The 1885 Commencement of the Aurora High School in Dearborn County, Indiana appeared in:
Aurora Dearborn Independent – 4 Jun 1885 – Page 3, Column 2
A New Brood of High School Fledglings.
The 18th Commencement Exercises drew together, at the Opera House, on Friday evening last, the largest assembly that was ever packed within its walls.
An appropriate salutatory was well spoken by Miss Maud Sargent.
Miss Agnes Kastner, whose theme was “To-day and not To-morrow,” with much grace of manner and expression argued forcibly against procrastination.
Miss Mabel I. Boyd had chosen for her subject “Silent Influence,” which she discussed with much ability and self-possession.
The next announced was John T. Herdegen the favorite of the class, because the only young man in it, but withal such a model of decorum and virtue as to have commanded the admiration if not the affections of all his fair associates. With “Over and Over Again” for his text, he commended perseverance with a dignity and a suitableness of gesticulation that could not have been surpassed by a doctor of divinity.
Miss Clara Emrie handled the “Two Giants” of monopoly and polygamy with a vigor which would have done honor to a college graduate. Her acquaintance with her topics was thorough, her logic was strong, her manner earnest and her delivery easy and fluent as if she were speaking extempore.
“A Good Name” is Rather to be Chosen than Great Riches,” by Miss Bertha Merkel, indicated a high appreciation of character and was well delivered.
“Home Education,” by Miss Huldah Severin, was a presentation of sound views in a very graceful style.
“The Mirage of Life,” by Miss Emma Ruese, abounded in apt illustrations, evincing originality and honest effort. The delivery was good.
“Is it Possible?” by Miss Sara F. Cole, was a strong plea for prohibition. Her skill and especially her ardor won the fixed attention of the audience and her extraordinary power of voice made it a pleasure to listen to her.
“It is Inevitable”—such were the convictions of Miss Maud M. Sargent, eloquently uttered, with reference to the disenthrallment of woman. Her views of womanhood, however, were not of the ultra sort, but were quite unobjectionable which equciliated her conservative hearers. Miss Maud is a fine speaker.
“How to the Line, Let the Chips Fall Where They May” by Miss Nettie Hopping, contained excellent sentiments well expressed; but when she cited President Cleveland’s practice in civil service, some Republicans present smiled.
The valedictory by Miss Emrie, was in her own neat and graceful style.