Eastern Memories from 1946

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Eastern Memories from 1946


The year 1946 — unbelievably that was 64 years ago now — I was still a student at Model high. What were things like on the campus of Eastern Kentucky State Teacher’s College?

Well, Mildred Estes was Miss Eastern (with Marie Riherd and Ruth Rice as attendants). Goebel Ritter was Mr. Popularity and Doris Johns was Miss Popularity. Note the Richmond connections. King and Queen of the Sweethearts Ball were Fred and Eileen Lewis.

Now, looking through the 1946 Milestone yearbook, I found many familiar faces. I am sure I have missed a lot of connections, but here goes my list of local people. Jack Fife, Sara Dan Walker, Guy Hatfield, Ivan Maggard, Dan Daugherty, Ted Benedett, Charles Floyd, Jane Acree, Charity Lowan, Kathryn Jasper, and Eileen and Fred Lewis were all seniors in 1946. In the Junior class I found Mildred Estes, William DeVenzio, Carl Scott, Frances Jennings, Nancy Griggs and Jane Dunn. Recognizable as sophomores were Eva Walker, Rosemary Bruner, Helen Parks (Corbin), Glenn Million, Ruby Maggard and Jane Reichstfarr.

That year’s freshman class included Reba Coy, Bobbie Williams, Frank Wilson, Goebel Ritter, Edna Cosby, Bill DeJarnette, E.N. Perry, Joy Jones, Tommy Parrish, Roy Moores, Jayne West, Charles Lee, Nancy Blake, George Gumbert, Mary E. Moore, Talton Todd and Henry Perry.

There were many veterans organizations in those interesting post-war years. Rebuilding from a very small campus community, reduced by all the young men off in military service during the war, Eastern was just beginning to grow as the G.I. Bill came into effect and a more normal, peacetime campus community was re-established. Young students sat in class with those whose lives had been interrupted for four or even five years. I note the five ex-Marines looking nonchalantly from the posed Milestone group photo — Jay Orr, Ote West, Fred Lewis and Goebel Ritter. Mature beyond their years, they were back home and picking up their lives after years of indelible experiences — Semper Fi.

I am struck by just how many Madison Countians made up the admittedly small (but growing) post-war student population. After the huge social changes of the past five years, many wanted to pursue a college degree and help to build a better community. All a part of Madison’s heritage.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Eastern Memories from 1946,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed June 15, 2024, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/1806.