I came across a picture at the library a few weeks ago that fascinated me. It was a picture of almost 40 young women made in 1948, the members of the Future Homemakers of America or the FHA at Dade County High School. Surprisingly, I almost immediately identified a few of them, my husband’s aunt, my father’s first cousin, a well-loved teacher, and two family friends.
My friend Donna Street, always up on her history, told me that this picture appeared in the Dade High’s very first yearbook in 1948 and that all the girls were named there. The version of the picture that I found in the yearbook was not nearly as good as the one I originally found, but it did have the names of all those pictured.
Future Homemakers of America was organized in Chicago in 1945. According to the 1948 yearbook, the Dade County chapter has been a member since the very beginning, and it is still around, although under a different name, so this organization has been part of Dade’s school history for 75 years. I did some digging in our yearbook collection at the library to find out a little more about this club’s history and a few others as well.
1947-48 Dade County High School FHA
First Row: Gertha Stephens, Selma Ann Eichenburger, Lula Morgan McMahan, Ruby Raines, Charlotte Sullivan (Cash), Louise Sims (Ginn), Ruble Livingston, Betty Bates, Edna Bell Cagle, Mrs. L.M. (Geneva) Allison, sponsor.
Second Row: Betty Riddle (Wallin), Ruby Neal, Vonnie Gray (Forester), Bertha Stephens (Cross), Mary Eva Page, Betty Blevins, Margaret Taylor, Carol Kenimer, Edna Lea, Pauline Selvey, Roselyn Dyer (Moore), Imma Dean Lacy.
Third Row: Emma Lee Wallin (Powell), Cynthia Moore (Tatum/Stovall), Jessie Moreland, Betty Durham, Mary Chambers, Audrey Doyle (Gilbreath) , Clara Mae Wheeler, Billie Chapman, Jane Keeton (West).
Fourth Row: Ruth Wilson (Gross), Beatrice Castleberry, Martha June Derryberry, Clara Mae Cuzzort, Beatrice Williams (Rumley), Della Wallen (Broom), Ruth Bible, Virginia Ann Kenimer (Cagle).
The officers of the 1947-1948 Future Homemakers of America were: President, Rose Dyer (Moore); Vice president, Martha Gossett (Smith); Secretary, Charlotte Sullivan (Cash); and Treasurer, Ruble Livingston. I’m putting married names in parentheses, when I know them. The sponsor was Mrs. Geneva Allison (later Jarrett). Mr. H.S. Phillips was the principal and there were only six high school teachers: Stella Carroll, senior sponsor and algebra teacher; Mary Jo Carroll, sophomore sponsor and science teacher; Ersaline Carroll, freshman sponsor and history teacher; Geneva Allison, home economics; Thelma Bell, junior sponsor and English teacher; and Grace Castleberry, sophomore sponsor. It’s hard to imagine a high school with only six teachers. The Carroll family certainly played a big part.
In the early 1950s, the FHA continued being one of the few clubs at the school, and Mrs. Allison was followed as sponsor by Mrs. Bellue, the principal’s wife, and a Mrs. Sutton. By the mid-1950s, several other clubs appeared in yearbook pictures: the Beta Club, Glee Club, Wildcat News Staff, Debate, Dramatics and Mechanics. The faculty grew as well.
By 1959, the Future Teachers of America (FTA), the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), 4-H, Garden Club, Science Club and Student Council had all found their way to our campus. Well-known educator Ellen Marie Moore sponsored the Science Club. The student council officers were Rochelle McBryar (Holcomb), president; Mary Jane Price (Avakian), vice-president; Glenda Harrison, secretary; Richard McKaig, treasurer; Mary Frances Hutchings, reporter.
By 1961, there was a Junior and a Senior FHA Club, both sponsored by the new home economics teacher, Mrs. Martha Frances Pullen. Mrs. Pullen would be FHA sponsor for at least 20 years. The only person to serve longer is Bonnie Zipperer Cayce with 33 years. They worked together about five years as co-sponsors, with their teaching careers overlapping.
Under Mrs. Pullen’s sponsorship, the FHA groups grew. In 1963, there was a total of 74 girls in Junior and Senior FHA.
In 1964, some more new clubs organized. There was a huge Glee Club, Tri-Hi-Y, D Club, Junior Garden Club, Library Assistants and Office Assistants. One of those Office Assistants was Diane Gross (Meeks). I guess that is where she began her training for the job she just retired from.
Evidently in the 1960s, the Beta Club sponsored a play every year. The Play Chairman was Lindsay McMahan (Fussell), who is now a well-known dancer, teacher, choreographer, and director.
In 1966-67, Dade County Schools were integrated and the Hooker School for black students was closed. Mr. Frank Hill became the first black teacher at Dade High and he became known as Professor Hill, and later simply as “Fessor.” The first black students to graduate from Dade County High School were Alice Faye Chubb, Patricia Ann Chubb, Carol Sue Kelly, Brenda Faye Mason and Harold Roberts Jr.
I’m not sure when Dade’s first marching band was formed, but in 1969, the band was 56 strong. Morrell Holcomb was the head football coach and his wife, Rochelle McBryar Holcomb, taught English.
In 1970, I joined the Junior FHA and as a ninth grader took home economics with Mrs. Pullen. There I learned, among other things, how to blind hem, how to tell the difference between a good mirror and a cheap mirror, and how to recognize real china. I also collected a couple of recipes that I still use: Mississippi Mud Cake and Tuna Chip Casserole.
The Student Council sponsored a popular annual event, Miss Springtime, and in 1971, Audrey Jeffrey (Clark) (pictured at right some time later) was Miss Springtime.
In 1972 a Chess Club was organized at the high school and Mr. Henry Elliott and Mrs. Kate Elliott took several members of the Beta Club to the Beta Club Convention in Atlanta. Our speaker at the convention was Georgia governor and future president Jimmy Carter. The Band now had a color guard and a silk guard.
That fall Dade and Gordon Lee splashed to a 0-0 tie at Gordon Lee, playing in water up to their ankles. There was now an Industrial Arts Club at Dade, but the FHA was still the largest club, and the FBLA was growing.
1974 added a Pep Club and a Bible Club.
The 1975 Dade High Yearbook celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dade County High School and at the same time announces the end of the first Dade County High School. Roxie Scott (Thompson) was FHA Sweetheart. The first pictures of the Future Farmers of America appear in the yearbook with Larry Longshore as sponsor. Jane Brock and Anne Murphy won a corn shucking contest that year.
The consolidation of Dade County High and Davis High School created Northwest Georgia High School in 1976 with the new mascot being the Wolverine. In the fall of 1976, Bonnie Zipperer (Cayce) from South Georgia joined Mrs. Pullen in the Home Economics Department. For several years, there were two Home Ec teachers and two FHA sponsors. According to Ms. Cayce, she and Mrs. Pullen taught together about five years before Mrs. Pullen retired. She was replaced by Kay Hansard (Kennedy). When Mrs. Kennedy left to start a family, Mrs. Joanne Beard came on board.
In 1978 a new club was formed for students who were taking classes that were new. That club was the VICA club and it was for students taking courses in Electro-Mechanical, Transportation, and Health Occupations. In 1981, Bonnie Zipperer was teaching Family Living, a course which sometimes included a mock wedding. The FHA held a spring dance that year and the FFA was growing in number.
I occasionally see posts on Facebook bemoaning the fact that we don’t teach home economics or shop in school anymore. I tell them that home economics is probably still being taught, but under a different name. In 1994, the name of the course we knew as home economics was changed to family and consumer science. This was also the year that we moved into a brand-new high school building and changed the name of the school back to Dade County High School. Joanne Beard stayed to teach at Dade Middle School, while Ms. Cayce became the only home ec/FACS instructor at Dade County High School. She held this position until her retirement in 2009.
In 1999, the Future Homemakers of America became Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. The chapter at DCHS remained very active under Ms. Cayce’s leadership. The courses and the club still exist at Dade County High School.
Note from Donna Street: After Linda sent me this article, I did a little research with my mother, Elizabeth Wallen Street, who had graduated the year before this group in 1947. She said that their home economics classes were taught in a small log cabin which was south of the old high school building about one block and near the recently demolished baseball field at the elementary school. She said that there were two main areas of the old cabin. One was the living area and the other was the kitchen and the bathroom. Their major fundraising activity was to cook once a month for the Lions Club meeting. I am not sure when the cabin was destroyed but a safe bet would be when they built the new Dade High School and Dave L. Brown Field in the 1950s.
Another note relates to Miss Springtime. The very first Miss Springtime was Linda Jo Pace Smith in the early 1960s.
Note from Donna Street:
pringtime. The very first Miss Springtime was Linda Jo Pace Smith in the early 1960s.