A Priceless Artifact of Monroe Colored High School History

A couple of weeks ago, while browsing Ebay, I found an autograph book for sale from 1941. Looking at the pictures of the pages, I soon realized it was an autograph book owned by a Senior of Monroe Colored High School, class of 1941! When the bidding ended, I was the highest bid. It arrived in less than five days.

After research, I found a newspaper article from May, 1941 that listed all 56 graduates from the class of 1941. The owner of the book, Charles Shack Smith, called Shack was class Salutatorian! He was born in 1920 and passed away in San Diego, CA in 1984. Most of the signatures were just first names so I was able to match all but two of their names to the newspaper list. I loved one inscription commenting on how much fun they had in Mr. Foster’s class during Class meetings! They, of course, were referring to Professor M.J. Foster, Principal of M.C.H.S. Here are all the names I could figure out using the book and the article. I gave the book to my boss to add to the collection and it will soon be digitized and added to the Louisiana Digital Library.

Lula Mae Keeton

Darnella Lanett Clayborn

Ernestine Echols

Aver Lee Payne

Velma L. Robinson

Ruby Ardell Johnson

Josephine M. “Percy” Smith

Earl James Robinson

Ulessa Goins Chambers

Lula (there were three Lulas:  Lula Belle Allums, Lula Arlene Head and Lula Mae Keeton)

Aver Lee Payne (Treasurer of Senior Class)

Gloria A. Morris

Orthulia Joyce Huett

Fannie Lee Davis

Josie Mae Gray

Mildred Marie Dunn

Ruth O’Neal Calhoun

Bessie O. Calhoun

Thelma Vivian Jones

Mildred Manyweathers

Evelyn Lastel Davenport

Ernestine Echols

Velma L. Robinson

Willie “Bill” Donnerver Green

John Quincy Hill

Louis Foster Williams

Darnella Lanett Clayborn

Ruby Ardell Johnson

Carolin Lena Nickelberry

Rosalind Leota Welch “Little Welch”

Clarice Elois Zeigler

“Jesse” “A Frat Bro., Friend & Former Class Mate”

Bertha “Bert” Marie Spotswood

Phillip E. Burrell

William McKinley Richards “Mack or Runt”

Gerard Lee Nickerson

Roosevelt C. Holloway

Pansy Anita Casterman

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