Whitesburg KY

Moments and Memories of WHS



Dr. Beryl C.

Franklin, Class of 1941

I remember my teachers at the grade school and Whitesburg High School with a great deal of fondness. My grade school teachers were Cliffie C. Felix (1st), Hazel B. Childress ( 2nd), Vera Raleigh (3rd), Mrs. Arlie Boggs (4th), and May Brown (5th). I don’t remember for sure who I had for 6th and 7th grades, but I will never forget Mr. Harris for the 8th grade! I remember that we had to memorize the square root of all numbers from 1 to 20 and he put his class on the stage in the back of the auditorium and gave us mental arithmetic problems for the rest of the students in other grades. I can still recall things he taught us during these exercises.

In high school I was very fortunate to have teachers like Rosa Jones, Dalna Hale, Dean Addington, Sanford Adams, and Edgar Banks (who walked across Cowan Hill from his home on Cowan and never missed a day, come rain, snow or shine). Mr. Banks taught me biology, chemistry, physics, trigonometry, and really inspired me to be a teacher. He was also the sponsor of the Science Club of which I was the Vice President my junior year. Principal R. Dean Squires taught me Latin and I learned that a long A is pronounced differently in Latin than it is in English (puella portat rosas). I also had two years of French but I can’t remember the name of my teacher. I think it was Goodwin or something like that. I just wanted to say that I had no trouble passing the French exam for my Ph.D. at Ohio State University, thanks to the excellent basic courses I had at W.H.S.

At W.H.S. I graduated with Orell Collins, Betty Jo Picklesimer, Anna Reece Caudill, Harry Caudill, Janice Mullins, Ed Moore, Mattie Lee Ward, Eric Rierson, John D. Brown, Ulis Hunsucker, Mary Jo Whitaker, Lena Lee Renicker, Byrd Hogg and 83 others, I believe.

After W.H.S., I enrolled in Kentucky Wesleyan College at Winchester at the urging of Rev. W.H. Poore. I always thought it was unique that our Methodist preacher had graduated from Centre College (Presbyterian) and our Presbyterian preacher, Rev. Joe Sudduth, had graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College (Methodist). After three semesters, I gave up my deferment and joined the U.S. Army and served until I was discharged in December 1945.

An interesting anecdote about my military experience and Byrd Hogg deserves remembering. During World War II, I was in the 99th Infantry Division, I Company of the 393rd Infantry Regiment. After crossing the Rhine River on March 10, 1945, my outfit broke out of the bridgehead at Raymagen after a few days and went up to the Ruhr Pocket and closed it up. In doing so, we took thousands of prisoners. We had almost surrounded a town (I don’t remember the name) and it was in that engagement that I was hit by shrapnel from a German bazooka (Panzerfaust) on April 5, 1945. The next morning a litter jeep took me to Giessen, Germany, to a field hospital (forerunner to a MASH unit?). I had surgery and then was flown to Winston Churchill Hospital at Oxford, England.

A week or so later, I came out of my ward (a Quonset hut) and saw a familiar face going up the walk. I yelled “Hey Byrd!” He kept walking and I yelled again. “Hey Byrd!” This time he stopped, turned around, and then we ran and embraced as old buddies. In the service, your first name is used and as a result Floyd Byrd Hogg was not used to being called Byrd and this caused his hesitation at first. We had a great reunion at the PX and swapped war stories. Byrd had been a member of a munitions and bomb disposal squad. He was wounded by the explosion of some Panzerfausts he was carrying to a disposal area. It could have been booby-trapped, we’ll never know! As a result he ended up in the same hospital as I. It was great to see him and recall all W.H.S. memories. The last time I saw him was at a W.H.S. reunion in Whitesburg. Harry Caudill, Jane Blair (my cousin) and a great number of others had arranged the reunion. Then, of course, I read later that Byrd had become a Judge.

After the war, I re-enrolled in KWC on January 3, 1946, and met my future wife in the registration line on that day. We were married in September 1947, and we are still together.

After graduating from KWC in 1948, I went to the University of Kentucky and earned my master’s degree in anatomy and physiology in 1949.

The President of KWC asked me to come back to Wesleyan, so in September 1949, I started teaching general zoology and general chemistry at Wesleyan. That year decided me! I wanted to be a teacher and a good one.

In the summer of 1950, I enrolled at the Ohio State University. I taught three sections of general zoology while I finished my doctorate in physiological zoology in 1957.

During this entire educational journey, I was forever being reminded of the excellent teachers I had had along the way. Professor Harris (8th grade), and Edgar Banks in high school are standouts among my teachers. I had some excellent teachers at Ohio State who were also impressed on my mind as excellent.

Now as a retired Professor of Biology, Emeritus, from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, I feel that without the training and inspiration of my Whitesburg High School teachers, I would never have made it! Thanks for everything and especially for my foundations that were established in the Whitesburg school system!

I was one of five children of A.K. and Annis Franklin and all five had successful careers thanks to the educational efforts of the educators of the Whitesburg School system.

I would love to hear from any of my former classmates and I will answer any questions you may have. My address is 402 Beasley Street, Monroe, LA 71203- 4006, and my email address is nbfranklin@comcast.net.

Some news articles from the class of 1941: Hallow’een Carnival Planned For School — Plans for the annual Halloween Carnival sponsored and carried out by the Whitesburg High School are now going on. On Monday of this week, the classes met and chose candidates for the carnival King and Queen. Students chosen for this honor were, from the senior class, Joan Lewis and Jack Cornett; junior class, Sybil Dawahare and Paul Pigman; sophomore class, Christine Lewis and Jack Little; and from the freshman class, Iva Lee Hall and Paul Taylor.

(This article appeared in The Mountain Eagle Sept. 1941.)

News notes from

Whitesburg schools

Whitesburg Yellow Jackets are the winners of the Big Sandy Conference in both basketball and football. In chapel on Wednesday of last week, Harry Caudill of the public speaking class and supposedly a representative of the Big Sandy Conference presented to WHS the trophies which were won by the basketball and football teams. Following the speech of Harry Caudill, Dorothy Province gave an address in acknowledgement of the trophies. Rev. Poore spoke on “The Sportsmanship of Our Team.”

(This article appeared in The Mountain Eagle March 6, 1941.)

1941 Class Officers: President – John Dill Brown; Vice President – Orell Collins; Secretary–Treasurer – Dorthy Inez Blair. Class Valedictorian – Orell Collins. Salutatorian – Betty Jo Picklesimer.

Whitesburg High news

The score at half was 6- 0 in favor of Whitesburg. Starting in at the half, Whitesburg scored in the first three minutes, making the score 12-0. With five minutes left to play, Belfry began a passing attack, scoring two touchdowns only on long passes. The Yellowjackets have improved considerably and will be in good condition to meet the Benham Tigers Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Benham field. The football team elected the cheerleaders. The lucky girls are Joanne Lucas, Pat McClure, Bertha Lucas, and Minnerva Ruth Zimmerman.

The Girls Reserve met Tuesday morning and elected officers for the coming year. Mrs. Maxine Salling and Mrs. Hazel Childers are this year’s sponsors. President is Judy Craft, Vice- President is Mabel Brown, Secretary, Joanne Lewis, Treasurer, Stella Faye Bowen; 2nd Secretary, Bonnie Hall.

(The above article appeared in The Mountain Eagle on Sept. 18, 1941.)

Leave a Reply