May 1977
“TRADITION MARCHES ON”  
Burnsville High School
Kanawha Alumni Association
By Susan Hoover, Class of 1915

The Board of Education acquired the 3-room academy building on the hill. It was remodeled and made four rooms and four teachers were hired: H. H. White, C. A. Wade, Mary Hamric, and Minnie Campbell. In 1907 R. Moore Dodrill was made Principal. He gave the first high school work in Burnsville, and established the high school in 1908. He was succeeded by the following principals: Goff D. Ramsey, Leo J. Hart, M. J. Squires, and B. Battle White of Virginia who served for two or three terms. During the time of B. B. White a 4-room addition was added to the academy building which was used by grades and high school.

In 1916 a bond issue carried by a large majority, and the academy building was sold for two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) and applied on the new grade and high school building. In 1920 the new building was used by grades and high school. The two present buildings were completed by 1926. The high school continued to grow through the years, and many top-rated teachers served through the years, and the high school was for many years rated among the accredited high schools of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

At the present time, 1977, there is a central high school for the county and called Braxton County High School.

The first 4-year high school class to graduate was in 1915 having eight members, four of whom are living at this time, May, 1977: Living members are Ralph McKinney, in Indiana; Mary McKinney McVaney, in Georgia; Lucy Sapp Hall, in Weston; Susan McNemar, and Ida Stockert Crutchfield.

Prior to 1915, 2-year and 3-year classes had graduated. Among those graduating in those classes were Clyde Wellen, Draco Dodrill, William Kidd, John Ptomey, Percy Offutt, Audrey Douglass, and Ruth Dodrill.

In May, 1920, a class of four graduated: namely, Wallace Hefner, Edgar Bender, Dora Pitcher, and Ruth Herold. About May 20, 1920, a meeting was held at the home of H. B. Marshall to organize an Alumni Association. This meeting was called by Thomas I. Feeney, who suggested the name to be Kanawha Alumni Association. That name was adopted and Mr. Feeney was made an honorary member.Wallace Hefner was the first president of the Association and served as president at later times also.

Each year the graduates were added to the membership and have grown into a very large organization. Annual dinner meetings have been held each year from very early in its beginning. Annual dues increased over the years. Prominent speakers were secured at times for the meetings. At the May 28, 1977 meeting over 500 meals were served from the buildings in Burnsville. Many class reunions were held this year. Each year members come from many other states, Washington, D. C., and all over the State and surrounding community.

During the depression and at other times when funds in the Association were short and money scarce, some of the members contributed money generously to keep the Association alive through some of the very lean years. The late Claude Linger was a very active member, giving money and time to keep it alive each year. Staunton Trimble and Wallace Hefner, active members, served as president several times, also donated money generously to keep the organization active. At the present time, the association has a balance in the treasury.

This association serves as a very fine way of renewing old school ties and getting together for renewed friendship.
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