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  • Writer's pictureRochelle Gridley

Ocoya School, Livingston County

Here a group photo of the children at the Ocoya School in 1939. The negative wasn't in perfect condition, but the image is a beautiful group of children with their instruments.



The teacher is Ellen Deanna and the children we are able to identify are: Frances Craddock, front row with trumpet; Barbara Graves, front row with triangle; Marjorie Graves, third from the left back row; and Lyle Smith (possibly) back row with trumpet.


Ellen Degnan was a widowed mother with two children. Her husband died in 1933 when her children were under 4 years old. A native of Chenoa, she moved her children from Hammond Indiana, where she had lived with her husband, to Bloomington. She attended ISNU and later the University of Illinois. After teaching at Ocoya, she taught at the Chenoa High School. She never remarried, but raised her children, Mary and Jack, probably with the help of her family.

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