Picture of the old Greenville Street Elementary School. It is now used as an administration building for the Abbeville school system. I attended first through seventh grades there. We lived across the street from the school. It had a high chain link fence around it with barbed wire guards at the top. On Friday nights during the fall, the AHS Panthers played on Tinsley Field behind the school. On Saturday mornings, we kids in the neighborhood would scale the fence and look for lost coins under the bleacher seats around the football field. Most of the time, the gates to the grounds were left open and the neighborhood kids used the school yard as a playground on afternoons and weekends. The window to the left of the main entrance was in the teachers lounge. The next three windows were in Mrs. Cheatham's room. She was my third grade teachter. The next three windows were in Mrs. Cox's room. She was my second grade teacher. The window to the right of the main entrance was to Mr. Hite's office. He was principal and coach of the AHS Panther football team. The next six windows were in the lunchroom. The first three were in the area we ate in and the last three were in the kitchen. A wing on the left end of the building was eventually built where the lunchroom was moved to.
Picture of the old Abbeville High School on Chestnut St. I attended grades eight through eleven there. The building was bigger than it looks in this picture. There are left and right wings that protruded out from the front of the building that the picture doesn't show. Also, there was a full basement. The building had a large auditorium with enough stage space to set up a complete set for a play. It was traditional for each senior class to hold a senior play that was performed in the auditorium. This tradition died when we moved to the new high school. Our Dramatics Club held two plays in the auditorium.
Picture of what was left of the old Abbeville High School on Chestnut Street after it was razed. Only the pillars at the street are left.
Picture of the current Abbeville High School. It was completed in the summer of 1957 and our class was the first to graduate there. Unlike the old high school, the new one did not have an auditorium. Without an auditorium, our Dramatics Club went dormant and our class was the first one not to have a senior play.
Here is an aerial view of the new high school that was probably made sometime in 1957. Grades 7 through 12 were taught there for the first time starting in fall 1957. There are two wings on the back of the school. The one on the right was for the lower level grades. The one on the left was for the upper level grades. The gym in the front separates the two. On the left is the lunchroom. On the right are the school offices. The football field is to the left rear of the building and seems to be green with grass. The picture was made before the parking lots were paved and before the lot was landscaped. Greenville St. Elementary School can be seen in the upper center left. The new standpipe for the Abbeville water system, located off N. Main St., can be seen in the upper center right. It was build around 1952 and replaced a standpipe that looked like a large cylindrical pipe sticking up from its base. One night, a group from our class climbed to the top of the standpipe and painted "Class of 58" on it in big red letters. When this picture was made, we lived across the street on the other side of Greenville St. School and the new high school seemed to be miles away. Before I entered Greenville St. School, we lived just to the left of the standpipe on North Main St., which seemed to be miles away from Greenville St. School. I now realize that my perception of distance was really distorted because looking at this picture shows how small the town of Abbeville really was.
Picture of the Abbeville High School Class of 1958 as published in the Press and Banner. Our class was the first one to graduate from the new high school. The picture was made in the gymnasium by Fletcher W. Ferguson. Mr. Ferguson taught me mathematics in the 8th and 9th grade, but left AHS to work for the Press and Banner. The picture is faded and I believe Mr. Ferguson's camera was not properly focused. This is about the best scan I have been able to make of it. I am sitting at the far right on the front row. Those pictured are Jimmy Rambo, Linda Bosdell, Barbara Little, John Lomax, Marian Prince, Pat Smith, Bobby Byrd, Bettye Hampton, Jesse Hall, Patsie Bradberry, Marshall Leach, Rose Marie Wilson, Mary Charlotte Wilson, Frances Knox, Mary Gale Williams, Anita Stoner, Irene Kelley, Joyce Stewardt, Emilie Kelly, Norma Higginbotham, Betty Martin, Joyce Harrison, Betty Jo Canfield, Pat Wilson, Carolyn Sparks Graham, Emmaline Barrett, Jo Johnson, Anne Nickles, Eva Reames, Samuella Speer, Marian Hagan, Dawne Baker, Marie Nance, Jean Wright, Pat Gause, Rachel Manley Sutherland, Linda Crain Morris, Shelby Kay Knox, Shirley Hill, Nancy Ware Waldrop, Brenda Brodgen, Richard Dyar, Ralph Davenport, Sammy Furman, Lamar Hall, Ronnie Copelan, Conrad Cheatham, Mary Ellen Jones, Buddy Dansby, Wayne Bowie, Tommy Fellows, Thomas Morris, Vester Gable, Franklin Gorson, Billy Rabon, and Wade Bowie.
Our Senior Trip to Washington and New York was the highlight of the AHS Class of '58.
Pictures of the AHS 1958 Junior Senior Prom.
Pictures of the AHS 1957 Junior Senior Prom.
The activity that I enjoyed most in my days at AHS was the Dramatics Club. Our faculty sponsor was Mr. Neal Bonds. I believe he left AHS at the end of our junior year. That marked the end of the Dramatics Club. In our 10th grade, we presented a Christmas play titled "The Tree." In our junior year, we presented a play titled "Mama's Baby Boy." You can see pictures of the cast in these two plays here.
The 2008 Reunion of the Abbeville High School Calss of 1958 was held in Abbeville on May 17, 2008. This picture was made on the steps of the Belmont Hotel. Pictured are: (row one) Betty Martin Long, Bettye Hampton Fulmer, Bobby Byrd, Jean Wright Dewitt, Brenda Brodgen Holtzclaw, Ronnie Copeland, Wayne Bowie, (row two) Pat Wilson Wiles, Peggy McDonald Smith, Patsy Bradberry Hurt, Frances Knox George, Linda Crain Murrell, Pat Gause Dill, (row three) Anita Stoner Mosier, Rachael Manley Blackburn, Norma Higginbotham Miller, Marshall Leach (Norma insisted that I squeeze into a small spot just below her.), Mary Binet Wilson, Emilie Kelley Lesesne, Nancy Ware Waldrop, Gail Wells Uldrick, Jo Johnson Noyes, Jesse Hall, Sam Furman, (row four) Mike McCarthy, Johnny Lomax, Vester Gable, Wade Bowie, guests Betty and Dewey Goin, Lamar Hall, and Jimmy Rambo.
The 1988 Reunion of the Abbeville High School Class of 1958 was held at the Belmont Hotel in Abbeville. Because I did not attend this event and it is so difficult to divide these folks into rows, I can't list the names I recognize by rows. But I do recognize a lot of the people pictured. To the best of my knowledge, the names are: Emaline Barrett, Samuella Speer, Patsy Wilson, Patsy Bradberry, Emilie Kelly, Mary Binet, Eva Reames, Patsy Smith, Irene Kelly, Wade Bowie, Norma Higginbotham, Marian Prince, Wayne Bowie, Anita Stoner, Linda Crain, Nancy Ware, Bobby Byrd, Rachel Manley, Gail Wells, Lamar Hall, Jimmy Rambo, Jesse Hall, Marie Nance, Jean Wright, Allen Long, Mary Ellen Jones, Johnny Lomax, and Margaret Minor. If anyone recognizes someone in this picture whose name is not listed or is listed incorrectly, please let me know.
A second picture that was made at the 1988 reunion.
This is a picture of Samuella Speer that was made in our kitchen on a cold Friday or Saturday night in '57. My mother was hospitalized in Greenville and several of us gathered at my house to cook steaks one night. This is the only picture I have that night, so I guess I had only one exposure left in my Kodak camera. Samuella is broiling the steaks. She was wearing my bathrobe because we were too lazy to make a fire in the coal stove in the kitchen. There is a box of Marcel napkins hanging on the wall at the left. Not long after this picture was made, I installed an oil stove in the kitchen. Our house did not have central heat. This was in the days before Abbeville had natural gas. Here is a picture of my mother making "supper" in the kitchen when I was in maybe the 4th grade in 1950. My father worked for the health department and he often brought a camera home after work to take pictures with. I sneaked into the kitchen and made this picture. My mother was not happy at all, but it is one of my favorites. The box of Marcel napkins is showing at her upper left. The stove is a Hotpoint which was my Grandmother's before she died. The oven door would not stay closed. We had to prop a chair against it when using the oven. When the Hotpoint died, we replaced it with a GE stove which we bought from Speed and Savitz. The picture with Samuella shows the GE stove.
This is a picture of the three ladies who cooked our lunches. Starting at the left, they are Bea, Queen, and Mattie. Queen can also be seen serving punch in one of the pictures of our 1957 Junior Senior. This picture was made in the lunchroom of the old high school. The lunchroom was located in the back basement area under the auditorium. We had to enter it from outside the building. I remember Mrs. Knox Cheatham was the dietician at one time. She used to stand inside the entrance door as we entered and say "fried chicken, fried chicken," on the days we had fried chicken. I wasn't too fond of the fried chicken. All I could think was, "Where's the meat?"
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