New piece of Mayo’s history discovered at Rochester school
A discovery at a Rochester school turned up a grade book from the 1800s and one of the students in it went on to do great things in the field of medicine.
“It’s been a lot of fun to take a look at some of what’s here from this history,” said Kent Pekel, Rochester Public Schools Superintendent.
Rochester Public Schools Superintendent Kent Pekel says they found a grade book that included Charles H. Mayo as a 16-year-old student in 1881. Charles H. Mayo is a co-founder of Mayo Clinic.
“There was this sense of care that was taken in the printing,” Pekel said.
It’s been tucked away in a closet at John Marshall High School, but because the school is undergoing renovations, they moved some things around.
“There was kind of a highly secure closet,” Pekel said. “We had to clear it out because we’re ripping the school apart.”
Inside that closet, Pekel says they found a 1950s guide to sportsmanship, and two grade books, one from the early 1900s and the other from the late 1800s.
“I got to thinking that would’ve been when one or both of the Mayo brothers who went on to found Mayo Clinic would have been teenagers in Rochester Public Schools,” Pekel said.
“He was a regular guy going to school”Matthew Dacy, Director of Heritage Hall
Charles H. Mayo’s classes at Rochester High School included Introductory Latin Book, Physical Geography, and Latin Reader, earning pluses in each course.
“He was a regular guy going to school,” said Matthew Dacy, Director of Heritage Hall, Mayo Clinic’s Museum. “It takes you back to the time when the Mayos were growing up just moving from childhood into young adulthood. By this time, Charley was, I’m sure, very focused on medicine.”
Matthew Dacy is the Director of Heritage Hall, Mayo Clinic’s museum and he says Charles and his brother William followed in their dad’s footsteps in medicine, eventually opening Mayo Clinic.
“This is an amazing discovery and it shows there are treasures still out there to be found,” Dacy said.
All those years later, Charles and his brother are still changing lives around the world every day.
“The teachers in the 1880s at Rochester High School who were teaching Charles H. Mayo were helping to give birth to a medical revolution that actually changed the world, in a 16-year-old,” Pekel said.
Today, Mayo Clinic serves more than 1.3 million people every year in 140 countries. Sometimes all it takes is a piece of history to remind us of our potential.
“We have kids, I have no doubt, in Rochester Public Schools today that are going to change the world,” Pekel said.