Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Former Fairview students gather for all school reunion

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  • FAIRVIEW — Once again, former class members of the Fairview School attended the all school reunion on Saturday at the John Q. Hammons Community Center, in Fairview.
    Those in attendance were treated to a luncheon, a time to visit with former classmates, a chance to look at old yearbooks, old photographs and other memorabilia.
    First cousins Ray Harris and Gene Harris, class of 1956 and 1947, respectively, were looking over a yearbook early Saturday morning.
    "I was looking at the school teacher – Freda Willard - that I dated in there," said Ray. "The year after I got out of school (I dated her)."
    Ray has lived in Fairview for a long time. Gene moved back to the area about 10 years ago, after spending 46 years in Chicago.
    When asked why he enjoys coming to the reunions, Gene said, "everybody comes back to find some of the old classmates still around, some are not."
    Ray reflected on Gene's comments.
    "I love it (coming to the reunions)," Ray said. "Just to see a lot of people. I see a lot of people that live here. But a lot of people it is the only time of the year that I see them."
    Every year, the class who has their 50th class reunion is recognized.
    Also in the past, one of Fairview's famous residents, John Q. Hammons, would give a speech about what he had been up to. Back in late May of this year, Hammons passed away. As a tribute during the reunion, there were some photographs of Hammons, an article about his death and some of the classmates remembered him.
    "I lived across the street from him (Hammons)," said Gene. "When I was 5 or 6 years old (Hammons was 16, I think) we used to play together."
    One time, Gene said, "he put me on his back and on feet and put me up and I would come back (down) on my left hand. He (Hammons) said, 'oh, don't tell my folks, I will be good to you.'"
    The former classmates also remember what Fairview used to be like when they were growing up.
    "We had a bandstand out here, we had a Fourth of July reunion," said Gene. "The old merry-go-around was powered by a steam engine, a little upright engine. It just gradually went down (the town), the old bank building was standing, we had three or four garages, a doctor’s office, and drug stores, seem to be all gone now. A railroad, we just don’t have it anymore.”
    Fairview School held its first graduating class back in 1923 and the last graduating class was held in 1964, prior to Fairview consolidating with the East Newton School District.
    Page 2 of 2 - During the Fairview school days, there were two school buildings on the campus, one of which burnt in 1939 and the other one still stands, about a block south of the current community center. The Fairview School had grades first through the 12th, with various class sizes.
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