They Called Him Vin

                                                                 VincentFlowers Crop

Messiah College Brethren Christ Library

Yearbooks share with you the perspective of your subject’s peers. For Vincent, his 1927 yearbook was a gold mine and it provided much good and some bad information. The biggest revelation—Vincent was not an alumni of the college.

Since the beginning of my research in 2012, I assumed Vincent was an alumni. Why? Because I based this fact on the assumptions of others, in better words, it was never confirmed. The issue came when reading The Clarion, Messiah College’s yearbook. From The Clarion in 1923 to 1927, there were two sets of class photos (seniors, juniors, etc.). One for Messiah Academy and the other for Messiah Bible School. The college’s name changed  constantly in the past; therefore, I assumed it was a time of transition and thought little of it. Then, I decided to read the pages after I gathered overtime all of the photos I needed. Rule #1: Read first, gather photos later. I always thought this was common sense, but it is something I need to remind myself of constantly, yet this is a learning process/I will give myself the benefit of the doubt.

It was on page 6 in the 1927 yearbook when I realized Messiah Academy was a high school. When did Messiah have a high school?!! This mishap could have been avoided if I did my research, but I am glad I have his story right…for now. Despite this new revelation, it does not take away from Vincent or his story, it only changes what he is known as, from alumni to student and graduate of Messiah Academy. Another issue that arises is that most of the primary and secondary sources I have pertaining to Vincent list him as a graduate and alumni of the college.

Vincent Flowers for blog

Here, Vincent is listed as an alumni of the college.

                                                                                           Graduate Chauncey Flowers

In this article, dated June 2, 1927, Vincent is considered a graduate of the college, but do you see the other issue? He will enter the University of Pennsylvania in the Fall.

University of Pennsylvania? When I first read this I did not questioned his enrollment in what I believe to be his second college. I only questioned his education when I read his WWII draft which only listed his highest level of education as four years of high school. I made a note in my head to follow up with the university and receive my answer this week.

Dear Ms. Thomas,

I checked the alumni microfilm (which lists students who attended from 1753-1977), and I did not see an entry (I checked under both Vincent and Allen).  If you think it might be under another name or spelling, I will be glad to check further.”

Darn! Dead end. Still, there is much to research. Now, back to what was exactly in the yearbook.

Senior Photo Messiah Academy Class of 1927
Senior Photo
Messiah Academy
Class of 1927


Senior photo for Vincent

The inscription under Vincent name stated:

Vincent is one of those happy persons who never worry about anything.

His home state was listed as Pennsylvania.
His biggest ambition—to rival Paderewski (perhaps the famous Polish pianist)
Chief Virtue—wearing flowers (how ironic/sarcasm?)
Chief Fault—too hasty
Future Occupation—Pianist

1927 Messiah Academy
Messiah Academy

According to school records, Vincent attend Messiah Academy from September 26, 1922 until June 1, 1927. He took courses in English, Science, French, Latin, Mathematics, Voice, Physical Training, Commerce, Music, Drawing, History, Theory, Appreciation, Hymns, and Health Teaching. He participated in the literary society during his time in high school as well as a few other student organizations.

Much of Vincent’s time at Messiah Academy remains unknown. I hope to go to the archives next week to find the journals and papers of classmates to get a better sense of who Vincent was and his high school experience. It is still a working progress, but I am completing his story, well the Flowers story, one day at a time.

More posts to come. I am back to blogging now.

Until the next post.


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