16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, December 12, 1911: Jake says we have to study harder. It seems to me such tiresome work, but I suppose I could if I tried hard enough. I guess I staid up longer tonight than I did last night, although it is not so very late now.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
I’m continually amazed how many mysteries about Grandma’s life as a teen-ager I’ve been able to resolve (at least to my own satisfaction) with a little research. However, occasionally I’m totally baffled by things that I feel like I should be able to figure out. Today is one of those days–.
What was Jake’s last name?
The History of the McEwensville Schools by Thomas Kramm indicates that the teacher during the 1910-11 school year was Howard Northrop; and that there were two teachers during the 1911-12 school year—Howard Northrop and D. Forest Dunkle. And, Leon Hagenbuch in his History of McEwensville lists the same teachers. I suppose they both used the same source—sigh.
I’m not getting anything close to Jake out of those names –but maybe Howard went by a nickname. Grandma’s referred to her teacher several times in the diary as Jake or Jakie. I wonder if she called him Jake to his face or it he was Mr. ____.
Jake seems to be very young for a teacher and almost one of the gang. For example, in the fall Grandma and other girls teased him about drawing a picture of a diamond ring, and the previous winter he fell through the ice while skating one evening with students.