24 first graders in ’32-’33

I didn’t realize McCulloch County was so mobile during the 1930s. In the first grade class 70 years ago there were 28 students. When they graduated from high school in 1943, there were only two in the class of 24 seniors who had started in the first grade in Rochelle. Some moved while others dropped out of school and joined the military. In the first grade picture that accompanies this column are Nellie Dennis, Betsy Barton, unknown, Jo Ella Cole, Mrs. Clary (the teacher who was murdered after leaving Rochelle), LaJuana Sellman, Helen Williams, June Mitchell, Boyd Turner, Jessie Roper, Bruce Blauvelt, Jack Harp, Ruth Cottle, Nelda Williams, Bob Boykin, Bobby Neal, Elton Myers, Glennon McLamore and James Allen. There were nine more that were unidentifiable. Of this group, four live in McCulloch County today. When the class graduated in 1943, some of them had attended school elsewhere (Mercury, Placid, Cowboy, East Sweden and Milburn) during their lower grades. The graduating seniors in the Class of 1943 at Rochelle were H.F. Bird, James Allen, Leroy Alexander, June Mitchell, Jeanell Barrow, Bruce Blauvelt, Merle Brown, R.L. Burk, Ruth Cottle, Earl Cox, Betty Knight, Jack Harp, Ima Mae Taylor, Also, J.H. Hufstutler, Mary Teague, Dean Jordan, Helen White, Hilmer Kruckemeyer, Virginia White, Ralph Neal, Nelda Williams, Glenn Smith, Boyd Turner and Gordon Yates. Of this group three still live in McCulloch County.

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