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Freehold Hifh School, Class of 1900
Freehold High School
Class of 1900

Front row center: Eliphalet B. Stillwell

Commencement Was Held in the Freehold
Opera House Friday Evening.

     Equipped with the best common school education obtainable in this glorious little state of New Jersey, 25 young men and young women graduated from the Freehold High school on Friday evening. While some new departures were made in the program, the commencement did not differ materially from like occasions of the past few years. The same crushing audience filled the opera house. While the evening was fine and cool in the open air, in the crowded opera house regulation "commencement" temperature prevailed and the heat was intense. Every inch of standing room in the rear of the hall was taken, and every seat has been reserved before noon on Friday.

     Winkler's orchestra of Trenton, dispensed high class music during the evening. The Diadem, a characteristic composition by the orchestra, opened the program. The curtain arose at 8 o'clock revealing a pretty and tastefully arranged scene. The graduates occupied seats on the stage, forming a half circle. The young women, attired in purest white, and the young men, dressed in black, sat in couples and the effect was very pleasing. Green and gold, the class colors, predominated in the decorations. There was a background of green scenery, palms, etc., while palms and clusters of daiseys adorned the sides of the stage. Overhead in gold letters on a green field was the class moto-- "Striving Ever to Succeed" and the numerals "00."

     Prof. Enright announced that the class had voted to dispense with the salutatory and valedictory addresses this year and also the class history. He welcomed all those present in a few well chosen words. The program follows:--

    Chant, Lord's Prayer, class.
    Recitation, "Recessional," Nellie A. Conover.
    Discussion, "Are Trades Unions a Cure for Trusts?" Benjamin A. Sicles and J. Oliver MacDonald.
    Music, Characteristic March, orchestra.
    Recitation, "Gradatum." Eliphalet B. Stillwell.
    Recitation, "The Low Back Car," Jessie M. Reid.
    Song, "Lulluby of Life," Sarah E. Armstrong, George H. Caffrey, Eliza R. Forman, Elizabeth F. Gravatt, Joseph Z. McDermott, Jessie M. Reid and Isabel M. Smock.
    Recitation, "The Fiddle Told," Ida M. Crouse.
    Overture, Consert, orchestra.
    Essay, "The Race Problem," Harold W. Wright.
    Recitation, "The New Woman," George H. Caffrey.
    Waltz, "The Rounders" orchestra.
    Dagger Scene from Macbeth, Sara E. Armstrong and Isabel M. Smock.
    Recitation, "Song of the Market Place," Elizabeth F. Gravatt.
    Prophecy, James S. Arrowsmith.
    Presentation of diplomas, Hon. C. J. Baxter, state superintendent.
    Music, "Under the Double Eagle," orchestra.

     In presenting the diplomas State Superintendent Baxter made an able and scholarly address well calculated to inspire and direct young people just entering the world, like "young bears, with all their troubles before them." He believed the size of the class just making its exit from the school was an index to the interest felt in Freehold in the matter of education. Four years ago he attended the High School commencement and at that time there were only 13 graduates. The increased number of graduates this year showed that the High school had made great progress since 1896. He said he used the word "High" school with hesitation, for, strictly speaking, colleges are the true high schools, and most schools are common schools or public schools. Public schools have made great progress in New Jersey of late. Even as it is, with a course of 12 years' study, Superintendent Baxter considered they provided a "sufficiently meagre" equipment for the battle of life. The graduates have completed the courses of the primary, grammar, and high school departments. Before them lies the college; after that the university; and after that the world. The last will present more problems and subjects for thought than all the schools put together. Success in the world, nevertheless, depends upon success in the school. Its training is invaluable. "Youth is the time for improvement," say some, but this is the narrow view. Life is the time for improvement. The man who has no time to better himself, or ceases to learn, ceases to live. All should increase their capacity and power all of the time. Every effort should be devoted to what will improve and develop. Our responsibilities are great, and intelligent and self-directing labor is the greatest necessity of the age. We will be what we make ourselves. Each graduate going out in the world should appreciate the dignity of labor and help do the world's work. Little things done well are what tell the story. For each hour of glory a year of preparation is necessary. God Almighty will see that each mortal receives his or her reward for every effort.

     It was about 10:10 when the exercises concluded, which was evry good time considering the length of the program. The names of all the graduates follow:--

Sara E. Armstrong,
James S. Arrowsmith,
John O. Buckalew,
Ida D. Crouse,
Eliza R. Forman,
S. Walter Jones,
Ella L. Murphy,
Laura C. McDowell,
Joseph Z. McDermott,
Jessie M. Reid,
Roy P. Stillwell,
Eliphalet B. Stillwell,
Harold W. Wright.
Nellie A. Conover,
Rena Applegate,
McLean F. Brower,
George H. Caffrey,
Elizabeth F. Gravatt,
Donald V. Jenkins,
William H. Mount,
J. Oliver MacDonald,
Ada G. Rogers,
Geo. M. F. Randolph,
Isabel M. Smock,
Benjamin A. Sickles,
     Four of these contemplate entering Rutgers College: Messrs, Sickles, Jenkins, Arrowsmith and Jones. Three will enter the Normal school: Misses Crouse, Murphy, and Armstrong. J. Oliver MacDonald has passed the preliminary examination to enter Princeton college, but will take a post-graduate course here in order to still further prepare himself. George M. F. Randolph expects to enter the New Jersey Military academy at this place.

Freehold Transcript, June 22, 1900


If you are able to identify any of the individuals in this photograph please email Chris Stillwell at [email protected]

Last updated on June 3, 1999