The History of Winston County High School


The Winston County High School opened its doors in temporary headquarters on October 1, 1908. Although not yet completed, supplied with furniture, library, or laboratories, the facilities included a large auditorium where classes were held until after Christmas. The new building of native sandstone was completed the following spring at a cost of $9,500. There were three teachers the first year: Mr. C.O. Wade, Principal; Miss Martha Dubose, and Mr. W.C. Shotts, assistants. Only two grades were taught the first year: Freshman and Sophomore. In 1911, James W. Curtis became the first graduate of the school; in 1912, there were two, and in 1913 there were three.

From the early issues of the New Era: May 8, 1908: "We Get the High School! The High School Commission yesterday heard the claims of the Winston County towns for the location of the much talked of High School. Dr. W.R. Bonds and Hon. R.I. Dodd went from this place to Montgomery to present the claims of our town. We were successful in securing the location at Double Springs. No use to shout too much. Get to work now, and lets all pull for a nice school building." May 22, 1908: "Work On State School Will Begin At Once. At an enthusiastic meeting of the citizens of our town it was decided that work on the new school building be started at once and building committee was appointed as follows: W.R. Bonds, R.I. Dodd, B.J. Cowart, W.T. Williams and G.W. Adkins, which has charge of all the work." July 10, 1908: "The laying of the corner stone of the new State High School building was a success. Between 2500 and 3000 people were present." July 31, 1908: "Work was started yesterday on the new school building at this place. Contract was signed Wednesday evening late and work started in earnest Thursday morning at 7 o’clock. 15 or 20 hands and several teams are at work and it is thought the house will be easily finished by the first of November. T.H. Fisher, of an Ensley firm, is the contractor. The building when finished and equipped will cost about ten thousand dollars, probably more."

From the New Era, October 2, 1908: The Winston County High School. Will begin its first session Thursday, Oct 1st, at 8:30 o'clock in Double Springs Town School House. Professors Wade and Shotts are already in town and will examine and classify students Thursday and Friday. If you expect to be in the High School at any time in the first half year, come Thursday and Friday and bring the books which you studied last. You will thus greatly help us in organizing classes and arranging a workable schedule of recitations. Charles Wade, B.A. Principal, Double Springs, Ala.

This first school building burned on October 30, 1913, and classes were held at the Winston County Court House until the new school was rebuilt in the same spot in the fall of 1914, behind where Better Built Trailers now is located. From the Mountain Eagle, November 5, 1913: "Winston County High School Burns Down. There Was $10,000 Insurance and a New Structure is to be Erected. The cry of fire was heard in our city last Wednesday night, or more properly Thursday morning about 1 o’clock. When the whole town responded, they were surprised to find our magnificent county high school building, the pride of thousands of hearts in this section, in flames. The fire had gained such headway that there was no possible chance to extinguish it nor to rescue any of the contents. A fine piano which had recently been purchased and not fully paid for, a library of many choice books and a laboratory to which had been recently added much more and better equipment, chemicals, a prize trophy for oratory won in the last two contests with Haleyville school, and many other things, destroyed. There was $10,000 insurance on the building, which will not be sufficient to replace it, but our people will be found loyal to this institution and will see that even a better house is erected on the grounds as soon as possible. It was a touching scene to see the teachers and pupils gather next morning near the smoldering ruins and blackened walls of the one magnificent building, wondering and planning for the future. The county officials gallantly and courteously offered the use of the court house as temporary home for the school which was accepted.—Winston Herald." The first football team of the Yellow Jackets was in 1920, with the coach being C.C. Edmundson.

When the schools started consolidating, the building wouldn’t accommodate the students, so plans were made for a larger building in downtown Double Springs which was erected in 1930. The Advertiser-Journal, September 13, 1930: "The new Winston County High School here will be ready for occupancy about Oct. 1, Principal James N. Castleberry announced Sunday. Work on the project was started early in the Summer. The new building is of Winston County stone and every piece used in the structure was shaped on the school grounds. The building includes 10 large classrooms with chemical and biological laboratories, two supply rooms, dressing rooms for boys' and girls' athletic teams, a principal's office and an auditorium, seating 500. The school is on a six-acre site and has excellent drainage facilities. Regular Fall sessions at Winston County High School were begun in the old structure two weeks ago with enrollment reported well above the average of other years. Members of the faculty, in addition to Principal Castleberry and Charles Duncan, coach and social science, Miss Olivia Murphy, English; Miss Ruth Carmichael, mathematics; Miss Lucile Bennett, economics and physics; Miss Louise Carton, social studies and Mrs. A. G. Weaver, music." The move was made on October 10, 1930. This building had additions in 1935. In 1939, WCHS was altered again, and new construction was added to house both elementary and high school. This building was used until January 30, 1971, when it was consumed by fire.

Classes were held in mobile homes until construction began in 1972, and in 1973, a new facility was completed and the students had a separate school from elementary. This present 90 acre school is located on County Road 24, and on January 22, 1972, nearly a year after the fire, W.A. Daniel Construction was named the low bidder and built the school at a cost of $632,000 (the food service equipment from Phillips Supply Company costed an additional $25,190). This was during the time that the Area Vocational Center (now known as the Winston County Technical Center) was built beside the new high school. On April 10, 1972, R.P. Montgomery Construction Company was named the low bidder for the Technical Center at a cost of $334,946.63. Classes started at both new buildings on August 27, 1973.

Winston County High School Alumni (100 Years)

Winston County High School 1916 Graduation Invitation

Catalogue of the Winston County High School (1915 - 1916)

1928 Alumni Directory for Winston County High School

Book of Memory

Old Alma Mater:
On the city's northern border,
Hid against the sky;
Proudly stands our alma mater,
As the years go by.
Forward, ever be our watch-word,
Conquer and prevail;
Hail to thee, our alma mater,
Winston High, all hail.

Current Alma Mater (1935 and forward; written by Elaine Aaron):
Dear Ole' Winston,
Land of empire,
Land of sunshine too;
All the glory we aspire,
All our hearts are true.
Thanking humbly our Creator,
Loyal we will be;
Proud to call you alma mater,
Dear ole' Winston High.

Principals of Winston County High School:

Charles O. Wade

1908 - 1910

B. McLeron

5/14/1910 - 4/24/1915

J.L. Howell

4/24/1915 - 10/3/1919

E.A. Thomas

10/3/1919 - 1920

J.H. Sams

1920 - 6/25/1921

E.H. Dunlap

6/25/1921 - 1923

P.W. Picklesimer

1923 - 1925

John Campbell

1926 - 1927

A.B. Murphree

1927 - 5/30/1930

James N. Castleberry

5/30/1930 - 1933

W. Hugh Black

1933 - 1938

J.L. Posey

1938 - 1944

Ray Jones

1944 - 1945

Mitchell Drake

1946 - 1952

J.L. Posey

1953 - 1957

Andy Davis

1957 - 1968

Jack Herron

1968 - 1986

James Harry Moore

1986 - 1989

Frank Horsley

1989 - 1996

Danny Springer

1996 - 2003

Jeffery R. Cole

December 2003 - Present


Winston County High School (1909 - 10/30/1913)

Winston County High School (1914 - 10/10/1930)

Winston County High School (10/10/1930 - 1/30/1971)


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