Commemorative Medal awarded to Janet Dancey
In 1925, the Elks Lodge sponsored a nationwide essay writing contest to support the restoration of the USS Constitution. Julia Kochevar won the state prize for Colorado, and went on to win the national prize. Hundreds of miles away, Janet Dancey won the state competition in Wisconsin and was awarded this medal, which is nearly identical to the one awarded to Kochevar, distinguished only by the recipient’s name engraved on the reverse. Part of the original velvet-lined paper box that holds the medal also survives.
Dancey wrote the essay when she was about 12 years old. At that time, she was an 8th grader at the Hadfield School in her hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Her award winning essay is now lost, but her medal remains a testament to her writing. Dancey went on to attend Carroll College, where she met her husband, John Berger. Together, Janet and John had three children, Barbara, Margaret, and Laura.