History of WCHS
Winston County Elementary and High School until January 30, 1971.
(Updated August 2011-Thank you
to Peter J Gossett for the information)
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 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 smouldering 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."
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.
Catalogue of the Winston County High School (1915 - 1916):
School Opens: Tuesday, August 31, 1915
School Closes: Tuesday, May 15, 1916
First Term Begins: August 31, 1915
Thanksgiving Holiday: November 26, 1915
Christmas Holidays: December 18-28, 1915
First Term Examinations: January 6-9, 1916
Second Term Begins: Tuesday, January 12, 1916
Inter-Society Contest: Monday, February, 23, 1916
Athletic Day: Monday, April 9, 1916
Final Examinations: May 9-12, 1916
Commencement Exercises: May 13-15, 1916
High School Commission:
Hon. Charles Henderson, Governor of Alabama
Hon. W.F. Feagin, Superintendent of Education
Hon. Miles C. Allgood, State Auditor
Jerry M. Burns, County Superintendent of Education
Dr. W.R. Bonds
N.S. Reeve, Secretary
Dr. T.M. Blake, Treasurer
L.J. Howell, B.S., Principal. English and Science. Graduate from West Alabama Agricultural School; teacher several years in public and graded schools of Alabama; graduate A.P.I., Auburn, Alabama; Principal Winston County High School 1914-1915; Student Auburn Summer School.
Winston C. Shotts, First Assistant. Mathematics, History, and Manual Training. Graduate West Alabama Agricultural School; Student Summer School, University and Auburn; Principal Graded School at Phil Campbell; Teacher Winston County High School since 1908.
Miss Annie Terrell, B.S., Second Assistant. Latin and Domestic Science and Arts. Graduate A.P.I., Auburn, Ala. (General Course); Student Summer School, University of Tennessee; Student Summer School, Auburn.
Miss Lillie Belle Parkman, Seventh Grade. Graduate Florence Normal; Student Summer School, University of Alabama.
Miss Maggie Long Tatum, Music. Received education in music in Chase Conservatory, Columbus, GA.
The Winston County High School is centrally located at Double Springs, Alabama, a very convenient point for all students of the county. Double Springs is a healthful location, furnished with pure water. The town is growing and is the place for all Winston County boys and girls who are desirous of attending a good high school. We invite more enterprising citizens to move in reach of the school to educate their sons and daughters and to be a great promoter for the upbuilding of the school as a social center for the entire county. Our town needs more buildings and more good people to accommodate boarding students.
Professor James J. Dosler, the chief factor in establishing the county high schools, says: "The two-fold purpose of the county high schools is to prepare students for the higher institutions of learning and to give such training to those who do not intend to go to college as will fit them for leadership in the ordinary activities of life." Our school is a fully accredited or affiliated Institution and by completing our course of work one may enter any "A Grade" college without an examination. It is the purpose of the school to develop the good faculties of every student and make a good citizen of him, in order that he may be able and willing to do service for his county and state.
The people of Double Springs stand for a high moral standard of living. There are two churches, Methodist and Baptist, that are composed of members who are Sunday School workers and active in church work. All students are invited to participate in the religious workings of the church of their choice.
A large, well-constructed two-story stone building stands on a conspicuous knoll in Double Springs as a monument to the good citizens who gave so liberally to the great cause of education. The new building is better arranged than the old one was. The building has six spacious recitation rooms, office, library, auditorium, chemical laboratory, sewing room, and basement. Recitation rooms are furnished with new single desks and ample blackboard space. The school owns eight acres of land adjacent to the building, a part of which is being utilized in agricultural and horticultural work. The value of land, building, and equipment is about $11,000.
A County School:
Double Springs secured the High School at a great expense. Let it be understood that it is not a "Double Springs High School," but really a "County High School." The right to attend this school belongs to every law-abiding boy and girl of the county and it is the duty of the parents or guardians of such boys and girls to see to it that their children possess at least a high school education. It is your school and the success of it depends upon the loyal support of every citizen of the county. The large increase in enrollment and successful work of the school last session bespeak a greater success this year. It is the aim of the Principal to enroll every pupil in the county who is capable of doing high school work. The fact that 40 out of 101 students lived more than three miles from the school building shows that the school is for the entire county. Three counties and two states were represented.
When you glance at the names of the members of the faculty of your high school, and note the places from which they are graduates, you will agree that your school has a strong corps of teachers whose endeavor is to educate the boys and girls of your county.
At present the school has no dormitory. Pupils board in private houses where they receive more careful attention. Board was secured last year from $10.00 to $12.00 per month. Tuition to Alabama students is free. Tuition fee to students residing outside of the State is $1.00 per month. An incidental fee of $2.50 per term, or $5.00 per year is charged. This fee must be paid at the beginning of each term. No incidental fee is charged to non-residents of the State. Thus it is seen that the actual expenses for the entire session, excluding laundry and books, are only $90.00 to $108.00.
Admission of Students:
Any student of good moral character will be admitted in the seventh grade of the High School provided he passes a satisfactory examination, or presents an acceptable record of work done elsewhere. A second grade certificate may be accepted as a satisfactory record for admission to the High School without further examination. Care will be taken not to classify students too high.
Examination and Reports:
A regular examination will be given at the close of each term. Monthly written quizzes will be given. Daily grades will count half and examinations half. In order to pass a study the average must be 65 per cent for first year; 70 per cent for second, third, and fourth. Reports of examination will be sent to parents or guardians. If pupils fail to present reports to parents at end of each month inquiry should be made to the Principal. If grades are poor look into the matter and help remedy it by cooperating with the faculty and insisting on loyalty and studiousness on the part of the pupil.
Students must be regular in attendance. Idleness, loafing in town, smoking on school grounds, or profanity will not be tolerated. If you expect an easy time, go elsewhere. We want only good hard-working students. If students wish to remain in school, they must comply with the rules and regulations of the Institution. In order for the parents to get best results for money spent on their children it is highly necessary that they lend their hearty cooperation to the faculty of the school. If you are not pleased with the work of your child, do not criticize the teacher in the presence of the pupil; because when you do, you injure the progress of your child or your neighbor's child, and you help no one -- but rather go to the Principal first and adjust the matter in the right way. All rules apply alike to resident and boarding pupils. Discipline will be strict and impartial. Students who deface or destroy school property will be required to replace or pay for it. The faculty will arrange for all necessary social functions.
In order to train pupils to think logically before an audience and to express their thoughts in good language, two literary societies, Athenian and Ciceronian, have been organized. Each student must take part in these exercises or perform extra school work. The societies are under the regulations and oversight of the faculty.
A gold medal will be awarded to the best debater or declaimer in school. A gold medal will be awarded to the best all round athlete in school. A prize will be awarded to the pupil who grows the best individual garden at home or at school. A prize will be awarded to the pupil best in domestic science and arts. A prize will be awarded to the pupil who makes the greatest improvement in manual training.
In order that students may be developed morally, and intellectually, they must first be developed physically. Mild athletics will be encouraged to develop the brain to act with the body in a fair game. The scientific side will be aimed at, with the idea of teaching the pupils to play fair with each other, in order that they may play fair with their fellow man when thrown out upon their own resources. We expect to organize a basketball team both of boys and girls, and track team for boys, and other games. No student who fails to maintain a satisfactory standing in his class will be permitted to engage in athletics or become a member of the glee club.
Recognizing the fact that the greatest treasure which this country possesses today is the undeveloped skill and vocational possibilities, not only of the millions of workers elsewhere, but of the great army of school children, the State High School Commission has made it compulsory on the part of each boy in the first three years of the High School to take the prescribed course in Manual Training, and likewise, each girl to take the prescribed course in Domestic Science and Arts. The course in Home and School Garden will be pursued by all. The above courses possess two features -- the educational and practical: the training of the eye to see accurately and the hand to act accordingly in a practical manner.
Library and Reading Room:
At present there are but few books in the library, due to the fact that practically all of the books were destroyed by fire when the old building burned, but we hope to add a great number of books to the library by purchase and by popular donations from loyal students and patrons. In the library are kept some of the best educational periodicals. Students will be required to read parallel books in connection with the text. The library has been called the students' work shop: books his tools.
A certificate of promotion will be presented to each student of the first, second, and third years, who successfully passes all examinations for the entire term, and a diploma will be granted upon the completion of the fourth year.
One month before the close of school, each candidate for graduation shall present to the Principal an original thesis, consisting of between one thousand and fifteen hundred words. This thesis shall, if desired by the faculty, be delivered publicly at commencement.
Non-promoted students who were deficient in not more than two subjects will be given an opportunity to pass off these subjects at the opening of the session. In case they pass satisfactory examinations, they may be promoted; otherwise they will be required to remain in their last year's class.
The talent for glee club work was good last year and some good entertainments were given. The club is under the direct control of the school, and the manager of the club must consult the Principal in regard to every recital.
One of the rooms on the second floor is being used for a chemical, biological, and physical laboratory. A good supply of chemicals and apparatus is being added, by which all necessary experiments may be made. Each student taking chemistry must pay a fee of $1.00 at the beginning of each term to replace breakage in laboratory. The fee for each student in physics is fifty cents, payable at the beginning of each term. All students taking domestic science and arts will be required to pay a fee of fifty cents at beginning of each term.
The new piano in the auditorium is used for chapel exercises and by the music students. Much interest was taken in music last year. No home is complete without music, and we urge all parents to take advantage of the opportunity to give their children a musical education, thereby bringing them under the refining influence of one of the finest arts. Tuition, per month, $3.00.
Senior Class -- Fourth Year:
Viola Burdick: Double Springs
Mae Corbin (Mrs. Ernest Brewer): Double Springs
Gordon Daves, Teacher: Addison
James Ellis: Double Springs
Junior Class -- Third Year:
Cora Emma Blake: Double Springs
Bernard Franklin Burdick: Double Springs
Bartly Hampton Corbin: Double Springs
Lela Eugene Corbin: Double Springs
Franklin Kimbrell: Double Springs
Icie Rowe: Houston
Henderson Wade: Double Springs
Sophomore Class -- Second Year:
Thedford Bonds: Double Springs
Katie Burdick: Double Springs
Meade Burns: Double Springs
Mackie Gober: Double Springs
Alma Howell: Double Springs
Arlie McCollum: Double Springs
Dewey Mitchell: Double Springs
Leslie Mitchell: Double Springs
George Sutherland: Double Springs
Hurbert Sutherland: Double Springs
James Daniel Tingle: Double Springs
Jefferson Morton Tingle: Double Springs
Freshman Class -- First Year:
Opal Adkins: Double Springs
Ruby Adkins: Double Springs
Hampton Barker: Double Springs
Coleman Bonds: Double Springs
Riley Bonds: Adamsville, Jefferson County
Wash Bonds: Double Springs
Ellen Curtis: Double Springs
Ethel Curtis: Double Springs
Thelma Curtis: Double Springs
Madge Irine Daniel: Double Springs
Virgil Greene: Arley
Edgar Howell: Double Springs
Martha McVay: Double Springs
Dallas Overton: Double Springs
Goff Owen: Jackson County
Mae Robinson: Double Springs
Pearl Rowe: Houston County
Emillio Snoddy: Double Springs
James Sam Snoddy: Double Springs
Arthur Sutherland: Double Springs
Harden Taylor: Double Springs
Newton Taylor: Double Springs
Walker Otto Williams: Double Springs
Lee Wilson: Double Springs
Joseph Adams: Double Springs
Oscar Baily: Double Springs
Wakie Blake: Double Springs
Daisy Bonds: Double Springs
Mona Viola Bonds: Double Springs
Cowart Burdick: Houston County
Wash Burns: Double Springs
Cora Burtrum: Double Springs
Annie Curtis: Addison
Posey Curtis: Double Springs
Key Daniel: Double Springs
Garfield Davis: Double Springs
Henry Davis: Double Springs
William Virdie Davis: Double Springs
Andrew Estill: Double Springs
Jeff Fortinberry: Addison
James M. Guttery: Double Springs
Floyd Hill: Addison
Bertha Howell: Double Springs
Pernie Ethel Howell: Double Springs
Virgil J. Kelly: Double Springs
Ida Knight: Double Springs
Wash Knight: Double Springs
McKinley Lovelett: Double Springs
Earl McCollor: Double Springs
Edna Low McCollor: Double Springs
James Jackson McCollor: Double Springs
Jessie McCollor: Double Springs
Jeff McCollum: Double Springs
Oscar Lynn McCollum: Double Springs
Ramon McCollum: Double Springs
Andrew Miles: Lynn
John Millican: Double Springs
Johnnie Mae Millican: Double Springs
Josie Mitchell: Double Springs
Milton Carroll Mitchell: Double Springs
James Nathan Pearson: Double Springs
Noble Samuel Pearson: Haleyville
Dora Alice Reeve: Double Springs
Roy Bryon Reeve: Double Springs
David Rice: Brown Creek
Willie Lee Robinson: Double Springs
George Rowe: Houston
Asberry Simmons: Tennessee
Minnie Simmons: Double Springs
Alma Bell Tingle: Double Springs
Phoebe Jane Tingle: Double Springs
F.L. Turner: Walker County
Murphy Vanderford: Double Springs
Lottie Blanche Walker: Haleyville
Thomas Travis Welborn: Double Springs
Howard Sanford Williams: Double Springs
George Yates: Fall City
Senior Class: 4
Junior Class: 7
Sophomore Class: 12
Freshman Class: 24
Seventh Grade: 54
Boys and girls who are interested in obtaining an education should write the Principal. Persuade your neighbors to go to school with you. You may not make any easier livelihood by obtaining an education but you will have many more chances to enjoy life much better because of a better livelihood. You will be able to do more good for your fellow man and will be worth more to your country. Improve your talents and be a power among men. Why not be a leader in your community?
Winston County High School. The first school, built in 1908, possibly burned, but the building you see here, was taken in the early 1910's (the second building but still the same location). It was used until 1929.
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