Let’s Talk Clovis: 1919 Clovis High School ‘Argus’

The 1919 Clovis High School Cadets was made up of 47 members. (Clovis Museum)

We believe the first Clovis High “Argus” was published in 1910 and ended in 1929. The school began publishing it’s Cavalcade in 1937.

WWI began in July 1914 and ended in November 1918. The 1919 Argus, which listed nine former classmates that had joined the service, reflected the influence of that war. A total of 10 Clovis men became Gold Star heroes during that war.

A memoriam listed three women: Dorothy Davies, Ione Smith and Ruth Marlin. We believe their deaths were a result of the 1918-1919 world wide influenza epidemic.

There were nine faculty members and of the 65 freshmen entering in 1915, only 24 (18 women) graduated in 1919. Their class yell: “Hullabaloo, Rah! Rah! Senior ‘19, Rah! Rah! Rah!” Their motto: “Be square.”

Their Senior Day was declared on May 6 and they dressed in “garments which had adorned our grandparents for three centuries past.” They ate lunch at the City park (east side of Clovis Avenue between Fifth and Fourth Streets). The six men bought soda water for the group.

Some of the social events that were held during the year: The Sophomores entertained the Freshmen at the home of Mr. and Mrs. F.C.R. Jackson. “The evening was spent in games and the initiation of the Scrubs, which with the aid of some green paint and a few all day suckers was very successful.”

A Valentine party was held at the home of Mr. And Mrs. F. Stickles. “The house was artistically decorated throughout with hearts and red and white festoons. A table was laid for 22.”

Athletics reported the following: Basketball: Wm. Estill (pioneer family member) was the center and Merle Clark (future Clovis Methodist Minister) was a forward. The schedule was broken by a vacation before the first game was played.

Track: “Although a number of men reported for track and prospects appeared good, practice was necessarily abandoned because of the influenza.”

Baseball: “The 1919 baseball team bed fair to become “world-beaters” and were ready to make a desperate scrap for the county pennant. On April 18, the baseball team defeated Sanger (11-7) in a practice game. The play was extremely loose on both sides and a large score was made, due to errors rather than heavy hitting.”

Girls Gymnasium: “Gym” games were held and basketball, indoor baseball and tennis were part of the class work. There was a dire need for showers and dressing rooms.

Popular William Estill was Student Body President and Susan Gibson (daughter of Lewis Gibson our first City Council President) was Vice-President. Susan would live to be 102.

A Ludores Literary Society was formed. Their first meeting was postponed due to the influenza epidemic. They debated: “Resolved that a Bolshevist Russia is more dangerous to Democratic Countries than an Autocratic Germany.”

The orchestra consisted of 10 instruments: four violins, first and second cornet, trombone, clarinet, traps, drums and piano. It was the first year of performance for every member. “The study hall members who convene during orchestra have unstopped their ears since the orchestra has stopped playing the National Anthem to Chinese music.”

Clovis High School Cadets: Principal Brecheen (due to the demands of our state and nation) organized the Clovis High School cadet company (47 members). “The company has done good work, considering the situation into which the men were thrown on account of the flu.”

Some favorite jokes: “Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? At the bottom.” “How long can a man live without brains? I don’t know. How old are you?” “Zola reminds me of an accordion. She’s so full of airs.”

The Class of 1919 is a part of our rich heritage.

Peg Bos :Peg Bos is the president of the Clovis Museum on 4th and Pollasky avenues in Old Town Clovis. She not only manages the museum but she also writes her Let's Talk Clovis column in our publication which features and highlight the amazing history of our city and culture. One fun fact about Peg Bos, she was the first female mayor of Clovis from 1984-86.