First Roneagles Yearbook – 1928

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Original School Building on South Rampart Street

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.

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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.

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Chemistry Laboratory (1927-28)

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!”

A typical well-disciplined classroom at McDonogh No. 35

A typical well-disciplined classroom at McDonogh No. 35

Musicians in the School Orchestra

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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

McD#35 Football Team (1927-28)

 

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

McD#35 Our Sweetheart (Josephine Mitchell) 1928 (1)

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.

McD#35 A Popular Girl (Leah Metoyer) 1928

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

McD#35 Girls' Basketball Team (1928)

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

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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

13 thoughts on “First Roneagles Yearbook – 1928

  1. I have that book!! Both of my parents, George Stevens and Myrtle Watts, were in attendance at McDonogh #35 that year and have several pictures and articles written by them in the yearbook. As a matter of fact, both were on the yearbook staff which is pictured on page 20.
    Thank you Lolita for these wonderful historical articles that you provide in CreoleGen. They are appreciated by many.

    • Lynda..you have a treasure. My mother’s (Louise Metoyer) copy drowned in Katrina’s waters, along with everything else she had saved. I hope your copy will be passed down for a long time.

  2. Lynda…Cherish this book!! There are not many copies left. I could only find one in Xavier University’s Archives and the other in McDonogh 35’s library. There are so many great images in it until I’m thinking of eventually publishing more in another article in the future. It must give you a great sense of pride to have your parents featured within these pages. Thanks for sharing and for the great compliment !!

  3. Thank you so much for posting this, especially as we Roneagles are celebration our centennial! Is there a way to view the yearbook online? I know there are a couple of yearbooks from the 60s posted on Classmates.com.

  4. Also, I noticed an Earl Barconey on the football team. I graduated with an Earl Barconey in 1985 and was on the football team with him! Obviously there is some lineage there!

  5. Thanks for the pictures from The 1928 Roneagles
    saw many people that I knew or knew of including my father-in-law John Roux who was a member of the baseball team.
    Lois Milton Roux

  6. Thank you for sharing this historical document. My sister, Sondra Reine and I, Lana Edwards are delighted to see our mom , Catherine DeWindt in the orchestra (violin) and our dad Alvin Cloth on baseball and football teams?

  7. Thank You so much for sharing. Always a pleasure to learn more about my Beloved McDonogh #35. A Proud Roneagle from the Class of 1973.

  8. Lolita, you have done it again! You are a force! Please publish as much of this as you can. So many of our generation have heard our parents and grandparents speak of their ’35 education. I almost went there and some of my closest friends were in the second generation of Roneagles. It touched my heart to see the photo of the old school building `on Rampart Street. So many treasured momentos were lost with Katrina. Continue sharing the fruits of your labor which bless us beyond anything you could imagine.

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