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From the Cataloger’s Desk: John Longfellow’s Yearbooks

February 13, 2018

I hope you enjoy the look of our new website! During the transition from old to new, I was unable to keep up with my monthly blog posts. Have no fear, though, because this cataloger is back and ready to share more printed materials and fascinating stories with you in 2018!

Before I talk about John Longfellow and his yearbook collection, I would like to draw your attention to several blog posts you might have missed: Harmony Society Pamphlets, A Pocket Map of Indiana, and Cracking Mental Nuts. I promised answers to Cracking Mental Nuts, so here they are: 1. $20; had $90 at first, $110 at last. 2. $6 and shoes; received and paid $10 for the bill, so that balances. 3. The beggar was a woman.

Now, let’s talk about John Longfellow and his journey from high school and college student to teacher and coach. This is my second blog post about yearbooks, so it’s fair to say they are some of my favorite printed materials to catalog. In some cases, as with Mr. Longfellow, I can witness a person’s growth from year to year. I can also learn about their personality and interests based on the activities, clubs and sports in which they participated.

Elkhart H.S. Senior Portrait (1944)

Player/Son and Coach/Father, a.k.a. “Little John” and “Big John” (1944)

John graduated from Elkhart High School in 1944 with an impressive and wide-ranging list of achievements. He excelled in academics and sports, especially basketball. It must have been in his genes, because his father, John Longfellow, Sr., was his high school coach! After graduating from Indiana University in 1948, he took teaching and coaching positions at various Indiana schools. The last yearbook in the collection is the 1957 edition of the Mishawaka Miskodeed. Mr. Longfellow is listed as being a math teacher and the head basketball coach. In other words, he’s all grown up, and his story has come full circle!

Mishawaka H.S. Teacher Portrait (1957)

Coaching Mishawaka H.S. Basketball Team (1957)

Visit the IHS library and get to know John Longfellow yourself through the following yearbooks: The Pennant Annual (Elkhart High School, 1940-1944); The Mirage (DePauw University, 1945); Arbutus (Indiana University, 1948); The Kewannian (Kewanna High School, 1949); School Bell Echoes (Baugo Township School, Elkhart, 1950-1951); Arrow (Sullivan High School, 1952-1953); and Miskodeed (Mishawaka High School, 1954-1957). Ladies, you might walk away having developed a slight crush on John. And gentlemen, you might walk away wishing he was your best friend!

Fun fact: John Longfellow and his father, John Longfellow Sr., are both members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. You can learn more about their impressive careers here and here.

Lindsay Borman is the cataloger of Printed Collections at the Indiana Historical Society. Her claim to fame: She can name all of the U.S. presidents ... in order!

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