Posts Tagged With: drama

Zula Ley: Little-Known Fact #1


Fisher Zula Clover bio 1913

Great-Grandmother Zula Fisher Ley’s 1913 high school senior class photo and bio from the Clover, New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Zula Fisher Lauded in Theater Role

Hey, hey, and happy 2016 to family and familiars.

Two things that keep me returning to genealogy — no matter the gaps between hits on the blog odometer — are the stories (confirming old ones, uncovering new ones) and the mysteries (solving an old one, unearthing a new one).

This week, by virtue of some spurts of research spawned by arctic temps here in the western outpost of Foutz- and Leydom, I’ve got some new tidbits to share.

Today we visit with a teenage Great-Grandmother Zula Lucrece (Fisher) Ley, circa 1913.

As a New Philadelphia, Ohio, high school senior, Zula was noted in her yearbook entry for her participation in basketball and the senior play. But a (remarkably) lengthy write-up in the Daily Times shared some interesting details of her role.

Subbed after Classmate’s Sister’s Death

“Real stars uncovered in playlet,” the headline reports, and the article goes on for a full, front-page column, then jumps to more on page 5.

Even my indulgent newspaper editors probably would have red-penned me to death were I to have pulled that almost a hundred years later.

We learn more about Zula’s role about 2/3 of the way down. From the Saturday, May 24, 1913 edition:

Miss Zula Fisher deserved much credit. Miss Fisher portrayed the part of Miss Mayne Hensel, leading lady in the junior class play. The part was to have been taken by Miss Martha Swearingen, but on account of the death of Miss Swearingen’s sister she was unable to take part. Miss Fisher was notified only Friday morning that she was to take the part and had only one day to prepare it. If one had not known, it could never had been told as she spoke her lines and acted as though she had been practicing a month.

A nice little nugget, in a story of otherwise merely contemporary value, that shines a little light on Zula’s budding character.

No surprise, then, that she grew into a local teacher well-known and beloved by pupils over the following years. And also sheds light on another surprising tid bit I’ll share Tuesday.

Till then….

Fisher family 2

Fisher family portrait, circa 1910. Front: Addie May & John W. Kids: Byron, Zula, Clyde, Alverna, Oscar.

 

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Josephine Wible, Well-Traveled Teacher


Weible Josephine dhs yearbook 1931

Josephine Wible, daughter of Edwin Frederick and Minnie Mae (Ley) Wible, about 1931, as a popular Dover High School teacher.

Josephine Wible, a Cousin Twice Over

Headlines in the Dover Daily Reporter 60 years ago this August announced, “Josephine Wible Feted.” The occasion? Marriage, at age 48, that September 1954, for one of Dover’s most-beloved and ambitious, teachers.

Rewind a half-century. Josephine, born 1905, was eldest of Edwin Frederick Wible and Minnie Mae (Ley) Wible’s four children.

Edwin, remember, was a son of David Wible, and grandson of Frederick Weible, which made him nephew to my great-great grandfather, Franklin Eli Weible.

Minnie Mae Ley was the only daughter of Augustus Ley and Harriet (Powell) Ley, brother to my great-great grandfather Charles Henry Ley.

Edwin and Minnie’s marriage, in December 1904, was the first union of the Weible and Ley families. My grandparents, Sue Weible, granddaughter of Franklin Eli, and Robert Earl Ley Jr., grandson of Charles Henry Ley, would marry nearly 40 years later.

But back to Josephine. Of her childhood, W.D. Shirk, in his history of the Powell families, writes of a 1917 visit to her parents’ household, “theirs is truly a model family….

“They are … the proud parents of four as bright children as can be found in the Buckeye state; Josephine Elizabeth, b. Sept. 26, 1905; James Frederick, b. Sept. 30, 1908; (Ruth) Eleanor, b. July 21, 1910, and David Augustus, b. Apr. 4, 1916.”

After graduating from Dover High School in 1923, Josephine attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1927. She then spent 13 years racking up classes and specialized training in theater, radio and dramatic production, studying at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin and the University of Iowa, which granted her a master’s degree in 1940.

Throughout her studies, Josephine taught. She held a teaching fellowship in the summer theater at Westford, Mass.; taught high school in Dover and Delaware, Ohio and in Rochelle, Illinois; and taught at the post-secondary level at Stevens College (Missouri), Salem College (North Carolina) and Centenary Junior College (Hackettstown, N.J.).

Returning home to Dover was an early stop on her teaching itinerary. Throughout the 1930s, she led the drama and speech groups at Dover High School, and appeared to warm the hearts of everyone, as evidenced in the 1931 yearbook dedication below. The signature, on my grandpa Don Foutz’s junior yearbook, is hers.

Weible Josephine dhs ybook full dedication 1931

Beloved Teacher Summers in Dover

Later editions of the Dover Daily Reporter are only a partial guide to Josephine’s many achievements and their impact on the life of her community. Josephine is featured regularly in “Echoes of Yesteryear”….

The paper always seemed proud of the town’s prodigal daughter for returning to Dover every summer, no matter where her teaching career took her.

It was during a visit home in August 1954 that Josephine was treated to her bridal shower. She likely met John Milliken of Stockton, New Jersey, while teaching at Centenary College. Their marriage — his second, her first — was performed by the Rev. Richard Michel at the Moravian Church.

After marrying, Josephine and John moved to Acton, Mass., where she continued her teaching career and active involvement in the community.

By the time of her death, in May 1974, the Millikens called Los Gatos, Calif., just south of Santa Clara, home. Josephine died one day after my great-grandmother, Beatrice Ethel Weible — her first cousin once removed. John would follow her in death in 1982.

Interestingly, Josephine Wible Milliken chose to be buried at home, near the Weible family plot in Maple Grove Cemetery. John is buried in New Jersey.

Categories: Ley, quickie post, Weible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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