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Huss alumni story: Mary Recher

1920s Huss School

1920s Huss School

Mary Recher attended Huss starting in Kindergarten in 1935 and stayed there until 7th grade when she went to junior high. Below are memories she shared with Elizabeth, a former intern at the Huss Project. Thank you Mary for letting us share your wonderful memories of Huss! If you or someone you know would like to share their own stories of their time at Huss, please share them here or contact us and we’d love to add your stories to our growing Huss history archive.

Mary: I grew up on South Main Street about two and a half blocks from Huss School. My parents, their parents, my two brothers, and my self lived together. Course it was during the Great Depression so extended families lived together more than they do now. My Parents were David and Ruth York, and my two brothers were David and Phillip.

We had a wonderful family relationship growing up. It was a great time despite the economic situation. I am glad that I grew up at that time.

I started school when I was five in kindergarten and went through the seventh grade. One of the incidences I remember during kindergarten was … our teacher was placing us in a circle in little chairs and I had a little girlfriend who lived just a few streets up from me. And for some reason I was not allowed to sit beside her. So I thought I could remedy that and there was one chair between us, and as this [other] little girl was about to sit between us, I pulled her chair out. [Laughs] And I of course got into trouble for that, and couldn’t sit in the circle.

That is one of the things I remember.

The teaching staff was wonderful. The were dedicated and committed teachers.

I remember in the seventh grade my teacher was getting ready to give us a test, and she was waiting for us to get our pencils and papers and so fourth … waiting until we were situated. And she said, “I’m waiting.” And I said, “I am too.” And that got me into trouble. Not deep trouble, but, she didn’t appreciate that.

I always got along well with all of the students. Don’t remember having any issues at all. Most of the kids I went to school with went from kindergarten through seventh. So I had a lot of friends.

Huss School was very special—maybe more so in retrospect. I have such good memories of being on the playground, playing baseball, going down the slide (using wax paper to keep it nice and slippery). [Laughs]

My mother was active on the PTA at that time. Meetings were in the afternoon and not at night because [we weren’t] home during the day.

In school I was not good in Math, but I liked reading and I liked spelling, and English. Geography was not my greatest interest.

I remember our Principal, Ms. Clark, who was not only our principle, but also my fifth grade teacher. There was something about the school that was just warm and inviting, and I loved going there.

Elizabeth: What was the neighborhood like at that time?

Mary: It was a good neighborhood. Everyone was poor, but yet it was not run-down. It was well kept though we were all of the lower economic class. My favorite friend’s father owned a little grocery store that most neighborhoods had at the time … that was on South Main Street.

Our Church was only three blocks north, St. John’s [Lutheran]. We walked most everywhere. My brothers were both older than I, so I was the baby of the family.

We never locked our doors. We were friendly with our neighbors. A lot of people, and I think they’re getting back to that, used to sit out on their front porch and chat with neighbors as they passed. It was great.

Elizabeth: Can you remember anything about the relationship between Second Ward and the other areas of Town?

Mary: Yeah, It was … there was a lot of rivalry. First Ward was in the higher economic area and the rest of the Wards were struggling. But we didn’t leave our neighborhood very much. And we were loyal to our Ward.

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