WCHS Book of Memory

The "Book of Memory" of Winston County High School was started in the early 1950s for the 50th anniversary of the school in 1958. Subscriptions were sent in to the fund, and names of early Winston County pioneers were added to the memorial. It was to be available at the 1958 alumni banquet, though it was apparently finished a couple of weeks later. According to the newspaper article of that banquet, the Book of Memory was to be sealed for fifty years, to be unsealed at the 100th anniversary of Winston County High School, which would have been 2008. No other mention of this book can be found anywhere, and no one knows what happened to it. The following are newspaper excerpts concerning this book.

The Haleyville Advertiser, May 7, 1954:
Winston County High School Fiftieth Anniversary Fund contributions should be mailed to E. Brewer, Double Springs. The plan is for each fund subscriber to donate a dollar or more in memory of the person or persons who did most to help them attend school. W.L. Shaddix, Anniversary Program Chairman, reported this week that subscription cards will be printed and made available to the general public. Mr. Shaddix was appointed chairman of the special event last Saturday night at the WCHS Alumni Association meeting. The Book of Memory which will be presented to Winston County High School in 1957 is expected to contain over 1,000 names of faithful parents and others who helped make the school what it is today. The book also will contain the names of hundreds of subscribers who did not have the opportunity to attend the noted educational institution, Mr. Shaddix announced this week. Students may write Mr. Brewer for cards to be used for subscriptions by absentee friends of the school. The Mt. Hebron community will present the school a 100 percent subscription list representing every family between Brown’s Creek and Clear Creek. The quota will be set before the next annual meeting at which time the list of the first subscribers will be made public along with the names of parents and friends whose memory the donations are given in.

The Haleyville Advertiser, May 21, 1954:
Quinton Webb, foreman of the Birmingham Stove Works, is taking his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Overton, on a Fourth of July trip to Florida. Quinton is a grandson of the late Victoria Webb of Bridgeton, Missouri. We have a subscription for our WCHS 50th Anniversary Fund given by another descendant of “Aunt Victoria.” The fund will be formally presented to the school at a ceremony in 1957 with no strings attached. The trustees may appropriate the “Memory Money” for needy orphans in school, for buying a school forest experimental acreage or for needed equipment as they see fit. The anniversary program will rate space in papers throughout the nation and even the White House is expected to take part. More details on this will be published here and elsewhere at a later date.

The Haleyville Advertiser, May 28, 1954:
The names of the late Rev. Elisha Welborn, his father Dr. Welborn, Dr. Thomas M. Blake, Andrew Willis, Rev. Dock McCrary, Jess Cockrell, Doc Norris, Bill Barton, Anniston Ward, and Zodiac McVay have been added to our WCHS Book of Memory. This column will carry names as space permits throughout the year. The book won’t be closed until December 3rd, 1957.

The Haleyville Advertiser, July 9, 1954:
Your scribe enjoyed a fine stead dinner at the festive board of former county superintendent, Aaron Weaver, in Bay Minette recently. Aaron has accepted appointment on our staff of financial committeemen to obtain the WCHS 50th Anniversary Fund and to reach a total that will elicit quite a bit of compliments to the alumni and the general public cooperating. Aaron has agreed to round up the former Free Staters now living in New Mexico, California, Oklahoma and Texas and also with Mrs. Weaver has promised to be present at our alumni banquet early next year. At this meeting, the reports of initial success in obtaining subscriptions will be announced and final arrangement made to complete the quota that will be set.

The Haleyville Advertiser, July 13, 1954:
Otto Curtis, a WCHS alumnus, advises us that he and family will have their 50th Anniversary fund ready for us next year. Subscription cards will be distributed to all whose addresses are known and which, in turn, will be a part of the Memory Book instead of transcribing the subscriptions. Johnny Harris and Charlie Holt of Lynn have been appointed on the WCHS finance committee, also Luther Courington of Natural Bridge and Otto Curtis of Birmingham.

The Haleyville Advertiser, November 26, 1954:
Elmo Robinson is Secretary and Treasurer of the WCHS 50th Anniversary fund instead of Elmo Brewer. Checks that have been sent to Mr. Brewer have been turned over to Mr. Robinson. Subscription cards for the “Book of Memory” will be available at Mr. Robinson’s office by the middle of September.

The Haleyville Advertiser, January 4, 1955:
Uncle Marion’s foster son, C.A. “Action” Reavis of Greenville, New Mexico has sent a brief biography of his beloved foster parents to be included with the 50th Anniversary WCHS “Book of Memory.” Action also has sent his check as part of the Anniversary Memorial Fund, and which is being turned over to Treasurer Elmo Robinson. All who send in remittances are asked to write a brief story of those for whom the gift is sent as a memorial.

The Haleyville Advertiser, August 2, 1955:
Mr. and Mrs. Walter George, Jr., of Atlanta accompanied by their new little boss “Jr.” spent their vacation at the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Musgrove, last week. Mrs. George is an alumnus of WCHS and a member of the 50th Anniversary finance committee to round up the memorial contributions in Georgia from former Winstonites.Two of our beloved alumni members, the late Oscar and Arley McCollum, were killed about the same time and during the last days of World War I. Their parents did not survive very long after their death. These boys along with others will be included in the much publicized “Book of Memory” to be given the school during the ceremonies of the 50th Anniversary observance in 1957. J.A. Seymore of Route 6, Box 1780, Bessemer, Alabama, an Alumnus of WCHS, has accepted the chairmanship for his district in obtaining the 50th anniversary gift fund in 1957. Your scribe had a pleasant visit with Mr. Seymore recently at Elizabethton, Tennessee where both of us are interested in some local work there. Mr. Seymore is an engineer with the well-known Combustion Engineering Company of Birmingham and travels extensively for his firm. He is in accord with an idea of having the “Club 67” picnic in the Birmingham area later and at which time we would have a chance to organize further for the notable event two years hence.

The Haleyville Advertiser, January 24, 1956:
There is some talk that the alumni of WCHS will be required to grow a full beard and mustache for the 50th Golden Anniversary. The matter, of course, must be put to a vote at the alumni meeting which is May 5, 1956. Penalty would be a minimum of $10 to the memorial fund.

The Haleyville Advertiser, February 7, 1956:
The move to get a resolution passed May 5th at the WCHS Alumni meeting requiring all male former students to grow a beard and mustache for the 50th Anniversary in 1957-58, seems to be growing in favor. Some of our boys and also girls says it would be fun to see Paul Dodd, Crant Berry, and Fred Burdick going around with full grown whiskers.

The Huntsville Advertiser, April 24, 1956:
Judge J.B. Weaver has been designated program chairman of the WCHS Golden Anniversary. He is meeting with the Lions, PTA, Panorama Club and other groups soon to outline the general plan to honor our mothers and fathers who helped make this school what it now represents to our future as well as the present generation.

The Haleyville Advertiser, May 2, 1956:
Henry Cockrell, youngest son of the late Uncle Jess and Aunt Mary, is a mail carrier at Warrior, Alabama. We have sent him notice to get ready to send in his check for the WCHS Golden Anniversary fund next year.

The Haleyville Advertiser, May 25, 1956:
We have received another memorial donation of our WCHS Golden Anniversary fund. It was given by the descendant of Winston pioneers who lives in Memphis. Name of his descendant so honored will appear in this column along with others later. The WCHS annual banquet May 5th was one of the best attended. Latecomers were fortunate to get a vacant seat at the well-filled tables. The new alumni president, Paul Dodd, is already doing some preliminary planning for next year. The association program directors will be requested to put our Golden Anniversary on as a main feature of the banquet in 1957.

The Haleyville Advertiser, June 6, 1956:
Federal Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., has sold his residence in Jasper and bought a new home in Montgomery in order to be near his offices. Judge Johnson has pledged to address our WCHS annual banquet next year.

The Haleyville Advertiser, December 28, 1956:
Ellis Lovett, vice chairman of the WCHS Golden Anniversary observance program, has resigned a lucrative position with Corpus Christi, Texas Schools and has joined the faculty at Jasper. This means much to our alma mater improvement with the nice check the alumni will present in 1958. Willis Bailey of Double Springs has accepted an appointment on the finance committee as has Aaron Weaver, P.M. at Bay Minette, and C.A. Reavis of Greenville, New Mexico.

The Haleyville Advertiser, January 16, 1957:
Former students of WCHS soon must send in their memorial gifts to their Pops and Moms and others to Elmo Robinson, Treasurer, of the alumni fund, and to be included with the report to be read at the May annual meeting of the fine group whom our school has helped make happy. It is a great chance to show in a material way our appreciation of the great and good folks who helped us “get on our feet.”

The Haleyville Advertiser, May 1, 1957:
An old days’ hog rifle, with a three foot hexagon barrel—the identical type that won Winston from the Indians and helped feed our grandpas and grandmas “back yonder,” will be exhibited at the WCHS annual banquet evening of May 4th, as a reminder of the Golden Anniversary to follow next year. The alumni will be asked to make a list of those whom they wish listed in the “Book of Memory,” including their own ancestors who helped make our schools and county what it is today. For a dollar or more any number may be listed on the memory blanks which will be distributed next year. The alumni will be presided over by Alumni President Paul Dodd.

The Haleyville Advertiser, May 10, 1957:
Junior Bonds, a member of WCHS Golden Anniversary committee, will give visitors a chance to see the arrow that kept our Creek Indians fed, and tomahawks that put their enemies under the sod in the front window of his store during the years. Also see the fine antique gun collection with it!

The Haleyville Advertiser, May 15, 1957:
In view of the “Book of Memory” compilation for WCHS Golden Anniversary the following poem by A.L. Frink, “The Rose Still Grows Beyond The Wall” will be apropos to be included with the names of our “Dear old Dads and Moms:”
Near Shady Wall a Rose Once Grew,
Budded and blossomed in God’s free light,
Watered and fed by morning dew,
Shedding its sweetness day and night.
As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier heights,
It came to a crevice in the wall,
Through which there shone a beam of light.
Onward it crept with added strength,
With never a thought of fear or pride;
It followed the light through the crevice length
And unfolded itself on the other side.
The light, the dew, the broadening view,
Were found the same as they were before;
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing its fragrance more and more,
Shall claims of death cause us to grieve,
And make our courage faint or fall?
Nay, let us faith and hope receive;
The rose still grows beyond the wall,
Scattering fragrance far and wide,
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forevermore.

The Haleyville Advertiser, June 5, 1957:
Among the family names already registered in the Book of Memory for the WCHS Golden Anniversary are: Bonds, Cockrell, McVay, Pulliam, Shaddix, Snoddy, Seymour, Tingle, Reavis, Tyra, Weaver. Further details of these families and the name of those who register in their names will be carried in this column from time to time until the conclusion of the Golden Anniversary program 1958.

The Haleyville Advertiser, June 12, 1957:
Hon. Jim Vanderford who was elected County Superintendent of Schools in 1909 and now nearing 81st milepost will be among the distinguished guests at our 50th Anniversary WCHS banquet May 3, 1958, we are advised. Levi Davis, now nearing his 92nd year and whose home is Mayfield, Oklahoma, has also been requested to be present. Mr. Davis, a native of our favorite regions, does more cotton chopping and plowing than the ordinary young man, we are advised from sources we consider authentic. Ex-County Superintendent Vanderford is making a contribution to our Memorial Fund. His present home is at Bessemer. The four soldiers of the Revolutionary War who are resting beneath Winston’s soil have been written in the “Book of Memory” for the Golden Anniversary of WCHS.

The Haleyville Advertiser, July 19, 1957:
Howard Lovelady, the progressive merchant at Shady Grove, has consented to serve on our 1958 Golden Anniversary finance committee for WCHS, and to give all of his neighbors a chance to put in their dollar or more in memory of their loved ones. Watch this column for others who agree to make this first half century of education mean something for the next half!

The Haleyville Advertiser, August 7, 1957:
Thanks to Dr. John W. Robinson for the memorial subscription for the WCHS.

The Haleyville Advertiser, September 25, 1957:
More music for our ears: “Your Golden Anniversary Committee of the high school can count on me for a substantial amount of your memory gifts and to be given the school board at the next alumni meeting.” This is another old hill boy who is appreciative of the “Grand Old Set” who helped our school.

The Haleyville Advertiser, April 4, 1958:
Pershing Dodd has accepted the job of rounding up the memorial golden anniversary subscriptions for the Washington, D.C. contingency of loyal Winstonites and his report will be included in the list of our “Grand ole set” who are remembered in the Book of Memory to be presented to the school the evening of May 3 at the Alumni Meeting of WCHS auditorium. Among the families already listed are the Tingles, Pulliams, Weavers, Shaddixes, Robinsons, Burdicks, and Loveladys. Watch this column for the complete list in installments after the meeting. Our Golden Anniversary WCHS Alumni assembly at 7 p.m., May 3rd will be a great moment in our grand old county educational history. Like our beloved “Minnie Pearl,” we will all perhaps say together: “I am jis so glad.” Our own American Philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, gave the whole world a cue to enjoyment of life, health, prosperity as well as charm in his statement that “nothing can be accomplished without enthusiasm.”

The Haleyville Advertiser, April 16, 1958:
A committee has been appointed to try to get all ex-service men who attended the WCHS with their wives to attend the May 3rd Golden Anniversary meeting. All exservice men present are to be asked to stand up and be recognized.

The Advertiser, May 7, 1958:
Over 250 Attend. Records Broken at WCHS Banquet. A record attendance enjoyed a wonderful meal then participated in a fine program Saturday night, May 3rd, when the Winston County High School Alumni Association held its annual banquet in Double Springs. Ed Snoddy, local attorney and president of the association, presided at the meeting, held in the auditorium. Over 250 alumni and guest attended. The record turnout, unexpected, used up all food prepared with some of the late-comers having to be served coffee and light refreshments only. Old grads had a wonderful time chatting and recalling the ‘good ole days,’ Mr. Snoddy said. Some members of the first class at Winston County High, Dr. John Robinson of Haleyville, E.R. Brewer of Addison, Mrs. A.B. Curtis of Haleyville, and Walter Shaddix of South Carolina, were in the big crowd. 50th Anniversary. The banquet had a special significance because the group attending was also celebrating the Golden Anniversary of the Winston County High School. It was fifty years ago, in 1908, that the school came into being. Judge J.B. Weaver of Double Springs, on that memorable occasion, introduced the late B.B. Comer, former Governor of Alabama, as the principle speaker. Saturday night it was Judge Weaver again who introduced the principle speaker, Donald Comer, Jr., of Birmingham, son of the former Governor. “My gracious man, do you mean it was you who introduced my father fifty years ago?” Mr. Comer exclaimed. Officers Elected. During a business session, the following officers were elected to serve next year: Ellis Lovett, president; Fred Burdick, vice president; and Mrs. A.B. Burdick, secretary-treasurer. Mrs. Laura Snoddy, secretary, and Sam Snoddy, vice president, helped president Ed Snoddy with functions of the Saturday night banquet. Memory Book. Many alumni, ranging from the old timers of forty to fifty years ago to some of the 1958 graduation class, expressed keen interest in a “Memory Book” being prepared by the alumni association. This attractive book will contain names of alumni and other school boosters. Names of persons who make a contribution to Winston County High School are placed in the book, which will be sealed in a few months and will be reopened fifty years from now. Invocation Saturday night was by Jimmy Snoddy of Tuscaloosa. Classes represented from 1908 through 1958 were recognized, and minutes of the 1957 banquet were read by the secretary, Laura Snoddy. Sam R. Snoddy presided at the election of new officers. The entire group stood and sand Auld Lang Syne. Immediately following the banquet, a dance was held in the auditorium with music furnished by the Jokers, an orchestra from Jasper.

The Advertiser, May 14, 1958:
The book being held by Elmo Robinson (left) and Edd Snoddy will be placed this year in a cornerstone of the Winston County High School, to be removed and read again fifty years from now -- in 2008. It is a memory book, sponsored by the WCHS Alumni Association. Anyone donating $1 or more to an alumni fund that will benefit the school may have a loved one's name inscribed in the book, for a new generation to read half a century from now. Interested persons may contact Elmo Robinson, Double Springs.