Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1st Scripps National Spelling Bee

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Date  June 17, 1925
Age  11
Sponsor  The Courier-Journal
Winner  Frank Neuhauser
Residence  Kentucky
1st Scripps National Spelling Bee
Location  National Museum, Washington, D.C.

The 1st National Spelling Bee was held in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1925, sponsored by the Louisville Courier-Journal. Scripps-Howard would not sponsor the Bee until 1941.


Nine finalists (six girls and three boys) competed in Washington, where they met President Calvin Coolidge before the competition. After a 90-minute competition, the winner was 11-year-old Frank Neuhauser of Kentucky who correctly spelled gladiolus, a flower he had raised as a boy. He won $500 in gold pieces for placing first, and Louisville held a parade in his honor.

Coming in second place was 11-year old Edna Stover of Trenton, New Jersey, winning $250, who spelled gladiolus with a "y" instead of an "i". Third place went to 12-year old Helen Fischer of Akron Ohio ($150) who missed "moribund", and fourth prize went to 13-year old Mary Daniel of Hartford, Connecticut ($100) who missed "valuing".

The first to fall in the competition of nine was Almeda Pennington on "skittish" (9th place), followed by Mary Coddens ("cosmos") (8th place), Loren Mackey ("propeller") (7th place), Patrick Kelly ("blackguard") (6th place), and Dorothy Karrick ("statistician") (5th place).

The nine contestants in the first bee were: Dorothy Katrick (Detroit), Helen Fischer (Akron, Ohio), Edna Stover (Trenton, New Jersey), Patrick Keily (New Haven, Connecticut), Lorin Mackey (Oklahoma), Frank Neuhauser (Kentucky), Alemda Pennington (Houston, Texas), Mary Daniel (Hartford, Connecticut), and Mary Coddens (South Bend, Indiana).


1st Scripps National Spelling Bee Wikipedia

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