Tigers still sharp
Three hundred people attended Douglas County High School’s second graduation ceremony in the new Gardnerville building on June 1, 1917, according to The Record-Courier.
Of the seven graduates, six were women. The big news that day was the implementation of the draft after the U.S. declared war on Germany. Five of the graduates were of German descent, but none were called on to serve, since the minimum age at the time was 21, and no one would reach that age before the war was over.
Like the graduates of the class of 2017, they were born into a technological maelstrom, only instead of being digital natives, they were mechanical natives, familiar with the new marvels of internal combustion engines and electricity.
Four, Alsye Springmeyer, Ada Fricke, Florence Heitan and Siegfried Heise, would remain in the Carson Valley for their entire lives. Ada died at age 34 of a heart attack, while Alsye died at 46. Three of the women, Agnes Jensen, Jennie Jacobsen and Hilda Heise, married men they met while either away attending or teaching school.
Hilda’s son, agricultural activist and Tiger basketball fan Clarence Burr Jr., returned to the Valley to run the Heise ranch.
The class motto was displayed proudly at that ceremony long ago, “Be natural, be sharp, but never be flat.”
We expect nothing less from the roughly 400 members of the Class of 2017. We know their lives will go many directions, but the one thing they all have in common over the generations is that they’re Douglas Tigers.