Let’s Talk Clovis: Clovis High School of 1914

The following information regarding Clovis High School during the year 1914 was provided by their Argus (now Cavalcade) school publication. There were seven faculty members and 17 graduating seniors.

Professor C.J. Fenner was Principal and Dr. John H. Molineus was Vice-Principal. Latin, English, mathematics, and domestic science were taught by faculty, all who were single women. Professor John M. Cox taught the commercial classes and Professor J.H. Lyons headed the music department.

Professor Cox’s only son, John Cecil Cox (1897-1918), was the first Clovis Gold Star Hero of WW I. In 1919, the Clovis American Legion, located at the southeast corner of Woodworth and Fourth, was named the Cecil Cox Post #147.

The Argus Editor-in-Chief Phoebe Smith stated: “The purpose of the Argus staff is not to make a great display of literary genius: although it may contain productions of literary value, but it seeks a place of regard, such as will induce the memory to linger about by-gone experiences.”

Phoebe Smith would marry her senior classmate Ward Cadwallader and would begin her teaching career at the Madison School in Fresno in 1916. In the class prophecy, Ward would become President of the United States and Phoebe Smith Cadwallader would be the First Lady.

Clovis High School Board members were Frank Naden, President. J.E. Rutledge, John H. Cadwallader, C.T. Forbes and J.W. Potter Jr. The men were successful ranchers and businessmen.

The 1914 Senior Class Motto was “Look to the Light”, class colors were brown and gold and the class flower was the sunflower. In their 1910-11 school year, there were 40 freshmen. In their sophomore year, they described their class as somewhat diminished in numbers, but a delightful hay ride was held that traveled to the home of Miss Jennabelle Fincher.

A few pages of The Argus were entitled Joshes and we quote a few for you.

“Dr. Molineux: If the President dies, who gets the job-the Vice-President? Maude Cadwallader, No, the undertaker.”

“When we have the fire drill Mr. Fenner always lets the Scrubs go out last because he knows if there were a fire, they would be too green to burn.”

“By gosh, said Joy Wandell as he examined the broken window, this is more serious than I tho’t. It’s broken on both sides.”

“Dr. Molineus, is it true cigarettes hurt a young fellow’s brains? Mamie F., nope, young fellow with brains don’t smoke them.”

“Remedy for Toothache: Cut a piece from an expensive comforter, the size of your wife’s biscuits, but a million times softer. This will destroy the comforter, but also the toothache. Dip this in kerosene and push in cavity with croquet mallet. Pain is immediately relieved, while a dentist would also relieve you of $2 or so. If the kerosene leaves a bad taste, eat a little limburger cheese or gargle with roof paint. One treatment is enough. Try it once and you will never try it again.”

Under the title “Society,” a paragraph described a chaperoned trip of girls who rode the Clovis Southern Pacific train to Friant and spent the day along the San Joaquin River.

The page entitled “Athletics” reported the baseball team defeated three different teams (Farmers, Firemen and Fresno High) but were not members of the Fresno City Union High School league and could not enter the finals.

Track was the only other athletic sport offered at Clovis High. It was noted that the Clovis track was in “bad condition” and only nine men participated in the sport. They did compete in the Fresno County Fair Grounds meet and “they came home defeated but with a determination to do better next year.”

The Agricultural Club was formed “to promote interest in agriculture, the introduction of better methods of farming, and the improvement of social and economic conditions in the country.”

Each member planted one-tenth of an acre of tomatoes. The one that grew the largest yield and the greatest percentage of profit was awarded first prize.

Clovis High continues to provide us a 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.