Clayton County Spelling Bee
1926 - 1935
Beginning in 1926 eighth grade students and below representing all of the county rural and independent schools would compete in a county-wide spelling bee. The winner of the county spelling bee won the right to represent the county in the Iowa State Spelling Bee at Des Moines. In 1935 seventy-three pupils from 59 rural and 14 independent schools in the county competed in both a written and a oral contest at Elkader.
In the 1935 written examination Charlotte Hunter won having spelled 180 words correctly. Harrison Wold, of District No. 6, Wagner township, was runner-up, missing only the word "repellent" of the 180 words written. Amy Christianson, of District No. 3, also of Wagner township, finished third.
In the oral examination the battle was between Dorothy Hatch of Edgewood and Charlotte Hunter. Dorothy won the oral contest with Charlotte as runner-up. Charlotte went down on the word "Cretonne," which Dorothy then spelled and, according to the rules, she spelled the next word also, which was "scholastic."
Since Charlotte Hunter won the written contest and Dorothy Hatch won the oral contest, it was necessary to pit one against the other to determine the county champion. "Pernicious" was the word which tripped Dorothy and won the contest for Charlotte. In the ten contests held in the county since the bees were started in 1926 this was the first time that it became necessary to use the "stump" list of words to determine the county winner.
The Clayton County spelling bee winners from 1926 to 1935:
1926 - Elizabeth Myers, McGregor
1927 - Frances Erb, Luana
1928 - Edward Fitzpatrick, Elkader
1929 - Veta Allard, McGregor
1930 - Dorothy Dettman, Garnavillo
1931 - Florence Clawson, Cass Township
1932 - Donald Dix, Buena Vista Township
1933 - Neil O'Brien, Sperry Township
1934 - Richard Hoverter, Littleport
1935 - Charlotte Hunter, Littleport
~source: Clayton County Register, extracted from articles in the Thur., 4 Apr. 1935 and 11 Apr. 1935 editions
~contributed by Reid R. Johnson
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