Missouri high school ring returned after almost 60 years

Two historical surveyors returned a high school class ring to its owner nearly 60 years after it went missing in a southwestern Missouri cave.

Jackalyn and Chadwick Oldham uncovered the 1960 Osage High School class ring at the Smallin Civil War Cave last year, the Springfield News-Leader reported . The couple first informed the cave's owners, Kevin and Wanetta Bright, and then contacted the Osage Beach school's alumni network in search of the ring's owner.

"After so many tries — phone calls, emails — we posted it on the Osage High School alumni page," Jackalyn Oldham said. "I asked the administrator for help getting the word out."

Peggy McLaughlin Foraker of Trophy Club, Texas, contacted the Oldhams a few days later, sharing how losing the old class ring influenced her future.

Foraker was 19 when she lost the ring on a field trip to the historic Ozark cave. She remembered that there was no light or walkways at the cave like there are today. Foraker's class ring slipped from her finger about 200 feet into the cave, she said. Foraker and her classmates searched the cave's streambed, but the ring was never recovered.

Foraker later talked about her loss to her then-boyfriend, Gene Grounds, according to Wanetta Bright's recounting of the story.

Grounds decided to replace it with something else: an engagement ring. The couple married and had two children.

Foraker told Bright that the ring brought back fond memories.


Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com