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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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Northwest Middle School Homepage

Northwest Middle School History Web Site

Northwest Picture Gallery

1925 Picture Gallery

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In 1925, the first yearbook, Nor'Wester, was published.  Following are pages from the yearbook.  (Courtesy of Mrs. Tena Solon Masson, graduate of Northwest Junior High and Kansas City, Kansas High School)


The publication of this book was really an accident.  It had been planned to have the last issue of the Nor'wester an eight-page paper, which would contain the pictures of the various clubs of the school with a write-up of each.  But at the last minute, the printer couldn't print it.  The pictures of all the clubs had been taken.  They had to be used!  After Miss Newton, the advisor, found that we could not publish the paper, as planned, she talked to her News-English class and it was decided to publish a small year book.  Work was begun at once.  Each pupil was assigned some club about which to write a short story.  A printer was found and a subscription campaign was started.  Nearly five hundred subscriptions were received in ten days.   (Claude Morris, '25)


To A. W. Allen, who by his loyalty to high ideas, has won our respect, by his sympathy and understanding has won our sincere appreciation - we dedicate the Nor'Wester of Nineteen Twenty-five.

School Song

Oh, we all love the black and gold,
Northwest Junior High!
Nor'wester now first place doth hold,
Northwest Junior High!
In other honors we shall share,
Northwest Juniors do and dare;
In everyway we shall play fair,
Northwest Junior High!

The black and gold, the black and gold,
The highest place shall ever hold;
The black and gold, the black and gold,
Northwest Junior High!
(Miss Ina Sheppard)

History of School

Northwest Junior High School was organized in September, 1923.  The building was not completed when school began.  Half day sessions were held in the Kansas City, Kansas High School building at Ninth and Minnesota avenue. 

The high school met in the morning and Northwest in the afternoon.  This is the first year in our new building but the second year the school has been organized.  Northwest is a four-story building located at Eighteenth street and Haskell avenue.  It is one of the finest school buildings in the city and is equipped with many up-to-date devices for proper ventilation, heating and lighting.  There are thirty class rooms in the building, an auditorium, which seats about nine hundred students, and a large gymnasium and cafeteria.  Around the building are seven and one-half acres for playground use.

Northwest has a school paper, the Nor'wester, which was judged the best junior high paper in the state of Kansas.  It was also judged as an "All-American" paper at the national convention at Madison, Wisconsin.  The boys basketball team won the district championship and received a silver loving cup.  They were then eligible to enter the state tournament held at Emporia.

We have a school cafeteria which has been a great success.  A picture machine was bought this year.  Part of the funds raised from the operetta and gym show given last year helped pay for this.  The work of beautifying the school grounds was carried on under the direction of Miss Katherine P. Ewell, community civics instructor.

One of the outstanding characteristics of Northwest this year is the spirit of co-operation which prevailed.  (Helen Seeman, '25)

Student Council

The Student Council is the oldest school organization at Northwest.  It was organized last year under the direction of Mr. A. W. Allen with Miss Mary Gayle Mills, Miss Ina Sheppard, and Mr. J. J. Vineyard as sponsors.  Its purpose is to secure the co-operation of every pupil, working for the highest ideals in scholarship, athletics, and social activities at Northwest.

The Student Council is composed of two members from each home room, one serves as representative and the other as alternate.  There are twenty-eight home rooms represented, making a total of fifty-six members in the council.

The officers this year, first and second semester, respectively:  President, Irvin Barker and Jack Chaney; vice-president, Donald Brooks and Guy Sheets; secretary, both times, Ruth Elliott; treasurer, Edith Hays and Irvin Barker; sergeant-at-arms, Charles Lowder and Jae Regnier; newspaper reporter, Dorothy Shawhan, and Emma Griffith.

The Student Council has charge of the tardy cases, care of the lunch rooms and cafeteria lines, and the members serve as ushers at all school activities.  The Student Council work in every way possible for the good and welfare of Northwest.

The Council has a constitution and a creed by which to govern themselves and the school.  This body is proving itself very effective in helping to carry out school activities.  (Emma Griffith, '25)

News-English Class

Our school paper, the Nor'wester, has been in charge of the News-English class.  It is a bi-weekly publication; seventeen issues have been published during the year.  About six hundred students subscribed for the paper and ads have been plentiful.  Thirty-nine students are in the class, fifteen of whom are staff members.  There have been two staffs in order to give more students a chance at supervising the paper.  The first staff was elected by the class and the second appointed by Miss Irene M. Newton, the sponsor.  The other students in the class served as reporters.  It has been their duty to bring in the news.

The work of the class has consisted of getting ads, copy reading, proof reading, making dummies, writing heads, collecting money, folding and selling papers and getting news.  The last has been the largest job.  Besides this the prescribed course in literature for ninth grade English has been studied.

The Nor'wester is an All-American publication.  This place was won at Madison, Wisconsin, this year and a certificate to show this was awarded by the Central Interscholastic Press Association, of which the paper is a member. It also won first place in the state contest held at Manhattan this spring.The staff members are honorary members of the Journalism Club which is an organization of eighth graders who probably will take journalism next year.  Lucille Richekbaugh of the News-English Class is president.

The staff and the Journalism Club visited the Kansan April 20.  The members of the editorial staff for the last semester were:  Managing editor, Myra Little; news editors, John Hamilton and Leonora Gremp; sport editors, Harold Rively and Mary Elizabeth Buchan; exchange editor, Helen Seeman; alumni editor, Neva Witherspoon; cartoonist, De Wayne Emmons; special feature editor, Emma Griffith; clubs and society, Emma McCoy.

The members of the business staff were:  Business manager, Shelby Langford; advertising manager, Ruth Elliott; circulation manager, Cecil Miller; bookkeeper, Fred Livesay; faculty advisor, Irene M. Newton; auditor and treasurer, Agnes McCormick.  (Fred Livesay, '25) 

Advanced Orchestra

The advanced orchestra has thirty-six members, playing nine different kind of instruments.  When Northwest was first organized as a school there was no advanced orchestra formed, but instead two elementary orchestras.

A number of the members of the orchestra last year are in the Senior High School symphony orchestra and band this year.  Three of these are:  Phillip Kopf, who was concert master at Northwest last year, Robert Young and Harold Euson.  Some of the last year's orchestra members enrolled this year for orchestra and formed the beginning of this year's advanced orchestra.  Several students from other cities completed the enrollment.  Among these were Bloyce Waite from Garnet, Kansas, who played the drums; Gordon Hall from Topeka, Kansas, who played the saxophone, and Charles Shanklin, trumpet player from Derby, Kansas.

The orchestra has been invited to play in numerous civic and community programs during the years of its organization.  These programs were sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, Council of Clubs, churches of the Community, and Continuation School, athletic meets.  This group also accompanied the music department in their spring operetta.

Honor awards were given to the members who have taken part faithfully in outside activities and who have maintained a high average of scholarship in their orchestra and class work.

The orchestra is under the direction of Miss Elsie Luther.  The instrumentation of the orchestra consist of ten first violins, eight second violins, seven trumpets, four clarinets, one trombone, one 'cello and E flat alto, saxophone, drums and piano.  (Charles Shanklin, '25)

Beginners' Orchestra

The beginners' orchestra is composed of the pupils who are enrolled in orchestra for the first time.  The class has twenty-six members.  This orchestra will be the advanced orchestra next year.  Several pupils of the beginners' class were put into the advanced orchestra this year.  They will play in the advanced class again next year.

The officers of this orchestra are:  Concert-master.  Leon Roberts; president, Alta Shank; secretary, Carl Clark; librarian, Luella McCoy; newspaper reporter, Paul Dubuque; sergeant-at-arms, Lester Blanchard.

The instrumentation is as follows:  ten violins, three trumpets, five E flat alto saxophones, two drums, one clarinet, one c melody saxophone, one flute and a piano.

The members of this orchestra are:  Violins, Leon Roberts, Dorothy Henry, Evelyn Phillips, James Kerr, Arthur Strid, Jack Patten, Rosa Fessler, Clarence Lasker, Margaret Crawford and Armwell Slaughter; trumpets, Luella McCoy, Paul Dubuque and Lyman Moore; E flat also saxophone, Alta Shank, Cecil Jehu, Lawrence Bell, Leonard Blakely and Larue Oliver; flute, viola Oberlag; drums, William Weber and Lester Blanchard; clarinet, Irene Brune; c melody saxophone, Carl Clark; pianists, Carl Monroe, Wengel Bland and Bernice Lohamn.

A number of members of the beginners' orchestra have played with the advanced orchestra when it played for various entertainments.  (Emma McCoy, '25)


Two successful operettas have been presented by the music department this year.  The first, "The Belle of Barcelona," was given December 2, and 3, by a cast of characters including Carrie Hill, Loren Reitz, Love Joy Lasher, Harold Rively, Mildred Burke, Clinton Brown, Kathryn Ralston, Guy Sheets, Hylton Harmon, Bloyce Waite, Otis Swart, Lawrence Guy, Agens Helm and Helen Samuel and a chorus.

Another operetta, "The Belle of Beaujolais," was given May 14 and 15 by practically the same cast.  Dorothy Martin, Lucille Rickenbaugh and Thomas Watkins were the only new characters.  A few that took part in the first were not in the second.

Miss Elsie Luther and Miss Elizabeth Sartin directed both of them.  (Lucille Rickenbaugh, '25)

Girls' Glee Club

The girls' glee club was organized in 1923.  The members then were a selected group from Miss Elsie Luther's chorus classes.  The members this year include girls who took chorus last year and a few who are taking it this year for the first time.

The club has provided programs for several occasions during the school term.  The girls have sung at churches, in the school assemblies, and for special programs given at the school.  (Reva Boring, '25)

Boys' Glee Club

The boys' glee club was organized in the fall of 1924 by several of the boys, some taking chorus, who desired to make it an outside activity.

Guy Shorts, Loren Reitz and Jack Chaney were among the first to begin the club.  Others were suggested who it was thought would make good glee club material.  Recommendations also came from faculty members.

The first appearance of the boys' glee club was at an assembly in the early fall.  They have taken an active part in the operetta and gave several numbers at commencement exercises.  (Burton Robbins, '25)


BASKETBALL:  This year's basketball team won the cup at the district tournament and had the honor of being the first Junior High Team to represent Kansas City in the Kansas State Tournament.  Captain and guard, was Guy Sheets; center, Loren Reitz; left forward, Wilburn Hansmann and Norman Carmichael; right forward, Hylton Harmon; left guard, Neal Wilber; substitutes, Kenneth Kessler and Hollis Marmon.  This year's record stands ten victories out of sixteen games.  Ninety-one goals were made to our opponents' seventy-six, seventy-five free throws to opponents' forty-four, seventy-seven fouls committed to opponents' ninety.  The total number of points made was two hundred and fifty-seven to opponents' one hundred and ninety-six.  (Loren Reitz, '25)

TRACK:  Three last year letterman in track were back this year.  They were Guy Sheets, shotput; Kermit Hardinger, pole vault; and Harry Miller, Hurdles. Northwest was represented in the state track meet.  The following boys went to Lawrence:  Guy Sheets, Kermit Hardinger, Loren Reitz, Hylton Harmon, Herbert Kaiser, James Fleming and Wilburn Hansman.  Hardinger tied for second place in the pole vault with a record of 9 feet.  Sheets won third place in the shot put with a heave of 43 feet, 11 inches.  The 115-pound boys lost to Central Junior of Kansas City, MO by a score of 8 to 68.  Northwest finished second in the quadrangular meet between Central, Argentine, Rosedale and Northwest.

CROSS COUNTRY:  Northwest had a rather disastrous season in cross country this year.  Loren Reitz was the only letterman back and was the bright spot on the team winning first in the fifth hour gym class run, semi-finals, and finals against Central Junior.  Reitz ran the mile in record time for the course.  Northwest lost every match in the season this year in the gym classes, semi-finals and finals.

TENNIS:  Loren Reitz won the tournament at Northwest this year by defeating Harold Anderson in the finals 8-6 and 6-2.  In the semi-finals Reitz defeated Wilburn Hansman 5-1, 6-3 and 6-4.  Harold Anderson defeated Harold Rively 15-13, 4-6 and 7-5.  In the match with Central Junior, Northwest tied.  In the singles Reitz lost to Swanson of Central, 6-8, 6-1 and 4-6.  In the doubles Rively and Anderson defeated Lebar and Downing of Central 10-8, 2-6 ad 6-4.  Sears and Harmon of Northwest defeated Nichols and Roberts of Central 6-4 and 6-1.


Northwest, though only two years old and handicapped the first year by not having a building of its own and the equipment to work with, has won five trophies.  All of them were won this year.

Two were won by the school paper, "The Nor'wester."  A certificate for being an All-American junior high paper or one of the best papers in its class in the United States was won at Madison, Wisconsin, and awarded by Central Interscholastic Press Association of which the paper is a member.  Four papers had to be sent in.  As four papers were all that had been published at the time, these were sent.  The other trophy won by the Nor'Wester is a certificate of first place with a blue ribbon on it which was won at Manhattan in the state contest for being the best junior high paper in Kansas.  The three March issues, one of which was a special issue, were sent in.

A silver loving cup was won by Northwest's basketball team this year in the junior high basketball tournament here by eliminating Central Junior High in the finals.  The game was closely waged, Northwest winning 10 to 9.  Northwest upset the dope as Central already had two victories over our team.  The team went to Emporia to the state tournament but was defeated by Winfield, who later proved to be the champions in the first round.

Two other medals were won in the state track meet at Lawrence.  Kermit Hardinger won second in the pole vault and Guy Sheets third place in the shot-put.  (Fred Livesay, '25)

Parliamentary Law Club

The Parliamentary Law Club was organized in January, 1925, by J. J. Vineyard, science instructor, for the purpose of teaching how properly to direct meetings of other organizations to which the students belong.  Mr. Vineyard had pamphlets printed from which the members studied the fundamentals of parliamentary procedure.  (Cleo Hastings, '25)

Journalism Club

The Journalism Club is one of the new clubs at Northwest, having been organized only last February.  Members are required to make at least a grade of three in English every six weeks, possess initiative and not to be overburdened with other activities.

The purpose of the club is to prepare the members for next year's journalism work.  Different phases of journalism such as copy reading, headings, writing stories, and getting ads have been discussed at the meetings.  Biographies of prominent men and women in journalism, games, and musical numbers have made up most of the programs.  Cuts were shown and explained at one meeting.

A trip to the Kansas was one of the most interesting things done by the club.  This trip was educational as well as interesting.  The Nor'wester staff accompanied the club members.  (Lucille Rickenbaugh, '25)

Girl Reserves

The Girl Reserve movement is a part of the Y. W. C. A.  It is a world wide organization.  The purpose of the Girl Reserves is to help girls maintain the higher ideals of girlhood.

The Northwest club has a membership of forty.  It meets once a week, after school.  The meetings are varied.  Some are recreational, such as hikes, parties, and games.  At other meetings, basketry and other kinds of handcraft are done.  Besides these meetings, the girls have interesting programs, pagenats, and discussions.  The spirit of the Girl Reserves is never forgotten with all the good times.  The meetings are opened with devotionals led by the president or some member of the club.  An annual conference is held where the girls meet to find out what other Girl Reserves are doing.  (Neva Witherspoon, '25)


There are two Campfire groups at Northwest:  Nor-we-ju, which was organized November 11, 1923, and Un-ru-ju, which was organized October 21, 1924.  Thirty members comprise the two groups.  An assembly was given during the year in which every Campfire girl in the school took part.  The purpose of the organization is to teach girls the right sort of living.

The organization is self-supporting.  The dues are a dollar a year and are used for a general fund.  All the money needed for hikes and outings is earned by the girls.

The Un-ru-ju Campfire was named for the sponsor, Miss Sue Unruh; the Ju stands for junior high.  Regular meetings have been held for business and for work on honors which are presented at the monthly ceremonial meeting.  (Mildred Bancroft '25 and Lenora Gremp '25)

Know Your City Club

The Know Your City Club was organized at the beginning of this year.  The purpose of the club is to learn more about Kansas City and render services of citizenship whenever possible.  There are at present sixty-six members.  Members of the Community Civics Class and all others interested in learning more about our city are eligible to membership.

The club meets for the purpose of discussing means of benefiting our city.  They went to Cooper School and took with them flower seeds, flowers and picture books to the children there. They have also gone to the Kansas City water works.  (Janice Carlson, '25)

Community Civics Class

The Community Civics Class was organized last fall with twenty-three students enrolled.  One or two have entered since.  Miss Katherine Ewell is teacher and sponsor of this class.

During the year the class has visited such places as the Waterworks, the State School for the Blind and Peet Brothers Soap Factory.

The main plan that the class has been working out this year was the beautifying of the school grounds.  The class was able to present the plans in complete form to the school in time for the school to carry them out.  April 14, the school by contribution from the students, the Parent-Teachers Association and reductions in prices of the plants from Holsinger Nursery, was able to plant over three hundred dollars worth of plants on the school grounds which in the years to come will furnish both a landscape study and a beauty spot.  (Charles Shanklin, '25)

Pep Club

The Pep Club has as its purpose the supporting and boosting of athletics and other school activities.  The club was organized December 19, 1924.  To be a member of this club one had to purchase an activity tickets, attend three outside games and two at home, and have eighty-five cents for a white cap.

When attending games the girl wore white dresses or white middies and skirts and the boys wore white trousers and shirts.  All wore white caps.

Most of the members of the Pep Club attended every game.  Between halves and quarters they put on stunts.  The girls met at the court house the day of the boys' parade and rooted for Northwest.

When the club was first organized there were twenty-four members, but others were added until membership totaled sixty.  (Mary Elizabeth Cuchan, '25)

Nurse and Cooke

Our cooks and nurse have been very faithful during the year.  Mrs. Pearl Kirk, who formerly worked at Wolferman's, has been a cateress for four years.  She started working here last September, on the first day of school.  Mrs. O. W. Hoenscheidt did not start steady work here until October 1.  We have much to thank these ladies for in the way of good things to eat.

How could Northwest get along without her nurse, Mrs. Rosa Elliott?  Mrs. Elliott is nurse, matron and mother to Northwest.  In her spare time she helps in the cafeteria.  She was nurse and matron at Central Junior for four years before she came here.  (Alveretta Shipp, '25)


The janitors are an important factor at Northwest.  They keep the school building warm and as clean as possible.

Robert Bell, custodian, was formerly a janitor at Parker school; Henry Hearney, engineer, was formerly a janitor at Abbott school; H. Harris, janitor, of the first floor, was formerly a janitor at the High school; and J. P. Wright, janitor of the third floor, was also a janitor at the High school.  Mr. H. R. McClune is janitor of the fourth floor; N. H. Baird, who is night watchman, will take care of the lawn, trees, and shrubs this summer.  (Claude Morris, '25)

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 23-Apr-2014

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