Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jefferson School, Walla Walla, WA...Brenda Steunenberg Richards...circa 1924...and 1966.

9/14/2014 update. Photo of Jefferson School, Walla Walla, WA.

Just ran across this photo. Written on the back by my father: "Brenda sitting on the steps of Jefferson School in Walla Walla. Washington at Ninth and Emma St. This is the school Brenda attended as a child."  Dated "1966." 

Yep, that's my mom right near the same spot she sat on these steps 42 years earlier!
Probably a good thing mom got there when she did.  All I see now at the intersection of Ninth and Emma Streets, Walla Walla, WA is an empty lot and some newer stores.

Below is an old tattered circa 1924 photo of my mother, Brenda Steunenberg Richards, with her classmates in first grade at Jefferson School in Walla Walla, WA. The arrow on the photo points to mom in the back row. Quite a motley crew.* Please email me if you can identify any of the other kids or the teacher.
"Jefferson School was constructed in 1916. Jefferson has a unique history, that it is the only elementary school in Walla Walla that has not had a woman principal. It is also unique because it has had more minority students throughout the years than any of our other elementary schools."  
History of Walla Walla Schools in District #140 
Here is a photo taken at Jefferson circa 1947-48 on the same steps at the front door. No one we know as I found this online for comparison purposes when trying to confirm the school. Not so motley and the teacher looks more relaxed!
During the mid 1920's, my grandpa Julian and grandma Francis Beardsley Wood Steunenberg had moved back to Walla Walla to be near other kinfolk.  Eveline 'Bell' Steunenberg, widow of assassinated Ex-governor Frank Steunenberg, was also living there. As related in prior posts, grandma Francis' family (Maxon-Wood) were early pioneers in the Walla Walla area and involved in the founding of Walla Walla College.
Jefferson School. You can see the front entrance and steps that served as a place for many photographs over the years, including my mother's 1st grade class. From what I see online, the school still stands today.
Other Beardsley-Wood kinfolk settled over in Milton, (now Milton-Freewater) and Roseburg, Oregon. While living in Walla Walla, my mom and the family would periodically visit her uncles, aunts and cousins at the Farmstead in Milton. All those kin were special to her and I know she remained in touch and visited when she could over the years. Frazier Farmstead Museum.
Julian, Francis and the five kids. Circa 1924 Walla Walla, WA
As we know, Julian had been attending Walla Walla College in 1905 and was home for the holidays in Caldwell, ID when his father was assassinated on December 30, 1905.  Having returned to Walla Walla in the 1920's, grandma Francis and grandpa Julian and the five kids (Doris, Bud, Cal, Jule and Brenda) would soon hit the road and head for California.

More Jefferson School Photographs

Bygone Walla Walla

*A motley crew is a cliché for a roughly organized assembly of characters. Typical examples of motley crews are pirates, Western posses, rag-tag mercenary bands and freedom fighters. They may align with, be (as a group), or include either the protagonist or the antagonist of the story. Dictionary.com defines a motley crew as a gathered group of people of various backgrounds, appearance, character, etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The teacher in your pic of 1947-1948 was Mrs. Ledgerwood--can't remember her first name.