C. H. Young, Principal.......................................English

Mrs. Roberta Moore, Asst. Principal....Science and History

Mrs. Kuma Shealy.......................Latin and Mathematics

R. Sanford Roy............................................Languages

Miss Nita Oden.................................Domestic Science

                  Submitted by:  Leverne Langheld Kidd


Webster school issue of 1927

Compliments of John Agan, Webster Parish Historian and the Pres-Herald

With the ongoing discussion of plans for school improvements in Minden, this week's Echo of Our Past will look back at January 1927.

At that time, over 75 years ago, the attention of all Louisiana educators at the K-12 level was focused on Minden and the Webster Parish School system.

Let us hope that whatever the outcome of the current planning, we can again approach the time when our schools are at the level to be the model for others in Louisiana and the nation.

The Beginning
Of Change

This week's story really has its beginnings many years before 1927, when the tradition of educational excellence was begun in the Minden area; however, the immediate cause came on December 15-17, 1926, when M. S. Robertson, assistant state supervisor of elementary schools, came to Minden to inspect the Webster Parish Schools.

He was taken on a tour of parish schools by Parish Superintendent E. S. Richardson, Parish Supervisor Helen Woodard, and Minden High School Principal J. E. Harper.

Robertson was extremely impressed by the improvements made by Richardson and his administration, and the educational system that was in place in the parish. In a glowing report to his boss, State Superintendent of Education T. H. Harris, he stated that every parish in the state could learn from the Webster Parish school system.

Superintendent Harris was well-acquainted with E. S. Richardson, both from their shared roots in Claiborne Parish and from Richardson's service in both the State Department of Education and the Department of Education at LSU.

A Conference
Is Born

Upon receiving Robertson's report he contacted Richardson and scheduled just such a conference as Robertson had suggested.

Harris announced that on "January 26-28, 1927, the annual conference will be held in Minden, Louisiana for the parish superintendents, assistant superintendents, school board members, and other educators of the state.

They will visit the schools of the parish and pay particular attention to the system and administration and of organization of the system of the schools from the transit of the children to the distribution of the textbooks.

This viewing is intended as a demonstration of the efficiency of the organization of the organization and the administration of the whole public school system as it has been worked out by the parish superintendent and the school board."

In addition to Louisiana school officials, administrators from other states were also being invited to attend the meeting.

Community Mobilizes

Once the announcement was made, the local Chamber of Commerce and other civic clubs began preparations to put Minden's "best foot forward" for the out-of town visitors. They recognized the golden opportunity presented by this conference.

Since those coming had already been advised of the quality of the schools here, they wanted to make sure the rest of the community matched that image.

More than 200 visitors were expected, more than the capacity of hotel rooms in Minden, so rather than have the visitors stay in Shreveport, local residents were engaged to house the guests in their homes. Plans began for the largest banquet to ever be held in Minden.

The Webster Signal printed a 24-page booklet prepared by Superintendent Richardson to be given to conference attendees containing detailed information about the administration and operation of the Webster Parish schools and including pictures of the ten new high schools built in Webster Parish since 1923.

Committees Formed

The Chamber of Commerce formed committees to prepare for the conference. The entertainment committee was composed of J. E. Harper, Rev. Frank Tripp, J. M. Phillips, Mrs. J. R. Miller and Mrs. C. M. Hutton. Because hotel rooms were so scarce in Minden, they were charged with finding room for approximately 175 visitors in private homes. The committee set the rate for these guests at $1.50 per day.

The banquet, planned for about 250 people, was set to be held in the dining hall of the First Baptist Church.

The publicity committee was chaired by Isaac Chapman, editor of the Webster Signal. He signed a contract with Harry W. Lewis, a Shreveport street decorator to decorate the streets of Minden for the conference.

Lewis' plans included placing ten lines of flags along the main street along with a large cloth banner in the center of the city at the Imperial Hotel with a large welcome to the school officials.
In addition, he negotiated with local stores to help decorate their store fronts in honor of the occasion. Additional lights were also strung throughout the downtown area to add to the festive appearance.

Conference headquarters were set up in the Imperial Hotel and cars were dispatched to meet the guests both at the Illinois Central tracks at Sibley and at the L&A Depot in Minden and take them to the hotel and then on to the homes where they would be staying. Guests were to check into conference headquarters on Wednesday, January 26.

Final Touches

On Thursday morning, January 27, the visitors would be given a tour of all the Webster Parish Schools, concluding with a special program at Springhill High School.

Thursday night, the banquet was to be held at the First Baptist Church. On Friday, the executive session of the conference was scheduled for the Minden High School auditorium.

C. O. Holland served as toastmaster for the banquet on Thursday night. Attendance at the banquet was limited to visitors and the few local residents on the program because the city lacked a dining facility large enough to hold a crowd larger than that attending the conference.

The banquet program included the following presentations: Invocation, The Rev. Richard Bolton; Address of Welcome, Mayor Robert F. Kennon; "Leadership in a Parish Unit Program,"
Webster Parish School Board President, J. B. Snell; The Parish Unit of School Administration From the Standpoint of a Businessman," J. H. Nelson, President of the Webster Parish Police Jury and the Minden Chamber of Commerce; "The Webster Parish School System," Superintendent E. S. Richardson.

Friday's Doings

The business session for Friday had the following discussion schedule: a. the proper location of elementary schools; b. the proper location of high schools; the building needs required; d the necessary teaching force and the proper teaching qualifications of teachers; e. the requirements for transportation; f. adequate supervision of classroom instruction; g. the insurance of school property; h. the upkeep of school property; i. the office requirements; j. the funds needed for buildings and equipment on a district basis.

School superintendents from 45 parishes attended the event along with various officials from state colleges including several Presidents of the schools and high officials of the State Department of Education.

Even some education officials from Arkansas attended the conference. From all written reports the conference seemed to be a success.

The record shows that in the next few years, Superintendent Richardson became a regular speaker at conferences across the nation, explaining the way our system in Webster Parish worked.

In addition, between 1927 and 1932, no fewer than 15 out-of-state school systems sent delegations to Minden to observe first-hand the operation of the schools in Webster Parish.

Outside Observations

In conclusion, I want to use two paragraphs written by an outside observer with the Louisiana Teacher's Association News Service about the Webster Parish School system at the time of the conference. As we in Minden consider the future of our schools, we can hope that this Echo of Our Past may become the reality of our present.

"These school officials are observing how in Webster Parish the merchant and the banker have become friends of the farmer and the dairyman because of the friendship that has grown up among the children who attend the same school, play the same games, receive the same type of instruction from the same teachers, and finally graduate in the same class. No prejudice now exists between communities – the people in the poorer sections feel that they are getting a square deal and the citizens of the wealthier centers think it good business to educate all the children of all the people.

"The school system of Webster Parish is regarded as on of the models of county-unit development for the whole nation. The child of the poorest parents in the remotest section of the parish through consolidation and school transfers has the same educational opportunities and experiences as the most fortunate in the wealthiest center. He is taught by the teachers with the same qualifications and experience and who receive the same salaries. The country pupil gets the same advantages of the extension and health work in studies in fire prevention and gets his books at the lowest prices from the books and supply store operated by the parish. Webster transfers 1,800 of its 4,300 pupils to the various consolidated schools."

The issues in that era were different. Schools were segregated, and today we have moved beyond that era.

The writer of those years was referring to the progress made by E. S. Richardson in consolidating 39 small, outdated schools into 11 modern plants, not the issues we are dealing with now.

However, the spirit that made that progress possible is what we need to recapture today

In 1953 these people were building and planning our future


Seated: Mrs. Clifford Baugh, Mrs. Louise Scruggs, Mrs. Clovis Watson, Miss Sue Jeanette Bostick.

Standing:Mr.  R. H. Manning, Mr. R. O. Machen, Mr. Louis Scrugggs, Mr. J. E. Pitche                       

The four photographs below are from the collection of Mrs. Clovis Watson. Our thanks and appreciation go to William "Pat" Watson for sharing this historic pictures with us.

Though their interests were parish wide this efficient corps of workers saw that the whole child was the focal point whether it be text-books, lunches, absentees, or teachers.


                                                    Former Minden High School Principals


                                                                                  S. R. Emmons


Mr. J.E. Harper

J.L. Cathcart

Wayne W. Williams

Miss Kuma Shealy, Assistant Principal

Many thanks to John Agan and the Minden Press - Herald for allowing us to put his articles on the Webster Superintendent of Schools on this site.

John Agan is the official Historian for Webster Parish, Louisiana.

Webster superintendent of schools

Part I of those who have held the post in the past

Locally, attention this week has been focused on the process of selecting a new Superintendent of Schools for Webster Parish.

The next two Echoes of Our Past will give a brief overview of the individuals who have held that position over the past 110 or so years, and focus on a hotly contested battle for Superintendent that took place 95 years ago, during the late summer of 1908.

Louisiana, and much of the south, lagged behind the rest of the nation in the establishment of public schools.

Although the post of State Superintendent of Education was created in the Louisiana Constitution of 1845, and the language of that document seemed to require public schools be created, in reality it was the 1890s before public schools emerged in most of Louisiana.

Even after that time, the systems existed on barebones funding for many years.

As late as 1914, the Minden High School exhausted its annual funding in early April and students were assessed tuition fees to keep the school open for the rest of the academic year.

First Hire

Webster Parish first hired a Superintendent of Schools in 1892. There were no qualification standards for filling the post at that time and the local School Board, referred to as the Board of Directors, elected John M. Davies. Upon Davies' death in May 1908, the board appointed Thomas M. Fuller, a teacher at Sibley and also former state Senator and newspaper editor to the post in an interim capacity.
Later that fall, he was made the permanent Superintendent, the first required by state law to devote all his time to the post. As such, the salary was raised to $100 per month for Fuller.

When Fuller died unexpectedly in December 1920, for the only time in Webster Parish history, the School Board looked outside Webster Parish for a new Superintendent.

The Meeting

Effective with the first meeting of January 1921, Edwin Sanders Richardson, formerly head of a division of the Louisiana Agricultural Extension service and former Superintendent of Schools in Bienville Parish took over the post of Superintendent.

Richardson was originally from the Gum Springs community west of Minden, so he was a local native, but had been working in Baton Rouge for nearly a decade.

Richardson brought the Webster Parish schools into the modern era through his program of consolidation and standardization that became a model for the rest of the nation.

He also introduced the concept of parish-level administrators, outside the individual schools.

His first hire as an Assistant Superintendent was James Edward Pitcher, son-in-law of famed LSU President Thomas Duckett Boyd.
Pitcher had been serving with the Agricultural Extension Service in Minden prior to being hired by the School Board.

Unexpired Term

In August 1936, when Richardson was named President of Louisiana Tech, Pitcher was appointed to finish his unexpired term.

In 1937, Pitcher was appointed in his own right. He served until 1961, surviving an ouster attempt during the height of power of the White Citizens Councils in 1957.

Pitcher was succeeded as Superintendent by Assistant Superintendent for Instruction; R. O. Machen, Sr. Machen had begun his career in the Webster Parish system as a teacher and coach in 1926 and had worked in the schools of our parish continuously since 1932

The Days of
Robert Manning Jr.

Upon Machen's retirement in 1969 the job of Superintendent was assumed by another veteran Webster Parish educator, Robert H. Manning, Jr. Manning had begun teaching career as a teacher and coach at Dubberly High School in 1937.

At the time of his appointment, Manning was the Assistant Superintendent for Transportation, Maintenance and Purchasing, a post he had held since 1951.

In 1971, Manning retired and was replaced by Assistant Superintendent Wayne W. Williams, Sr., father of present candidate, Wayne W. Williams, Jr. Williams had begun work in the Webster Parish system in the late 1930s as a teacher and coach at Shongaloo High School.

Jerry Lott

In 1978, Williams retired and was replaced by the Attendance Supervisor and Title I Coordinator for the system, Harry M. Campbell.
Campbell began his career in Webster Parish schools in 1947 and had moved into the Central Office administration in 1970. After six years on the job, Campbell retired in the summer of 1984, and was replaced, at first on an interim basis and then permanently, by Assistant Superintendent Jerry Lott.

Lott had begun his career in the Webster Parish system as a teacher and coach at Sarepta in 1961 and had become Assistant Superintendent in 1979.

Lott retired in 1999 and was replaced by the current Superintendent, Richard Noles, a Webster Parish native who had been serving as Elementary Supervisor after a long career in teaching and administration in the parish beginning in the late 1960s.

So as the School Board begins the process of choosing a new Superintendent let's look back for a while at the first competition for the post, in 1908.

John M. Davies

Webster Parish's first Superintendent of Schools, John M. Davies had been born in 1859 in Louisiana; his father was an immigrant from Wales.

By profession, he was a civil engineer and served as the parish surveyor for Webster Parish. Davies was also involved in governmental affairs as the clerk of the Webster Parish Police Jury.

The post of Superintendent of Schools was not a full-time job under the law of that time, so Davies held that job as a part-time public service, beginning in 1892 although he was paid a salary that had reached $75 per month by 1908.

Although it seems Davies didn't devote much time to board affairs, other than to supervise and take minutes at the quarterly meetings. Nevertheless, he held the title of Superintendent, the first person with that distinction in Webster Parish.

By the spring of 1908, changes were coming in Louisiana education. Standards for accreditation and certification of schools were being imposed to bring about increased quality of education in our state.

Locally, Minden High School had become an accredited high school for the first time, under the leadership of the brilliant young educator, C. A. Ives, who would later go on to a distinguished career as the Dean of the College of Education at LSU.

Plans for a
New School

Plans were in the works to build a new high school building for Minden, through a combination of city and parish funding.

In 1908, as seems the norm in Louisiana, politics became injected into education reform. State Superintendent of Education, James B. As well, announced reforms intended to bring some standardization to the teaching requirements in Louisiana.

Along with restructuring the examinations required to become a teacher, Aswell called for the institution of a qualifying exam to become eligible to be named a parish Superintendent of Schools.

While this was a needed change, Aswell's program was part of his plan to win election as Governor, by increasing name recognition.
It seems that, if the reaction in Webster Parish was typical, Aswell miscalculated.

We do know that his bid to become Governor of Louisiana failed, but he did eventually gain election to the United States Congress where he would serve for 18 years. Webster Parish school officials and the public felt that Aswell's plans were an outrage and a usurpation of the power of local people to choose their own leaders.

Even though the same ideas were shared by many in Louisiana, the changes were approved to take effect in the fall of 1908.

As this controversy over Aswell's changes was at its height, an unexpected vacancy occurred at the top of the local system. Superintendent Davies, although only 49 years old, had been suffering many health problems in recent months.

Problems Take Their Measure

He spent much of April 1908 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, hoping the waters would prove beneficial. Davies and his wife returned to Minden in mid-May for school graduations, but Davies died suddenly on Tuesday, May 26, 1908, from what was described as a "malignant attack of yellow jaundice."

The local School Board moved promptly to fill the vacancy as the coming changes in requirements for Superintendent were in the forefront of their minds.

There was a loophole in the standards to take effect in the fall, an Superintendent currently holding office when the new rules took effect was "grandfathered" into the job, and not required to meet and state-imposed standards.

Thomas Fuller

Wishing to maintain what they saw as complete local control, the board moved rapidly and hired Thomas M. Fuller, a prominent local man, who of late had been serving as teacher and principal at Sibley.

The board discussed making a permanent choice for the office in the fall, but most assumed that Fuller would retain the position.

By mid-summer, local political concerns entered the picture. Fuller had long been active in politics having been formerly a State Senator for two terms.

As such, he had political enemies who did not want to see him in the job.

They objected to the board making Fuller's appointment permanent, citing the same claim that local school officials were making against Aswell's requirements, that the board was ignoring the will of the people.

The controversy over Fuller's role became more intense when his initial financial report to the School Board, in July 1908, indicated some problems in administration of the school system.

The Report

There had been no graft or intentional mishandling of funds, but Fuller's report indicated that because of lax oversight, the apportionment of funding for schools had not been handled correctly.

Several schools, most notably the Yellow Pine school south of Sibley, had been shorted a sizeable portion of the annual appropriation for several years.

This revelation increased public demand for a better administration of the schools, while the manner in which Fuller revealed the information fanned the fiery rhetoric of his detractors.

Fuller had issued a statement that seemed to take full credit for the audit of schools finances. Letters to both the Webster Signal and the Minden Democrat pointed out that the School Board had ordered the examination and that Fuller was attempting to paint himself the hero, when he was merely a part of the project.

A Unique Plan

At this point, the Democratic Committee of Webster Parish, along with the School Board crafted a unique plan.

This plan, it was felt, would not only assure the input of the voters in determining the new Superintendent, but also send a strong statement to Baton Rouge as to the way Webster Parish felt about Aswell's qualification standards.

The Democratic Committee announced it would be holding a party primary election for the office of Superintendent of Education.

Although the job was not elective in nature, the party planned to use the primary as a measure of demonstrating which candidate the Democratic voters of Webster Parish felt was best able to lead their schools. Since there were few, if any, registered Republicans in Webster Parish in 1908, the plan was not met with objection by the voters.

Portions of
The Plan

The state did not have to pay for the election, as it would be strictly a party project, and in those days of paper ballots, the expense was minimal.

The lynchpin of the plan, however, was the cooperation of the School Board.

In a formal vote the Board agreed to accept whomever was chosen by the voters in the primary as their choice for Superintendent.

Next Week

Most assumed that Fuller would be the choice, but this was the Board's way of deflecting possible criticism about its handling of the task, while also making a statement about the doctrine of local control over the schools.

In next week's Echo of our Past we will examine the course of that campaign and aftermath of the unique election of Tuesday, September 1, 1908.

The only time in local history when the voters had their direct say on the choice of Superintendent of Schools for Webster Parish.

John Agan is a local historian and adjunct instructor at Bossier Parish Community College. He also works in the Louisiana and Genealogy Section of the Webster Parish Library and is a published author. His column appears Fridays in the Minden Press-Herald.


Webster superintendent of schools

Part II of those who have held the post in the past

In last week's Echo of Our Past, we set the stage for a unique election in the history of Webster Parish, the election of Tuesday, September 1, 1908, when for the only time in the history of Webster Parish, the voters (at least the Democratic voters) were allowed to cast a ballot for the office of Superintendent of Schools.

Today's column will pick up with the campaign for that office and the controversial outcome. Before I begin the account I need to correct and error in last week's column. I inadvertently called Superintendent Thomas Wafer Fuller, "Thomas M. Fuller."

By late July 1908, the campaign for School Board and for Superintendent had begun. In its Friday, July 24 edition, the Minden Democrat commented editorially on the coming election. Among Editor H.A. Davis' comments were:

" . . . the parish superintendent should have general charge of educational matters in the parish. He should have charge of examinations and under the supervision of the Police Jury, he should prorate the monies that belong to the various districts and pay it over to the local treasurer of each district. He should be elected by the people and paid well for his work."

Aswell's Message

The issue of examinations being under control of the local superintendent was raised in the next issue of the Democrat when an announcement appeared for the next teacher's exam, to be administered by Superintendent Fuller and Principal C. A. Ives of Minden High, a prime example of local control.
In contrast, below that announcement was the following message from State Superintendent of Education, J. B. Aswell:

"In harmony with the new law and the resolutions of the State Board of Education adopted on July 20, the first examination for certificates of eligibility to appointment as parish superintendent will be held on August 29 at the office of the State Superintendent of Education in Baton Rouge, and at each parish site in the state."

This was the "heavy hand" of state government that local citizens opposed.

Of course, Webster Parish had come up with their own solution to choosing a parish superintendent, a vote of the people, and it was not clear if the local board might risk sanctions by naming a superintendent who had not passed the state exam.

In that same edition of the Democrat the first man announced his candidacy for superintendent. He was Professor John S. Cheshire, who offered the following campaign biography.

"Mr. Cheshire was born and reared in this parish. He has followed educational work all of his life since by dint of hard exertion he fitted himself for that work. He is a graduate of the leading normal institutions of Texas and holds a first grade certificate. He taught school for several years in Texas and later returned home. For several years he taught in Bossier Parish.

"Of recent years he has been teaching in Webster Parish and he points to his success as a guarantee of his ability to properly fulfill the duties of the office to which he aspires. He will make a thorough canvass of the parish and will personally present his claims for preferment to the voters."

By making his announcement first in the Democrat, Cheshire was in some ways staking a claim to being the "outsider" in the race. The two local newspapers, the Minden Democrat and the Webster Signal, were engaged in a hard-fought competition, particularly over government printing contracts.
The Democrat constantly charged collusion between the editor of its rival, the Signal, and the local government bodies. Perhaps they had a good case.

The Walking Conflict

The editor of the Signal, J. P. Kent, was almost a "walking conflict of interest."

While holding the printing contracts for the Town of Minden, the Webster Police Jury and the Webster Parish School Board, Kent was also a member of both the Minden Board of Aldermen and the School Board.

I guess he just didn't have time to make the Police Jury race. So having your announcement in the paper operated by Mr. Kent, signaled that you were in good graces with the powers that be, while choosing the Democrat as your organ, indicated an advocacy of change.

The second candidate for Webster Parish Superintendent emerged in the next week's edition of the mainline Signal. Major Arthur L. Cox.
His campaign statement included the following biography. "Major Cox not only stands high as a citizen, but he is recognized as one of the leading educators of the parish. He filled with eminent satisfaction for years the responsible position of President of the Minden Female College, at that time one of the highest educational positions in North Louisiana. Since that time he has taught in some of the leading schools of Texas and for the past several years he has been engaged in teaching in the public schools of this parish."

In addition to those credentials, Cox offered the endorsement (albeit in a twenty-five year old letter dated 1883) of President Howard N. Ogden of West Virginia College. Ogden stated that Cox was an "estimable gentleman an accurate and accomplished scholar and an experienced and successful teacher" in addition he cited Cox's sterling moral character and his leadership demonstrated in his college years through two years of service as Captain of the Corps of Cadets at West Virginia College.


The next week's newspapers saw no new candidates but remarkable similar actions taken by the two announced candidates. Both chose to run ads in the newspaper they had not chosen for the original announcement. Cheshire's ad appeared in Kent's Signal and Cox bought space in the Democrat.
More striking was the similarity of the two ads. Cox listed nine promises to the voters if elected. They were: 1) To have regular office hours and days; 2) To secure for each teacher and trustee a copy of the school law and instruct them in their duties; 3) To be in the office (not somewhere in town) every Saturday; 4) To give my entire time to the Superintendent's duties; 5) To see that all contracts whether for teachers, buildings, repairs, or material be awarded on merit and not to relatives or friends as such; 6) To see that the children's money is not used to pay the expenses of teachers to the State Association; 7) To give to the people that pay taxes the right to say how same shall be expended; 8) To keep an account with each district and furnish the patrons with the amount of money due them as soon as the money is received and apportioned; 9) To visit every school in the parish and remain long enough in the school and neighborhood to get in touch with both the teacher and the patrons.

In addition, Cox included the announcement that he would be addressing the voters of the Minden area on two occasions on Saturday, August 22. His topic of choice was "Fuller's Report and the School Law."

He would be speaking at the Webster Parish Courthouse at 2 p.m. and at the Turner School, east of Minden, at 8 p.m. Cox offered to share the podium with any other candidates for the office.

The Cheshire Promises

On the front page of the Signal, Cheshire also included a list of promises to the voters in a box layout identical to Cox's ad in the Democrat.

Cheshire listed 13 promises to the voters. The first nine were identical to Cox's guarantees, but Cheshire added: 10) Not to cancel any certificate until they expire; 11) To carry out all contracts already made when I enter into office; 12) To be conservative in my views; 13) To lay the burden of dividing the school fund on the School Board and see that every dollar goes and stays where it belongs. Cheshire also added a caveat to his promises that he would do these things unless he was "interfered by the State Superintendent or the State Board."

I am frankly stunned by the duplicate nature of these two ads. It is clear that both men had copied the principles from some common source. But even the parenthetical aside (not somewhere in town) was identical in the two lists. Both papers were issued on Friday, so I wonder if there wasn't some embarrassment for the two men when the issues hit the streets. Nevertheless both men pressed forward in their campaigns based on promises that were exactly the same.

Into the Fray

Finally, on August 28, Superintendent Fuller made his formal announcement as a candidate.

Perhaps he assumed he didn't need to exert as much effort as the other two candidates. They were political newcomers, while Fuller had twice been elected as State Senator by the voters of Webster.

In addition, Fuller had been the choice of the School Board when Davies died in May, so he seemed to have the upper hand in that regard also.
Also, no one had been able to criticize Fuller's actions in his brief time as Superintendent. The only charge against him was in taking too much credit for issuing a financial report.

Fuller's campaign biography included the following facts: "Mr. Fuller was born and raised in this parish. He was for two terms State Senator from this district and served the people well. His ability to administer the office which he seeks is unquestioned and he points to his record since his appointment as an earnest of the methods that will be pursued in the future if he is elected.

He is a practical educator and is a graduate of Centenary College." Fuller added another statement that revealed an emerging issue in this race. The notice declared, "He will not be a candidate before the School Board unless he is favored with the highest number of votes in the primary."


The meaning of this statement is explained by another announcement in that week's issue of the Democrat.

School board candidate and incumbent member James M. Miller made the following statement: "I have been asked by Major A.L. Cox if I would pledge my vote to the man getting the highest vote for Superintendent in the primary election. My answer is, I will not. Why? For the reason that the one getting this vote may not be able to pass the examination passed by the State Board. Again, one may get the highest vote and then be very far from having a majority of the entire vote, which would be necessary to make it democratic." Miller added in his final statement. "I would urge you to select a board that will discharge their duties and not allow the Superintendent to control, as some of the platforms seem to indicate."

Combining Miller's statement with Fuller's promise it seems a fairly solid educated guess that a move was underfoot from individual board members to renege on the original promise that the board would "rubber-stamp" the vote of the people.

The stated plans of Cox and Cheshire to become more aggressive than past superintendents was not playing well with incumbents on the board and these members did not want to commit to supporting a candidate they could not work with amicably.

The voters went to the polls on September 1 with what seemed to be a clear choice. Endorse continuity by choosing Thomas W. Fuller, or speak out for change by voting for either Cox or Cheshire.

In terms of demographics, Cheshire, with family roots in the Cotton Valley area, was the "rural candidate" since both Fuller and Cox lived in the Minden area.

When the voters spoke on September 1, the scenario projected by Miller in his announcement came true.

The Votes Are In

The election was extremely close.

Fuller came out in first place with 314 votes, only two more than Cheshire's total of 312. Cox was only 34 votes behind with 280 ballots in his favor.
Although Fuller won a plurality he had been the first choice of only 35% of the voters.

Cheshire immediately announced he was backing Fuller for the job.

However, his supporters were not so quick to fall in line.

In the Democrat of September 25, 1908, there appeared a petition signed by more than 50 voters from the northern part of Webster Parish.

They requested the School Board to call for a runoff election between the two highest candidates, Fuller and Cheshire, so that the name submitted to the School Board would have been endorsed by a majority of the voters.

Surprisingly, both the Signal and the Democrat came out against this proposition. They stated two reasons, first, that a gentleman's agreement had been reached before the election and to go back on that now would be an unseemly situation.

The second reason was far more compelling and it was tied to Superintendent Aswell's examination for Superintendent (in fact, Aswell was no longer in that job, he had been named President of Louisiana Normal at Natchitoches and T. H. Harris of Claiborne Parish, who would hold the job of State Superintendent until 1940 was the new Superintendent). Back on August 29, all three candidates for parish superintendent had taken the state exam. On September 18, the results were made known. Only one person from Webster Parish, Principal C. A. Ives of MHS had passed the exam.

According to the state law, only two persons, the current superintendent, Fuller and the exam-certified Ives were qualified to be Superintendent. Ives did not want the job, so if the School Board chose anyone but Fuller for the post, it would seem that the parish would find itself in court over electing an uncertified Superintendent.

Fuller's Reign

On Friday, October 3, 1908, the School Board met at the Courthouse in Minden and unanimously chose Thomas Wafer Fuller as the second Superintendent of Schools for Webster Parish.

Fuller would hold the job for a little over 12 years, until his death in December 1920. At that time, Webster Parish reached out and hired a local man who had gained an excellent reputation in education work statewide, Edwin Sanders Richardson, as Superintendent.

Over the next 16 years, Richardson transformed our schools into a model for the country.
We can hope that the result of that Echo of Our Past is repeated as the School Board soon chooses the 11th Webster Parish Superintendent of Schools.

John Agan is a local historian and adjunct instructor at Bossier Parish Community College. He also works in the Louisiana and Genealogy Section of the Webster Parish Library and is a published author. His column appears Fridays in the Minden Press-Herald.

 Tide Talk, February 4, 1958
Carry-All Dies
"The wonderful one-horse shay."  This phrase may be termed to the old and faithful red carry-all as it is now.  The sad passing of the red carry-all has been expected for some time. After many, many years of hard work and able service, it was beginnng to show the signs of wear.
The actual "death" of the carry-all is a story in itself.  Senior Edd Moreland was driving it to the gym to a basketball game when "old faithful" began acting up.  He decided to try to make it to Coach Pat Nation's house, and just as he was coasting up in front of his house, the crankshaft fell out.  Needless to say, this was the end.
The history of MHS's red carry-all began in 1946 when it was purchased by the citizens of Minden sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the Civitan Club, and Lions Club.  It's purpose was to provide transportation home for boys after football practice.  It was used for transportation for various other student activities, also.
Through the years the red carry-all has served MHS students well.  It has been used for transportation to and from athletic events, for Grig pictures, and to carry students home after practice.  According to Mr. J. D. Oliphant, a few years ago the carry-all averaged around forty miles a day.
In 1946 the carry-all saved the day for the basketball team heading to Baton Rouge for the state tournament.  Part of the team rode in a car, the others in the carry-all.  About halfway to Baton Rouge the car broke down and all the basketball team and coaches were forced to pile into the carry-all and continue their trip in a rather crowded state.
The red carry-all had become a familiar sight to us at MHS today.  It has been used by Edd and Joe Moreland for basketball purposes, but many of the other students have used it a great deal.
So as a final tribute to the red carry-all we present its epitaph.
Here am I, a junkyard heap,
Dead of wear; and worn
By slow oil seep
As though I was never born.
R.I.P. (Rusting in Pieces)
And dirty greases.

Submitted by Ann Mays Harlan

Minden Press-Herald, Wednesday, March 26, 1986
Miss Cathryn Elizabeth Berly
 Miss Cathryn Elizabeth Berly, 89, of Minden passed away Monday, March 24 in Minden Medical Center following a brief illness.
 Services were held today at 2 p.m. in the Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Bob Burgess officiating.  Burial followed in the Minden Cemetery.
 Miss Berly was born in Campti, La., and had been a resident of Minden for the past 60 years.  She was a retired school teacher and librarian with the        Louisiana Public Schools.
 Miss Berly was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, the Business and Professional Women's Class of the First United Methodist Church, and the U.M.W.
 She was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Berly and her brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. John D. Berly.
 Survivors include several cousins and many dear friends.

Submitted by Ann Mays Harlan

From The Tide Talk, Tuesday, April 2, 1957, Page 8    --  Miss Maude Bullock--

   Have you noticed the charming lady working the crossword puzzle?  Everyone, of course, knows that this is Miss Maude Bullock, seventh grade teacher, and Junior High principal.
   When asked her opinion of the seventh grade boys and girls, she replied, "Seventh grade students are the most interesting to teach, eager and ready to cooperate with their leaders."
   Born in Doyline, she finished high school there and graduated from Northwestern State College at Natchitoches.
   The most interesting thing she has done was to take a trip to Washington, D. C.
We hail Miss Bullock for her years of service to Minden Junior High.  As assistant principal and seventh grade teacher, she has done her duty well.


Mr. J. L. Cathcart
Our Principal until
1954John L. and Mutella B. are interred in Section 2, row 7 of the Garden of the Lord's Supper. Mr. Cathcart was born  May 8, 1895 - March 17, 1969. Mrs. Cathcart was born 18 August 1898. Her death date is blank.

Minden Press-Herald, Tuesday, March 18, 1969
Webster Parish Educator J. L. Cathcart Dies Monday
J. L. Cathcart, 73; who for 40 years was a Webster Parish teacher and school principal, died Monday in the Gray Clinic in Springhill after a seven weeks illness. Before his retirement from the Webster Parish School system in 1963, J. L. Cathcart had been a principal in parish schools since 1923.  He began service in the school system as principal of the Cotton Valley school, and served there until 1934, when he became principal of Springhill High School. In 1940, Cathcart was transferred to the principalship of Minden High School and remained there until 1952, when he was appointed principal of E. S. Richardson Elementary School, and remained there until his retirement in 1963. 
The South Carolina native, prior to coming to Webster Parish, taught two years in South Carolina, and served one year in agricultural extension work in Claiborne Parish. He received his bachelor's degree from Clemson University and his Master's from Louisiana State University.  He officially retired from the Webster School system on May 31, 1963.
Since his retirement, Mr. Cathcart had been working as a radio operator with the Springhill office of the Webster Parish  Sheriff's Department, where he made his home. 
Funeral services for Mr. Cathcart will be held at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow in the Minden Presbyterian Church, with Rev. William H. Hefelfinger officiating.
Burial will be in Gardens of Memory cemetery, under direction of Green-Kleinegger Funeral Home of Minden. Mr. Cathcart is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Undine Sapp of Springhill; one granddaughter, Mrs. S. T. Howell of Natchitoches; one brother, J. R. Cathcart of Columbia, South Carolina; one niece and one nephew.


BENJAMIN EARLE COOKE, JR. is interred in the Garden of Prayer in Section 1, Row 1 of the Gardens of Memory.  The marker next to his reads: Mary Perritt born 27 Apr. 1928 Beloved wife, mother, & grandmother.

On Friday, October 12, 2001 the following article appeared in the Minden Press-Herald.

                             FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
                           TO HONOR FORMER CHOIR DIRECTOR
For 50 years, he directed the choir of First United Methodist Church for the
Sunday worship services. The membership of First United Methodist Church
will be honoring Earle Cooke on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the 10:30 worship service
by declaring it Earle Cooke Sunday.
   Cooke began directing the choir in 1951, and retired this year because of
illness. His tenure as choir director covered the span of 14 ministers. On Oct.
14, Cooke will direct the choir consisting of present and former members. Guest
minister will be the Rev. Ed Thomas, former pastor. Also participating in the
service will be Mayor Bill Robertson and State Representative Jean Doerge.
   Dinner will be served in the activities building following the morning worship
services and a program featuring choir members will follow. The Rev. Ryan Horton,
pastor of First United Methodist Church invites the public to attend the worship
services and honor Cooke.
   Cooke was born and raised in Minden. He attended both elementary and high
school. He was in band and the acapella choir. He began singing in the First
Methodist Choir before he entered high school. Upon graduation from high school,
he entered Louisiana Tech majoring in music education. His schooling was
interrupted by World War II, when he was drafted into the army in 1943. He
served in the European Theater, which included Battle of the Bulge. While in the
army he played the organ for Chaplain Marshall Mines, some times playing as
many as 28 services in a day.
   In January 1946, he returned to Louisiana Tech and completed his bachelor
of music degree. Cooke enrolled at Northwestern University in Chicago, working
on MME. He went on to complete his MME at LSU in 1950. After one term, he
returned to Minden for the Christmas holidays and was offered the position of
vocal music director at Minden High School, where he taught for 30 years, retiring
in May 1978.
   He dated his next door neighbor, Mary Elizabeth Perritt while they were both
attending Louisiana Tech. Upon graduation, Cooke and Perritt were married at
First United Methodist Church in Minden on June 3, 1949. They are the parents
of two daughters, Jane Cooke Williams and Kathy Cooke Tomlinson, both of
Bossier City. They have six granddaughters.
   Cooke completed a course in piano tuning and has tuned pianos for 50 years
and has been a member of the piano Technician Guild for 25 years.State Representative Jean Doerge, right, presents plaque from Mike Foster to Earle Cooke during a worship service honoring his fifty years as the choir director of First United MethodistChurch. Cooke began directing the choir in 1951 and retired this ear because of illness.Thursday, October 18, 2001 - Minden Press Herald  Submitted photo.


 Earl Cooke began directing the choir in 1951... 

Representative Jean Doerge, right presents plaque from Governor Mike Foster  honoring Earle Cooke during a worship service honoring his fifty years as the choir director of First United Methodist Church. Cooke ceased directing  the choir in 1951 and retired because of illness.

 Submitted by Earlene Mendenhall Lyle

BENJAMIN EARLE COOKE JR.  dies on Saturday Nov. 10, 2001
       Obituaries -  2 Monday November 12 2001 Minden Press - Herald
   Funeral services for Mr. Benjamin Earle Cooke Jr. will be held at 2 p.m.
 Tuesday, November 13, 2001, at First United Methodist Church in Minden
 with the Reverend Ryan Hortan officiating. Burial will follow at Gardens of
 Memory Cemetery under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden.
    Visitation will be held from 5 until 7 p.m. today, November 12, at the funeral
    Mr. Cooke, a native of Minden, passed away Saturday, November 10, after
 a valiant fight with cancer. He was a lifelong member of First United Methodist
 Church in Minden. He graduated from Minden High School and Louisiana Tech
 University. After graduation, he attended Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill.,
 and obtained his masters from Louisiana State University in January 1948. He
 was asked to return to Minden to become the director of the Minden High School
 Choir and music educator for grades one - twelve. He returned from this position
 in 1978, after thirty years of service to Webster Parish schools.
    Serving in the armed forces of World War II as assistant to the chaplain, he
 traveled Europe, sharing his love of music with the troops in as many as 28
 worship services daily.
    Mr. Cooke served the Lord faithfully for fifty years as the choral director for
 First United Methodist Church. One of his highest tributes was being honored
 by the church on October 14, 2001, for his dedication. Recognized by the governor
 of Louisiana, choir members and former students, they gave testimony both
 professionally and personally about his devotion to all who knew him.
    As a member of the Piano Technician's Guild for thirty-five years, he served
 Minden and the surrounding area as a piano technician. Holding many offices
 including local president, he traveled throughout North America and the state of
 Louisiana attending conventions to represent his local chapter and further his
 studies his studies. He was also a member of the American Legion for over fifty
    He is survived by his wife of fifty-two years, Mary Elizabeth Perritt Cooke; two
 daughters, Jan Williams and husband Greg and Cathy Tomlinson and husband
 Ralph; six granddaughters, Jenny, Ashley, and McKenzie Williams and Rachel,
 Lauren and Connor Tomlinson; and mother-in-law, Elizabeth Perritt; and a host
 of friends and family.
    Pallbearers will be Ben Craton, Donald Hinton, Henry Lester, A. G. "Ike"
 Kirkikis, Ralph Tomlinson, Greg Williams, Rod Gann and Roy Love, Paul
 Woodard, members of the FUMC Chancel Choir and the Piano Technician's Guild.
     Memorials may be made to the Chancel Choir Room Fund, at FUMC
 Minden, 903 Broad, Minden, La. 71055.
 Submitted by Ann Mays Harlan


Minden Press-Herald, Monday, August 14, 1961  MRS. LYDIA SHEALY DAVID
Last Rites Set Tuesday for Mrs. David
Funeral services for Mrs. Bert David, Sr. will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Green-Kleinegger Chapel with the Rev. Truman Aldredge officiating.
Mrs. David, music teacher for many years, died at 4 p.m. yesterday at her home after a lengthy illness.  Burial will be in the Minden Cemetery.
Survivors include her husband; two sons, Bert David, Jr. of Dallas and Richard Davis of Minden; one daughter, Mrs. Ben E. Coleman of Shreveport; one brother, J. A. Shealy of Ruston; two sisters, Miss Kuma Shealy of Minden and Mrs. Elsie Fritz of Shreveport, and three grandchildren. Note:  Miss Shealy is interred in the Minden City Cemetery next to her parents John Noah Shealy (1862-1917) and Lydia Walker Shealy (1868-1932) Also buried in the Shealy plot is her sister; Elsie Shealy Fitz (1890-1990) and her husband Theophilus E. Fitz (1880-1943)  Section A West. Section B West, is her sister Lavinia Shealy David (13 May 1893-13 Aug. 1961) and her husband William Bert David (24 March 1892-10 May 1973).


 Mrs. Vernie Davis born Aug. 13, 1943, and she died at 53 on Oct. 25, 1996; started teaching math at Minden High School in 1965. She also taught at Glenbrook  She was the wife of M. Tommy Davis, a native of Stephens, Arkansas.  She was active in Emmanuel and later the First Baptist Church. Interment was in the Gardens of Memory. She was survived by two sons; Stanley Davis, Scott Davis and a daughter, Suzanne.

Submitted by Billy Hathorn


Everett Doerge born May 6, 1935 died April 7, 1998. Interred in the Garden of Memories, row 7, Section 1 Garden of Prayer. He we was a mason. There is a marker for Jean McGlothlin born 4 Jun. 1937 next to his.Under each name is a seal: State of Louisiana - Union, Justice, Confidence House of Representatives. Also buried beside him is a marker for his Father, George G. Doerge born 15 Apr. 1901 died 7 Dec. 1976 and his mother Jewel M. born 8 Nov. 1907 and died 26 Apr. 1993.

Everett Gail Doerge was born on the 6th day of May, 1935, in Port Arthur, TX. He moved to Minden with his parents, Jewel and George Doerge, when he was eight years old. He was was on active and reserve duty from 1954 until 1964.  Everett received his Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern in 1958. After  reserve duty he went back to school and earned his masters from Northwestern where he earned his master's
degree in 1968. He received a Doctorate of Education from Louisiana State University. He served as a teacher and coach at Minden High School from 1964-1974. He was Principal of Lowe Middle School from 1976-1978 and also served as assistant supt. from 1984 to 1992. On April 17, 1998 Everett Gail Doerge died in Minden and was survived by Jean McGlothlin Doerge, a daughter,  Sherie, and two sons, Justin and Jacob Doerge. He was a state Legislator when he died.

Minden Press-Herald, Friday, April 17, 1998 (Front Page Headline Article)
Doerge dies early today of heart ailment
Representative had heart attach one week ago.
by Allen J. M. Smith (Managing Editor)
State Rep. Everett Doerge, D-Minden, died early this morning.  Doerge, 62, suffered a massive heart attack Thursday, April 9 and was taken to Minden Medical Center, then transferred to Willis-Knighton, where he spent the week in critical condition.
Funeral arrangements had not been announced by press time.
Doerge was elected to the State House of Representatives in 1992, campaigning on educational issues.  Before running for office, he was a teacher and school administrator.
During his first term he worked for teacher pay raises and other educational issues.
The first bill he passed raised the driving age to 16.  Other causes he adopted were:
   Funding for fire protection districts.
   Funding for industrial expansions in Webster Parish, and infrastructure funds for added municipal services for companies such as Fibrebond Corp., The Trane Co. and Clement Industries.
   Construction of the I-20 service road.
   Improvement of Highway 371, including expansion to four lanes in some areas.
Minden Mayor Bill Robertson cited Doerge's willingness to work hard for special appropriations and grants for the area.  "He is always more than willing to help, even if it means extra trips to Baton Rouge," Robertson said.
Recent projects of Doerge's included expansion and possible relocation of Northwest Louisiana Technical College.
He was instrumental in securing funds for three new positions at the college, and had been working with State Sen. Foster Campbell, D-Elm Grove, on a new campus, possibly on the I-20 service road.
Northwest Tech director Charles Strong said, "He is the best representative I could have asked for."
Another area of interest was health care.  Doerge's 1993 optometry bill and his work to establish rural health care clinics drew praise from optometrist Dr. Eddie Moss and Minden Medical Center administrator George French.
Moss said, "He had the best interest of all the parish residents at heart."
French said, "We would not have the Doyline Health Clinic without his efforts to intercede with the Department of Health and Hospitals."
A pet project  was the first-ever commemorative area for Webster Parish.  In that project, the Shadow estate on La. Hwy. 531 would be converted to a historic site and folk life center.
Doerge best known for career as school educator in Minden
Before his successful run for state representative in 1992, Everett Doerge was an educator for 29 years in Webster Parish.  His first position in Webster Parish was as a teacher for a short time at Minden Junior High School in 1959.
 Then he went to Arp, Texas in 1959.  In 1961 he accepted a teaching position at Iota, Louisiana, High School.
 n 1964 he returned to his alma mater as a teacher of physical education and social studies and as a coach at Minden High School until 1974.
 His career in administration included posts as assistant principal at Webster Junior High School and principal at Dubberly Elementary School and Lowe Middle School.
 He was promoted to secondary supervisor of Webster Parish Schools in 1979, then to assistant superintendent in 1984, a position he held until his retirement from education.
 He was born in Port Arthur, Texas and moved to Minden when he was eight years old.  He graduated from Minden High School after playing on the all-state football team in 1954.
 After high school he went to Mississippi State University with a football scholarship, then transferred to Northwestern State University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in 1958.
 After graduation, he was commissioned an officer and served six months of active duty in the U. S. Army.  He remained in the U. S. Army Reserves until 1964.  In that year he received his master of science degree from Northwestern.  In 1973 he received his doctorate in education from Louisiana State University.
 He was a member of Civitans International, the Lions Club and the Masonic Lodge.
 He is survived by his wife Jean and daughter Sherie Lester.  Sherie and her husband Kevin Lester have two sons, Jacob and Justin.

Minden Press-Herald, Friday, April 17, 1998 - Our Editorial by David Specht, Jr., Publisher

Goodbye Dr. Doerge, you will be missed
At 3:15 this morning, we lost Dr. Everett Doerge, our state representative from Minden.  While many people knew Dr. Doerge as a politician who served them in Baton Rouge, I had the opportunity to know just a little about Dr. Doerge---the man.
 The memory that sticks out in my mind doesn't even date back that far.  I was invited to Clement Industries' annual distributors meeting and banquet at Pine Hills Country Club.  I attended the banquet as a reporter for the Press-Herald, but also as its assistant publisher.
 At the time, I had only met Mr. Glen Hicks, president of Clement Industries, once and most of the people in attendance were from out of state.  To be honest, I was a little uncomfortable.
 Dr. Doerge spotted me from across the room and came over to talk.  It was obvious he knew that I was uncomfortable because he said, "Don't worry, you will get used to these things."
 I was seated at the same table with Dr. Doerge for the banquet and he made a point of holding a conversation with me for most of the evening.
 Now this was a situation I had been in before, having a politician bend my ear as a member of the press.  However, this time it was different.
 Before, when listening to a politician give his or her spiel on a particular issue or piece of legislation, you can tell if they have either rehearsed or made the same statements before.  This was not true of Doerge.
 Doerge shot from the hip and didn't mince words.  He showed an honest compassion for his district and his constituents.  He said to me on more than one occasion, "David, I just wish they (the constituents) would call me.  They have more clout than all the lobbyists in Baton Rouge."
 Others in the community felt the same way about Dr. Doerge.   Charles Strong, administrator at Northwest Tech, always talked highly of our state representative and all the times he went to bat for our technical college in Baton Rouge.
 Whether it was repaving or expanding roads or pushing of education in our area Doerge did his best to see that Minden got its share out of state government.
 I would be lying if I said that Dr. Doerge and I were very close---we were acquaintances at best.  Perhaps our roles of newspaper publisher and public servant kept us from becoming closer friends.
 Minden lost more than a state representative today, however.  To some they lost a friend, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a teacher, or a coach.
 Our thoughts and prayers are with the Doerge family.  We feel the loss too.
 However, Minden is a better place today because Everett Doerge lived here.



George Doherty - Coach, PE, Mathematics, & Geometry  

Born in Canton, Miss., Coach George Doherty has many years of past experience to aid him in coaching football.  While in high school, he played tackle and center for four years, making All-State tackle two consecutive years.
Upon graduating he attended one year at Mississippi State College and then transferred to Louisiana Tech.  He played three years varsity, making the Louisiana Intercollegiate Conference two years again as right tackle.  While he was attending Tech, he took time out to serve in the infantry of World War II.
After receiving his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana Tech in 1945, he completed his Master’s Degree at George Peabody College in Nashville, TN.
Following this, Coach Doherty played four years of professional football. One team he  played for was the Buffalo Bills.  He was named twice to the All-Pro team and voted “Rookie of the Year” in the National Football League.
While playing professional football, he had many exciting and funny experiences.  He once saw Lana Turner dining in Hotel Statler and ran back to his hotel room to get Mrs. Doherty.  “I didn’t know what was wrong when he came running in,” says Mrs. Doherty.
While playing the Los Angeles Rams, he was kissed by Carol Landis, sat on the bench with Joan Caulfield, was the guest of Bing Crosby in his home, and a guest of Don Ameche at the famous Brown Derby.
At home he is an adoring husband, and he never spanks Mike.  He has Mike’s mother do that job.
On the football field, every boy looks with admiration to the shy reticent coach, who started his career in Stamps, Ark., in 1948, with a group of boys who had never had on football suits.  Within three years they had gone to the state finals.
He came to Minden in 1950. By 1955 Minden was known as THE HOME OF CHAMPIONS                       

From a November, 1955 Tide Talk, Proudly We Hail column.
Tide Talk, April 2, 1957.....Did You Know That . . . Mrs. Jeanne Doherty was a beauty at Tech?

                             From November 1955 Tide Talk


                                               Milton Fletcher

Mr. Fletcher was born in Coushatta, Louisiana, but he spent his younger days in the Homer oil fields.  He went to grammar school in Homer, and later attended high school at Kilgore High, Kilgore, Texas.  He graduated from Metiva High School in Coushatta where he was on the basketball team that won the Class B State Championship.

 After graduation, he went into the United States Cavalry and he was stationed on the Mexican border.  While in the cavalry he served under General Wainwright.  Senator John Overton appointed Mr. Fletcher to West Point Military Academy, before which Mr. Fletcher had attended preparatory school for two years in San Antonio.
 When he took his entrance examination at West Point, he failed his math test.  Mr. Fletcher grinned and commented, "That's when I decided to be a math teacher."
 After his elimination at West Point, he transferred to the Air Force.  He took the Air Cadet examination in Washington, D. C., and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1943.
 Later Mr. Fletcher began to see many sections of the world, as he was sent overseas.  Mr. Fletcher also did his share of the fighting by completing thirty-three missions.  He was on the shuttle raid to Africa when Germany's ball-bearing plants were destroyed.  During his military career Mr. Fletcher rose to the rank of major.  When he became inactive, he started to college at Northwestern in Natchitoches.  He finished college in 1948 and since that time he has done graduate work at the University of Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin College.  Mr. Fletcher has taught at two other schools, but he chose Minden because, "They know what they are doing here."
 Mr. Fletcher commutes from Coushatta to Minden each day.  He is married and his wife is a teacher at the Hall Summit school. They have three daughters, Millicent Ann, Elizabeth Kay, and Brenda Carol.
 Mr. Fletcher did have a small chicken farm in Coushatta, but, "The chickens got the best of me, because I couldn't eat all I didn't sell."  Now our geometry, algebra and bookkeeping teacher has a limited pheasant business.  Mr. George Doherty and Mr. Kirtley Miles help supply Mr. Fletcher with the eggs for his "only enough to eat" pheasant raising.
 Mr. Fletcher, truly your life is one to be proudly hailed, your contributions to your country and to your profession are great.  Minden High would like to thank you for your devotion to our school, and it would like to praise you for serving your students so well. 


  Avice Foret was born in 1904 on a poor farm in Lisbon, La. The land was settled by her grandfather, John Farley, after the civil war. Her farmily and friends called her "Ace."
John Farley was captured at Vicksburg by the Union army, and the farm in Georgia was destroyed by Sherman's army in its "march to the sea." His wife managed to hide their wagon, horses, and cattle from the raiders.
  After the war John left Georgia with his family and headed for Texas in their wagon, pulled by the horses and cattle, and got as far as Lisbon, La. and "wintered over." They found springs there and built log cabins.
They found good land and stayed. Ace's father and uncles settled land close by.  Ace, her sister Irmanie, and brothers Kenneth and Herman were born there.
Her father, Cub Farley, wanted his children to have an education.  It was unusual for women to attend college then, especially those from a poor farm background.
  Cub sold the land in Lisbon, and  bought land on Cane River in Natchitoches where he raised cotton.
  Ace and Irmanie attended Normal Teachers College (now Northwestern) in Natchitoches.  The system was called "progressive education," and allowed students to take classes 12 months of the year. You advanced as rapidly as you could pass the curriculum.  Ace and my mom graduated from college when they were 17 years old with teaching degrees.
   Her brothers attended college out of state and both became M.D.'s.  Kenneth practiced medicine in Nebraska and Oregon. Herman was a rare genius with a photographic memory.  He could recall every word he had ever read, including all the medical books.  He taught at the University of Oklahoma, and then moved to Virginia where he worked for the U. S. government.
  Ace married David Foret and moved to South America. She worked in an aircraft factory in either Brazil or Argentina. The marriage didn't last, and she moved back and began teaching in Minden.
  Ace was extremely bright. She easily mastered chemistry, physics and math.  She loved children, and she loved her students.
  Ace studied atomic physics at M.I.T. and advanced chemistry at L.S.U. She tried to pass as much knowledge as she could to help her students improve their lives.  Her results were exceptional, with many moving to exceptional careers in science, engineering and mathematics.
  Ace had a strong personality and an excellent sense of humor.
  She was a memorable person and positively influenced many lives. 
  She retired from Minden High School in the 1960's and went on to teach Indian children in White Sands, New Mexico.  She then taught for private schools in New Orleans and Jonesboro, Arkansas.
  Ace moved back to Minden and lived there until health problems became severe. (Heart attack and a stroke)  Her nephew, Jim Life, moved her to Rogers, Arkansas and took care of her until she died in March, 1984.
She is buried in the old Rogers Cemetery in Rogers, Ark.
  Her sister Irmanie Life and brother-in-law Jimmie Life lived in Rogers, and helped me take care of her in her final days.
  She will be remembered as the most giving person one could ever have known. It was obvious that her former students loved her as they would often come back to visit after her retirement. When she died, her family received many condolences from her former students.

This is the last picture Mrs. Foret had made.

Submitted by Jim Life



Guy W. Harkness is interred in the Garden of Memories on row 10, section 1, Garden of the Good Shepherd next to his wife. The marker reads: Guy W. born 13 Apr. 1906 died 17 Jan. 1991   Lois M. born 20 Aug. 1914 died 2 Jan. 1995.



Connie Baldridge Harper    17 Aug. 1907 - 12 Mar. 1974

 Gardens of Memory Cemetery (Row 4 - Section 2 Garden of Prayer) There is a double marker for: Clinton David Harper born 10 Jul. 1904 died 7 May 1978 Eastern Star   

Minden Press-Herald, Wednesday, March 13, 1974
Mrs. Connie Beatrice Harper passed away Tuesday morning at the Ruston General Hospital after a lengthy illness.
 She was a retired teacher of Minden High School for 41 years in the English Department.
 Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m. today at the First Methodist Church with Rev. Kirby Vining and Rev. Paul Durbin officiating.  Interment will be in the Gardens of Memory under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home.
 She is survived by her husband, Clinton Harper of Minden; two daughters, Mrs. Juan A. Velasco of New Orleans and Miss Camille Harper of Chicago; three sisters, Mrs. J. L. Markerson of Franklinton, Mrs. B. P. Jacob of Glento, and Mrs. Catherine Betty of Lake Charles.
 Pallbearers will be Weldon Harper, Louis Fisher, Bobby Wise, John Kelling, W. W. Williams, and Eldred Lowe.  Honorary Pallbearers are Cecil Campbell, John T. Campbell, and Harry Campbell, and the Banks Sunday School class.


J. E. HARPER - Principal before Mr. Cathcart (There is a marker in the Gardens of Memory  on Row 2, Section 1 in the Gardens of the Fountain of Youth near third Minden High School Principal, Wayne W. Williams. ) James Elmer Harper born 11 December 1893 died 5 April 1971 Augusta G. Harper born born 6 July 1898 died 12 August 1983



Miss Joyce Hillard, girl's physical education director, returned to Minden High School at mid-term session to resume her duties upon the completion of her masters degree at Louisiana State University. During her four years here, Miss Hillard has built up an athletic department that is envied all over the state. Beginning with the production of a water show one year ago, she now has developed the Girl's State Championship swimming team of '54. The annual water show will be held May 12, 13, 14 in the school's swimming pool. A recent invitation to open the Audubon Park in New Orleans with a 25-girl water show proves the prestige that she brought to the physical education department of Minden High School and the City of Minden. From the May 1955 Tide Talk
Submitted by William "Pat" Watson                                                            

Minden Press-Herald - Thursday, August 15, 1996                              
 Dr. Joyce Eileen Hillard
 Dr. Joyce Eileen Hillard of Natchitoches passed away on July 23, 1996. A lifelong resident of Louisiana, Dr. Hillard pursued a career in coaching and teaching spanning 34 years. She held positions at both high school and college level.
 She was born and raised in Baton Rouge, and graduated from Baton Rouge High School in 1943 and from LSU in 1947. She received a master's degree from LSU in 1955, and her Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1972. A fine athlete herself, Dr. Hillard was the first female member of the LSU tennis team while an undergraduate. She was an accomplished tennis player and golfer.
 She began her career as assistant professor of health and physical education at Lander College in South Carolina. She became a physical education instructor at Minden High School in 1951, and remained there until she took a similar position at Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge in 1956. Her teams at both schools enjoyed exceptional success winning Louisiana High School state championships. She was well known in aquatic circles, and was an exceptional coach and motivator. Her accomplishments were noted in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED on one occasion.
 She became assistant professor of health and physical education at Northwestern State College in Natchitoches in 1963, remaining there until her retirement in 1981.
 She was organizer and coach of the Minden Tidettes, the Capitol Swimmers (Baton Rouge) and the Natchitoches Neptunes. She coached and officiated swimming, diving, tennis, gymnastics, and basketball. Dr. Hillard received an award from the Mayor of Natchitoches in 1994. During the ceremony, it was said that "She touched lives through teaching."
 Dr. Hillard is survived by three nephews and two nieces, and their families. A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches at 10 a.m., Saturday, September 28, 1996.
 NOTE: Joyce was in a nursing home in Natchitoches at the time of her death. She died from complication of Diabetes when she was about 71. 

Coach Oliphant the water shows (aquacades) long before Coach Hillard got there and was actually probably the one who taught all of us to swim..Even after Coach Hillard took over the aquacade, he still helped figure out the formations.

Submitted by Harol Lynn Turner Thompson


Elton D. Kelly From the 1958 Grig:  The 1957 football season began with a new mentor...who came from DeRidder High School where he had eight successful


years of football.                                                                                              

Coach and Mrs. Elton D. Kelly  

 The Kellys lived at the junction of Marshall and Fort streets. Some of the large houses in the Academy Park area are nearby. They had at least two children, David and Kathy, maybe three. Both taught science, as I recall. "Kelly" is an Irish name, and I think that Coach Kelly was "Irish" in many ways. Coach Kelly taught general science, chemistry, and driver's education. I had him for general science in the fall of 1962 (Mrs. Harol Thompson took over that class in the spring of 1963, but I don't know why: there was probably a change in faculty scheduling). I also had him for behind-the-wheel driver's education in the summer of 1964, and I had him for chemistry in 1964-65. He gave me a "C" in behind-the-wheel" instruction because he said that I was easily distracted in driving. He was right, and I have learned to remain vigilant while driving. Still I had a potentially fatal accident (no injuries but damage to vehicle) in December 1990. Then he gave me the "Chemistry award" for 1965, but I did not deserve it. I think that I may have had the highest average in the class and got the award by default. Instead, I should have gotten the award for "American history," but I took a regular class in that, not the "accelerated" class and was ineligible. Coach Kelly of course loved football. In the general science class, he would once a week give us an in-class assignment while he painted the mouth guards for the players. I never knew with what he was painting the mouth guards: I guess it was plaster. He seemed to really enjoy painting those mouth guards, like a break in a hectic day. He had a dry sense of humor. He went out of his way to talk to students and not just about class or football. He was a master of handling a classroom and presumably the players as well. Today though probably even Coach Kelly could have some problems in these rampant out-of-control schools. He would find them very stressful, I am afraid. Yet, he seemed to have no stress in his own life. Mrs. Kelly was in personality the opposite of her husband. She was  flamboyant and was also a strong defender of teachers' rights. In 1970 (two years after Coach Kelly's untimely death), she spoke at a teachers' meeting in the Minden High School auditorium. I covered the meeting for the Minden Press-Herald.  Thereafter, I heard that Mrs. Kelly married the father of  former Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Gil Dozier and moved to south Louisiana. I do not know if she is still living but of course hope that she is. Coach Kelly died in 1968 (M.H.S. also lost mathematics instructor Mr. Walter C. Sibley the same year.) of a heart attack. I don't recall his age, but it was probably "middle 50s." I also don't know where Coach Kelly is buried. I do remember going to the funeral home and signing the book but did not go to the funeral, as I was attending class at LA Tech. In retrospect, I wish that I had taken the time to go to the funeral. He was a tremendous educator and human.

Written and submitted by Billy Hathorn.


Minden Press-Herald, Front Page, Monday, June 11, 1973
Funeral Services Will Be Held For Mrs. Gladys Powell Hunter Tuesday (24 Aug. 1899 - 09 June 1973)
Funeral services for Mrs. Gladys P. Hunter, 73, will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday in the First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Kirby Vining officiating.
Burial will be in Minden Cemetery under the direction of Green-Kleinegger Funeral Home.
Gladys Hunter, widow of Larry B. Hunter, died suddenly Saturday afternoon in Sarasota, Florida, while visiting her daughter.
Born in Yellowpine, she taught school in the Webster Parish School system until her marriage to Larry B. Hunter.  Her interest in education continued and she was twice elected to the Webster Parish School Board.
Gladys and Larry Hunter operated the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Minden.  With Coca-Cola profits, they built for the young.  Starting with their own "Little Playhouse," they "later" built the "Big Playhouse," a playground, baseball park and swimming pool for the teenagers of Minden.
 n 1946, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter were named "Citizens of the Year," receiving the first such award given.  Mrs. Hunter was the only woman ever to receive the award.
Survivors are four sons, Bill Hunter, Joe Hunter, and Ben Hunter, all of Minden, and Joel Gearhart of Homer; two daughters, Bess Hunter of Minden and Mrs. Nan Castle of Sarasota, Florida; a brother, Clifford Powell of Shreveport; eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Those serving as pallbearers will be N. A. Dulany, J. W. Wall, James Rabb, Reese Simmons, Carter B. Norman, Cecil C. Lowe, Hale R. Shadow and Steve Cole.



Thursday, March 7, 2002 - Minden Press Herald
Gail Kennon

Funeral services for Mrs. Gail Felts Kennon will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, March 8, 2002, at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Minden. Burial will follow at Minden Cemetery under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden.  Mrs. Kennon, a resident of Minden, passed away Wednesday, March 6. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University where she received a master’s degree plus 30. She retired from the Webster Parish School System where she taught English at Minden High School. She also worked for the LSU Agriculture Extension Service and was co-owner of Century 21, Mike Kennon and Associates. At Century 21, she was relocation director and office manager.  She was a member of the Association of Professional Educators of Louisiana, Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority; Phi Kapp Phi. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, for which she held the state historian job plus several state chairmanships. She was the author of a number of genealogy articles in genealogy publications and the author of the published, "German Carolineans; The Lineage of Emmett Rendol Felts." She also served as president of the Webster Convention and Tourist Bureau. She was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Minden.  She was preceded in death by her father, Rendol Felts and sister, Ginger Hovey.  She is survived by her husband, Mike Kennon; mother, Lucille Beatty Felts; sisters, Sharon and Beth Elkins and husband John of Spotsylvania, Va.; son, Rusty Davis and wife Nell of Bald Knob, Ark.; stepdaughter, Robin Kennon Cox and husband Terry of Shreveport; two grandchildren, Elizabeth and John Davis; three step-grandchildren, Brandy, Josuah and Barry; a special brother-in-law, Edward Kennon and wife Brenda and nieces, Kari Kennon of Shreveport; three nephews and one niece, Bart Elkins, Slade Elkins, Robert Carlisle and Carolu Elkins.  Memorials may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church or the Webster Parish Education Trust Fund.


Minden Press-Herald - Thursday, August 8, 1996

                                       Arthur K. "Buddy" Lancaster, Sr.

Services for Arthur K. "Buddy" Lancaster, Sr., 69, of Ferriday will be held on Friday, August 9,s 1996 at Young's Funeral Home Chapel in Ferriday at 2 p.m.   Reverends Bruce Lancaster and David Porter will officiate.  Interment will be at Natchez City Cemetery in Natchez, Mississippi. Visitation will be at Young's Funeral Home on Thursday, August 8, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Mr. Lancaster passed away on August 7, 1996 at the Natchez Community Hospital.
Lancaster was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ferriday, and was a Navy veteran of the Korean War.  Lancaster graduated from Northwestern University where he played football.
Lancaster is survived by his wife, Shirley McGee Lancaster of Ferriday; three sons, Arthur K. "Art" Lancaster, Jr. Of Madisonville, George W. Lancaster of Conway, South Carolina, J. Todd Lancaster of Ferriday; two daughters, Millie L. Young of Ferriday, and Chanda L. Crews of Monroe; one brother, Dr. Joe Price Lancaster of Ferridy; three sisters, Mittie L. Schiele and Jane Lancaster of Ferriday, and Margie L. Wood.



 Theressa McConnell Lowe (1905-1959) Minden City Cemetery Section C interred next to her husband Prentis W. Lowe (1905-1992) His parents are also interred in the Lowe plot.  Perry F. Lowe (1879-1937) and Eunice J. Lowe (1884-1964) Mrs. Theressa Lowe - Survived by two daughter's (Stella and Mrs. Tommy (Edna) Searles.

Mrs. Lowe is buried in the Minden Cemetery alongside the High Street portion. The junior high that was named for her is now called "Webster Parish Alternative School." Her name is no longer used! (Theressa Lowe)

Mrs. Eugie LeRue Lyon 


She and her husband are interred in the Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden.  (Row 14, Garden of Faith)Eugue L. Lyon born 13 March 1895 died 28 Jul. 1967 LeRue Lyon born 1 Dec. 1899 did 15 Apr. 1978

Minden Press-Herald,  Monday, April 17, 1978
Services for Mrs. Lyon today
Funeral services will be conducted today at 2 p.m. for Mrs. Eugie L. Lyon, a prominent Minden woman who died Saturday afternoon in the Minden Medical Center after an extended illness.
The Revs. Tracy Arnold, Paul Durbin, and Ed Thomas will officiate at the services in the First United Methodist Church.  Interment will follow in the Gardens of Memory under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home.
Mrs. Lyon is survived by one sister, Mrs. Clarence Easley of Bentonville, Arkansas; and several nieces and nephews. Pallbearers will include Graydon Kitchens, Sr., Luther Moore, Don Moore, Loy Watson, W. W. Williams, and J. Davidson Brown.
Mrs. Lyon was the 16th recipient of Minden's Woman of the Year Award, having received the honor in 1973.  Though honored many times, Mrs. Lyon remained humble, stating at the time that she won the 1973 award, "It is very unwarranted.  Think of all the worthy people in Minden."
Larue Cook Lyon was born on a small sand-hill farm near Heidelberg, Mississippi, where she spent her elementary school years.  She continued her education at the Jones County Agricultural High School in Ellisville, Miss. before going on to the University of Southern Mississippi.
She graduated from that university in 1924, and went on to teach for three years in the Mississippi public schools while working on a degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. 
Mrs. Lyon married Eugie L. Lyon in the summer of 1924 before coming to Minden to teach the sixth grade.  Later she was transferred to high school to teach freshman English.
While at Minden High School, Mrs. Lyon helped other English teachers reinstitute the GRIG, the school's yearbook which had not been published since 1922.  She assumed full responsibility for the GRIG in 1949.
Mrs. Lyon devoted 46 years to teaching, and in l967 she was chosen the Teacher of the Year by the Minden High School student body.  Continuing her work on the GRIG earned her the Gold Key Award from Columbia University for outstanding devotion to the school press, one of only 13 awards given nationally.  One of those winners had been Harry Truman.
In l969 Mrs. Lyon was presented the Distinguished Service Award given by the Louisiana Council of English Teachers, a group she had served as president and treasurer.
Until her illness prevented such, Mrs. Lyon was an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary organization of teachers.
She was also active in the workings of the First United Methodist Church where she taught the Miller Bible Class.  She was also a member of the Wesleyan Service Guild. 




Mrs. Robert O. (Maxine) Martin   - Dodd College 6th Grade Teacher - Minden Junior High SchoolBefore Mrs. Martin became a teacher, she taught piano lessons and played the organ for worship services at the First Baptist Church of Minden. She and Mr. Martin are interred in the Garden of Memory Cemetery in Minden on row ten, section two, Garden of Faith. The markers read:Robert Oliver Martin born 10 Aug. 1910 died 13 Dec. 1989Maxine Owen Martin born 05 Sep. 1913 died 04 Aug. 1992



                                                  Mr. M. J. Miles



KIRTLEY J. MILES - MATH AND ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL  Nothing like this has ever happened to me before, apologized humbly and unpretentious Coach Kirtley Miles when told that he had been names as Proudly we hail teacher, This country boy who rode a black horse to a small school building each morning kept repeating that his life had been nothing extraordinary as our previous teachers' biographies had revealed.
When asked if he could give a different slant to his life story, he pondered a moment and said, "Yes, Mine was a very ordinary life. The others all did something great in their lives."
Mr. Miles was born into a large family of four older brothers and one sister. He graduated from the old Minden High School building in 1921, where he played center and tackle on the football team. The team went to state, but was defeated 7.0 by Warren Easton in the playoff. "The nearest I got to the All-state team was honorable was mention," revealed the
humorous coach who married high school sweetheart. "She was a good friend of my sister,"  remebered Mr. Miles. (Maybe thats' the way to catch them, girls! If them have a sister.)
Upon the completion of his degree at Louisiana College, he was offered a head coach position at Cotton Valley where he taught for five years. After fourteen years as principal at
Heflin, he returned to his Alma Mater to teach mathematics. I have a degree in English but I never go around to using it. They needed a math teacher and I've been at it ever since" explaineds this joke telling professor of mathematics in Room 
 This teacher, often compared with the highly admirable Knight in Canterbury Tales, thinks that athletes ought to do as much or more than other students and not be excused because they participate in sports.
When asked what principle he used in his math classes to teach his students, he answered, "I try to make the students as individualistic as possible. I try to see that each student understands the problems before going on."
A father of two athletic sons, he says that he feels he could better understand girls' problems had he and Mrs. Miles had a girl. He was quick to explain that he was, however quite proud of his boys, Larry and Jack.
And we, the staff, students, and faculty, are proud to hail you, Mr. Kirtley J. Miles, for the
life which you thought dull but which we find very dear and challenging to us every day. It
typically exemplifies all the traits of a character suitable for our Proudly We Hail.

Minden Press-Herald, Thursday, November 4, 1993
Kirtley Miles is interred in Section F. of the Minden City Cemetery. There is a double marker for Eris Monzingo Miles born 18 Jun. 1907. (No death date.)
 Funeral services for Kirtley Jackson Miles, 89, of Minden, will be held Friday, November 5 at 10 a.m. at Rose-Neath's Minden Chapel.  Rev. Mike McLaurin will officiate.  Burial will follow in the Minden Cemetery.
 Mr. Miles died Monday, November 1 at Town and Country Nursing Home, following a lengthy illness.  He was born in Sparta, La., had lived in Minden most of his life and was a retired teacher and coach, having served the Webster Parish school system for 48 years.
 Mr. Miles was a former assistant principal at Minden High School, past director of the Minden Recreation Dept. and past recipient of Teacher of the Year.
 Survivors include his wife, Eris Monzingo Miles; two sons, Jackson M. Miles and wife, Dana, of Santo, Texas and Larry K. Miles and wife, Lanette, of Indianapolis, Ind.; four grandchildren, Jackson M. Miles and wife, Darla of Weatherford, Texas, Davis Miles and wife, Stephanie of Fort Worth, Texas, Mellisa Coffelt and husband, Brad of Lipan, Texas and Tina Liree Baird and husband, Lyn of Spring, Texas.
 Serving as pallbearers will be R. O. Machen, George Harold Miles, Killian Turner, Harry Stahl, Earle Cooke, Edwin Blewer, Jim Miles and George Turner.




Charlie Moore's Job Never Ends
Charlie Moore is one of the most familiar figures at Minden High School.  You can usually find him in the bookroom, giving change, or around school helping anybody who needs him.  He can be recognized by his new white uniform, with Minden High School written in bold red letters across his back.
 Charlie has worked at Minden High School for 19 years.  He has been one of the most faithful and cooperative workers at MHS.  He is always present when a teacher or a student needs a little job done.  Whenever his services are needed at night programs, Charlie is ready and willing to serve.
 Not only does he do his school work, but also he is the owner of ataxi company.  Charlie has a wife and home where he spends a lot of his time.
 When asked if the work in the new school is any harder, he replied,  "The work isn't any harder, but there sure is a lot more of it."
 As students of Minden High School, we take our hats off to Charlie.  He has really been a wonderful worker and is a faithful fan of the Minden Crimson Tide football team.  It is our wish that Charlie will give many more years of service to Minden High School.

Charlie in his new uniform

In the 1959 Grig under Charlie Moore's picture is the following statement: " Charlie Moore died suddenly December 12, 1958 after 22 years faithful service at Minden High School."
Minden Press - Monday, December 15, 1958 Funeral Rites for Charlie Moore tomorrow. Funeral services for Charlie Moore, 62 year old , who had worked for more than 20 years as  buildings and grounds superintendent at Minden High School, will be held tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Mt. Zion C.M.E. Temple on East Union.
Moore, a lifelong Minden resident, died early Friday morning at his home, following a heart attack.
(NOTE: Charlie is buried in Sheppard Street Cemetery.  His grave marker states Dec. 11, 1958, as death date.)



Sara Gene McCrary Moore - Row 8, section1, Gardens of Prayer in the Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden, Louisiana there is a double marker for Sara Gene and Don D. Moore born 17 Feb. 1928 died 16 May 2001 married 4 Nov. 1950  to Gara Gene McCrary born 12 Sep. 1929. Her death date is blank. Parents of Eugenia, Alan, Don and Sara Ann.Thursday, March 20, 2002 The Minden Press Herald
Funeral services for Mrs. Sara Gene McCrary Moore, 73, will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 20, 2003, at First United Methodist Church in Minden with the Rev. J. Roddy Taylor officiating. Burial will follow at Gardens of Memory Cemetery under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden. Visitation will be held from 5 until 7 p.m. today, March 19, at the funeral home. Mrs. Moore, a native of Ruston, passed away Monday, March 17, at The Terrace in Shreveport after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. She was born Sept. 12, 1929, and was the first "live" baby cared for at the Louisiana Tech University Home Economics House in Ruston. She attended A.E. Phillips Lab School in Ruston and graduated from Ruston High School in 1946. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 1959 with a degree in home economics. She married Don Moore in 1950 in Ruston. They moved to Minden in 1952. She taught home economics and science in Webster and Bossier Parishes for a total of 21 years, taking 12 years to be home with her children. She served as the home demonstration agent in Jackson Parish and was active in the Young Women's Service Club, Delta Kappa Gamma, Girl Scouts, UMW and was a member of First United Methodist Church. Mrs. Moore was a loyal wife, mother and friend. She focused her love and energy on those closest to her. She always exhibited herself with poise, grace and an unpretentious and unselfish attitude. She demonstrated love to others in sacrificial ways and possessed a wisdom beyond her age that was recognized by those who knew her. She enjoyed walking, cooking, china painting, reading, playing tennis, and drinking coffee with friends. She loved to laugh and would more often than not be seen with a smile on her face. She was preceded in death by her parents, Wiley "Mac" McCrary and Ruby Jemison McCrary; brothers, James McCrary, Eugene McCrary, Ralph McCrary, and Lane McCrary; and her husband. She is survived by two daughters, Genie Moore Burkhalter and husband Joe of Haughton; Ann Moore Inabnet and husband Morris of Shreveport; one son, Alan Don Moore of Marshall, Texas; one brother, Edwin McCrary of Baltimore, Md.; six grandchildren, Amanda Lea Burkhalter, Sara Ruth Burkhalter, Alexander Don Inabnet, Abigail Sara Inabnet, Andrew William Inabnet, Dylan Don Moore; and dear friend, Dottie Williamson. Pallbearers will be Cullen Clark, Layne A. Clark, Johnny Johnson, Lane Moore, Randy Rentz, and Kenny Williamson. Honorary pallbearers will be J.R. Boyett, Howard Spillers, Cleve Strong, Wayne Williamson, and the Gold Star Sunday School class. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the COA/Alzheimer's Association, 4015 Greenwood Road, Shreveport, LA 71109 or First United Methodist Church, 903 Broadway in Minden.

Minden Press-Herald, Monday, May 25, 1998


William F. "Pappy" Mouser


Services for Mr. William F. "Pappy" Mouser, 84, of Benton will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, 1998 at the Minden Rose-Neath Chapel with the Rev. Malcolm Self officiating.  Burial will follow at the Doyline Cemetery.
Mr. Mouser was born in Emerson, Ark., and died on Saturday, May 23, 1998 in Shreveport.  He was a retired janitor with Webster Parish Schools.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Jefferson Mouser and Varia McIlveena Mouser; wife, Alma Mouser; sister, Janette Mouser; brother, Thomas Jefferson Mouser, and a grandson, Ronnie Bradley.
Survivors include two sisters, Willie Mae Woodard of Shreveport and Clois Duke of Shongaloo; two brothers, Qunintion Mouser of Shongaloo and James R. Greer of Alexandria, numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.
The family expresses thanks to Hospice Management Care.


PRESS- HERALD - Monday, January 7, 1963

                                        Rites Today For Joe D. Oliphant

Funeral services were scheduled to be conducted at 3 p.m. today for Joe D. Oliphant, one of the foremost sports figures in northwest Louisiana.  He died late Saturday from an accidental gunshot wound.
Rites for the Minden High School athletic director and teacher were to be conducted in the First Baptist Church with the Rev. Truman Aldredge officiating.  Burial was to be in the Gardens of Memory Cemetery under the direction of Green-Kleinegger Funeral Home.
Oliphant's body was found about 8:45 p.m. Saturday near the railroad trestle at Lorex, some 6 miles northwest of here.  Dr. T. A. Richardson, parish coroner, ruled accidental death and said Oliphant died instantly when the shotgun blast struck him in the right side of the head.  Dr. Richardson set the time of death at about 4 p.m.
The 52-year old athletic director's body was found about 400 yards west of his automobile, which was parked on the east side of the railroad trestle spanning the Dorcheat Bayou.  Two members of the Minden Rescue Squad made the discovery about 20 minutes after the unit organized a search for the missing man.
T. C. Bloxom, Jr., director of the squad, said Mrs. Oliphant called him about 7:30 p.m. and said she was worried because her husband had not returned from a hunting trip in the Lorex area.  She asked him to check the area without calling out the entire rescue unit if possible.  She said he had left by himself about 3:00 p.m.
Accompanied by Blanchard Youngblood, Bloxom drove to Lorex, where they found Oliphant's car.  Dr. Tom Alley, who also had been called by Mrs. Oliphant, drove up minutes later to join in the search.
When calls and horn-blowing failed to gain an answer, Bloxom summoned the rescue squad by radio to begin a search of the area.  Within minutes after their arrival, Oliphant's body was discovered.
Bloxom said the victim was found about halfway down the gravel fill leading to the west side of the trestle.  "It seemed apparent that he had started up or down the fill and lost his footing," he said.  "The shotgun butt had fallen against the ground and discharged the full blast into his head."
Some 15 men were involved in the brief search.
Oliphant was born in Marshall, Texas, in 1910 where he finished high school before entering junior college.  After one season of junior college football, the deceased transferred to Centenary college which was then playing "bigtime football."
His three years on the Gents squad earned him All-American honorable mention, and according to Hoss Geisler, who did make All-American as an end on the same squad, Oliphant was the man.

 JOE D. OLIPHANT 1910-1963         PAULENE 1911-1996     GARDENS OF MEMORY (Row 8, Garden of Faith)Coach Oliphant the water shows (aquacades) long before Coach Hillard got there and was actually probably the one who taught all of us to swim..Even after Coach Hillard took over the aquacade, he still helped figure out the formations.

Submitted by Harol Lynn Turner Thompson



                                    From the Tide Talk - May 5, 1953

   Miss Lillian Phillips, Minden High School librarian, has announced her resignation, effective May 22, 1953. After a great deal of teaching experience, Miss Phillips came to the library the year it was organized in 1929. She graduated from Minden High School serving as president of her senior class. She was graduated from Louisiana State Normal (Northwestern State College). and Georgia Peabody College and Teachers, where she was also President of the School of Library Science. She did summer work at Louisiana State University and the University of Denver. Before coming to Webster Parish she taught one year at Pioneer in West Carroll Parish. She then went to Cotton Valley, in Webster Parish where she taught a year. She taught four years in Springhill, serving as principal during the latter part of the 1918-19 semester while the regular principal joined the armed services. She taught all grades from the third through high school, teaching the seventh in Minden for several years prior to coming to the high school library.
   Miss. Phillips was a charter member of the Nu Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society (Claiborne and Webster), National and International Honorary Teacher's Sorority. She served as president of the local group for two years and secretary of the state group for two years. She was also a member of the National Education Association, American Library Association, Louisiana Education Association, Classroom Teachers Association, and the Louisiana Library Association. She served as president of the latter group for a term.
   When the school was evaluated by the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges in 1952, the Minden High School Library was judged among the best in the South. This was because of Miss Phillips' efficient operation of the library and her tireless work for the faculty and students of Minden High School.
   Miss Phillips said she had enjoyed her work immensely and that her resignation was one of the hardest decisions she had ever had to make. When asked her plans, Miss Phillips said, "I plan to do a number of things I have always wanted to do during the school year, and could not do because of being "on the job." "I want to see Washington, D.C. during cherry blossom time. I want to be in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I would love to be in Shreveport for "Holiday in Dixie." I want to read; I want to work with flowers. I believe I'm going to have a full schedule."
   We would like to express our thanks to Miss Phillips for a job well done.


Minden Press-Herald, Thursday, February 20, 1986

                                        Pianist, Mrs. Hazel Rankin, dies


 Funeral services for Mrs. Hazel Rankin of Minden will be held Thursday, February 20 at 2 p.m. in the Rose-Neath Minden Chapel with Dr. Ronald Prince officiating.  Interment will follow in the Gardens of Memory Cemetery.
 Mrs. Rankin passed away February 18 in the Minden Medical Center following a lengthy illness.  She was 86.
 A retired concert pianist, Mrs. Rankin had been a music teacher in the Minden area for a number of years.  She was a member of the Music Teachers National Association, Inc. and the First Baptist Church of Minden.  She studied music under Rudolph King of Germany and attended the Kansas City Conservatory of Music.  She also did concert work.
 Mrs. Rankin is preceded in death by her husband, B. R. Rankin and is survived by one sister, Mrs. Marion Settle of Minden.
    Minden Press-Herald, Monday, June 23, 1986  -  Letters to the Editor
                        Hazel Rankin made the world a nicer place
                                     Editor, Minden Press-Herald:
Amid the cacophony of the busy everyday activities, there is a melody that cannot be forgotten or ignored - it is the melody of the life of Hazel Rankin.  Not many people have the opportunity to leave a living legacy as their memorial.  The late Mrs. B. R. Rankin (Hazel) touched the lives of Minden children and young people for almost half a century with the gift of music appreciation and the gift of music skills.  Across the south from Florida to New Mexico, and even on to Oregon, and all in between, people who were taught and trained by Hazel Rankin are serving as organists, pianists, and as music teachers.  For many years the local First United Methodist Church and Mrs. Rankin recognized the need for trained organists.  They opened their church and allowed the use of their organ so that Minden young people might be taught to play the organ and be available to our churches in future years.  Mrs. Rankin, who was a Baptist, taught all denominations on the Methodist organ.  Today many of the churches in Minden and the surrounding area have one of her pupils serving as organist or pianist.
 Those who knew Mrs. Rankin well were aware that she was considered medically to be a paraplegic, and that she was plagued with many illnesses all her life.  She was in almost constant pain.  In spite of all the physical infirmities, she kept a radiant smile, and was cheerful and optimistic.  She loved her pupils and they became to her the children that she and Mr. Rankin never had.  It was her joy to see and know that each pupil had achieved  in some area of life, and especially if it were in the field of music.  She was always ready to recommend a pupil for service as a pianist for a Sunday School Department, a worship service, or as a paid church musician.  She taught each child to be a professional musician or a music teacher.  Many of her students are music teachers.
 She expected great things from each student, and to secure this, she prodded, cajoled, entreated, coerced, flattered and demanded that they learn.  There were rewards that a pupil received - such as - if the lesson had been well prepared and practiced, the child was allowed to play on Mrs. Rankin's organ.  The youngest child was encouraged to play in front of its peers with her "practice parties."  Often she would use the two pianos to play along with a pupil to emphasize  the correct tempo or to teach the time.  That technique helped the embarrassment of wrong notes from a beginning student.
 Perhaps the most rewarding thing that she did was the training of organists who were able to help out our local churches.  The paper said that she had died.  But how can that be, when a part of her music lives on through the many musicians that she taught.  What a wonderful memorial she has left!  The melody of her life has permeated so many musicians, and been a blessing to others.  Wherever churches congregate this Sunday, many of her students will be using the skills that she taught them to provide the music for the worship services. Thank you, Hazel Rankin, the world is a better place because you lived! 
From a mother of two of her students


                                     Press-Herald - Friday, January 31, 1997 
                                                   Sadie Elouise Reynolds

Funeral Services for Sadie Elouise Reynolds will be conducted at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, 1997.  Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.  Services will be officiated by Rev. Tom Howe, First United Methodist Church minister.
Miss Reynolds passes away Thursday, January 30 at Town & Country Nursing Home.  She was born to Dr. and Mrs. Charles Russel Reynolds July 28, 1903.
She was a graduate of Minden High School and attended Northwestern State College.  Miss Reynolds taught 50 years in the Webster Parish School System.
Miss Reynolds was a member of First United Methodist Church and the Business and Professional Sunday School Class and United Methodist Women.  She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Northwest Historical Society, Louisiana State Teachers Association and the Webster Parish Teachers Association.
Miss Reynolds is survived by nieces, Sybil Merritt of Minden and Mary Grace Ford of Bela Vista, Arkansas;
nephew William "Bill" Reynolds of Thailand and a number of great and great and great-great nieces and nephews.


Minden Press-Herald, Tuesday, June 29, 1999 - THELMA ALSOBROOK RUSHING

She is interred in the Gardens of Memory on row 3,  section 1, Garden of Faith. There is a double marker for Marion D. Rushing born 1895 died 1978.  Thelma A. (Her dates are blank.)

Services for Thelma Alsobrook Rushing will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 30, at the Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel in Minden, with the Rev. Ryan Horton officiating.  Burial will be in the Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden.  She died on June 28 in Muskogee, Okla.
Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m., today at Rose-Neath Funeral Home.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Sidney H. Alsobrook, Sr. and Tallulah Alsobrook; one brother, Sidney H. Alsobrook, Jr.; and her husband, Marion D. Rushing.
Rushing is survived by her sister, Evelyn Alsobrook Tomlinson of Broken Bow, Okla.; one nephew, Madison H. Tomlinson and wife Kathy and their four children, Holli, Lydia, Daniel and Joseph, all of Muskogee, Okla.
Rushing was a native of Oklahoma, where she was reared and educated.  After their marriage, Marion and Thelma moved to Minden, where she lived until 1998, when her declining health required her to move to Muskogee, so that she could be cared for by her family.
Rushing was an educator, a patriot, a political activist, a cherished and devoted wife, a loyal friend and an elegant lady in the best Southern tradition. 
She spent many years as a teacher of social studies and was the librarian at Minden High School.  She was uniformly admired and respected for her high standards of personal behavior and scholarship as well as her dedication to the students who were fortunate enough to be in her classes. 
She remained in close contact with many of her students, who regarded her as a friend and mentor long after they graduated from high school. 
Pallbearers are Dr. Richard Campbell, Donald R. Hinton, Harry McInnis, Jr., Harold Montgomery, Luther Moore and Carleton Prothro.
Honorary Pallbearers are Dr. Seborn E. Woods and Dan R. Robinson, Jr.
 In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Minden or the Webster Parish Library. Mrs. Thelma A. Rushing - Gardens of Memories; Row 3, Section 1, Row 3, Garden of Faith. Marion D. Rushing (1895 - 1978.) Her dates are blank.

MRS. MARJORIE SCHONLAU RUSSELL was born on July 12, 1914, and she died at 80 on  8 May, 1995. She is buriedin the Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Row 8, Section 1, Gaardens of Fountain of Youth.



Mrs. Marjorie Schonlau Russell was a native of New York State. She lived near Minden High School in ahouse on on Ash Street. She was another of our Minden favorites, but she was not always "popular" with some of the students. Kids "feared" her tough talk and no-nonsense demeanor, which made it easy for her to do her job. It took someone "special" to appreciate and love Mrs. Russell. She first came to Louisiana by way of train to Winnfield during the summers when she was a little girl to visit her grandmother. I was in her class in the old part of MHS from 1959-60; that was before some renovation followed in the early 1960s. She had us present topics of current events before the class once a week. She said that we could mention train wrecks or airplance crashes but not car wrecks. At the time I could not understand the distinction that she was trying to make; now of course such a distinction is self-evident. She introduced us to politicians like Hubert Humphrey, Stuart Symington, Lyndon Johnson, and of course John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, all of whom were seeking the presidency in 1960. Hubert Humphrey had a campaign song that if people would vote for him "he would make everybody happy."
My father's father died at 82 in October 1959. He was buried on a Sunday afternoon. That Monday morning, Mrs. Russell took me aside and told me how sorry she was to learn of my grandfather's death. She also used to scold me for biting my nails, a habit I did not stop until adulthood, when I was too busy too waste time on nail biting.  I later learned the simple solution to biting nails is to file them after cutting!! Now I never bite nails. Today, every time I see a student who bites nails, I tell him about filing them down to stop the habit -- just like Mrs. Russell tried to do for me. 
Mrs. Russell is buried in Gardens of Memory in the southwest corner. She died in May 1995, at the age of 81. Her daughter Barbara lived for years in the Atlanta area; she and her husband have relocated to Minden. A son Jimmy was a banker in Bossier City after he taught and coached for a few years. He was married to the former Lynda Minter of Minden. Years later, Mrs. Russell did substitute teaching, and she would go on and on about how unruly the students were compared to the early 1960s.
Ramona Wigley, a colleague and neighbor of Mrs. Russell's at one time, found her to be "a  most unusual person, most kind to those she liked, and totally unrelenting if she had reason to question or doubt others." Mrs. Russell's brother was a doctor in Monroe; so while Miss Wigley was on staff of {then} Northeast LA State University, she visited Mrs. Russell in the  brother's home on occasion. 
"Marjorie was a most talented needlewoman, and she and my mother had much in common with their sewing and their homemaking.  Often they would sit on the porch and do their 'finishing' work, like hemming, blind whipping facings, etc., as they visited and exchanged hints for improving their already near-perfect sewing," Miss Wigley recalled.
When Miss Wigley graduated from MHS in 1944, she bought fewer than twenty graduation invitations, as "neither my parents nor I wanted to appear as if we were asking for gifts.  And we reasoned that those about us would be attending graduation anyway --- hence, no local mailing of invitations. "Miss  Wigley continued: "But Marjorie Russell came across the street with a gift package containing two lovely handkerchiefs from Brown-Goodwill.  Do know that handkerchiefs were much in vogue as gifts in 1944?   These were beautiful all-over floral designs, one in shades of blue and white, the other yellows, oranges, and greens.   I sat down and wrote a most grateful thank you note that very afternoon.   That was the first of many thoughtful and tasteful gifts which would be given to us by Marjorie Russell.  We always loved the clever and unusual gifts which she made and personalized, as well as the many tasty gifts from her kitchen.    I still have in our living room a lovely pillow which Marjorie needlepointed and gave to me at some point after our mother's death in 1969.   She was, as I have said already, a most generous and caring person --- to those she genuinely liked.   She was my brother's Sam's sixth grade teacher, too.  He liked her! What a special person: Marjorie S. Russell. We miss you! 

Submitted and written by Billy Hathorn and Ramona Wigley


Miss Kuma Shealy - 1889-1986  Math & Latin

 Submitted by LeVerne Langheld Kidd    1936/7


Quade Studio

Minden Herald and Webster Review  -  Thursday, May 12, 1955
 An open house, honoring Miss Kuma Shealy, who is retiring this year after 47 years of teaching at Minden, will be held in the high school auditorium Sunday afternoon beginning at 1:45.
 Sponsored by the Kuma Shealy Appreciation Committee, the program will pay tribute to a woman who has placed Christianity first in her life and now that she is retiring wants to spend more time studying the Bible.
 A band concert will get the open house underway.  This will be followed by a short program and then a reception.
 The subject to be honored began her teaching career at the Minden Female College, a frame building located in the area where the junior and high school buildings are now situated.  She moved the next year to a new Minden High School where she taught until the present junior high was erected.
 Instilled with an insatiable desire for more knowledge, Miss Shealy has returned to college on many occasions during the summers and has earned a Master's degree from LSU.  Latin and mathematics have been the subjects which she has always taught.
 Miss Shealy has won the admiration and respect of her students as well as fellow workers throughout the years.  At the mention of her name, graduates of Minden High School began eulogizing the teacher who has never sent a pupil from the room or used a paddle, although she admits, "Sometimes I think perhaps I should have."                                                                                                                           
December 19, 1955 Tide Talk. 

Miss Kuma Shealy,  former MHS teacher and assistant principal, appeared Wednesday before an assembly of the student body in the Minden High auditorium and gave a talk, showing pictures taken on a recent trip to the Holy Land.
 Miss Shealy retired last year and in view of her many years of service, she was presented a trip abroad and to the Holy Land by her friends and former students.
 In closing the program, Miss Shealy emphasized the point that America was by far her choice for a home, even after visiting so many other countries, and she sincerel thanked the students for their part in making her trip possible.

 Miss Shealy is interred in the Minden City Cemetery next to her parents John Noah Shealy (1862-1917) and Lydia Walker Shealy (1868-1932) Also buried in the Shealy plot is her sister; Elsie Shealy Fitz (1890-1990) and her husband Theophilus E. Fitz (1880-1943)  Section A West. Section B West, is her sister Lavinia Shealy David (13 May 1893-13 Aug. 1961) and her husband William Bert David (24 March 1892-10 May 1973).

Minden Press-Herald, Tuesday, December 9, 1986
Services eulogize educator
Funeral services for longtime Minden educator and community leader Kuma Shealy were conducted today at 2 p.m. in the First Baptist Church.  Dr. Ronald Prince officiated with Rev. Ron Laughlin
assisting.  Burial followed in the Minden Cemetery under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home.
 Miss Shealy died Sunday, Dec. 7 at Meadowview Nursing Home at the age of 97.
 Miss Shealy served as assistant principal of Minden High School from 1923 to 1955, and was a teacher from 1906 until she retired in 1955.  She then devoted herself to tutoring children and serving her church and community.
 She was born in the Mt. Lebanon community in 1889, but she and her family soon moved to Dubberly, where they resided for 10 years before she moved to Minden.
 Miss Shealy graduated from Minden High School in 1906.  She then enrolled in the Normal College and earned her certificate to teach, which she began doing at Minden High in 1908.  In 1921 she earned her BS degree in mathematics from the George Peabody College for Teachers.  And in 1939 she received her masters in Latin from LSU. 
During her illustrious 47-year teaching career with the Minden system she was many times honored and recognized.
 Miss Shealy had been a member of the First Baptist Church since 1901, where she was a Sunday School teacher, Training Union worker, Woman's Missionary Society member, and much more.  She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, the Retired Teachers Association, and the Women's Dept. Club.
 She is survived by one sister, Mrs. Elsie Fitz of Minden; one niece, Mrs. Lydia Coleman, Shreveport; four nephews, John Shealy, Ruston; Edward Shealy, Texas; Bert David, Dallas; and Richard David, Minden.
 Pallbearers were George Lorraine, Dr. Sam Williams, C. O. West, Jesse Miller, Harry McInnis, Jr., and W. W. Williams, Sr.
Minden Press-Herald, Sunday, October 26, 1986
Kuma Shealy - Has anyone ever been so loved?  -  by Marilyn Miller, Executive Editor
Graduates representing the Minden High School Classes of 1926, '36, '46, '56, '66, and '76 walked onto the football field at Tide Stadium Friday night as special guests of Homecoming 1986.
 And though one special alumnus was unable to make it, her heart was there--as it has been since the day she graduated in 1906.
 At 97, Miss Kuma Shealy is no longer the vibrant, tireless teacher and administrator to decades of students and faculty members who have come and gone from Minden High School.
 She is now confined to a nursing home--but she is not forgotten.
 Probably more yearbooks and Senior memorials have been dedicated to Miss Kuma Shealy than any other person in the history of MHS.

 The 1920 Green Grig--then the yearbook of MHS--dedicated its pages "to Miss Kuma Shealy, who has been a teacher in the Minden High School for several years; who takes a personal as well as general interest in each and every pupil in her charge; who we can't keep from loving, both as a teacher and as a personal friend; to her we, the Senior Class, dedicate this, the first volume of "The Green Grig."

 In 1931, a page of the Senior Memorial was dedicated to Miss Shealy in appreciation.  It read, "To one who has unselfishly given her entie strength and energy to the interests of the student body of our school, whose quiet influence for all the best in life has been a constructive force in forming the character of those who have come in contact with her.

 With her sympathetic understanding and interest she has endeared herself to the pupils in this school.  When the dates of history and the conjugation of verbs shall have been forgotten there will remain for many the priceless memory of a friend."

 After graduating from Minden High School in 1906, Miss Shealy enrolled at the Normal College in Natchitoches.  Not knowing what she wanted to be, she agreed to teach for one year in order to receive free tuition.  This was standard procedure.

 After attending Normal for two years, she began her one year of teaching--and as was quoted in the MHS Tide Talk, she "just never quit."
 Throughout the years at MHS she furthered her education.  She attended the George Peabody College for Teachers, from which she received her BS in mathematics in 1921.  She obtained her MA in  Latin from LSU in 1939.
 She served as assistant principal of Minden High from 1923 to 1955, and was a teacher from 1906 until 1955, when she retired.  A native of Mt. Lebanon in nearby Bienville Parish, she has resided in Minden since 1901.
 When she retired in 1955, her friends, fellow faculty members, and former students thought enough of her to present her with a trip to Europe and the Holy Land.
 Her interests weren't limited to education.  She is still a member of the First Baptist Church, which she served as a Sunday School teacher, Training Union worker, and Woman's Missionary Society member for many, many years.
 She is also a member of the Women's Department Club and Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary teacher's society.
 In 1955, the year that she retired, the "Grig" dedicated its pages to her.
 The dedication read, "We are dedicating the 1955 GRIG to one who has lived a life of dedication in the service of Minden High School, of her church, and of her community.  Her teaching career has been devoted solely to the Minden school, and for many years she has been assistant principal as well as instructor in Latin and Mathematics."
 "She is lovingly remembered  by hundreds of former students, who have benefitted from her store of knowledge and rare gifts of mind, who have been strengthened by her personal Christian faith, and who have enjoyed her keen sense of humor.  It is with pride and love that we dedicate this volume to Miss Kuma Shealy, who is retiring from the teaching profession at the close of this school year."
 However, retirement in 1955 didn't end her teaching career.  For years afterwards, children could be seen trudging up the hill at 217 West Union Street to be tutored by "the best" in Latin and mathematics.

 In the early 1970's she was named Minden's Most Respected Woman and her   name also appears on the Woman of the Year plaque.


 Class of 1906

 In addition to Miss Shealy, the Class of 1906 was comprised of Willie B. Life, W. K. Watkins, Irma Watkins, Kathleen Cox, Lucille Grigsby, Carrie Heard, Una Lee Harrell, Clyde Wallace, Lucy Craton, and Bertha Miller.
 But Miss Kuma Shealy will be the most remembered...she touched the most lives...dedicated the most years to education...and gave the most of herself to others.
From the December 19, 1955 Tide Talk...Proudly We Hail comumn



Eloise Hubier Slay
April 5, 2004
SHREVEPORT, LA - Eloise Hubier Slay completed her journey on this earth and entered into the presence of her Lord and many loved ones in heaven on April 3, 2004, following a lengthy illness. She was born January 12, 1915 in Converse Louisiana, and had lived in Minden, LA since 1948. Mrs. Slay was the last surviving member of the Class of 1931 of Converse High School. She graduated from Northwestern State (Normal) College and began a long teaching career in 1935 in Converse. She completed a master's degree in education from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in 1957. From 1949 until her retirement in 1974, she taught music in the schools of Webster Parish. During those years, hundreds of students at Richardson and Stewart Elementary Schools in Minden learned about history, holidays, patriotism, family, and faith through the songs she taught then. Mrs. Slay had been a member of the First Baptist Church of Minden for fifty-five years, and was active in the Chapel Sunday School class until health problems kept her from attending. For several years, she taught a sixth grade girls' Sunday School class at the church. She was also a member of the Converse chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star and the Retired Teachers' Association. Felix R. Slay, her husband of fifty-three years, passed away in 1989. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Elmer A Hubier, Sr. and Laura Burkett Hubier, and her brothers, Ralph Hubier and E.A. Hubier, Jr., all of Converse. She is survived by two sons, William Ralph Slay of Minden and Dr. Larry Elmer Slay of Shreveport; two granddaughters, Angela Slay and Leah Slay Pearce, both of Alexandria, Louisiana; four great-grandchildren, Charles Paul McTire, Jacob Christopher McTire, Victoria Lea White and Kalli Kristine White, all of Alexandria; and her faithful care-taker and friend over the past four years, Jacqueline D. Jackson and her husband Billy of Princeton. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, 2004 at First Baptist Church in Minden. The service celebration Mrs. Slay's life will follow at 1 p.m. in the West Chapel of First Baptist Church. Officiating will be Rev. Wayne Dubose, pastor of First Baptist Church, and Rev. Bill Ichter, Chaplain of Minden Medical Center. The eulogy will be delivered by her son, Dr. Larry E. Slay. Burial will follow at Forest Park West Cemetery in Shreveport with Rev. Bill Crider, Minister to Senior Adults of First Baptist Church, conducting the graveside service. Family members will serve as pallbearers. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden Chapel. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to Mrs. Pearl Perkins and others from the Homebound Ministry of First Baptist Church, who visited Mrs. Slay so often with literature and gifts; to the members of First Baptist Church in Minden and Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport for their prayers and concern over the years, and particularly in recent weeks; to Dr. Ben Quinney and Dr. Michael Chanler for their superb medical care; to Dr. Richard Campbell and his office staff for their dental care and friendship; and to the staff of Grace Home for their compassionate care during the last two weeks of Mrs. Slay's life. "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Job 19:25-26. Rose-Neath Funeral Home Minden, LA (318) 377-2412
©The Shreveport Times





Miss Ina Smith

Especially qualifying Miss Ina Smith, M.H.S. teacher of shorthand and typing to "Proudly We Hail," is her competent teaching.  Having studied under Miss Smith is an asset in itself for the student seeking a job.
 Miss Smith holds several degrees.  From Central Missouri State Teachers' College, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and History; from the University of Missouri, her Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education.
 Miss Smith's extensive teaching career began in Harrisonville, Missouri, where she taught social studies and algebra.  She next taught in Kansas City.  Leaving Missouri for Colorado, Miss Smith taught at Bent County High School in Los Animas.  Returning to Missouri, she taught at Central State Teachers' College.  After a two-year interim Miss Smith went to Arkansas, where she taught in El Dorado High School.
 Starting as a teacher, Miss Smith rose to the principalship of the schools of Harrisonville, Missouri, and Bent County, Los Animas, Colorado.
 Miss Smith's favorite hobby is to travel.  She says that of all the states she has toured she likes Louisiana best.  "I am a Missourian by birth, but a Louisianian by choice."  This is quite a compliment to our state because in the last year Miss Smith has visited 26 of the 48 states.  She has also been in Canada.  During the Thanksgiving holidays she attended a three-day meeting of the Southern Business Leaders' Education Association in St. Petersburg, Florida.
 Miss Smith's choice of our state and of M.H.S. has made it possible for students here to gain the invaluable instruction she offers.


MISS INA SMITH - Minden Press-Herald Monday, August 3, 1977       

 Miss Ina Smith passed away recently at the age of 86. She was a resident of Minden for 40 years. She was a classroom teacher and a principal during her teaching career. She retired from active teaching at Minden High in 1956. She was a member of the First Christian Church and a native of Archie, Missouri. Burial was in Memorial Park Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri.


Frontpage - Minden Press-Herald - April 12, 1988
A longtime Minden resident, Mrs. Catherine resident, Mrs. Catherine
Spitzfadden, 79, passed away on Monday, April 11 at Minden Medical
Center after a short illness.
A rosary will be said in the chapel of Rose-Neath Funeral Home at 6 p.m.
this evening. Father Woods will officiate.
Mrs. Spitzfadden born in Monroe, had lived in Minden for 45 years, a retired
registered nurse, she had also retired from the Webster Parish School Board
after many years as a teacher. She was a member of St. Paul Catholic
Surviving two daughters and their husbands: Judy and Edward Calhoun
of Minden and Kitty and Howard Holyfield of Shreveport; two sisters: Wilma
Hough, Minden and Elaine King of Homer; six grandchildren: Amanda Duck
and Pamela Hartsell of Bossier City; Janet Wood Brian Holyfield of Shreveport,
and Clayton Long of Minden; and five great grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to St. Paul Catholic Church in Minden.
Burial was in the Minden City Cemetery Section F.
20 FEB. 1909
11 APR 1988
Buried next to her Mother,Ketha Callaway Burleigh born 04 Oct. 1874 died 08 Jul. 1956.
Mrs. Spitzfadden was a wonderful teacher and friend.


Mrs  Eloise Starr

Mrs. Eloise M. Starr married Lloyd C. Starr. Supt. of schools. She taught eighth grade English at Minden  Jr. High School. There is a double marker in the Garden of Memories, section 1, Garden of Faith for Lloyd C. Starr (1899 -     ) and Mrs. Eloise M. Starr. They were the parents of one son, Bobby Starr.

Minden Press-Herald, front page, Friday, January 27, 1978
Minden notable, Mrs. L. C. Starr dies
Mrs. Lloyd C. Starr, who was for over 25 years a teacher in the Minden school system, died Thursday afternoon in the Meadowview Nursing Home where she had been a resident for some months.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon in the First Baptist Church with Dr. Ronald Prince and Rev. Tracy Arnold officiating.  Interment will follow in the Gardens of Memory under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home. Mrs. Starr, 76, was a native of Claiborne Parish.  She was a member of the First Baptist Church where she served as a teacher of Sunday school and a member of the choir.
She is survived by her husband, L. C. Starr, Minden; one son, Bobby H. Starr, Metairie; one sister, Mrs. Velma Miller, Hughes Springs, Texas; one brother, Harvey Melton, Haynesville; two grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Starr's nephews will serve as pallbearers.

L.C. STARR, former Supt. Webster Parish School is also deceased. He was born in 1899. After Mrs. Eloise M. Starr died he  remarried.



Minden Press-Herald, Monday, December 16, 1985
Mrs. Eloise Sanders Watkins
Mrs. Eloise Sanders Watkins of Minden passed away at 9:45 p.m. December 12 at Schumpert Medical Center following a sudden illness.  She was 74.
 Funeral services will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, December 14 in the Rose-Neath Minden Chapel with Rev. Bob Burgess officiating.  Interment will follow in the Minden Cemetery.
 Mrs. Watkins was a native of Plain Dealing and had lived in Minden for the past 50 years.  She was a retired school teacher with the Webster Parish School System and a member of First United Methodist Church of Minden and Delta Kappa Gamma.
 She is survived by two sisters, Hazel Sanders and Mrs. A. L. Keoun,  both of Plain Dealing; one brother Leon Sanders, Jr., also of Plain Dealing; four nieces and three nephews.

Eloise Sanders Watkins was born 18 Dec. 1910 - died 12 Dec. 1985. In the Grigs 1953 thru 1959 she was identified as Mrs. John R. Watkins. 

John Ridley Watkins is buried next to his wife Eloise Sanders Watkins.  His dates are 21 May 1898-4 Apr 1965.  I'
Lynella Watkins Toadvin (John Watkins' sister) is buried next to her husband Clyde Toadvin.  Her dates are 29 Mar 1903-19 Apr 1987.  The Clyde Toadvin Watkins listed in the book is an error.  It is Clyde Toadvin.

 Interred next to her in the Minden City Cemetery is Clyde Toadvin  born 1 Jan. 1895 born 22 March 1974.


The Cemetery Inscriptions of Webster Parish, Louisiana Volume II listed Clyde Toadvin as Clyde Toadvin Watkins. Lyndell Watkins Toadvin and John Ridley Watkins were not included in their record cemetery book on page 92.



Mrs. Clovis Watson in 1949         Many Years After Retirement

Science & Home Economics

She was later promoted as a Truant Officer  for the Webster Parish School Board

GARDENS OF MEMORY CEMETERY - Row 6, double marker, Section 1 Garden of the Good Shepherd

Loy A Watson 1908 -1989

Clovis F. Watson 1910 - 1996

Funeral services were held for Clovice F. Watson on Sunday, September 22 at 3 p.m. at the First Methodist Church in Minden. She was preceded in death by her husband, Loy A. Watson. She is survived by her son, William Watson and wife, Virginia; sister, Rozelle Fomby of Cotton Valley; grandson, John Bates; great-grandson, Joshua Bates; two nieces, Janice Modisette of Shongaloo andCarol Ann Kemp of Irving, Texas. Watson was a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society and the Garden Club, and worked in education in Webster Parish from 1931-1971. She was a past member of the Germantown Colony and Museum Commission; a member of the First Methodist Church in Minden and the Wesleyan Service Guild, and received the 1968 Woman of the Year award.

Submitted by Mr. & Mrs. William P. (Virginia) Watson


Thursday, June 13, 2003 Minden Press-Herald

Grace Turner Watson

Funeral services for Mrs. Grace Turner Watson will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 13, 2002, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden with the Rev. Bill Ichter of First Baptist Church Minden officiating. Burial will follow at Minden Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 7 until 9 p.m., with family hour at 6 p.m., today, June 12, at the funeral home.
Mrs. Turner was born in Minden on July 25, 1919, one of seven children of June and Emma Botzong Turner of Minden. She was the last surviving member of that family. She was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church Minden and recently a member of the Chapel Sunday School Class.
She was married May 29, 1942, to James William Watson of Homer, at First Baptist. After the war, they moved into their new home in Minden, where they lived from 1950 until present and raised their two sons, William and Frank. She wrote extensively about family and local history. She was descended from several area pioneer settlers, including the Germantown Colony settlers, George Frederick and Emmaline Botzong, and of John Sidney Killen, who authored the 1871 bill creating Webster Parish.
Mrs. Watson was a sixth and seventh grade language teacher in Minden at Lowe Junior High, Stewart Elementary, and Richardson Elementary, and maintained friendships with many of her now grown students. She was also active in the Dorcheat Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for which she served as secretary. She also prepared the annual newspaper scrapbook this year for the Louisiana D.A.R.
She is survived by her husband; sons, Frank A. Watson and wife Debbie of Kenner, and William Turner Watson of Minden; grandchildren, Kelsey Elizabeth Watson of Minden, Ryan Kendall Watson and wife Rebecca of New Orleans, and Tyler Clayton Watson of Kenner; numerous nieces and nephews; and other family members.
Pallbearers will be David Boyd, Glenn Johnston, Tyler Watson, Ryan Watson, James Turner, and Kerry Johnston. Honorary pallbearers will be the Friendship Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society, First Baptist Church and Northwest Regional Hospice.



Louise Watson has a marker in the Garden of Memories in the Garden of Prayer, section 3, row 6 next to her husband Phares L. born 3 Nov. 1907 died 4 Jan. 1986 PFC US Army WWII. She was born 4 August 1909. Her death date is blank. The marker reads "Beloved wife and mother.


Wayne W. Williams Sr. born 10 Sep. 1917 died 16 Sep. 2000 Capt. US Army WWII, Irene B. Beloved wife and Mother; Gardens of Memory, row 2, Garden of Fountain of Youth.


 Minden - Webster Parish lost one of its longtime, dedicated educators over the weekend. Wayne Wynn Williams 83, died Saturday, Sept. 16 following a lengthy illness. Funeral services will be held today, Sept. 18, at First Baptist Church in Minden with the Rev. Bill  Ichter officiating and the Rev. Bill Crider assisting. Burial will be in the Gardens of Memory cemetery in Minden under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden. Visitation was held Sunday, Sept. 17, from 5 until 8 p.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden.  Mr. Williams was born Sept. 10, 1917 in Leesville. Here he received his bachelor of arts from Normal College In Natchitoches and his masters degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Route. He was a veteran of WWII, where he received the rank of captain while serving in the China-Burma India Campaign with the 10th Air Force. Mr. Williams devoted his life to education to make a positive impact on the youth of Webster Parish. He began his career in education at Shongaloo High School , where he taught history and English and coached basketball and baseball following the war, Mr. Williams returned to Shongaloo High School to become principal of East Side Elementary (later renamed Richard Elementary) and Minden High School.  While at Minden High School, he was responsible for building the track field and rebuilding the current football stadium. During his tenure, Minden High School  was called the "Home of Champions" due to the numerous athletic championships and achievements in academics. One of Mr. Williams proudest accomplishments while principal was having the students test between 95 and 99 percentile on national standardized tests, meaning that only one to five percent in the U.S. ranked ahead of Minden High School. Following his tenure as principal, Mr. Williams served as high school supervisor and assistant superintendent for Webster Parish Schools.  In 1971 he became supt. of Webster Parish Schools, where he oversaw desegregation and consolidation of the schools. After his retirement in 1978, he worked at the family business, Minden Athletic Supply, where he was in charge of the trophy department. Mr. Williams was also active in numerous civic organizations. He served as pres. of the Minden Lions Club, director of the Minden South Chamber of Commerce and commander of Wiley-Pevy American Legion Post. He was named Minden's 1961 "Man of the Year" and also named the 1965 "educator of the Year" in Webster Parish. He was a member of First Baptist Church, where he was a life deacon and taught Sunday School for more than 40 years. Mr. Williams enjoyed spending times  outdoors -- either fishing, gardening or supporting local athletic teams. He especially enjoyed watching his grandchildren play little league and high school sports. He was also a fan of Louisiana Tech University Athletics, especially the Lady Techsters. He is preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Samuel Smart Williams and Louise Emma Wynn Williams. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Irene Botkin Williams, son, Wayne, "Butch" Williams and wife Karen "KI" Marlowe Williams of Sibley, grandchildren, Wayne "Trey" Wynn Williams III of Baton Route, Christopher Marlowe Williams of Dallas, TX, Gregory Kyle Williams of Minden, Christen Williams of Sibley. Jennifer Suzanne Williams of Sibley and James Byron Williams Jr. of Sibley; sister Rosemary Sandefur of Punta Gorda, Fla; and great grandchild, Braeden Thomas Robinson of Sibley. Serving as pallbearers will be Harold Bartlett, Jerry Lott, Matt Martin, Richard Noles, Cleve Strong, Otis Strong, Ernie Tyler and Andy Walker. Honorary pallbearers will be the Friendship Sunday School Class, Don Hinton and Don Nation.


Minden Press-Herald, Thursday, October 19, 1989


Mrs. Portia Winford dies

 Portia Featherstone Winford, a resident of Minden for more than 50 years, died this morning at Minden Medical Center after a long illness.
 Mrs. Winford, who was named "Woman of the Year" in Minden in 1984, was born in Greenfield, Tennessee on June 27, 1906.   She graduated from high school at age 15.
 She received her bachelor's degree in English from Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas) and subsequently taught at Parkin and Delight schools in Arkansas.  In 1962 she received her master's degree in English from Louisiana Tech University.
 From 1949 until 1959, she owned and operated Portia's Dress Shop in Minden.  In 1959 she returned to teaching and taught English and Latin at Minden High School until she retired in 1973.  She then went to Murfreesboro High School in Arkansas, where she taught for a year.
 She was a member of the Woman's Department Club, Minden Garden Club, Louisiana Tech Alumni Association, University of Central Arkansas Alumni Association, and the Retired Teachers Association.
 A lifelong Christian, she was a member of the First Baptist Church in Minden for 49 years.  She was active in the Womens Missionary Union, Adult Choir, and the Girls Auxillary Association.  She also did much volunteer work in the church and taught many Sunday School classes.
 Up until 1988 she continued to tutor children at her home.
 Mrs. Winford is survived by a son, George M. Winford of Minden; a daughter-in-law, Charlotte M. Winford, also of Minden; nine grandchildren and a great granddaughter.  She was preceded in death by a daughter, Mary Winford Meeker, and a son, James M. Winford, Sr

Funeral services will be Saturday, Oct. 21 at 10 in the First Baptist Church.  Burial will be in the Murfreesboro Cemetery at 2.


From left to right: From W.W. Williams, Mr. Earl Cook, Coach Joe Oliphant, Coach George Doherty, and  Lawrence C. Dickerson.

Quade Studio





  So long for now. Maybe we will meet again at the big assembly in the sky.

Mr. Cathcart was our Principal until 1954. Mr. Williams became our Principal in 1955.