Comparing High School Senior Photos

While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents at similar ages. Below is an image of my father flanked by his parents. All three photos were taken to commemorate their senior years in high school. The photo of my father, Robert, was taken about the time he turned 17 years old in 1942. He graduated from Thomas Carr Howe High School in Indianapolis in the spring of 1943. The photo of my grandmother, Pearl, was taken when she was 19 years old. She graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in June of 1893. The photo of my grandfather, Earl, was taken when he was 19 years old. He graduated from Tipton High School in Tipton, Indiana in the spring of 1908. Do you see a resemblance between Robert and his parents? Robert was 2.5 years younger when he graduated high school than his parents were when they graduated. But, I think the ages and poses are similar enough to see the family resemblance. These photos were not among my personal collection, I found them online! Many yearbooks have been scanned, including those from the high schools mentioned above.

Shortridge HS: http://www.digitalindy.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/shs

TC Howe HS: http://www.digitalindy.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/tchhs

Tipton HS: http://www.tiptoncountylibrary.org/services/genealogy/yearbook/

Pearl Jane Osborne
Shortridge HS – 1913

Robert Lowell LaFara
TC Howe HS – 1943

Earl Lincoln LaFara
Tipton HS – 1908

Shortridge HS ca. 1910

In 1913, Shortridge HS was still at it’s original location on N. Pennsylvania St. between Michigan and North Streets.

Shortridge HS - Sanborn map 1915

The school is the large building on the left of this map.

T.C. Howe HS ca. 1950

Thomas Carr Howe HS opened it’s doors at 4900 Julian Ave. in 1937 where it operates today as a grades 7 to 12 community school.

T.C. Howe HS - Baist map 1941

Howe HS sits on property adjoining the Pleasant Run in the Irvington neighborhood.

Tipton HS ca. 1911

In 1907, Tipton County opened it’s new high school on the southwest corner of Main and W. North Streets.

Tipton HS - Sanborn map 1909

For many years Tipton HS was located in the residential neighborhood north of the downtown Tipton business district.

It may be of interest to note the Shortridge HS class of 1913 was considered very large for the time, 258 seniors graduated. The commencement speaker was Dean of the University of Chicago, Percy Boynton. By contrast, the Tipton HS class of 1908 was just 26 graduates and the second to graduate from the ‘new’ school. Howe HS was a fairly new school in 1943, there were about 250 seniors that year. Of course, the United States involvement in World War II was in it’s second year by spring of 1943 and my father, and many of his classmates, had already enlisted and were only waiting to graduate before shipping out. The impact of the war can be read in the yearbook, there was a Victory Club, fund raisers and scrap metal drives.

Shortridge HS

TC Howe HS

Tipton HS

Shortridge and Howe high schools are in Indianapolis, Tipton HS is about 40 miles north in Tipton, Indiana. Shortridge HS closed at this location and moved north to Meridian and E. 34th in 1928.

While looking through a box of old photos, I came across my grandfather’s report card from his senior year at Tipton High School in 1908. I have scanned the front and back, you can see his mother’s signature which I find amusing since he was nearly 20 years old.