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First Salem Community High School Academic Foundation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

by Geff Purcell

The Salem Community High School Academic Foundation held its first Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the SCHS cafeteria on Saturday May 15, 2004.

The honorees were selected by the Academic Foundation committee based on leadership and character and by having made exceptional contributions to the honor and prestige of SCHS. Members selected in the first class of inductees included John Bachmann, Dr. Joan Barenfanger, Jim Finks, Merle Harmon, Jess Marlow, William "Bill" Seifert, and Lana Garner Porter and the entire first graduating Class of 1877.

John Bachmann, inducted by Bill Dwyer, was a senior partner in Edward D. Jones Investment Coporation. He worked his way up the corporate ladder and Dwyer stated, "Edward D. Jones has grown the way it has basically because of the vision of John Bachmann." He has received many civic appointments and awards both in St. Louis and at the national level. Bachmann was in the SCHS class of 1956.
Dr. Joan Barenfanger, inducted by Janis Somer, received a doctorate degree from Harvard University and is in research at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois. She graduated from SCHS in 1964.
Jim Finks, inducted by Greg Gruenkemeyer, had many major achievements as a pro football executive. He was president and CEO of the Chicago Bears and was named NFL executive of the year in the early 1970s and and again in the 1980s. Among his many honors, he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in 1995. He graduated from SCHS in 1945.
Merle Harmon, inducted by Kert Martin, is a nationally known sportscaster having announced play by plays for teams such as the A's, Braves', Twins, Brewers, Rangers and the New York Jets. He graduated from SCHS in 1945.
Jess Marlow, also inducted by Kert Martin, is an Emmy Award winning journalist and newscaster. He has been the recipient of almost every major broadcast award. He was asked to join the Walk of Fame in Hollywood along side Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Morrow. He stated that he felt he was in good company then and that he is in good company now being inducted into the Academic Hall of Fame. He graduated from SCHS in 1947.
William "Bill" Seifert, inducted by Steve Huddleston, worked in the aerospace industry. He worked with the Titan rockets in California and the Saturn V rocket for NASA at Cape Kennedy. He was fortunate enough to be honored as a key member of the team that assisted with the moon landing. He later left the space program and did consulting work in Europe as a strategic planner. He graduated from SCHS in 1945.
Lana Garner Porter, inducted by Diane Eller, has been the CEO of several businesses and was president and CEO of EPIXTECH, Inc., a world leader in the production of library software. She graduated from SCHS in 1961.
Class of 1877, inducted by local historian Frank Brinkerhoff, members of the class of 1877 which included: Ada and Mamie Scoville, daughters of the first superintendent of Salem High School; Alice Lackey, who became a teacher in Salem teaching for 50 years; and the two male members, who incidentally became mayors of Salem. Joseph Schwartz was a druggist and a real estate salesman. He also owned Schwartz apple orchard. Charles Hull graduated at the age of 13 and went to SIU, completing his degree in three years. Later, he owned the Sweney's building. He had the first phone service brought to the community and he was influential in getting the C & E I railroad shops to locate in Salem. He also owned the Harold-Advocate newspaper and served as a state senator.
Charles Hull
Alice Lackey
Ada Scoville
Mamie Scoville
Joseph Schwartz