York Town Square

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1921 York High Yearbook: ‘I thought someone would find it interesting’

This image of York (Pa.) High School appeared in the 1921 school yearbook “Orange and Blue.” A half dozen years later, William Penn Senior High School was built nearby and this building became Hannah Penn Junior High School. Hannah Penn Middle School later went up in southeast York and this turn-of-the-20th-century building came down. Also of interest: Who was Hannah Penn of York City middle school fame? and York community leader: ‘We didn’t have equal opportunity to achieve’ and People mag features York native as a ‘Hero Among Us’ and 1967 William Penn senior class scored firsts.

“Rather than dispose of this yearbook,” Delanco, N.C.’s, Joan Hinkle wrote, “I thought someone would find it interesting.”
I certainly found the 1921 York High yearbook interesting and thought it would make a great back to school tie-in.
That was the class that opened school at the very beginning of the Roaring 20s.
World War I and its devastating partner, the Spanish flu, was now behind. The senior class had begun their high school careers in 1917, the first year of America’s involvement in the Great War.
The class had every reason to be optimistic, as evidenced by the class motto: “Onward to Success.”
Here are some bits and pieces from the yearbook:

The staff of the 1921 York High yearbook pose for the camera. William Zeigler served as editor of the yearbook.

– Principal C. B. Heinly received the dedication.
– Colors: Maroon and gold.
– F.W. Porter was the vice principal and also taught history, in that day when administrators taught.
– Clair Blum was class president.
– Philip Schenck was captain of the football team, made up of 17 members.
– Samuel Leibowitz was top dog on the basketball team, made up of five members.
– York Sanitary Milk Co. advertised with the headline: “Pasteurized Milk is Safe Milk.”
– One anecdote, “A Volstead Lunch,” told about a Prohibition-era excursion to “The Pickets,” near Dover. On the trip out to that Conewago Creek locale, someone commented, “Gee, what smells so peculiar, smells like an old vinegar barrel.” A leaking soft drink bottle was the culprit. The story ended with the cryptic: “Whether it was Gifford’s soft drink or somebody else’s that filled the car with such an unfamiliar odor could not be definitely decided, but we can almost say truthfully that it was not.”

Joan Hinkle pointed out that the yearbook was owned by Robert Ort, her husband’s uncle.
She just wanted to get it into good hands. In this case, those hands will be the York County Heritage Trust archives.
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