Advance School Photos from the ’30s

September 3 is the Advance Hornet Alumni Banquet. My grandmother, Elsie Adkins Welch, and my mother, Mary Welch Steinhoff, were Advance High School graduates. Mother was in the Class of 1938. When I was home a few weeks back, she pulled out an old scrapbook I’d never seen before. In honor of the reunion, I’ll throw up some of her class photos. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Mother thinks this was her third or fourth grade class. She’s in the front row, third from the right. She recognizes her “fancy” socks. Fern Sample is to her left in the photo; Bonnie Jenkins is on the right.

“I didn’t much like him”

This is a photo with a mixture of classes in it. Mother is fourth from the right in the second row. The teacher in the dark suit at the right was Mr. Tippitt (Tippett?). “I didn’t much like him, she said.

I find the picture interesting from a photography standpoint. If you look at the right-hand size, you can barely make out some words at the edge of the frame. That’s an indication that it was a contact print made from a 5″x7” negative. Most photographs were made on smaller film and then enlarged.

Juniors in 1937

One of the pages in Mother’s Senior Memory Book was labeled Juniors / Seniors. This was the photo associated with juniors. If she was in the Class of 1938, this would have been taken in the 1937 school year. She is in the front row, third from the right.

I really like the girl in the front row, third from the left, with the tie and the mischievous grin.

Class of 1938 – Check out the belt buckles

This is labeled Seniors, so it must be the Class of 1938.

She’s third from the left in the front row. Check out the “A” belt buckles on the two boys standing at the left. The boy in the back row, fourth from the right is sporting one, too. I wonder if they were the Advance version of a letter sweater? Note how they are all wearing sweaters, but they are careful to have them pulled up to display the the buckles.

Undated school photo

She thought this must have been an upperclass photo, but she couldn’t be sure. She’s third from the right in the front row.

Caps and gowns

This must have been the Class of 1938 in their caps and gowns. It looks like there is a hornet in the window pane on the left. Mother said her class was the one that came up with that as the name for the school’s mascot. She’s second from the right in this shot.

More graduates

This is a larger group shot. She’s to the right of the middle in the front row. (She had a knack for getting in the front of photos, even then.) Mother hasn’t decided if she’s going down for the reunion. She doesn’t think there are many of her class left.

Here are the birthday pages from her Memory Book. We’ll have more of her scrapbook photos coming up if there are enough Advance readers to make it worthwhile.





9 Replies to “Advance School Photos from the ’30s”

  1. I am sure I probably have some relatives in the photos as I am distantly related to the Hitts, Kights, Coxs and Friends. My Grandmother, Ruby May Friend Heimbaugh was born at Arbor. The Friends are really mostly from Oran and The Kights are mainly from Arbor, Delta and Bell City. But the Coxs are mainly from Advance.
    All this begs the question I have? My grandmother’s best friend, as I can barely remember from the late 40s and early 50s was a widowed lady known only to me as Mrs Welch. She had a farm at the end of Hopper Road. As a matter of fact, the house is gone and was about where Mount Auburn Road runs thru the site at Hopper and Mount Auburn. Her farm run to the north, west of Cape LaCroix Creek. She was a very nice lady.
    Would that have been your grandmother? I don’t ever recall meeting any of her relatives but just remember the big house and farm.

    1. Bill,

      That wouldn’t be my grandmother Elsie Welch. She and Roy Welch lived in Advance until their health failed in the late 50s, when they moved in with us on Bloomfield Road and, later, on Kingsway Drive.

      I’ll have to ask Mother about the Welch family on Hopper.

  2. Ken, these are wonderful photos–a historical treasure trove! I hope the Advance crowd wakes up and responds to your site. We never know what’s going to show up on “”!
    Actually, one of the more technologically advanced alumni should print these off and take them to the reunion Sat. night. Many of the ladies your mom remembers are not computer literate–and I know they would love to see these photos.
    In fact, would you mind if I print a few in the NSC? I’ll give you credit and plug your site!!

    1. You are welcome to reprint the photos in the NSC.

      I read something the other day that you might have trouble getting one of the big box stores like Walmart or Walgreens to make prints of them. They have (if the processors are paying attention) strong policies against printing copyrighted photos, meaning any photo that wasn’t taken by the person who is bringing it in.

      In the instance I read, a person took in some old studio photos like some of these and they were rejected. The customer argued that the studio was surely out of business and the photographer dead, but the store wouldn’t relent.

      I don’t know if this was just an individual store or if you might run into elsewhere.

  3. For Bill Stone. When I moved to Oran in 1946 the old homestead of the Friends family was still there on the main road. Sometime shortly thereafter the last older of the Friends passsed away. The home sat there for years unoccupied and was finally torn down. Did you ever hear of any decendents being alive and around?

  4. I recognize my mother, Inas Rhodes Whittaker and Claudine Tippett Lorch in several of these pictures. Thanks for sharing the photographs!

  5. Top photo, first row, far right – I just really like that little boy with his hands in his pockets.
    I do not recognize anyone but I recognize all the names mentioned. They had brother or sisters in my age range. Always interested in Advance.

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