MELBA, Idaho — The school year is coming to a close and high school seniors are saying goodbye and heading off to take on the world.
It is certainly a different world than seniors saw ahead of them a century ago, especially for those seniors graduating from farms towns across Idaho.
Take Melba for example, the Canyon County town known as 'The Seed Heart of America.'
These days, the school district boasts an enrollment of 810 students, but back in 1924, Melba had only four graduating seniors.
Melba's four graduating seniors included a couple of quotes in the school's first-ever yearbook, 'The Butte.'
The President of the Melba Valley Historical Society, Beverly Robinson, did the honors of reading the quotes from the 1924 yearbook:
Marshall Eichenberger: "Then let thy love be younger than thyself or thy affection cannot hold the bent."
"Oh boy, I don't even know what that means," Robinson said.
Lorene McElfresh: "I will believe that thou hast the mind that suits with this thy fair and outward character."
Pearl Miller: "Nothing which duty and desire to please bears written in the forehead comes amiss."
Everett Miller: "For thou shall find He will outstrip all praise and make it halt behind him.
"So, their class motto was 'Honor Lies at Labor's gate.' It's also pretty deep," Robinson said laughingly.
Not only did Melba's graduating seniors each leave quotes in The Butte, but they also wrote a senior will:
"To the Melba High School Board, we leave one pitchfork, two tea towels and one worn out shoe. To the lower classmen, we leave the high school building on two conditions: First, that they will not do anything to the building that the seniors would not do. Second, that they, everyone will clean these feet properly before entering the building."
"So, being farm kids, they probably all knew that rule. Right," Robinson said. "I think it mostly probably was just kind of a fun thing to do."
Those annuals, by the way, cost 35 cents back in 1924.
As for the senior will, it was - or still is in some parts of the country - an annual tradition for each graduating class.
In their school newspaper, or in this case their annual, seniors leave their possessions - whether physical or inanimate objects - to those left behind, such as teachers and other students.
For Melba's seniors in 1924, the will included a pitchfork, two tea towels and one worn-out shoe.
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