In preparation for the upcoming celebration of McDonogh No. 35 High School’s Centennial Anniversary this year, we thought it would be appropriate to show images from the first Roneagle yearbook published by their faculty and students.
Although the school opened its doors in the fall of 1917 as the first public high school for children of color, its first yearbook was not published until eleven years later in 1928.
Various articles here on CreoleGen.org have explored the history of the school. Click the link here to view one of them. Having started out with only a faculty of four teachers and a ninth grade, the school grew rapidly and would remain the only black public high school in the city for the next 25 years.
The first Roneagle yearbook was dedicated to the student body but the credit for its preparation was given to its Principal, Mr. Lucien Alexis, in “whose mind [the] publication was conceived and without whose faith and vision the volume would never have materialized.”
From the Foreword:
“If in years to come, some alumnus of McDonogh Thirty-Five, fingering lovingly the leaves of the book, finds within them some blissful memory, some inspiring thought from his cherished youth, then the thought and labor of many will not have been in vain!”
Musicians in the School Orchestra
Louis Andre/ Alexander Brumfield/ Herman Bush/ William Carter/ Louis Dessalle/ Catherine De Windt/ Leo Dejan/ Reuben Hughes/ Edwin Johnson/ Herbert Leary/ Edwin Nelson/ Nathaniel Patterson/ Marjorie Reeves/ Mr. Osceola Blanchet
In the 1927-28 session, the school orchestra was composed of 15 pieces consisting of both males and females. There were four violinists, four saxophonists, one drummer, and one singer, plus a banjoist and a trombone player. Everyone was expecting great things in the future from these embryonic artists.
Boys’ Football Team
A. Anthony/ Felix Alexander/ George Brown/ Earl Barconey/ Herman Bush/ Bluitt Beaudoin/ James Despinasse/ Roscoe Edwards/ Louis Gorham/ Percy Golson/ Alexander Gordon/ James Haynes/ Freddie Jackson/ Bertrand Johnson/ Willie Landry/ Alonzo Mosley/ Oscar Robertson/ Elwood Scott/ Alvin Turner/ Charles Workman
Although the 1927 football team played only two games that season, students and faculty were proud of their players. Unfortunately, they lost both games. The first one was fought against Xavier High and the second to McKinley High of Baton Rouge. Many students felt that McDonogh’s failures in both games were due mostly to the lack of a field on which to practice. However, 1927 furnished the strongest football team in the history of the school.
The Roneagle Sweetheart Contest
Miss Josephine Mitchell
Every girl in the school had the privilege to enter as a contestant in the sweetheart contest. Due to the large number of contestants, the girls of each class decided to select 1 of their classmates for “Miss Sweetheart.” While competing, the candidates had to observe several rules.
Miss Leah Metoyer
When the votes were counted, Miss Josephine Mitchell of 11A-1 class received the largest number of votes and became “Our Sweetheart.” Miss Leah Metoyer of 10B-4 class, having brought in the 2nd largest number of votes, received the title of “A Popular Girl.” A reception was held in their honor wherein former contestants, faculty, and the Roneagle Staff were in attendance.
Girls Basketball Team
Rose Bissant/ Anna Bruce/ Miriam Carter/ Elizabeth Cosey/ L. Davis/ Genevia Hill/ Hilda Green/ Ellen Hoover/ Eleanor Johnson/ St. Claire Jackson/ Hazel Jones/ Leah Metoyer/ Louise Metoyer/ Marguerite Malarcher/ Claudia Pairs/ Clara Poindexter/ Marjorie Reeves/ Thelma Robinson
The girls’ team did not compete against other schools. The 18 classes at McD#35 competed among themselves. Each team had a captain with 5 players who sought to win as many games as possible. Under the supervision of Miss Baranco, baskeball games were played from 3 to 4pm on the school’s ground.
Boys’ Baseball Team
Earl Barconey/ George Brown/ Alvin Cloth/ Irvin Dyer/ Otis Fisher/ Augustin Garibaldi/ Elliot Keyes/ Alonzo Mosley/ Oscar Randolph/ John Roux/ Leroy Thomas/ Elwood Scott/ Alvin Turner/Walter Wright/ Charles Workman
Source: The Roneagle 1928 in Charles B. Rousseve Papers, Xavier University of Louisiana Archives. For more information on the history of McDonogh No. 35, search CreoleGen’s archives through the search box in the upper right corner.
Lolita Villavasso Cherrie