Names sought for 1940s era photos

Forks Elementary School class students pictured

FES students 1940s

Ken Landry – contributed photo

Forks High School Class of 1959 graduate Ken Landry is seeking to fill in names in a series of Forks Elementary School class portraits photographed in the late 1940s by Spokane-based photographer Alfred Biggel. This photo is from 1947 and pictures Mrs. Darcey Rowland’s Grades 1-2 class. The names with * next to them are second grade class members. He is seeking the missing names.

• Row 4: Mrs. Rowland- Tommy Edwards (Yes…that’s a bandana he has covering his face), Walt Streeter, Dick Wentworth*,    unknown, Wayne Haag, Richard Lohneis, unknown; • Row 3: Unknown, unknown, unknown, Judy Gunnell, unknown, unknown, unknown, Jim Johns; • Row 2: Alice Swanson, Suzanne Brager*, unknown, Sandy Gossage, Frances Sackett, unknown, unknown, Judy Huggins*, Gert Morring; • Row 1: Scott Edwards, Larry Stanhope, Frank Smiley* and unknown.

An archival digitized collection of Forks High School and Quillayute Union High School class annuals from 1927-1959 is now completed.

Kenneth Landry, Forks High School Class of 1959, presented a copy of the collections in Adobe Acrobat-PDF format to the high school. The presentation was made to Quillayute Valley School District Superintendent Diana Reaume and Forks High School Librarian Tammy Klebe during the ribbon-cutting ceremonies held for the new high school addition in April.

Landry said the project took three years to complete. He said a PDF file has been created for each high school annual.

A copy of the DVD has been donated to the Forks Memorial Library.

On the DVDs an alumni spreadsheet is provided with the name list arranged in alphabetical order from each year a student graduated from high school in Forks. 

Landry said the first class to graduate, the Class of 1927, when the school was then named Quillayute Union High School,  had 10 students. However, two sisters received diplomas from the Forks school in prior years: Wynona Whitcomb in 1923 and Elizabeth Whitcomb in 1925.

Landry also has a collection of grade school class photos of Forks and Beaver children made by a traveling professional photographer named Alfred Biggel, who came to Beaver and Forks from his studio in Spokane.

“In the fall each year, and with a large box camera, the classes would be arranged, one class at a time, as a group in front of the 1941 grade school building and Biggel would go under a large drape at the rear of the camera and expose the negative,” Landry said in an email to the Forks Forum. “On the back of the Biggel photos is a stamped address, Alfred Biggel, 1425 S. Cook St., Spokane, Wa. and a phone number I can’t quite decipher as it has faded.”

Landry added: “My project intention is too include these Biggel ‘historical’ photographs on the updated DVD that I will present to the same groups I named above. There is a problem I’m trying to solve in that many of the faces in the photographs are unknown. In 2009 I  got together with my 50th year anniversary reunion co-chairmen and as a group we came up with many names…but  we have a lot of missing names.”