As long as
Polytechnic Alumni of days gone by can remember, the Journal has been
issued semi-annually by the Organized Student Body. At the beginning
of the great war, when our city, like every other on the face of the
earth, began to devote its energies to the support of the warring powers, and our Student Body, upset by the departure of many of its
members to fight, was unable to devote its attention to the
management of the Journal, the Senior Class of June ‘18 took charge
of the book. . . printed without advertisements. . . the Student
Body has again resumed control [with] a self-supporting publication
[with advertisements]. . .
The Student Body
of Polytechnic has this term been more successful than ever before,
not only in athletics, but in every activity in which it has
entered. A school paper surpassing any in the city in size and
quality has been published regularly every two weeks. Plans have
been approved for our Stadium and construction will soon be
underway. . .
THE STUDENT BODY
The voters of the
school showed their good judgment in the selection of their
officers. In our President James Rolph III [note added: the namesake
son of San Francisco’s then Mayor], we find a worker thinking only
of Poly. While we were enjoying our two weeks’ vacation, Jimmie was
practicing oral expression before the Parks Commission. This
resulted in the granting of a Stadium to the schools of he city. One
of the largest rallies ever held here was in celebration of this
event, with the Mayor and many distinguished visitors present.
the athletic manager, may be called a prince of a fellow. All
athletic affairs were carefully looked after by ‘Smoke’ and the
photos of the officers show that Mr. Francis was one of the few
African-Americans to attend Poly at that time. The 1920 census shows
his family living at 1315 - 40th Avenue: dad Joseph age 60 was born
in California of parents born in Pennsylvania, and he worked as a
railroad clerk; mom Laura, a dressmaker age 45 was also from
California, with an English father and a New York mother; Coleman
was age 16 and ‘attending school’; sister Lemount was age 13. Sadly,
the California death index shows that hs father Joseph S died on 3
October 1920, age 60 in San Francisco county, wife L W.]
Though our school
is referred to as the Polytechnic High School we have twelve young
persons varying in age from three months to four years. Rather young
to go to high school you say. Yes, but they attend only
occasionally, for they are charity babies adopted by the school.
Heading this group
are four-year-old Albert and Arthur, referred to as the ‘two twins’.
They were introduced to their eighteen hundred foster parents at a
rally on November 2, and won the hearts of all. Arthur announced
with infinite disdain that the yell leaders were acting silly, but
he must have changed his opinion judging by his efforts to imitate
the yell leader, and especially to capture his huge megaphone at the
Dorothy, three and four months old, belong to the Household Arts
Department, as does Hattie, ‘the Campbell Kid’. Gymmie belongs to
the Physical Education Department, while Louis Matthew, ‘Math’ for
short, looks upon the Mathematics Department as his godfather. Mr.
Ingelow’s class claims little French Marie, who is just twenty
months old. Buddy, Soledad, Eleanor and Louis, who is red-headed and
a year old, are being fed according to scientific formulae and
looked after generally by the Physiology classes.
This matter of
adopting babies has created more widespread interest and enthusiasm
than anything that has occurred this term. This is surely an
illustration of the best kind of school spirit. We are proud of
having the highest record among the city schools with our twelve
babies and we are proud of our babies. Can you blame us?? Look at
One of the outstanding
achievements of this term is the building of the rifle range. . .
New course prescribed by the government includes topography,
military map-reading, the science of leadership, marksmanship and
In August 1915,
when Polytechnic moved into the building it now occupies, there was
no music department in the school. Early in 1916, it was learned
that Mr. Charles Lamp, who was at that time a science teacher, was
also a professional musician. Thereupon, Mr.. Addicott requested him
to develop an orchestra.
Mr. Lamp sent out
a call for players and obtained ten violinists, five cornetists, six
pianists and one clarinetist. These numbers were sufficient but not
properly divided. Funds from various sources provided the necessary
instruments; proceeds from a candy sale purchased a clarinet, the
Mothers’ Club furnished a French horn and Mr. Lamp bought an
additional French horn, two violas and a string bass. Then two
pianists were interested in cellos and instructed by Mr. Lamp during
lunch periods; two cornetists purchased the French horns; two
violinists were shown how to play violas and two other pianists were
taught the string bass. In this manner Mr. Lamp arranged a complete
To produce a
balanced brass section, one student was taught the trombone. The
reed section which at first consisted of one clarinet was soon
augmented when two students took up the flute. Then Mr. Lamp secured
a set of tympanies. This was the first attempt to balance a high
school orchestra, and almost immediately the Polytechnic orchestra
was known in all the Bay Cities.
A large number of
students registered. . . by the third term, three classes were
organized, beginning, intermediate and advanced. The R.O.T.C. band
was introduced in the spring term of 1919, thereby crediting
Polytechnic with three orchestras and two bands. Each term the Drama
Class with the assistance of the orchestra gives a play. Funds
derived are used to purchase instruments and music. This term the
orchestra gave a very successful concert. The proceeds from the
musical went to supply much needed musical equipment.
orchestra in April 1920 won first prize at the Annual Orchestral
Competition at the University of California. The band in September
1920 won a prize of $200 at the Amateur Band Contest held at the
State Fair in Sacramento.
ORCHESTRA- At last the dream of many a
Polyite has come true. Polytechnic has a dance orchestra . . . to
furnish music for school dances. Poly’s ‘jazzy five’ are Rusty
Minchin with his saxophone, Cutie Krieger with his trumpet,
Acrobatic Santisteban with his drums, Jazzy Knotts ‘tickling the
ivories’, and Bob Escamilla with his baby fiddle.
QUARTET- Poly’s Jazz Quartet is one of the best of its kind in
the San Francisco high schools, under the careful instruction of
Miss Robertson. Its members are Fernando Ybarra, the well known
‘Caruso of Polytechnic’; Max Williams, bass; Louise Aguirre, tenor;
and Bert Person, baritone.
The Mechanical Arts Department
was, as usual, the most popular one among the boys in the school
during the past semester. The machine shop in Room H was the most
sought after. . . New machines have been installed and finished
products for the Board of Education are turned out regularly.
In the foundry, located in Room J,
a small group of lockers has been installed and preparations are
being made for showers and washing facilities. . . Certain desk
parts which cannot be purchased [will be] cast in our foundry.
Woodwork and pattern making shops
were full of Freshmen and Sophomores. . . In the electric shop new
and improved radio apparatus has been installed and many interesting
experiments have been performed. The forge shop had its usual
overflow at the beginning of the term. . . An advanced class in
blacksmithing is held under Mr. McTiernan and some very fine work
has been completed.
seems to be the watchword in our school cafeteria. It is the aim of
the management to provide the greatest amount and variety of
well-cooked nourishing food, served in the most attractive manner,
all for the smallest possible cost to each patron. That the students
appreciate the results is proved by the ever-increasing numbers who
pass through the doors every fifth and sixth period. Though some
still persist in eating three orders of pudding plus pie a la mode,
the majority choose hot, substantial dishes. Candy is of course a
universal favorite, as is also the ubiquitous hot dog, so the
counters in the hallway do a thriving business.
athletic victory won in San Francisco in many years was won, not on
the athletic field, but on the field of diplomacy when James Rolph,
Polytechnic’s Student Body President, succeeded in putting over the
stadium project. It is now assumed that San Francisco will soon have
a $100,000 stadium built opposite Polytechnic on the present site of
the park nursery. Polytechnic has long coveted the natural
amphitheatre just acquired and has cherished the dream of an
athletic field there, but this dream seemed destined to remain in a
purely shadowy state, so many obstacles lay in the way of its
But finally the
person appeared who possessed a combination of qualities which
proved irresistible, Jimmie Rolph. He gained the sympathetic
co-operation of Mr. Ralph McLean of the Board of Supervisors, and of
Mr. Humphrey and Mr. Felishhacker of the Park Commission [note
added: it is also worth mentioning that Jimmie’s father, James Rolph
Jr., was at the time serving as Mayor of San Francisco]. These four
were able to convince Mr. John McLaren, the park superintendent,
that the nursery which made Golden Gate Park one of the most famous
in the world by starting little trees on their way to become big
trees, now had a greater service to perform, that is, to help little
men on their way to become big men. A suitable location for the
nursery was finally found, and after many conferences, the matter
The site of the
proposed stadium had already been surveyed under the direction of
Mr. Mohr, and plans had been drawn under the supervision of Mr.
Walker. These plans, which have been approved by the Park Commission
and the Board of Education, call for a quarter-mile track with a
220-yard straightway, football field, baseball field, basketball
courts, tennis courts, drill ground, and seats for several thousand
To all who helped
along the plan for the stadium, the schools of San Francisco owe a
debt of gratitude. Because of its location, Polytechnic is, of
course, especially fortunate, and therefore, doubly pleased. The
project was given a spectacular sendoff at a great stadium rally
which our Mayor said was the most exciting he ever attended. On this
occasion the entire student body was present, and many distinguished
guests sat upon the rostrum.
overflowed with enthusiasm as the speakers pledged their support to
the undertaking. Among those who spoke were Mr. Addicott [Principal
of Polytechnic], Mrs. Sanborn of the Board of Education, Mayor Rolph,
Mr. Ralph McLean of the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Wm. Humphreys of
the Park Commission, Mr. Clark of Lowell, Dr. Hatch of Crocker, and
James Rolph III of our own school. Mr. John McLaren, superintendent
of Golden Gate Park, and Mr. Herbert Fleishhacker of the Park
Commissioners, were unable to be present, but pledged their support.
Mrs. Sanborn told of the God-given right of a child to play and of
her happiness in seeing the entire city cooperate to promote
athletics and outdoor exercise.
has once more come into its own in the San Francisco high schools
[back in December 1919, Polytechnic’s ‘football’ team was playing
Rugby, although Commerce had already switched to the ‘American’
game]. Of the seven schools entered in the S. F. A. L. [San
Francisco Athletic League], Polytechnic is credited with the
possession of one of the best teams on the field, having lost but
one game this season, and that was to the plucky, experienced bunch
from Lick-Wilmerding. [note added: does ‘experienced’ mean that Lick
began playing American football before Poly did??; in December 1919,
both Lick and Poly were playing rugby; we have no info for December
1920] . . .
game was the real big game of the season. Not only the student
bodies of both schools were out en masse, but it seemed that all the
alumni of both schools and all the other schools were there too.
Between 9,500 and 10,000 rooters were on the stands to see the
battle and to add to the clamor. Poly kicked off and then the
contest commenced, both teams fighting hard and strong, only to end
the first half with a scoreless tie.
The beginning of
the third quarter found Lowell on Poly’s 15-yard line. Captain Kratz
dropped back and kicked the pigskin squarely between our goal posts,
putting the Red and White boys in the lead by three points. An
intercepted forward pass at the beginning of the fourth quarter
started Poly on a triumphant march toward their opponent’s goal.
With numerous line bucks Poly had the ball on Lowell’s 8-yard line.
Smoke Francis carried it three times for slight gains; then on the
fourth down he drove through the line for a touchdown. Charlie
Packer was right there to convert, making our boys victors with a
In looking over
the roster of the graduates of Polytechnic High School, one may find
many names distinguished in almost every field of honest endeavor.
Here are just a few.
Adolph N. Sutro of
the class of 1909 gained a most distinguished record in France as a
machine gunner of the First Division; he is a veteran of five
battles. Lester Stone, also of ‘09 is engaged with his father in the
business of shipbuilding. The assistant in the Part-Time Educational
Bureau of San Francisco is Raymond Gunton, who was one of the best
men on Poly’s athletic teams in 1910. Louis Roncoviere ‘11, son of
the Superintendent of Schools, is practicing medicine in San
Francisco. In the mathematics department of Harvard is Shirley
Quimby ‘11, teaching the mysteries of that science.
Alan F. Bonnalie
‘12 served in the aviation section, was decorated by both the
British and American governments, and is now an instructor in
aeronautics in the extension division of the University of
California. Curt N. Schvette, also of he class of 1912, is with the
U.S. Bureau of Mines. W. Lance Butler ‘13 is now with an aeronautic
factory at Keyport, New Jersey. Herbert Jansen ‘13 has spent the
last two years in Shanghai, China, with an exporting and importing
firm. In the same work is robert Gill, well-known for his athletic
prowess while at Poly.
James DeWitt, art
editor of the June ‘19 Journal, is now editor of the Pictorial at
U.C. Harold Tiemroth, also of ‘19, has spent one year as a Plebe at
Annapolis, and is now known as a Youngster. The latter part of his
first year was spent routing Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and England.
Sidney Hawkins of
June ‘20 is at the Lycee de Jeunes Filles at Tours, France. While at
Stanford, she received one of the exchange scholarships given to
promote friendliness between France and the United States. She left
home in August and will return some time next year. Moose Fawke and
Harold Toso are still at Santa Clara, where both are making good on
the football team. Phil Bettens is still at U. C. and is still
playing tennis. As he holds many championships he should have no
difficulty in making the Freshman team.
June ‘21, is traveling in Europe. He has visited the headquarters of
the French and English troops in Germany, and passed through Berlin,
Leipzig, Frankfort, Geneva and other equally interesting cities. He
intends to go from Paris to London by air. From London he will turn
his face homeward and arrive here some time in the winter. A recent
visitor at Poly was Charlotte Fisher of June ‘21. She is planning to
tour Europe in the near future. Vivian McNab, who was second
vice-president of the student body last term is also planning a tour
of the Mediterranean, and is now studying French preparatory to her
In the earlier
days of Polytechnic’s student organization much of the excitement of
elections was missing, for the president and other directors of the
board were chosen each term by executive officers of the previous
semester. In the spring of 1907, during the presidency of Jack
Northrup, the Australian ballot was introduced. The first president
elected under the new system was Laurence Parker, who was re-elected
the following term. He was succeeded by Frank Spencer. George Frates,
captain of the football team, was elected president for the spring
of 1909. He is now manager of the Homeopathic Drug Store in this
There is no record
of student body meetings from that time until 1913 when Paul
Hollister occupied the chair. Hollister has spent the last few years
in Mexico. Poly and her alumni wish to extend to him their sincere
sympathy in the recent death of his wife, who will be remembered as
George Wale, who
was president in ‘14, has just returned from two years of
agricultural work in the rice lands of Colusa County. Leonard
Mentzer, who occupied the chair at the meetings of the board during
the fall of 1914, is now working in this city. Russell Harris was
president in the spring of ‘15. He is now working in Oakland.
Frederic Barker, who succeeded Harris, entered U. C. to study law.
Paul Mohr, president in ‘16, is now a Senior at U. C. He is a
Y.M.C.A. secretary there and has charge of the Freshmen.
was elected to the chief office in ‘16, and soon after graduating
entered Annapolis. After finishing there he was assigned to duty at
Portland, Oregon, where he now is. Jimmy Hammill, president in ‘17,
is making a wonderful record t U. C. He has held numerous important
positions and is now manager of the Pictorial. George Wiles presided
during the fall term of ‘17. He is now attending Stanford. William
Gallagher, who succeeded him, is now a Delta Tau Delta at U.C.
Leonard Geldert, who followed in Gallagher’s footsteps, is now doing
Junior work at U. C.
Bruce Wale, who
was president in ‘19, has not lost his stentorian voice. He is in
business with his father in the firm of the Wale Printing Company,
and is proud of the fact that he is a full-fledged voter. Walter
Terry, who settled a few of he usual Student Body battles in the
fall of ‘19, is now with Langley and Michaels, wholesale druggists.
of ‘20 is among those working in the city. Rizal Musser, also of
‘20, has returned to Stanford after working half a year with his
father in the oil fields of Coalinga. He is one of the lucky ones
chosen for the Freshman team down the peninsula. Roderick Cassidy,
last term’s president, states that he is a retired business man,
having retired from the Western Meat Company’s employment. He is now
devoting much time and energy to his work with the de Molay
[note added: de Molay is
part of the Masonic organization]
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