It’s been a mere 65 years since the Class of 1949 walked during graduation ceremonies at the old Water Valley High School auditorium. One of the seniors, Mildred Mayo “Mim” Carpenter, wrote biographies about herself and her fellow senior class members for the Herald. We don’t have space to run them all, but here is a selection of her bios:
Eva Frances Brooks – nicknamed “Evil” – was one of the class members who could be depended on to do her part. She was editor-in-chief of the Yellow Jacket, had a part in the senior play and was make-up editor of the Valley Views. She was leaning slightly toward further schooling in business.
Betty Jo Evans – nicknamed “Sis” – had only been with the class for a year, but had made her presence known as feature editor of the Yellow Jacket, took part in the senior play and was in the Who’s Who. She planned on attending Ole Miss and was considering a major in nutrition.
Betty Ruth Spurgeon – nicknamed “Lucy” – was one of the working girls of the class (in school and out), according to Mim. She worked at the picture show, but still had time for school functions. She was in the beauty section of the Valley Views yearbook, the Who’s Who and had a staring role in the senior play. She represented WV in the Miss Mississippi pageant.
Dorothy Ruth Tayor – nicknamed “Boss” – was known for her busyness because she never seemed to have a dull minute and everywhere she went, she ran. She served as fashion editor of the Yellow Jacket and was editor-in-chief of the Valley Views. During her junior year she was Annual Queen. She was Salutatorian of the class and planned a career as a housewife.
Charles Alvin Holloway – nicknamed “Jocko” – had been with the class from the beginning. He was manager of the football team and played during his sophomore year. He helped make it possible to have a senior play by planning the enlarging of the stage and doing his share of the work.
Don William Moore – nicknamed “Bill” – was always the brains of the class and was selected as Valedictorian. He showed an interest in all athletics with a partiality to tennis. He typed for Valley Views and the Yellow Jacket and was in the senior play.
David Jackson Jones – nicknamed “Wimpy” – had been with the class for three years. He was a well-liked member of the class and played tackle on the football team. He planned on doing carpenter work for the summer and might make it permanent.
Ben Francis Horan – Ben had gotten just about every honor a boy could get in high school, Mim wrote. He was Mr. WVHS, King of the Valley Views, captain of the football team and played multiple sports. He planned to enter Ole Miss and take a course in law.
Billy Bryce Williamson – had been with the class all through high school and though little was seen of him during school hours, you usually saw quite a bit of him after school hours. He planned to attend Mississippi State College.
Hubert H. Sanders – had worked tirelessly for the last year on the Yellow Jacket as art editor and had done some splendid work. He was considering Ole Miss where he would study pharmacy.
Mildred Mayo Carpenter – nicknamed “Mim” and “Ugly” – seemed to be a very popular girl with the students and teachers. She had only been with the class for two-and-a-half years, but was president of the junior class, president of the “W” club for two years, president of the band, president of the Y-Teens, sports editor of the Yellow Jacket and Valley Views, elected football queen and selected as Miss WVHS. She planned to attend Millsaps College and major in religious education.
• 5 years ago, May 14, 2009 – Former WVHS Band Director Stanley Crow was the first recipient of the Water Valley Arts Council Ed Shearer Memorial Award for Artistic Achievement.
Youngsters were pictured riding the Fiddlin’ Rooster Farm cow train during the Main Street Market Festival downtown over the past weekend. Dainty little Kenley Pullen, 10-month-old daughter of Scarlett and Chris Pullen, won the baby crawl.
Winfred Early Logan was charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of grand larceny after he allegedly broke into the county-owned multi-purpose building at Coffeeville.
Renovations were about to be completed on the Baker Street Park, according to Mayor Bill Norris.
The WVHS Band’s Flag Squad for the coming year included Emily Rone, Holly Bounds, Shunta Mays, Jessica Cobb, Nicole Burney, Marianna Turner, Chelsey Bratton, Catherine Tollison, Katelyn Dettor and Jillian Harris.
V. V. Woodard won the State Championship in shot put, the first female to win the title in WVHS history.
• 10 years ago, May 13, 2004 – Watermelon Queen Scarlet Hart was pictured with Anna Jane Crow, 1st alternate; and Amanda Lynn Gilley, 2nd alternate. Miss Teenage was the queen’s sister Hillary. Other winners were Marlie Pannell, junior miss; Faith Abbot, miss pre-teen; Briana Thompson, little miss; Mary Claire Kimzey, petite miss; Georgia Caine, tiny miss; Trey Pullen, petite mister; and Kyle Spence, tiny mister.
Yalobusha County Clerk Daryl Burney and his staff were going over old records in an attempt to collect old court fines totaling $424,000.
Yalobusha Sheriff Steve Shuffield reported to supervisors that during his first seven months in office his department answered 2100 calls resulting in 314 cases, 60 of which were felonies including three homicides.
Julie Layne Jones was accepted into the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Relay for Life raised $31,874 for the American Cancer Society.
St. Jude Trike-a-thon riders at First Baptist Church Preschool raised $1,264.15.
• 20 years ago, May 12, 1994 – Members of the Water Valley Odyssey of the Mind Division II Team won the state finals at Mississippi University for Women. Team members included Melissa Smith, Tim Wilson, Joy Crocker, James Carr, Ashley Harris, Carter White and Natalie Flippin. Winning the “Omer” award at the finals were Kerri Darrow, Austin Gray, Shayla Burgess, Natalie Bruce, Heather River, Justin Brewer and Jessica West. Members of the “Om-Believeable Music” team were Alita Wilson, Kayla Fleming, Julie Jones, Ashlee Langdon, Cassandra Hawkins, Kelly Burns and Dawn Baker.
Dog show winners during the May Day activities downtown were “Cutest,” Jo-Jo, with owner Julie Jones; “Dog-Owner Look Alike,” Bud, with owner Mandy Mills; “Best Groomed,” Daisy, with owner Heather River; and “Best Truck,” Nikkie, with owner Lauren York. Daisy also won “Overall” category.
May Day Ice Cream Contest winners were Martha Williamson, first place for her black walnut recipe. Honorable mentions went to Vera Brower, vanilla; Betty Hart, peach; and Shirley Riley, strawberry.
• 30 years ago, May 17, 1984 – Valedictorian Melissa Edwards and Salutatorian Tracy Baggett led the class of 1984 during Commencement May 11 at the WVHS gym. Other honors went to Ora Lumas, Detra McLeod, Kenny Schmitz and Marc Jefferson. Scholarship winners included Lamar Brown, Edwards, Baggett and Marchelle Folson. And, Citizenship Awards went to Brown, Dorothy Walton, Brenda Potts and Kevin Harmon.
Snooky Williams of Everett Cock Insurance Agency was shown presenting a check for more than $2 million to Rev. Guy Reedy, pastor of First Baptist Church, in payment for the substantial loss sustained during the April 21 tornado. George Dale, Commissioner of Insurance for Mississippi, was on hand for the check passing.
Cynthia Dodge received a certificate of appreciation from the Parents’ Support Group for her volunteer work at the Elementary School Library.
Amy Carlisle was selected a finalist in the 1984 Mississippi Miss T.E.E.N. Pageant held in Jackson.
Lea Anne King was selected as chaplain for the Delta Digma Capter of Alpha Delta Pi at the University of Mississippi.
• 40 years ago, April May 16, 1974 – Eighty seniors graduated during exercises held at the WVHS gym. Delivering the Valedictory was Eddie Aune and Annie Laura Gooch delivered the Salutatory.
The Blue Devil baseball team won the honor of facing Kosciusko for the North Title by defeating Corinth.
Bonnie Gail Newman and Denise Tidwell won the Commercial Appeal Essay Contest for their essays on “How The Newspaper Has Helped Me In The Classroom.”
New playground equipment was installed at City Park by the City of Water Valley. Pictured on the new swings were Michael Carr, Eugene Woodard, Hosea Bradford and Charles Edward Butler. On the see-saws were Vanessa Phillips, Gloria Freeman, Tracey Hunt, Dahlia Rogers, Laura Mae Sayles and Ginger White.
Joe Blount was pictured with a 14-pound cabbage he grew.
Mrs. Mamie Shields and son, Derrick Earl Shields, were pictured in their caps and gowns as she graduated with a Masters in Home Economics and he graduated from Coffeeville High School.
Nancy Cook received the Crisco Award for outstanding work in home economics at WVHS.
Navy Airman Dorothy Jane Simmons Stokes graduated from recruit training for women at the Navel Training Center, Orlando, Florida.
• 50 years ago, May 14, 1964 – School was over for the year and the Class of 1964 was set to graduate Monday, May 18. Valedictorian for the class was Nancy Spears and Salutatorian was Jeannie Barron.
Harold Henderson and Gene Walker captured the District Two title in men’s doubles and Sidney Elliott took the number two spot in men’s singles.
Hugh Clegg, former assistant to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, spoke at the annual Rotary Ann Banquet here. He was currently assistant to Chancellor J. D. Williams at Ole Miss. Clegg spoke on the subject of the history of man and his quest for beauty in art, music, poetry, architecture, painting and drama.
The WVHS Band majorettes were pictured including Drum Major Eleanor Nelson, feature twirlers Bonnie Cox and Ethelyne Turnage, and Joy Ann Thompson, Grace McMinn, Marilyn Sager, Linda Winters and Pam Mathis.
Winning third place in the District Crop Judging Contest were the Senior 4-H Team from Yalobusha County Joe Avant, Bill Ross, Larry Gean, Steve Brower and their coach Associate County Agent Robert C. Wolfe.
• 60 years ago, May 13, 1954 – Mrs. Harry Fair was elected state vice-president at the Mississippi Jaycette Convention. The Water Valley Club was further honored by being selected as the best Jaycette Club in the state.
The men were doing well, too. The Water Valley Jaycees were named one of the top clubs in the state under current president Louis Riggs.
The First Methodist Bible School was about to begin under the director of Mrs. T. H. Scarbrough. Herald reporter Jack Gurner would participate for the first time as a four-year-old and he already had his milk cartons and shoeboxes ready to go.
The Water Valley baseball team won a hard fought battle with Potlocona, 5-4, Sunday afternoon at Hendricks Field.
New county school board members were Henry Perkins, Wayne Williamson, J. B. Massie, George Langston and Edwin Smith.
Mrs. Laverne Edwards and Mrs. Altha Lantrip were selected to represent C.I.O. Local No 643 at the National Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America Convention at Atlantic City, New Jersey.
• 70 years ago, May 11, 1944 – The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the life sentence of Coffeeville poolhall operator Aaron Heafner for the murder of Pvt. Jimmy Deskin of Camp McCain.
C. C. Vaughn was arrested Thursday morning on a charge of possessing whiskey by Sheriff C. B. Busby, Marshal Claude Hale and Deputy Sheriff W. B. Gore. A quantity of gin, rum and whiskey was found in the Vaughn smokehouse.
Camp Ground and Oakland were getting canning plants sponsored by the Food Production War Training Branch of the State Vocational Department. The small units would allow six families to work at the same time on canning and processing.
In a letter to the editor from James E. Oakes, seaman first class, he asked to be subscribed to the newspaper so he and Water Valley friends John Marshall Rutherford and James Russell Few, all stationed at Corpus Christi Navel Air Station, Texas, could read news from home.
• 80 years ago, May 11, 1934 – The WVHS Class of 1934 graduated with 34 members, 21 girls and 17 boys. It was called one of the largest to graduate to date. Valedictorian was Dessie Anderson and salutatorian was Pauline Courtney.
Mrs. Kate Leland, widow of Barron Leland, died at the age of 74.