Hattie is 102 and has been identified as the oldest living graduate of Toledo High School, as a member of the Class of 1926. There were 38 members of her graduating class - termed “a large class” in the May 23, 1926 issue of The Toledo Chronicle.
She has fond memories of her high school years 84 years ago and shared some of them recently.
“My brother and sister, like many of the farm kids, didn’t go to high school,” Hattie says. “But most of the town kids did.” She said she was the youngest of her family. Her parents were John and Agnes Husak.
Hattie first lived in Carroll Township near Clutier. When she was six, the family moved to a farm near Toledo. She attended Toledo Township School No. 1 through the 8th grade before heading into high school in town.
One of her favorite stories involves the process of getting to the high school from her family home on a farm located about two and one-half miles northeast of Toledo.
“My dad would get the horse and buggy ready and I’d drive it to the livery barn,” Hattie says. She then would walk from the barn in downtown Toledo to the school - now a portion of the South Tama Middle School on South Green Street.
She says she also drove the family car to school sometimes. She says her family was one of the first in Toledo Township to have a car. “My dad had a time trying to shift and my mother and I had to sit beside him and help shift - that’s how I learned to drive,” she says.
Hattie says she boarded in town during the winter months and took the horse and buggy or car to school in the spring and fall. She remembers boarding with the John Snyder family for two years of high school and the Wynn Ebersole family for two years during those winter months.
Hattie is also quick to remember some of the teachers and administrators back then. She named “Miss Campbell as the principal, Superintendent William Hoyman, geometry teacher Harold Cunningham and Miss Wellman, my junior year history teacher.”
There wasn’t any lunch room then, “We brought out own lunch,” Hattie says.
She also recalls Toledo and Tama playing against each. “I went to the basketball and football games.”
At that time, she says the Toledo High basketball games were played in the “middle floor” where the art classroom and the computer lab are now located.
Hattie says there was prom in her days and recalls being in the senior high school class play. She also recalls drug stores and candy and an ice cream shop downtown.
Something which also kept Hattie busy was her piano. Her parents bought it for her when she was 11. “It came in a big crate from Montgomery Ward. I remember we used the crate for a chicken coop,” Hattie says. She learned to play on her own.
The piano is now gone to another state, but it’s still in the family. Her granddaughter, Marcie Knack, has it in her home in Quincy, Ill., and uses it to practice for the church where she is the accompanist.
The last two years of high school Hattie took Normal Training Courses to prepare her to teach school following graduation. Forfour and one-half years she taught country schools in Carroll and Otter Creek Townships.
Her monthly salary began at $80 and never exceeded $90. She not only was a teacher but was also responsible for janitorial duties.
In 1932, Hattie and John Cibula were married at the Holy Trinity Church. They farmed two miles southwest of Viining. Hattie says they had a new home built on the property which cost $2,600 back then. The house is still standing and Richard and Dailyn Hala are the second owners.
All three of the Husak daughters- Bernadette (Hlas), Maxine (Upah) and Kathleen (Runyan) were born at the home and all three followed mom and graduated from Toledo High School - Bernadette in 1953, Maxine in 1956 and Kathleen in 1960.
Hattie has a total of 19 grandchildren, 36 great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and is expecting a third great-great grandchild.
Following the death of her husband in 1972, Hattie lived in her own home on North Main Street in Toledo until April, 2006. She thenlived for a tiem with daughters Bernadette and Maxine. She has been a resident at Carrington Place in Toledo since August, 2009.
TOLEDO HIGH GRADS ALL- Hattie Cibula( ‘26) with her daughters (l-r) Bernadette Hlas (‘53), Maxine Upah (‘56) and Kathleen Runyan (‘60).
Fact BoxToledo All-Class Reunion - July 2-4
The Toledo All-Class Reunion Committee meets regularly to put the finishing touches on the plans for the 2010 Toledo High School All-Class Reunion.
Meetings are held regularly at the State Bank of Toledo meeting room.
Friday, July 2, and Saturday , July 3, evening events will take place at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center, 1107 Prospect Dr. Other events include tours. A calendar featuring Toledo High photos is also being developed.