St. Johnsville High School Alumni Association

Vol. 1, July, '09, No. 4

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Published every two months by the students of St. Johnsville High School

George R. Hall, Editor-in-Chief
Beulah Hayes, '10 Literature

Fannie Hogan, '10, Literature
Leo C. Snell, '10, Exchange

A. Pearl Lattin, Literary Critic

Florence Stichel, '08, Alumni

E. May Fleeman, '10, Personal

Dewitt C. Brown, '10, Business Manager

Harlow Saltsman, '11, Business Manager.

The Close of School Year 1908-9
Again we have come to the end of the school year, and its accompanying events. Some of us at this time will leave the High school, never to enter its doors again, and will seek a new Alma Mater in some college. Others will at once enter their chosen occupation. However, all will have cause to remember the "school on the hill," and be glad to reassemble with the alumni in memory of their school days.

It is the turning point of many lives. The under-classmen rise to a higher dignity; we perhaps separate with instructors that have become dear to us; and for some it means the beginning of a new life in the so-called cold, hard world. Even the alumni mourn the fact that they have passed another milestone on the road of life, but at the same time find quiet enjoyment in the memory of their old school days.

Indeed it is infinite and awe-inspiring-what may life have in store for us? May those that go forth from the portals this year be worthy of the silent benediction that the old school truly gives.

In this, the last number of the "Elms" for the year 1908-09, we wish to give a brief word of thanks to those who have helped to make a school paper a possibility and a success. Those we must thank the most for their co-operation are the alumni, tradespeople and students of the High School, who have helped us to obtain interesting material to publish, and have furnished financial aid.

"When the staff took up its work, we encountered the usual amount of opposition and discouragement. But happily, we also encountered a more than equal amount of aid and encouragement, and, as a result, have accomplished our purpose. "We, as a part of the body of students, feel gratified in the belief that we have helped OUR school, and as we pass out and others take our places, we feel that the St. Johnsville High School has been bettered somewhat by our efforts.

From now on, we leave the management of this department of the school work to others and hope that it may grow and prosper exceedingly in the years to come. EDITOR.

Benefits of a Small College

After a student has completed his work at the Public High school or private academy, there are three principal fields which lie before him and one of which he will probably choose as the place where he is to continue work: The business world, an institution of technical training, and the liberal courses in a college. If the individual has a sufficiently definite purpose, the necessary firm determination, intellectual grip and grit, and self-mastery-an essential factor in all other mastery-to secure sound training and to use it efficiently when once obtained, then it is to be expected that he will continue his studies in some institution of higher learning. Such a decision will bring him at once face to face with a problem of choice. Shall he enter a small or a large college, is the question which confronts him. Though this is a matter to be determined largely by the individual and depends, to a great extent, upon him, still there are many suggestions which may prove of value to him in making the choice. It is very easy to obtain suggestive information, but it remains for the student to weigh that information and determine upon its value. If he is fortunate enough to obtain the testimony of some experienced person; what is known as "hostile testimony-that is, the honest concession of some fact that makes against the witness's position or prospects"-being preferable, if he is thus fortunate he may be quite confident that he is receiving valuable information.

It is the purpose of this article to set forth, in a brief manner, some of the benefits of a small college, together with such quotations as seem consistent with the above statement regarding the value of testimony. A man's theological holdings have been divided into two classes-those for which he would go to the stake and those for which he would not go to the stake. It is not intended that this article should bring anyone to the stake. An unbiased attempt to arrive at and state simple truths, benefits of a small college, is its sole aim.

Setting aside, for the present discussion, all conditions and considerations except those which are strictly educational-understanding education to mean physical, intellectual and moral development-we are then obliged to reach a definition of the small college educationally. " I know of one definition," said "William J. Tucker, president of Dartmouth college, "which can be given, of but one reason which justifies the small college, considered in its purely educational life; and that every student shall come into immediate and constant with the mind of a master, one or many." This it would seem, is an adequate definition for the purposes of this article.

College is not an end but a means to an end. "When a student enters or is sent to an institution of higher learning, it is intended that he shall accomplish some definite result-that he shall be better fitted to perform his life's work, that he shall become a "more proficient citizen in the broad republic of letters," a more active agent in the affairs of his country, and also a more useful subject in the kingdom of Ins God. It is then a place of transition where boys are transformed into men.

As transitions as a literary device are important, so are the transitions in a person's life. Much of the success of a piece of literature depends upon the skilful construction of a bridge between the thoughts. Likewise the success or failure of a college man, to a great extent, depends upon the kind of bridge that he, with the help of others, constructs during his college course, and over which he must pass back and forth in all his after years.

If the student is susceptible to influences-and he should be in order to derive much benefit from his college course-then much importance may justly be assigned to the phrase, "with the help of others." As has been suggested above, most students enter college when they are, as yet, very young-in fact, they are mere boys or girls as the case may be. Though no absolute limits can be set as to the exact age at which students enter an institution of higher learning, it is probably safe to say that the average age is somewhere between seventeen and twenty-two. At this period they have not yet learned to recognize and choose what is best for themselves-no, they have not even learned to recognize themselves. It is during their four years course in college that students come to a fuller realization of themselves. Their strengths, their weaknesses, their limitations, their purposes, and their ambitions become more or less well known to them. If ever an individual needs the personal attention of someone with a broader experience and a more extensive training than himself, it is when he is taking his college course.

"With these facts we are now prepared to state one inestimable advantage of a small college, namely: Close personal touch with the professors. "The immediate and constant contact with the mind of a master, one or many," which President Tucker, whose definition was quoted at the begining, says, "justifies the small college." Indeed, if this were the only benefit, the small institution would still be defensible. In a large university, where the number of students is great, personal contact with professors is almost impossible. On the contrary, the students are placed in the charge of instructors, while the "strongest and most noted men give their time, strength and interest largely to research work and only meet students in an impersonal and somewhat indifferent way in the lecture room." This being the case, what then is the class of instructors under whom university men fall, especially in the first year, the most important one of all? In answer to this hear the opinion of James Hulme Canfield, who has formerly held the positions of librarian of Columbia university, chancellor of the University of Nebraska, and president of Ohio State university: "Hesitate though one well may in making the admission, yet it is only too true that first year men at a university very often find themselves in the care of those who in teaching power, in scholarship, and in general preparation for their work, are decidedly inferior to the masters and instructors of the first-class academies or high schools which the students have just left." "With a, clear understanding of the respective quality and value of instructors, under whom students of a large college usually fall, and the professors who have direct charge of the students of a small institution, can anyone tail to realize a great benefit of a small college ?

Closely associated with and rising out of the close contact of students with professors, there is another advantage in the small institution-definite and concentrated work. Here a student is obliged to prepare lessons and work with a definite purpose in view: First, because he is called upon to recite oftener as there are not so many in a class as in a large university; secondly, because of the better instruction and suggestions of the professors.

Passing over with mere mention the fact that the cost of attending a small college is far less than that incurred at a large institution, we come to a broad and important consideration of the greater opportunities in all fields, athletic, literary, etc.; and the close association of students, not only with professors, but also with each other.

It is needless to enter into detail as to the relative opportunities offered by a large and a small college in athletics, and literary fields. Anyone, who can realize how much easier it is to obtain recognition in any particular line of activity where only a few persons are competing for the same position than where a large number are endeavoring to obtain the same distinction, will realize something of the truth and significance of the above statement.

Let us, now again, devote our attention tor a short time to the consideration of association. This time, let us consider the association of students. It will probably be admitted by most people, that the close contact of the individual student with his fellows is very important and is one of the influences which plays a great part in moulding the student's character. The question, then, which we are to discuss is, whether the small or the large college offers the greater opportunities for the close association of the student with his fellows. By those, who are in sympathy with the large institution, it is often argued that its greater cosmopolitanism is a great advantage in this respect. In meeting this idea, let us hear the words of Andrew Fleming West, dean of the graduate school of Princeton university: "'Whatever be the experience of other places, I have no hesitation in saying that the experience of Prineeton university was that with the rapid student growth there came to be less and less attention given to the individual student's needs and more and more dispersion of the individual students in the masses of their fellows-so that whatever the good of the cosmopolitan college friendship, and whatever good the student might chance to get from the larger opportunities, he was losing something priceless, namely, definiteness in his work and that close personal touch of the student with the master, without which the best education cannot be obtained and never is obtained all the way from the child at the subject."

As our last consideration let us take the vast importance which some people claim is attached to the name of a large college. They seem to think that the mere name of a large institution whispered in the ears of the world will have the magic effect of the "open sesame" of old. Even if the mere name of anything or anybody without the staying qualities necessary to success, were to be considered important, still the argument, that the name of a college is of such great significance merely because that college is large in numbers, would be altogether futile. It is not the size of an institution which gives its name an especial weight, but it is the very quality and good standing of the college which gains the approval of the people. So it should be borne in mind by everyone of us that it is not an exalted name that is to bring us success and enable us to accomplish some worthy end, but that is a susceptibility to the opportunities and influences of good around us and a determination to do the right "As God gives us to see the right" which is to make our lives a success. CLINE L. SMITH.

Montgomery County Interscholastic Track Meet

On the Ponda race track, Monday, May 33, the boys of the St. Johnsville High School scored anotlier brilliant victory for the blue and the gold. The schools in competition were Canajoharie and Fonda. The total number of points was 90, of which 4 1/2 were won by Fonda, 35 1/2 by Canajoharie and 47 by St. Johnsville. Thus the cup will be held by our High School another year.

Our boys took first place in several events and established a new record in the high jump, the present mark being 5 feet, 3 inches. "When the time for the last event came a discussion arose as to the distribution of points, since but two schools were to contend. Fonda, had no team to enter in the relay race and Canajoharie thought her chances for victory lost if the points were distributed as in former years, six to first and three to second. Unless all points were to be given to the winning team Canajoharie refused to enter. These conditions St. Johnsville thought unjust. Consequently by order of the referee, St. Johnsville ran the race and claimed first place.


Miss Hazel Wilsey is taking a nurse's course at Faxton hospital.

George Hall and Clarence Johnson attended the track meet at Colgate May 21, 1909.

The following students are home for the summer vacation: Autustus Brown, Henry Davis, Cornell university; Ernest Dockstader, Lester Hayes, Colgate college; Grace Seaman, Laury Stauring, Elmira college; Adella Frederick, St. Lawrence university.

The New Editorial Staff
On June 4th the student body of the High school met and elected the editorial staff of the "Elms" for next year:
Erma Markell ........................ Editor-in-Chief
Victoria Cairns............................... Literature
Sheldon Butler ...............................Literature
Myra Klock ................................Personals
Harlon Saltsman .............................. Jokes
Bliss Youker .............................. Exchange
Roland Hoffman ...................Business Manager
To you who are about to take up the work of the "Elms" for next year, we, the former editorial staff, wish success and hope that you may find pleasure in your work as we have done. "We gladly turn over into your hands the '' Elms'' with confidence in its future success.


They do me wrong who say I come no more,
"When once I knock and fail to find you in;
For every day I stand outside your door,
And bid you wake, and rise to fight and win.

Wail not for precious chances passed away,
Weep not for golden ages on the wane;
Each night I burn the records of the day-
At sunrise every soul is born again.

Laugh like a boy at splendors that have sped,
To vanished joys be blind and deaf and dumb;
My judgments seal the dead past with its dead,
But never bind a moment yet to come.

Though deep in mire, wring not your hands and weep;
I lend my arm to all who say '' I CAN.''
No shame-faced outcast ever sank so deep,
But yet might rise and be again a man.

Dost thou behold thy lost youth all aghast ?
Dost reel from righteous Retribution's blow?
Then turn from blotted archives of the past,
And find the future's pages white as snow.

Art thou a mourner? Rouse thee from-thy spell;
Art thou a sinner ? Sins may be forgiven;
Each morning gives thee wings to flee from hell,
Each night a star to guide thy feet to heaven.

Jests of Wamba

Junior-"Why do they call a dentist's office a dental parlor?"
Soph.-"I don't know; but I should think 'drawing room' would be more appropriate."

A familiar instance of color blindness is that of a fellow taking a new green cap and leaving an old brown one in its place.

"Who said Snell's mind was wandering when he took the empty coal pail and filled it with water?

First Soph.-"I took a tramp to Hill's Falls today."
Second Soph.-"Did you leave him there?"

We do not wonder that R-- is getting thin, since she informs us that she has formed a habit of taking only a '' cup of bread and a slice of coffee" for breakfast.

Upon being asked the adaptations of mammals L--y tells us that they have webbed feet and feathers.

First Student-"Do we take to the top of page 170 in History?"
Second Student, after a laborious search-"No, we take to the bottom of 169."


The teacher was drilling her little pupils in the meaning of words and requested them to form sentences containing the words "bitter end." Directly a little girl submitted this: "The dog chased the cat under the piazza and bit her end."


The teacher thought it a good plan to give the children sentences to correct, both as to grammar and sense. She accordingly wrote on the blackboard: '' The hen has four legs. He done it.''

Thoughtful little Nellie, at the foot of the class, pondered deeply and at the end of the time allowed for correction, she wrote: '' He didn't done it. God done it."

Winnie had been very naughty and her mama said: "Don't you know you will never go to heaven if you are so naughty?"
After thinking a moment she said: "Oh. well, I've been to the circus once and 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' twice. I can't expect to go to everything."


"And what did my little darling do in school today?" asked a fond mother.
"We had nature study and it was my turn to bring a specimen," said the young hopeful.
'' That was nice; what did you do ?"
"I brought a cockroach in a bottle and I told the teacher we had lots more and if she wanted I would bring one every day."


Miss M.-"Willie, is your mother at home?"
Willie, washing hard-"Sure; suppose I would be washing if she wasn't?


"Mrs. Jones thinks woman should have the right of suffrage and vote."
"And vote! "Why, she already holds an office."
"What office?"
"Speaker of the house."


'' Papa,'' said Tommy.
"Now, Tommy," replied Mr. Treadway, "I shall only answer one more question today, so be careful what you ask."
"Yes, papa."
"Well, go on."
''Why don't they bury the Dead Sea ?"


Mrs. Wellment-"But, why don't you argue with your lover about his drinking habits, Nora?"
Nora-"Arrah, mum, O'd hate to spoil his face before marriage."

Kappa Phi

The last meeting of Kappa Phi was held Monday night, May 17th, in the Grammar school, for the election of officers. The new officers are:

President .......... Rena Stichel
Vice President.... Louise Weiser
Secretary .......... Phoebe Beese
Treasurer ........Lila Walrath
Marshalls...... Mildred Dockerty & Ethel Zoller

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History of the St. Johnsville area, books by AJ Berry

Novel about the Revolutionary War in the Mohawk Valley by AJ Berry

Website courtesy of Berry Enterprises.