Oak Ridge History, Students and Faculty



Oak Ridge School: Photo probably around 1924–25. According to an article in Vicksburg paper, it burned in 1928. Another article says this picture was taken shortly after the school was built in 1916. I doubt this, since this building has weathered siding and the roof shows age. Jane Keen’s mother Frances Cole (b. 1915) had this picture and told Jane she was a young girl in it. I think I have identified her in the picture as about 10–11 years old She is the girl in black bloomers, 10th from the right in a white blouse. This would put the picture about 1925. The athletic blouses and bloomers worn by the two girls 8th & 9th from right were very popular by 1925. Short skirts would argue against the 1910s also. Jack Pace says his mother, Hazel Pettway, is third from right in plaid dress; she was born in 1908 and she is among the older girls, making her 16 or 17 which would argue for 1924–25. Larry W. Lee, son of Sue Webster, has looked at the picture. If my date is correct his mother Sue and her sister should be in the photo as they graduated in 1926. While not completely confident in his identification, he suggested Sue as the girls 5th from the right and sister Estelle as 6th from the right. Evidence continues to mount that 1925 is correct within a year. Please email me if you can identify anyone and shed light on the picture’s date.
For a larger version click here: Oak Ridge School Photos

Above we see a photo of Oak Ridge School taken from a lantern slide. The original photo was likely between 1916-1920. The photo was contributed by Steve Woolf who purchased it on eBay. It was published by the DeVry (University) Circulations of Chicago. Steve, a semi-retired school bus driver with an interest in Civil War photography found the Redwood site ands contacted me. Many thanks to him for his thoughfulness.
For a larger version click here: Oak Ridge School Photos

Oak Ridge Agricultural High School History

List of Principals:

  1. James Gordon Warwick 1917-1918
  2. R. E. Selby 1918-
  3. John Calvin Holton 1922-1923
  4. Farmer Kelly 1930
  5. Charles S. Miller 1933-36
  6. Charles A. Davenport 1936-1940
  7. Randolph L. Smith 1941-1942
  8. Noel Nutt 1942-1944
  9. Margaret Bowling Austin (1905-67), Daughter of Green M. and Emma M. Bowling. she was born in Good Hope, Leake County, MS. Here siblings included Beulah A., Gertrude, Toy G., Ruth E., Lora A. and Cleo M. Her father was a farmer. She married William Knox Austin of Vicksburg, MS.

History Timeline:


From the September 7, 1897, Vicksburg Herald: "Oak Ridge School Opened: "The school at Oak Ridge was opened yesterday, as a private school until two months' hence, when the publicc session will begin. Mr. McLaurin is in charge and the attendance is said to have been excellent."


From June 19, 1898 Vicksburg Herald: "Oak Ridge Scchool Celebration, On last Friday evening, at 8'oclock the Oak Ridge schoolhouse was litterally packed with good people from all the country round were gathered to witness the closing exercises of the school. The exercises, consisting of music, recitations, fancy drills, dialogues, etc., were very entertaining and very creditable, and at their close the audience was treated to an address by President Chambers, of Whitworth Female College. The graduating class, consisting of Misses Madie Grant, Josie B. Stephenson, Margie Grant, Minnie King, Amelia Butts, Nannie Harris and Mollie Grant, were then presented with their diplomas, the first received under the new graded system of our county schools; and certificates of distinction for highest honor earned by each in his or her respective grade, were issued to Miss Aurelia, Butts, Mr. Elbert Crouch, Miss Fannie Grant and Master Frank Grant."


The September 5, 1908, Vicksburg Herald describes the Dan Cole School construction plans.

"Plans and specifications for the Dan Cole school house located 13 miles from Vicksburg and about 5 miles from Redwood.'

"Dimensions: 20 by 26 by 12; 3 windows on each side and 2 in front makeing 8 windows, medium size; 1 door in the center of front, medium size; 1 gallery in front of door 3 by 4;1 shed over gallery 3 by 4; 1 platform in the rear of the house on inside 20 by6 by 1; 1 flue in center of roof.'

"Materials: The house is to be weatherboarded on outside and ceiling throughout on inside; grooved ceiling. The gloor and platform to be grooved glooring, also gallery. The house and shed to be shingle roofed. The house is to have brick pillars.'

"The county furnishes all material deliverd to contractor either at Redwood or Vicksburg. Make bids from both points. The school house must be complete in every particular by Oct. 1, 1908. All bids must be in not later than Sept. 8th, 1908.'

"Au31-Sept7 S. N. Collier, County Supt."

(from 1940-41 yearbook)

The difficulty in presenting the history of a school is that no two people will have the same point of view relative to what should be, or should not be, listed as important and of real historic value.

Beginning in 1912, a campaign was carried on for a period of more than two years in order to develop sentiment in favor of consolidation in Warren County. At first practically every family in this county opposed such a procedure, but due to the untiring efforts of the County Superintendent, J. H. Culkin*, oppositions rapidly vanished, and each of the forty-eight school centers wanted the consolidated school in their communities.



Here is an early picture of a school on Ballground School Road four miles north of Oak Ridge was posted online by Nita Curtis. Using Photoshop, I was able to restore somewhat the picture. The school was entitled, "Beech Grove School No. 1." The principal was Miss Mollie F. Grant. She was born in February 1883 to Richard and Alice A. Grant in Mississippi. Her siblings are Alice A., Rosie, Alex and Sidney. Her father is a grocer. In the 1910 census she is single and living with her younger sister Rose and uncle W. H. Johnson in Beat 5. Her occupation in teacher, music. She appears to be late 20s or early 30s maybe. If so this would put the picture ca. 1910. The 1916 Vicksburg Evening Post had an article noting a picnic planned by teachers at Hollywood School, Ball Ground School and Beech Grove School on the grounds of Beech Grove School. There is a garden on a plot donated by A. W. Hearn. Dewey McKay is mentioned in the article written by Alonzo McKay, who was the principal in 1916. At the picnic the house fly catching contest noted that a total of 26,848 flies were delivered by the school children during the competition. The 1881 Vicksburg Herald mentions the Beech Grove School House. Beech Grove school would likely have been consolidated when Oak Ridge area schools, Oak Ridge Schools Nos. 19, 31, 30, 39, 16, 10, 4, 5, and 24, were consolidated around 1916-1917. (Some nanes were: Oak Ridge, Dan Cole School, Cane Ridge School, Russellville School, Beech Grove, Black School, Villa Nova School, Christian School and Bradley School. Here are a few teachers at these small schools: Oak Ridge:Mrs. Elmer Austin; Christian School: Miss Eleanor M. Heron; Black School: Mrs. Anna Henry Jones; Villa Nova: Miss Ethel O'Connor; Beech Grove: Alonzo McKay; Cole School: Miss Jonnie Zehnter; Miss Addie Hackler) A few students that attended the Cole School: Bessie and Katie Cole, Francis Cole, Carl O'Connor and Standford McBroom.

Ariticle provided by Karl Keen, great-great-grandson of Dan and Alice Cole.

Daniel Sterling Cole, a farmer, was born August 18, 1865 and died February 28, 1932 in Milldale Cemetery. He gave the property to the county to use for the school. His first wife, Catherine G. Cole died in 1909. His second wife was Alice Hackler Cole *1884-1953). Dan's children were Hal Scott Cole (died of influenza in the Naval Hospital in Chelsea MA, Fireman 3rd Class), Fred Cole, Bessie Cole King. Katie Cole and Frances Cole. Frances Cole was wife of Karl Keen.


In September of 1914, the Warren County Board of Education, which consisted of Mr. Richard Griffith of Vicksburg, Dr. C. S. Hyland of Yokena, T. H. Jett of Jett Community, A. H. Cook of Bovina and F. L. Austin of Oak Ridge, met with Mr. J. H. Culkin and divided Warren County into six districts with the points of consolidation designated at Jeff Davis Academy, Jett Vocational School, Bovina, Culkin Academy, Redwood and Oak Ridge. The carrying out of these plans is history itself, and only Senator J. H. Culkin could do it justice. For it was due to his perseverance that the Culkin perfected consolidated system began its, history by 1916.

Oak Ridge, the last to consolidate, opened on the first Monday in October 1916. Shortly after agriculture and domestic science were added to the curriculum, and under the Smith-Hughes plan, vocational education was made a special feature.

Special attention has been given to music, athletics, physical education, public speaking and vocation. It was and is the desire and intention of those connected with the schools to create community centers which would be attractive to those residing in all parts of the county. For a long time, transportation and traffic developments were limited, but due to improved roads and motor school buses, many hardships have been overcome.

The history of the Oak Ridge School can be listed as one of numerous victories in literature, music, public speaking, athletic contests, and in various club activities.


Here is a headline and entry from the May 3, 1922 Vicksburg Herald:

Individual winners were: Primary: Miss Minnie Graham; Intermediate: Miss Evelyn Martin and Austin Martin; High School: Miss Ruth Austin and Mr. Allen Shelby.

The people of Oak Ridge and the student body, have always shown a fine spirit of fair play and sportsmanship and have continued to put forth their best efforts to abide by any and all requirements & prevailing conditions.

The first building erected at Oak Ridge cost $4,750 and was constructed of wood.


This article appeared in the September 25, 1922 Vicksburg Herald.

Oak Ridge School Opens

Oak Ridge, Miss, Sept. 25.—The Oak Ridge Agricultural High School had a formal opening last Monday morning. The program formerly published was carried out except that the speaker expected from Vicksburg did not appear, to the disappointment of all, The
devotional exercises were conducted by Rev, Eh. D. Simpson of the Methodist church of this place. And on solicitation made a speech. He pointed out the frivolities of the age as the barriers that stand between the accomplishment of a Christian education. He further showed that all should intelligently draw a perfect ideal and school was the best means to achieve it.

The reading of little Dorothy Hilton was enjoyed by all.

The patrons are very fortunate in having Prof, J. C. Holton as principal. He is well equipped for the place, He was reared in a Christian community and home, in culture and refinement, Prof. Holton is a graduate of the leading college of the South in practical efficiency for men, the Mississippi A & M. This Winston countian has already proven in this county to be one of the leading educators of this State.

Prof, J. F. Atkinson another Winston countian was reared in Louisville vicinity. A graduate of Louisville High School and the Mississippi A. & M college in agriculture. He is connected with high type people, some of them leading educators of the state and also in other professions. His good blood can be traced for generations back. The Agricultural High School of his home county is due more to him for its success for the past few years than any one else.

Miss Florence Austin, the youngest daughter of Dr, J. S. Austin, of Oak Ridge, is well known throughout Vicksburg and Warren county. She is still lifting the high standard of the Austins. She is a graduate of Vicksburg High School and the M.S.C.W. in domestic science. The school is fortunate in securing this sweet Christian home girl who is highly competent to fill the place.

Miss Nell Magee of Meadville is a graduate of Whitworth College and has taken special courses in primary work In Tulane University. She has six years of successful teaching in the primary work, No better selection could have been made for the primary department, Jf Meadville could turn out a few more like Miss Magee, her reputation would soon be changed.

Miss Neva Morris, of Columbia reflects credit on her Alma Mater, the Woman's College, in English. She has had several years of experience in Tylertown and Hebron schools. It is fortunate to have this Christian character in the community,

A Vicksburger, Mrs. Donald comes with a high reputation. She is a graduate of Blue Mountain, Her teaching both in music and literary branches has been highly commended where she has taught. She is formerly from Issaquena county. It is worthy of note, that her father is now a member of the legislature, from that county,

Miss Clara Baur Johnston from Jackson, is a graduate of the first “A" Grade College of the State, Millsaps. It is evident that the musiec and expression pupils will be efficiently instructed under Miss Johnston who has taken special courses in) Cincinnati Conservatory. She will be a great help in the church and community.

It is a pity that about 1-3 of the children of the district are missing such a fine opportunity to get an education under such excellent teachers and modern equipment. Good reports are coming in concerning the bright and enthusiastic student body, Victory and the loving cups will be well won if Oak Ridge does not take them,


In 1928, the school was destroyed by fire, but has been rebuilt and, at this time, we have a splendid brick building costing more than $40,000 with agricultural and domestic science facilities, with modern electrical equipment and devices, with ample class room and play ground facilities. Elbert Redditt, a 1940 graduate, said while the building was burning he and his buddies were overjoyed thinking “no more school,” however, school was held next day in homes and outbuildings. Teachers, Elbert remembers, were Miss Jane Bell, Mrs. McDonald, Mrs. Estelle Beard, Mrs. Lee Russell, Lyda B. Arms, Miss Lena Dratton, Mrs Jessie Miller, Miss Helen Hall, Miss Lowe, Mrs. Knox Austin, Mr David Luckett, Mr. Charles Middelton, Lucy Naylor Lee, Lillian Foster Schlosser, Beatrice Hovious, Majorie Clarke and Mr. Edward Allen.



Remains of the burned out Oak Ridge School in 2009. Thanks to Elbert S. Redditt Sr. for photo.



Above is 1929 photo of Oak Ridge High School.



In the 1940s the high school students were sent to Redwood school and by 1956 all the students moved to Redwood school

Under the direction and leadership of James Gordon Warwick (1917-1918), at left, the first principal, and his successors R. E. Selby, J. C. Holton (served one year 1922–23), Farmer Kelley, C. S. Miller, C. A. Davenport and present principal R. L. Smith, Oak Ridge has always maintained faculties competent to render outstanding and efficient services in all departments.





SpencerMartinIf space would permit, it would be well to mention all who served in an official capacity for they well deserve praise; but truly, it would be an oversight not to be forgotten if the present administration, Superintendent R. E. Selby, President A. A. Chaney, T. B. Henry, Ernest Opperman, Otto Hearn and John Brabston were left unnamed, for each day the pupils, teachers, bus drivers and others enjoy benefits due to their personal interest. All of the community appreciate the school, but it would not be amiss to mention two men who have given much time, study, and work to make their children’s school one of the best--Mr. Edward Spencer Martin (at right), a long time member of the County Board of Supervisors, and Dr. J. S. Austin, until his health failed, was on the Board of Education and a State Representative from Warren County, as well as the community physician for more than fifty years. They each gave much assistance in bringing about consolidation and building for a better school unit. (Note Added by Mel Oakes—In 1944, W. A. Bradley was made principal of Oak Ridge High School. Noel Nutt was moved to the new High School at Redwood).

ExcellGriffithIn the history of the school the efficient custodian, Mr. Aaron Excell Griffith (March 23, 1893–March 20,1976), seen at left in his WWI uniform, and below at right, with Jack Pace, has patiently given very effective service to all phases of work and activities for a period of more than twelve years. Many other former students are occupying places of honor and trust. The entire community has learned to look upon this school as the center of its social, economic and educational life, and it can be anticipated that the future will create even greater opportunities for those who take advantage of the ever developing and successful school system.









There are so few to whom the heart may go
without a barrier, with no pretense,
with no apology, without a qualm
of hesitance, and with no veiled defense.

*Culkin, John Patrick Henry (1887–1951) — also known as J. H. Culkin — of Vicksburg, Warren Couny, Miss. Born in Oak Ridge, Miss., April 17, 1887. Son of Patrick Lawrence Culkin and Elizabeth (Hearn) Culkin; married, July 1, 1915, to Clara Augusta Linstrom—Democrat, school teacher, principal, newspaper editor, Warren County Superintendent of Education, 1912–26; lawyer, alternate delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1928, member of Mississippi State Senate, 1929-42. Catholic, Irish, English and Scottish ancestry; died in 1951. Interment at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Vicksburg, Miss.


Below are obituaries for Aaron Griffith (1893-1976) and Senator John Culkin (1887-1952).


Obituary for R. E. Selby (1883–1945) who served as Superintendent at Oak Ridge, ca. 1934. He graduated from Millsaps in 1914. Thanks to his grandnephew, Selby Parker, for providing the clipping on the left.

Robert E. Selby's senior picture at Millsaps College, 1914.

School Pictures and Memorabilia


Oak Ridge Girls Basketball Team, c. 1921–22

L to R, Zelma Hackler (Mrs. J. M. Gaule of Jackson), Gertrude Hall (Mrs. H. B. Mansfield of Florida), Katie Cole (Mrs. Bufkin), Wilma McBroom (Mrs. Lawrence Henry), Alma Hall (Mrs. Roy Young and mother of Johnnie Young Brown), Bessie Cole (1901–80) (Mrs. Ernest King). This team was organized in 1918. The coaches were Miss Eva Webster (1895-1935) (shown at right, on right, with neice, Sue) and Miss Elmer Austin. The teams played together for five years and were undefeated. Katie and Bessie were sisters. They were half-sisters to Frances Cole, Karl Keen’s wife.
(Photos courtesy of Johnnie Young Brown and Larry W. Lee)

Following graduation Bessie Cole, Gertrude Hall and Lucille Hintson enrolled in Hillman College at Clinton, MS. Gertrude finished there. Bessie left to get married. Lucille left also and married Leo Davidson. Lucile was a sister to Irma Howard Hintson. The worked for some time at Thom McKann store in Vicksburg. They had a daughter Jan Knox. Another student with connections is Lou Celia Bradshaw from Phoenix listed below. Lou Celia was the mother of Celia Bradshaw who married Charles Hintson. Lou Celia taught in the Phoenix and Satartia schools. (Thanks to Charles and Celia for providing the Hintson information.)

Gertrude Hall married Howard B. Mansfield and owned and operated a motel in Fort Walton Beach Florida. Here is a newspaper article honoring her.

Oak Ridge men's basketball team in 1921: Forwards: Selby and Young, Center: Smith, Guards: McBRoome and Austin. November 10, 1921, The Vicksburg Herald



Bessie Cole, 1921
(Photo courtesy of Billy King Pennington, her daughter)


1922 Oak Ridge Graduation Program Cover


Class of 1922 Commencement Announcement belonging to Bessie Cole King, 3” x 5”
(Courtesy of Billy King Pennington, her daughter)


Senior Playbill for Class of 1921. Because of small class sizes, plays used students from other classes.
(From Bessie Cole King’s files)


1924 Oak Ridge Graduating Class

Back Row: L to R, Leo Davidson, Jack Young, Hugh Clark, Knox Austin and Franklin Young
Front Row: L to R, Martha Mae Austin, Zelma Hackler, Alma Hall (mother of Johnnie Young Brown), Ruth Hall, Lillie Hagan
(Photo courtesy of Johnnie Young Brown)

Lillie Hagan (Pettway)'s diploma from Oak Ridge Agricultural High School, 1924. (Courtesy of her granddaughter, Beth Forbes Porter.)

Martha Mae Austin, 1924 Oak Ridge graduate. Photo from Blue Mountain College, 1927 Mountaineer Yearbook
(Photo found by Stan Whitaker.) Blue Mountain College was founded in 1873 as a Christian liberal arts college and affiliated since 1920 with the Mississippi Baptist Convention, the College recruits undergraduate and graduate students who are committed to scholarship, servant leadership, and service in church and community. The student-centered campus exhibits a climate of personal attention, respect, inclusion, and high expectations in all modes of delivery.

Martha Mae Austin (1907-1981), 1924 Oak Ridge graduate. Left on bottom row. Photo from Blue Mountain College, 1927 Mountaineer Yearbook. Martha Mae was the daughter of Felix L. and Clyde Austin. Her siblings were Knox and Ruth Austin. Martha Mae and Ruth were teachers in the 1930 Census. She married John Hynes Henderson (1903-1985) She is burid in Cedar Hills Cemetery, Vicksburg. In 1940, she worked as a secretary for th government in Vicksburg.


Martha Mae Austin, 1924 Oak Ridge graduate. Middle of bottom row. Photo from Blue Mountain College, 1925 Mountaineer Yearbook

Blue Mountain College, ca. 1900

Oak Ridge Climbers, Student looking at dishes. 1927




About 1929–30, Oak Ridge Graduates, L to R, Buris Griffith, Irma Howard Hintson and Billy Pettway


1930 Oak Ridge Graduating Class, L to R,, Billy Pettway, Buris Griffith and Irma Howard Hintson.


1929 Oak Ridge Men’s Basketball Team
L to R: Irma Howard Hinson, J. B. Redditt, Frank Knox, Billy Pettway, Burrus Griffith, Herman Pettway, Henry Jones and Wayne Butts (Photo courtesy of Loraine Hintson Lee)


Early 1930’s Oak Ridge Men’s Basketball Team.
LtoR: Paul Gaunt, ?, Butts, ?, maybe Hackler, ?, maybe Donald O’Conner.


1929–30 Oak Ridge Women’s Basketball Team
Mildred Butts (Rowland), maybe Frances Cole (Keen) though looks too stocky, Marguerite Butts, Aubin Hall, ?, Vera Kate Grogan, Marguerite O’Connor, Annie Hall Wilkinson



1929-30 Oak Ridge Women’s Basketball Team
Back Row: Annie Hall Wilkinson, Marguerite O’Connor, ?, Vera Kate Grogan, Maybe Frances Cole (Keen)
Front Row: Mildred Butts (Rowland), Marguerite Butts, Aubin Hall
Background: Custodian Aaron Griffith


Oak Ridge Women’s Basketball 1930-31
Frt Row, L-R: Virginia Holiday , Bertha Hicks (m. Wayne Butts), Frances Cole (m. Karl Keen), Marguerite Martin (m. Garnett Andrews), Dorothy Jacks (m. Willie Sneed), Zalla Ruth Dunn (m. Robert Alexander)

Second Row: Eva Powell (m. Excell Hearn), Vera Smithhart, Aubin Hall (m. Neal Stewart), Mildred Butts (Jim Rowland), Juanita Butts (m. William Ford), Vera Kate Grogan,
Standing: Coach & Teacher Mattie Lou Lowe
(Photo Courtesy of Jane Keen Griffin)


Oak Ridge Women’s Basketball 1930–31
L-R: Bertha Hicks (m. Wayne Butts), Dorothy Jacks (m. Willie Sneed), Frances Cole (m. Karl Keen), Zalla Ruth Dunn (m. Robert Alexander), Coach & Teacher Mattie Lou Lowe, Virginia Holiday, Marguerite Martin (m. Garnett Andrews)
(Photo Courtesy of Jane Keen Griffin)


J. B. Redditt and Herman Pettway

1931 Oak Ridge Men's basketball team: Forwards: H. Hancock and Keen, Center: Reddick (should be Redditt), Guards: N. Hancock and E. Griffith, Subs: D. Roberts, W. Hancock and B. Griffiths. From Mar. 21, 1931 Clarion-Ledger


1935 Oak Ridge Third Grade Class, Teacher Miss Mattie Lou Lowe
Back Row:, Zane Grey Cole, Kelly Bryant, Wayne Nevels, Daryl Hicks, ?, Sybil Smithhart, Vera Hackler, Gwen Griffith (Pettway) (who supplied the identification on the picture.)
Second row L to R: Walter Whitten, Adelle McGuffee, Jewel King (sadly died of appendicitis that year), J. W. Hearn, Jeff Hearn, ?, Mary Frances McBroom, Lucile Harris,
First Row: Billy Martin, Hedy Blue Powell, Lena Margaret Bryant, Ann Henry, Thomas Henry, John Scott “Skippy” Cole,


1934 or 1935 Oak Ridge Class.
L to R: Back Row: Sybil Ann Smithhart, Gwendolyn Griffith, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, Zane Grey Cole, ?, Douglas Ray Stevens, Kelly Bryant, John Scott “Skippy” Cole
Second Row: ?, ?, Maybe Adelle McGuffee, ?, ?, ?, Mary Barbare Hackler, Mildred Hamilton, ?, ?, ?, ?
Third Row: ?, ?, Billy Martin, ? ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, Thomas Henry, ?, ?
(Picture courtesy of Nina Andrews) (Thanks to Gloria Crapps Gunn for help with IDs)



Citizenship Certificate for Jewell King, May 1935. Principal was C. S. Miller.











1936 Grad Annou

1936 Oak Ridge Graduation Announcement for Mildred B. Rowland (Courtesy of Jane Keen Griffin)

Hamilton Girls

Hamiliton Girls: L to R: Sarah H. White, Mildred H. Lewis, Mable H. Biedenhorn, Mattie H. Hoosier and Alma H. Whitley. Would like to know the years they graduated—probably early 30s. Modern picture appears in candid photo section.


Class of 1937-38
Left to Right: Front: Jearlean O’Connor, Winnie Alice Wells, Marjorie Rowland, Katherine Cole, Annie Mae Redditt. Lillie Pettway
Back Row: Mayo Redditt, James Holiday, Floyd Bryant, H. H. Williams, Johnny Hearn


Oak Ridge Men’s Basketball, 1936-37
Back Row: L to R: H. H. Williams, ?, James Holliday, ?, Maybe James Wainwright since he was one inch taller than Holliday and had blond hair and blue eyes, , Mr. Allen-Coach
Front Row: ?, ?, Clark Wedgeworth, Sambo Butts,
Others in Photo but no ID: John Holliday, James Whitten, Gates Wedgeworth, James Wainwright, William Raines


Oak Ridge Women’s Basketball Team, 1936-37: Married name in parentheses.
L to R: Standing: Zola Allison (1920–) (Jenkins), Laura Frances Martin (Holiday), Margaret Austin, -Coach & Teacher, Lillie Pettway, Annie Mae Redditt (Reed)(1920–)
Kneeling: Marie Burroughs (1920–) (Hintson) and Ina Lillian Brown (1920–) (Fowler) (Beesley)


Oak Ridge Women’s Basketball Team, 1937: Married name in parentheses.
L to R: Front: Annie Mae Redditt (Reed)(1920–), Zola Allison (1920–) (Jenkins), Martha Webster, Catherine Whitten
Second Row: Ina Lillian Brown (1920–) (Fowler) (Beesley), Marie Burroughs (1920–) (Hintson), Laura Frances Martin (Holiday), Margaret Austin, -Coach & Teacher,
Back: Lillie Pettway



Oak Ridge, 1938 L to R:
Front Row: Ray “Tut” Smithhart, Sidney Rowland,, Earl Brasfield, Floyd Bryant, Otis Foster
Back Row: Sambo Butts, James Holliday, H. H. Williams, Coach Charles Middleton, Clark Wedgeworth, Elbert Redditt, Weston Bryant


Oak Ridge, 1938 L to R: Weston Bryant, Ray “Tut” Smithhart, Sidney Rowland, Otis Foster, Floyd Bryant, Earl Brasfield,
Sambo Butts, Elbert Redditt, James Holliday, Clark Wedgeworth, H. H. Williams, Back-Coach Charles Middleton

Back: Austin McGuffee, Willis Pettway is in center, Sid Rowland
Middle: Hilda Johnson, Stella Holiday, Lone Whitaker, Marvel Ward
Front: Vera Hearn, Barbara Cole, ca. 1939-40 (Photo from Becky Chennault)





Annie Mae Redditt, Many of the photos of the basketball team were hers. Nina Andrews, her daughter kindly made them available. Her 1938 Activities award medal is shown below.






The 1938 Graduating Class of Oak Ridge High School. Members of the group are left to right:

First row: Marjorie Rowland and James Holliday, honor students

Second row: Willis Eugene Dykes, Geraldine ?, Mayo Redditt, Catherine Cole, Johnny Hearn, Annie Mae Redditt

Third row: Wilmer Butts , Floyd Bryant maybe, Lillie Pettway, H. H. Williams, Winnie Alice Wells and Bob Harlen

(Thanks to Edward Reed, son of Annie Mae Redditt for posting the photo.)

Diploma of Annie Mae Redditt, shared by her son, Edward Reed.


Oak Ridge, 1939 Front Row Left, Mrs. Knox Austin. Maybe Rebecca Lee McDuff, 2nd row second from right.



Charles Davenport Jr. was son of the principal, Charles A. Davenport. Comment: Player second from left on front row looks like Frank Owens who should be on team according to newspaper article. Thomas Bernard McCormick is identified as that person. I wonder if the unidentified person at back is Bernard?

Jackson Clarion Ledger lists Jan 1941 starting lineup as Forward: Smithhart and Bryant, Center: Anderson, Guards: Rowland and Butler with Dunn as substitute.

Girls team was: Forwards: M. Allison, Holliday, and Hamilton, Guards: V. Allison, Johnson, Cole, Substitutes were Hearn, Brown and Brasfield.



















Walter Cooper

Leon McMullen



Clara Marie Allen, "Miss Oak Ridge High School" 1941. She married Paul Hardin Strait. He was a truck Driver for Roadway. She’s lived in Southhaven, MS. for a while but most of her life was in Sardis, Mississippi. She had one daughter, Paula M. Strait, and two granddaughters, Heather Grammer Ba ys and April Grammer.


!941 Women's Basketball Team: Forwards: Allison, Holliday, Hamilton, Guards: Hearn, Johnson, Allison, Subs: Cole, Brasfield and Brown. From Feb. 21, 1941 The Yazoo Herald. Many are shown in the photo below.



Oak Ridge 1942 Girls’ Basketball Team



Oak Ridge 1942 Boys’ Basketball Team
Back: Phillip Gaunt, Thomas Henry, Frank Owens, ?, ?, ?
Front: ?, Robert Redditt, Theodore Jones, Elmer Anderton, ?


1942GradAnnounOR 8thGrad Announ1942



Exo Griffity&MarAustin

Oak Ridge, Exo Griffith, Pastor, & Mrs. Estelle Beard, Teacher. She and her sister Miss Elmer Austin, also a teacher, were daughters of Dr. Austin.

Margaret Austin

Oak Ridge, Mrs. Margaret Austin, teacher, married to Knox Austin


Oak Ridge Church baptism: ca 1945. Front Row: on right in print dress is Emma Mae McBroome, Mary Barbara “Bobbye” Hackler (Dunn) second row in stripped dress, partially blocked, next to her at right, is Mary Louise McBroom (Foster), behind her is Otis Foster who married Mary Louise McBroom. Girl on left end of second row could be Hedy Blue Powell. (Many thanks to Gloria Crapps Gunn for invaluable help with identifications.) Please send others.

OR 1947 BB

1947 Oak Ridge Basketball Team
Back Row, L to R – Mrs. Margaret Austin-Coach, James Edward Keen, James Walter Alexander, Billy Young, Billy McBroom, Dean Cole, Pete Keen, John Henry Hannah,-manager

Front Row, L to R - Betty Ann Moore, Johnnie Young, Jane Alice Ward, Dorothy Hall, Hermanell Hearn, Jewell Bryant, JoAnn Dillon, Mary Rose Worthy.


1947–48 Oak Ridge Girls Basketball Team
Back: Mrs. Margaret Austin-Coach
L to R - Dorothy Hall, Mary Rose Worthy, Jane Alice Ward, Johnnie Young, Hermanell Hearn, Betty Ann Moore, JoAnn Dillon, Jewell Bryant


1947–48 Oak Ridge Boys Basketball Team
Back Row, L to R – Billy McBroom, James Edward Keen, James Walter Alexander, Billy Young, Dean Cole, Pete Keen


Back Row, L to R – Margaret Young, Robert Ernest King, Dan Hall, Jimmy Ward, James Howard Hearn, Joseph Harris, Claude McBroom, Carolyn Brent
Middle Row, L to R – Vera Lee McBroom, Elsie Mae Cook, Mildred Moore, Joan Adams, Florence Gaye Hearn, Jean Redditt, Zula Kate Harris
Front Row, L to R – Jimmie Faye Biedenharn, Juanita Martin, Stella Harris


Back Row, L to R – Robert Ernest King, Claude McBroom, Dan Hall, Joseph Harris,
Front Row, L to R – Jimmy Ward, James Howard Hearn


Oak Ridge Girls Basketball, c. 1950 or 51
Front Row, L to R – Stella Harris, Jimmie Faye Biedenharn, Juanita Martin
Middle Row, L to R – Joan Adams, Florence Gaye Hearn, Jean Redditt
Back Row, L to R – Zula Kate Harris, Mildred Moore, Vera Lee McBroom, Carolyn Brent, Margaret Young


Oak Ridge Girls Basketball, c. 1950 or 51
Front Row, L to R – Stella Harris, Jimmie Faye Biedenharn, Juanita Martin
Middle Row, L to R – Joan Adams, Florence Gaye Hearn, Jean Redditt
Back Row, L to R – Zula Kate Harris, Mildred Moore, Vera Lee McBroom, Carolyn Brent, Margaret Young


Oak Ridge Girls Basketball, c. 1950 or 51
Front Row, L to R – Stella Harris, Jimmie Faye Biedenharn, Juanita Martin
Middle Row, L to R – Joan Adams, Florence Gaye Hearn, Jean Redditt
Back Row, L to R – Zula Kate Harris, Mildred Moore, Vera Lee McBroom, Carolyn Brent, Margaret Young


OR Class

Front Row, L to R – Martha Alexander, Zula Kate Harris, Margaret Alexander, Peggy Jo Ward, Jimmie Faye Biedenharn, Nancy Jean Moore, Betty Jo Terrell holding Laverne Redditt (Jean’s little sister)
Back Row, L to R – James (Buddy) Terrell, Eugene Cook, Robert Lee Hearn, Cecil King, Mildred Moore, Joan Adams, Juanita Martin, Florence Gaye Hearn, Stella Harris

OR Class 1949

Oak Ridge c. 1949.
First Row, L to R – Rosalie Jacks, Jean Redditt, Jo Ann Dillon, Hermanell Hearn, Mildred Moore, Carrie Mae Moore, Margaret Young, Jimmy Ward, Will Knox Austin (principal Margaret Austin’s son), Eugene Cook, Dean Cole, Dan Hall, Robert Ernest King

Back Row, L to R – Juanita Martin, Stella Harris, Joan Adams, Zula Kate Harris, Jimmie Faye Biedenharn, Betty Worthy, Vera Lee McBroom, Margaret Alexander, Betty Jo Terrell, Peggy Lee Ward, Martha Alexander, Joseph Harris, Cecil King

OR Class

Oak Ridge Class, c. 1949
First Row, L to R – Billie Rowland, Eugene Cook, Betty Jo Terrell, Jimmie Faye Biedenharn, Cecil King, Margaret Alexander, Peggy Lee Ward, Martha Alexander

Back Row, L to R - ?, Mildred Moore, Joan Adams, Elsie Mae Cook, ?, Jean Redditt, ?, Florence Gaye Hearn, Juanita Martin

OR Class 1949

Oak Ridge, c. 1949
Front, L to R – Joan Adams, Stella Harris, Zula Kate Harris, Jimmie Faye Biedenharn, Jean Redditt, Mildred Moore, Carrie Mae Moore, Will Knox Austin, Margaret Young, Betty Worthy, Betty Jo Terrell, Margaret Alexander, Peggy Lee Ward, Martha Alexander, Billy Worthy, Dan Hall (under table), Jimmy Ward, Dean Cole, Cecil King, Robert Ernest King, Mrs. Beard, ? and ?

Back, L to R – Vera Lee McBroom, Jo Ann Dillon, Hermanell Hearn, Juanita Martin

OR Unknown Class

Unknown Oak Ridge Class. (Picture courtesy of Nina Andrews)

The photo below contains students in the photo above. The steps and doors when compared with other photos seen on this site, clearly prove that it was taken at Oak Ridge School. The boy that third from left in the back row is same as tall boy in middle of back row in photo below. I think girl 3rd from right on back row is girl at left end of back row in photo below. Boy second from left in back row is boy in middle of front row. By at left end of back row has the indications of a widow's peak hairline. Boy second from right in back row below also has a widow's peak. Could be same boy. Boy second from right on front row is very likely Elbert Redditt.

Sunday School Class, Oak Ridge. I believe front left is Frank Owens. He was born in 1923. He is about 10-11 maybe here, making the photo about 1933-34. The tall boy in the middle of the back row is in the mystery photo above this one. He is third from left at back. Seems likely that Frank would be in mystery photo, but can't decide.

OR Class 1955-56

1955-56 Oak Ridge Class. (Picture courtesy of Nina Quidor Andrews) Teacher on the left end is Mrs. Margie Clard. Onthe other side is Mrs. Knox Austin.


1955-56 Oak Ridge Class. Picture was taken by Hubert D. Kirk, Sr. - Father of Donald Kirk and Dale Kirk
6. Aroy Redditt, 8. Suzanne Quidor (sister of Nina Ann Quidor),10. Diane Hearn,13. Tommy Redditt,14. Bill Barfield,15. Charles E. Hicks,18. ?Dwiggins,19. Elbert (Sonny) Redditt Jr., 21. Donald Keith Kirk, 23. Will Knox Austin, 25. Kay Pettway, 28. Lana Sue Pace, 30. Shirley Ward, 31. Lynn McNeil, 32. Nina Ann Quidor (Andrews), 33. Ann Alexander, 34. Mrs. Marjorie Clark/Teacher grades 1-3,
35. Emma Lee Maddox, 26. Joyce Hall, 29. Jeff Bragg, 37. Marjorie Ann Clark, 40. Vera Smithheart, 41. Martha Ann Redditt, 43. Toni Gail Griffith, 47. Hubert Dale Kirk, Jr., 48. Mrs. Margaret Austin, Teacher/Principal grades 4-6, 49. George Hearn.

(Picture courtesy of Nina Quidor Andrews)


At letf: Jimmie Faye Biedenharn and Joan Adams, Oak Ridge. At right: L to R: Mildred Moore & Jimmie Faye Biedenharn

Vera Lee McBroomJoanAdamsJfBiedenharnStellaHarris

At left: Vera Lee McBroom & Dan Hall, Oak Ridge. Ar right: Top to Bot: Joan Adams, Jimmie Faye Biedenharn and Stella Harris.


Oak Ridge Students in Vicksburg Christmas Parade, about 1951 or 1952. They pulled the float.
Front row, L to R - George Murray Hearn, Charles Henry, Ronny Terrell, Will
Knox Austin, James Dwiggins

Back row, L to R - J. W. Redditt, Cecil King, Robert Lee Hearn, James
(Buddy) Terrell, Lorenzo Foster, Jimmy Hall


Counterclockwise around the table: Mable H. Biedenhorn in red, Sarah H. Knight, Mildred H. Lewis, William Hamilton & spouse, spouse of Mattie H. Hoosier, ? Whitley, Alma H. Whitley (deceased).

8thGradeOR1953ReunionENTIRE 8th grade graduating class at Oak Ridge in 1953
L to R..Martha Alexander, Cecil King, Margaret Alexander Griffith and Betty Jo Terrell Oakes, 2004 Reunion

Story shared by Betty Jo, “Martha, Margaret, Cecil and I started first grade together and all attended Oak Ridge through the 8th grade until we had to transfer to Redwood because Oak Ridge was no longer a high school. During our eight years there, we only had four teachers…Mrs. I. V. Lofton for first and second grades, Miss Elmer Austin for third and fourth, Mrs. Estelle Beard for fifth and sixth, and Mrs. Margaret Austin for seventh and eighth. Mrs. Austin was also the principal.

"There was a very long sidewalk in front of the school. At recess we would all put on our skates and skate up and down the sidewalk. Sometime around fourth or fifth grade we all had our dads make stilts for us that we kept at school and walked on at recess. Some of the stilts were so high that we had to climb on the sliding board ladder to mount them. When we were in seventh and eighth grades, we had a grapevine swing out behind the school where we would swing at recess…so much fun! Can you imagine children getting to do those kinds of activities in schools these days? We also had wonderful baseball games with Mrs. Margaret Austin serving as umpire. I have wished so many times that I had taken the opportunity to thank those wonderful ladies for the outstanding education and other opportunities they gave us. They managed to do so much for their students with very little resources.”

Oak Ridge School Year Unknown

Oak Ridge School, Year Unknown.

Margaret Austin


Margaret Austin, Principal of Oak Ridge

R. L. Smith, Principal and Agriculturist, Oak Ridge School, 1940-41. He later served as County Agent for Warren County.