Contributed by MERLE (BUS) CORNELIUS and produced by SUSAN STAFFORD.

Of Whence I Come, by Bus Cornelius

     In an overview of those who have graduated before me from Lane, Kansas high school I would like to record some of the deeds of those in the past from the records I have on file. The first four year graduating class of 1914 consisted of three people. Two of the first three that graduated in 1914 were Cornelius’s. Blanche Cornelius married Ulysses Rose of the class of 1916. Charlie died early in 1921. May NcNutt (Cloe) was the other graduate. [May McNutt graduated Lane 1914, returned to teach in 1916. Taught many of the students I will mention in the following pages.] May returned to teach at Lane in 1916. Many others in other classes went on to achieve some very high plateaus far exceeding the education given by this little rural school. Some where and some how this little rural country school installed a lot of character into some of its graduates: a good education and a lot of good common sense and the desire to succeed. To continue on with their education and to help there fellow man. Some of this may be credited to the selection of good teachers by the school board.

     Each one of us looks at success through a different pair of glasses. I remember in those early school days a lot of people wanted to be movie stars, to be involved in the theater, and in those days that seemed like the top of the ladder and the best profession with fame and fortune. Having lived the last sixty years in Southern California, near Hollywood, I have learned that view point of success is false. There is more scandal in this profession than in organized crime. For an industry that had the chance to influence our children and the world, they have shown at times some very poor leadership. Those people that wanted to be movie stars were just thinking of fame and glory for themselves. In paragraph four of this document, I will point out that those that selected to be school teachers who were the real heroes and the pillars of our time.

     Coming from a rural community, some graduates were content to just be good farmers, merchants, carpenters, book keepers and house wives. Those are the ones that make up the back bone of this country. There were those that desired a higher education and coming from a poor area, we all know it was very difficult to achieve that education at that point in time. For some one to go to college it usually required some one else in the family to give up something.

     Though I was not one to graduate from college, I would like to give those that continued on to college and with their education, they showed a lot of perseverance and credit. I think the highest award should go to those who went on to become school teachers. Who could and did cultivate the minds of those that followed us “Lord”! we all know it could not be for the money involved. Most plumbers with a year of apprenticeship make twice as much as a school teacher who has many years of schooling and training. It has to be they wanted to sacrifice them selves and spread their knowledge to those who followed. Almost like being in the Ministry, they wanted to spread the knowledge. In 1937 my Aunt Faye Cornelius taught at Lane. I know her salary was $40. per month and that was for only nine months. There were some country school teachers in 1910 who received ten dollars a month and their board. Some of those were required to help with the house work.

     Though I know but a few, I will list what I know of some of our class mates.

     The first four year 1914 class graduated three people, Blanche & Charles Cornelius and May (Cloe) McNutt. May returned to teach at Lane in 1916.

     Richard Cornelius class of 1918, college Neb. received his teaching certificate, then started his own business in Lincoln Neb. He moved on to Anoka MN. Established several Companies which were listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

     Everett Glinkman class of 1921, went on to college, taught a short time in Pueblo Co. Then became the National Leader for the Boy Scouts of America for the rest of his life. Quite an achievement.

     Joe Cornelius class of 1921, completed college at K.U. taught for 1/2 year at Lane, then Junior High for ten years at Osawatomie. He was the Executive Director for the Boy Scouts of America for the balance of his life in the Cleveland Ohio area. One of his scouts went on to become governor of the State of Ohio. Joe Cornelius and Everett Glinkman were class mates and friends all of their life. They lived on adjoining farms west of Lane. [Also mentioned later in this writing, Lesley Lyle White lived on an adjoining farm.]

     Fern Cornelius, class of 1922, received her teaching credentials, taught at Beagle, Clark Valley and Lane. Met and married Professor Gaily Whitney of Garnett who was also teaching at Lane. After raising her family of three children, she completed her education, MA at Emporia Ks. At the age of 58 she continued her teaching at Lewisburg until she was sixty five years old.

     Faye Cornelius, class of 1929, college Ottawa and K.S. taught at Parker, Overbrook, Blue Rapids and Lane.

     Ambrose Whytal, class of 1929, college Baldwin, taught at Christian Ridge and Rantoul.

     There were many many more I do not know about. School teachers in the early years, you could not drink or smoke. You had to go to church. Maybe that is why those early school teachers made good citizens out of most of us.

     These were the leaders that inspired their students. Helen Trotter did not graduate from Lane but she was a pillar of knowledge, every one remembers her and Helen Trotter remembers Lane. Helen taught school before coming to Lane and after she left, but she comes to the Alumni meetings just as she had gone to school there.

     I would like to mention the White family, many of those people went to school at Lane and contributed to society.

     Lyle Leslie White, class of 1916, at school in the 1914 picture on file. Letter in my file from Professor William J. Peace, New York University. He wrote an Intellectual Biography on Leslie. Son of Abraham Lincoln White (called Link White) Leslie was born in Salida Co. 1902, family moved back to a farm S/W of Lane in 1905, into Lane in 1907 and was in school at Lane in 1914. Leslie went on to become the foremost Anthropologist of his time. Some libraries have many of his books. The file states “If it was not for Leslie White research, books and knowledge much of the history of the S/W Indians would be lost.” He spent a life time accomplishing his goal.

     Homer White, class of 1950, many of you knew him for his relentless research of the Lane Kansas area.

     Donald White, who went to school at Lane and became a Judge of Franklin County Ks.

     Loren White, class of 1936, after graduating he had to go to work, but took many correspondence classes after graduating while living in Lane and Osawatomie. Enlisted in the Navy in 1939, all through out his career he continued his schooling. In 1941 Loren was Chief Dive Master, running a Navy diving school off of a Navy sea going salvage tug in Pearl Harbor. On the morning of Dec 7th 1941 he awoke to the sound of airplanes and bombs being dropped around his vessel and continuous gun fire. He realized a shell had penetrated the side of his ship and had hit him in his rib area. He tied a towel around himself to stop the blood and continued his duties. He stated “I did not have time to go to the hospital until six days later.” He moved his tug along the side of the Battleship U.S.S. Oklahoma which was now upside down with many men dead and many men trapped inside. He could hear the trapped men inside of the ship’s hull. The bottom of the ship was eleven inches thick of special steel to withstand torpedoes. He and his men tried for hours, using a cutting torch to make a hole to rescue the trapped men. A cutting torch will only cut metal about two inches thick. Finally they had to give up on the cutting torch. Loren took a large electric drill, using many drilling bits, and in a few hours they were able to drill a small hole through the eleven inches of special armor plate steel. After they once had a hole to start with they were able to keep enlarging it with the cutting torch until he personally helped the first man out through the hole he had made. He rescued 65 men from the bottom of the U.S.S. Oklahoma while he was wounded. Only a few of the hundreds that went down with the ship. In 1990, the Navy flew Loren to Hawaii where he was given a special citation for saving those sixty-five men. Many of the men he had rescued were there to personally thank him for saving their lives. Loren just states “It was my job.”

     I would like to state in here my personal view point on the Loren White story. With his rescuing of those sixty five men, had it happened at another time besides Pearl Harbor, this would be national head lines. But being there were so many heroes that day it was on the second page and soon forgotten. I have always visualized this from the men trapped inside of the upside down ship. If you were one of these men, when you awoke to confusion, bombs dropping, explosions, fire, smoke and trapped in a space with no lights. Wounded men calling for help, you really did not know just what had happened, wondering if there were people out side who knew you were in there and trapped. Many dead bodies floating in the dirty and oil covered water around you, wondering just how long the air pocket you were in would last. Tending the wounded in the dark. Then in a few hours hearing some one out there returning the tapping on the hull you were doing, saying a prayer, thinking of your loved ones, wondering why it was taking so long, the many hours it took to get the hole open, it must seemed like days. Then the glory of seeing daylight through the small hole and then getting the wounded out first. What a day to thank God and Loren White.

     Later in the war Loren went to school to be instructed on how to arm and disarm a new mine the Navy had developed. This new type of mine was to be deployed from submarines, while submerged, out through the torpedo tubes. The navy flew Loren near Japan, transferred him to a submarine. His job was to arm the new mines as they were being placed out through the torpedo tubes in many harbors around Japan while Japanese destroyers were constantly over head dropping depth charges.. When one submarine had placed all the mines it carried, Loren would be transferred at night to another submarine from Pearl Harbor with a new load of mines.

     There are many — many others who went beyond the call, to serve their country. Or to educate those who followed us. Each one of us should take the time to log a few notes of the people of Lane Kansas who attended the school.

A short list of other people who went on to become school teachers:

Ulysses Rose class of 1916, married Blanch Cornelius class of '14
Claudene Mills class of 1924, married Bill Robinson class of '24
Eugene Bump class of 1934
Barrett Whitaker class of 1934
Elizabeth Whitaker class of 1935
Louise Owens Class of 1935 Married Loren White class of '36
Leslie Phillips class of 1940, married Virginia Gerth class of ?
Harold Kimball class of 1940, married Bette Jean Burkdoll 1942
Russell McDougal class of 1947
Clayton True class of 1949
Lee Ellis class of 1954
Donna Cole Prothe class of 1956
Norman Gentry class of 1957
Dana Porter class of 1959
Robert Cole class of 1961
Dennis Baxter class of 1963
Ronald Walker class of 1963
Lois Dalton class of 1964

From my personal file as of 20/May 1999
Addition and Corrections welcome.

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