Friday, July 3, 2009

July 3, 1909 - Valedictory Speech

100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].

Miss Mould Gave Valedictory to Class of 1909
"As dawn bids darkness fade away, bringing sunshine over the mountains and valleys, so the curtain falls upon our past school day scenes, and we look forward to the dawn of the future. But another and more glorious scene lies before our eyes. The morning of manhood and womanhood is breaking, and before us, stretch far into the distance widely diverging paths, which lead us ever onward to an unknown future.
With a last lingering look at the sunset of our High School day, shining with a tender radiance, clothing all the scene with a glorious beauty, we turn and fix our gaze upon the day just dawning."
According to the June 24, 1909 Albany Evening Journal article about the Rensselaer graduation: "Miss Mildred Mould will be valedictorian and De Witt Brougham salutatorian."

I have no idea what Mildred looked like, but I'd like to picture her attending graduation parties in a modish hat from this July 1909 millinery ad. But perhaps she was too scholarly and serious for such frivolity.

Thanks to the text search at, I found a 1903 note about "little Miss Mould's" birthday party, and learned her parents were Mr. & Mrs. Fred Mould. A month earlier: Masked Men Robbed Mould at Pistol's Point - Three Men Enter Parlor of Farmer Near Douw's Point and Hold Up Owner. Hobos were suspected: City Infested With Tramps.

I wondered how much I could learn about Miss Mould's "unknown future", and found she graduated from Vassar College in 1914. She conducted a minor study in Vassar's Psychological Laboratory, and was published in 1915 in The American Journal of Psychology ("The Influence of Suppressing Articulation on the Favorable Effect of Distributing Repetitions", By Mildred Mould, Lois Treadwell and M. F. Washburn).

In June of 1914, the
Albany Evening Journal reported "DeWitt Brougham and Miss Mildred Mould motored to Poughkeepsie today, where they will witness the boat races." (DeWitt went to Syracuse Univ. after their Rensselaer graduation, studying to be a doctor.)

In 1917 and 1918, Mildred ran summer schools (Miss Mildred Mould in Charge of Institution ... at the Presbyterian Church) and supported the war effort ("Miss Mildred Mould ... superintendent of the vacation school in the first Methodist Episcopal Church, plans to have the pupils work for the Red Cross.")

In 1918, Mildred declined a position with the National Organization of Vacation Schools, and submitted her resignation as a 4th grade teacher. By 1920 she was Mrs. Dewitt Brougham, living in Syracuse. In 1943, Dr. and Mrs. Dewitt Brougham announced the engagement of their daughter to Ensign John F. Ackerman. As of this 1953 article, Mildred had granddaughters named Susan Jane and Patsy Anne.

No comments: