STELLA — Always held on the Sunday before Labor Day, former classmates of the Stella school are encouraged to attend the Stella All School Reunion.
Doors open at 1 p.m. at the Triway School cafeteria. Potluck dinner will be held at 4 p.m., the meat, drinks and service will be furnished. Those attending are encouraged to bring either a side dish or dessert.
"Anyone who has attended school at Stella," said Vernon Pogue, class of 1955. "It is an all school reunion for anybody who has attended school there."
Stella has a rich history of schools. The first school dates back to the 1900s, when the citizens of Stella decided to build an academy. According to the book "From Buzzard Glory to Seed Tick: A History of the schools in Newton County, Missouri" (page 246), "although a grade school had existed in the area for some years, this was the first attempt to offer a high school education. Tuition for the year 1900 was $18, six months tuition was $15 and less than six months was $3 a month."
According to Phyllis Cullers a graduate of Stella High School, in a previous interview with the Neosho Daily News, remembered that the first high school was a two-story building, located where the Stella Baptist Church sits. Some of the students played basketball and to practice, they would play outside, seeing that there was no gymnasium.
"There was a community building where Taylor Tax Service is now," said Cullers. "And that is where they had the activities."
The first high school burnt in 1935. In 1936, a new structure was built with the help of the WPA labor. It was located on the same site as where the Triway Elementary School is located. The second school was a 12-grade level school, one story. However, the second school burnt in 1959. The last graduating class of Stella was in 1964. Stella joined with Fairview and Midway (near Stark City and Newtonia) to form Triway School District. Triway joined with Granby to form East Newton School District in 1967.
Pogue is encouraging the classmates to bring old photographs of their school days or even yearbooks to share with other classmates.
During the event, the class of 1963 will be celebrating their 50th reunion.
"We are going to have a special table for the class of 1963 with a birthday cake," he said. "The class of '63 will be honored at the head table."
Also on Sunday, there will be some discussion and possibly a vote on what to do after next year.
"The class of 1964 was the last class that they ever had at Stella," Pogue said. "So next year, we will be having the last class honored for 50 years. Because there will not be any 50 year graduations after next year, so we will be taking a vote on whether they want to continue to have all school reunions. The vote will be this year and probably next year too."
Page 2 of 2 - For more information, contact Vernon Pogue at 437-0649.