East in 1929 – Glimpses from the Wichitan Yearbook

The  Wichitan yearbook was the first yearbook for Wichita East once it became Wichita East in 1928.  It was dedicated to Lucille Hildinger, our esteemed English teacher when we were at East.  Do we recall her “forebearance with all our shortcomings” and her “cheerful and ever smiling example”?









Some of the Administrators and Faculty 

  Principal: T.G. Reed (left)

Vice-Principal: R.W.Truesdell (right)


The yearbook indicates that 520 students attended in 1929 under the tutelage of 114 faculty, an extraordinary student/faculty ratio if the numbers are accurate.



Senior Class Officers

The Senior Class was well-organized and active. Eugene Coombs was such a respected executive, he was president of the class for all three of his years.  Among the senior class activities were a St. Patrick’s Party, several amusing plays, and a bonfire rally.  “Down on the Farm” Day took place in late November and the students dressed farmer-style.  Another major event was Impersonation Day, when everyone dressed in costume and enjoyed the orchestra playing in the cafeteria.  Senior girls were treated to a tea at Innes Tea Room.  Graduation activities were traditional with a play, a banquet, awards assembly, and a senior picnic.

Editor’s Note:  Eugene Coombs is our classmate Bill Coombs’ uncle.

We have little information on student clubs and activities, but two of note are the Booker T. Washington Hi-Y Club. (See Remembering Alfred Jones) and the Blue Triangle Girl Reserve Club.  Both were organized specifically for the Black students at East, and both were quite purposeful and active.


The Booker T. Washington Hi-Y Club

With Bible study as its main focus, the club’s purpose was to develop standards of Christian living in every area of life.  Being selected to attend the national conference was an honor. The members had a strong basketball team that played weekly during the basketball season



Blue Triangle Girl Reserve Club

The purpose of this club was to develop the girls morally, spiritually, socially, and physically.  The girls shared their hobbies, held a Halloween party for the Booker T. Washington Hi-Y Club, and delivered pamphlets for Community Chest, among other activities.  Their theme for the year was “The Friendly Road.”

Of course, a prominent theme throughout the yearbook was the aviation theme, down to artistic details on many of its pages.  Clouds billow from the tops of the illustrations and pictures and wings of flight set at the base.  Its origins and inspirations may be read in the previous post about the new Blue Aces mascot adopted in 1928.   Also of note is the Art Deco design used throughout the yearbook.  Allusions to flight were used to inspire each class, as noted in the Foreword to the yearbook.



Editor’s Note:  Special thanks to Carol Weaverling Chambers for providing all the pictures and information from The Wichitan for this article.


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