Discovering Stored Treasures

Discovering Genealogy, One Ancestor at a Time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fun Yearbook Finds!

Monday's yearbook post was such a hit, especially amongst the Bloomfields, whom very much enjoyed Ben Bloomfield's yearbook photo. As a treat, and in honor of the Super Bowl, I thought I would follow up with some more fun yearbook finds.

 After reading Monday's post, Joe Bloomfiled's daughter, astutely pointed out that her father was probably the "notorious brother Mulligan" mentioned in Ben's description from the yearbook photo (see Monday's post: The Hidden Gems of Yearbooks). I originally thought the comment was in reference to a fraternity brother but decided her hunch made more sense. Mulligan was probably not a surname, but a nickname "second chance" or "second Bloomfield brother". Sure enough, we were both correct. Here they are, Joe and Ben Bloomfield, seated with their Tau Gamma Phi brothers:
Ben (bottom row, far right)  and Joe Bloomfield (bottom row next to Ben)
Tau Gamma Phi 1925. (Click to enlarge)
The brothers must have been amongst this Jewish Fraternity's founding members as in the next page of the yearbook (not shown here) it states that Tau Gamma Phi was founded in 1922. I'm not sure what happened to Tau Gamma Phi, but by 1926 there is no chapter at the university. Perhaps it was renamed Phi Alpha. Though no longer active, Phi Alpha, founded in 1914 at George Washington, was amongst the wave of Greek Letter Jewish Fraternities born in the early 20th century as a response to the closed nature of the already established Greek societies. Jews, less than four percent of the general population, were over represented on college campuses. Highly motivated Russian immigrants (like the Bloomfields) made up the bulk of this group of students, fast approaching ten percent of college students nationwide. Like other minority groups such as Blacks and Asians, Jews by and large found themselves excluded from the Greek Letter system. The solution for all these minority groups was to create their own fraternities. (For more on the history of early Jewish fraternities see: Going Greek: Jewish College Fraternities in the United States, 1895-1945 By Marianne Rachel Sanua).

His senior year, Joe—seated front and center—held the prominent position of President of Phi Alpha. As such, he represented Phi Alpha in the inter-fraternity council known a the Casque and Casket (front and left).

Aside from the fraternity, Joseph and Benjamin pursued different interest. Joseph studied liberal arts and majored in history. Ben studied electrical engineering. 

Joseph J Bloomfield, Senior, Class of 1926  (listing from the 1927 University of New Hampshire Yearbook)
Joe was listed as Bloomfield under the seniors of the Glee Club
 in the 1927 yearbook. There were no other Bloomfields in the senior
class (I checked).
Ben was the musician in the family, but Joe must have had some musical talents as well. He was listed as a member of the Men's Glee club. 

Between the fraternity, glee, football, boxing and the R.O.T.C, it's remarkable he found time to study. The yearbook actually had a fascinating history of the R.O.T.C program on campus were Joe served as Lieutenant and Captain, and I assume was the way he sponsored his studies. Clearly, he was passionate about sports and since I promised, in honor of the Super Bowl, here is a photo of University of New Hampshire's Varsity Football Team from 1925. If you enlarge the photo, you'll spot Joe Bloomfield, third from the left, on the bottom row. 

Scenes from University of
NH Football Games
1927 yearbook.
As an extra bonus, I've added another page with photos from a few games. I hope you'll enjoy seeing the old uniforms and the mud as much as I did. 

Joseph's athletics activities in the University of New Hampshire, served him well. When he graduated, he worked as teacher-athletic coach at Houlton High School, in Houlton Maine. He continued to teach physical education as well as science and eventually was named assistant principal at the Junior High School in Carson, RI, where he settled with his family. 

I invite his children, whom I know are reading this post, to add stories about their father in the comment section of this blog!


  1. The yearbook yielded a lot of great pictures and information. That is so great. Loved your story.


    1. Sure did! A bit lucky I guess! Thanks for dropping by and for your comment!


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