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One century plus 12 years ago

Meet Bluffton High School sophomore girls' basketball team

Question: When did Bluffton High School first offer a girls’ basketball team?
Answer: We aren’t certain, but we are getting closer to the answer.

Note: This story was updated one day following its initial posting.

We’ve pushed the first girls' basketball team back to the 1910-11 school year, thanks to a photo in the collection of Rose Harvey, whose grandmother, Clara Fett Andrews, was on the team.

Here’s the sophomore girls’ basketball team from that year. We know this because the basketball reads “Soph – 1911.”

And, 1911 was the first year that Bluffton had its own high school building. Prior to that all 12 grades were housed in one building on Jackson Street.

This team played games either in the 1911 BHS building, where the gym eventually became the band room. Or, they played games in a building behind The Food Store which was also a roller rink. We know that boys teams played in both locations.

We officially know two members of this team. Clara Fett Andrews and Agnes Amstutz.

Based upon a class photo taken when this class were juniors, we’ve projected the other players. Click here to view that class photo.

If we are correct, the top row from left includes: Bertha Thompson Weaver, Leah Stough Steiner and Clara Fett Andrews.

Center from left Vesta Steiner Radebaugh and Agnes Amstutz.

Bottom, holding the ball, Eva Powell.

Here’s additional information about Clara, from Rose:

“She taught in two area one-room country schools for five years upon completing studies at Miami University. One of those schools was called Peanut Center. The photo below shows her when she was a teacher there.

Clara was the daughter of Mary and Daniel Fett, Jr. her uncles were Jake and Sam Fett. The Fett farm was located on the property today housing Stratton Greenhouses south of Bluffton on the Lincoln Highway

Our second message to viewers is this: Does anyone have any idea of the location of Peanut Center one-room school?

Below: Clara Fett Andrews standing in front of the Peanut Center one-room country school, where was taught after high school.

1911 Bluffton High School. The basketball court was in the basement, which eventually became the band room.

This building served all 12 grades until the new high school building was opened in 1910-11.

The Bluffton High School class of 1913 as juniors.

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.


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