Ursuline Academy — 1921

ursuline_1921-yrbk_1-year-highVelma Rich and her classmates…

by Paula Bosse

I never tire of looking through old high school yearbooks. Here are some photographs from the 1921 edition of The Ursulina, the yearbook of the Ursuline Academy, the all-girls school located in the block bounded by Live Oak, Haskell, Bryan, and St. Joseph in Old East Dallas.

Above, the “I Year High,” which I gather would be the equivalent of the freshman class.  (I am transfixed by the girl in the center of the front row — I think she is Velma Rich — I bet she was a handful.) (Caption for this photo listing the girls can be seen here.)

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Below, the East View of the Academy. The caption reads: “A Famous Battlefield (the study hall) and the Porch of Dreams, where school girls congregate to discuss the latest bulletin board news while enjoying some toothsome dainty.” (All photos larger when clicked.)

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The auditorium. “And this is where we treat our friends to music, play and dance.”

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The chapel. “‘Tis just the place to go for help when things are ‘up and down.'”

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The dining hall. “You may live without learning/You may live without books/But show me the man/Who can live without cooks.”

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The hall and stairways. “If these old stairs had power of speech, what girlish secrets they could tell!”

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The music room. “A spot where many young ladies are kept very busy, ‘Untwisting all the chains that tie the hidden soul of harmony.'”

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The recreation room. “Just the spot where, nine months out of the year, you can always find ‘Jest and youthful jollity/Quips and cranks and wanton wiles/Nods and becks and wreathed smiles.'”

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The campus. “What you and me/Were wont to ‘saw and see.'”

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The campus. “This is a gay spot at all times. It is kept alive in summer by games of roller skating, croquet and tennis; in winter, by ‘hikes,’ basket ball, races and, on rare occasions, old fashioned snowballing.”

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The grotto. “Somehow, all life seems much more sweet/When I take my old brown beads and kneel at Mary’s feet.”

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The pecan grove. “Where nuts grow, and school girls go to while away the time.”

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“II Year High” (sophomore class).

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“III Year High” (junior class).

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The provincialate and novitiate. “Sweet secluded retreat where young Ursuline teachers are trained in the spirit of the Order to continue the work begun by St. Angela de Merici over three hundred years ago.” (Another, slightly more gothic image is here.)

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And because I love her attitude, another look at 15-year-old Velma Rich.

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Sources & Notes

All photos from the 1921 edition of The Ursulina, the yearbook of the Ursuline Academy. Many (if not all) of the photos are by Dallas photographer Frank Rogers.

Other Flashback Dallas posts on Ursuline can be found below:

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.