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Part II Golden Graduates of Winchester High School: The Alumni Association receives a Hawthorne Publishing award as a Leading Light in Indiana History Through Writing

The prior blog detailed the history of the small town of Winchester’s high school alumni association book, Golden Graduates of Winchester High School. We described the town’s history, outstanding religious and educational tradition, and the unified, nurturing culture which produced a group of American leaders from the nineteenth century on to this day.

Now more about some of those grads and the rest of the Winchester story, the first half. More will be told in the forthcoming second volume of Golden Grads, now in process.

  • Eric T. Huddleston, known as the “Dean of New England Architecture” for his decades-long work as Department Chairman of Architecture at the University of New Hampshire. He also had his own architectural firm, serving as the architect, and often construction manager, for more than 100 outstanding university, governmental, and corporate buildings in New England during the first half of the 20th A graduate of Cornell University. 1906 WHS graduate.
  • Chester Burleigh Watt, one of the most accomplished astronomers of the 20th Century, working for more than 50 years at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. where he performed lunar and deep-space discoveries that made a significant contribution to NASA’s early days of space exploration. 1908 WHS graduate.
  • Pierre F. Goodrich, son of James P. Goodrich, who became an attorney and president, chairman of the board, or director of more than a dozen Midwest companies, and whose financial bequests, at death, led to the establishment of the largest private education foundation in the country and the largest gifts in the history of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. A graduate of Wabash College and Harvard Law School. 1912 WHS graduate.
  • John Thornburg, who was a founding partner of the largest law firm in Indiana (Barnes & Thornburg, LLP) and one of the largest law firms in the United States. 1928 WHS graduate.
  • John Diggs Beals, who became Vice President of American Express and President of Wells Fargo Bank in the 1960s. A graduate of Colgate University and Harvard Graduate Business School. 1932 WHS graduate.
  • John Jaqua, a senior partner with the distinguished international law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, who became managing partner of its London office. Jaqua became the lead advisor to the Thatcher Administration giving rise in the mid-1980s to London becoming the financial capital of the world. A graduate of Cornell University and Yale Law School. Editor in Chief, Yale Law Journal, 1942. President, Yale Law School’s Alumni Association, 1973-1975. A Major, U.S. Marine Corp. 1936 WHS graduate.
  • Florence Life Hesser, former Director of George Washington University’s Reading Center, literacy advisor to two “First Ladies” (wives of U.S. Presidents), and who helped found successful schools of education in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. 1942 WHS graduate.
  • Davey Marlin-Jones, one of the most prolific directors in the history of professional American theatre, producing or directing 900 theatrical productions during his life including personally working with such noteworthy playwrights as Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. 1950 WHS graduate.

These are just a handful of the remarkable graduates of Winchester High School profiled in volume one or who will be featured in the upcoming volume two. Also, the volumes have or will share the stories of several outstanding students of Winchester High School who graduated after 1950.

How did this happen? What kind of education did these graduates receive during their formative years that would have enabled them to leave this small, somewhat provincial community and make their marks in the larger world of government, academia, business, law, medicine, the arts and sciences?

These stories convey what it was like to grow up in a community that shared a certain value and belief system that enabled them to succeed well beyond Winchester. A quote from the noted Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, offers insight:

The little world of childhood with its familiar surroundings is a model of the greater world. The more intensively the family has stamped its character upon the child, the more it will tend to feel and see its earlier miniature world again in the bigger world of adult life. Naturally this is not a conscious, intellectual process.

Carl Jung, The Theory of Psychoanalysis

In many of the brief biographies contained in Golden Graduates of Winchester High School, it is evident that several factors were at play. They include the role of religion in these individuals’ lives. In 1900, the Winchester Quaker Quarterly Meeting House (comprised of 27 small Society of Friends churches in and around Winchester) made up the largest number of Quakers in the world (4,000 adults and an equal or larger number of children). Other protestant denominations, such as Methodist, Presbyterian, and Disciples of Christ, played a critical role in teaching values, respect for authority, and understanding biblical principles.

Another factor was the opportunity for students to assume leadership positions in the school and community by serving, for example, in student government, on sports teams, on the school newspaper, and other school related activities. Because classes were small, less than 40 during most years, students could be in many clubs and extracurricular activities, such as science and debate clubs, sports teams, and school orchestras, at the same time. There, they learned leadership and cooperation skills. These lessons would later become invaluable as they entered the adult world of government, business, academia, law, and medicine.

There were also the roles that intact and extended families played in setting norms and providing guidance to young people. The majority of students of Winchester High School grew up in a two parent household, often with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby to provide nurturing, instruction, and often emotional and financial support. Even today, the community’s encouragement and support of its youth in education is evident. For example, at the most recent awards ceremony at Winchester Community High School, a total of $1.5 million in college scholarships was given out to a graduating class of only 85 students.

In terms of intellectual endeavors, the community valued learning. It began when Quaker families taught children in their homes and churches prior to construction of 131 one-room school-houses, an amazing number, being built in Randolph County between around 1840 to 1900. In 1842, the Randolph County Seminary was built and operated in Winchester. At the time “seminary” simply meant “secondary” as in “secondary school”; it had no religious connotation. Students from six area counties and three states studied at this high school.

In 1846, the Union Literacy Institute, one of the first, if not the first, racially integrated schools in the Midwest was built a few miles southeast of Winchester. There children of freed African-American slaves, American-Indian, and white families were educated together. This included students Amanda Way, later known as the “Mother” of the Indiana suffrage movement and the first woman from Indiana to run for the U.S. Congress and Hiram Rhodes Revels, who later was the first African-American to serve in the U.S. Senate.

This one-room school house located in rural northern Randolph County is one of just a handful of one-room school houses that remain standing in the county. In the late 1800s, there were as many as 131 such one-room school houses that dotted the Randolph County countryside providing basic, first through eighth grade, education. (Photograph, Courtesy, Greg Sommer, 2018)

Later, in 1894, Winchester was only the second town or city in Indiana to adopt kindergarten as part of its public-school education offered to all children of the town. (Logansport, Indiana, was the first). In 1947, Winchester was the first small town in the country to sponsor a “Great Books Chapter” as part the Great Books program and foundation that originated at the University of Chicago. On at least a monthly basis adults came together in the local high school gymnasium to discuss classic texts of literature, history, law, economics, religion, and moral and political philosophy. Quaker Theologian E. Elton Trueblood of Earlham College and Wabash College history professor Jack Charles would travel to Winchester to serve as discussion leaders. Parade and Pathfinder magazines along with The Indianapolis Star published feature stories about the Winchester Great Books chapter. Such intellectual interest in learning carried over to the children and grandchildren of these adult learners.


   “It has been said that if one knows the character of the school of today he can foretell exactly what the citizens in twelve years will be.”


   “Any democracy can be no higher than its people, and its people no higher than their standards, and their standards are measured by their education.”


                                                Lee Driver, Superintendent

                                                Randolph County, Indiana, Schools, 1920           



Leotis (Lee) Lincoln Driver, 1867 to 1960, served as Principal of Winchester High School from 1900 to 1907 and Superintendent of Randolph County Schools from 1907 to 1920. He became one of the most nationally recognized educators of the first half of the 20th Century. From Winchester, he left in 1920 to become head of rural school education for the State of Pennsylvania where he led the consolidation of more than 5,000 schools from 1920 to 1937. (Rendering is from Past & Present: The History of Randolph County 1914)

Consolidation of rural schools also enhanced opportunities for learning. The movement was led by Lee L. Driver, a former math and physics teacher who served as Winchester High School’s Principal from 1900 to 1907 and Superintendent of Randolph County Schools from 1907 to 1920. Under Driver’s direction, Randolph County became known as the finest rural school system in the country. Driver spearheaded the consolidation of more than 120 one-room schoolhouses in Randolph County. Eighteen new schools (14 high schools and four elementaries) were constructed from 1900 to 1920 in Winchester or surrounding towns and villages. In these new schools, students had opportunities to have access to science laboratories, industrial arts and agricultural workshops, gymnasiums, playgrounds, and stages, sometimes even theatres, for school theatrical, orchestra, and debate performances.[1]

As a result of the success of the Randolph County schools, hundreds of school administrators, university professors, representatives from teacher associations, and government officials came to Winchester from 1911 to the early 1920s. They traveled to witness this remarkable transformation of rural school education. Not only did they come from dozens of other towns and rural areas within Indiana, but from New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Alabama, Massachusetts, California, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. Even school officials in Canada, Mexico, and China scheduled trips to see how Randolph County had developed such an excellent education system.[2]

Frances E. Willard Elementary School, Winchester, Indiana. One of 18 new school houses built during the time that Lee Driver served as either Principal of Winchester High School or Superintendent of Randolph County Schools. Circa 1907. The school was named after Frances E. Willard, an American educator, temperance reformer, and woman suffragist. (Courtesy, Randolph County Historical Society, Inc.)

Mr. [Calvin N.] Kendall [New Jersey State Commissioner of Education] asked [federal] government authorities for information concerning ‘the best rural schools in the country,’ and was referred to the schools of Randolph County.

-Editorial, Indianapolis News, October 23, 1915

Albert E. Winship, editor of The Journal of Education published in Boston, Massachusetts, was considered the dean of educational journalists at the time. He spoke three separate times at the Randolph County Teachers’ Annual Institute in 1911, 1912, and 1913. After his repeated contact with Randolph County schools, he wrote in 1913 that the county “leads the world in several features of educational progress.”[3]

Repeated praise for Randolph County’s schools came from Philander Claxton who served as the United States Commissioner of Education under three U.S. Presidents from 1911 to 1921. In the fall of 1919, Jasper L. McBrien, Director of Rural Schools Development for the U.S. Bureau of Education, praised Randolph County’s schools as the epitome of kindergarten through 12th grade education. Likewise, Ellwood Patterson Cubberley, Dean of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education from 1917 to 1933, applauded Randolph County schools in his writings. Glowing articles appeared in other Indiana publications as well as national newspapers such as the Christian Science Monitor.

As a result of this state and national attention, Lee Driver became a superstar in education circles. In a matter of several years, Driver addressed 992 different organizations (just shy of 1,000) in 30 states about Randolph County’s educational advances. He spoke at workshops, state, and national educational conferences, and at universities such as Columbia University in New York City, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State, Purdue University, and Indiana University.[4]

The individuals profiled in Golden Graduates of Winchester High School became the beneficiaries of this community’s excellent schools. But in a meaningful way, so did the state of Indiana, the nation, and the world!



[1] The information about Randolph County’s recognition and Lee L. Driver’s role in making Randolph County the premiere rural school system in the nation comes from the excellent dissertation written by Gregory P. Hinshaw, entitled “The Best Rural Schools in the Country: Lee L. Driver and the Consolidated Schools of Randolph County, Indiana, 1907 -1920”. This dissertation was written and accepted for Dr. Hinshaw’s doctoral studies at Ball State University.

[2] At the 1915 Panama Exposition in San Francisco, an exhibit about the progress that Indiana had made in advancing rural education was focused solely on the success story of Randolph County. That same year, The Indianapolis News published an article claiming that Randolph County had the “best rural schools in the country.”

[3] Winship especially noted how it offered amenities—such as libraries, laboratories, gymnasiums, outdoor recreational facilities–that had been previously unavailable before the consolidation efforts.

[4] Driver also began receiving requests from educators around the world—such as from Germany, England and Canada. These educators wrote, asking him to send literature and advice on how they, too, might restructure rural education to better the outcomes for their own students.

Posted in Book Awards, Indiana History |

Leading Lights in Indiana History Through Writing from Hawthorne Publishing: A two-part award announcement to a small Hoosier town for its laudable publishing effort!

We really believe the Winchester educational and town effort in producing nationally-achieving graduates of its high school spotlights Indiana villages and small metropolis centers at their best.

We at Hawthorne are proud to be putting out this second volume of Golden Graduates of Winchester High School: A Small Indiana Town’s Remarkable Achievement.

We’ve asked the active high school alumni association in the town in the town of about 5,000 residents in Randolph County, authors of the volumes, to talk about the book for our “Leading Lights through Writing” in Indiana series.

Here is Part I of what they write:

“Golden Graduates of Winchester High School:  A Small Indiana Town’s Remarkable Achievement” is the title of a hardback book released in 2018 by the Winchester High School Alumni Association and published by Hawthorne Publishing Company. The book contains the first 30 profiles of the “Golden Graduate” series originally published in the Winchester News-Gazette newspaper. The profiles in the book span nearly 100 years, from 1881 to 1979.

The project was spearheaded by three outstanding WHS graduates themselves: Dr. G. Daly Walker, who edited Golden Graduates, is a 1958 graduate who went on to have a distinguished career as a battalion surgeon during the Vietnam War and later established a successful surgical practice in Columbus, Indiana. Dr. Daly is now an author and teaches a fiction writer’s workshop at Dartmouth College; Patricia Knasinski, a 1961 graduate and long-time Winchester Community High School Spanish teacher turned author, who served as President of the Winchester High School Alumni Association; and, Sandra Walker Kelly, a 1957 graduate of Winchester High School, who went on to become founding editor of the Mid-American Journal of Business, (today the American Journal of Business), long-time Special Assistant to Ball State University’s former President, John Worthen, and former Executive Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra.

These three authors, along with submissions by other graduates, captured the stories of 30 remarkable students of Winchester High School who came from a community of less than 5,000 residents. This high school has produced an array of successful graduates who not only made significant contributions to Winchester and Indiana, but often to the nation and even internationally. This book, and its intended successor, Volume II, highlight these graduates’ accomplishments. It also attempts to explain briefly how this small community, originally established after the turn of the 19th Century by members of The Society of Friends (Quakers), Methodists, and Presbyterians, created such an environment to have produced such outstanding individuals.

Winchester High School, Winchester, Indiana. On April 24, 1898, a fire that originated in the chemistry department burned the old Winchester High School to the ground. The picture above is of the high school that replaced it in the fall of 1899, which was constructed for $15,337. The school was renamed “Lee L. Driver High School” in 1959 and remained so until 1966 when it became known as “Winchester Community High School” as a result of further consolidation of county schools. In 1967, a new high school


During the span of 75 years, from 1875 to 1950, only 1,828 students graduated from Winchester High School. Yet, among their ranks were dozens, possibly hundreds, of classmates who went on to achieve remarkable things. Just a few of these distinguished graduates include:

  • James P. Goodrich, Indiana’s 29th governor who established the Indiana state park system and the departments of conservation, banking, commerce, and highways. Known as Indiana’s “War Governor”, his one term in office, 1917 to 1921, coincided with World War I. Goodrich later became U.S. envoy to the Soviet Union, where he met Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky, among others, in a herculean effort to stem the great Soviet famine of 1921-1923. His efforts ultimately helped save the lives of millions of Russian peasants. 1881 WHS graduate.
  • James E. Watson, who served as Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives (1903-1909) and Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate (1929 to 1933). Watson was one of the most colorful figures to ever serve in Congress. He narrowly lost his bid to serve as Indiana’s governor in 1908, being defeated by Thomas Marshall, who later served two terms as Vice President of the U.S. Watson also ran for President of the United States in 1928 against Herbert Hoover. 1881 WHS graduate.

John R. Commons, a 1881 classmate of both James Goodrich and James Watson, he was one of the most influential economists of the 20th Century. His groundbreaking research at the University of Wisconsin led to the establishment of the Social Security system, Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, and an examination of the Labor movement in America and the inner workings of the U.S. Federal Reserve Banking system. Commons served as President of the American Economic Society. Today the “John R. Commons Award” is given biannually by the International Honor Society for Economics to a top economist. In prestige within the profession, it is second only to the Nobel Prize in Economics. 1881 WHS graduate.


(More in Part II)

Posted in Book Awards, Indiana History |

PHOTOPLAY, EILEEN, DORIS DAY & the super fan who started me on my trip to fanhood and authoring.

I became a Doris Day fan after seeing the star in Calamity Jane in 1953.  I wanted to know more about her and sought out sources. Little did I realize how flipping through the monthly movie magazines at my local Murphy’s Five & Dime store would help me achieve my dream.

In the late 1950’s Photoplay Magazine ran a story inviting fans to contact them to connect with their favorite movie star’s fan club. There was an idea! I immediately sent off an inquiry. Within a month I received a notice that the ONLY official fan club for Doris Day was headquartered in London, England!  Needless to say, I immediately sent off a note of inquiry about how to join this group.  Shortly after I got their quarterly journal with the latest news about upcoming movies and/or records Doris had coming out.  On occasion, a fan would comment on seeing Doris in person. Lucky person!  One in particular was Eileen Freshwater from Canton, Ohio.  She would tell about seeing Doris at a Dodger or Laker game or in Beverly Hills when she was in the Los Angeles area.

Eileen! I should contact her! I think I grew up with a networking gene and immediately wrote to the DD Fan Club in London to inquire about how to contact this active fan.  To my surprise, they sent me her contact info! How NOT like today.

It was 1964.  Eileen was a waitress and could find work anywhere; she wanted to be able to be near her idol, so she was planning to take a trip to the West Coast. I saw an opportunity: Indianapolis would be a perfect first stop on Eileen’s four-day drive to LA.    I immediately wrote to Eileen to invite her to stay at my home on her next journey to California

My parents were nervous about my inviting a total stranger to stay overnight at our home.  My reply to their worries was, “Eileen has to be OK, she’s a Doris Day fan.” In she came, on the way to realizing her dream. Needless to say, we stayed up most of the night.  I had question after question about Doris, and Eileen was kind enough to answer every question! She was a long-time admirer and knew so much. As she left the next morning, she said she was planning to finally move to Los Angles, and if I ever wanted to visit, I could stay at her apartment.  Wow, what an invite!

On August 15, 1965, I took Eileen up on her invitation.  A friend of mine and I flew to Los Angeles, despite the Indianapolis Star headline “Planes being shot at LAX.” We were young and fearless and knew fun times were ahead and didn’t fall for the fear being promoted in media.

Eileen and her roommate Hilda, another avid fan from Wales, welcomed us. I had written to Phyllis, Doris’s secretary, asking if there was a possibility to meet Doris during my visit.  She couldn’t promise anything, but made arrangements for all of us to have a private tour of the MGM studio where Doris was filming The Glass Bottom Boat.  The tour was awesome, but no DD sighting.  Eileen, her roommate, Hilda, and I and my friend had a wonderful time just getting to know one another and sharing our love of Doris.

I returned to LA in 1966 and still no sighting, but we girls got to enjoy each others’ company and continue our love for Doris.

The old saying, ”Third time’s a charm,” was certainly true for me in 1967 when I actually got to meet my idol Doris Day, at Bailey’s Bakery in Beverly Hills on Saturday, October 21st.  Eileen had been in touch with Secretary Phyllis and it was planned for Doris to share some time with us. Doris arrived on her bike and spent nearly 3 hours with us…talk about a dream come true. She was as natural and welcoming to us humble fans as we had believed she might be.

I could never thank Eileen enough for making this possible—who would have known that browsing through Photoplay at Murphy’s would be the start of my trip to my own life as  Doris Day’s live-in secretary and a book about that life.

It is with sadness that I share the news that Eileen passed away earlier this year.  We had lots of good times together and if it weren’t for Eileen, I probably never would have met Doris and the rest is history…Thank you Eileen –RIP my friend.


Click back to purchase the new edition of Mary Anne Barothy’s Day at a Time: An Indiana Girl’s Sentimental Journey to Doris Day’s Hollywood and Beyond.

Posted in Doris Day |

Emerson Houck: A Leading Light in Indiana History Through Writing From Hawthorne Publishing

The late Emerson Houck was not born a Hoosier. He grew up near Chicago, but became a Hoosier by adoption when he married his wife Jane. They lived in Indianapolis, but Em soon got caught up in the frenzy of Indiana High School basketball—past and present. He was touched and impressed by the fervor and loyalty of citizens in small towns like Loogootee and Selma, Ossian and Daleville, for their local basketball teams, their great moments, their local boys and girls who became stars, if only for a couple of seasons. The stars and the games would live on in the memories of those towns for many years.

He and Jane traveled small-town Indiana, stopping at cafes to talk to the locals and inspecting old gyms. The spirit of unity and healthy competition and exaltation of good performance touched him and seemed to him the best of America. He began to preserve the stories, and those tales of local triumph became a book. Hawthorne put out Hoosiers All: Indiana High School Basketball with pride.

What was the theme that tied all these teams together? The mascot names identified the entire town, Em believed. In his first book, Go Huskies, Beat Felix the Cat, he had chronicled team names around the nation and showed how those mascot names reflected the area or state’s history or enthusiasms. Now we wished to center on the little town teams of his adopted state, incorporating the concept of the mascots to the team records.

He said in the first edition of Hoosiers All, which came out in 2009,

“Those names both in the past and in the present become a rallying point for a school, a community, or an entire area, and I have chosen to center this history of Indiana basketball around them. . .

Over the years my wife and I have traveled through the state, into every county, enjoying the Hoosier countryside and seeking team stories. We have been met with smiles and warmth everywhere and particularly in the smaller towns. . . Often we were regaled with tales of that one Sectional championship. I have included the stories of those “miracle seasons” whenever possible, but every one of them is significant in its own way and should be preserved.”

There have been many books about Indiana High School basketball, and we as publishers have put some of them out. But no other book has caught the spirit, the very heart of our towns and decent, hard-working people, whose only entertainment in past years beyond the radio was to go to the local gym and cheer their hearts out for the teams and their “royalty, birds, animals and native Americans” which mark the chapter heads of Hoosiers All. A new and expanded and corrected edition is now available. This book is unique and can never be imitated: it is a real contribution to the history of Indiana small-town life, captured when it was fresh.

Emerson, Indiana misses you, but your legacy of commemoration of the best of us. A life now gone in Indiana lives on in this book and we are proud to give you our Hawthorne Publishing Leading Lights award, posthumously.

Nancy Baxter, Senior Editor

Posted in Book Awards, Books on Indiana, Indiana High School Basketball |