|Q: The mascot for this Kansas high school comes from a short story written by Edgar Allen Poe in 1843. What’s the name of the Kansas community where the high school mascot is “The Goldbug?”
Fowler High School's mascot is the Goldbug.
There are three schools in the United States that have a Goldbug as their mascot. They are Fowler, Kan.; Alva, Okla.; and McKinley High School in St. Louis, Mo. The school in Missouri took its name from the Republican National Convention, which was held in St. Louis in 1896, when William McKinley was nominated for President on the gold-standard platform. Members who were campaigning for McKinley were called “Goldbugs.” The McKinley Goldbug is an odd-looking hybrid character that has both bug and human characteristics with books trailing behind it. The Alva Goldbug is like Fowler’s original Goldbug mascot, a beetle.
The first graduating class in Fowler had two students in 1912. In 1934, there was a contest to come up with a mascot for Fowler and the winner of the contest was Fern Barger with the “Goldbug.” Virgil Hill, class of 1935, came up with the design of the mascot which was a beetle. The idea was taken from the 1843 short story by Edgar Allan Poe entitled “The Goldbug.”
The first picture of the beetle Goldbug is on the cover of the school’s 1941 yearbook. This beetle lasted from 1934 to 1955. In 1956, the Goldbug was changed from the beetle to the mascot now in use at Fowler High School. The design was made by Vivian Fleming, wife of then superintendent W.C. Fleming.
Special thanks to USD 225 Counselor Laurie Devine (a Fowler Goldbug grad!) for information and help with this week’s question.