“The Magpie” was Milroy High School's first newspaper. Volume one was published Monday, Sept. 29, 1919 and provided as an “introduction” to the school's newest venture. Elvis Mckee was editor and Lowell Innis was associate editor for the bi-monthly newspaper.
The front page of volume one delved into the details of how the school paper received its name.
“It was a difficult matter to find a name suitable for the paper but finally a contest was held, and each student was allowed to submit a name,” the front-page article read. “The best name contributed was to be the name of the paper and this was “The Magpie.”
The article went on to explain the excitement the students had for their paper and their plans to take full responsibility for all news in The Magpie, saying, “The students of M.H.S. are to furnish all of the news for The Magpie and the staff is also made up of students from the different classes.”
Like many other newspapers from the era, The Magpie had a few statements at the top of the paper promoting what readers could expect within its pages and included “Rapidly Growing School Guarantees Success of New Publication, 'The Magpie.'” The other statement was much more simple and was “ALL NEWS AND SOME GOSSIP."
So, why “The Magpie?” It was named after the world's first publication of Paul Seright. Volume one also provided this insight with a notice to the faculty of Milroy High School:
“I believe that 'The High School Magpie' would be an appropriate title for our paper, because 'The Magpie' was the name given to the first newspaper in the world; this also our first paper. The Magpie is a black and white bird; our paper will be printed on white paper with black ink. The Magpie is said to be roving and mischievous; likewise, our paper will be over the state, and have some fun and frolic in it. The Magpie is also said to be a chatterer, and the definition of chatterer is – One that tells all the news and gossip; our paper will tell all of the High School news and part of the gossip;…”
One section titled “School Calendar” would leave one to assume the calendar would highlight September events for the 1919-20 school year at Milroy High School. To an extent, it did, but this school calendar was unique and provided much more than just events in the daily recaps. - - Students did not go back to school until Sept. 1, which was Labor Day, and school was only in session for a half day before students were released at noon.
Sept. 2 brought embarrassment for an unnamed senior who fell out of his chair and several other pupils “sunburn their tonsil watching an aeroplane.”
Sept. 4 - McCullough and Richey make a flying trip to Arlington.
Sept. 5 - Lowell and Elvas and Clarence Farlow attend the State Fair.
Sept. 10 - Several of the boys were off tune in music and Miss Robins declared she didn't know what happened to Clarence Farlow's vocal chords.
Sept. 11 – Ivan the Terrible, introduced to Junior History Class.
Sept. 12 – Rev. Cady talks at chapel period on “Democracy.”
Sept. 13 – Two new students started, Alta and Ruth Hanshew.
Sept. 14 – “Yesterday was Monday, so none had their lessons and some of the teachers almost had hysterics. C.C. Richey is completely exasperated with the 8th Grade Grammar class.”
Sept. 15 – “McCullough and Vigent Swain give us a glad surprise by getting their annual hair-cut”
“Lowell,” who was mentioned in the school calendar for attending the State Fair on Sept. 5, was a senior at MHS that school year and was not just assistant editor of the “Magpie” but quite an athlete as well. Innis was a member of the Milroy High School wrestling team who won the state tourney the 1919-20 school year, and the MHS basketball team who competed in the semi-state basketball championship the same year.
It is also no surprise Innis attended the State Fair. After graduating from high school, Innis studied at Purdue and Illinois universities and was a member of the Farmhouse Fraternity before becoming a Milroy farmer and breeder of Aberdeen Angus Cattle.