Purse Found From 1954 During School Demolition Reveals Love Story

Things can often have a funny way of finding their way back to us. This incredible story of a purse that was discovered when a high school was demolished is just that kind of tale. The purse was dated back to 1954 but while the find itself is remarkable, it is the contents of the purse that truly matters here. The items found inside the purse would help to tell the story of the young woman who owned it, but would also reveal a specific turn of events for her. The high school that it was found in was located in Jeffersonville, Indiana. High school days are some of the best days of our lives, according to a survey done by The Guardian. High school reunions are fun and exciting events and catching up in the halls, where so much teen drama occurred, is a special kind of twilight zone. Imagine finding something from so long ago, with pieces of the person’s life inside.

Story within a story

A woman named Ann, from Georgia, once found a class ring in an old dresser drawer but strangely, she did not recognize the ring as it was from a school over 1,000 miles away.

However, Ann wanted to return the ring to its rightful owner and so she did some digging and reached out to the old high school superintendent.

Return of the ring

The superintendent looked at the ring and saw that it was from 1959 and belonged to someone with the initials C.S. He then proceeded to go through the high school’s old records to see which male student possessed those initials. After a brief search, he came across Coy Sullivan, a man who had lost his class ring back in 1960.

The superintendent found Sullivan and told him that his ring had been remarkably recovered. The ring was left in a jacket that was put in dry cleaning and forgotten about, finding its way to the dresser of the dry cleaner owner.

High school demo

Sullivan’s story is sweet, yet the tale of the purse is somehow far more intriguing. Bringing us back to Indiana, the Clark County Schools has 20 educational facilities across the state. As such, on the agenda was the demolition of Jeffersonville High School as it was and it would be rebuilt with a new state of the art building.

The high school has been shut down since 1971 as students were redirected to another space in a different part of the city. It was time for the high school to get a facelift, little did the construction crew know that they were about to find something epic.

High school history

Jeffersonville High School opened its doors back in 1913 and was at the forefront of many historical changes. In the 1940s, the school saw the integration of students from African-American heritage – a feat in American history. The building that held all of this history was being torn down in the most respectful way it could be, which was a relatively gentle process; gentle enough to find artifacts in old science classrooms.

What the crew was to find would halt the demolition for a few hours as it was so precious that it surprised the men to silence.

The find

So what did the crew find? As they were tearing down a old cabinetry in a science classroom, they found a small black purse that contained personal items and papers from 1954! This was just the beginning of a story that would throw everyone through a loop. The demolition of the school began in January of 2019, so the contents of this purse have been sitting there for 65 years.

This forgotten item must have been missed by the young woman who lost it, so the next order of business was going through the purse to find its owner.


The contents of the purse really showed the searching party who the young woman was. Inside, they found lipstick, a stick of gum, a pin, old tissue with coral lipstick on it, a compact, card with an old bus schedule on it, and the Jefferson High School basketball team list for the year 1953-54.

While they know a little more about the young woman, what truly interested the crew was the letters that were found inside the purse as well.


The first letter that they read was addressed to a girl named Marty and seemed to be a sweet note asking her to her prom. The letter was signed by a guy named Torchy, asking Marty if she was going to prom with a guy named Paul, as he had heard that.

He wanted to put his name in the running for prom dates. The hand-written letter was such a sweet find; now to figure out who Marty is.