Faces From the Past — Class of '32
We recently received an original copy of the composite class photo for the St. Francis High School Class of 1932. The copy was pretty heavily damaged , with tears through some of the portraits and one photo was about 1/4 gone.
But as we looked we saw that several photos were intact. Others could be cleaned up with a little editing. We also knew that some of these salvageable pictures had family connections with the members of our "The Catholic Osage Mission" Facebook page or other area Facebook Groups. We cropped and cleaned up some of them and researched a little information about the later life of the graduates. (The first one was pretty easy.)
Here they are (All can be enlarged with a click):
Agnes "Ag" Cooney Brogan. Ag was born on October 12, 1913, and married my father Lawrence E. "Bob" Brogan on July 5 of 1945 at St. Francis Catholic Church, St. Paul. After World War II, they lived in Wichita for a few years before returning to St. Paul. Her grandfather, Charles C. Cooney was one of Osage Mission (St. Paul's) earliest settlers and businessmen. Her father Charles J. Cooney worked at the family carriage factory; and later operated a hardware and a grocery store in St. Paul. Ag and Bob, along with Chuck and Magdalene Norris, continued the grocery tradition with stores in Erie and St. Paul.
Richard "Dick" Fortune. Dick was born September 6, 1912, in Las Vegas New Mexico. At age 2, he moved with his family to a farm northwest of St. Paul and he attended Hilton Grade School. He and Cornelia Elsenratt were married in 1947. Dick was a farmer and stockman for forty-five years retiring from farming in 1976 and he sold his herd in 1991.
Julia "Jude" Moriarty. After graduating from St. Francis, Julia moved to Wichita where she met and married James Joseph Oates. Jude and James had five children: Maureen Oates Kearney, Michael J. Oates, Jim Oates, Terry Oates and Sarah Randolph. Many in St Paul remember her son Jim Oates who graduated with the class of the SPHS class of 1968.
John A. O'Bryan. John was the eleventh, and last, child born to Mr. & Mrs. William Wuytz & Grace Emily O'Bryan, Sr. He graduated from St. Benedict's (now Benedictine) College, Atchison, in 1936. On returning to St. Paul from Atchison, he worked for his father for a while and was later involved with several business ventures in Parsons, Bentonville-Rogers, Arkansas, and Texas. He eventually returned to southeast Kansas. He married Helen Weingart in 1938 and they had eleven children. Helen passed in May of 1970 and John married Gene Ella Washburn in May of 1971.
Alfreda M. Sevart. Alfreda was the second child of Henry & Cecelia (Richard) Sevart. On Nov 7 1933 she married Jim Purdon at St Francis Church. They settled in the Greenbush community. Nine children were born to this blessed union. The 6 youngest graduated from SPHS...Harold 1957, Charles Bernard (Bun) 1959, Kate 1961, Frank 1963, Barbara 1964 and Mary 1966. She was kept busy as a mother, farm wife, gardener and great cook.
Alfreda passed away Jan 1, 1977.
Bertha A. Stanley Coomes. Bertha "Midge" Stanley was born on July 11, 1912. She attended school in St. Paul. On December 26, 1933, Bertha married Adrian Joseph Coomes at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, South Mound, Kansas. In 1942, Adrian and Bertha bought a farm a few miles south of St. Francis Catholic Church which they farmed until 1955. Midge was active with Home Demonstration. She enjoyed gardening and her laying hens.
Raymond "Ray" Treiber. Ray was born on November 1, 1913, at Baxter Springs, Kansas. At age 7 he moved to rural St. Paul with his family. He married Dorothy L. Johnson in September of 1937. He worked for the Katy Railroad and the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant; but many of us remember him as the custodian of our schools. Many here, and at other locations, call Ray "Dad" or "Grandpa."
Lorene Smith VanLeeuwen. Lorene is one of our town's brightest stars; and she is among our best sources for community history. She has assisted teachers and students with her vision of a century of rural and city life around St. Paul. Lorene married Andy VanLeeuwen in 1936 and they raised their three sons on a farm north of St. Paul. Lorene and Andy moved into St. Paul in 1985. Andy passed in July of 1990. In addition to being a farm wife and mother, she was the secretary for St. Paul's schools for several years. Lorene resides at the Prairie Mission Retirement Village in St. Paul where she stays current with world, community and village events.
1. The Composite. As noted above, the class composite we received was pretty heavily damaged. Several of the photos were beyond repair but you can enlarge the full image below by clicking on it.
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Thoughts 'n Things
Some 'Thoughts' and short articles about past and present-day St. Paul and the Southern Kansas - 4 State Region.