October 21, 2014

Graduates of Edgerton Rural High School reunite

Members of the 1934-1935 Edgerton Rural High School basketball team are pictured. The photo is one of many from ERHS that hangs at the Edgerton Community Museum. Alumni of the school, which consolidated with the Gardner School District in 1966, held a reunion last weekend. Submitted photo

Members of the 1934-1935 Edgerton Rural High School basketball team are pictured. The photo is one of many from ERHS that hangs at the Edgerton Community Museum. Alumni of the school, which consolidated with the Gardner School District in 1966, held a reunion last weekend. Submitted photo

Charlie Troutner
Special to The Gardner News
Edgerton Rural High School held its 81st annual alumni reunion on Saturday, June 14 at Edgerton Elementary School.
Fifty-five people attended the reunion, up a bit from last year’s attendance. The oldest attendee was 97-year-old Lula Fesmire Powell, from the class of 1936.
Attendees enjoyed a catered dinner, converstion, and laughs throughout the evening.
Edgerton Rural High school opened in 1920, and the last graduating class was in May 1966.
The school colors were orange and black, and the mascot was the “panthers.”
Edgerton Rural High School competed in six-man football, basketball, baseball, softball, and track.
They played schools such as Jarbalo, Quenemo, Wea, Stanley, Stillwell,. K.S.D., and Linwood.
An average senior class consisted of between six and twelve students, meaning approximately 40 to 60 students attended ERHS at any one time
The high school consolidated with Gardner in 1966, and students from Edgerton first attended Gardner High School that fall. The Edgerton Rural High School building was torn down in the early 1970s.
The decision to consolidate and unify was a very difficult and emotional decision for everyone involved, attendees recalled.

A class composite of the Edgerton Rural High School classes of 1949 and 1950 hangs at the Edgerton Community Museum. The class of 1949 included Allen Thoms, Lajuana Smithm Frieda Hofmman, Richard Hickock, Principal Carl Dixon, Shirley Orgden, George Rebman, and Nadine Drury. Members of the class of 1950 included Leita Croan, Ja Anne Thoms, Lois Thoms, Marilyn Squires, Imogene Tracht, Georgie Hennessey, Louise Clark and Faye Knabe. Staff photo by Danedri Thomspon

A class composite of the Edgerton Rural High School classes of 1949 and 1950 hangs at the Edgerton Community Museum. The class of 1949 included Allen Thoms, Lajuana Smithm Frieda Hofmman, Richard Hickock, Principal Carl Dixon, Shirley Orgden, George Rebman, and Nadine Drury. Members of the class of 1950 included Leita Croan, Ja Anne Thoms, Lois Thoms, Marilyn Squires, Imogene Tracht, Georgie Hennessey, Louise Clark and Faye Knabe. Staff photo by Danedri Thomspon

Some people felt that  for structural reasons and due to declining attendance figures, Edgerton and Gardner should unify. However, some Edgerton residents and students wanted Edgerton High School to continue and thought the building was structurally sound and warranted staying open. After Edgerton High School graduated its’last class in 1966, the decision was ultimately made to close the school and unify with the Gardner School District.
Edgerton Rural High School alumni are very proud of their time at the school, and the annual reunion is a way of remembering and enjoying lots of memories. The reunion committee officers, Bill Harralson, Bob McTaggart, Myrna Riley Croan, and Linda Riley Hollon thought this year’s reunion was a big success and are looking forward to presenting the reunion again in  2015.

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