Remembering Those Good Old School Days In Dante…

© Jerry F. Couch

CVT reader, Ralph Griffith sent us this ca. 1940 group photo of students at the old Dante school. Ralph is a Dante native who lives in West Chester, Ohio.

The photo is significant for a number of reasons. Take note of the students’ clothing. It’s carefully washed, starched, and ironed, even though not every household in Dante had an electric washing machine or electric iron back in those days. Wash was hung outside to dry, weather permitting, and soot from passing steam trains and home chimneys was always a factor to be reckoned with. Mothers got up early to prepare a substantial breakfast for their families and packed lunches for family members to take with them to the mines and to school. Those meals weren’t a conglomeration of packaged convenience foods, either. In those days, “convenience food” would have meant something you hadn’t grown or raised.

Life was lived in the dim shadow of the frightening thought, “Will my daddy be injured or killed in the mines today?” It is perhaps one reason so many children of Dante have done well in life. They have validated the daily risks willingly undertaken by their parents so they might one day have a better life.

Do you recognize any of these long-ago students? If so, please share the info with our other readers by leaving a comment.

NOTE: The featured image of the Dante school building included in this article is from the school’s 1938 yearbook, “The Spectator.” In 2018 we published this yearbook in its entirety. If you haven’t seen it, click this link:

10 thoughts on “Remembering Those Good Old School Days In Dante…

  1. Jim Dorton is my father. His best friends, Tom Ring and Joe Pientka are in the same class photo. Those men were part of the Greatest Generation and they served their country in WW II. In my eyes, they were heroes. They stayed in contact through the years and met up a few times during the Dante reunions. Sadly, they have all passed away but they left a lasting legacy.

  2. Your father was a fine man, I recall him very well – I am 91 yrs old now, but Jim was2 or 3 years older than me in school..That wooden school building was burnt down ,fire was believed to have been started by a student who was disgruntled with his grades?

    1. Thank you, Mr. Griffith. My dad was a fine man, he passed away four years ago at the age of 91.
      Too bad the burning of Dante High School was possibly intentional, and without accountability.

  3. Thanks Jim, take care and keep in touch – we presently live in West Chester, Ohio, after being transferred all over
    before retirement from a company called Metco (metal spray equipment)later bought out by Perkin-Elmer..

    1. Dad lived in Defiance, Ohio, the remaining 14 years of his life. Defiance is near Lima, not that far from West Chester. Take care.

  4. The boy on the far right of the middle row of students, his name is handwritten and has been cut off, but I believe that’s my maternal grandfather Howard Osborne!

  5. Mr. Griffith, do you have a copy of the photo without Howard cropped out? I’d love to see the full image if it’s available.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.