Monday, September 16, 2013

Columbus, Nebraska - Kramer High School - 1929 Annual

High school annuals can make a great source of genealogical information. While my parents families originated 350 miles from where I was born, it was still interesting to look through the old annuals. I was back in my home town of Columbus, Nebraska, browsing through an antique store and stumbled across a few old high school annuals. I flipped through them and when I saw one particular student, especially the trait he was tagged with, I had to buy it. Here is the cover of the 1929 Kramer High School Annual:

The student body was known as "The Discoverers", as the school now known as Columbus High School is known today.Here is the title page:
It appears the original owner wrote their name across the top of the title page and either they or their descendants cut/tore it out before it ended up at the antique store. The entry I found interesting is found on page 7:

In the 1929 graduating class was a student by the name of Walter Behlen. He is noted as "Ambitious". If you're not familiar with Columbus, this may mean nothing to you but if you know the town, you know that one of the big manufacturing companies in town is known as Behlen Manufacturing. They are best known for manufacturing corrugated steel grain bins. These bins are found all around the midwest and other areas. They employ about 3.5% of the population of Columbus. It was founded by Walt Behlen in 1936, just 7 years after his high school graduation. His first product was steel toes for work shoes and clamps for wooden egg crates, manufactured in his garage.

I recall a book on my father's bookshelf titled "Walt Behlen's Universe". Ambitious? I'd say so!

Do you know anyone that might appear in the 1929 Kramer High School annual? If so, drop me a line and I'll get a scan of their photo for you.

Look for high school and college annuals to see if you can find more information about your ancestors. I'd bet you can gain a little more insight on them as a real person.

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