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New history mystery needs readers’ assistance to solve

Buzzings from BeeLines

April 4, 2012
By Marybelle Beigh - Westfield Historian ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

The Westfield Historian Office at 3 East Main Street was "hopping" with interesting new/old items and information during the week of March 19.

One of these items was a Westfield High School sports patch that was discovered in the memorabilia of Earl Brooker, who was the grandfather of Marc Brooker, who brought the patch into the historian office early in the week. Earl Brooker was a teacher at WHS during the 1930s, and his grandson is eager to learn more about the history of the sports patch and how his grandfather had come to have it.

The patch was immediately placed on the printer/scanner/photocopier to scan into the computer. Brooker shared some basic information about his grandfather, noting that Earl Brooker was born in 1912 and probably started his education in the Westfield Union School about 1917. After his graduation from Westfield High School, he attended college at Western and then returned to teach at WHS in the mid-1930s. Further research is needed to determine the specific years Earl Brooker may have been involved in the sports program at WHS, and whether/when he might have been awarded a sports letter/patch for this.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
A new history mystery stems from an old sports patch from the days of Westfield High School which appears to differ from that in worn by a WHS sports team from 1899, which shows a similar, but different, patch.

The patch appears to be hand-made and does not seem to have ever been sewed onto a sports jacket or other clothing. So far, no one who is familiar with the early Westfield High School sports patches recognizes ever seeing on like this. Research of the school photo archives at the Patterson Library found no patches that were identical to this patch. Most of the patches from the first half of the 20th century were just a large white "W" on a dark blue background. Only one photo, from 1899, showed a patch with "WHS" in white on a dark background, and the letters were not completely intertwined like the letters on the Brooker patch.

Dear Beelines' readers, if anyone has ever seen, or owns, a patch like the one shown in the accompanying photo-scan of the Brooker patch, contact the Westfield Historian as indicated at the end of this article. Thank you.

Fact Box

Marybelle Beigh is the current Public Historian for the Town and Village of Westfield. Her office is located at 3 East Main Street in Westfield, N.Y, 14787 - inside Parkview Ice Cream Parlor. Her scheduled office hours are Monday through Friday 9 to 11 a.m.; other hours by appointment.

Beigh can be reached at or by calling 326-2457 (office), 326-6171 (home) or 397-9254 (cell).



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