High School Studies and Life Lessons
Mary’s hands-on education at M&H was matched by her more formal high school studies. She attended the local public school, the Old La Salle City High School. Although not much is known about Mary as a teenager, her school notebooks suggest that she had an affinity for the natural sciences. Her extant Physiology notebook, for example, contains well organized and detailed notes on human physiology including the musculoskeletal system, digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, and the proper hygiene of these.
Meanwhile, the growth of her father’s company would have provided the context for valuable lessons about the business world. During her youth, M&H was involved in two major law-suits, one with the West Engine Company of Morristown, Pennsylvania, and the other with the Northern Illinois Coal and Iron Company. Also, there were lessons in politics to be gained as a witness to Mr. Hegeler’s run for the Illinois state senate and his defense of German-American immigrants.