Class vice president of Johnstown High School in 1919.
Class of 1919
Archie Matthews "Archie"
He has the ways of pleasantness,
Laughter and a sunny smile,
With vibrant voice and wittiness
He's worth listening to a while.
by F. Estol Simmons, '19
August 14, 1915, saw the freshmen of the class of '19 entering Johnstown High School. When we look at the present freshmen it seems almost incredible that we were so little. Yet, no doubt the seniors at that time considered us as green, insignificant and unsophisticated as we consider the freshmen now. At any rate, though we were small in stature, we enrolled the enormous number of four hundred and thirty-six members. Quite a strong beginning. The upper classmen accorded a very warm reception the evening we graduated from the grammer grades, at which time they pursued us through the streets on hotfoot. This consideration on their part was even more vigorously renewed upon our entrance. However, we had a worthy representative in the person of "Nemo" and a few friendly (?) informal engagements between him and the upper classmen brought them to realize that we were worthy of recognition. Even then we had to run the customary gauntlet of misdirection and subsequent embarrassment which befall the freshmen. In spite of this fact, we summoned what dignity we possessed, disregarded the pranks of our seniors, and decided to busy ourselves.
The final exams thinned our ranks somewhat, but those of us who had been exposed to them successfully looked forward hopefully to the next fall.
The mortality had been very heavy. Consequently the next fall, only two hundred and ninety of our number returned to school. We wise fools were not daunted by that, but started to make good the decision of our freshman year. This year the general active reception for the freshmen was very much moderated by the presence of "cops" at the street corners patronized by the greenies, whose delicate constitutions it was feared we might injure. Reflecting on the greeting accorded us led us to say, "Them wuz the happy days."
The year passed without event, till the final chapel exercises for the class of '17. The farewell gave us a hint of the feeling of Seniors and we resolved to attain that rank.
The next year we assembled as Juniors, ready for more active service. Accordingly, we elected Wilbur Mulhollen, president; Wilmot Gould, vice president; Ruby Rishell, secretary, and Paul McCloskey, treasurer. Under guidance of these worthy officers, we enjoyed an eventful and successful year. At the Thanksgiving chapel exercises, Miss Woodring's pupils presented "The First Thanksgiving Dinner," a play in which our class was represented.
Some of our energy was devoted to football, in which the Juniors had five "letter men" and eight men who received silver footballs. Johnstown had the extreme pleasure of playing Washington High School's squad to a tie for the championship of the Western Pennsylvania Inter-scholastic Football League. We prize the Syracuse championship tie trophy, a handsome "life-size" silver football, very highly and feel that the class of '19 helped to win it.
Basketball also claimed our attention. Our class was represented in the varsity team and won first place in the Inter-class League.
The ninth of February, the Junior Class entertained the Seniors at the annual Junior-Senior Reception. A play, "A Proposal Under Difficulties," was produced, after which refreshments were served. During the remainder of the evening, we resorted to dancing and various other social activities. All in all, the reception proved very delightful.
This year the system of marking by letters was adopted. "A" and "B" were the highest marks. To get them was our great desire. Those who had marks of "A" and "B" at the end of the first semester, formed what was known as the A-B Club, and elected officers. This group contained "the cream of the intellect." An entertainment was proposed and accordingly was held April the twenty-eighth, at which time the play "Spreading the News" was given.
About this time a few members of our class enlisted in the U. S. Service. Among these were Fulton Connor and Carl Knauf. Both attained the rank of Corporal in active service. The former was wounded and the latter was killed. In honor of them and others from High School, the Juniors presented to the school a bronze tablet on which is inscribed, "We are proud of men from this organization who are defending the cause of God, humanity, and America."
Further evidence of our dramatic ability was shown in the play "David Garrick," given on Junior Dramatic night.
The Junior year was one of great activity and moment. At last, however, we were Seniors. For class officers we relected Wilbur Mulhollen, for president; elected Archie Matthews, vice president; Hilda Ellis, secretary, and Charles Gaffney, treasurer.
Twice the influenza epidemic put a ban on our schools, and cut out two months of our school year. Nevertheless, we came back stronger than ever in the determination to complete our assignments despite the handicap.
Scarcely had we settled when the '18½ class graduated. Wilbur Mulhollen, our class president, expressed in behalf of his class the regret at losing the comradeship of the '18½ class. In response, John McHugh, president of that class, gave a touching farewell. Once more we felt the regret for departure and it seemed that our school days were all too short.
This year no trophy was awarded in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Football League. Had one been awarded, Johnstown would more than likely have won it, for she defeated all high school teams in the western part of the State. We might practically call it our team, as it was composed largely of Seniors. This was true too of basketball, in which Johnstown won second place of Section II of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Basketball League.
The Juniors entertained us March the first. Members of Miss Statler's class produced a playlet, "The Old Maid." In addition to this a reading and musical numbers were rendered. After the refreshments, we spent the rest of the evening dancing. The reception proved a delightful entertainment.
The announcement of the honor roll revealed the fact that our class had established records both in highness of marks and in time of completing the high school course.
Now at length we are at the end of our Senior year. One hundred and eighty-six are left from the original enrollment.
Exams are a memory, no longer disturbing. Senior vacation is a reality. Strains of our operetta reach the ears of the half-envious lower classmen as they toil over their tasks. Only a few more days. Then Commencement and then--the untried future. Old J. H. S. is full of associations. Memories of tasks we did not like and of pranks in which we rejoiced, come back to us. We did our share of growling and of work. We had our share of "fun and frolic." The balance was about even.
Now we pause ere we go to express a word of gratitude and appreciation. We are deeply indebted to the faculty for making our high school course both profitable and pleasnt. We hope that in our life service we may bring honor to J. H. S., that we may uphold her standards, and that we may ever respect and abide by our class motto, "To thine own self be true."
Pages 58 & 60
Name: Archie Matthews
As Others See Them: Collecting money
What They Say: ?!Where’s that collar button?!
Likes: To be a good lawyer
Dislikes To work hard for J. H. S.
Occupation: Arguing at A. A. meetings
Name: Archie Matthews
The High School Spectator
Johnstown, PA., June, 1919
Assistant Advertising Managers
Archie Matthews, '19
~ Spectator: Senior Number 19, Johnstown High School Yearbook, pages 7, 35, 60, 71, 77, 96