Northwestern High School & Cleage Graduates

old northwestern
The original Northwestern High School stood on the corner of Grand River and West Grand Blvd in Detroit.  It was built in 1911.

 

When I finished writing up this post, I googled Northwestern High School and found the following statement in an online article from 2011 about school closures in Detroit:

“The academic program at Northwestern High School will close and the Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School program will relocate from the east wing of Northwestern into the main academic part of the facility. Because of the importance of the Northwestern name to DPS and the community, this new program will be called Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School at Northwestern.”

So,  like so many other places of importance in my early life in Detroit, Northwestern High is no more.  The original building was replaced in 1980 and the school was closed in 2011. So many of my family attended high school at Northwestern, some just for a year or two.  Here is something about those who graduated, starting with Alberta Cleage in 1927 and ending with my sister Pearl in 1966.

Click on any image to enlarge.

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Alberta blog HSCousin Alberta Cleage, my grandfather’s brother Edward;s daughter, came up from Athens Tennessee to stay with her Uncle Albert and his family and graduated from Northwestern High School in 1927.

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albert sax HS______________

My uncle Louis Cleage graduated Cum Laude in 1931 and appeared in a picture of the physics lab, right there lower right, first desk.  Advertisements for his medical practice appeared in the Norwester in 1941 and 1942.

Louis Cleage HS

louis ads hs___________________

Henry Cleage appears in a photograph of the orchestra in 1933 and as a graduating senior in 1934.  He is in the back row, 4th from the left with his cello.

henry Cleage_band blog__________________

hughface<– My uncle Hugh Cleage graduated in 1936, unfortunately that yearbook is missing.

barbara hs

 

My aunt Barbara Cleage graduated in 1938 but, again the yearbook is missing.–>

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My aunt Gladys Cleage graduated in 1939.  In the photo on the right Gladys is standing in front of the back steps. You can see Henry over her right shoulder. Not sure who the other two are but my grandmother Pearl is looking through the screen door.

gladys Cleage HS plus___________________

My cousin Geraldine Cleage, Uncle Henry’s daughter graduated in 1940.  They lived a few blocks from my grandparent’s house on Scotten.

geri cleage HS______________________

Anna Cleage graduated from Northwestern in 1942 and appeared in the Norwester and in 1947 in the yearbook when she graduated from Wayne State University.

anna HS 1942

Anna 1947 WSU
Anna’s Wayne State University graduation photograph from 1947.

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I, Kristin Cleage, graduated from Northwestern in 1964.

honor society 1a

That is me in the middle, 2nd row. I pretty much looked like that throughout my high school career.  I did not take a senior photo and didn’t plan to go to my graduation, but did end up going. Do not remember a thing about it.

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My sister Pearl Cleage graduated from Northwestern in 1966.  No yearbook photo available, but this is how she looked.

pearlscholarship1966 pearl_1966hs

 

 

 

 

 

Four State Negroes Earn Scholarships

“National Achievement scholarships have been awarded to four Michigan Negro students according to a recent release from the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Students winning the scholarships, which range from $250 to $1,500 a year, are Pearl Cleage, Detroit; Evans E. Pate Jr., Detroit: Ivy L. Thomas, Flint, and Vernice V. Killough, Remus.”       The News-Palladium, Benton Harbor, Mich.  Wednesday, February 2, 1966

Pearl gave the valadictorian speech at her graduation. Jim advised her to speak out against the war in Vietnam. She was horrified at the thought and regrets now that she did not do it.

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Cousin Geraldine Cleage’s son Shelton Hill also graduated in 1966. Unfortunately, I have no photograph of him from this time.

new northwestern
The new Northwestern High School, dedicated in 1980, stood down the street from the old site on West Grand Blvd.

Photographs of Northwestern High School are from the Website for the Alumni Association – NWHSAA.

“Memories to Memoirs Chapter Two Early Years of Life”

"Uncle Eds wife and children"

"Edward Cleage"
Charles Edward Cleage

Edward Cleage was my grandfather, Albert Cleage’s brother.  This post is a chapter of a memoir written by his daughter, Beatrice in 1990.  This is a part of the SepiaSaturday postings.

Memories To Memoirs
Written in 1990
By Beatrice Cleage Johnson
Chapter 2 – Early Years of Life

1926 – I remember the early years of my life living at 216 Ridge Street.  We used wood and coal stoves for heating and cooking.  I will never forget the range stove that my mother cooked on.  She made biscuits every morning for breakfast.  There was a warmer at the top of the stove for left overs.  I would always search the warmer for snacks.  We had an outside toilet.  Everyone that we knew had these,  so we thought this was it.  We never dreamed of ever having inside plumbing.

We had a water hydrant in the front yard and every night it was my job to fill the water buckets which had stainless steel dippers in them.  My sister also helped with the chores.  My other job was to clean the lamp chimneys.  We used oil lamps.  Momma always inspected them to see if they were clean.  I decided then, if I ever made any money I would have electricity put in our house.  And I did.  I would babysit during the summers and save my money.

I have always loved poetry.  I learned many poems and stories from my mother and sisters, such as “Little Boy Blue” and “Little Red Riding Hood”.  I think my favorite food was any kind of fruit.  I was always happy to see Summer, when the apples and peaches were plentiful.  I always looked forward to Christmas.  We never saw any oranges until then.  I remember my first doll.  It had a china head and straw body.  I loved it so much.  Momma always made a special white coconut cake for Christmas, which I looked forward to.  She made other pies and cakes, but the coconut was my favorite.  We didn’t get too many toys for Christmas, but my sisters and I enjoyed everything we got for Christmas.

My father became ill and my mother was to be the sole support of the five girls.  I was six years of age when my father passed away in 1926.  My youngest sister, Juanita, was three years of age and she didn’t remember him, but I did.  After he died my uncles took the two older sisters, Helen and Alberta, to Detroit to live with them.  Alberta stayed and finished high school there, but Helen came back home and helped Momma care for the three of us.  Ola, Juanita and myself went to high school here.

We always celebrated the holidays.  Thanksgiving was very special as my birthday would sometimes come on Thanksgiving Day.  We always had special food on these days.  Pies, cakes, chicken, rabbit.  On Halloween we always dressed in our older sister’s and mother’s clothes.  One of the main pranks the boys would do was to push the outside toilets over.  We used to beg them not to push ours over.  In those days, thre was no trick or treat.  It was all tricks.  Easter was also special.  Momma would make us a new dress for Easter, and Helen always bought me black patent leather slipper.

Uncle Ed’s Daughters 1917

These are three of Edward and Mattie (Dotson) Cleage’s six children.  Alberta was born in 1908, baby Ola in  December of 1916 and Helen in 1910.  There was an older brother, Lawrence, who died at a year old.  Two more daughters, Beatrice and Juanita, were born later.  Edward was the only child of Lewis and Celia (Rice) Cleage to remain in Athens, Tennessee.  His other four siblings moved first to Indianapolis, IN and then to Detroit, MI.  Edward suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and died at 46, when his youngest daughter was four years old. For more Sepia Saturday offerings.