Originally named Wells School because it was located on Wells Street in Rosemead, California. Mrs. Emma W. Shuey became its first principal in 1953 and when she retired in 1968, the school was named after her, and became Emma W. Shuey Elementary School.

Wells School 1963

The elemetary school went from K to 6th grade, although in some years, it did not have a 6th grade. The school provided the 5th/6th grade class photos from 1953–1968, but they did not identify the students. So on my own, I am attempting to identify all the students.

My name is Henry Sakaida and I was a local boy growing up in Rosemead. My parents operated a small wholesale nursery off of Mission Drive between Halkett Avenue and Walnut Grove. It was on the grounds of the old Richardson Ranch very close to the school. I attended grades 1st through 6th (1959 – 1965) and was blessed with a superb memory of my childhood. Wells School was a big part of my life back then.

My quest to research and post the story of Emma W. Shuey and Wells School came about when I happened to read Mrs. Shuey’s obituary in the Orange County Register in July 1988. I was running the family business when a  customer had dropped into my nursery office in Rosemead and forgot his newspaper on my desk. Had he not done so, this website would not exist.

In 2012, on a lark, I googled “Emma Shuey” and all I found was information about the school, not the person herself! “How could they name a school after her, and not have any biographical information about her online?” I wondered. It just didn’t seem right.  Being a published historian, I decided to do something about it: I decided to find out all I could about Emma Weaver Shuey and put it online. Researching and writing about history is second nature to me.

The people who were most helpful with my research were the relatives of Mrs. Shuey: Sharon Beardsley (niece), her daughter Suzanne Pritchard (grandniece), and Doug Enck (nephew). They contributed family photos and personal recollections of Emma to share with you. Justin Taylan of New York, a close friend, helped to set up this website. Suzanne Maynard Iannone, a former student from Wells School, is acting as my advisor; she too is a Wells School historian. We worked together on the Rosemead High School Yearbook Staff  in 1969.

Debbie Raheb, one of the teachers at the school, was extremely helpful in providing many photographs here, as well as the names of the students in the class photos. Former students were also very helpful in providing names of classmates. We were also supported by the principal, Jan Brydle, as well as Dr. Amy Enomoto-Perez, Superintendent of the Rosemead School District.

Our goal is to preserve what we former students know about our school before it is lost, and more importantly, to have former classmates read and look at these photos and say, “Hey, that’s my photo! And there’s Judy and Sandy! Oh! I remember that!” Bringing back fond memories and a smile, is the purpose of this website. This site will always be a work in progress, and I urge you to share your photos and your recollections for all to enjoy!

– Henry Sakaida