Editor’s note: This is another column in Bill Boyd’s new series, “The Way It Was,” about growing up in Marysville. Bill continues to work with the Union County Historical Society to obtain information for his stories. With Marysville and Union County celebrating Bicentennial anniversaries in 2019 and 2020, respectively, these articles help depict what life was like in those early years.
During the late 1930s, when I was in the third or fourth grade, our teacher would occasionally march our whole class over to the high school building. We would go to the auditorium for special programs, maybe for Easter or Christmas.
We did the same thing for a few other special performances, like the piano player who came to the school to put on a concert. Another time was when a magician named “The Great Blackstone” performed for all us kids. That was the first magic show I ever saw. He was great. At the end of the show, he made a pony disappear, right before our eyes.
But one of those special days I remember most, was when we saw some kind of “talent show” that was made up of kids in the Marysville schools. Most of the performers were older boys and girls, but a few weren’t much older than I was.
There were all kinds of performers, but mostly piano players. There was also a girl, I think her name was Avery, who played a violin. She wasn’t much older than I was, but she was a pretty good violin player. Then there were a couple ballerinas who did a little toe dancing, plus a high school boy who played a saxophone, and two or three singers.
But my favorite performer was a girl named Beula Butler. She was a tap dancer, the first tap dancer I had ever seen. Those steel taps on the heels and toes of her shoes were tapping out rhythms, one after another. I had never before seen anything like it. I think that girl was born to tap dance.
I beleve that was the last time I saw Beulah Butler. I don’t know what happened to her, but a few months ago, Beula’s name popped up again in my life. I was doing a little research on Marysville athletic teams and I wondered how Marysville’s teams became the “Monarchs.” I thought I remembered some kind of contest, but I couldn’t remember when it was, or who won it. I got an assist from Bob Parrott at the Union County Historical Society and I’d like to tell you what I found.
He told me that in 1941, the Union County Journal, a bi-weekly newspaper published in Marysville, sponsored a contest to come up with a name for MHS Athletic teams, kind of a “mascot” name, if you will.
They received a lot of entries, and the winner was the name “Monarchs.” It was submitted by Beula Butler. She was a senior in high school at that time. When she was asked how she came up with that name for Marysville’s teams, she said it was because Marysville was the “ruler in athletics.”
I always liked the name for a different reason, one that is far less cerebral. I just like the alliteration in team names. You know, teams life the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Boston Braves, the Tennessee Titans and the Cleveland Cavaliers. I think the “Marysville Monarchs” fits right in with team names like that.
Beula’s name choice must have been a pretty good one, for it has lasted for 80 years or so. I think it would be nice to give her a little recognition, maybe a little blurb in one of the football programs.
But, I will always hold Beula in high esteem for a different reason. I mean, that girl could really tap dance. I wish you could have seen her.
Those wishing to contact Bill Boyd can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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