Year by Year Batesville High School, Merging the Memories

      1882 - 1883 Matt Benson

      • Once upon a time, 130+ years ago, the idea of a building named Batesville High School came to be.

        The contract for the construction of the new public school building was awarded to H. H. Wiysel for $5,050.00. The building was to be made of brick and located on the northeast part of town, an area known as Fairchild Block, standing between Vine and Harrison Streets, where Central Magnet School is now located.

        The contract said that the building was to be completed by December 15, 1882 and would hold 200 students, providing a means for an education to many until 1952.

        Dr. R. S. James, the former president of Judsonia University, accepted the position of superintendent in August of the year 1883. His son Charles D. James was employed as a teacher of penmanship, mathematics, and calisthenics.

        With the completion of this building project and the hiring of these two, the expansion of Batesville School District was complete.


      1883 - 1884 Seth Haigwood

      • The bell rang. School began at Batesville High School for the first time. Ever.

        Statistics for this year: This first building constructed for the high school was to be 30 x 60 feet and two stories high, with three rooms on the first floor and the second floor consisting of a hall that measured 30 x 60 feet. The building had ten doors and 36 windows.


      1885 - 1886 Josh Stagner

      • Over the years, many changes occurred to the school; some were major, such as the buildings, while some were minor changes, such as report cards. The report card to the right reflects the work of student Fitzhugh Hail. This report card also shows how much the curriculum has changed since 1885-86.

        Students during this year had some of the same classes as students do now. They had algebra and a form of art called drawing. Now, variations of these classes are offered, including Algebra III and Art II.

        Unlike students in the modern day, Batesville High School students of 1885-86 had to take a spelling class. Now offered primarily in grades 1-6, spelling is a more basic class completed in elementary school.

        Clearly, classes of Batesville High School have changed much in the past 130 year.

      1886 - 1887 Kaitlynn Shetron

      • In 1887, Batesville School District had its first graduating class, consisting of only seven students: five girls and two boys. What a difference now when compared to BHS's Class of 2015 whose numbers totaled 170.

        One of those first seven students was Mrs. Ira Nelson Barnett. Mrs. Barnett, who was born in Sharp County and whose family moved to Independence County soon after her birth, went on to accomplish much after her time at Batesville High.

        She taught kindergarten at First Methodist Church for more than 30 years, was the president of the Women's Society of Christian Service, was state president of the Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia, state president of the Society of Colonial Wars, state treasurer of Daughters of American Colonists, life state president of the Daughters of 1812, and regent of the Col. Martin Pickett Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Barnett had four children: three sons and one daughter.

        Following is a "reminiscent review of that gala occasion," also known as the first graduating class of BHS: "My first school days were spent in the two-story building that used to stand on the corner where Dr. Churchill has now erected a beautiful modern home. This property, known as the 'Lowen property', was owned by a Jew in the early days of our town.

        We had three teachers - the older pupils were downstairs and the younger had to climb the stair steps. Miss M. E. Street, who was a sister to Mrs. Winalow Evans was one of those teachers. Later, Miss Judith McDowell, a great aunt of Judge D. D. Adams, was one of my teachers in this same building.

        In the early '80's, the brick building (now the middle building on the present campus) was erected - and we all hailed the day when we began 'going to school in the new building.' The town had only a few hundred inhabitants; then, consequently, the school wasn't crowded - consolidated schools and school buses were undreamed of - much less anticipated!

        The teachers who made lasting impressions on me then were Dr. R. S. James and his son Prof. C. D. James - an interest in good literature was inspired in the students of Dr. James, and Prof.

        Charles James was wonderfully fine in mathematics and penmanship. We spent fifteen minutes each day in training our native ability in using the pen. I very well remember he required the girls to use a steel pen known as Spenserian No. 1.

        Dr. James had a Bible lesson and prayer each morning - starting the day right! We also had to open the windows for 15 minutes and do what was known as the calisthenics. The school, under the supervision of the James family, grew in interest, and they passed the torch to the Hudsons- Professor C. P. Hudson and his talented wife.

        This class studied spelling and reading until their

        'graduation.' We had geography, history, grammar (the old-fashioned parzing, too), mathematics (arithmetic and algebra), Latin, English, and writing - perhaps other things that l've forgotten.

        Mrs. Hudson was an elocution (now called speech) teacher, which was a great advantage to those invited to be in dialogues, etc. We did not have so many 'angles' to our school work then as now, but I believe the work done in subjects taught equals the work done in high school today!

        The motto of our class was "We seek wisdom."

        Our graduation exercises began with a song 'Spring' by the 8th grade.

        The prayer was offered by the Rev. N. B. Fizer, Methodist minister.

        A declaration 'Advance' was given by Charles Warner.

        An essay 'The End Crowns All' by Lockie Ball (Mrs. I. N. Barnett, Sr.) was followed by a recitation Angels of Buena Vista; by Annie Young (Mrs. J. M. Watkins of Oklahoma).

        A quartet 'A Boy's Best Friend Is His Mother' was sung by W. W. Moore, Edwin Bartlett, Ernest Neill, and John Bandy.

        A recitation 'limmy Butler and the Owl' was given by John Randy, after which Addie Wycough (Mrs. John Crow) read an essay entitled 'We Girls Twenty Years Hence.' The class then recited 'The Battle of Ivry.'

        A Calisthenics Drill, using fans, was given by a group of girls. Grace Padgett (Mrs. H. M. Hodge) then read her essay 'Step by Step We Gain the Height.'

        A trio, composed of W. Reed, Birdie McClure, and L. Ball sang 'Three Little Maids from School.'

        Ernest Neill then delivered his declamation 'Religion Necessary to Greatness of Character.'

        Prof. James Mitchell of Little Rock then addressed us on 'Public Schools: The Hope of Our Country.'

        Col. H. S. Coleman (Mr. Dene Coleman's father) presented the diplomas with well-chosen remarks.

        The class sang 'He Leadth Me and Rev. J. J. Taylor (Baptist minister) pronounced the benediction.

        May I say in all kindness that never a more consecrated group of teachers ever served the school nor has a class reflected more credit on a school.

      1889 - 1890

      • In an interview with Miss Thelma Pickens, she pointed out that the first ball game was played in 1889.

      1892 - 1893

      • From the known data,this graduating class increased in numbers by four from 1887, with a total of ten graduating this year. Those graduates included Nellie Boylston, Willie Hall, Lavinia Jelks, John Griffiths, Dene Coleman, Arthur Coombs, Stanley Handford, Druey Adams, Clyde Padgett, and Charlie Wasson.

        That year's valedictorian was Nellie Boylston, who was the aunt of Ansel Livingston Adams and great aunt to Dr. Ann Adams Rhodes.

        Based on information gathered by Connie Jenkins, senior Dene Coleman became a lawyer and, in the 1920's, was a circuit judge for the Third Judicial District. He passed away in 1952 at the age of 75.

        The invitation pictured above denotes this as the sixth commencement. As this is the seventh year of school, we theorized that one year had no graduating seniors.

      1894 - 1895 Matt Benson

      • Batesville's rapid educational growth up to this year has led to a need for more space. In the year 1895, the northernmost stone wing was added to the school, making room for more students and classes.

        In contrast to the original building, the new one was made of stone, instead of brick.


      1895 - 1896

      • This year's commencement exercises were held on a Tuesday evening, with a graduating class of nine. Each senior read an essay during the ceremony.

        Florence Jelks was this year's valedictorian.Cecil Wilson was the salutatorian!


      1897 - 1898

      • As is reflected at the right, BHS placed importance on reading and writing. This event was hosted on a Friday evening. 

        The only event hosted at 8 PM anymore is the current graduation time of 8:00.

        Poems? Short stories? Songs? What genre would the students have chosen to recite that evening? What topics? World events? Romance? The pride of being a BHS student?

      1898 - 1899

      • This year saw the eleventh commencement with a graduating class of five, as confirmed by the list of seniors from the graduation program.

        The ceremony was held in Alumni Hall on Friday, May 26 at 8:30 pm.

        Shown to the right is a copy of the graduation program. As the program shows, all the seniors had an active part in that evening's celebratory event.

        Frank Babcock was valedictorian, while Cora Maxfield and Ida Prichett were co-salutatorians.


      1899 - 1990

      • The graduates, pictured at right holding rolled diplomas and consisting of four girls and five boys, were Lena Hall, Addie Reiney, Daisy Brooks, Maggie Case, Walter Baxter, Frank Perrin, Oscar Eaton, James Conway Hail, and Ernest McDonald

      1902 - 1903

      • Music played a significant role in graduation ceremonies, with two piano solos performed by two of the females from this year's graduating class. In addition, a vocal duet was performed, as were two recitations, during which the senior repeated something from memory.

        This class consisted of 16 graduates, eight boys and eight girls.

        The class motto was “Strive to Excel”.


      1903 - 1904 Brecken Bell

      • In the academic year 1903-1904, no historical information was discovered that related specifically to Batesville High.

        However, an Opera House was located in the town of Batesville in what is now the Melba Theatre.

        The Opera House in Batesville, Arkansas, featured a showing of Aphonse and Gaston, which was first performed in 1902 and again in 1904 with Mr. Jack Collins, who played Alphonse and Mr. Frank Moore was cast as Gaston.

        The production of Alphonse and Gaston portrayed two

        Frenchmen who had a penchant for politeness. Frederick Burr Opper wrote the famous American comic strip that showed two men who constantly bowed to each other and insisted that the other "go first" or "have a seat." The two men were extremely polite, and because of this, they could never get anything done or go anywhere without one deferring to the other.

        Batesville had a large cast playing certain roles in this play.

        Many folks gathered at this historic Opera House to watch the productions the town showed.

        Songs were sung. Laughs were plentiful, and everybody had a great time.


      1905 - 1906 Michael Robison

      • During this school year, a Negro school was constructed at an original cost of approximately $1200. This was a city-changing event. Many cities in the South did not have schools, let alone Negro schools; this created opportunities for those who would attend in the following year.!

        Pictured at right was Professor A. M. Miller, displaying a painting of the old and new Miller School buildings.

        This was during a time when education was supposed to be separate but equal. However, through the years, we know this has not been the case in many states, especially in the South.

        The education system and the status of the buildings for the Negro schools were lacking in more areas than one. In the Negro schools, education consisted of only basic math, social studies, science, and English, these subjects only being taught to the tenth grade.

        The education system of this all-black school was lacking in comparison to the all-white schools. This was not a shocking sight in the early 1900's, for black schools across the US were in scarce numbers, and those that did exist were normally poorly supplied. The building itself has been reconstructed twice, once due to a fire and the other due to improvements. Unfortunately, due to segregation in schools and the racism that lingered in the air, the Miller School was always in constant need of repair and improvement.

        The students at the Miller School would one day be transferred to the white schools, ceasing the use of the Miller School. In essence, the year of 1905 -1906 laid the groundwork for future black students to become educated and go off to achieve greatness in society and contribute to the community.

      1906 - 1907 Matt Benson

      • The following excerpt was found in the July 26, 1907, edition of the Batesville Guard [Weekly]. "SCHOOL POPULATION.

        M. N. Bone has completed a school census of the city and finds a total of 852, as follows:


        Males = 318

        Females = 360

        Total = 678


        Males = 89

        Females = 85

        Total = 174

        The total school population last year was 843, the increase being but nine. The whites gained eleven, and the colored lost two The school population includes all persons between six and twenty-one years old.


      1907 - 1908 Moises Diaz

      • According to A History of Batesville and Independence County, Arkansas, this school year saw a slight increase in the number of students, with a total of 404 enrollees. The most significant increase in numbers occurred at the high school, where the numbers increased 20 over the previous year, giving the high school 61 "pupils" in grades seven through twelve.1

        During this time, girls greatly outnumbered the boys in a ratio of three to one, with their being 47 girls and 14 boys, a ratio consistent with last year's numbers. This number was not quite reflected in the senior class where, as noted on the next page, five of the eight were young ladies.

        As stated in the article, "Much interest is manifest in all the schools by both teachers and pupils, and promise is given of a successful year."

        In the latter part of this academic year, Batesville High School sent out senior graduation invitations to families and friends to witness this event, which occurred on the evening of May 21, a Thursday, at 8:00 PM in the recent.

        On the graduation card, the class placed their motto written in Latin which said "Nullus labor nullus praemium." When translated, these Latin words meant, "No work, no reward." What a grand saying to represent these eight young graduates.

        The class colors were blue and white, chosen long before BHS's school colors of orange and black, which were adopted to represent Batesville High School and its students.

        Eight students' names were listed on the invitation: Rush Brown, Emma Marie Webben, Clarice Elizabeth Hunt, Fay Norma Pease, Winona Lea Jackson, J. Hugh Kennard, Charles H. Albert, and Ray Hinkle.

        Graduation was a festive event then and a festive event now.

      1908 - 1909 Will Creighton & Alyson Cassady

      • BHS was still a young establishment, approximately 30 years old. Many students and teachers had high hopes that the school would flourish.

        This card belonged to Mary Moore, a 7th grader at the time. It showed the subjects: reading, spelling, penmanship, arithmetic, language, geography, history, and physiology. Many of her grades during each term were E's. Their grading system consisted of E - excellent (90-100), G - good

        (80-90), F - fair (75-80), and P - poor (less than 75).

        The graduating class of 1909 was a class of nine, containing only one boy. As we graduate with 170+, these numbers are mind-boggling to think about. Thanks to the standards of education at Batesville High School, these Pioneers were ready to take on the real world.

      1909 - 1910 Alize Brown

      • Sidney Pickens was believed to be one of the most outstanding educators in the state of Arkansas. He was a superintendent of the Batesville School District for 20 years, serving in the public schools for Batesville from 1909 to 1929. He was held in the highest esteem by the community, schools, and the friends of public education throughout the state of Arkansas.

        The talent he had as a Pioneer schoolman was highly honored and appreciated far beyond the borders of his home state.

        Sidney Pickens was the son of C. P. Pickens, whose ancestry dated back to the Colonial Period of American History. Prior to the Civil War, C. P. Pickens moved westward to Dota, Arkansas. In 1880, Sidney Pickens was born in a log house.

        Later, he married Myrtle Wilson of Sulphur Rock, Arkansas, on October 6, 1901. Myrtle was a devoted mother and wife with a great interest in her husband's work.

        A church-going lady, Myrtle, gave birth to a daughter, Thelma Pickens, and raised their foster son, Tom Murphy, who gained national attention as a high school basketball player in 1927. They continued to live in their home on Harrison Street, located across from two grade-school buildings. At the age of 88, Mrs. Myrtle Pickens passed away on January 31, 1967.

        Pickens himself graduated from Sulphur Rock Academy and later from Arkansas College in 1914. He also worked at the Independence County Courthouse before teaching at Sulphur Rock and then later becoming the superintendent for Batesville School District in 1909.

        Pickens' achievements and interests were many. He was a Mason and a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of the city of Batesville. He was on the summer faculty of the University of Arkansas for eight years; he, also, served on the Extension Force for several years. Around the time of his death, he was a member of the State Board of Education. He served as the President of the State Teachers Association in 1916 and was the head of the Education Department of Arkansas College for several years.

        Demonstrating his love for athletics, Pickens was the president of the Arkansas Athletic Association for a year. According to L. W. Meachum, "He [Pickens] is best remembered in this field of activity for giving the name 'Pioneers' to all Batesville High School athletic teams.

        He did not like the idea of calling a team by some ferocious animal name. I recall that he would say that a Pioneer is 'always ready, travels light, and never quits.'"1

        Using the Bible quotations as a basis for almost every chapel talk to high school students, Mr. Pickens was a deeply religious man. Others seemed to appreciate this, as well. The Baracca Class at the First Methodist Church, where he taught for many years, had become so large that the church had to be moved downtown to the theater.

        In 1909, Pickens was elected superintendent of Batesville Schools. In addition, the enrollment had grown from 500 to 1250 [in the district], and 19½ units of study were now being offered, whereas the number was originally 10 ½." Plus, during this year, under Pickens leadership, BHS became accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and State Schools.?

        He was a much loved man because every single one of his students felt that he was a friend and had a personal interest in him or her. Pickens ran the school with control over his students, being respectfully feared and loved at the same time. He was feared because students did not want him to know or feel that they had disappointed him.

        Not just spending his personal finances on his own needs, Pickens gave to the school. He spent his personal money on the clothes which the athletic team needed to represent the school on the teams' away games. He would select the best available teachers, with most of those teachers remaining with him for many years. Dedicating everything he did to his students, Mr. Pickens would have done anything to prevent a student from dropping out because of finances.

        Mr. Sidney Pickens affected a lot of students, faculty members, and people in the community. His influence on education and the lives of the people came from his faith in God, which gave him the courage to achieve many blessings.

        During his career with the district, he worked with his daughter Thelma, who taught algebra, French, Spanish, and English at her father's high school from 1923-1957. Later, Ms. Pickens taught at Arkansas College beginning in 1957.

        Listed below are some personal expressions found in a notebook: "Dear Mr. Pickens, I count you not only as my superintendent, but more so, my friend. My first recollection of you was in the second grade when you patted me on the head and told me not to jump out of the window when I was supposed to march down the stairs. I have had a warm spot in my heart for you ever since. You are the best Pioneer I know."

        "Mr. Pickens, you have done a great deal for BHS and our Pioneers. Every time anyone mentions the name Pioneers, I think of you and always will. Have a Happy Christmas and New Year. Sincerely, Dorothy Dowzer."

        Mr. Sidney Pickens passed away on August 8, 1930, at the age of 51.

        As a means of continuing to honor Mr. Pickens, each year the Sidney Pickens Award is presented to a senior.

      1910 - 1911

      • In a very delicate condition, the picture to the right highlights the distinct graduation program cover for this year.

      1911 - 1912

      • Every street has a name, Main or Riverview, and every house a number. This fact may be one of the "Just the way it is" things in life...except life was not always the way it is now.

        In July 1911, Batesville was introduced to free mail delivery, which required the city to have every street named and every house numbered.1 This means that an address was given to Batesville Public School. Without this historically imperative addition of addresses, children in Batesville would still go to what is known as "Fairchild Block" or to the building located between Vine and Harrison. Today, we went to BHS at 1 Pioneer Drive rather than "that place by the river, down the road from the golf course."


      1912 - 1913 Petra Medina

      • The graduating class of 1913 was not a very large group by today's standards. However, in those times, having a class of » would have been a great number of graduating students, considering previous years had numbers consisting of less than ten.

        This year showed an increase in other numbers, as well. According to Superintendent Sidney Pickens in the County Examiner annual report, "We are encouraged by the enrollment increase of 195 students, and the average attendance of 413. The overall picture of the school's future is good, with salaries increasing, better furnished buildings, and more revenue...The value of school property is greater, and more revenue is being used for school purposes."

        The numbers on the left-hand side of the contract represented the scores Barnett made in"branches," all of which had to be higher than 75% in areas such as Spelling - 100%, Penmanship - 85%, and agriculture and horticulture - 94%.

        This license allowed Barnett to teach in Independence County and was signed by Sidney Pickens, not as the superintendent but as the county examiner.

        L. R. Barnett was later the owner of the Barnett's Hotel in Batesville.


      1913 - 1914 Robby Collins

      • During this year, the world, as the community knew, was still stable, as World War I had not yet begun. The previous summer, an outbreak of smallpox had occurred in Independence County, which might have impacted the school and its attendance to some degree during this academic year.

        Good news for the Pioneers was on the horizon, though, for a new sport was coming to Batesville High School. Practices began for BHS's very first football team. The only opponents would be the Newport Greyhounds and Arkansas College, known today as Lyon College.

        Superintendent Sidney Pickens was the Athletic Director for this year. Pickens led the team to a winning season, one win coming against an older boys' college team. Thankfully, the legacy left behind by these boys has lasted over 100 years.1

        The graduating class consisted of Dora Payne, Ralph Warner, Margaret Gerhardt, John Greenfield, Mollie Brewer, Boyce Taylor, Fay Kenard, Robert Hively, Ruby Lester, Ray Johnston, Jewell Kinman, Earl Copland, Marie Hesson, Maud Stephens, Myrtle Adams, May Halfacre, Newton England, Corine McMahan, Lulia Hale, Cora Kenard, Gladys Houston, Annie Fike, Nora McBride, Eileen Thomas, George Miller, Ethel Wood, and Joe Greenfield.

        What a year of beginnings and traditions!


      1914 - 1915 Taylor Elms

      • During this school year, only the second year of BHS football, the rivalry began between Batesville and Newport High School.

        The Reflector, the 1915 yearbook, shared, "The football season of Batesville High School opened with great enthusiasm. This being the second year of football, more interest has been shown by the general public, as well as the student body.'


        The BHS football team had a total of 15 players, and the student body had a total of 130 students. The student body, along with the BHS Football Team citizens of Batesville, avidly supported the players. This was the year that Newport High School became

        Batesville's rival. The second paragraph of the 1915 yearbook related, "These games did much in the way of strengthening our squad, and the different features of the foregoing games aided us in winning two straight victories over the Newport High School, the first of which was played at Newport." BHS won the second game against Newport "on our own gridiron," thanks to their fullback Garbacz (Big Dutchman), "who never fails to gain through any lines.'


        According to the same article, "This was one of the hardest fought games ever played on a home ground. We succeeded in breaking through the Newport defense for a touchdown in the second quarter. We were also successful with our free kick, which won the game for us. Newport...left the gridiron in defeat, realizing that Batesville High was entirely too swift for them."


        Not only were the teams rivals, but also the two small towns were rivals, as well. Both teams fought valiantly for the honor of winning. Thanks to all of the tension in a Batesville vs. Newport game in 1914-1915, the fans became more and more enthused, and the crowds continued to grow. After the second football season at BHS, Batesville and Newport continued to play each other for nearly a hundred years.

      1915 - 1916

      • Abbie Snapp Arnold, a BHS 1916 graduate, began teaching within her school before she graduated at the early age of 15. When school leader Sidney Pickens needed a substitute for the younger children, he asked Snapp if she would fill in for two weeks.

        Because he was so impressed with her work, Pickens asked her to remain. "An uncommon request, even in 1912." By the time she graduated in 1916, she had taught two different grades.'

        "Everyone was so nice to me," commented Arnold in an article for Three Rivers Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "They just treated me royally."

        After earning a degree from Arkansas College, Snapp attended Arkansas State Teachers College in Conway (now known as University of Central Arkansas), which she left in 1920 to take a principal's job at Batesville Elementary School for six years.

        After marrying and staying home with her three children until they all entered school, she went back to school and then taught English at Desha High School and later Crossett High School.

        In the same article, Arnold stated, "I liked to go to school.

        I liked to study. I liked to learn. It's good for a teacher to go back to school sometimes."

        She contributed much to education and was recognized for these endeavors by Lyon College when they established the Abbie Snapp Arnold English Award in 1967. In 1990, the college

      1917 - 1918 Erin Miller

      • Many students today know of the Family and Consumer Science classes taught at BHS, but it is doubtful that many of them know when or why the classes were started. Students throughout the years have referred to the classes as home-economics and, in more recent years, as FACS classes.

        According to the yearbook that year, "A new feature in the high school this year was the Domestic Science Department. Credit for its existence is in large measure due to the School Improvement Association, who organized a Home Economics Club for grammar and high school students, which took up the weekly lessons sent out by the Extension Department of the University of Arkansas.

        A small beginning was made in the way of equipment  and it was partly through the influence of the Association that the School Board was led to add this department. It was, indeed, fortunate in being able to procure such a teacher as Mrs. Bunch, who has had every advantage of training and experience. Only the girls above the first year have the privilege of taking the course, as the time was limited and it was thought desirous to give an advanced course on account of the number of students who were in the graduating class. Food values, dietary studies, methods of cooking and serving were all taken up. The first dinner was served to the School Board, who afterward voted the class anything it might ask for.”

        My how times have changed. The class was known as a domestic science course that only girls could take. Today, many male and female students take Mrs. Carolyn Hubbell's FACS classes, which are a semester's length.

        The effects of World War I were many. Pictured and listed below is a military training group, gathered in front of the Batesville Post Office. Three of the men are in uniform. 

        Clyde Crutchfield

        John Kaneaster

        Bus Webber

        Fred Livingston

        John Carpenter

        Clay Ruddell

        Sam Kinnion

        Perry Carter

        John Allen Whittner

        Arvis Whitain

        Carl Leter

        Aubrey Haley

        M. Pickens

        Max Martin

        Eugene Cypert

        John Adams

        Frank Stewart

        Howard Moore

        Charles Cole

        James Shanths

        Cleo Morris

        Lloyd Goff

        Stanley Hanks

        Joe Mitchell

        Mitch Carter

        Paul Wright

        Roscoe Davis

        Buford Parse

        Mark Wade

        Haus Guenzel

        Morris Thomas

        Paul Wade

        Joe Winters

        George Bentz

        Archie Adams

      1918 - 1919 Chase Croslin

      • No significant events about BHS were reported during this year, but the state of Arkansas was caught in the middle of what is now known as "the Great Pandemic.

        In 1918, an influenza outbreak spread across the nation; in September of that year, the outbreak spread to Arkansas. By October, the Board of Health ordered all schools, theaters, and churches closed "on account of the Spanish influenza."

        According to Crouch's Funeral Home, from October 1918 through February 1919, nearly 50 people whose deaths were related to "pneumonia following influenza" were buried. The average age of the victims was 24; most were in their teens or early 20's. Officials put the state under quarantine. In Pulaski County, schools in the area were shut down, and children under the age of 18 were forced to stay home to reduce the spread of the disease.

        A doctor in one of the camps that hosted patients of the outbreak had this to say of the horrors of the disease, "They are placed on the cots until every bed is full and yet others crowd in. The faces soon wear a bluish cast; a distressing cough brings up the blood-stained sputum. In the morning, the dead bodies are stacked about the morgue like cord wood.

        In this time of segregation, African-Americans could only be treated by African-American caregivers. Due to the high number of these citizens in poverty and the low number of doctors willing to treat them, these citizens died in very high numbers. Across our state, more people died from this flu epidemic than died fighting in WWI.?

        When WWl ended, all the bells in the town rang, school was dismissed, and the people filled the streets, shouting, "Peace!"

      1919 - 1920

      • Sports remained active, including football, whose training began at the first day of school. "We now have some 25 or 30 men trying for places on one or the other of our teams...Nonetheless, enthusiastic are the different volleyball teams. They expect to play a series of games for the Championship Pennant, as they did last year." To encourage participation in athletics, a sweater was offered to the boy who proved himself to be the best all-around athlete in school.

        Junior high was introduced this year, including within grades 7-9. As noted in the school newspaper, "This reorganization is in line with what other progressive schools, such as Little Rock, Hot Springs, Texarkana, Wynne, and others are doing."

        Other noteworthy news included the fourth opening of the school bank on Wednesday, October 6. "The bank is run to acquaint children with banking methods and to cultivate habits of thrift. If your child does not have an account with one of the banks downtown, you would do well to encourage him to open an account with the school bank," published the school newspaper. 

        Albert Baker was cashier, with Alvis Montgomery serving as bookkeeper. The bank was run under the supervision of the superintendent and principals of the senior and junior highs.

      1920 - 1921 Justin Gallant

      • There they were; headed into the first round of the state basketball championship. The Pioneers held their stomachs as they walked into the game not knowing what they were about to go up against. Their bellies were full of butterflies, and every hair on the back of their necks was standing up as the game against Pulaski Heights began. Were they ever relieved when they realized beating Pulaski Heights was going to be easier than taking candy from a baby, as they ended up crushing Pulaski by 50 points.

        As they left for home, they passed the Warren and Pine Bluff teams who were about to play. The team knew that the winner of this game would be their next opponent. Later, watching this game, the boys were quite happy when they discovered they would be going up against Warren.

        The referee blew the whistle, and the players hustled to their positions. They say the game was one of the most well-played games of the state tournament. Every decision made by the players was without hesitation as they battled back and forth, giving it all they had. The half ended with Warren leading by two. Coach Ward gave the team a rousing halftime speech that put fire in their guts. Moments after the second half began, Manning shot and tied the game. The teams went back and forth, scoring and scoring.

        Little did Warren know that on the Pioneer sideline a plot was forming. As soon as they were tied, a timeout was called, and Maxfield subbed in for Carpenter. Maxfield got the ball, saw that Goodwin was open, and passed him the ball. Goodwin shot and scored. Moments later, Manning took a shot for a foul and sank it right through the basket. As the pistol fired, the Pioneers knew the game was theirs.

        Leading into their third game, the Gazette posted a half-column article featuring "Red" Hollowell. The article went on to suggest that "Red" would not be able to handle a real guard on him. The boys did not let this rattle them, though, as they prepared for their big game against Little Rock.

        Goodwin decided he would start the game off right with a long shot from mid-court. The boys headed into halftime up 8-0. When the second half started, it seemed Little Rock had finally found their motivation, but it just was not enough, for the Pioneers came out on top 23-18. This game gave the boys the hope that they had a chance to win it all.

        Tensions were high, as the times for the halves had been extended from 17-minute to 20-minute halves. However, this was not going to deter the Pioneers. As the game began, every player was ready to give it his all. With the steel-plated horse shoe in sight, the Pioneers dug in and played with all they had.

        There they were, Carpenter throwing up every shot he could get his hands on and somehow managing to shoot with such finesse. The Pioneers laid it on them in the first half and continued to fight during the second half, not letting up on Stuttgart. They were two points up when the pistol went off. THE PIONEERS WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP.

        They were awarded the stunning steel-plated horse shoe; they accepted with a well-deserved feeling of satisfaction, knowing their hard work had not been in vain.

        The boys could not have done it without the driving force of Coach Ward, who had instilled in these boys the sacred motto: "A Pioneer Never Quits." 

        I, Justin Gallant, would not have been able to tell about this great moment in Pioneer history without the article by Miss Bitha Vanemburg, a fifth grade teacher at West Middle School.

      1921 - 1922 Whitney Hopper

      • The school year 1921-1922 had the first official yearbook, one similar to the type BHS still has today, minus the many pages of senior ads and one with a hardback cover). The yearbook was then called The Reflector. The pages entitled "As It Happened" are what tell the story of the school year of 1921-1922.

        School began on September 12, 1921, with schedules being a bit hectic at first. For example, the next day, first period's study hall was too full. Also, sports had begun. Because football practice was difficult for some, many boys failed to show up for the second practice.

        Though many boys did quit, the team still managed a winning 4-1 record, with one tied game. Overall, the Pioneers had a total point tally of 104 to all the opponents' total of 16 points.

        After the first week of school, the volleyball team played its first games. Volleyball then was not like it is now. The Pioneers consisted of six teams, one from each class of junior and senior high school students, and ended at Thanksgiving.

        On September 21, 1921, the high school clubs were organized. They consisted of the Literacy Club, Dramatic Club, Glee Club, Storytelling Club, Debate Club, Home Economics Club, Booster Club, Nature and Science Club, and Handcraft Club.

        On October 24, the senior class opened a canteen, a small concession stand. In November, the students observed "Better English Week." On November 15, the Science and Nature Club had a field trip hiking to Miller's Creek. On November 16, report cards came out.

        The following joke appeared in the yearbook:

        Adie: Pa, you remember that you promised me a dollar if I passed in school this term.

        Pa: Yes, my boy.

        Adie: Well, I just thought I'd tell you that that's one expense you won't have to figure on this year.

        Like now, some students did give back to the community.

        On November 22, the domestic science class gave a dinner for the business men. In December, three one-act plays were presented by both the junior and high school dramatic club. Also, a recital was performed by the music students.

        Christmas Break was observed from December 21-29. In

        In January, more report cards were sent out, and the Home Economics Club presented the Arkansas flag to BHS

        In February, basketball games were held at indoor courts. The team won 2-4 games and made a fine showing at the state tournament, winning third place.

        The spring consisted of the following events:

        February 16: Stunt Night

        March 28: Three more one-act plays

        April:Literacy Club presented a copy of "Who's Who."

        May 12: Seniors last week of school started.

        May 16: Seniors performed a play


      1922 - 1923 Paige Floyd

      • The 1922-23 academic year was recorded as the year of "the finest spirit among the student body." Batesville had so many students that year.

        According to the student newspaper, listed below are some of the "High Spots".

        1. 500 pupils in high school.
        2. The largest enrollment in the history of the school.
        3. Two new buildings are ready for use next September.
        4. The most earnest effort upon the part of the teaching force.
        5. The best athletic record obtained thus far. All teams had above-average scores on scholarships.
        6. A class "A" high school and on the accredited list of the Southern Association.
        7. The Standards Tests and Measurements reflected better work in grades.

        The Batesville Pioneer Basketball season ended with the team only having one loss against Pine Bluff, who were undefeated in basketball. 

        No city or team could overcome the Pioneers, except for the very last battle that was fought. Pine Bluff was on its own court with its own crowd filling the gym. Stress was beating on the Pioneers, especially away from their own home court. The Pioneers held up a mighty fight against Pine Bluff.

        After the season was over, according to the yearbook, the players created the "B" Association. This group consisted of players who had been awarded letters. The purpose of the group was to promote "clean athletics."

        1922 through 1923 were years for Batesville High School, especially in athletics.

      1923 - 1924 Matt Gaston

      • The year of 1923-1924 was an exciting year for the Batesville Pioneers, who would host the first county basketball tournament.

        Held in February 1924, the tournament was open to anyone but Batesville. BHS was not allowed to participate in the tournament because at the time Batesville had the only indoor basketball gym.

        As they were told, this gave them an unfair advantage against the other teams who did not have access to an indoor court. Other schools entering the tournament were Sulphur Rock Newark, Charlotte, and Wade, a school northeast of Batesville and just west of Hill's Store.

        The idea for the tournament originated with W. T. Jernigan, county superintendent of schools. Coach Ward assisted with the tournament and made arrangements for lodging. The games were played in the old Methodist Church building and O. E.

        McCullough, a Batesville teacher, refereed. Charlotte won the tournament. Estimated attendance at the final game was 100.

        Oil Trough should have been a part of the tournament, but due to heavy rains and bad roads, the team failed to arrive in time.

        "I'm sure it was very exciting. With no television, more of the community showed up and got together to watch the first Independence County Basketball Tournament," Coach Dave King, BHS's current athletic director.?


        Working hard throughout their basketball season, the Batesville Pioneers, a tremendously strong team, made it to state, only to lose in the semifinals.