Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Murphysboro, Illinois "1923 Crimson and Corn" High School Yearbook

I was in Murphysboro, Illinois for the "Drums at Appletime" a couple of Saturdays ago. This is a marching band competition for area high school bands.  "Drums at Appletime" is one of the many events going on in Murphysboro, Illinois during their annual "Apple Festival".  My husband and I got there a little early so we explored Murphysboro a little bit.  Shopped some of the craft booths at the festival, looked at their exhibit on past Apple Festival Queens, went to the John A. Logan Museum (it was closed bah!), viewed Kinkaid Lake (for hubby to see if it was worth a fishing trip), and stopped at a couple of antique stores.

Well look at my awesome purchase from one of the Murphysboro antique stores!  A 1923 Murphysboro High School Yearbook!  They had 4 yearbooks.  The other's being from 1940's, 1960's, and 1970's. (can't remember exact dates)  I have many ancestors that at one time lived in Murphysboro...Foster, Wyatt, Weathers, Cripps.  I think some may still be there...but I don't know them. My Grandpa Bill was born in Murphysboro, Illinois.  He was too poor to attend much school so I didn't figure he'd be in any of the High School yearbooks.  But maybe I could find some relatives.  If not I just like old pictures etc. from Southern Illinois.  How much for the 1923 yearbook you ask?  $5.00!!!!!  What a steal! Especially since it was bought in the same town that the yearbook is from. (If I had bought it say in Florida you could expect a $5 price tag, but normally buying historical items from the same location ups the price tag.)

Here are some pictures from the "1923 Crimson and Corn" Murphysboro, Illinois Year Book...

1923 Crimson and Corn, Murphysboro, Illinois High School Year Book
When I got home, I thought to myself  "Wow this year book is before the 1925 tornado!".  In case you don't now much Murphysboro history, in 1925 one of the worst tornados in U.S. history struck Murphysboro. The Tri-State tornado started across the river in Missouri and continued through Illinois into Indiana.  In Murphysboro, Illinois the tornado left 234 dead and 623 injured persons. The tornado struck during the day so the local schools were in session.  At the High School 2 students died.  Eleven children died at the Longfellow School and 9 children died at the Logan School.  For more information google 1925 Murphysboro Tornado or Tri-state Tornado.  Or visit the Jackson County Illinois Geneology Trails website here:

For the list of victims visit this page:

Anyhow after thinking about the yearbook I found being before the 1925 Tornado I opened the book to the first page and here is what I read:

I think this information about the owner, Marie Swafford, was added at a later date.  But I found it exciting that it mentions her yearbook was blown away in the 1925 Tornado and someone gave her this year book.
There is some writing inside the yearbook dated 1997 which is why I believe this information was added at a later date. 

Here is a picture of the owner.  And someone has put a star by her picture.

Marie Swafford picture bottom of page. 1923 Crimson and Corn, Murphysboro, Illinois Year Book.  Past owner of this year book.

Here are some of my favorite photographs from the year book.

Sewing Department with picture of them wearing their hats they made.

Here's a closer view of the Sewing Department.

M.T.H.S. Orchestra
In regards to the M.T.H.S. Orchestra....I do not know what the "T" stands for.

Update - Thanks to  a comment from Carol I now know that the "T" stands for Township.
               Murphysboro Township High School.
               Thank you Carol!

Here's a closer view of the Orchestra.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures.  If anyone has someone they want me to look for in this yearbook I would be glad to look them up and post their pictures.  Many club and class pictures in the yearbook don't include names. And some include names but not in the order of the picture.

Next time I'll post some pictures from the Drums at Appletime.  Cape Girardeau Marching Tigers photos that is.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Grandpa Bill, Another American Hero

William Eugene Foster
This is one of my favorite pictures of Granpa Bill.

William Eugene Foster
November 18, 1918 - December 18, 2002

Grandpa Bills's parents are celebrating VJ Day.
Alice and Edward Foster, my GreatGrandParents holding a VJ Day Victory Banner.

My Grandma Margie Foster on VJ Day.
This is my VERY FAVORITE picture of her.
Notice the hand sign, Victory!


April 29, 1944
Savage, MN

I'm very proud and happy to be here today on this occasion. I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the United State Navy Department in giving me the pleasure to sponsor the launching of this vessel, the U.S.S. Chestatee, in honor of my five sons, three of whom are in the service in the States, one who has already paid the supreme sacrifice, and one is held a German prisoner by the German government. I feel they deserve that recognition and honor, and proud of their records and military rank, which have been achieved through a long period of years with hard work and persistent study. Wherever they may be, I just hope they will enjoy this honor with me in Spirit, and I shall always remember it as one of the greatest moments of my life.

I should like to make some special dedication, first, to the memory of my dear son, the Late Ensign Joe S. Boren, United States Navy Reserves, and his nine buddies, who were killed on July 12, 1942, in the line of duty, in Carenage Bay near the Port of Spain, Trinadad, in the British West Indies. He was in the service of his country eighteen months, and into active duty just four months, when he paid the great sacrifice with his life with nine other fine American boys. Joe earned his Gold Wings after a year's training and graduation from Corpus Christi, and was sent to do duty in the Caribbean Sea patrolling convoys of supplies and troops through the danger zone of the Caribbean Sea, detecting subs and picking up survivors, and while he was out on a special mission in a foced landing was killed.

Second, to the life and safety of another son, Second Lieutenant James Russell Boren, who was co-pilot on a Flying Fortress, based in England. Russell had served his country eighteen months and graduated at Douglas, Arizona. He took advanced training on a Flying Fortress and was sent over seas the first of January. He was out in combat action a little over one month, when he was shot down in a raid over Berlin. He'd made six missions, one over Paris, Regensburg, Brunswick, Frankfur, and two over Berlin. We received a telegram saying he was missing in action over Germany, since the 8th of March. In a recent letter, he wrote that if we should receive a letter saying, "Missing in action," not to worry too much, but if it said the other, "That would be the happiest way he could go." After several weeks of fear and anxiety for his safety, last week we were made so happy when a report came through the International Red Cross that he was held a prisoner by the German Government.

My other three sons in the service in the States are Lieutenant Commander Ralph Clinton Boren, who is a doctor and surgeon in the U.S. Navy Hospital at San Diego, CA. We were very much concerned about his safety at the beginning of the war, as he was a doctor on the U.S.S. Tanker Cayuma on the Midway, Guam, Wake and Hawaiian Islands and missed the attack on Pearl Harbor by a week. Later, his tanker was sunk by a Japanese sub. Next, is Captain Ryburn D. Boren, who has been in service fifteen years and is now at Long Beach, CA, as an engineer in the Sixth Ferrying Command. He served as an Aviation Machinist Mate in the United States Navy and last seven years as an engineer in the Army Air Corps.

My youngest son, John L. Boren, is an Aviation Machinist Mate in the U.S. Navy, and is now at present an Air Cadet in Navy Air Corps in Primary Flight Base in Dallas,TX. I might add John has been one of the lucky ones in this war, having served three years in the Philippines before the outbreak of the war, as a crew member on a plane stationed in Cavite, Philippines. When it was evident that the Japs would take them over, he was chosen as one to escape from the Philippines with ten bombers down into the Dutch East Indies, where they were based at Soerabaja, Java. They were bombed and strafed for three months, all their planes shot down but two, most all their men killed, but they got away from Java and went from island to island, finally reached Australia, and from there back to the States, where a new squadron was formed and sent to Alaska. He spent five months at Kodiak, and three on Andreanof Islands where he spent three months participating in bombing of Kiska and Attu. He was sent back to the States to train for a fighter pilot. He is very anxious to earn his Gold Wings and get back into action and fill that empty cockpit made vacant by his brother, Joe.

As you may know, we are proud of our boys and proud to make this great contribution in this fight for freedom for the protection of our homes and the defense of our grand and glorius United States of America, but at the same time we do it with our heart filled with fear and anxiety for their personal welfare and safety on the battle fronts. There's a lot of worry mixed with the pride, but I realize we are only one mother and father out of hudreds of thousands who are experiencing the same sorrows and facing the same battles. My heart goes out in mutual sorrow, sympathy, and understanding to every father and mother whose heart has been saddened over the loss of a dear son in this cruel war, and when we have gained the victory may their dear lives shall not have been given in vain.

Today, lonely hearts are yearning for loved ones far away in service somewhere, on the seas, on the land, in the air, or underneath. It becomes the patriotic duty of every American citizen without exception to work increasingly to contribute without stint, to sacrifice without restraint, to pray fervently for our just and righteous cause, that to the end the complete victory may be achieved, and lonely hearts be united again in lating peace.

With victory on the way, now more than ever, we must unite in working for, sacrificing for, and fighting and praying for the name that means everything to us, the name which is the beacon light of universal freedom, the greatest name in all the world, the United State of America.

How proud I am to be an American and a citizen of the United States. For more than 165 years, this nation has given us to enjoy so much freedom, liberties, opportunities, and the pursuits of happiness. These are things our boys are fighting and dying for today, that we may still have freedom. It is up to us here on the home front to shoulder our share of the burden in order that we may gain the victory. Now the time has come that, in turn, we may repay our country for those many blessings by sacrificing on our part, buying war bonds and giving of our fine young manhood, which means my sons and your sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers. What we are asked to do is little compared to what our boys are doing, fighting, and dying on the far-flung battlefields of this war.

When this war is over, may the victory be ours, and may Old Glory as she waves her beautiful folds of red, white, and blue, so gently in the breeze, may she forever wave over the land of the free and the land of the brave, and may she never suffer defeat and crushed to earth by the enemy's heel, and may our government long endure and shall be forever be a government of the people, by and for the people, and shall it never perish from the earth.

So, let's keep the Star-Spangled Banner waving on high and keep the home fires burning until the boys come home and the lights go on again all over the world, peace and good will reign supreme, so with our chins up. "Let's Keep 'Em Flying, Let's Keep 'Em Sailing, Let's Keep 'Em Rolling," and lastly let's keep smiling and carry on because it is all for the flag.

As this vessel, the U.S.S. Chestatee, makes her way out on the high seas and joins the Fleet of the greatest and best Navy in the world, The United States Navy, may she do her full share, in behalf of the people of the United States in bringing an early victory and peace, and when the victory has been won, may she still do her bit in helping to preserve and maintain a lasting and permanent peace.

Wherever she may go, or wherever she may be, may the Devine Providence protect and care for her with every officer and members of her crew. May Good Luck and God's Speed go with her.

I, now, christen her as the U.S.S. Chestatee, as a part of the United States Navy of America.

Left to right; unknown, James Dallas Boren, Lulu Boren, and 2 Boren boys.
I've always thought this picture was from the ship christening but I think I may be wrong.  The two Boren men on the right sure look to me like Russell and Joe. But at the ship christening Russell was a POW in Germany and Joe has already passed away. Hmmm. I need to figure this one out.

5 Boren Brothers Serve in World War II

My Great Grandma Lulu Boren had to endure World War II with all 5 of her boys serving our great country, The United State Of America. Since I'm not that great of a writer I will let the pictures and newspaper articles tell the story. 

Dr. Clinton Boren, Ryburn Boren, John Boren, Joe Boren, and Russell Boren are the 5 sons of James Dallas and Lulu Boren that served in World War II.  Bill Phillips and Edward Lange son in laws of James and Lulu. Both are husbands of Martha Jane Boren. Bill Phillips died in World War II and she later married Edward Lange. Jimmy Boren is the son of Ryburn Boren (I think). If someone knows for sure about Jimmy let me know.

"Mrs. J.D. Boren Asked To Christen Ship This Spring", The Free Press Newspaper, Carbondale, Illinois; 21 Jan 1944; Vol.40, No. 115, Page 1;

"5 Sons in Services, She Christens Tanker", The Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa; Sunday, 30 Apr 1944; Vol. 109, No. 105, Page 8;

"Mother of Five Sons Given Armed Forces Christens Tanker", Council Bluffs Nonparell, Council Bluffs, Iowa; 30 Apr 1944; page 1;

"Mr. and Mrs. Boren Of Carterville Leave To Christen Ship", The Free Press, Carbondale, Illinois; Friday, 28 Apr 1944; page 3;

John Lewis Boren, My Grandpa, 01 Mar 1920 - 22 Aug 1946

I never knew my Grandfather Johnny. He died when my Dad was only 2 years old. So I guess my Dad never really knew him either.  Because of this I always picture my Grandpa Johnny as a young and very handsome man.