115-year-old Latin document found at St. Mary's Hospital site
JEFFERSON CITY - A Latin class at Helias High School translated a 115-year-old document Friday after it was found in a time capsule. The capsule was discovered near the original cornerstone of the St. Mary's Hospital site while the old building was being demolished.
Helias Latin teacher Mark Rehagen said the document mentioned outlined some officials in Missouri in 1904.
"It talked there about Theodore Roosevelt and Governor Dockery and Mayor Porth of the day," he said.
Alexander Dockery was Missouri's governor in 1904 and Joseph Porth was the mayor of Jefferson City.
The document was put into a metallic box along with other things including a German newspaper, Catholic medals and ribbons.
Rehagan has been teaching Latin for several years at Helias and said he has never had an opportunity to do something like this.
"I was very honored to be asked by the Historic City of Jefferson to do this and it's a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge of Latin," he said.
With this document being translated by Rehagen and his class, he noted one specific thing about Latin.
"Being exposed to a document like this helps them realize that the Latin language is alive. It's not dead and it's not dying," Rehagen said.
According to the Modern Language Association, in 2016 1.7% of students taking a foreign language were enrolled in Latin.
Rehagen plans to finish the translation of the document with his class and make two separate translations: one with a literal translation and another that flows better for readers.
The document is one part of history, but Rehagen said his class will also be making history.
"Years from now, when these anniversaries will come up from this opening of the time capsule, they will be able to tell their kids and their grand kids that they were involved with this project," Rehagen said.
There will be a public showing of the document in Jefferson City on February 10th.