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Missing McLoud panels recreated; search ongoing for 1940s classes and older

The Shawnee News-Star
McLoud

Through many efforts in recent years, several missing senior class panels dating prior to 1958 have been recreated for McLoud High School.

The McLoud Alumni Association’s Judy (McKinley) Sell accepted the challenge a few years ago from then-high school principal Leah Todd on locating and reproducing a large number of picture panels that hang in the J.E. Walker Field House. These panels were anything of classes prior to 1958 that had either been lost or destroyed in years past. There have been several different stories on how they were lost or destroyed, but we may never know the truth. 

The search started by contacting students or family members in the early 1940s and 1950s classes. Each McLoud graduate receives a small group picture of their class inside their high school diplomas. People started searching their photos or contacting other family members, and as a result, 12 of the years were found. 

With the help and generosity of Tom Flora, of Tom Flora Photography in Shawnee, Oklahoma, those 24” X 36” panels were printed. Many of the pictures were horizontal which required reformatting to vertical in order to hang. The alumni also had to purchase new panel frames, which was a big expense. 

The McLoud Historical Society had the group picture of the first graduating class at McLoud in 1913. This picture, along with a picture of the first two-story school building McLoud had in 1920, was also made into a panel and displayed. 

A 1940 panel was made from a 1940 yearbook. This panel was presented to Norma Higdon, a member of the 1940  class, at the 2016 all-school reunion before it was displayed in the J.E. Walker Field House. Norma is also one of the original founders of the McLoud Alumni Association in 1976. 

Recently, Gerald Reust, son of Lloyd Reust, shared his father’s group picture of the 1945 class. It was enlarged into a panel and was added to the collection.

The alumni group is still trying to locate either a picture or a yearbook for the years 1941-1944 and 1946, or anything older than the 40. They would like this project to be more complete. However, it is possible that these early 40s might not be available due to the war years. If you wish for your family's picture to hang in the J.E. Walker Field House, please leave Judy Sell a message at 405-642-3072 or email js4816@swbell.net. She only needs to borrow your material to scan and does not keep your pictures or yearbooks. 

Please stop and look at these panels the next time you visit the McLoud J.E. Walker Field House. These panels represent many families that either still live in the McLoud area or have children, grandchildren or great grandchildren who have or are attending McLoud Public Schools. 

The McLoud Alumni Association would like to express our appreciation and thanks to Tom Flora, a real historian, and Sherri Hibben for their help with this project.