James Victor Hugo Torner, born
April 24, 1884, the eldest son of William Victor and Jennie Greene
Torner, wrote the following:
My grandfather, James
B. Greene, was President of the Newport, Ohio, school board in 1890. In
that year Nora Ferguson was the first graduate from the Newport High
In Grandfather's papers
we found, in his own hand-writing, the "Remarks" he made when he
presented the Diploma to Miss Ferguson. As below,
Miss Nora Ferguson you
have completed the course of study, and passed the required examination, which
entitles you to a diploma.
The years you have given
to study in preparing yourself for the active duties of life, has been time
And now after these
years of study, you are better prepared to take a place in the great army of
the worlds workers.
I take it for granted,
that in this busy world of ours, there is no place for drones. It is the
active stirring young man, or woman, who in the conscientious discharge
of duty, uses the strength and talents, granted to them, who are the truly
successful ones, and the other things being equal, the one who is armed and equipped
with a good education, is more likely to succeed, than the one who lacks the
aid which comes from books and study.
Being the first one to
complete the regular course of study, from our schools, we will ever have a
special interest in you. Being assured that the years you have spent in
the school room has been and will continue to be, for your good, and that you
will be prepared to help others along life's rugged path.
With the wish that you
may be prospered in all of your undertakings, and with the assurance of our
interest in your welfare, we present you this Diploma.
William V. Torner,
the son of Hugo Torner, has the original, handwritten speech.
Nora was the daughter of Thomas
Ferguson, who was born in 1834, and his first wife, Margaret M Gregory.
Thomas had a twin
brother who died in infancy.
Thomas was the son of
James Ferguson, born on July 24, 1810, in Newport Ohio, and Elizabeth ( Betsy)
James Ferguson was the
son of Thomas Ferguson and Grace Holdren
Thomas Ferguson first
came to Newport in about 1801.
In 1940, Nora was living
in Huntington Park, California.