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First DHS annual published 100 years ago

The 1916-17 Dickinson High School basketball team included, in no particular order, Monte McCutchan, Al. Brodie, Geo. Tillquist, Frank Richards, Joe Brodie, Woolf Guon and Rex Ware. The team was the Southwest District Champions that year.(Submitted Photo)1 / 3
Dickinson High School's first annual, published 100 years ago, was called "The Coyote."2 / 3
Shown is the original Dickinson Elementary and High School. (Submitted/Southwestern North Dakota Digital Archive At the Dickinson Museum Center)3 / 3

What was it like to be a student at Dickinson High School 100 years ago? Was their mascot known as "The Coyote"?

These questions and more came to light when Mike McNamara of Dickinson walked into The Press with a copy of the first annual published at DHS—100 years ago.

"I'm a history buff—through bartending, I heard stories, I like history, I like sharing history because it's interesting," he said.

Printed by The Dickinson Press in June 1917, the annual provided the template for today's annuals—from pictures of the classes and the faculty to the athletics program, the clubs and the sponsors at the end.

Perhaps the most intriguing tidbit from the annual was the name on the cover—"The Coyote Dickinson High School."

It certainly was the name of the annual, but McNamara said, "It doesn't say it was their nickname—many teams back then did not have a nickname."

McNamara borrowed the annual from a friend, who said it was among the possessions of his mother. Being a history buff, McNamara enjoyed reading about high school life from a century ago.

The first volume of The Coyote was dedicated to Mr. P.S. Berg, who was described as "our worthy superintendent."

Six students from the Class of 1918 took the initiative to publish the Coyote—Monte McCutchan, George Tillquist, Editor-in-chief Bernice Frye, Assistant editor Agnes Moe, Verner Delaney and Ward Johnson.

The editors wrote, that being this was the first annual, "We have no apologies to make, but only hope others will profit by our mistakes. May the recollection of it, in future years, always bring pleasant memories of your school years."

The school colors were orange and black, there were nine faculty and 18 seniors. The student names included Esther Ayers, Ray Robinson, Frederik Jessen, Ruth Maser, Seibert Snyder, Leo Mullaney and Lucy Armstrong. Enrollment in the underclasses varied from 20 to 24 students—no names were published.

The departments included manual training—students learned about the use of tools and how make small articles like a tie-rack, foot stool or piano bench. The commercial department taught typewriting, shorthand and penmanship. Home economics focused on sewing, cooking, laundry work and sanitation.

One of the more novel groups was the Border Boys. The North Dakota Infantry Company K was organized to protect the Texans from raids of the Mexicans. Sixty of Dickinson's young men, including the entire high school basketball team, were called to join. As was written, "Among sobs and cheers and with the entire population of Dickinson to see them off, the company departed for Fort Lincoln where they joined the remainder of the North Dakota regiment."

The school had a high school orchestra, a Dramatic Society, the Freshmen Literary Society, the Forensic Club, the German Club, the Boy' Glee Club and the Girls' Glee club.

As stated in the annual, "Every Wednesday, the boys gathered in the auditorium and enjoyed themselves in singing rousing college songs."

In the section titled 'athletics,' the basketball team consisted entirely of new players. New members had to be coached as all the players of last year's team were on the Mexican border with Company K. The team won seven out of eight games and the southwestern district championship. They played teams at Beach, Mandan, Bismarck and Wibaux. They went on to be defeated at state by Michigan City with a score of 28-16. The players were listed as Monte McCutchan, Al. Brodie, Geo. Tillquist, Frank Richards, Joe Brodie, Woolf Guon and Rex Ware.

Also under athletics were tennis and military drill intended to "inspire patriotism in the community."

Even the ads painted a picture of the Dickinson community --businesses like Ozborn's Photo Studio, Lish Hardware Co., Greene Drug and Jewelry Co., Dickinson Motor Car Co., The Fad, F.L.Roquette Co.,and Dakota Lignite Mines. Some names have been mostly forgotten—Scherffius the Jeweler, Knapp's the Flower Store, Walton & Davis Co., German Bohemian State Bank and Reed Bros. Department Store—advertised as Dickinson's largest store.

What's to become of the annual?

"I'm talking with my friend where to donate it or to make copies of it—who knows," McNamara said.

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