Lannon Elementary School Class Pictures

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Fifth-sixth grade school 1941-42

The Sussex Lisbon Area Historical Society includes Lannon history as part of its collection and research material. Some years ago, the Society acquired a set of “Lannon Highlights,” a newspaper that the Lannon School, first through tenth grade, published, probably starting with the school years of 1937-38. It was a semi-monthly school year newspaper, September to May.

This feature will concentrate on the beginning of World War II, 1941-42. It is labeled “Vol. V, No. 1 to No. 9.”

The unique thing about the blue book bound collection for this year is that it shows how Lannon coped with war in Europe and Asia. It starts with the U.S. not at war, but by Dec. 7, 1941 and Pearl Harbor, the U.S. was fully involved.

The 10-grade school (including two years of high school) had 134 students, including eight in the sophomore 10th grade at the beginning of the school year, but 12 by late May and graduation time. These students would be 18 by 1944, and many boys, and possibly some girls, would end up in the service. Also the classes of ’43 and ’44 had many inducted. From the school body there would continue to be inductees until the end of the Korean War of 1950-53 and beyond. And meanwhile, there was the occupation army in Germany.

Noticeable students in the lists of the 10 grades in 1941-42 are Roger Joecks in second grade, Jean Walters in fourth, Vincent Galbavy, Arnold Lemke, Nick Quartaro, Percy Schultz, Norman Wildt and Rudy Dubnicka in sixth, Betty Wildt, John Schmitz and Melvin Mathiak in the freshman class and Sydney Gissal as a sophomore.

The Lannon School on Lannon Road south of Good Hope Road was a 1938-39 construction of Lannon Stone, holding its first graduation in 1939. Thus, 1942 was the fourth graduation of eighth graders and sophomores. In 1912, Lannon had built a multistory wooden school on the southeast corner of Main Street and Lannon Road, which is today the Lannon Village Hall. It was torn down in 1939 after the new school was completed.

Some might ask why Jean Walters is included as a notable fourth grader. Jean Walters was my biology partner at Marquette University in 1950-51 and we became friends (and both got As in a different course.) I was invited by Jean to visit her in Lannon so she could show me the community, and in doing so, she showed me the gravel pit where the Lannon Gun Club did their muzzle loader shooting. I was intrigued by the possibility of spent lead (bullets) embedded in the gravel hillside. I came back the following day and dug up an estimated 10 pounds of slugs. It became a longtime kept collectable in a specially made wooden box, and last winter I sold it at a consignment auction for $28.

The teachers of the students at Lannon School in 1941-42 were Principal Philip Pejza (9-10), Earle Powell (7-8), Miss Myrtle Burke (5-6), Miss Alice Knoebel (3-4) and Miss Pauline Medicke (1-2), plus music supervisor Mrs. Letetia Hase and band director Arthur Raccoli.

Notable in each edition were the paid advertising pages with money collected to support the publication. The advertisers were Flanagan’s General Store, and inside this store, West End Modern Dry Cleaners, Kindler’s Station, Erwin Miller’s North American Life Insurance agent, Schneider & Struble Gravel and Supply Co. and Otto Joecks Service Station and blacksmith.

The newspaper was headed up by Shirley Wandsneider as editor and Madelyn Quartaro as associate editor. The business manager was Betty Wildt.

The Dec 11, 1941 edition featured “Buy Defense Bonds and stamps.” Then there were paper collections and especially scrap metal drives. A Feb. 1942 edition editorial pushed for rubber collecting. The May edition talked about the issuing of war rationing with 667 people in Lannon registered.