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The Jamestown High School Class of 1946


Members of the Jamestown High, Jamestown, Russell County, KY, graduating class of 1946: Margie Claudine Back (Cooper), Eva Raye Bradshaw, Helen Wheat Carnes, Luther Coleman Coffey, Frank Harrison Dunbar, Garmoline Gosser, Alonzo Harris, Jr., Hildred Juanita Helm, Anna Laura Hereford, Anna Joyce Jones, Charles Ballou Jones, Margaret Jean Lacy, Helen Kathleen Loy, Mildred Faye Loy, William Clarence McFarland, Jr., Mary Elizabeth Powell, Robert Valentine Reese, Olive Lorene Richards, Edwin Louis Rogers, William Dudley Sharp, Louise Smith, Alvin Louis Stephenson, Gladys Mildred Voils, Marie Walkup, and Anna Maxine Wooldridge.
A fascinating story about a small but great high school senior class at postwar Jamestown High School, compiled by JIM

By JIM

The 1946 senior class of Jamestown High School, as well as the rising underclassmen, faced a brighter future than had any graduates since the late 1920s. For well over a decade, the Great Depression held unrelenting sway, and it gave way to the bloodiest war in history. By the spring of 1946, however, the Depression was old news (for most, anyway), the Axis powers had signed peace treaties, nearly all the service men and women who were coming home were already back stateside or would soon be on the way, and the quagmire of Korea had not yet appeared on the event horizon.


J.H.S. Hilltopics, a paper-within-a-paper
< The lives and times of the Jamestown High students were faithfully reported every week during the school year in the pages of the Russell County News in "J.H.S. Hilltopics," a paper-within-a-paper written and edited by students. In 1946, the Hilltopics staff did a bang-up job of keeping News readers up-to-date. Billy Sharp served as editor-in-chief, ably assisted by Marie Walkup. Colley (Coleman) Coffey covered the sports beat, Jean Lacy kept tabs on the J.H.S. alumni and Louise Smith did the same for the grade school. Anna Laura Hereford kept everyone laughing--and sometimes guessing--with Super-Snooper, a good-natured gossip column, while Garmoline Gosser deftly presented word sketches of each of the seniors in a continuing series titled "Silhouettes." (Garmoline, too, was a senior, so Jean Lacy did her sketch.) The four reporters at large were Barbara Ann Reese, Joyce Booher, Helen Loy, and Maxine Wooldridge. (Barbara and Joyce were juniors; all the others were seniors.)

A graduating class of 25 - 16 females and nine males
Within the 25 members of the graduating class, there were 16 females and nine males, and their ages ranged from 16 (Billy Sharp and Helen Loy) to 23 (Edwin L. Rogers, a veteran of World War Two who interrupted his high school education in 1942 to join in the Navy).

Two students finished at Christmas, 1945
Two students, Hildred Helm and Robert V. Reese, had finished at Christmas 1945. Hildred immediately enrolled at Lindsey Wilson Junior College, and Robert went to Frankfort to serve as a page in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Eva Rae Bradshaw already was a licensed beautician, and Billy Sharp's self-proclaimed ambition (perhaps with tongue in cheek) was to become a village preacher.

Kenton J. Cooper took Mrs. Sam (Nora) Miller place during her illness
January 1946 found Mrs. Sam (Nora) Miller absent from school because of illness and Kenton J. Cooper, freshly returned from military service, taking her place in the faculty ranks.

Coach Shelby Winfrey's Basketball quintet had good year
Coach Shelby Winfrey's basketball quintet had an exceptionally good year, ending their season at 18-6. The victories included taking the Christmas break invitational tournament held in Columbia on December 27th and 28th and wins over Somerset and Pine Knot in the 47th District A 50-42 loss to the Ferguson Warhorses ended the Panthers' season but senior Frankie Dunbar was selected for the all-tournament team, and the cheerleaders--Jo Antle, Jean Lacy, and Louise Popplewell--"brought back the trophy for the best cheerleaders in the tournament."

In Spring, senior class present comedy, "Seeing Double"
On April 19th, the senior class presented a three-act comedy, "Seeing Double," the first such production by J.H.S. students in several years. Nearly half of the senior class members participated on-stage. Admission was 40 cents for adults, 30 cents for children. A later report stated the play, held at the Jamestown Christian Church, was a great success. Some 250 tickets were sold and close to $85.00 taken in ticket sales.

Junior-Senior Banquet held at the Lawrence Hotel
The following week, the Junior-Senior Banquet was held in the Lawrence Hotel, the theme metaphorically represented by a sailing vessel. Some of the topics were titled "Building the Ship" (Coach Winfrey), "Sailing" (Louise Popplewell), and "Barnacles" (Gholston Lloyd). Junior Barbara Ann Reese rendered the closing song, "Anchors Aweigh." Baccalaureate held at Jamestown Baptist Church
The Jamestown Baptist Church hosted the baccalaureate service on Sunday, May 28th and commencement on Thursday, May 2nd. The following day, the seniors enjoyed their last outing together, a trip to Cumberland Falls (with stops on the way back at Fishing Creek and at Dry River Bridge), and the Jamestown High Class of 1946 became a part of history. A smattering of entries from the "Alumni" section:
  • Mary Nell Stephenson '41 enrolled at Western State Teachers College, joining her sister Jean '45.
  • Margaret Lawrence '45, Marie Holder '44, and Andrew Norfleet '37, home on spring break.
  • Paul M. Walkup '41, an X-ray technician in the Army, recently been discharged in Heidelberg, Germany, had been "accepted to stay as a civilian for six months."
  • Jack Miller '42 visited school and attended a basketball game. "Jack was a motor machinist 2-c on the U.S.S. Euryale and has just recently returned from Japan. He says that he plans to continue his college work now--good thing to do, Jack." (Jack was among the first US troops stationed in Occupied Japan. When he entered military service, he was attending Lindsey Wilson Junior College. Jack had captained the Panther basketball team for three years and was a member of the Lindsey Wilson squad when it was disbanded in 1943 after some of the players were drafted.)
Graduating class of 1946:
Members of the Jamestown High graduating class of 1946: Margie Claudine Back (Cooper), Eva Raye Bradshaw, Helen Wheat Carnes, Luther Coleman Coffey, Frank Harrison Dunbar, Garmoline Gosser, Alonzo Harris, Jr., Hildred Juanita Helm, Anna Laura Hereford, Anna Joyce Jones, Charles Ballou Jones, Margaret Jean Lacy, Helen Kathleen Loy, Mildred Faye Loy, William Clarence McFarland, Jr., Mary Elizabeth Powell, Robert Valentine Reese, Olive Lorene Richards, Edwin Louis Rogers, William Dudley Sharp, Louise Smith, Alvin Louis Stephenson, Gladys Mildred Voils, Marie Walkup, and Anna Maxine Wooldridge.

A tragic afternote
An after-note: William D. "Billy" Sharp, the youngest member of the Class of '46, was the first to pass; he died in a car wreck in July 1951, a few months before his 22nd birthday. By that time, he had been graduated from Lindsey Wilson Junior College, had studied at Western State Teachers College, and had taught for a year in Russell County. - Compiled by JIM


This story was posted on 2014-10-04 07:25:12
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