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Kathy Chritensen's research in 2002

[My comments are in red.--Elreeta Weathers]

May 15  2002, 

Hello Mrs. Weathers,

    I am currently looking up any information on the old rock WPA gymnasium up at school. I am serving on a committee to try to fix some of the problems with the gym and have gotten interested in the history of the gym and the WPA process.  I have been to the genealogy society and researched microfilm of old newspapers and been lucky enough to find quite a bit of info. However, there has been some information that has been puzzling. Johnnye Gautier suggested I contact you to see if you have any information on the gym and possibly pictures of some of the early teams (gym too).
    Some of what I've found:

Dr. A. G. Livingston was chairman of the Civil Works Administration in Hamilton County.


1935 Set of plans drawn and application for funding to WPA


Not quite sure when WPA approved the grant (1935 - 38??)


August 1938 school passed bond election for $16,000 (only 8 votes against)


Oct 1939 work started on gym (Note: Set of plans drawn in '35 were not used ? -the gym on the ground is different than the original plans? Possibly because classrooms were added..?)


First game played Dec. 13, 1940 against Blue Ridge. I've got the team members. Oh, the girls lost but the boys won.....


Any info you might have on the gym I would certainly appreciate. Thanks for your time.
1940 - 1941 Hamilton boys were victorious in their season opener against Blue Ridge 22 - 19.


This game officially opened the new Hamilton High School Gymnasium on Friday night, December 13, 1940.

The Hamilton Teams included:


Forward Alvin  Arnett 
Forward Hercel Easterling
Center  Billy George Wood (High Point for Hamilton in the game with 8 points)
Guard Burnell Williams
Guard Bud Stamp
Substituted into game:
Ardis Jones
Lonnie Yates
Jesse Carl Brown
Calvin Dunlop
Thomas League 
Clarence Young
R. C. Eppler   
Kenneth Preston


1940 - 1941 Hamilton girls basketball season opener was lost to Blue Ridge 25 - 29.
Hamilton Girls:  Coached by Coach John Sullivan, who was also high school principal.
Forward Irene Kelm -  - Team Captain
Forward Lorene Kelm
Forward Hope Parrish -  (High point for Hamilton in game with 12 points)
Guard Patsy Nell Grisham
Guard Juaneth Hiller
Guard Christine Havens
Substituted into the game for Hamilton:
 Dorothy Hufstutler
Katherine Redden
Oda Fern Stanford
Joyce Little
Clara Mae Wright
Mary Nell Redden
Vivian Embrey
Betty Jim Parks
Leona Yates


The girls from Blue Ridge listed in that first game according to the Hamilton County News dated 12/20/40 were:

Forward Frances Williams (high point for game with 17) Married Billy George Woods 
Forward Mary Lyndell Gardner
Forward Joy Gardner  Alta Joy Gardner married (1) Alton E. Raibourn in 1945.  After Alton's death Joy married Oliver Carl Neie in 1950.
Guard Wanda Moore
Guard Charline Harkins
Guard Pauline Harkins 

Coach for Blue Ridge was a Coach William Jennings Harris. Paper said Blue Ridge made no substitutions so no other members of team were listed.


The Blue Ridge boys involved were 
  James Gardner   James Kenneth Gardner
  Bernard Neal  Bernard Daniel Neal, son of Marion William Neal & Pearl Virginia Chumney, died March 14, 1945, in Germany in the World War II European Theater, US Army
  Ed Schneider
  Louis Koether    Louis C. Koether married Charlotte L. Daniel on December 14, 1946
  Edgar French  Edgar Campbell French, son of William Morris French & Nettie Cathlene Smith died December 22, 1988


SHARED BY Kathy Christensen



 From Bill and Claudine Barkley               June 9, 2002

I only remember that the old gym was built with WPA funds and labor.  We had our Senior Prom in it in 1941--May, I guess.

James Garner was Kenneth Gardner, who moved it to Hamilton High School his Senior year.  He graduated with Claudine in 1942.  That was about the time they did not offer the Senior year in Blue Ridge.


DO YOU HAVE INFORMATION YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE ABOUT THE WPA GYM?  We  welcome pictures and all information.

Elreeta Weathers



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People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

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