Let’s Talk Clovis: 1910 “Illustrated Musical Lecture by Prof. Lewis W. Harvey” Supervisor of Music, Clovis Union High School District

Prof. Lewis W. Harvey, Supervisor of Music, Clovis Union High School District.

Lewis W. Harvey (1862-1929) was born in Clayville, Conn. He relocated from New York to Clovis in 1909 and became the supervisor of music at Clovis High. He was residing in San Bernardino, Calif. at the time of his death.

He married Mildred Josephine Whiting, who was born in Kansas in 1892. Mildred was a gifted violinist. They were married on Sept. 2, 1911, and resided in Fresno. Their daughter, Eileen, was born in 1913. Mildred’s father Milo was a teacher and principal in numerous schools in the valley.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, 1910, Clovis High published the Clovis Herald for their first illustrated Musical Lecture; “The illustrated lecture on music, the first of which is given tonight by Professor Harvey, has for its object the encouragement of the study of music by the students of our schools and by the public generally the development of a knowledge of the lives and works of the great composers and the training and cultivation of every musical talent within the range of our High School District. We believe that no other art or accomplishment contributes so much to the happiness of the human race in their home life or socially as that of music. The co-operation of each student and teacher, together with that of the parents and patrons of our schools, is earnestly requested.”

The program consisted of: Gounod’s Soldiers Chorus, from Faust by the High School Chorus; Clapisson’s The Reapers by the Whiting sisters; Bliss’ Musical Comedy by Miss Gertrude Sewall, Miss Bessie Davison, Mr. Frank Parks and Mr. L.W. Harvey; Piano Trio of Verdi’s Trovatore with Miss Mable Clifford, Miss Josephine Palmer and Fred Gibson; and Lohr’s Out of the Deep by the C.H.S. Boys’ Glee Club.

This was followed by: Mozart Minuet violin solo by Miss Mildred Whiting; Schubert’s Serenade vocal solo by Mrs. George C. Carr; and Foster’s Massa’s in the Cold, Cold Ground by the male quartette of Dr. M.S. McMurtry, Mr. Thomas Howison, Mr. Clyde Gibson, and Mr. Ralph Scott.

The program concluded with Smith’s America, sung by the high school chorus and audience.

The publisher stated, “Each issue of the Herald will contain a fine halftone cut of a well-known resident of the Clovis Unified School District, with a short sketch of his or her life.” They chose Lewis Wills Gibson, who would be elected the first President [sic] of Clovis in 1912.

The Herald stated, “Mr. Gibson is a fine example of the type of self-made Americans of which our country is justly proud. He is affiliated with the Masonic order and the Woodmen of the World.”

A page titled “Thanksgiving Hints” identified merchants in “Old Town” and their products. George C. Carr: “Have your house bright and cheerful for the Holidays. See our line of electric table and reading lamps.” He sold bicycles, motorcycles, guns & ammunition, sporting goods, gasoline engines and pumps, motors, electric supplies and wiring. He was located on the north side of Fifth Street between Clovis Avenue and Pollasky. My grandparents Harry and Kate Whiton would establish Whiton’s Cyclery there in 1919.

R.E.L. Good our first merchant, had a store on the southwest corner of Fourth Street and Front Street: “If you want to have a dinner that would please a peasant or a king, come to us, we can deliver the goods.”

John E. Good’s store was located on the northwest corner of Fifth Street and Front Street: “Our store makes a specialty of all seasons of carrying the choicest brands of table foods. Phone us your order.”

L.W. Gibson’s store was located on the northwest corner of Pollasky and Fifth Street: “All the necessities to make the Thanksgiving dinner a complete success at the big, busy store. Order early.”

C.F. Seller’s Cash Store was in the 1906 Dewitt Building on the east side of Pollasky, between Fourth and Fifth Streets: “Crisp celery with a nut-like flavor. Cranberries fresh from the East. Mince Meat with that delicious blend you can’t forget. Everything else that is needed.” The DeWitt building was torn down during the redevelopment of “Old Town.” It was replaced with a one-story building that still bears the DeWitt name.

Music is the universal language of our world. 1910 Clovis High School is a part of our rich heritage.

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.