Eye on the Past: 1914 Wisconsin Debate Team

“The victory is not always with the strong.” Thus was the conclusion of the editors of the Ahdahwagam yearbook at Grand Rapids Lincoln High School, in recounting the 1914 performance of the school’s debate team versus nearby Marshfield.

The best Lincoln High School had to offer.
The debate team represented the best Lincoln High School had to offer.

The young men were fully prepared and valiently presented their assigned negative proposition. The question at hand, the editors reasoned, simply lent itself more easily to the affirmative: “Resolved, that the policy of fixing a minimum wage by state boards is desirable.” Marshfield won the judges’ nod on this day. “It was merely on of those times when fortune turns her wheel, then closes her eyes, letting it stay where it may.”

The young men pictured in the image, the yearbook stated, were among the very best the school had developed. Participants in forensics tended to also be those involved in other worthy extracurricular pursuits, such as athletics, music and culture. “This is what every well-organized high school should stand for,” the yearbook read, “and we are proud of the boys who represented us in debate.” Indeed, several of them went on to serve their country as soldiers in World War I. The debate team lineup:

Top Row
  • Carlton Frederick Stamm (1896-1988)
  • Leon Francis Foley (1894-1978)
  • Karl L. Zimmerman
Middle Row
  • Victor A. Bornick (1893-1954)
  • Bert W. Wells (coach, 1887-1969)
  • Myron D. Hill (1896-1957)
Bottom Row
  • Charles Harold Babcock (1895-1971)
  • Raymond Cole Mullen (1895-1944)
  • Neil Edward Nash (1894-1976)

©2015 The Hanneman Archive

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