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While my wife and I were cleaning out our attic we came across a box that could have been easily tossed in the trash.  The treasures that were hidden in the seemingly worthless paperwork that most of us keep proved to be a gem from 1922.  In the box we found photographs of my grandmother and grandfather from the 1920’s.  My grandmother, Myria Madeline (Studer) Rice, attended the Canton Actual Business College in 1922. She subsequently went on to work as a stenographer at several well known businesses  in Canton before she married Raymond Clayton Rice and worked for the business, Rice’s Drugs, he started in 1927. 

Scanning this photograph at a high resolution, and enhancing it in Photoshop helped me to reveal the date. There are at least two calendars in the classroom of the Canton Actual Business College. One of them did not have the year, but thanks to Miss Pearl Warburton pinning up a calendar at her desk, she “told” me it was November of 1922. Going to the 1922 Canton City Directory, I found the Canton Actual Business College was located in the New Vicary Building that would become known to most as the Sears building at 424 North Market Avenue Canton, Ohio. J.J. Krider was the president of this business college, while S.E. Hedges was the vice president, and J.E. Bowman secretary, and principal.

It has always been a dream of mine to see the inside of the “Sears” building on North Market Avenue because my Dad worked there in the 1950’s dressing the displays in the windows on Market Avenue. After contacting several people I found out Canton City Treasurer, Kim Perez and his team are located where I think the Canton Actual Business College was located. Counting the windows in the photograph and using Google Maps I surmised the college was on the fourth floor in the back of the Sears Building. My Grandma Rice is sitting at her desk along with ten other students attending the college.

Thank you to Canton City Treasurer, Kim Perez and his team for their time in allowing me to visit this special place in Canton, and the chance to photograph a part of the space where the business college once conducted classes. 

Mark G. Holland


McKinley Presidential Library & Museum