Blog post by Randi Richardson
Bloomington’s “new” high school, the one at Second and Walnut, was dedicated in late 1914. By 1928, the school had a new song, “The Bloomington High School Song.” It was sung to the tune of the Washington and Lee Swing.
The composer of the song was Mary Steen, the daughter of John E. and Estella Steen. Mary lived with her parents at 728 E. Third in Bloomington and attended classes at BHS. Her senior picture appears in the 1928 Gothic. She is noted there as a member of the Blue Triangle Club, orchestra and Optimist staff. The song must have been written sometime before Mary’s senior year as it was copyrighted by her in 1927.
After finishing high school, Mary enrolled at Indiana University where she obtained a B. A. in music in 1933. The next year she married Ernest Arthur Rea and the couple moved to Evansville where they had two children, Tim and John Michael.
Mary died in Evansville in 1984; her husband passed away a few years earlier. Both are buried in the Park Lawn Cemetery and Mausoleum.