School Finds Former Student's Purse from 1954 with Prom Invite Inside — and Reunites Them!
Martha Ina Ingham lost her handbag at Jeffersonville High School in 1954. Now, some 65 years later, she’s finally getting it back.
A spokeswoman for Greater Clark County Schools, Erin Bojorquez, said the purse was found in a cabinet in the old high school last week as construction workers demolished a portion of the property to prepare to build a new school. Bojorquez notes that “the old” Jeffersonville High School closed in 1971.
“Martha Ina Ingham’s handbag from 1954 has been found in the Franklin Square demolition,” officials wrote in a Facebook post alongside a photo of the purse on Feb. 7. “We would love to return it to her or her family!”
Construction crews were removing cabinets in a science classroom in the Franklin Court building in January when they came across the purse, according to the News and Tribune.
Inside was a Jeffersonville High School basketball schedule, lipstick, ID cards and a letter asking Ingham to prom.
The invite reads in part: “I’ve heard that Paul has asked you to go to the prom with him — if he hasn’t I would like very much to take you.”
School officials enlisted the help of social media to find the former student. Just two days after the initial post, they shared an old photo of Ingham along with a victorious update: “Martha Ina Ingham has been found!”
“Jeffersonville is a small city in Indiana, so I posted the photograph on our social media sites thinking she would still reside locally or have family still in the area. I’m thankful for the power of social media and for everyone that shared our post as it led me to connect with Marty’s son,” Bojorquez tells PEOPLE.
“I’m thrilled that I was able to locate Marty. I hope this little piece of history brings back fond memories of her years at Jeffersonville High School. The purse was mailed to her yesterday.”
Bojorquez says the purse was mailed yesterday to Ingham, who is now in her early 80s.
“We hope to answer the community’s question, and now the nation’s question, soon about who took Marty to prom,” she tells PEOPLE.