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Hamler Class of '34 graduate shares memories

HAMLER — A Hamler High School graduate and teacher recently shared memories of time’s past at this weekend’s Hamler Alumni Banquet.

Chris Brubaker, a member of the Hamler Alumni Committee, said Elizabeth (Ide) Schlotterbeck is believed to be the only living member of the Class of 1934, who received their diplomas 85 years ago.

Schlotterbeck, who is 102 years old, currently lives in the State of Florida, but Brubaker said Schlotterbeck’s daughter and son-in-law recently recorded an interview with her about her time in Hamler and her husband, Paul, and the video was played at Saturday’s banquet, which had approximately 150 people in attendance.

“There were a lot of people that remembered her,” Brubaker said.

Schlotterbeck attended Bowling Green State University after graduating high school and returned with her degree to teach in a one-room schoolhouse at Porcupine District 1 in Marion Township. There were seven one-room schoolhouses in Marion Township at that time.

In the video, Schlotterbeck recalled some names of her classmates and friends, how the school had outdoor plumbing and learning crafts through 4-H and sewing from her mother. Schlotterbeck has two living siblings, Paul and Ruthie, and five late brothers, William, Henry, Julius, Carl and Martin.

Schlotterbeck’s father purchased a car for her to travel to work at the school and she learned to drive in one week.

“The car wasn’t bought until then, I had to do it that quickly,” Schlotterbeck said of learning to drive by herself. “I never had any problems.”

Brubaker added her father-in-law, Joe Brubaker, was among those students who used to go to school early in the morning to start the fire to warm the schoolhouse and continue to tend to the fire throughout the day.

“Joe would also talk about it with us, too,” Brubaker said.

Schlotterbeck met her future husband, Paul, while teaching at the school.

Held last weekend, the banquet also continued the tradition of awarding the centerpiece to the oldest attendee. This year, that was Margaret (Lieb) Gerken, Class of 1943. Also celebrating a milestone was the Class of 1969, who graduated 50 years ago and was the last class to graduate from Hamler High School.

Brubaker said the current committee members, who have organized the event for the past 11 years, previously announced this would be the last event it organized and it was believed this year could be the last banquet as no one had expressed interest in assuming the duties. However, Brubaker said members of the Class of 1967 have agreed to assume the duties moving forward.

Online: To view the full video of Schlotterbeck’s interview, visit

German firefighters rescue squirrel stuck in manhole cover

BERLIN (AP) — Firefighters, police and a veterinary clinic combined forces to rescue a red squirrel that had gotten its tiny head stuck in a manhole cover in the western German city of Dortmund.

Dortmund’s fire department said Friday they responded Thursday morning to a call about the rodent in peril on a street next to a downtown park.

When rescuers arrived, they spotted the tufted-eared squirrel’s head poking out of a hole in the cover. Initial attempts to free the animal were unsuccessful, so the entire manhole cover was removed and taken to a nearby veterinary clinic, while police were called in to guard the open sewer.

Vets used anesthetic to calm the squirrel and then freed the animal. It was treated for superficial neck wounds and is expected to soon be released back into the wild.