Autograph Album of Wilfred Maro Wharfield

by Laurel | April 3rd, 2014

03 April 2014

Autograph Book

Autograph Book
Courtesy Heirlooms Reunited

Thanks to John Tew, a former resident of Holyoke, for alerting me to the Heirlooms Reunited Blog. Just last Sunday a fascinating post was published entitled “1877-1881 Autograph Album of Wilfred Maro Wharfield, while student at Holyoke High School, Holyoke Massachusets.”

In the autograph book are signatures of Wharfield’s classmates, friends and family. The post is well worth looking at because the author has clearly completed a fair amount of research on the people who have signed the autograph book.  The post offers both a list of surnames and a more detailed list of complete names, date of signature and other interesting bits of information.

Chow Wan Pang

Chow Wan Pang
Holyoke High Class of 1881
Courtesy Chinese Educational Mission Connections

It was fascinating to learn a little more about Chinese students who were attending Holyoke High School during these years. To quote from the post:

… two of Wilfred’s classmates at Holyoke High School were natives of China brought to the United States by the Chinese Educational  Mission, whose purpose was to educate promising Chinese students in mathematics and engineering.  They were Chow Wan Pang and Kwong Ping Kwang, both of whom returned to China after their U.S. education and worked in various fields.

The Chinese Exclusion Act was signed by President Chester A. Arthur in 1882 and this may explain the students immediate return to China after graduating from Holyoke High in 1881.

Historically, a chilly reception is clearly seen in Holyoke by some of the ongoing issues between the few Chinese businessmen who had settled in Holyoke and unions, locals, etc. (there are some other blog posts here on that give examples). So, it was good to see these students did graduate from Holyoke High.

By the way, this autograph album post is full of interesting links worth following, including links to the Chinese Educational Mission where photos Pang and Kwang may be seen, and a link to some extended genealogy on the Wharfield family. This autograph book may be available for purchase — to make an inquiry about it, go to the blog site and look for instructions.

And don’t forget to visit Filiopietism Prism, the blog belonging to former Holyoker and Highland School Alumnus John D. Tew who referred this autograph book post to us. He has an eclectic array of posts with a genealogical point of view. Thanks John!

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