, Charles and Anna Rabe. Marie married geologist Michael Stephen Chappars (born Oct. 26, 1903 in Greece), who graduated from Miami University in 1925 and earned his Master of Science degree from Ohio State in 1930. His Catalog of the Type Specimens of Fossils in the University of Cincinnati Museum was published in 1936 by the Ohio Academy of Science. In the 1950s he was Editor-in-Chief of the United States Geological Survey's Section of Texts. The Chapparses lived in Chincoteague VA in the 1970s. Michael was included in Miami's Oral History Collections 22 and 43 (1986-89) while he and Marie lived at 811 McGuffey Avenue in Oxford OH. Later they moved to 21611 Meadow Wood Lane in Brandywine, Prince Georges County MD. Michael died there on July 23, 1996 and Casey followed on Feb. 20, 1998.
● Ernestine Schumann-Heink was born Tini Rössler in Austria in 1861. She had three husbands: Ernest Heink (from 1882 to 1893), Paul Schumann (from 1893 to 1904), and William Rapp Jr. (from 1905 to 1915). She made her operatic debut in 1878 and performed Wagner at the Bayreuth Festivals from 1896 to 1914. Becoming an American citizen in 1908, she toured the United States during World War I to raise money for the war effort, though (as noted above) one of her three sons was in the German submarine service. Her singing "Silent Night" over the radio, in both German and English, was a Christmas tradition from 1926 to 1935. She died in 1936, and "many a buxom opera singer/instructor/matron was modeled on her" (as per Wikipedia). "Madame Schumann-Heink: A Legend in Her Time," a biographical article by Richard W. Amero, can be found at ~schumann-heink.
● Cable TV's Classic Arts Showcase frequently runs a newsreel of Madame Schumann-Heink greeting the 1931 WAMPAS Baby Stars—not infants, but "young actresses on the verge of stardom" as selected by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers. The group of thirteen starlets (including Joan Blondell, Constance Cummings, Rochelle Hudson, Anita Louise, Joan Marsh and Marian Marsh) ask Madame Schumann-Heink to be their fourteenth Baby Star; she replies "I'm villink, and shall try the best to do the same vhat you girls are do-ink."
● Many other WAMPAS Baby Stars graduated from starlet status to the big time: Bessie Love, Colleen Moore, Laura La Plante, Mary Astor, Dolores Costello, Joan Crawford, Dolores del Rio, Janet Gaynor, Fay Wray, Sally Rand, Lupe Velez, Jean Arthur, Loretta Young, Ginger Rogers—and the one and only It Girl, Clara Bow.
Proceed to Chapter L-6
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