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Carol Perkins: The oldest living graduate of Edmonton High
Oldest living graduate of Edmonton High School is author's mother, Marguerite Reece Sullivan, a native of Adair County.
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Massive -maybe only ever- Edmonton HS reunion
The Edmonton High School Reunion is 3pm-5:30pmCT, Sunday, September 9, 2018, at the Old School Cafe in Edmonton, 805 W Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY. Contact: email@example.com for information.
By Carol Perkins
In preparing for the 200th Birthday Celebration in Edmonton next weekend and the Edmonton School Reunion, I have been looking for former graduates of Edmonton High School as far back as I could go only to discover that the oldest living graduate is in my own family. It is my mother.
In 1938, Marguerite Reece (Sullivan) graduated from Edmonton High School, and at age 97 admits that she doesn't like being the oldest anything! Being in the limelight is not her thing, but her history goes back to Cofer/Flat Rock in Adair County.
When she was twelve years old, her parents, Rufus and Betty (Strange) Reece, made the decision to leave their farm in the Cofer/Flat Rock area and buy a farm in Edmonton to be closer to a high school for their children. At the time, the oldest boys, Leon and Russell, were attending Breeding High School by horseback, but that was quite a distance. When my mother neared high school age, her father knew this wasn't what he wanted for her. So, he scouted around Edmonton and bought a farm about a mile from town. "Ma and Pa Reece moved over with Leon and Russell (her oldest brothers) and then the rest of us came the summer before I started high school," she said. Traveling from the new farm to town meant walking across back fields in good and bad weather (buses would come about later), but that is what everyone did back then. Eight of the children graduated from Edmonton High School, and the youngest, Martha, was in the first graduating class of the new Metcalfe County High School in '58.
Of the nine children, five graduated from college (all teachers). "When I got out of high school, most girls got married, but I wanted to go to college; so, my mother went to my dad and told him to make arrangements. At first, he wasn't sure because he thought I would just get married, but my mom put her foot down. 'So what if she does' she said. The next thing I knew, my father and I were going to the Lindsey Wilson campus and signing me up for classes. He also found a ride. I didn't insist on living in the dorm although I would have liked that."
After graduating, she taught in a one-room school and then moved to Louisville to get a "war job," which led her to working in a chemical lab in Charlestown, Indiana. "I rode the bus from Louisville to Charlestown and back every day. I boarded with family relatives who rented rooms, but after a year, I was needed back home where I worked in the draft office. Henry (later her husband) was gone overseas for almost five years in WWII, so I worked and taught school until he came home and we got married." (They had three children: Carol, Henry, Jr. and Tim)
As we honor the graduates of Edmonton High School, and those who attended the school as elementary students, we will remember other families (like my mother's) whose parents sent them to school when it wasn't easy.
The reunion is 3pm-5:30pmCT, Sunday, September 9, 2018, at the Old School Cafe in Edmonton, 805 W Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
This story was posted on 2018-08-30 17:36:22
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