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Louise (Kompart) Herron (September-October 2005)
Kianu Alumna- Class of 1930

Herron and Drake Louise Herron and Bethany Drake

On Thursday, June 2nd, I had the great pleasure of having lunch with Ms. Louise (Kompart) Herron, Kianu, class of 1930. I think it is fitting to start at the beginning of this ‘journey’ in order to understand how neat Ms. Herron's and my beginning acquaintance really is.

I was wandering around the password protected part of the site when I stumbled across the database. Wondering if there were any other Kianus that shared my zip code, I did a search. It turned up 4 people: Pam and Jamie Long, Louise Kompart Herron, and myself. All it had about Ms. Herron was her name and graduation year, so I went to our local phone book to try and find her address. There were a number of Herrons in the phone book, but luckily Ms. Herron had her name and address amongst them. I sent a letter out that same day letting her know who I was and how I found her. I told her a little bit of how the club was doing these days and asked whether she might be interested in getting together. After mailing the letter I wondered if I would ever hear from her.

Just about a week later, a letter arrived in my mail from none other than Ms. Herron. She told me that she had tried to call me but no answer. She also mentioned that getting together would “suit her quite well.” She suggested lunch at a little place here in town. She left me her number and signed off the letter “Affectionately, Louise Herron.” Of course, I called her! She sounded great in her 96 years of age and we decided that the following Thursday would be a great day to get together.

Arriving at Ms. Herron’s house I wasn’t sure what to expect. When she opened the door I thought she had to be kidding because she looked far younger than 96! We chatted a bit about everything from families to education. Originally from Bellaire, Ohio, Ms. Herron had come to Carrollton to teach and later married the man who would become superintendent of schools. Our middle school, Bell-Herron, is named after him and the man that preceded him.

Ms. Herron has quite the personality! I did ask her about her Kianu days. She became a member in the spring of 1928. She said that before becoming a Kianu, she would get invitations to parties. Well, she would either have something going on or not feel in the mood to go when these invitations would arrive. She hadn’t realized that this was how the members of the club would try to get to know the girls that they were thinking of wanting to join.

I asked Ms. Herron why she chose Muskingum College as the place to further her education. She told me that she liked that MC was a religious college and also that there was a train that she could catch that went directly there from Bellaire. Ms. Herron graduated from Muskingum with French and German majors and a History minor. She was involved in the plays at Muskingum as well. While in the Kianu Club, she served as the Social secretary her senior year. She said that she had quite a bit to do while taking on that position! All 13 members of the Kianu club lived in the house her senior year. She explained to me that the house was the next street down from the Alban house. To the best of my knowledge, the Alban house was on Montgomery, so that would mean Ms. Herron presumes that the Kianu house was on Thompson Avenue. I also asked her if she remembers any songs that they sang and she told me that she was thinking of a song that morning but at the time she couldn’t remember. Hopefully next time we get together she will remember them.

We were at lunch for over an hour and a half chatting away. Ms. Herron asked me if we still celebrate May Day. When I told her that we didn’t, she said that was too bad. She told me about how they would put the piano in the back of a truck and go to each of the men’s social clubs and serenade them. Ms. Herron was one of the four girls nominated for May Day Queen her senior year.

I was mentioning names of Charter Members and she would tell me which of the ladies were there when she was a member. She told me that she didn’t know Dorothy (Aiken) all that well but she graduated with Eleanor, her sister. Eleanor had a nickname; I believe it was “Aikey. (?)” I was trying to take in as much as I could so some our conversation is a bit fuzzy. Ms. Herron said that they were assigned to forts when she was at Muskingum. She lived off campus but said she enjoyed living in the dorms better because there were more people to get to know. She also mentioned that the dining hall food was rather good and that you were waited on when you would go for a meal. I told her that had changed a lot! Later I asked her if they had pins, rings, or lavalieres while she was a Kianu. She told me that she still has her pin (I would have loved to have seen it!). She then asked me if I wanted to see her lavaliere. I, of course, said yes and she pulled her lavaliere out away from her and asked me if I recognized it. I didn’t and she said that it was one of those things that you push when you’ve fallen and you can’t get up! She laughed and laughed and told me that she didn’t think she needed it but her daughters (she has 2) insisted so she wanted to give them peace of mind.

I had an absolutely wonderful afternoon with Ms. Herron. She is a very smart and funny lady. I suggested that we get together again and her response was that she would like that. She said, “If you’re feeling the itch, you call me. If I’m feeling the itch, I’ll call you!” Then she asked me, “How do you say goodbye in Kianu?” I said, “how about ‘see you soon in Kianu’”? That sounded pretty good to her.

Times may have changed but it is very clear to me, having met this wonderful woman, that Kianus then, now, and always will be the best ladies Muskingum has to offer. I told Ms. Herron about how the club has grown and she sat back and said, “If only Dorothy could see the club now”… I couldn’t agree with Ms. Herron more.

I know this is quite lengthy, but believe me; I tried to cut it back! I hope this makes you all smile! What a wonderful Kianu Ms. Louise (Kompart) Herron is!

Love in Kianu,
Bethany Drake '04

If you would like to nominate someone for this profile (active or alumna), please e-mail ruthcseaman(at)gmail(dot)com with your selection. Changes are made as nominations are received.

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Last Update: September 2005