Cheyenne, Wyoming: 1918-1921. 11½” x 15½”. 35 loose album leaves with approximately 215 items of ephemera, 161 back and white photographs and dozens of news clippings mostly adhesive mounted both sides. 106 photos are portraits, with most photobooth size; the rest measure from 2½” x 4 to 4” x 4½”.
An immense scrap book with over 375 photographs and pieces of ephemera documenting the high school years of Frances Mentzer at Cheyenne High School. Frances (“Fritz” to her friends) was the daughter of W.C. Mentzer, a state court judge and a highly motivated student who ended up graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Nebraska several years after this scrapbook ends. She went on to work as a librarian at Cheyenne's Carnegie Library.
The book is filled with remnants of Frances' life and includes at least 10 long letters to her from students (mostly boys) and many invitations, programs, party favors and dance cards from numerous events. There are at least 30 theater programs and/or broadsides including at least 21 from Cheyenne's Princess Theater and several from the Atlas Theater. There's also a full menu for Cheyenne's Bon Ton Cafe which served “American and Chinese Dishes.” There are a few handbills related to community service in World War I, placards from events, typescripts of school yells and much more. Well over half the of the items of ephemera have short handwritten notes regarding her experiences at the respective events.
There are dozens of news clippings including recaps of football and basketball games, school elections, performances and more. Of note are the clippings of a student strike that occurred after three students were expelled for a prank. Mentzer joined in solidarity with her classmates: next to headlines of “Bolshevism Broke Out In High School” and an editorial that stated “a good citizen places the sanctity of the laws and of duly constituted authority above his own personal grievances,” her unexcused absence slip is proudly placed.
Unique items include a two page typescript of a play as well as a draft of a speech she apparently gave at graduation. There is also a two page manuscript draft of Mentzer's idea for a newspaper called “the Mountain Ear.” She was assistant editor of the CHS paper and three full copies of the paper are included here. The paper was distributed citywide as it was “the one vital connection between the students and the community as a whole.”
The photographs include a stunning three page spread with 91 photo booth portraits of identified students. Other images include playful group shots, some showing the students in costumes and there is a great 7½” x 9½” photo that shows a group of students saluting a flagpole while the flags of seven different countries were raised.
A comprehensive look at the high school years of a young woman in Cheyenne.
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