Lapel Class of 1943 graduated during tough times

Ray Tincher Submitted

The year 1943, was a terrible year for many Americans. This writer can remember many of the restrictions placed on all of us at home.

Due to his health, my father was not drafted into the military.

There were several times it bothered him, because he was not over there fighting the enemy along with his friends and neighbors. He must have felt, he wasn’t supporting his country, when others were dying and their obituaries were appearing in the newspaper.

If you were lucky enough to own a car in 1943, you had to have a windshield sticker to purchase gasoline.

Grocery items were also in short demand. There were stamps for sugar and many other items, because these items were also needed for the guys in the military. it was called rationing.

Most people contributed somehow.

Some people bought “War Bonds.” Others collected material that was in short supply, such as rubber and metal.

Some little-known places in the world became famous or infamous because of battles,  atrocities or significant events that took place there. These include Midway, Guadalcanal and the the locations of the German concentration camps, just to mention a few.

When you start trying to figure out how many died as a result of the war, records talk about an estimated 70 to 85 million people perished, or about 3% of the world population died. Why? Because Adolph Hitler and others wanted to rule the world.

However, while all this was going on, back at Lapel High School, the 1943 senior class was trying to something rather commonplace and benign: graduate. Floyd Walker, was the school principal; Marian Noggle taught Math and English; Mary Francis Henderson taught Latin, History and English; Thomas Thomas covered Physical Education and Commercial Education; Evelyn Glick taught English, Latin and Art; Elizabeth Forsythe was the Home Economics teacher. Orville Armstrong coached the boys basketball team and taught Math, Science and Physical Training; Ralph Smith taught the Bible; Karl Sargent was the Vocal and Band director; Pauline Thomas taught Social Science; Olivia Parker taught Science and Girls Physical Training; and Gail Clark taught Math.

The 1943 Senior Class consisted of the following students: Doris Anderson, Dorothy Anderson, Hilbert Barker, Norman Bennett, Lloyd Boone, Donald Fisher, Robert R. Fisher, Doris L. Foehl, Melba Foland, Bill Ford, H. Eugene Gladback, Henry Graham, Dale Hersberger, Esther Marian Hoock, Charles Arthur Huffman, Leroy Huffman, Evelyn Huntzinger, Mildred Jenkins, Charles Jones, Raymond Kramer, Velma McClasky, Charlotte Milburn, Jean Mills, William Mills, Gene Newton, William Ooton, George Parker, Hilbert E. Reddick, Velma Jean Renner, Rose Marie Sheller, Henry Smith, Norma June Stinson, Eugene Stephenson, Robert K. Turner, Robert Neal Turner, Ted Wainscott, Betty Joan Waugh, Dwight Whelchel, Charles Whitmill, George Arthur Whitmill, Joan Williams and Bruce Byrlen Woodward.

The class yearbook memorialized Dorothy Louise Rambo and Ralph “Jim” Presser Jr. This writer interviewed several Lapel residents regarding the memorial and could not learn what had happened to Rambo or Presser, Jr. If any of you readers have any information, or know of someone who may have knowledge of this memorial, please have them contact me at: [email protected].

The 1942-43 season for Lapel High School sports appeared to be a good one for collecting trophies. Two Trophies for basketball and two sets of nets were collected for the team. The Bulldogs won the Pendleton Invitational and the Anderson Sectional. The junior high team also did very well in the tournaments. In the invitational tourney, Lapel won in overtime against Pendleton, 39-37. Then in the final game against Middletown, Lapel won in overtime again, 38-36.

The sectional tournament was also very exciting. Lapel beat Pendleton again 39-37. Then, they took on a good team from Alexandria and won 37-35. Lapel faced a great team from Markleville that year, however, Lapel played great defense and won 35-27. Lapel advanced to regional, and defeated Plainfield 29-24. In the regional final, Lapel faced a tough Greenfield team that played good defense against Lapel; Greenfield won 38-20.

There were three 4-H Clubs at Lapel High School. The oldest, “The Live Forever,” and two other clubs made up of young girls, “The Young Americans” and “The Jolly Pals.” These clubs were represented in the county and district judging contest and county revue that year. The 4H Club had a very successful time in spite of the war. Their meetings took place to help some of their members. The Boys Chorus had 20 members and was made up of boys from the upper four grades. The boys had a successful year under the teaching of Mr. Sargent, in singing all types of songs. They appeared before the student body in the Christmas program and the spring music festival.

The school band consisted of 35 members and four majorettes. They played at ball games, political rallies, dedication of war service plaques, the Christmas program and the spring festival. The band was outstanding performing maneuvers on the basketball floor. Lapel was considered one of the top bands in Madison County.

With the war continuing full bore, the senior class was able to inject some humor into their yearbook. “We Senior Class of ’43, will to our teachers: 12 bottles of nerve medicine and 12 unused second & left-handed paddles.”

However, the war was front and center in people’s minds, because they had fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles and neighbors fighting and dying on foreign soil.

Photo #1: The 1942-43 Lapel High School Varsity Basketball Team

Photo #2: “The Late Mr. Early” School Play

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Soda Ash Statistics and Information

Soda ash is the trade name for sodium carbonate, a chemical refined from the mineral trona or sodium-carbonate-bearing brines (both referred to as “natural soda ash”) or manufactured from one of several chemical processes (referred to as “synthetic soda ash”). It is an essential raw material in glass, chemicals, detergents, and other important industrial products. In 1998, in terms of production, soda ash was the 11th largest inorganic chemical of all domestic inorganic and organic chemicals, excluding petrochemical feedstocks. Although soda ash represented only 2% of the total $39 billion U.S. nonfuel mineral industry, its use in many diversified products contributed substantially to the gross domestic product of the United States. Because soda ash is used in flat glass for automobile manufacture and building construction, which are important economic sectors of the domestic economy, monthly soda ash production data are incorporated into monthly economic indicators for industrial production by the Federal Reserve Board, which monitors the condition of the U.S. economy.

U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior


Ray Tincher attended Ball State University and retired from Indiana Department of Correction in 1997. He worked at IDOC for 30 years, serving in a variety of roles, from correctional officer to warden. At retirement, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Gov. Frank O’Bannon. He wrote several training manuals as part of his employment and is a published author: “Inmate #13225 John Herbert Dillinger (2007).” He and his wife, Marilyn, live in Lapel.