Bessie Coleman
(Mrs. Wm. Connell)
1940 MTHS
Homecoming Queen
Be sure to read the "First Football Homecoming"
account below (under the attendant's names).
Seated is: Queen Bessie Coleman,

Standing L-R: are attendants Shirley McNeil, 1944,
Virginia Thornton, 1944, and Roberta Hatfield, 1941.
Not in the picture is Eileen Kingery, 1943.

(Taken verbatim from the 1941 MTHS yearbook)

"A football homecoming, something new to Mounds, was successfully introduced this year. It was a gala two day event, every minute of every hour being something new and different-something that all of us will remember for a long time.

The homecoming spirit was aroused in the school by the campaigns carried on by amateur politicians on behalf of the five queen candidates. These candidates, Shirley McNeil, Virginia Thornton, Eileen Kingher, Bessie Coleman, and Roberta Hatfield, were selected as candidates by the members of the Sphinx staff. The election was by the entire student body.

Homecoming days began on November 14, by open house being held in both schools. The new building nearing completion was open for inspection, and visitors were invited to attend classes in the old school.

Thursday night at 7:30 PM a huge bonfire pep meeting was held on the field in back of the school. Here the band rendered several snappy marches, and the Pep Club ably led the cheering and singing above the crackle of the huge fire. As the fire died down, a large snake dance began. Marching and cheering all through town, the huge "snake" twisted and turned until even the most hardy students neared exhaustion.

Friday morning was again open house at both schools. Then at one o'clock the students and townspeople assembled at the Roxy Theatre for a parade to the football field. The parade was led by the band, and in an open top car following closely were the queen candidates. Sudents and townspeople marched behind carrying banners and cheering wildly. Once it got to the football field, the crowd had not too long to wait. After a short warmup, our six-man football team kicked off to the Red Devils of South Fulton, Tennessee. One of the most exciting games of the season ended in a defeat for the Railroaders.

Friday night, November 15, the last event of the homecoming occurred. This was a dance given in the NEW gym, and it was open to the public. Perhaps the dance was a prophesy of what is to come in our bright, new gym. Vernon Peak and his Orchestra provided music for the event, and August Crosson, president of the school board, led the dedication ceremony for the nice, shiny, new gym. The gym was dedicated with the name Titus Memorial Gymnasium, after the Titus family who gave the ground for the new building.

During the dance intermission, Miss Bessie Coleman, was crowned homcoming queen by the football co-captains, Melving Thurston and "Dubs" Thomasson. The other four candidates acted as attendants.

Throughout the entire two days, souvenirs were sold. We can be assured that all who took part in the Homecoming will long treasure the memory"

This account was taken verbatim from the 1941 MTHS yearbook which givesdetails of the 1940 homecoming. This verbatim information was provided to the MTHS web site by Fred Moyers (1941) and Bill Tally (1944).

Bill Tally (1944) writes, "Of particular interest to me, as it might be to others, is the account of the dedication of the NEW Mounds Township High School gymnasium. This was the first-and only-MTHS gym. They had used the tiny Thistlewood Grade School gym and had gone to the Villa Ridge Grade School gym to practice many times. Mounds Douglas High School had their nice gym under the "equal or better" facilities provision policy of the U.S. Government. I was a freshman when the new gym was completed, and at the end of the first semester, 1941, we took our books and moved to the new high school. What a PALACE this new building was. How sad to go to Mounds and look at it now.

Russell and Guinna Cotter Boren were largely responsible for our having a football homecoming. They did a lot for us.

Bill Tally"


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