A Final Farewell
Past graduates turn out to say goodbye to Minden High

Reliving Good Times
Dozens of Minden High alumni, from as far back as graduating classes of the 1940s, visited their alma mater this past Saturday. Demolition is slated to begin later this week in anticipation for a new and improved Minden High.

Kristi Richie
Press-Herald Staff


Graduates from all eras of the Minden High School old building were out in droves to remember their days in the building’s 80-year history during an open house Saturday.

The open house was held to give alumni of Minden High one last chance to walk through the halls of the 1924 building, which is slated to be torn down this week to make way for new construction at the high school campus.

Alumni signed in and were able to purchase old yearbooks, the Minden High afghan and visit with former classmates.

Many grads took the opportunity to finally write on the walls of the building, signing their names and graduation years on the hallway wall in the front of the building.

Wilda Ritzheimer, Class of 1942 and now of Shreveport, was one of many who journeyed from out of town to see the old building one last time.

“It’s just nostalgic, remembering old times,” Ritzheimer said. “I just waited to see it and say goodbye one last time. I’ve seen a lot of people I know. I’m so sentimental, I’ll probably cry when this is over.”

Longtime MHS English teacher Jan Campbell visited the classroom on the second floor of the building that has been her home for the past 27 years.

“There’s my brick I used to prop my window open, my fan with no blades — the motor works but there’s no blades,” she said as she walked around the near-empty room. “I can’t believe I’m not going to be here anymore.”

Campbell is one who will move into a temporary building set up on the east parking lot.

“I’ve already got it fixed up. I had to make it happy,” she said.

“But this is my domain,” she said, looking around the room for the last time. “This is my home.”
The demolition of the old building is the most-impacting part of a new beginning for Minden High. A new complex will be constructed in front of the new building, while all remaining buildings on campus will be totally remodeled.

Minden High Principal Morris Busby said workers are to save two dump truck loads of bricks of the building and put them in the parking lot adjacent to the Ag building for the public to keep as souvenirs.

“I’m afraid though that the bricks are so brittle that there won’t be a whole lot of whole bricks left,” he said.

In the building’s 80-year history, Busby estimated approximately 8,000 students to have graduated from the hallowed halls.


The building did house social studies classes, special education, girls’ physical education, health, in-school suspension, coach Stepfret Williams’ office, gifted and talented classes, art and French. The constantly flooding basement was used for storage.

The 17 classes are being diverted – seven into temporary buildings and four into the old swimming pool area. The remaining six classes will have to rotate out of classrooms in the new building during other teachers’ planning periods when classrooms are not in use.

Note: Corrections, additions, year graduated and identifications are always appreciated also.


4. Ronnie Hennigan, Class of 1961  and Betty Lindsey Paul, Class of 1961

5. Earlene Mendenhall, Class of 1956 and Bob Lyle, Class of 1953

Submitted by Ronnie Hennigan

6. Peggy Staples and Bernard McCoy, Class of 1951

Submitted by Ronnie Hennigan

7. Billy Kidd  (Class of 1954) and Monette Grounds('57) talking to Joy Lambert Lowe ('57),

Over by the wall is Marcelee Robinson Culpepper (57) To the left in the chair is Charlow Wardlaw  ('48)

Does anyone know who the lady is standing between Monette and Joy Lambert Lowe? ________

If so e-mail us@MindenMemories!AOL.COM

8. Cleve Strong (Doyline High School ('42) and Joy Faye Garriss Connell (Class of 1955)

He was her American History teacher. 

Submitted by Joy Connell

9. Sherry Gresham Gritzbaugh (Class of 1955)

Submitted by Joy Connell

10. Ida Mae Pitman Yarborough ('55), Charlotte Wardlow ('48), Sherry Gresham Gritzbaugh ('55) and Bruce Franklin in the red shirt (2005)

Submitted by Joy Connell

11. James Madden ('56), Pam Bloxom, T. C. Bloxom and Stan Belton ('64)

Submitted by Joy Connell

12. (Sandra Pullig Smith with her back turned ('55) talking to Ann Mays Harlan ('58) James Madden ('56) talking to sisters, Earlene Mendenhall Lyle and Barbara Mendenhall McLemore.  The lady with the white purse with her back turned is talking to Thad Andress and the shorter one is Dr. Carter Norman.

Submitted by Joy Connell

13. Sherry Gresham Gritzbaugh ('55) at the table, Earlene Mendenhall Lyle talking to  ('56)  James Madden ('56), Dr. Carter Norman and Thad Andress are in the back of the line.

Submitted by Joy Connell

14.Cloyce Faye Locke Ballance ('51), Frances Cardwell ('51), Cyndy Pugh and Peggy Staples ('51)

Submitted by Joy Connell

15. Melba Weaver Love, ('56) Cloyce Faye Locke Ballance, Frances Cardwell, Cyndy Pugh daughter of Bobbie Staples ('48)  & Rex Pugh and Peggy Staples
Identified by Amanda Locke Williams


Submitted by Joy Connell

16. The man in the photo is Carter Norman. The lady in green is Sue Matthews Norman.

Identified by their grandson, Justin Moss.

In the pictures 14, 15 and 16 is my Aunt. Her name is Cloyce Faye Locke Ballance.

Identified by Amanda Locke Williams


If you can identify any of the others in the above picture please e-mail MindenMemories@AOl.COM

Submitted by Joy Connell

17. Stanley Sanders in the old cafeteria

Submitted by Joy Connell

18. T. C. Bloxom reading the farewell messages on the walls of the building

Submitted by Joy Connell