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Meet the BHS class of 1913 as juniors

Many familiar last names including Koontz, Gratz, Amstutz,

Zimmerly, Steiner, Stauffer, Andrews, Huber, Spangler and Fett

Step back 111 school years ago in Bluffton. Taken in 1912 as juniors, here are members of the Bluffton High School graduating class of 1913.

Front from left, Russell Koontz, Harry Hall and Walter Gratz.

Second row from left, Calvin Fett, Vesta Radebaugh Steiner, Edith Hyne, Bertha Thompson Weaver and Leah Stough Steiner.

Third row from left, Edmond Hawk, Raymond Stauffer, Eva Powell, Clara Fett Andrews, Agnes Amstutz, Huldah Spangler, Rene Studler, Harvey Steiner, Lavina Gratz Zimmerly, Flora Gottschall Geiger, Hallie Althaus Huber and Emmett Gratz.

Standing from left, C.A. Argenbright, superintendent; I.W. Geiger, principal and instructor; Helen Dornblazer, home room attendant and Latin instructor.

Some observations –

The photo was taken in the second compete school year that the 1911 BHS building opened for high school students. It stood where today’s new high school building stands on the corner of College and Jackson.

This photo was taken using natural light. That meant that the students needed to remain still for at least three seconds, thus the “stone faces.”

Too bad we can’t make out the imagines in the picture frames hanging on the wall. It would also be interesting to read the sentences written on the blackboard.

Among the students in the class were Walter Gratz, who owned a Bluffton Main Street shoe store, operated well into the 1970s.

Agnes Amstutz for a time early in her career was the Bluffton College librarian, eventually moving to the State of New York. She retired in Bluffton.

Rene Studler was a career U.S. Army officer, involved in several army activities. He oversaw production of an ejection seat used by pilots in WWII, for example.

Teacher I.W. Geiger was an Ohio Northern University graduate. Viewers of this website will find him in many Bluffton athletic team photos in the 1910-era.

Editor’s note: As a 1968 Bluffton HS grad, I can attest that those blackboard were still in use when I graduated and existed until the building was razed in the 1980s.

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