Published Monthly during the school year

by the Students of Union High School

Grand Rapids, Michigan

May, 1918 Ė Volume 1

Subscription Price, Single Copies 5 Cents

Post Office Permit Pending



Sergeant Volney P. Trankler, who graduated from this High School in the class of 1913, is now stationed at the United States base hospital at Camp Wheeler, Georgia. He has a very high opinion of that branch of the service. Writing of his experiences in the South, he says:

"I have gained over 30 pounds, and it is due to the outdoor life and the 'eats.' The Y.M.C.A. is doing a great work, and the men surely appreciate it. Army life is great and Uncle Sam sure takes care of you."

At Union he was very popular and was known as "Bunnie" Trankler.



We have been able to get a letter which Frederick Stover, a Sammie from Union, wrote to his mother. Fred tells some very interesting things in this letter, and we are glad to publish parts of it in this Unionite. Among other things Fred says:

"I washed some clothes the other day in a French public wash place. I guess in warm weather it is bath house and all combined, but now it is too cold for that purpose. The whole thing is built like the old Roman baths which you see pictures of. At one end is a stone curb at an angle of 30 to 40 degrees. The water is furnished by a spring of some sort, anyway the water is cold enough. In order to wash, you get down on your knees in some straw and start at it. As a result, you usually come up with two wet knees that are sore, and you ache to boot. It is hard on your back, too, because you are working somewhat lower than your knees. But the French women do it, and do a mighty fine job at getting things clean. We are a curiosity to them when we start washing clothes. I guess they never saw a man wash clothes before. Sometimes when you donít do it right, they take it and do it for you, to show you how, I suppose. I canít make head or tail of what they try to tell you, although I am getting so I know a small amount of French.

Next door to us is a large family. I have figured it out that there are about seven or eight if you get them all counted up. There is one son who was in the war for three years, was wounded three times and is now out of the service. Then there is a daughter who helps her mother, then after her are four boys that around with us most of the time when we are not drilling. They range from six to twelve years of age. Besides them, I have seen two smaller children that evidently belong to the family. They are nice people, and they try to do everything possible to help us. One of the fellows in our room had a slight cold or something than made him cough a good deal. The mother next door gave him a hot brick one night and has given him one every night now to take to bed with him. Then in the morning he takes it back and thanks her for it. At night one of the kids brings it up to him again. We get along fine with them all.

Once incident happened last week that made the blacksmith open his eyes. One of the fellows who is rather good at French was telling him that in America it only takes one man to shoe a horse. That was more than the man could believe, and he couldnít be convinced. He said that maybe one man could shoe some horses, but not the one he was working on. But the American wouldnít be convinced otherwise, so he goes up and gets one of the men who is a blacksmith by trade and bought him off to go down and shoe the horse. Well, he went down, shoed the horse and did a better job in less time. Above all, the animal seemed to like it. The Frenchman sure was surprised and happy as a lark. He didnít believe it could be done.

Look out, Girls!

"Dr. Hillis says that after the war 500,000 American soldiers would probably stay in France and marry French girls and live here. If the government makes it possible, no doubt a large number will."

"Believe me, if I ever go traveling it will be because I love the game. A fellow doesnít realize how much beauty there is in the world until he has seen a little of it. Then he is crazy to see more."

Well, goodbye.

Frederick Stover.




Here is a letter from Will McClymont, class of '15, to one of the faculty.

Received a copy of the March Unionite, and was surprised to know that there was a magazine of this description being published. I wish to congratulate Union High School as it is a book that is worthy of the name.

Life in an army camp seems rather strange to a new recruit, but after he has been at it for a few weeks the strangeness wears off, and he realizes the idea behind the work that he is doing. I served five months at Camp Funston, Kansas, and left there the elventh of this month for this place. Things are run on a little different system here. Reveille is at 6:30, assembly at 6:40, and woe to the man that is not in the ranks on time. He generally gets a week of extra kitchen police for the first offence, and after he has scrubbed the pans for a while he is very careful about getting there on time. From 6:45 to 7 we have physical exercise, or "torture," as some of the new men call it. Mess is a 7:15 and the policing of the grounds at 7:45; then inspection of quarterse at 8:05, and assembly at 8:15. From 8:15 to 8:30 is telegraph practice. We are divided into classes according to our ability in receving. From 9:30 to 11:45 is the explanaation of our equipment and the reparint and installation of our instruments. Reveille is blown at this time, allowing us fifteen minutes to clean up for mess at 12. At 1:15 assembly again, and we are in for a hour of infantry drill. From 2:15 to 4:15 we have semaphore work or flag signalling. Recall is blown at 4:15 and we are free to do as we please until mess time, at 6:15. Taps blows at 10;30. We generally spend most of our time at the Y hut in the evening, where they offer us various kinds of amusements. There is a Victrola, motion pictures, magazines, and almost everything a fellow could want for a pleasant evening. Two or three evenings a week they bring in entertainers from the surrounding cities, and then we think we are at Powers theater. The Y.M.C.A. is doing very good work among the enlisted men of the army. You can always find a cordial welcome awaiting you at any of their huts. There are no questions asked as to where you came from or what you are. As long as you are wearing the U.S. khaki you are entitled to a welcome.

Union High certainly can be proud of the way her students and former students have answered their country's call. I was looking over the list of names under the heading "Our Boys," and was surprised to see how many of my former schoolmates are in the service. There is one other student of dear old Union in this battalion, and that is Harold Bates. We enlisted on the same day, left home at the same time, and were in the same company for quite a while. He has been transferred to the Headquarters company now, so we don't get chance to see each other as often as usual. It is almost time for taps to blow, so I guess it will be a case of close for this time. If we aren't in our bunks when taps blows, we are refused passes for the afternoon, and all day Sunday, and as one of our pleasures is visiting the nearby cities, we are pretty prompt.

Again congratulating Union High School on their paper, and wishing them all the success in the world with it, I remain,

Yours truly,

William McClymont,

Co. C., 323 Field Signal Battalion, Camp Stanley, Texas




You will undoubtedly be surprised to hear from me. I meant to write to you before, but I have been very busy, and besides, I have not much spare time in which to write.

Since I last swa you I have moved from Camp Logan to a new camp situated at Peekskill, New York. I am delighted with the change. It is situated on the banks of the Hudson river, right in the midst of the Peekskill mountains, and about 80 miles from the city of New York. The camp site is beautiful, and the scenery, too, as we have a fine view of the Hudson from the camp.

Lsat Sunday, Norman Bowbeer, two other friends, and I took a hike up one of the small mountains. The hike, though a difficult one, was enjoyed, and when we arrived at the top we felt amply repaid for our labors. We had a wonderful view of the surrounding country and the camp.

On our trip over here we traveled about one thousand miles, nearly one thousand miles, nearly one hundred of which was made along the banks of the Hudson. We could see the Catskill mountains in the distance, and we also passed the West Point Military Academy. Our trip was replete with wonderful sights and many enjoyable times. I shall never forget it.

I have not as yet visited the city of New York, but as soon as the opportunity presents itself (after pay day), I mean to take in the sights of the largest city in the U.S.

I was greatly pleased and somewhat surprised to hear that Union has at last defeated Central in basketball. My surprise was due to the fact that Central had defeated Union in a previous game this season, but of course that was a fluke. Please congratulate the fellows on the team for me, and give them my best wishes. I surely would like to have played in that game. I am very much interested in all matters that concern Union High School, and I wish that you would keep me posted. Also, I would be much indebted to you if you would send me a late copy of the Unionite. I have the first copy, and would like to have a copy of each one that is issued. As soon as I get paid I am going to write to Walter Wohlgemuth and send him the money for a year's subscription for the "UNIONITE."

You may be interested to know how this life appeals to me, a former Union High School student (I am proud of the fact). I really like it here. Of course, I would not consider joining the navy and staying in it for life, but while the war is on, and conditions remain as they are at present, I would not think of quitting the service, if I had the chance. I think that I am voicing the sentiment of most of the fellows in the service, and I am positive that at least I speak for the majority who are in camp with me. We do not have to work very hard, as most of our work is practice in the use of the rifle. We have good meals, and all that we wish for in the way of "eats." We do not get pie or cake at mess, but then, we are in the navy now and we could hardly expect such delicacies. All the fellows down here look to be in the best of health, and the pink of condition.

Please give my regards to all my old friends at school, and also send my best wishes to them for success. I hope that Union is and always will continue to have success. I hope that Union is and always will continue to have success in all lines of work that it takes up. If you think that this letter will interest any of my old friends and fellow students, you may let them read it.

Wishing you the best of health and success, I will close for this time. It is time for the bugler to sound the usual nine o'clock "lights out."

Sincerely yours,

Herbert Small




The boys mentioned here are merely a efw out of many of those who graduated from Union and have enlisted in the different branches of service. But our hearts are with every one of them, and we should write to them, and write often. Have you not heard again and again the appeals of the boys in France and abroad for letters from home? There are boys from Union High school fighting in the front line trenches today, and they long to hear from loved ones at home. It cheers them and uplifts their morale. Write news that will cheer them and gladden their hearts. Boys who visit us say that there is a feeling among the men that the people back home are not "back of them," are not standing up for them, but are slandering them; are not willing to serve and sacrifice to add to the comfort of them who leave a home and a future, to give up their very lives, if need be, for the great principle back of this great struggle. Let us show them in every way possible that we are back of every one of them to the last ditch, and we can do this in part by writing the boys "over there" cheery letters.



John Alimer

Einar Anderson, '18

Walter Anderson, '15

Verner Anderson

Andrew Baker, '14

Harold Bates

Edwin Bauman

John Bek, '13

Floyd Blair, '18

Philip Blanchard

Roy Blandford, '15

Herbert Boch, '17

Harry Bowbeer

Clarence Brown, '15

Thornton Brown, '15

Floyd Bullis

Robert Clark

Ellsworth Cogswell

Bernard Coleman

Walter Seymour

Walter Cornwell, '13

Percy Cox, '15

Henry Dake, '14

Alden Davis, '17

Harry Dengler, '14

Louis M. Deutsch

Martin De Vries

John De Young, '16

William Dressler, '15

Herbert Dunbrook, '15

William Dubois

Russell Edison, '15

Leon Fenske, '13

Clarence Field

Roy Gale, '17

Wallace Gill , '17

Avery Gilleo, '13

Freeman Griffin

Harold Haan

William Hall, '13

Richard Harris

Frederick Hartmann, '15

Herbert Hause

Charles Heseltine, '13

John Ludwigholm

Nelson Hubel

Einar Johnson

Lester Johnson

Roy Johnson

Urban Johnson

Lawrence Jones

Cornelius Kroll, '16

George Kartan

Joe Korten, '17

Alex Kramer, '16

Hubert Leader, '12

Frank Leitz, '14

Woldemar Lenske

Harold Lindeman

Alvin Loucks

John Ludewig

William Lundeberg

Howard Major

Tom Maynard, '13

Maynard Miedema

Gerald Mervene, '18

Douglas McColl, '17

Irvine McColl, '12

William McClymount

Oscar H. McKeever

Walter Nelson, '17

Elmo Nobles

George Oltman

Leon Petsch

Wendell Phillips, '15

George Pyle, '12

Fred Quigley, '17

Thomas Rea, '14

Bernard Rebentisch

Clarence Rebentisch, '15

De Forest Rector

Marshall Rector, '16

Arthur Ritzema, '18

Harry Riesdorph, '17

Woldemar Schreiber

Martin Schuiling, '18

Edward Scheneman

Roy Silverman, '12

Herbert Small, '18

Frederick Stover, '18

Robinson Studley, '18

George Philip Swanson

Richard Tandler

Charles Tannewitz, '16

Philip Torndike

Martin Timmerman

Rolland Tisch, '16

Warren Townsend, '17

Frank Townsend, '17

George Tuft

William Van Dulst

John Van Duren, '16

Peter Van Wingen

Herman Veneklassen, '12

John Vogel, '15

Carleton Walcott, '13

Wayne Walcott

Darcy Wilkinson, '15

Marcus Watson

Peter Van Boven, '15

Transcriber: Jennifer Godwin
Created: 1 October 2003