It was June 18, 1914, and my grandmother, Florence Marie Koontz, became the first female in her family to graduate from High School. Grandma was the third of five children of Casmear and Phebe Gardner Koontz, and the youngest girl. She had two sisters older than her and two brothers younger than her. Her two older sisters did not continue their education beyond what was determined to be necessary. Her two brothers went on to Ohio State University – one graduated from the School of Pharmacy (Henry Allen), the other one as a Chemical Engineer (William Peter). But, Grandma persisted and insisted that she get a diploma. Her diploma states:
The Board of Education of Columbus. O. Hereby Certified that Florence Marie Koontz has completed the TECHNICAL AND COMMERCIAL course of study prescribed in the HIGH SCHOOL OF COMMERCE Columbus, Ohio a certified HIGH SCHOOL of the FIRST GRADE, that she has sustained a good character and made such attainments as entitle her to this Diploma.
In Testimony Whereof, the President and Clerk of the Board have hereto attached their signatures and the Corporate Seal of the Board
A number of factors may have led into Grandma being allowed to continue her education. First her two older sisters were married in 1912 and 1913 respectively. Her two younger brothers were 16 and 14 at the time. Grandma’s parents owned a furniture store where Great Grandfather made various pieces of furniture for customers and refurbished pieces of older furniture that he would purchase and resell. They needed a clerk for the store. Grandma worked in the family store as a bookkeeper.