|Not to be Forgotten by Gina Orsini Herald Standard Staff Writer
"Just as the snows of winter are forgotten when the first balmy breezes of spring filter through
the air, so will the many everyday events in the student's life be erased by the hustle and bustle of
the busy world."
Written in 1949, those words are from "The Eagle", the yearbook that recorded the bygone days of
South Union High School from its inception in 1917 to the day it closed its doors behind the class of '66.
When the doors reopened for th class of '67, "The Eagle" had been replaced by "The Highlander" and
the Blue Devils had been replaced by a high-spirited Mustang.
The Areford Building, slated soon to join the ranks of "forgotten winter snows," was officially named for
the family that donated the property to South Union Township by deed made: "....the nineteenth day of
May in the year Nineteen hundred and Sixteen between Earl S. Areford, and Margaret E. Areford, his
wife, and G. Carl Areford, unmarried, all of Uniontown... Grantors, and the School District of South
Union Township...Grantee: WITNESSETH; that in consideration of ($1.00) One Dollar in hand paid,
the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, all those ten certain lots or tracts of land situate in South
The Arefords had purchased the property for the sum of $25,000, from one John Dawson, by deed
dated October 8, 1913. Dawson, who had inherited the property from his father, E.B. , didn't turn the
whole package over to the township.
The Areford Building remained in use as South Laurel Highlands High School until the end of the 1972
school year. Until then, assistant principal Robert Raho ran the school with the proverbial iron fist, (sans
velvet glove). But even he wasn't always successful at keeping wayward feet from skipping off in the
direction of Vernon's Store for a little fun and games, a double burger or a quick and coveted smoke on
In 1974 the doors reopened and the building, newly decorated with coats of primary colored paint and
yards of new carpeting, became Areford Grade School, remaining in service until 1979.
All of that is preceded by a long history of happy memories and names by the famous, infamous and
C.W. Frankhouser and G.M. Clark, principals; Ralph Patterson, attendance officer and Mary Catney,
Frankhouser's "Girl Friday" are just a few that are mentioned when Blue Devil alumni of more than one
Perusing the names of students in the 1940 yearbook turns up so many of the same surnames that
subsequent yearbooks recorded; the Bierbowers, Brownfields, Ezzis and Buehners, the Fikes and
Cunninghams, the Smolleys and O'Brians.
From the staff and faculty came the vernable Marty Fagler, Joe Loncaric, J.D. Longnecker and Joe
Brownfield, the lovely Priscilla Highes, Edith Glisan, Nellie John and Edna Curstead.
Then there were the football teams. The 1940 team, coached by Marty Fagler, may be one of the few
teams in school history holding the destinction for tying two games with identical scores - 0 - 0 -
Masontown first and then Redstone. The Eagle rehashed the season:
"The South Union gridders won three, lost four and tied two. But as it was, the team was always
fighting for the good SUHS Coach Fagler and the rest of the crew deserve a world of praise for their
excellent work. The cheerleaders, Betty O'Hern, Wilma Hebb, Jack Haney and Wendell Patterson did
their best in leading the cheering section wtith all their power for our team during defeat and victory. The
starting performers leaving the protective wing of South Union are Honse, Mavracic, Hagan, Bierer,
Regula, Thomas, Bise and Edenfield, the captain."
"Every man's memory is his private literature," Aldous Huxley said. And so Areford School provided a
library of memories for its alumni. Quoth the Eagle, "Not to be forgotten is our pleasant past at South
Union High School.
|Going, going, gone