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The Presbyterian Orphans' Home 
at Barium Springs, North Carolina 

An Album of Memories 

Charles M. Barrett 

Class of 1948 

Henry M. Harris 

Class of 1961 

August, 1994 

Raleigh, North Carolina 













SECTION II -1920 -1928 



SECTION ill -1932 










































. :W:&$:-:W:£ 





















































































SECTION V - 1934 

































































































































































lucille norris 415 

dorothy weeks 418 

martha adams 421 

joseph b. johnston 423 

"barium messenger" 425 

joseph b. johnston 426 

joseph b. johnston 431 

joseph b.johnston 432 

joseph b. johnston 433 

martha price/janie smith 435 

cecil shepherd/richard shoaf 436 

the "wigglers" 437 

"moon" sigmontshorty" cole 438 

lillie Mcdonald 440 


SECTION X- 1939 











SECTION X1 - 1940 










SECTION X1I- 1941 































ACHIEVEMENTS OF 1941 - 1942 


SECTION X1V- 1943 














SECTION XV -1944 -1953 





















































My first acknowledgement certainly goes to my wife Barbara, who has lived 
with this project for more than 10 years. She went with me to Barium Springs 
back in the late 1970s, and made the photo copies of the MESSENGER pieces 
which I have used. She has also proof read the manuscript, correcting many 
errors which I had overlooked. A debt of gratitude goes to Earle Frazier and 
his staff at Barium. Without his support and encouragement, it would not have 
been completed. A special thanks goes to Bette Chastain who typed most of 
the original draft for us, and to my former secretary of many years, Grace 
Hocutt of Raleigh, who typed the rough drafts back in the early 1980's. Cer- 
tainly gratitude goes to all the contributors whose names are given with their 
contributions. The same is to be said for the Alumni History Committee, most 
of whom were contributors. A very deep acknowledgement goes to my friend, 
Dr. David Olson, Chief Archivist for the North Carolina State Department of 
Archives and History, who saw the importance of preserving a vital part of this 
State's history in child care and agreed to microfilm OUR FATHERLESS ONES 
and THE BARIUM MESSENGER. Thanks, too, to the staff of that agency who 
were there to help when I needed to find the microfilm of old State newspapers 
and copy articles from them. Much gratitude goes to the Alumni Association 
as a whole, and to individual members who have continued to be encouraging 
and supportive over these years. I am grateful to all the Presidents of the 
Alumni Association who have been supportive of this effort: Paul Barnes, 
Jerry Young, Joe Ben Gibbs, and certainly Randy Shaw, our current President, 
who has been a big booster here in these final days of production to get it 
finished by Homecoming 1994. A very, very, special debt of gratitude goes to 
Henry Harris who devised a plan to get the project completed, and done with 
consummate quality. Henry has met regularly with me in getting the format 
of the work in shape. To him goes the major credit for the layout and design. 
He also did some of the editing. 

A considerable thanks goes to his associates and staff members at the IBM 
Corporation who did the typing and printing, Dorice Crosby and Joe 
Blackmon. I really cannot say adequately the amount of gratitude I owe to 
Henry Harris and his organization. Many, many thanks, Henry! 

Finally, a large thank you to the Board of Regents of Barium Springs Home 
for Children who agreed to assist in getting this project completed, and did, 

through the typing of the first drafts. And, to the family members who are still 
among us and to those who have gone on, thanks for letting us open imagi- 
nary boxes of memories and pore over them. I feel so very fortunate to be 
one of you, and have gained a renewed respect and admiration for all of us 
from this experience. May God continue to bless us. 

Charles M. Barrett 
Raleigh, June, 1994 


"When the facts are known, historians will be out of business." 

These are the words of Princeton University historian Dr. James McPherson, 
winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for his work "Battle Cry of Freedom". These 
words of this highly respected and esteemed historian were spoken at a 
gathering of The North Carolina Civil War Rountable in 1991 at which the ed- 
itor of this publication was present. In his address to this group, Dr. 
McPherson offered another example of his stated truth. Predictably, it was a 
Civil War story. 

"Some years after the conclusion of the war, a group of former Confederate 
officers was heatedly discussing the cause of Lee's defeat at Gettysburg. 
Listening to the discussion a few feet from the group was General George 
Edward Pickett, who had commanded the ill-fated charge up Cemetery Ridge, 
a charge which bears his name. Pickett had graduated West Point in 1846, 
but was not in the upper ranks of his class, and was not known for his wit nor 
his perception. 

One officer suggested that the Southern troops' need for shoes which they 
sought in the Pennsylvania shoe town put them at a particular disadvantage. 
Another allowed it was because "Jeb" Stuart, Lee's eyes, was away on a 
cavalry mission. A third insisted that it was because Lee had lost his battle 
plan. The group, gaining no consensus, finally turned to Pickett, the only one 
of the group who was actually at Gettysburg, and asked him for the cause of 
Lee's defeat. His reply revealed the historical perspective of one who was 
there. To the question, he replied, "I always thought the Yankees had some- 
thing to do with it." 

Dr. McPherson's point is well taken. There is no such thing as THE History. 
There are histories, and as the books on the shelves of any library will reveal 
to the interested, histories - like perceptions, for that is what a history is - vary; 
they tell many versions of the same periods, events and personalities. 

There is so much to say about our Home, our Orphanage, The Presbyterian 
Orphans' Home at Barium Springs, the way it was, the way it got to be. We 
have said some here, there is much more which could and should be said, 
but there is a limit to all of that. (This book has to end somewhere.) There is 
so much to be said, because the orphanage is probably the most misunder- 
stood of all society's institutions. To my mind, it is without a doubt the most 
mythologized. Even the old "Insane Asylums", the "Snake Pits", the "Gooney 
Roosts" got better P.R. than orphanages. Indeed, many times the orphanages 
were viewed to be the same as those asylums, almost. 

It all started and stopped with Charles Dickens. The seed plant was Dickens' 
1838 novel Oliver Twist , in which Oliver is a resident in a British almshouse. 
That story was premised on Dickens' knowledge and experience of his father's 
stay in a debtor's prison, and Charles having to earn a living as a boot-black 
during that time. It turned his whole world black, and his name went into our 
language as a synonym for pain and trouble: "He got the dickens beat out 
of him", and "I'm in a dickens of a mess." To this day, the Dickens image 
floats into focus whenever the word "orphanage" enters a conversation. Many 
of us who grew up at Barium Springs have a totally different image, and that 
is what this book is about: our image of Barium Springs. 

"Well, is this to be some sort of brief promoting orphanages?" 

No. And who are you, and where did you come from? 

"I'm your shadow, and I'm with you all the time. I'll be asking you questions 
as you go along. You will know when I am talking, because I'm always in 

O.K., suit yourself. No, this is not to be a brief promoting orphanages. I will 
say, however, that I believe Mr. J.B. Johnston, Kate Taylor and Buck Jackins 
could have done a better job with Ted Kennedy than Rose and Joe did. And, 
I do think Charles Murray has some thoughts about orphanages in today's 
world that need serious consideration. 

"Who is Charles Murray?" 

He is a Harvard sociologist who believes there is an important role for 
orphanages to play in dealing with the monumental mess of American children 

"Then, is this to be a document in which you attempt to correct and/or clarify 
all the historical misconceptions and impressions about orphanages?" 

No. Certainly not all of them, but some of them; and most especially the 
misconceptions put forth about Barium Springs, the one I know. 

"Oh, so you consider yourself to be an expert, an authority?" 

Insofar as my own experience goes, yes-l-am! I am an expert on what I re- 
member and what I have experienced. So are the other folks whose names 
appear in this book. These are our experiences. 

"Do I detect a bit of an edge in that response? Are you getting a little touchy?" 


Perhaps, and if there is an edge it is in response to the years that we have 
had to listen to others attempt to tell our stories, interpret our lives, tell us 
what we did and did not experience. Listen to what Dr. Jack McCall, pro- 
fessor of psychology, retired, at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and 
a 1942 Barium Springs graduate, has to say about that, about our experiences 
and how we viewed them. (From a 1992 letter to me. Ed.) 

"Indeed, no 'experts' ever asked any of us about orphanage life, nor did 
they evaluate our personalities and compare findings with cohorts from 
broken families who were not institutionalized. 

The professionals, who ought to know better, overgeneralize from a paltry 
few, largely inadequate studies; I ought to know. It is unwise to dismiss 
the validity of our experience for answering certain questions about 
orphanage life. 

While taking a course in psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill, I had to endure 
a professor's generalization that all orphanage reared youth are severely 
handicapped emotionally. He based this on a one-year study of orphaned 
infants confined to cribs with no tactile stimulation from caring adults. I 
asked him if there wasn't a risk of overgeneralization to other institutions 
and he almost crucified me. We learned not to ask more questions." 

"So, you and Jack are put off by the fact that there has been little or no real 
research into finding out what orphanage life really was like, and whether an 
orphanage upbringing really was a significant factor in the individual's later 
performance in life's many roles: work, marriage, civic, social, political, rural, 
urban, male, female, etc." 

Well, that and the fact that in the face of the absence of research, the profes- 
sionals continued to make public pronouncements as to the horror of 
orphanages; policies were introduced which were based on such 
pronouncements; actions were taken from such pronouncements; and, as Jack 
points out in his account of the UNC-Chapel Hill psychology professor's be- 
havior, they jealously guarded their "authority", an authority like you. It was 
a shadow authority. As Jack points out, there was the one study. I believe it 
was done by someone named Spitz on "Hospitalism", a sliver of a piece of 
research, and those people were generalizing all sorts of things from that and 
their biases. No one ever asked us about our experiences. Wonder why? 
Wonder why those folks held on so tightly to their "authority"? Do you sup- 
pose it says more about them than us? I think so. 

"Who was there to do all this research which you two believe should have been 


That is an excellent question. Believe it or not, during the time we are talking 
about, principally the 1920s and 1930s, and later years, but in this case the 
years of Joseph B. Johnston's reshaping of the orphanage at Barium Springs, 
one of the world's pre-eminent sociologists was right here in North Carolina, 
at the University of North Carolina. His name was Howard Washington Odum. 
Yes, you read it right, pre-eminent in the world. Dr. Odum had been lured to 
Chapel Hill by University president Chase in the 1920s. Odum's name and 
reputation drew any number of other scholars to Chapel Hill. Odum served 
on Women's Club advisory panels on issues related to their work with 
orphanages. And, he and his group studied prison inmates, mill workers, mill 
villages, farm workers and released convicts, but to my knowledge never did 
any comprehensive study of orphanages. What makes that even more sur- 
prising to me, given his reputation and the monumental work he did in 
Southern Studies, is the fact that at that time, North Carolina had more . 
children per-capita in orphanages than any other state in the U.S. No one ever 
asked us about our experiences, but they continued to give opinions as to 
what they were and how they affected our lives and personalities. Yet, they 
had no research to back it up. Again, let's listen to Jack on the subject. 

"Personal reminiscences by participants are important in their own right. 
Related to this is the more specific question. ..What kind of Administration 
did Jos. B. Johnston provide at Barium Springs-what impact did it have 
on our personal development? The chances for professional assessment 
of our development are now past. Given this missed opportunity, our own 
recollections are all that remain!' This book contributes to those "re- 
mains". "This question is not really answered in Keith-Lucas' text.*" 

"Are you attempting to get me to conclude, since you don't have any drawer 
full of research for your point of view either, that orphanages in general, and 
Barium Springs specifically,, were all these wonderful, problem-free 
wonderlands and that absolutely none of the bad things that have been said 
about orphanages are true?" 

'(Meeting The Needs of the Times: *A History of Barium Springs Home for Children 1B91-1991" Alan Keith-Lucas) 

Absolutely not, and as to whether I have any research, I thought I had already 
made that clear. I am my research. My research is empirical. I was there, 
remember? So was Dr. McCall. So was Joseph B. Johnston. No, I am not 
attempting to do in reverse what the experts have done. There have always 
been horrors in child care; there certainly are today. And, I am sure that from 
our Barium Springs graduates there are some who will "at the drop of a hat" 
unleash a torrent, a litany of abuses inflicted on them. That is their story. 
This is my story. Such is the nature of histories. 

There were horror stories of orphanages in that time. There were the 
"Orphanage Trains" out of the large northeastern cities. These were trains 
loaded with abandoned or orphaned children from the streets and agencies 
of those cities who were shipped out to the midwest to live in virtual servitude 
to farmers, many of whom wanted only cheap labor or worse. 

There was the abominable selling of children from Tennessee by the female 
judge and her co-conspiritor welfare worker. (It was stated in a televised 
dramatization of that sorry story that the children adopted by "Mommie 
Dearest" Joan Crawford were sold from Tennessee by that duo. Dick Powell 
was another customer, so reported.) 

The abuses of the Catholic orphanages are well documented. The frl\. CAS Mtri I 
orphanage in Canada where the boys were sexually abused. Similar stories 
have come from orphanages in Australia about priests and nuns. 

Then, of course, there is the very, very wealthy orphanage in "Chocolateville", 
Hershey, Pa. Can you believe it, an orphanage that owns a candy factory? 
At least, that's what I'm told. And, there is the famous "Boys' Town" in 
Omaha, Nebraska, of Father Flanagan, Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney fame. 
But, I am sure that both of those could present someone for whom the expe- 
rience was shattering and a torment. 

Barium Springs was certainly not flawless. I have heard rumors over the 
years about this and that. The Home has had scandal: an alcoholic on staff; 
girls reporting staff to be making uninvited sexual moves toward them; boys 
were sent away to Jackson Training School; girls were sent to Samarcand, I 
suppose. Some boys and girls were just sent away, or refused re-admittance 
once they had been away. Nevertheless, on a scale of 1-10 as an orphanage, 
I'd give Barium Springs a 9.5. That is on a scale that measures the "good- 
ness" of an orphanage, 10 being the highest score. 

"I think I've got it. The people in this book are both the authors and subjects 
of the book, and their stories are positive toward their lives and memories at 
Barium Springs. However, don't you think you're a bit too old to care this 
much about your childhood? I mean, shouldn't you just put all that behind 
you - the orphanage and all that - and get on with your life?" 


Spoken like a true orphanage authority/expert. In one statement you manage 
to separate us from the rest of humanity and deny us a privilege or effort open 
to anyone else; namely, finding out what we remember and saying what we 
think about it. In true authority/expert fashion, you have told us what we 
"should" feel and do. Furthermore, you are clearly not paying attention. You 
said you were right here with me; well, keep up. Since you give indications 
of being a slow learner, let me try to explain this in anecdotal form. 

Suppose you went to a big family reunion at Sugaw Creek Presbyterian 
Church in Charlotte. Someone there would be the designated family historian 
and genealogist, and it is that person's job to dig and bug the other family 
members for their memories of this person and that person, that event, those 
times, particularly as far back as can be remembered, when they were young! 

Since our youth was in an orphanage, your question suggests that we should 
be different. We shouldn't care about our identities, our experiences, our 
youth. No, we are not too old; indeed, the time when you are too old is when 
you can't remember your youth. The point you experts seem to miss - you just 
don't get it - is that Barium Springs Orphanage was our experience; it was 
our life; it was our youth, and that is true whether you individually or collec- 
tively agree that it was, or whether you individually or collectively think it was 
a good life, the best life, a horrible life, a boring life, a fun-filled life, an abu- 
sive life, an exciting life, an authoritarian life, a life of toil and drudgery, a life 
frittered away in meaningless athletic activity, or whatever. It was our life, and 
we will say whether it was good or bad, or had this or that influence on us 
or any influence at all. We , not you, will be the ultimate judges of that, be- 
cause we are the walking evidence. In TV parlance, "We can walk the talk. 
You can just talk the talk." 

"Whew! Help me off the floor! You really wound up for that one. But, wow. 
You are clearly all 'hot and bothered' by that. I mean, do you really see that 
expectation of "difference", and after all these years. Is it still there? 

Yes, of course it is. You really don't pay attention. I'm repeating myself. 
Listen, suppose you had lived a lifetime of hearing people tell you and others 
what an ugly house you lived in, and how your parents and grandparents 
didn't measure up, particularly when it came to looking after you, and all the 
while you knew that none of it was true; and furthermore, you knew that none 
of those making the remarks and observations had ever been to ask you 
whether any of those things were true. That's what you hear. Ask any Barium 
man or woman how many times in their adult lives they have been told they 
were, "Just like everybody else." What arrogance to attempt to define another. 
But it's done. At a fund raiser in Raleigh I attended with Earle Frazier and a 
few other alumni, a total stranger rushed up to me from across the room and 
gushed, "I used to live in Iredell County and the Barium boys used to come 


and play with us, and they were just like everyone else." I looked at him and 
thought, I hope not. 

Yes, it is still done. You see, there is a mindset which says that orphans have 
no identity; hence, it is anyone's right and, indeed, responsibility to give defi- 
nition to the orphan, to tell him/her that he/she is "Just like everybody else." 
Many experts/authorities have this mindset, even those who claim otherwise. 

There is something about the authority/expert types that they seem almost 
fearful of what knowledge we who were reared in the orphanage might have, 
our experiences. Sometimes I think I can even see it in their eyes. I suppose 
that is why so much effort is given to calling us this and that with labels; it is 
sort of a way to retain the image they hold for themselves in their own minds. 
This was brought into clear focus for me while preparing this book. 

I had stopped by to see a member of the Board of Regents to get a clarification 
on some logistical detail related to this work. I had barely gotten my question 
asked when I was swamped and silenced with his "expertise". 

He was familiar with this orphanage in that state and that orphanage in this 
state, and he knew orphanages! I left that meeting with the understanding that 
I had just dealt with an "expert" who knew his orphanages! En route home I 
kept asking myself, "What is behind all the verbal artillery? Why did he appear 
to have a compelling need to prove himself to me-prove what? Am I some sort 
of threat to him because of my experience? 

"I believe you've said about all you need to say on that. Why don't you move 
on now?" 

Good, you are paying better attention. Yes, that's enough so long as I repeat 
something I said in 1983 in the piece I did on Mr. Johnston and which relates 
to the identity issue. He never said to us. "You're as good as anyone else, 
and certainly not, "you're just like everyone else!" Such a comment would 
have been totally out of character for him. What "everyone else" was, made 
little or no difference to him. He did not look at himself, his life, us, nor 
Barium Springs in terms of "everyone else". Sociologists looked at us in terms 
of "everyone else", but he did not. The fact that he took a train-load of or- 
phans to New York in Pullman cars in the bottom-out year of the Great De- 
pression shows that. He believed in us as individuals. Given his love for 
Barium Springs and his pride in us, he might ponder, "I wonder if those kids 
are as good as my kids? Umm... Probably not." 

"Now you've gone and done it. You are confusing yourself and possibly some 
of your readers. One minute you are talking about your objections to being 
singled out for your orphanage "different". The next minute you are taking 
pride in, if not flaunting, your orphanage "different". Now, which is it? How 

do you expect the authority/experts to get it right if you can't decide yourself. 
And you say you're an expert/authority on your experience?!" 

And there you go again, spouting off like an authority/expert. What? Do you 
feel threatened? Oh, so it's not one way , and one way all the time. That's 
what bothers you. That makes it neat for your "sociological/categorical/if- 
we-can-name-it-then-we-own-it" mentality. Well, since I have become con- 
vinced that you are a slow learner, let me reach back for another anecdotal 

Remember when President Kennedy stood toe-to-toe with Khrushchev on the 
Cuban missile crisis, and the Russian backed down and removed the missiles? 
We were mighty proud of that Kennedy that day. Then, remember back in the 
1970s, a place called Chappaquiddick and Teddy Kennedy, the President's 
brother, and his lame excuse for the drowning of Mary Jo and his part in it? 
We were ashamed of that Kennedy that day. And so it was with that family. 
We see them in all different shades of humanity, sometimes noble, sometimes 
sleazy and trashy. We definitely do not see them in one dimension. I am 
saying of us orphans, don't try to put us into one box either. Do you think you 
have that straight now? On the other side of that, if you want to know us, in- 
troduce yourself and ask about us. Don't try to tell us who we are,- we'll tell 

"This is the weirdest 'Introduction' to a book I have ever read. Why don't you 
offer some opinions on U.S. foreign policy? You've talked about everything 

Well, I warned you that there is much to say about orphanages and many 
misconceptions to try to clear up, and you just don't know what kind of person 
or event you might have to draw on to make your point. Sit tight. There's 

"But, hey, wait a minute. You can't just go on and on with this stuff. You 
yourself said that this book has to stop somewhere. The reader is going to 
be so worn out from this 'Introduction' that he/she won't want to read the book 
itself. Since I'm your shadow, I know things about you, and it is my duty to 
remind you of your objective. You wanted some space in this 'Introduction' 
to respond to Alan Keith-Lucas' book, Meeting the Needs of the Times : A 
History of Barium Springs Home for Children, 1891-1991," and the use of your 
writings in that book. If you are going to do that, you had best get to it, be- 
cause this is getting to be right long." 

Yes, I do want to do that, and I'll get right to it. First, I was surprised to see 
my material in Professor Keith-Lucas' book. I asked him at the book-signing, 
January 20, 1991, the Centennial Celebration, where he had obtained my 
writings, and he responded that he thought I had given them to him. I had 


not, and how he got them has really become a moot point, since he did get 
them, did use them, and they are in his book. The full text of my writings are 
in this publication, for which they were originally intended. 

It bothered me that so many of my pieces were used in his section on Mr. 
Johnston's years, particularly since he called his book an objective book, 
based on, "..what actually happened," as he put it.". ..He says that he does 
editorialize some and that the reader is under, " obligation to agree" with 
what he says. That statement pretty much cancels out the taxonomy in his 
"Preface" of only four possible histories of orphanages, a taxonomy which I 
felt was a bit patronizing with the use of loaded words such as "souvenir", 
"propaganda" and "coffee table". For, to exercise that promised obligation 
not to agree introduces a 5th history to the list, and then a 6th and so on, each 
with its own editorializing, "propaganda", "souvenirs," or whatever. My writ- 
ing is very subjective by intent. "What actually happened" is best told by one 
who was there to participate in its happening, or at least to witness it. (What 
was happening on the beaches at Normandy on D-Day is best described by 
one who was on the beach at Normandy on D-Day, not by someone who was 
sitting miles out into the English Channel.) There is nothing "official" about 
my writings, and I have to agree with Dr. Jack McCall that Keith-Lucas' book 
does not really answer the primary question, "What kind of administration did 
Jos. B. Johnston provide at Barium Springs-what impact did it have on our 
personal development?" 

I do not feel that it is unseemly of me to evaluate Professor Keith-Lucas' book 
in this "Introduction". 1.) He joined this book and his in his "Preface". 2.)He 
used direct quotes of mine, and descriptions to which I felt a very personal 
attachment. 3.) He analyzed my comments, thoughts, and feelings to structure 
points not related nor intended by me to the usage made. (4) It is one of the 
stated objectives of this book in fact the primary objective, that we who grew 
up at Barium Springs, and who know "what actually happened" tell our own 
versions, and confront those who would attempt to tell our story for us, those 
who put words into our mouths, if you will. Indeed, the fact that he nor anyone 
else sought permission from me to use my material, and the way in which he 
dictates the limits to historical recording, makes me wonder whether we have 
really moved very far from the old-fashioned, authoritarian "Big Boss" of the 
orphanage which the reformers so want to be rid of. Too, I have to wonder, 
if I were not an orphanage-reared person, would not greater, customary 
courtesy have been extended to me? Humm? You asked me if the orphanage 
"different" is still there. Now, what do you think? 

Quickly, to the history itself. I don't believe the story he offers about the two 
white children and the black woman in Charlotte in 1883 to be the very be- 
ginning of Barium Springs. I asked him about that when I visited him in his 
home after the 1991 Centennial celebration. (It was not my first visit to his 
home.) He told me on the latter visit that the story of the two children and the 


black woman was in the records of the Second Presbyterian Church in 
Charlotte. That I don't doubt, but here is where my attitude on "official re- 
cords" shows. I don't believe the records. I believe we have here a case, pure 
and simple, of "race baiting." To refresh memories of the story, supposedly 
two well-placed Charlotte ladies decided one pleasant afternoon that a good 
place to take a carriage ride would be through the Negro section of Charlotte. 
They arrived there and discovered two white children in the care of a black 
woman. Quickly, they did the right thing-for them-and separated the races, 
the white children went with them, and the black woman stayed there with her 
race. His version is that they returned to the Church, told of this event, and 
the congregation was immediately moved into action to "do something", about 
this ; this must not happen again. What must not happen? Race mixing, that's 
what. We must build an orphanage to prevent it. Question: Do we have an 
actual event, or just a "story" of an event. I say "story". 

"O.K., now. Back it up. What's the story?" 

I'll have to walk through a bit of history, so bear with me. The Civil War was 
eighteen years in the past in 1883. The Ku Klux-Klan in its original form had 
come and gone, ending with the 1871 passage of the Federal Force Bills. 
(Remember here too, that during the Reconstruction period the occupying 
Federal troops forbade most North Carolinians from serving in the U.S. Con- 
gress, in the State Legislature, or even in county and city governments. They 
instead installed many freed blacks, northern carpet-baggers, and southern 
scalawags into the places of governmental representation.) Well, that all came 
to a halt in 1877, the year the Federal government pulled its troops out of the 
State. That was six years before the ladies took their carriage ride, a brief six 
years. Predictably, when the Federal troops left the State, the white people 
roared back with a fury called "White Supremacy". 

The "White Supremacy" movement was really just picking up steam by 1883, 
because it did not peak until some twenty years later, and in fact has never 
died completely. That movement carried one basic fear : miscegenation, and 
therefore, one mandate: Races don't mix! And, if you are seen or even ru- 
mored to have been seen with a person of the opposite race in other than the 
accepted mode; for whites a superior mode, for blacks an inferior mode-you 
would be severely dealt with. Blacks were beaten or lynched, whites were 
beaten and ostracized for real or perceived infractions. And again, I remind 
the reader that the people setting this standard were the State's leaders, its 
publishers-Josephus Daniels of Raleigh's "News and Observer" was an ardent 
white supremacist-as were many other editors, doctors, lawyers; they were not 
the fringe of society. The husbands of the two Presbyterian ladies, possibly, 
were advocates. From that day to this, but beginning in that day, "race bait- 
ing" has become a predictable way to achieve a desired action or inaction 
from groups. Politicians have been elected by it, laws passed or killed, causes 


forged and furthered, and quite possibly a Presbyterian congregation 
galvanized into action. Oh, no. Not the Presbyterians! Think again. 

But I have other, what you might call forensic, reasons to disbelieve the story. 
1.) None of the other histories of Barium Springs report that story. Why? I 
believe it is because they knew their North Carolina history, particularly those 
who wrote the histories in the early days and who would have had fresh and 
immediate awareness of such a tale. In other words, they knew that even 
though it may be in the records of the church, they also knew that it probably 
never happened. 2.) Everyone in the story is nameless. No one had a name, 
what an oversight. 3.) Furthermore, it did not make the paper. I can assure 
you that an event like that in 1883 would have made the paper. The newspa- 
pers of that day were hard up for news. They even printed the names of the 
people who checked into the local hotels and the trains that brought them. 
They were quite big on church news of any sort. Whole sermons were picked 
up and front-paged. Then, there would be editorial sermons on those ser- 
mons. I assure you that the names of those two ladies would have been given, 
along with their husbands' names and their respective stations in the Charlotte 
community. The horse would have had a name. Here I correct myself when 
I said none of these people had a name. The black woman was identified as, 
you guessed it, "Mammy". The deceased mother of the white children would 
have been named, with a tender account of her struggle against all odds to 
care for her young brood. The name of the despised and no-count father of 
the children he had abandoned would have been given along with some threat 
of retribution. Most certainly, there would have been a lengthy, detailed, and 
most sympathetically understanding account and explanation as to why these 
Christian, God-fearing women decided to drive a carriage into the Negro dis- 

"All right! Now that you have done all that explaining and understanding, tell 
me this: Suppose it was 'race baiting'. Why did the race baiting take place?" 

For the same reason it always takes place, to get action or inaction. There 
must have been some members in the church who wanted to get a 
Presbyterian orphanage established, and they wanted some support to get it 
going. They wanted action. They wanted action which would ward off the 
implied threat of the story, race mixing. 

"But why at that particular time? What was the rush? Couldn't they do a 
feasibility study, form some committees, do a lot of consensus building, get 
involvement and planning, and all that group stuff?" 

I suppose, but they didn't. I think it was simply a case of "Keeping up with 
the Joneses", only in this case the Joneses were the other denominations, the 
Masons and the State. The Masons had opened an orphanage at Oxford in 
1873, and Mills was looking to build one at High Point, which he put at 


Thomasville for the Baptists, and the State had a mandate from its new 1868 
Constitution to provide for orphans, and I believe the Presbyterians just 
wanted a piece of that action. You see the same thing happening today with 
pre-schools, day-care and the private schools. The race bait just gave a big 
initial thrust and got the attention, heart, mind and soul of the group. 

I want to come back to the section of Keith-Lucas' book which deals with Mr. 
Johnston's years, but I want to go on and address a few other parts and end 
up with Mr. Johnston. 

I want to take some quick glances at policy, physical plant, and perhaps some 
other changes which are reported in Professor Keith-Lucas' book, and try to 
give some thought and reaction to them as an alumnus who still returns to the 
campus as it is today. 

On page 70, the 1965 action by the Board of Regents to pretty much shut down 
what was left of work life at Barium is reported. The print shop and dairy had 
already gone, and now the orchard, big farm and truck farm were on the 
block, about to go by the way, cease to exist as a major part of the Home's 
operation. The Board concluded, "The basic purpose of the Home is rearing 
children and large farming is too large a job for children." Essentially, the 
Board is saying that rearing children and work are mutually exclusive! 

That was truly a drastic action for the Board, for it was the first major step 
away from the Home's bed-rock mission: to take helpless, dependent children 
and by teaching them minimal skills through work requirements, turn them 
into independent, self-supporting adults. Since the Home's founding in 1891 
and the terrible days of child labor, Barium Springs had provided a model, 
an example of how young people could be taught responsibility and self- 
reliance through work. We were not abused in our work, and our work was 
not too hard. And, yes as Keith-Lucas marvels, we remember our work; it, too, 
was a part of what was beautiful at Barium Springs. (I have to wonder how 
many Regents told their children that work was a 'dirty', four-letter word'?) 
Today, with so much juvenile criminality, it is interesting to note that the 
prisons across the country-filled with young people-are introducing the 
military-style boot-camp regimens to teach responsibility, self-discipline, and 
a little co-operation. Those are lessons a Barium boy would pick up in a week, 
having the responsibility of milking a couple of cows on schedule, grubbing 
stumps, or setting out tomatoes. 

Albert McClure. I didn't know Mr. McClure very well. Professor Keith-Lucas 
apparently did, and thought quite highly of him. He is enthusiastic in his de- 
scriptors. He refers to, "...the greatness of the man", as a man with, "...fruitful 
ideas", "...that truly humble Christian", a man who was, "...deeply religious 
by nature", "...a very considerate man", "A fellow of infinite wit." Yet, on the 
other hand, he is described as a, "...strict Sabbatarian - he would neither let 


a child leave the Home nor return from a visit on a Sunday." "He found de- 
legation very difficult.. .it is reported that he personally supervised the planting 
of every bush or shrub on campus." I do not know whether he couldn't dele- 
gate because he couldn't trust, but those characteristics reveal a controlling 
person to me. The Sabbatarian who views Christian nurture in the form of rote 
memorization of the Catechisms sounds to my ear like a throw-back to the old 
Puritans, rather than a nurturer of twentieth century youth mid-way through 
the century. 

I dislike some of what Mr. McClure did at Barium Springs. Some I just don't 
understand, particularly the actions surrounding the razing of the original 
Little Joe's Church. 

What I dislike came to me one rainy day in a telephone call from Becky Car- 
penter. She called to alert me - it was really more of a plea - to see if I could 
break away to come to Barium to rescue some of the Home's artifacts. Spe- 
cifically, she referred to stacks of "The Spotlight", boxes of photographs, and 
the athletic trophies which had been in a case in old Rumple Hall. She said 
that Mr. McClure had ordered all those things out, to be discarded. Awaiting 
their fate, the items had been taken to the abandoned laundry building which, 
when I arrived in the rain, stood wide open. The front door was open as were 
the industrial-style windows~a blessing-for the pushed-out windows pre- 
vented the rain from entering. The items were tossed onto one of those large 
work tables which equipped the laundry, and the table was shoved against the 
left wall inside. Fortunately, she had also called Donnie Bolton in Troutman 
who had come up and managed to save most, if not all, of the trophies before 
they disappeared. I collected a complete set of the yearbooks, and grabbed 
up a few of the photographs and headed back to Raleigh. 

I will break off here for a moment to say something about Becky Carpenter. 
Mr. Keith-Lucas seemed surprised that my single reference to her was the 
Thanksgiving fundraisers she used to take some of us on. I made no mention 
of the huge case load she was carrying, etc., was his complaint. I did not 
know her in that capacity, hence, I did not write about that. Yes, I knew what 
she did, but that is not the way we interacted with her. The girls had much 
more contact with her than did the boys. She would let some of us wash her 
car sometimes on Saturday afternoons for a little money. (Didn't she always 
drive Plymouths, or did she once get a Chevrolet?) She sang soprano in the 
church choir. (Johnnie Burgin Clendenin could do an exact "Miss Carpenter 
singing 'Onward Christian Soldiers'".) She monitored gum chewing at church. 
I was in my late forties at a Homecoming and about to enter Little Joe's with 
a piece of gum in my mouth. She stopped me and ordered it out on the spot. 
Out it came. She was no shirker of her duty. She was well liked by all, a small 
woman with boundless energy. She took children to the doctor and dentist 
and corrected their grammar enroute. For whatever reason, she learned that 
she could trust me. Apparently she needed to talk to someone and felt that 


she might as well talk to me. I was working at the Camp as a lifeguard. She 
came to the Camp and we were seated under the pavilion, and she began to 
unload, to vent. It was some disagreement she was having with Mr. Johnston, 
and I long ago forgot what it was. To my surprise, she told me a few things 
about other children who were there. I never mentioned those things to any- 
one, and that was the only time that ever happened. For she, even in retire- 
ment, still managed to keep a little of that professional distance between 
herself and us. I miss her a lot at Homecoming. I wish we could all stay 

Little Joe's Church. Plans to replace old Little Joe's Church had started before 
Mr. Johnston arrived at Barium in 1922. Even then, it was considered to be 
too small, and the thought was to convert it into some kind of music building 
or other general use. Such planning continued on the back burner through 
his administration, even though substantial funds were raised to construct a 
new church. Finally, in the mid 1950's old Little Joe's was torn down by 
Barium workers, including the boys who had to clean the bricks which were 
sold to someone nearby to be used in the construction of his house. I do not 
know who bought Little Joe's bricks. The foundation for the building, I am 
told, is still in the ground. W.A. "Bill" Johnson obtained the stained glass 
window in the rear of the church and it is installed in a church in Fayetteville 

The decision was to go to the north end of the campus, where the small 
cemetery is, and construct a large, urban-sized church and classroom com- 
plex. That is the decision I don't understand. According to Keith-Lucas, and 
to the naked eye, by design, the population of the Home was reduced, and 
further reductions were planned, consistent with the new modes of child care, 
etc. The buildings to house the children were reduced in size to accommodate 
fewer children in more "family-like" settings. Everything on campus was being 
reduced. Fewer children, smaller buildings, fewer buildings, BUT a MUCH 
LARGER CHURCH, a city- size church out in this beautiful, pastoral setting at 
least five miles away from any concentration of Presbyterians, or enough lost 
souls to convert. Where did they plan to get their members? To me, the 
condition of that church today says that it was a mistake to destroy the old 
Little Joe's. Buildings can be repaired. That old church would be perfect for 
that Home today, and for us on Homecoming. I just don't understand why 
everyone seemed so eager to tear it down. Furthermore, to build that large 
church flew in the face of basic budgetary planning for an institution. Exam- 
ple: If you add a dormitory on a college campus, you have to plan for in- 
creased usage of all other facilities, dining hall, laundry, library, athletic 
facilities, etc. Conversely, if you reduce in size, as Barium did, you plan re- 
ductions in all areas. Why the huge church? 

A part of orphanage "mythologizing" is to seek to show dramatic and signif- 
icant changes by contrasting "this" with "that". Mr. Keith-Lucas has a clear 


bias in favor of McClure. I have no problem with his bias; mine is toward 
Mr. Johnston. I do have a problem with his examples of "progress". On page 
61 of his text, Mr. Keith-Lucas states a necessity to, "read between the lines" 
of Regents' reports to understand the Board's conflict with Mr. Johnston. 
Where I come from, which is Barium Springs under J.B. Johnston's adminis- 
tration, "reading between the lines" was a matter of perception; i.e., the person 
doing the "reading" could "read" about what he or she wanted to read. Of- 
ficial records are not between the lines. They are the lines. On page 69, a 
consultant is quoted that 1961, "...showed a vast improvement over the situ- 
ation 10 years before, "a comparison which sets us up for "this" and "that". 
Let's look at a few "this" and "thats". A few are truly absurd. Take the one 
for instance, on page 69. He says the children are "individualized". That 
process, he says, is particularly noticeable in garment availability. "Little 
redheads were no longer clothed in shocking pink, or whatever else came to 
hand..." Clothes of, "russet browns and greens.. .enhanced their coloring." 

"...No longer clothed in shocking pink." Where did such a story come from? 
When did Keith-Lucas observe, or a consultant report that little red-headed 
children at Barium Springs were limited to "shocking" pink clothing? I don't 
even know what "shocking pink" is, unless he refers to women's undergar- 
ments. There were plenty of girls at Barium with beautiful red hair - and I 
assume he means girls only; however, he doesn't limit the pink uniform re- 
quirement to that sex. Perhaps he thought boys, too, were required to wear 
pink, were they carrot-topped - and I don't recall any one of them ever saying 
anything about a "pink" requirement as a dress code. 

As to "individualization" of a child through allowing him/her to have a say in 
what they wear, I don't doubt. But to paint "that" period as one during which 
children could not select their own clothes and wear them when they so chose 
is blatantly false. (One of the funniest experiences my sister and I had there 
was when our mother decided to open charge accounts for my sister at Efird's 
and Rayless' Department Stores in Statesville, so that my sister could get 
clothing she liked and needed. It was a short-lived venture. Mr. Johnston 
found out about it when my sister took one of two other girls with her on a 
"shop 'til you drop" outing. Our mother was severely scolded for the deed, 
and deservedly so.) 

Mr. Keith Lucas is focused on the clothing issue again on page 66 when he 
speaks of McClure's dinner-time announcement of "the program" for the 
evening during the summer months. Anticipating his announcement of "the 
program" each evening, girls developed the habit of putting a minimum of four 
changes of clothing out on their beds before dinner, since "the program" could 
vary from a hayride to a concert. 

We were not that regimented. We certainly did not have anyone give daily 
"program" announcements at dinner (we had supper). It was assumed we 


were self-reliant enough to devise our own programs, and we did. We were 
not so passive that we had to be entertained. We learned to entertain our- 
selves. Come to think of it, I believe games like mumbly-peg, king-on-the- 
mountain, "land", rag ball, first-bounce baseball, crack-the-whip, even 
hide-and-seek, and surely Union Hardware skates, all left Barium with Mr. 
Johnston. Oh yes, we went on hayrides; we would even double up two wagons 
behind a tractor. And, as for concerts and celebrities on campus, Keith-Lucas 
mentions a 1951 performance by Max Rubinoff on campus, described to be 
"...cultural opportunity few.. .in Children's Homes could have experienced." 
Well, we did. We experienced many cultural events of a very high quality. 
Regularly we were transported to Davidson College to hear concerts. Just 
as regularly were we carried to Statesville to hear the budding North Carolina 
Symphony when Benjamin Swalin scheduled in there. (In the 1970's, my work 
allowed me to be one of those who accompanied the North Carolina Symphony 
to New York for its debut at famed Carnegie Hall. The Duke University Chorus 
went also to perform the choral work, "Sabat Mater" with the Symphony. I 
had sung and toured with the Davidson College Male Chorus, so I could enjoy 
with those college students what an exciting time that was. We entered 
Carnegie Hall through a picket of "Free the Wilmington Ten" marchers. I sat 
in a box above and to the left of the stage. During that whole concert my mind 
turned to Barium Springs and the wonderful cultural opportunities I had been 
given there. I thought of those early Symphony concerts at, I believe, D. Matt 
Thompson school in Statesville. I remembered riding in a truck to Davidson 
to hear unbelievably beautiful music. I thought most especially of Miss Laura 
Gray Greene and all that she had taught me. I also thought of Earl Berg, the 
chorus director at Davidson and of James Christian Pfhol, the Moravian, en- 
ergetic band director and organist at Davidson. I thought of the little St. 
Cecelia music club at Barium at which we would give brief reports on famous 
composers' lives. I thought of the music recitals we gave, and rehearsals for 
the annual "Christmas Cantata" and the "Easter Music". I thought of the ex- 
tensive tour our glee club took into West Virginia with a very young Rachel 
Hickman Spencer. I thought of all those shows we used to do for the civic 
clubs, with music and skits, of the school operettas with crepe paper pinned 
and pasted to newsprint to construct costumes. I thought of the senior plays 
and of the individual girls and boys who sang, and the beautiful voices they 
had, of Elizabeth McKeithan and her beautiful voice, of all the students who 
played for church services.) 

Yes, we had cultural opportunities, and we took full advantage of them. Ours 
was more participatory than passive. I have this one question. When was the 
last time a Barium Springs girl or boy graduated from school at Barium or 
Troutman who could: 1)Sing a solo in a church service and 2) Play a piano for 
the hymns and special music in the service? There were several of us who 
could do that. Culture at Barium did not arrive with Albert McClure. 


Insofar as celebrities on campus went, we had Clyde R. Hoey, Governor of 
North Carolina, as commencement speaker one year, and I do recall that Post 
Master General James A. Farley got off the train there once. 

On pages 67 and 68 Keith-Lucas draws a comparison which I will call "the 
grateful orphan" vs "the new breed of child". In this comparison, as in other 
places in his writing, is revealed the need for the research for which Dr. 
McCall called. Mr. Keith-Lucas paints us as "grateful", very grateful to be in 
the orphanage, and we are "very careful to please everyone". Why were we 
so very careful to please everyone? In Professor Keith-Lucas' opinion, we 
were very careful to please everyone, " as not to be turned out." Question: 
Where is the evidence to support such an assertion? What evidence is Pro- 
fessor Keith-Lucas able to produce which supports his claim that we at Barium 
Springs under Joseph B. Johnston's administration showed a spirit of coop- 
eration, were generally courteous, polite, and for the most part had good 
manners, out of fear ? Where is his evidence? What research has he done 
to warrant such a conclusion? Mr. Keith-Lucas uses the word "grateful" to 
conjure up an image of obsequiously mewling children cowering before a 
ruthless workmaster upon whom they are totally dependent, and are therefore 
"grateful". How is his image of grateful-out-of-fear children reconciled with 
his lone positive descriptor of Mr. Johnston as, "...a man who appealed to 
children"? (P. 35). Is he telling his readers that we were grateful to a man 
who appealed to us, but we were really fearful of him? I get the impression 
that Mr. Keith-Lucas didn't think much of Mr. Johnston. He also had a pretty 
low opinion of those of us who grew up during Mr. Johnston's era. 

Question: Why is being grateful conditioned on fear? Why does he connect 
standard good behavior with being "careful to please"? Could it be that he 
simply does not want to admit that children need and seek discipline, control 
and guidance from their elders? We were taught good manners, courtesy, 
politeness, good sportsmanship. Yes, we were grateful and continue to be 
grateful for what Barium Springs was and what it did for us. If there is a deep 
sociological mystery in that, you are welcomed to go dig it out. I don't even 
want to know. Show me a family which does not have boundaries for its 
children, boundaries beyond which even the children are not welcomed in that 
home, and I will show you total chaos. Barium Springs was not chaotic. 

Mr. Keith-Lucas contrasts the "grateful-fearful" orphan with his " breed 
of child. "This new breed is described to be resentful at being in the institu- 
tion; he wants out. He, therefore, is not grateful and I believe Mr. Keith-Lucas 
sees that as a positive. His point is obvious. People who seem to be happy 
in institutions, and who even express gratitude for having been in institutions 
are, in his opinion, misguided and confused souls; whereas, those who want 
out of institutions and who resent being there are examples of mental well- 
being and stability. (Tell that to the next prison escapee you run into.) It 
depends on the institution and the people who run it!! If pleasing out of fear 


was taught at Barium Springs, I didn't learn it very well. I did learn to stand 
on my own two feet, however. 

I want to touch the case of the purloining purser, the problem which Professor 
Keith-Lucas is careful to point out "antedated Mr. McClure's coming." I think 
I knew Mr. Johnston well enough to know that had he had knowledge of her 
activities he would have put a stop to it. He definitely would have shouldered 
the responsibility. He was that kind of man. You see, where Mr. McClure was 
unable to trust, Mr. Johnston coui_£»- Furthermore, the actions taken are in- 
teresting as related to the Board's desire to have more positions for preachers 
at the time. I will underline for effect and comment no further. The Reverend 
R.S. Arrowood was dismissed as Business Manager and replaced by a Pro- 

In 1960, I attended a large civic or church dinner at the big Methodist Church 
in Charlotte on Trade Street, just across from the location of the old Barringer 
Hotel. (We were living in Charlotte at the time. Just before we sat to eat, I 
glanced around the room, my eyes stopped at the kitchen doorway. There in 
that doorway, wearing a full apron, stood that woman. She just looked at me 
steadily for a moment, turned and went into the kitchen. She did not re- 
appear. I wondered if she was able to get Octagon soap coupons there. (It's 
an "inside story".)(Ed.) 

And, incidentally, the photograph on page 48 is that of the dismissed Reverend 
Arrowood, not Mr. Reverend Tom Cook. 

Finally, I want to address a comparison which Professor Keith-Lucas makes 
in which he quotes me and ascribes feelings to me and my fellow orphans 
based on what he says that I have said and meant. As has been shown, in 
other examples, Mr. Keith-Lucas is attempting to get his point across by forc- 
ing attitudes and feelings onto his subjects, appearing to validate such atti- 
tudes by quoting or appearing to quote the subject's own words. I will attempt 
the same. 

On pages 40, 41, and 44 is a connected story which illustrates my point. I 
will attempt brevity. On page 44, Mr. Keith-Lucas describes a young man who 
visited him. I think Mr. Keith-Lucas is describing me. The details of the 
"young man" are basically correct to me. The sister, age of admission, etc. ( 
I actually entered at age 2.5 rather than 3 years, but at least Mr. Keith-Lucas 
is consistent. All his other references to my dates, entry, exit, dates of written 
material are incorrect.) I do not, however, remember my visit the same way 
Mr. Leith-Lucas does. I visited him in 1961 following a report in the Raleigh 
"News and Observer" of his "Study of Barium Springs". In that report he had 
said that no child should ever be admitted to an orphanage under the age of 
five years. As this document attests, I then, as now, had and have a compel- 
ling interest in my youth and the nature of my upbringing. I wanted to know 


what happened to those of us who suffered entry under that fifth year. That 
is the question I put to him as soon as I entered his home. As I recall the visit, 
it was he who provided the descriptors., "inability to feel", "manipulate adults", 
"play the game" in answer to my question. I also seem to remember "become 
robots". As to my sister, and my being "very bitter" at her being a 
nonconformist and loaded with personality in contrast to my being a malleable 
drone, I will let others be the judge of that. (I will say that in the entry docu- 
ments in our file, a screened and edited portion of which I was given on re- 
quest several years ago, such an observation is made, I suppose by Mr. 
Johnston, since Miss Becky wasn't there yet. The remark said something like 
"Charles will adjust better than his sister." I don't know whether Keith-Lucas 
had access to our files or not.) I do regret that my sister left; I have never 
been bitter. Mr. Johnston is the person who dismissed her. Mr. Johnston is 
also the man who taught me the importance of boundaries and standards 
which, if not followed, lead to chaos. 

The story of the young man follows a paragraph in which Mr. Keith-Lucas 
challenges my perception of security, certainty and absolute sureness-of- 
purpose as factors in assuring a happy environment for growing children. 
His eyebrows are raised high in doubt when I assert that it was beautiful to 
know that good was good, and bad was bad, with no gray areas. I stand by 
my assertion that children are happiest when they feel security, certainty and 

Mr. Keith-Lucas has a point he wants to make with the juxtaposition of my 
claimed happiness in absolutes and his "revelation of the real me" as the an- 
gry and bitter young man. (On the next Geraldo!). His purpose, as he follows 
the "young man" story, is to attempt to show Mr. Johnston to be some kind 
of flake who went about writing "admittedly propagandistic" pieces about 
some children's "Camelot" called "The Village of Youth", a village where 
children had laughter, had fun, were kind, where living was a cooperative af- 
fair, and it was a lovely place to be. Not true, Keith Lucas says, and to "prove" 
it is not so, he offers the angry and bitter "young man" who certainly contra- 
dicts any sunny picture of Barium Springs. (Later on Keith-Lucas states that 
I "fondly" recall experiences of physical abuse. He refers to a remark I made 
about Kate Taylor's method of punishment with a radiator brush, that thinking 
of her and it now brings a smile to my face.) 

What is real is, the real Professor Keith-Lucas comes clear here. Mr. Keith- 
Lucas finds it unacceptable-no, abhorrent-that the children at that despised 
orphanage dare claim to have been happy to have had fun, to have laughed. 
We see here how Charles Dickens image goes on and on. 

Turn back to pages 40 and 41. Mr. Keith-Lucas addresses a remark I quoted 
from him, a remark made on that 1961 visit. He said to me that we were 
reared like British royalty. He gives a clarifying explanation that he had in 


mind a school called Gordonstoun where Prince Charles was educated. (To 
make my point here, I remind the reader that Mr. Keith-Lucas described Mr. 
Johnston's "Village of Youth" to be "propagandistic". Now Mr. Keith-Lucas 
is ready to describe an institution which, in his mind, is the equivalent of, the 
same as, Barium Springs. That institution is Gordonstoun.) The list of de- 
scriptors of that institution: 1. lack of creature comfort 2. absence of heat 3. 
ever-open windows 4. constant subjection to corporal punishment. The con- 
stant subjection to physical abuse is what I supposedly "long for", fondly. 
(Next on Oprah!)Wow, what a weird person I am painted to be. I am bitter 
and manipulative, I am imprisoned in absolutes, and now I am a masochist 
who fondly longs for a whipping. For the record, I was never whipped at 
Barium Springs, and I didn't experience, nor did I witness, anyone else being 
whipped. The times I was physically punished were very few. Every now and 
again Kate Taylor would administer the old radiator brush dusting, air out 
your pants, and Faye Stevenson would sting my forearm with a ruler. Buck 
Jackins did flatten me once and slammed a door on my hand. Neither time 
was I injured nor partcularly humiliated. I knew who Buck was and was never 
surprised by his behavior, nor did I take it all that personally. A heavy ring 
protected my hand from injury. Buck was Buck, and we all knew that. He had 
no surprises. He was one of us. 

But go back to those descriptors which he says describe Barium Springs, to 
be the same as Gordonstoun. No heat, ever-open windows, corporal punish- 
ment. Barium Springs was not like Gordonstoun. Yes, around 1915 there were 
some newspaper reports about the sorry state of affairs at the orphanage. 
There were reports of large numbers of broken windows. But Keith-Lucas' 
remark was about my time there. Mr. Keith-Lucas should know better. 
Barium Springs had an excellent steam plant. All of the buildings on campus 
were comfortably heated. The availability of adequate steam heat from a 
central plant, as well as enough pumps to provide potable water were two of 
the significant factors in the Home's ability to expand. Furthermore, Mr. S.A. 
Grier had been employed to oversee all those utilities, and he did an excellent 

Open windows? Not so. Even at Synod's Cottage where Scotswoman Kate 
Taylor insisted on plenty of "frrresh airrr" and lowered the upper part of the 
windows in the sleeping wards several inches, even in the dead of winter, the 
building stayed warm. Overheated buildings was more of a problem than 

The real question, to me, is "Why does Mr. Keith-Lucas insist on seeing the 
orphanage that way?" I wonder if it is something as simple as the fact that 
it is what he is familiar with. He says that British parents beggared them- 
selves to send sons to such establishments. Did he attend one, or does he, 
perhaps, resent the fact that he was unable to go to one? I don't know, of 
course. I do know that the image he puts forth of the quasi-sadistic school 


and quasi-masochistic students who fondly long for corporal punishment has 
a distinctly Kiplingesque stiff-upper-lip-tally-ho British "Pub and Club" ring to 
it, and Mr. Keith-Lucas is British by birth. 

Whatever Gordonstoun is,or any otherorphanage, it is not Barium Springs, and 
that is the point of this book. We were at Barium Springs, and we will tell you 
what actually happened at Barium Springs. Furthermore, Mr. Johnston did 
not write propaganda any more than Mr. Keith-Lucas writes propaganda. Mr. 
Johnston saw Barium Springs as a "Village of Youth" where children were 
laughing and having fun. Mr. Keith-Lucas saw Barium Springs as a dreary 
institution. I was there, and I agree with Mr. Johnston's view. 

One more thing, in the "Appendix", World War II did not end in 1946. World 
War II was concluded aboard the Battleship "Missouri" in the Bay of Tokyo 
on September 2, 1945. That is not a matter of perception; that is a matter of 

"Now that you have said all that, are you not concerned that you will upset a 
good many people? I mean are you showing respect and gratitude to those 
Presbyterians who sent money, which they really didn't have to spare in the 
1930's, up to Barium Springs to support you?" 

I can assure you there will be those who will not care for, nor agree with, what 
I have said. On that I take the same position Professor Keith-Lucas did, "They 
are under no obligation to do so." It is all a matter of perception. I can guess 
that some of those who will disagree most will be fellow graduates of Barium 
Springs, and for the same reasons I disagree with Mr. Keith-Lucas: He can't 
tell my story; I can't tell their story. As is said, "Perception is in the eye of the 
beholder." As to disrespect and failure to show gratitude, I plead "not guilty" 
on both counts." In truth, I have shown the greatest respect. I hope that I 
have demonstrated that the money those long-gone folks sent to Barium 
Springs to support me and others went for a good cause. It provided me with 
a basic education and taught me some life values which I have tried to pass 
on to my children, and for that I am most grateful. I left Barium Springs, 
gained further education, started to support myself and pay taxes, married a 
breath-takingly beautiful lady who is very intelligent - (The intelligence jury 
went into seclusion when word leaked that she had married me, and no verdict 
has yet been reached), reared and educated three children with her, and now 
help old ladies across the street, and I always carry a clean handkerchief. I 
believe self reliance is the way to show respect and gratitude. And, while we 
are on the subject of respect, let us in fairness ask whether we who grew up 
at Barium Springs during its orphanage years have been treated with respect 
with all the smearing of that Home, our Home? Has Joseph B. Johnston's 
service and memory always been treated with respect? I am much more 
concerned about that in this book than whether I have bruised an ego or two. 


There is one characteristic about Mr. Johnston that we who were there with 
him could see, but apparently it was not visible to others, particularly the many 
preachers who wanted him replaced with one of their own. That characteristic 
was his enormous and abiding faith in Jesus Christ. That man was a believer 
in the strongest meaning of that term. To me, much more so than any 
preacher I have ever heard or come in contact with. Furthermore, he applied 
his faith to everything he did. He lived it. 

It was he and Mr. Grier who taught me what I know about faith and belief and 
what is good. Sometimes, when thinking about him, I remember that when 
God decided to send His Son to earth to redeem us, He could have gone over 
to "Heavenly Divinity School" and selected some promising young fellow who 
would make a great name for himself as one of the high priests in the temple, 
a preacher. He didn't do that. He went over to the Vocational Education 
Department of Heaven and selected a promising young carpenter, a young 
carpenter with great faith and love. I somehow think that God was following 
that same thought pattern when He sent Joseph B. Johnston to Barium 
Springs. Rather than sending a preacher, He sent a merchant. 


On that January day in 1991 which was celebrated as the beginning of Barium 
Spring's Centennial Year, my wife and I crashed a by-invitation-only luncheon 
at the dining hall. Our appearance was unintended and an embarrassment 
to us. The reasons as to how that all happened are too lengthy to go into here. 
I, since, have felt that God had a hand in my being there. I call it God's sense 
of humor, for here I was at the luncheon being introduced to Alan Keith-Lucas' 
book and seeing my name and quotes splashed all about in it. Good grief, I've 
thought, you should have been there! God apparently agreed. After the 
luncheon, we were exiting the building and encountered Mr. and Mrs. Price 
Gwynn, III. He was Moderator of the church's General Assembly. They were 
standing at the exit door. Mrs. Gwynn paused and asked, "Who are you?" 
The symbolism did not escape me. Here I was on the site of old Rumple Hall, 
the center of my world for 16 and a half years, on a piece of land I had 
walked, run, skated, chased, been chased, been hot, cold, seen in snow, fall 
colors, the green of summer, heard the laughter of many other children as 
well as my own, and this total stranger wants to know who I am. I would like 
to have been able to say "Price, you and the Missus jump up in the front. Toss 
those Roman serial numbers in the back of the pick-up, and we'll drive around 
awhile and I'll tell you who I am." 

Her question is so much of what it is to have been reared in an orphanage. 
There was always that question. At the Baby Cottage: "Well, who do we have 
here?" At Synod's Cottage: "Who in the world do you think you are?" At 
Lee's, Alexander and Jennie Gilmer: "Yea, who sez, you? Well, who are you?" 


At the Quads: "What in the Sam Hill! Who do you think you are?" And it was 
assumed that none of us knew the answer to that question. 

As I have shown, strangers have told us we were "Just like everybody else." 
The psychologists have told us that we were many things, mostly negative, 
and the sociologists have chanted "Ditto, ditto" to all the psycho-babble. In 
the end, we have decided that we knew ourselves and our stories better than 
anyone else. 

Charles M. Barrett 
Class of 1948 
Entered July 7, 1932 
Graduated May 18, 1948 
Raleigh, North Carolina 
June, 1994 

Henry M. Harris 
Class of 1961 
Entered July 7, 1949 
Graduated May 6, 1961 
Raleigh, North Carolina 
June, 1994 

(Henry Harris was the last Barium boy to receive a Barium Springs High 
School football letter "B" sweater. After him, the school closed and was con- 
solidated with Troutman High School, later South Iredell. Ed.) 









"Iredell's Poison Springs" 

In traveling, you hear and see so much of the wonderful, that in short time you 
become very incredulous about most things you hear and see. 

Lounging about my hotel with nothing to do, I accidentally heard a man say 
that there was a poison spring in an adjoining county. He did not seem to 
know what poison spring it was, but thought it was arsenic. Having a few days 
of leisure, and the spring in question being distant only about thirty miles by 
rail on the Atlantic, Tennessee and Ohio Railroad, now a branch of the 
Richmond and Danville, I concluded to investigate the spring and see for 
myself. On arrival at the depot, Troutman's, I learned that I had a mile or 
more to travel before reaching the springs - seven in number - six besides the 
poison - on the hillside of a little creek. The poison spring is a large basin in 
a rock. It is transparent and nearly tasteless. It is certainly poisonous, but 
not arsenic. It holds about 150 gallons of water, and has no outlet. It never 
overflows and if bailed out, it will refill in some 12 hours. It seems to fill up 
from an aperture in the bottom of the porous rock. I learned while there that 
Prof. Ledoux had analyzed it and represented it as containing carbonate and 
sulphate of barium and a trace of sulfuric acid. Bathing in the water leaves 
the skin soft, smooth and clean. It is especially recommended as effective in 
the cure of scrofula and cancerous sores, old ulcers and all diseases of the 
skin. There are quite a number of living witnesses to testify to its efficiency 
as stated. It is peculiarly and singularly affected by electricity. During the 
prevalence of thunder storms the water immediately around the orifice turns 
to a deep indigo blue, extending upwards from the bottom three or four inches, 
while streaks of the same dart through in every direction. The water is used, 
and has been for perhaps a century, by the people in the surrounding country, 
and its curative qualities are well known. The springs are in their natural 
condition - no improvements or accommodations for boarders. 

Granite of a very superior quality for building purposes can be obtained in 
abundance in the immediate vicinity. 

It is regretted for the sake of suffering humanity, that some party does not own 
these remarkable springs who was able, and would improve them and make 
accommodation for boarders, for of all classes of disease, physicians seem to 
know less about cancerous sores and diseases of the skin, than any other, and 
these have the reputation of being the perfect panacea for all such diseases. 
The present owner, I learn, is not able to improve them, but I learn that he 


would sell them for a moderate price. He affirms the waters cured him of 
consumption, and that he would not live without them. 

This is certainly a fine country in many respects, if capitalists would take hold 
and develop its resources. To one accustomed to the busy cares of city life, 
with all its bustle and follies, it is a perfect treat to get out among these people 
and witness such moral happiness and contentment, and I would suggest to 
all such who are in need of rest and want a little quiet, to avail himself of a 
trip to these springs, and if he desires to invest, he may make it profitable in 
a pecuniary sense, as well as pleasant recreation. 




About the'Strohecker Springs" 

The people have been asking and wondering and I have come out from "along 
the cool sequestered vale of life," to say that one of the Strohecker Springs 
has been analyzed by the State Chemist at Raleigh. Said analysis has seal 
of office attached and is open to inspection. You can see it and read it your- 
self. Its mineral constituents are the same as the well known Barium Water. 
Any citizen of Statesville, or his friends anywhere in the world, can have one 
gallon of the water free of charge. The use of the water can speak for itself. 
You can test its strength, its healing and tonic virtues, and any other water 
of like kind and satisfy yourself. Dr. T. E. Anderson tasted the water of this 
spring and said, "I can taste the mineral in this water. I am pleased and more 
favorably impressed when I have seen this spring than by anything I have read 
about it." And he is an intelligent citizen of your town. Others who have used 
this water speak of healthy effect upon themselves. 

The chemist writes that the waters have alkaline as well as chalybeate quali- 
ties. The spring flows from a solid rock into a rocky basin, holding about thirty 
gallons. It is clear as crystal and throws off a rapid running stream. I am 
informed by competent persons that its strength can be diminished or in- 
creased by filtering process, etc. 

You are invited to visit this spring (it is close to the Orphan's Home) and judge 
of its merits for yourself. If there is anything in you that the Strohecker Barium 
water cannot reach, then try the Strohecker boiling spring and less than ten 
minutes, you will belch it forth. These waters are free to sick, disabled and 
aged ministers. 

(The enthusiastic salesman is not identified.) 

This colorfully interesting sidebar to Barium's story was pro- 
vided by Henry Troutman of Troutman, his "Ancestral Village" 
or "Diminutive Municipality" as his kinswoman, Ruth Troutman 
Clark, used to, with great affection refer to it. Henry expanded 
his Iredell County experience by choosing to go to school with 
us at Barium Springs. He graduated in the 1950's. His choice 
forever puts him into the category of wise men. 





JUNE, 1924 


W. D. Toutman* 

"Editor, Messenger: 

Invariably when passing Barium Springs Orphanage I fall into a reminiscent 
mood. I look in retrospect on days and times and conditions as they existed 
there not so long ago. Certain changes have taken place which always remind 
me of that passage about the plowshare and the swords and the reaping 
hooks. There was, you see, a big old vacant hotel building which stood up 
near Synod's Cottage which was for several years used as a dance hall ex- 

Then, right in front of the big school building there was a wooden shack which 
served as a grog shop. In other words it was the cheaper sort of a cheap 
barroom. You could go up and have a bottle filled with whisky for .250, and 
you were at liberty to drink all you wanted and to use all the profanity you 
could think of. You could become intoxicated and quarrel and fight, with no 
officer of the law to say you nay. 

'T'will take somewhat of a stretch of imagination to get at the moral effect of 
the dance hall and grog shop on the now quite peaceful community of Barium 
Springs. But then the Presbyterians came into possession of the old dance 
hall, and Father Boyd came up there with a family of 25 to 30 fatherless boys 
and girls. The first day Father Boyd arrived the sword was beaten into a 
reaper: the dance hall was converted into a sanctuary; the brothel and shop 
no longer cluttered up the fair surroundings. While the influence in the com- 
munity of this dance hall lasted for years; yet, from the first day the change 
began and every day the children of the institution have listened to some 
portion of scripture and some prayer to the Supreme Being. Each day of these 
many days, also, the influence of the consecrated men and women has been 
leaving impression indelibly on the community. But 'twas like growing an oak. 
It took time. 

The Orphans' Home in the beginning had a hard time, a hard struggle for 
existence. The Superintendent had almost insurmountable objects to sur- 
mount. He had difficulties to overcome of which the latter day superintendents 
know nothing. 


When they prayed for daily bread, 'twas not a mere lip service as in the days 
of plenty when scarcely anyone knows there is such a thing as a wolf to howl 
hungrily at the door. The enterprise was in its infancy and people just hadn't 
waked up to the necessity of ministering to the parentless as now they do." 


W. D. Troutman was a frequent correspondent to the STATESVILLE LAND- 
MARK and to THE BARIUM MESSENGER, writing folksy remembrances and 
observations about the Iredell communities. His ancestors founded the town 
of Troutman; his home was the two-story frame, white house which stood at 
the fork of US 21 and Perth Rd. in Troutman. More of a connection to Barium 
Springs, he was the father of Ruth Troutman Clark and Katherine Troutman, 
both of whom taught school at Barium, beginning during WWII years. Ruth 
Troutman Clark became a life-long friend to me and my family. To her I owe 
my love of words, spoken and written. She used to say to me, "Cholly, a good 
paper is not written; it's re-written!" In that sense, W. D. Troutman is re- 
sponsible for this document. To him and Ruth, my thanks! CMB, Ed. 


November 26, 1891 

"Presbyterian Orphanage Burned" 

A Part of the Contents Saved But the 
Building a Total Loss 

The Orphans' Home of the Synod of North Carolina, located at Barium 
Springs, 5 miles south of Statesville, was destroyed by fire last Thursday aft- 
ernoon at 1:30 o'clock. The fire caught between the ceiling and the roof, from 
a flue, and was the result of defective masonry. So soon as advised of it, Rev. 
R. W. Boyd, the superintendent of the Home, ran upstairs with an axe and 
knocked off the ceiling and plastering at the spot where the fire was at work, 
hoping to reach it and extinguish it with water, but the fire was too fast for 
him, and Mr. Boyd, soon seeing that he had undertaken a losing fight, aban- 
doned it and set to work to get the children out of the house and to save as 
much of the furniture as possible. The children were removed in safety, and 
by the active help of the neighbors who gathered, in a good deal was saved 
from the building, though it burned rapidly and there was little time for work. 
A piano, organ, the range, a good deal of bedding, some furniture, and some 
groceries were saved, but many of these articles in a badly damaged condi- 
tion, the furniture being broken as it was tumbled out of the window. Practi- 
cally nothing was saved off the second floor. In a room on this floor, the 
winter clothing of the children had been neatly packed away. All of this was 
burned and only a few of the orphans are left with a change. There was an 
insurance of $3000 upon the building and $400 up on the furniture. 

The children, of whom there were 32 in the Home, were kindly taken into the 
houses of the people of the neighborhood, and of Troutman's, as was also the 
family of Mr. Boyd, and provided for until arrangements could be made for 
getting them together again. Rev. Messrs. Rumple and MeClelland, of 
Salisbury and Statesville and Col. John L. Brown and Mr. Geo. E. Wilson, of 
Charlotte, of the board of regent held a meeting here Tuesday, and rented for 
temporary use the Sigmon house on the Lewis Ferry Road, on the southwest 
side of town, and a house of Mr. J. T. Stevenson just opposite. Possession 
of the Stevenson home has not yet been secured, but as many of the orphans 
as the other will accommodate are quartered in it, and the remainder of the 
children are distributed among charitable people in Statesville and in the 
neighborhood of the burned orphanage. 

What steps will be taken in the matter of re-building the Home is a question 
to be determined hereafter. Meantime, the little children need everything, and 


we shall fall entirely short of our duty if, today, while making acknowledge- 
ment of gratitude to our beneficent and most merciful God, we do not divide 
liberally what He has given us with the fatherless and motherless children. 


CHARLOTTE CHRONICLE, 25TH (November), 1891. 

"Meeting of the Regents: The Question of 


The regents of the Presbyterian Orphans' Home met in this city yesterday. 

All were present except O.D. Davis of Salisbury. 

The board was organized by the election of officers as follows: 

J. Rumple, D.D., president; John E. Oates, Treasurer; Rev. W. R. McClelland, 


The superintendent and officers of the Home were elected as follows: Rev. 
R. W. Boyd, superintendent; Mrs. R. W. Boyd, matron; Miss Blanche Boyd, 

It was reported that the Home at Barium Springs was consumed by fire on last 
Thursday. Several offers of help, both temporary and permanent, were made. 

J. H. Mills, of the Baptist Orphanage at Thomasville, tendered the use of one 
of the buildings, or to take a number of the orphans, without charge. Thanks 
were returned for this generous offer, and the president was directed to write 
a letter to Mr. Mills. 

Dr. Hill tendered the use of Floral College buildings (Floral College is what is 
printed in this news account. It is my assumption and guess that Flora 
McDonald College was the offer. Ed.) temporarily, without charge. The 
president was directed to write a letter of thanks to the trustees. 

The Statesville Development Company offered a free site for a building, and 
the offer of certain adjoining lands at a reduced rate, with the assurance that 
Statesville would give a liberal subscription. The thanks of the regents were 
tendered to the development Company and to the people of Statesville for their 
liberal offer. 

The whole subject of rebuilding and preparation of plans of the new building, 
were referred to the executive committee, to collect facts and arrange plans, 
and report at a future meeting of the regents. 

Rev. W. R. McClelland reported that two houses in the suburbs of Statesville 
suited for the purpose had been rented, and that Mr. Boyd was collecting the 
orphans there, and that in a day or two all would be moving on again as usual. 


(I came across this address while looking for some other historical event. It is a very significant address, coming as 
it did when the "White Supremacy' movement was on the ascendancy. His address reveals much detail as to what 
was being talked about. It is also a very foretelling speech. Ed.) 

January 16, 1891 

"Charles Price, the Colored Orator, on His Race" 

Charleston Special to N.Y. Herald 

Dr J.C. Price, president of the colored college at Salisbury, N.C., 
(Livingstone College), and one of the foremost orators of his race, has 
just delivered at Chester, S.C., a speech that is attracting great attention. 
He puts himself squarely against the increasing current in favor of em- 
igration. In his speech he says: 

"I have no faith in the doctrine of assimilation. The ancestral pride of 
the white man, the growing pride of the Negro, forbid that this 
amalgamation take place save on the high ground of matrimony, and 
there is only one inter-marriage out of every 200,000. Some blacks want 
this. They say that their color is against them. If they could only be 
changed all would be well. I believe that color has nothing to do with 
the question. Black is a favorite color. A black horse we all admire. 
A black silk dress is a gem. A black broad cloth suit is a daisy. Black 
only loses its dignity when applied to humans. 

"It is not because of his color, but because of his condition, that the 
black man is in disfavor. Whenever a black face appears it suggests a 
poverty-stricken, an ignorant race. Change your conditions; exchange 
immorality for morality, ignorance for intelligence, poverty for prosper- 
ity, and prejudice against our race will disappear like the morning 
dewdrops before the rising sun. 

Others would have us disappear by emigration. Your distinguished 
Senator just introduced into Congress a measure intended to help us 
move away. (The Senator was Wade Hampton. Ed.) As for me, I don't 
want to go. "(No. No!" from the audience.) The sunny Southland, where 
lie the bleaching bones of my fathers, is dear to me, and I, too, feel to 
the manor born. This soil is consecrated by the labor of my ancestors. 
Talk about Ethiopia, talk about Africa, but I believe that God intends the 
Negro race to work out here in the South the highest status he has ever 
attained. If anybody wants to go to Mexico or Kansas or anywhere else, 
let him pack his trunk and go of his own free will. Let Congress ap- 
propriate if it wants to. I will respectfully ask it to take back my part. 


"It may be that God means us to go someday, but that is not the way 
and this is not the time. Remember, friends, that long ago two little 
barks came to America. One landed at Plymouth her load of freemen, 
the other came to Jamestown with a freight of bondsmen. Two separate 
civilizations sprang into being from these two ships; but we are away 
from home. The red man alone is at home here, and he won't be much 
longer if they keep pushing him westward into the Pacific. When Con- 
gress legislates the black man back to Africa it would be just as wise to 
legislate the white man back to Europe. When one goes the other ought 
to go, too. I am here to stay; I have an unbounded confidence in the 
future of the Southland. Her broad rivers, her rich fields and well-stored 
mines will one day produce the richest harvest of prosperity the world 
ever saw, and I want to help reap it and enjoy it." 

"What though a man be killed now and then? He who would try to crush 
us deserves the pity - not the crushed! Though a hundred men fall 
around me I will stand firm on the rock of my faith with an unshaken 

"The Negro is an imitative creature, and this is a sign of much hope. 
The Indian always does the opposite from what he sees the white man 
do. Hence he has gone down. It is just the reverse with the Negro. A 
white man gets a house painted white with green blinds; the Negro does 
the same. It may be built in the Gothic order, with rafters in view, but 
it's a house. This promises well. Some imitated Greece; England imi- 
tated Rome; America imitated England. It's a help everytime, and the 
Negro is following right on in the white man's steps." 



W. L D. (Bill) Johnston 
"Suffer little children to come unto me" 


This 1928 SPOTLIGHT* Breathes The Glory of Barium Today, A Barium 
Inspired By The Vision Of Her Past And Secure In The Courageous Flame Of 
Her Destiny. 

Alma Mater 
Our Alma Mater 'tis of thee, each heart with gladness sings, 
We love thee best of all the rest, our home at Barium Springs. 
Our sons so brave and true, to honored places come, 
No daughters fair can yet compare, with thine, old Barium Home. 

Our dear old Barium Home, when after years have come, 
We'll think of thee where e'er we be, and love old Barium Home. 

When parted long from thee and time has tinged our hair with gray, 


When memories come of thee, Dear Home, Heaven bless us still, we pray. 
When our lives are old, we still would have our children's children tell 
In tender tones of days by-gone, how we love thee well. (Chorus) 

"The Spotlight' was the school yearbook. Ed. 


Our home was conceived by a small group of the Women of the Church in 
Charlotte. Summarizing an article by Julia Goode Eagan published on 
November 19, 1933 in the Salisbury (N.C.) Sunday Post: 

"...Back in 1883, 50 years ago, a small group of Presbyterian women in 
Charlotte, with the aid of George E. Wilson, R.B. Alexander and others, first 
undertook the establishment in North Carolina of an orphan's home for 
Presbyterian children. A building, limited in accommodations, was secured in 
Charlotte, and the widow of the late Rev. P.T. Penick was put in charge. The 
number of children seeking refuge in the home increased rapidly, and this 
group of women, who had inspired and begun this home, soon placed it under 
the broader protection of the Synod. 

For eight years after it's humble beginning, this Presbyterian Orphans' Home 
functioned in Charlotte. In January 1891, it was removed from Charlotte to 
Barium Springs. This spot had at one time been a health resort, because of 
the alleged curative effects of its mineral waters. 

A two-story wooden hotel, with porches upstairs and down, running the length 
of the building, accommodated the guests. This old hotel was secured, put in 
good condition, and its name changed to Barium Springs Orphans' Home. 
About half the 25 children who composed its body in Charlotte removed with it 
to its new quarters. Others rapidly began to apply for admission. One night, 
some 11 months after the removal from Charlotte, the old transformed hotel- 
orphanage burned literally to the ground. Rev. R. W. Boyd, superintendent at 
the time, gathered up his little band, and sought temporary shelter in 

This fire, seemingly such a misfortune for the home, was in fact a great 
blessing, for it served at once to focus the interest and sympathy of 
Presbyterians of the state upon this phase of their church work. Immediately 
money for re-building began to come in. New buildings arose one by one, the 
cottage plan being adopted. From that day to this, the different units of the 
orphanage set-up or plant have taken the form, for the most part, of memorials 
by the donor to some loved one. 

First among those memorials was "Annie Louise Cottage," the munificent gift 
of George W. Watts, of Durham, and named in honor on his only child. 
"Synods Cottage," the second built, was made possible by contributions from 
the Presbyterian churches in North Carolina. Mr. Watts had also built and 
equipped an infirmary, one ward for which the Home was indebted to H. H. 
Orr, of Charlotte. For his son, it was called, "Lewis Orr Ward". So urgent 
were the petitions for admission at this time, that 15 little girls were housed for 


a time in the infirmary. Upon the site of the old hotel, Rumple Hall was 
erected next, named in honor of Dr. Jethro Rumple, pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church of Salisbury, and author of a well known "History of 
Rowan County". From the very beginning of Barium Springs, the Home had 
no more ardent champion than Dr. Rumple. He was whole-heartedly devoted 
to its cause, and at the time of the completion of this building was President of 
the Board. 

Still the cry for more room kept rising. Through Dr. Rumple, in 1900 the 
interest of Mrs. S.P. Lees, a Southerner living in New York, was enlisted. Her 
gift, "Lees Cottage," was set aside for larger boys. "Boyd's Cottage," the 
superintendent's home, bears the name of Rev. R. W Boyd, first superintendent 
of the home after its removal from Charlotte. Mr. Watts, of Durham, again 
manifested his interest in the home by matching dollar-for-dollar the amount 
raised by the church for Boyd's Cottage. In 1902, J. C. Burroughs, of 
Charlotte, donated Burroughs Cottage as a memorial to his daughter, Mrs. 
Carrie Burroughs Dula. The Alexander industrial building was the result of a 
bequest by the late S. P. Alexander, of Charlotte, and in it were carried on 
some of the most necessary and useful activities of the home. Judge George 
Howards, in 1903, erected Howard Cottage as a memorial to his wife, Mrs. 
Anna Stamps Howard. 

A canvas of the state in 1913 resulted in money for a school building at 
Barium Springs. That building, named in honor of its largest contributor, John 
F. McNair, was called the McNair Building. A new infirmary was built in 1916, 
the gift of James and William H. Sprunt, of Wilmington. Lottie Walker Cottage, 
the largest on the campus at the time it was built, was erected and equipped 
by the women of the Synod, with an original capacity for 66 girls. In 1925 
came Jennie Gilmer Cottage, the gift of C. W. Johnston, of Charlotte, P. 
Pearsall, of Wilmington, in addition to the proceeds from a legacy of Miss 
Virginia Gilmer, of Greensboro. To C. W. Johnston, of Charlotte, the Home 
was indebted for its well equipped new laundry, as well as for the sewing 
room with its complete furnishings. 

The attractive baby cottage was a new departure for Barium. Before its 
erection, only children over six could be admitted. With its completion, as a 
gift from Mr. and Mrs. Stowe, children two years of age could be received. 
The building was arranged for 24 babies, but its first month found 25 pleading 
for admission. From time to time as new buildings were added, additions and 
remodeling made the older ones more adequate. Barium Springs Orphan's 
Home was particularly fortunate in its handsome women's building; and in the 
possession of its splendid athletic field. This last, as well as the equipment in 
the printing office, was due to the generosity of Mr. Sloan, a North Carolinian 


who lived in California. "The Barium Messenger", sent out monthly to some 
20,000 friends of the Home, and the creditable annual, "The Spotlight", were 
produced by the boys in that printing office. 

The fine character of Barium Springs' graduates has been instanced any 
number of times by the records which they have made since leaving the home. 
For example, at Davidson College, in the early 1930s, Julian West, a Barium 
Springs boy, became president of the student body, and a member of the 
Davidson varsity football and baseball squads. Another Barium graduate, A.J. 
Potter became vice president of the Davidson student body, and a member of 
the varsity football, wrestling, and track teams. Charles Fort, still another 
Barium Springs graduate not only starred scholastically, but was captain of the 
Davidson wrestling team and a member of the varsity football squad. His twin 
brother, Ben, also from Barium, excelled academically at Davidson, graduating 
in three years. 

How were children from an orphans' home able to go to college? The 
Southern Presbyterian church had a nominal student loan fund, but for the 
most part, girls and boys leaving Barium Springs were only able to go to 
college through the generosity of friends of the home who personally advanced 
money for individual scholarships. Every scholarship advanced reflected credit 
upon Barium Springs and upon the college attended, and also brought gratifi- 
cation and satisfaction to the donor. 

A word about Little Joe's Church, which stood between the office building and 
the high school, is needed. In 1905, little Joe Gilliland aged 6, and his little 
sister Janie, aged 7, were brought to the home. Joe, who had a warm heart in 
a frail body, soon endeared himself to everyone at Barium. He had a remark- 
able personality for a child, with a sense of the fine and beautiful. He loved 
particularly to study the stars and to listen to music. Above all, he had a great 
ambition. "When I get a big man," he said over and over, "I'm going to build 
a church with a porch to it." One Sunday morning, when he had been at the 
Home for some three years or more, he became suddenly ill and died. In 
going through his simple possessions after his funeral, a little purse was found 
among his treasures - a poor, little, worn, leather pocketbook! In it were 
found 45 pennies -- pennies which little Joe had begun to save toward the 
building of his dream church -- "a church with a porch to it". The story of his 
pennies went abroad, and when the new church was completed in 1907, it was 
lovingly known as "Little Joe's Church." 

No doubt for Barium Springs the year 1933 was crucial - her circumstances 
were straightened, her income was cut, her work curtailed; yet, with the true 
Christianity which makes her possible, and the American morale which carried 


unhw' h BarJUm Sprln9S faCCd the fUtUre With h0pe " Her faith and her Peopli 

upheld her 


1883 - 1933 

A few important events that influenced the life of our home. 

1. 1883 - The action taken by a few women of Mecklenburg Presbytery to 
establish the home for orphans in Charlotte. 

2. 1883 - The home was placed under the care and protection of Synod. 

3. January 1891 - The removal of the home from Charlotte to Barium Springs. 

4. November or December 1891 - The destruction of the home by fire. 

5. This fire ignited the spirit to the Presbyterian Church to build this won- 
derful and beautiful home for children. 

6. 1918 - The population explosion of orphans due to World War I and the 
influenza epidemic. 

7. 1918 - 1929 - Technological developments and new inventions made it pos- 
sible for all these children to receive proper physical care. 

8. The 1929 stock market crash. 

9. World-wide depression. The Golden Anniversary of Barium Springs 
Orphans' Home was celebrated in the depth of The Great Depression. 

These events did affect the life of our home, but we really did not think about 
being poor. Like most children in a loving environment, we were kept busy 
and had more fun and real pleasure than anyone can believe. 


As we celebrate this Centennial year, let's all remember that our Home is an 
institution of the Church and that God is our Father, Creator, Friend Protector 
and Saviour. We praise God for His unspeakable love and care. 

The climate and soil at Barium Springs are well suited for producing a wide 
variety of farm products in such abundance. This production did not come 
easily. By the grace of God and the sweat of many, the land was cleared; 
trees, stumps, roots, vines and rocks were dug up and removed. The fields 
were terraced, tilled, planted, fertilized, and harvested by all of us. Many have 
spoken of the joy of eating fresh fruits and vegetables they helped grow, 
gather and prepare. Food tastes so good to active, growing children, and all 
seemed to relish the meals, even those who helped prepare and serve the 
home-grown food. This environment also produced strong, healthy bodies, a 
team spirit, and appreciation for the benefits of working and sharing. Skills 
were developed early in life, as well as responsibilities. Pride and joy of per- 
sonal accomplishment and rewards through joint efforts built what became 
known as the "Barium Spirit". This was felt by all at Barium Springs: in 
athletics, school, church, shop, farm, dairy, dining room, kitchen, laundry and 
sewing room, swimming pool, and yes, even in the baby cottage. Morale, 
courage, confidence, initiative, trust, humor, patience and humility developed 
under rough conditions and firm but loving discipline. 

By the early 1930's, over a thousand acres had been acquired, and there were 
sixteen brick buildings on the campus before 1930. Over three hundred and 
fifty children were being cared for. " The Spotlights" of the late 1920's listed 
the campus buildings something like this: 

SYNOD'S COTTAGE (41 small boys. Where we keep the noise); 

LEES COTTAGE (42 Tator-bug cowboys and the Candy Store); 

JENNIE GILMER (36 large boys and Gymnasium, Farm, Fun and Football); 

LOTTIE WALKER (62 girls and Domestic Science - Divorce Eradicators); 

ANNIE LOUISE COTTAGE (42 little girls. The Dimple Factory); 

MANAGER'S HOME ('Oakland' Squirrel Heaven, Full of Johnstons); 

RUMPLE HALL (40 girls, 14 grown-ups, The Eat Factory of the Filling 
Station, "We Never Close"); 


INFIRMARY (8 girls, Medicine, Mumps, Measles, Teeth, Tonsils, Temper- 

BABY COTTAGE (30 little chaps, 9 older girls. Come and see us); 

HIGH SCHOOL (4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 grades. Library, Books, Brains); 

ALEXANDER (39 boys. Cow Butlers, Milk, Marbles, Music, Print and Shoe 

BOYD COTTAGE (Home of School Superintendent, Test Factory and 
Grading Department); 

BURROUGHS (Office, Counseling and Commercial Departments. Bills, 
Blarney, Blisters); 

LAUNDRY AND SEWING ROOM (The race track. Can the sewing room 
make them as fast as the laundry wears them out?); 

LITTLE JOE'S CHURCH (Inspired by Little Joe Gilliland's pennies -- It is 
the treasure hour of precious memories). 

Remembering the early years, an old friend writes: 

"Life was hard. Like most rural life in this century, the children were 
isolated from the rest of the world. Living conditions were primitive. Dis- 
cipline was strict and sometimes harsh. Much effort and time was spent 
just trying to survive. Cleanliness was difficult because the water was 
rusty and had to be treated with water softeners before soap was effec- 
tive. The water was muddy following heavy rains and the red soil caused 
mud to be tracked in during wet weather. When the weather was dry, red 
dust was everywhere. Those who had shoes had to take them off before 
coming indoors. When coming in from the farm and dairy, the boys 
would smell like mules, cows and pigs, and it took a lot of scrubbing 
before we were allowed in the dining room. A large bell in the tower at 
Rumple Hall called us for all activities: work, meals, school, church, and 
even announced time for bed and time to 'rise and shine'. Before 1920, 
we were as regimented as the army. We stood for inspections, there were 
bed checks and roll calls. It seemed we lined up for everything, even 
when we had company. Some of the boys and girls, who were good, 
gave recitations from the Bible and recited questions and answers of the 


Shorter Catechism. I was so bashful I wanted to hide when visitors 

Alexander Cottage, you remember, was constructed as an industrial building. 
It was the shoe shop and maintenance building. It later housed the printing 
office and printing presses. It was not built as a cottage but was pressed into 
emergency housing (that lasted for years) for thirty to forty "cowboys". These 
boys had to get up before dawn to care for and milk the cows. There was a 
milk herd of about forty Holsteins, and beef herd of Red Poles and Black 

One of these cowboys remembers "The little gray mule that pulled the milk 
wagon: this mule knew the route and did not even have to be driven. When 
this mule was used to haul hay and silage, we sometimes had to borrow a 
horse, Old Sue, from Mr. Lowrance to handle the milk wagon. Sue was an old 
mare that had a 'club foot', or more appropriately a 'big leg'. I was told that 
Sue had been bitten on one of her front legs by a snake.. This did not keep 
her from working, but she had a swelling between the hoof and knee that 
never did go down." 

Another boy who lived at Alexander belonged to the fence gang. "We plugged 
the holes and repaired the fences where the beef cattle and calves would try to 
leave Barium property. I always had to carry the post hole digger. The long 
walks through the woods and streams were fun, but not with a post hole 
digger. I've often wondered why we didn't ride like real cowboys. We at least 
could have used a pack mule to tote our heavy tools. At the time we must not 
have been very smart, because if I had it to do over, I'm sure we would figure 
out an easier way". 

"I was eleven years old", remembered the late Dr. George Dewey Barnhill 
"The first person I saw was Ned MacKay. I came to Barium Springs on a bus, 
alone. I felt so alone". Dewey spoke of his life in school and on the truck 
farm. He recalled days planting fruit trees, vegetables and melons, and of 
picking, peeling and canning fruit. He remembered how good the fresh 
peaches, pears, and apples tasted. He remembered also unloading coal from 
a hopper car at the boiler room and the black eye he received from an older 
boy. He was modest when talking about his athletic accomplishments. We 
know he was on championship teams. He recalled how Mr. R. G. Calhoun 
influenced his life and how much he admired and respected this fine, dedi- 
cated member of the Barium faculty. 

John Craig's life was short. He was so small that he was almost a dwarf. 
However, as a high school student, he was outstanding. He was outgoing. He 


was a cheerleader, motion picture projectionist, editor of "The Spotlight", 
cashier and manager of Barium's money exchange. 

When Barium Springs Home for Children had its own money this script was 
called "funny money". I think the term came from the time a Barium child 
walked to the store in Troutman to purchase something and was told the 
Barium money was "phoney". 

Barium money was created to give each member the experience of earning 
and handling cash and to know the value of everything they received. Every- 
thing each child received, even pencils, paper, clothes (even the ones made in 
the sewing room), food, toilet articles, et cetera, were charged and paid for 
with "funny money". When a family member was frugal, he or she had Barium 
script that could be converted into real money. 

During this period, a number of new enterprises sprang up. You could pur- 
chase anything from shoe strings to chewing gum with "funny money". My 
brother Jim started a business that outgrew him. He ordered several large, 
beautiful Belgium hares. We ate rabbits, and Jim cured rabbit skins until his 
business just "outgrew" him. 

The Barium brother who shared this with me asked that his name not be used 
because he thought he bragged too much: 

"Do you remember the excursion trip the whole Barium family made to 
Montreat? It seems like there were nine or ten cars on the train. I do not 
know who financed this trip, but it brought joy and wonder to lots of children. 
It was very special to me because Mr. Johnston gave me the best job at 
Barium as 'lifeguard'. He saw me dive off the high tower into the cold water 
at Montreat, and he said he wanted me to climb back up on the tower and 
watch the children and be a lifeguard. Later he gave me a book on life 
saving that was published by the Red Cross. Bob Johnston, Buck Jackins, 
Walter Fraley, Walter Beattie, Reid Brown, Charles Hunt, Thad Brock and Bob 
Estridge were some of the boys who helped pour the concrete for our swim- 
ming pool. They also helped build Jennie Gilmer Cottage. My job was to take 
care of the swimming pool and to see that no child got into trouble there. I 
had plenty of help cleaning the pool on Saturdays, especially if the weather 
was hot. 

Mr. Ben Dixon MacNeill, famed N.C. author, drove the most beautiful car I 
have ever seen. It was a Duesenberg Phaeton, about a 1925 or 1926 model. 
When he frequently came to Barium, he would let as many of us get in as this 
car would hold, and it was a very big car, and off we would go to Statesville or 


Troutman for an ice cream cone or RC Cola and moon pie. Talk about heaven 
- how much closer can you get? 

Mr. MacNeill gave the boys at Jennie Gilmer a radio and record player. This 
was the first store-bought radio I remember hearing. Mr. MacNeill was killed 
driving this car sometime shortly after this. It must have been in 1926 or 

Paul A. Home shared the following thoughts: 

"Before Mr. Johnston became superintendent of Barium, orphanages were 
looked upon as institutions for corporal punishment and incarceration of 
those children who, through no fault of theirs, were forced out on the 
streets and upon society. In order to keep them in check, cruel and 
unreal punishment was often inflicted. When Mr. Johnston came to 
Barium, he set the pattern for child care for the nation. He saw us chil- 
dren with no parents, or only one parent, who were in need of love, 
concern, and care as children of God, and understood the unfortunate 
position we found ourselves to be in, through no fault of our own. He 
sought to put into action Christ's words, 'Suffer little children to come 
unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven'. Yet, 
with all his best efforts to make Barium a home with love and care and 
Christian concern, there are those who are ashamed to be associated with 
Barium. This happens because of our different personalities and the dif- 
ferent outlooks we have on life. Often those we love the most and help 
the most are the ones who are least appreciative of what is done or has 
been done for them. I could give you any number of examples of boys 
who would fall into this category, and maybe one or two girls. 

I vowed as a child of twelve that I would never be a preacher, and that I 
would never go to Davidson College. I was sincere in that statement and 
fully meant to fulfill this personal promise. But when I let go of my 
selfishness and sought to be the best God intended me to be, my rash 
statements returned for me to eat, and I saw how foolish I was to make 
such final statements before I really allowed the Lord to reveal His will for 
my life. Mine was not a sudden decision to enter the ministry. Through 
the influence upon my life by the many people who showed Christian love 
and concern for me, and as I participated in the work of Little Joe's 
Church, the Holy Spirit led me into the path of living God had prepared 
me to fulfill. I have not regretted the answering of God's call to me to be 
His servant in the capacity of a minister of the Gospel. I still fall short, 
but with His love and forgiveness I continue to grow in His Grace and 


About the work of Barium at this time — What better work can Barium be 
about? The children there now are those who are victims of society, just 
as we were in our time. 

Many of the Alumni want Barium to be the same as it was when they 
were children there. You and I both know this cannot be. As times and 
needs change, they must be met with solutions of the present. I feel that 
Earle Frazier is doing a good job and has the concern and welfare of the 
children at heart. 

Any good history is one which records both good and bad events. There 
is no need to dwell upon the bad, but it needs to be recorded also. The 
testimony to the work of the church at Barium is in the lives of the many 
who are able to overlook the bad and allow the good to be the source of 
life which they seek to remember and live by. 

I thank God daily for Barium Springs Orphanage, which took me in at a 
time in my life when there was no one who was able in my family to give 
me the love, care, and Christian nurture that I needed, and to go to the 
expense, concern, and care to give that which was needed, from the 
depth of their hearts. We did not all turn out to be the same, nor get the 
best out of life that perhaps we could have. The Lord placed me at 
Barium for the training and disciplining which would be necessary for me 
to have in order to be able to fulfill His purpose for my life. There were 
many there who influenced me but your Mr. Johnston gave me the 
encouragement to do better than I was seemingly doing on several occa- 
sions. He was a father to me. Miss Mary Turner (Mrs. Mary Bondurant) 
filled the mother spot in my life. So we, who look at the prospect of 
Alumni vanishing who were there when we were, must realize that the 
examples we set for the generations coming after us will have the influ- 
ence of the love, care, and Christian discipline of Barium Springs as we 
have been taught it, shared it, and practiced it in our lives. Barium is 
Home to me and shall be as long as I have breath in my body. I shall 
ever sing the praises of God for placing me at Barium at that stage in my 
life when I needed to really know His love, concern and Christian disci-, 
pline. His will be done." 

Dalma Lee Jessup has many pleasant memories of Barium: 

"On a January day in 1927, Clayborne, Wilma and I arrived at Barium. 
Clay went to Synod, Wilma and I entered the Baby Cottage. Girls lived 


upstairs; boys, downstairs. I didn't like this arrangement because I 
didn't want to be separated from my twin sister. So, at the first opportu- 
nity, I went upstairs and opened the door into a large living area. The 
girls were sitting in a circle and Mrs. Purdy was telling them a story. I 
spotted Wilma and went over and sat beside her. The other girls began 
to giggle, but Mrs. Purdy called them down and proceeded with her story. 

In time I went to live at Synod. Here I learned to play bad ball, marbles; 
and I remember Miss Taylor taking us to the swimming pool on summer 
afternoons. I learned to dog paddle in those days. I remember losing my 
toy steel marble. The following night, I dreamed where I had lost it. 
Early the next morning, Miss Taylor allowed me to go look for it. I found 
it exactly where I dreamed it was. 

I remember Mr. Johnston coming up on campus -- with that long crooked 
chin and a broad grin on his face, with all of us kids hanging onto him. 

I remember going to Little Joe's Church on Sunday and having a hard 
time keeping my eyes open as Mr. Brown preached his sermon. 

I remember moving on to Alexander. There I learned to milk cows with 
names like Mabel, Tarbaby, Midnight and Daisy. I remember going over 
to the five-mile pasture to look for some cows during a thunder storm. 

I remember going to the movies on Saturday afternoons, afterwards going 
to Purcell's Drug for a nine-cent banana split or to Hefner's Cafe or 
Troutman's Cafe for a hamburger or hot dog with coke. I remember then 
heading for the "bumming" corner, hoping to get there before someone 
else, to hitch-hike back to Barium. 

I remember playing mumble-peg. Norman Potter was the 'champ'. I 
remember jumping off a haystack and running a pitch fork through my 
arm. I jerked it out and ran all the way to the Infirmary. Miss Moore 
treated me. 

I remember Wednesday evening prayer meetings, and afterwards ~ 
"Gang Busters" on radio. I remember Mr. Johnston's Sunday School 
lessons- always very interesting-jingling loose change in his pocket 
while teaching. 

I remember Buck Jackins in charge of the dairy-later in charge of about 
everything. He was known as Captain, or "Cap". I still call him by that 


I remember moving on to Jennie Gilmer. There I began to think seriously 
about girls. Helen Moore was 'my girl'. We dated mostly down at the 
new school building. 

I remember football practice, football games, basketball games, wrestling 
and track meets. I used to wonder what Barium would be like without 
sporting events. 

I remember Captain 'holding court' — somebody had broken into the fruit 
basement. Campused for two weeks! I remember so many Christmases, 
receiving our gifts several days before Christmas so that we could enjoy 
them during the holiday period. 

I remember graduation night. After receiving my diploma, I thought: 
'God! I'm going to miss this place.' The next morning I boarded a 
Greyhound bus. That was a very sad day, about as sad as that day 
twelve years before when Clayborne, Wilma and I arrived at Barium, 
leaving our mother behind. 

I loved Barium and the friends I knew there. They remain in my memo- 
ries to this day and will be there all of my life. 

Bradley Jean Manus Salazar shared some very vivid memories: 

"All the money in the world couldn't buy my memories of Barium Springs. 
Sometimes I lie awake at night and relive those wonderful days over and 
over in my mind. I wish I could be back for just one day and see 
everyone and everything the way it was then. I wish I could walk into the 
office and see Mr. Johnston sitting at his desk or Miss Carpenter coming 
out of her office. I wish I could hear the bell ringing calling us to meals. 
I wish I could see the truck loading up, heading for the camp on the river. 
I wish I could walk into Little Joe's Church on Sunday morning. These 
wonderful memories will be with me forever. 

I was older than most children when I went to live at Barium. I was 
twelve in January 1942, and along with my little red-headed brother Ken 
and my little blond brother Billy, we arrived at Barium in March 1942 
from Charlotte. Ken was ten and Billy was eight. I honestly don't 
remember my first day at Barium, but I do remember that we settled 
down fast and soon felt at home with approximately three hundred other 
children. I loved Barium from the beginning, and I don't remember ever 
feeling homesick. 


My first memories are Rumple Hall, Mrs. Purdy, and hundreds of glasses 
to wash. I wanted to clean off tables and set them up, but this was not to 
be. Mrs. Purdy had other plans for me. I was immediately put to work 
washing glasses. Glasses, glasses, glasses! I never saw so many 
glasses. I can still see and smell the orange powder we used to wash all 
those glasses with. But it wasn't all that bad. We laughed and cut up 
when Mrs. Purdy wasn't watching. My other memories of Rumple Hall 
are Saturday nights. We had a room at the end of the hall with two or 
three ironing boards and a radio. Saturday night was the time to get 
ready for Sunday. We took our baths and waited in line for the ironing 
board so we could iron our dresses for church on Sunday. We would iron 
away and listen to the "Hit Parade" on the radio. As far as I can 
remember that was the only radio on the floor. But the thing on all our 
minds was looking forward to moving to the Women's Building. The big 
day finally arrived when we were old enough to move to the W.B. What 

As much as I enjoyed living at Rumple Hall, living at the W.B. was even 
more exciting. We were finally growing into young ladies. We were 
looking forward to going to high school, football games and boys. Life at 
the Women's Building meant working in the kitchen, house and laundry. 
When we became seniors, we worked in the sewing room. By this time I 
had finally acquired a radio of my own. During the war years, I would 
get dressed for school each day listening to Edward R. Murrow broad- 
casting the war news from London. I can still hear his deep voice on that 
little radio. 

I was at Barium during the war years and for three years after the war 
ended. I remember seeing all the boys go off to war. Some of them 
never came back. Some of the girls were in the service, too. There was 
hardly a weekend that some of the boys didn't come to Barium to visit -- 
all in uniform. Sunday mornings I looked forward to. After breakfast, we 
would all push our chairs back from the table, and Mr. Johnston would 
tell us all about the war news and where all our boys were stationed and 
what they were doing. Another wonderful memory was the sports at 
Barium. Though I was not very athletic myself, I loved all the sports, 
especially the football and basketball games. I looked forward to the bas- 
ketball tournaments, for that meant lots of excitement for a week or more. 
I always helped make the sandwiches we would sell at the games. I 
remember putting large slices of ham on the bread which we would sell 
for 25e\ In light of today's prices for ham sandwiches, this brings a smile 


to my face. The football games on cool, crisp autumn Fridays seem like it 
was only yesterday. 

These are but a few of my memories. Each person who had the won- 
derful opportunity to live at Barium has his own special memories. We 
were given a Bible when we graduated and asked to write in the back of 
the Bible what Barium had meant to us. I wrote the following on May 17, 


The Christian life people lead at Barium Springs has impressed me most 
during my stay here. The basic Christian principals learned at Barium 
will always influence my life, I am sure. 

As I sit here writing this on May 17, 1983, exactly 35 years after I wrote 
the above in my Bible, I am more convinced than ever that the words I 
wrote in my Bible that day mean as much to me today as they did when I 
wrote them. I thank God for a wonderful place like Barium Springs, for 
the fine Christian people like Mr. and Mrs. Johnston, Miss Carpenter and 
all my teachers and other people who helped to mold my life and give me 
a start in life. I will remember them and Barium forever." 

Gwyn Fletcher 

"Life In An Orphanage: It Builds Fine Men and Women" 

"No! No! No! Not breakfast in bed again; I'll get up this morning and eat, 
then I'll go to the farm to work. Orphanage life is not like this, but some 
people seem to think so. It is neither as good nor as bad as outsiders 

I went to Barium Springs Orphanage in 1932 from Winston-Salem, and no 
child has ever entered the home before or after who was more homesick 
than I was. At this time, I was a skinny, sickly boy who really didn't know 
what orphanage life was all about. I remember the superintendent, Mr. 
Joe B. Johnston, saying many times, 'If someone would sneeze in 
Statesville (five miles away), Fletcher would run to the Infirmary at 
Barium and be sick.' 

I believe, now that I look back, that I was more afraid of the children 
when I entered Barium than anything else. It took me more than eight 
months to get accustomed to the life and children. Miss Taylor, my first 


matron, told me she had a harder time getting me started than almost 
any child she had. 

After becoming accustomed, and before I became of age (eleven) to work, 
we would play most of the day, but life at Barium only begins when you 
start to work. I began my work on the truck farm, which was not too 
hard, but I did not like it much. Work hours at Barium ran in the summer 
from 7:30 a.m. until 12 and from 1 p.m. until 5:00. During school time, we 
worked from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. On Saturday we worked from 7:30 a.m. 
until noon. 

Soon, 'Captain,' who is R. E. Jackins, in charge of all the boys at the 
home, realized my feeble efforts at truck farming and moved me to the 
orchard group. This only lasted six months, and then I was put on the 
dairy group. This seemed to suit me until I reached 15 years of age. 

When I started to school at Barium in the second grade, I really began to 
know boys and girls I was to associate with for the next ten years. In 
most orphanages you run around with the children of your own age. The 
class I began with had about 27 students, and by the time we reached our 
senior year, we had gained in population to 41 to be the largest class 
ever to graduate from Barium. 

The school work at the home was like that of any high school in North 
Carolina; we had as hard a time with algebra and English, and some 
would flunk a grade and some would leave the home by adoption, and all 
we still remember very well. We were required to take two years of Bible 
which is not required by public schools. I think the teachers took more of 
a personal interest in us than is taken in public schools, this due to the 
fact that we all lived as one big family. 

There's one thing that happened at Barium that I'm still very proud of -- 
in my last three years in high school, I did not miss a day of school. Not 
a record, I assure you, but I'm still proud of it. My work on the dairy 
consisted of milking twice a day, pitching hay, repairing fences, cutting 
silage, and -- not the least -- scrubbing the barn. I guess the most hated 
work on the dairy was the 5 o'clock-in-the-morning milking time, during 
the eight months of school. All in all, this work was very interesting and 
healthful, because if there is anyone who can drink a lot of milk - I can! 

My last work group at Barium was the plumbing and electrician group. I 
think basically I liked this work better than any work I had yet done at 
Barium. There was a 'minor point' worth mentioning here: it seemed the 


year I began to work in this group that almost all pipes at Barium had 
been in the ground between 20 and 25 years; and if there was any gold 
around Barium or on its property, I'm sure the boys who worked in this 
group between 1938 and 1941 would know about it. I know now that I can 
be classified as an 'experienced' ditchdigger. I did learn very much 
about electricity from Mr. Grier, who was boss of this group, and which 
knowledge I used later to work my way up to electrician mate first class 
in the Navy during WWII. The groups that I have mentioned are not the 
only work groups at the home. A few more are the farm, printing office, 
shoe shop, carpenter work, and truck delivery group. For the girls, of 
course, housework, kitchen, laundry, sewing room, and baby tending. All 
of these groups have very competent men at the head of them, and 
Barium usually tries to fit you to your suitable group. 

How do we make spending money? Many of you will want to know this. 
The work hours that I have described were used; when you finished your 
day's work and your group boss had some extra work to be done, you 
could do this for 25 cents an hour. Saturday afternoons offered very good 
opportunities to get extra time. In the summer time, the swimming pool 
was cleaned every Saturday afternoon, and this worked about 20 boys. I 
made most of my money by firing the kitchen boiler, getting up at five 
o'clock in the morning every fourth week. I made two and a half dollars 
a month. This was during my last three years at Barium. All seniors 
during their last school year are paid $10 a month by the home. 

The sports program at Barium is probably the most enjoyable of all the 
'lives' you lead. In this field, you start young and by the time you grad- 
uate you have as many sport years back of you as many pros have. The 
sports program includes football, basketball for both boys and girls, 
softball, and wrestling. 

I began my career in sports when I weighed 70 pounds. I played on the 
85-pound team in football. The football teams that you advance to are by 
weights - 85 pounds, 100 pounds, 125 pounds, 'B' team and the varsity. 
My years on the 85-pound team introduced me to football, and by the time 
my 'gang' reached the varsity we had started a string of victories that , 
Barium Springs and most of North Carolina was to look up to for many 
years to come. 

Our 85-pound record was two wins and two defeats. The next year on the 
100-pound team, we began to roll with 11 wins and one tie -- 413 points 
for us, 19 for opponents. This was the year of 1937. In 1938, we moved 


to the 125-pound team - eight victories, one tie, scoring 274 points to our 
opponents 6. 

In 1939, I played in only two football games; it seems I passed through 
that well-known awkward age this year. The two games I played in were 
against Children's Home of Winston-Salem, which defeated us 40 to 
(very awkward) and Lexington, which defeated us 7 to 0. 

In 1940 I caught up with my old gang again. We had another very good 
year. We won eight, tied one, and lost one. The loss was to Lexington, 
13 to 0, and the tie was with Central High of Charlotte, 13 to 13. 

In 1941, Barium finally had her dream team. For 20 years, Barium had 
been playing football but never had it won the conference championship. 
We did that year! Maybe this was not the best team Barium ever had, but 
I like to think so, because it was my last football year. 

Here are the scores and the teams played in 1941: 
Barium 47; Morganton 
Barium 0; Central (Charlotte) 

Barium 13 
Barium 57 
Barium 21 
Barium 21 
Barium 14 
Barium 38 
Barium 26 
Barium 19 
Barium 52 

Mills Home 
Children's Home 
Albermarle 6 
Hickory 6 

Total Points: Barium 310; Opponents 12. 

These scores are not bad for a high school which has approximately 100 
students, counting both boys and girls. Let me name this 1941 team for 
you, because these are the boys I grew up with and it is possible that you 
have some of them somewhere: McCall brothers (Jack, Tom, Billy), 
George Lewis, Woot Davis, Jack Weeks, Joe Ben Gibbs, William Billings, 
Ernest Stricklin, Billy Lindsey, Dick Parrish, Donald Bolton, Lacy 
Beshears, Capt. Hugh Norman, Grover Ingram, David Burney, Ed 
Williamson, William Wadsworth, Mott Price, Ben Lewis, Paul Burney, and 
myself, Gwyn Fletcher. 

Barium not only played football, but many of you can vouch for her feats 
in boys' and girls' basketball, and wrestling. Our girls won the basketball 


conference championship in 1939 and 1940, and the boys won in 1940, 
1941 and 1942. The wrestling team has always ranked high in state com- 

(Indeed, it is only in wrestling that Barium Springs High School is listed 
as a State Champion in any sport by the North Carolina High School Ath- 
letic Association, that in 1938. Ed.) 

Our social life at Barium was not lacking either; we could date the girls 
and we had almost all types of regular high schools socials. We had two 
weeks' vacation in the summer if you had a family to take you, and if not 
Barium owned a camp on the Catawba river where we got two weeks' 
vacation. I had many good times there. 

Although I have shown my own life through Barium, most all of the stu- 
dents followed the same pattern in some way. I am more than proud to 
connect my name with Barium Springs and I hope I am worthy of it. 
Your life with the orphanage does not end when you leave or graduate, 
but in your striving for success in life 'on the outside' everyone at the 
home pulls for you and will go out of the way to help you." 

James and Ann Shroyer wrote: 

"The happiest years of our lives were spent at Barium Springs. We thank 
everyone who made it possible for us to stay there and all the nice things they 
did for us to make us happy. 

My most precious memories are when Mr. Johnston taught us the Bible every 
Sunday in the dining room. Then he read us letters from the boys and girls in 
service, and the monthly letters he sent out to them each month. 

I think of Christmas when we had the big tree in the school house and we all 
met and sang Christmas carols, and each received a fruit basket. 

I like to think of the long walks he took us on Sunday afternoons and how he 

kept up with all of us and taught us about nature. The song we sang was 

'Over the river and through the woods to our Barium home we go!' 

My husband, James Shroyer, likes to remember the good days of football and 


I also like to think how Mrs. Johnston let me help her each Saturday with her 
housework and go grocery shopping down in Troutman. I think how some of 
the boys would hide and not go to church on Wednesday nights. We told Mr. 
Johnston they went to the Second Presbyterian Chruch, which was the boiler 


room, and smoked cigarettes. My own life at Barium was affected by the chal- 
lenge to join in the exciting Age of Discovery. Many of you have written about 
how you loved the walks in the woods. We were challenged to look and see, 
to find something new; to see the differences in the flora, all life, birds, 
animals, insects, the land, soil, rocks, water, air, clouds, sun, stars and even 
the microscopic world. A drop of water under the microscope became as full 
of life and wonder as a circus to me. Many of you who were children in the 
first fifty years of our home remember when Byrd flew over the North Pole, 
Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic and Admiral Byrd later flew over the South 
Pole. We were thrilled because we knew we were lucky to be living in this 
age. Some of you may even remember seeing the Hindenburg or the Graf 
Zepplin fly over Barium Springs. Many people helped me set goals and 
inspired me at Barium Springs. Among them were W. C. Brown, J. H. 
Lowrance, H. L. Thomas, R. G. Calhoun, Ernest Milton, Miss Laura Gray Green, 
Miss Rebekah Carpenter, and my mother and father." 

Ernestine Garrett Young wrote to me in a letter dated June 12, 1983: 

"I remember when we used to go to the silent movies in the school audi- 
torium on Friday nights and Miss Green played the piano during the 
movies, mostly western." 

Jack MacKay mentioned the social life and events we shared with our imme- 
diate class mates. Jack's class has stayed in close touch all the years since 
they left Barium. We think of many good times, but we seem to have forgotten 
the struggles we endured because of the hard times. Thinking of social 
events, we had fun in school plays, glee club performances and even solo 
comedy acts we put on at the high school auditorium. Occasionally a 
vaudeville troupe would give a performance at Barium and the high school 
auditorium would overflow with children. On one occasion there was a 
ventriloquist, with a dummy that looked like Charlie McCarthy. The performer 
may have been Edgar Bergin before he became famous. Wilson Lowrance was 
sitting on the stage with his feet hanging off the edge. There were several 
children sitting in a circle on the stage close to the ventriloquist, and the little 
dummy would ask each one some question like "Where in the world did you 
get all those freckles?" Wilson was the closest one to the little dummy, and 
after he would make some crazy remark about the ventriloquist he would turn 
his head, as if to distract the performer, and say to Wilson Lowrance, "Hello 
Skinny." Every time he would do this all the children would nearly die 
laughing. Everyone forgot Wilson's first name after this. To this day Wilson 
Lowrance is remembered as "Skinny." 

A motion picture projector was acquired early in the 1920's and the first pic- 
tures were crude. The first cartoons were silhouettes showing matchstick like 


people and animals with no background. About 1925, Felix the cat and Bimbo 
the dog were the characters and sometimes there was a bouncing ball over 
words to songs like "My Old Kentucky Home" for a sing-along. Miss Green 
would play the piano, with just the right timing, so that we could sing the 
words just as the ball bounced over them. Later we had serials that left the 
hero in a runaway wagon just as it went over the cliff. Of course, the wagon 
was loaded with explosives and the hero tied down the villain. We had to wait 
a week to see how William S. Hart or Tom Mix got out of this situation. He 
always did the next Friday night, but would manage to get himself in another 
fix at the end of each episode. 

Walt Disney had created Mickey Mouse by 1930. We all went to Charlotte in 
1929 to see Al Jolson in "The Jazz Singer" -- the very first talkie. 

In 1933 I took a car load of high school boys to see the World's Fair in 
Chicago. There we saw the first movie in technicolor. It was a musical "On 
With The Show" starring Bettie Compson and Joe E. Brown. The worst time I 
had with these boys was trying to keep them from jaywalking Michigan Boule- 
vard and from going to see the Sally Rand display with the fans made from 
ostrich feathers. We did not see any gangsters or even a single speakeasy. 

Jack MacKay visited me on May 25, 1983. Jack said he believed one of the 
best things that was initiated at Barium Springs was the student loan fund that 
encouraged members of our family to continue their education. Jack MacKay 
is a professional engineer and retired vice president of American Cast Iron 
Pipe Company. He is a graduate of Campbell College, Danville Military Insti- 
tute, attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and received Civil 
and Aeronautical Engineering degrees, as well as a graduate degree of Profes- 
sional Engineer from the University of Alabama. Jack lives in Birmingham at 
3201 Brookwood Road. 


Do you remember singing "God will take care of you"? He has. He really has. 
While you were at Barium Springs, you could have drowned in the swift, 
muddy waters in the shoals of the Catawba river at Camp Fellowhsip or the 
waves of the Atlantic at Wrightsville or Myrtle Beach or gotten cramps in the 
cold water in the lake at Montreat. Have you thought of the safe trips you 
made to athletic events on roads and in cars over fifty years ago? You may 
have been in a car with Mr. O'Kelly or me or some other person who had 
vision problems before tests were required for driver's licenses. 
Under God's protective care, we developed strong convictions and a unique 
sense of values: love of God, our fellow man and country. We remember the 
days of our youth as a time of security, joy, fun and a time of close tender 


friendships. Times of hardships, sadness and hurt have faded from most of 
our memories or are considered now as fires that have helped mold our char- 
acters. As children of the Barium Springs Home for Children, we are truly the 
product, by the Grace of God, of the Synod of North Carolina, Presbyterian 
Church U.S. 


We must all express publicly our true appreciation for the very special help we 
receive. First, I thank God for giving me the desire, strength and endurance at 
this time of life, when my health and infirmities of family members made this 
project seem impossible. Thank you, Barium Springs Alumni Association, Paul 
Barnes, Paul Home and all members of the Centennial Committee for the spir- 
itual, financial and physical support to make this Centennial Celebration a 
reality. We all are grateful and indebted to Earle Frazier and his staff for 
making our homecoming a joyous occasion each year, for feeding us, and for 
keeping our home so beautifully. This is no small accomplishment while still 
caring for the children and fulfilling the responsibility of continuing the mission 
of Barium Springs Home for Children. Last, but not least, I will always be 
grateful to each of my Barium Brothers and Sisters. I pray that God bless and 
keep you. ...forever. 


Class of 1915 

I entered the Home at Barium Springs in 1908 at the age of 11 years. James 
Perry Gray (Jim) was a student at that time and worked in the Printing Shop. 
He left the Home in 1912 and finished school at Mount Ulla, N.C. Then went 
to work on "The Salisbury Post" as a printer. He returned to Bsrium in 1914 
as Editor and Publisher of "Our Fatherless Ones." He taught printing to se- 
veral boys who went into the printing business after leaving the Home. Among 
them, Loy Hartsell, Ashley Jackson, Ben Long, and many others. 

I graduated in May 1915. Mr. W. T. Walker was superintendent. We only had 
10 grades. I worked in Mr. Walker's office; I went early in the mornings, 
cleaned and built fires in the fireplaces before school. I had a $1.00 Ingersol 
watch with which I knew when to ring all the bells for school and other activ- 
ities. We all had chores to do and were taught responsibility. We had good 
times also. One of the highlights was on Sunday night; (sometimes) the Lees 
Cottage boys were allowed to come to Howard Cottage to sing with us girls. 

The first couple, reared at Barium, to marry in Little Joe's Church was James 
Perry Gray and Annie Eugenia Hartsell, August 18th, 1915. Rev. Walter Miller 
Walsh, Pastor, and Rev. David Pullen, a Barium graduate, performed the cer- 

Jim continued printing "Our Fatherless Ones" until the shop was destroyed 
by fire. We then moved to Statesville, where he was news editor of "The 
Statesville Daily & Landmark." We were always interested in Barium and at- 
tended all the games which Jim wrote about for the paper. 

Jim was the first president of the Alumni Association. Also, he and I were 
jointly awarded the first Ace Medal. 

We have many happy memories of Barium and will always be grateful for what 
it did for us. 





SECTION II- 1920-1928 










February 6, 1922 

"$100,000 Building Operations at Barium Springs Progressing" 

First Floor of Original Rumple Hall and Both Wings Will Be 

Thrown Together In Large Dining Hall - Modern 

Kitchen Is Being Constructed. 

(Special to Daily News) 

Statesville, Feb 5 - The $100,000 building operations which have been under 
way at the Presbyterian Orphan's Home at Barium Springs for several months 
are progressing in a very satisfactory manner, with carpenters, plumbers, 
plasterers and other workmen busy, and with the larger boys in their overalls 
engaged in doing their varied chores and duties around the perimeter, this 
noble institution on Saturday morning presented an appearance which re- 
minded one of the "busy bee", but with added noise which means growth and 

The interior of Rumple Hall is now undergoing reconstruction; the south wing 
is complete and occupied, while the north wing is ready for plasterers. From 
the exterior, the two handsome wings add much to the appearance from an 
architectural standpoint. 

The first floor of the original Rumple Hall and both wings will be thrown to- 
gether into one large dining room which will accommodate 500 to 600 at a 
meal. Until the other sections of the dining hall are complete, the large family 
dines in the south wing. The 250 eating at one time occupy every bit of the 
available space. But the writer, who enjoyed a wholesome breakfast with the 
orphans on Saturday morning, found the old saying, "There is always room 
for one more" to hold good in this case. "I would never have been able to 
crowd them in here Superintendent Hyde said at the breakfast table, "but I 
used to be very fine at the game of chess". (?) But the writer can bear testi- 
mony that the "sardine" stunt was done perfectly, for the children were happy 
and full of the buoyancy characteristic of a family of healthy boys and girls 
around a well-regulated home table. At 6:30 when the breakfast bell sounded, 
the children from the different cottages filed into the dining room, all standing 
until the blessing was invoked by the Superintendent; At 7o'clock, after a well 
balanced and perfectly prepared meal, which included milk and a cereal for 
each one, in abundant supply, , all arose and joined in singing a hymn, 

then they united in repeating from memory the 131st Psalm. Then came the 
Scripture reading and prayer by the Superintendent, after which the children 


filed out in an orderly manner to their respective buildings. It is a positive 
inspiration to mingle with this big family and to look into the faces of the bright 
boys and girls who are given every advantage of a modern, Christian home, 
and who are given a choice to make the most out of life. 

-Rumple Hall For Girls- 

The second floor of Rumple Hall, including both wings, is being utilized for 
rooms for the girls. Just after breakfast, we looked through the building. Each 
wing has seven rooms nicely furnished, well lighted and ventilated, and sup- 
plied with baths, including a shower. The second floor of the original Rumple 
Hall, with its six bedrooms, is being rebuilt and two baths are added. Besides 
the 20 bedrooms and baths on the second floor, a play room 30' X 33' with 
seven windows and three doors, occupying a front overlook, is being finished. 

Excavation has been made for the kitchen on the west side of Rumple Hall, to 
be equipped with steam cooking and electric appliances and modern refrig- 
eration. It is expected that the dining room will be finished and ready to be 
occupied within a month, and that the kitchen and everything completed be- 
fore the contract limit June 1, 1922. In passing around through the building, 
Mr. Hyde called the writer's attention to the excellent manner in which the 
plumbing company had been handling the work, and the extra effort put forth 
by the workmen to save the occupants from inconvenience during the time the 
changes are made in the old building. 

The Woman's Building, which stands to the east of the Statesville-Charlotte 
highway and north of the Superintendent's home is now nearing completion. 
This handsome structure has been erected by the women of the Synod of 
North Carolina, and it stands a fitting monument to the devotion of the good 
women of the Presbyterian church of the state. The building is two stories 
above the basement, is finished in red brick of superior quality and is covered 
with slate. It is a beautiful structure, and a look through it from the basement 
to turret shows that it is modernly appointed in every detail. In the basement 
are two large playrooms, halls, etc. and a large boiler for furnishing hot water 
for the entire building. The first and second floors are duplicates, each having 
two bathrooms with showers, a large well-lighted and ventilated sitting room 
with wide fireplace for use on cool days in the spring and autumn when the 
heating plant is not in operation; and bedroom beautifully furnished and con- 
taining two roomy closets. A stairway leads from the second floor to the attic 
which will be utilized for the storage of trunks, winter bedding and other 
things. The plasterers will complete their work in Woman's Building in a few 
days, and it will not be long before the carpenters can finish the floors, door 


facings, etc., and then this commodious home of 35 bedrooms can be added 
to the equipment of the institution. 

-Church Is Needed- 

On the east side of the Woman's Building is the large playground for the girls. 
This playground is nearly level; it contains plenty of shade trees and includes 
a large pecan orchard. The tennis courts are just to the north. 

Stopping in front of the open, well shaded space between the Superintendent's 
home and the Woman's Building, Mr. Hyde said, "I hope some philanthropic 
person will build a church here and let us take the present house of worship 
(Little Joe's Chapel) for a library and music room." The Orphanage church 
is now entirely too small, and it would be fitting to transform this little chapel 
which bears the name of the fatherless one who saved his pennies to build a 
church "with porches to it" into a music room, since our little hero earned his 
pennies by singing, "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, I'll Be There." A 
larger house of worship is one of the urgent needs of the Orphanage. A 
philanthropist could find no better place to build a monument that will count 
through the coming years. 

Instead of each building at the Home being heated by individual systems, they 
are all heated from a central heating plant. This is located on the east side 
near the railroad tracks. The institution has its own siding, where several 
carloads of coal are unloaded for use during the winter months. Up to the 
present time, one large boiler has furnished sufficient heat, but the erection 
of the new buildings calls for more heat, and another boiler will be installed 
in the near future. 

The sweet potato house is one of the recent important additions to the 
Orphanage equipment. It is a frame building, constructed with double walls, 
is insulated and will keep potatoes at a uniform temperature. It was formerly 
impossible to keep potatoes during the winter, but this arrangement keeps 
them perfectly. The house now contains 450 bushels that have been preserved 
in first class condition. "Last year, I do not suppose we lost a bushel," said 
Mr. Hyde who added that they expected to raise 1,000 bushels of potatoes this 
year. The house will hold at least 800 bushels. 


Editor's Comments on Newspaper Article, "Child is worth $4,000.00". 

It is not enough, simply, to say that Joseph B. Johnston became Superinten- 
dent of Barium Springs Presbyterian Orphanage in 1922. There needs to be 
some kind of background. What was going on in child-care in the State? The 
following newspaper report answers some of that. 

The report is interesting in that it reflects attitudes and the level of gullibility 
prevalent in 1921, the year of this report. The claim as to the $4K value of 
one child is made to sound something akin to a midway hustler selling "Veg- 
O-Matics" at the State Fair. I will underline, capitalize, use quotation marks 
to make my point. An unnamed PROFESSOR, a PROFESSOR of ECONOMICS, 
using unnamed and undescribed, but "...carefully considered SCIENTIFIC 
DATA and MATHEMATICAL CALCULATION" has determined that a "good", 
"healthy" baby is worth $4000. Furthermore, this unnamed PROFESSOR of 
ECONOMICS is from YALE UNIVERSITY. Now, can anything be any more 
"right" than that!? He has "DATA"; He has "CALCULATIONS"; what's more, 
they are "SCIENTIFIC AND MATHEMATICAL!" And you know if he has DATA 
and CALCULATIONS", he's gotta be right! Plus the fact he's a PROFESSOR 
at YALE! He's an ECONOMIST!!! His audience plus the newspaper bought it. 
Never mind that later in the piece there is the statement, "There are over 
300,000 children in North Carolina - a priceless crop (yes, crop Ed.) of boys 
and girls which no money could buy..." Further into the article, that 
"priceless", "healthy American" child who is on the market today at four grand 
is priced against the cost of prisoner upkeep in the penitentiary, and the cost 
of keeping a pauper in the country home. The monetary worth of the latter two 
is not given by the learned YALE PROFESSOR of ECONOMICS. 

The "types" of children categorized in the report are interesting. 1. Delinquent 
2. Dependent (Those in orphanages) 3. Neglected 4. Defective, mentally or 
physically. To assist in the maintenance of the lines to separate these cate- 
gories, Dr. H.W. Crane - who was identified as a "psychopathologist" - had 
been employed by the State to make a study, "...of their mentality." (In later 
issues of "The Barium Messenger" Mr. Johnston describes how he had to re- 
sist efforts by several of the church leaders to force him to admit mentally and 
emotionally disturbed children. Not that Barium was a hot-bed of mental 
health, there were some who had a much more difficult time than others. 
Nevertheless, if those church leaders did not know where to draw the line, 
Mr. Johnston did, and he demonstrated it. It well may be that his insistence 
on being the one who ran the Home was the source of the resentments many 
held toward him. It is that same insistence that gives us great pride in 
him. Ed.) 


February 12, 1922 

"One Child is Worth $4000.00 Club Women Told." 
Source: Yale University Economics Professor 

Striking Facts Concerning North Carolina Children. The bulletin of the North 
Carolina State Board of Charities and Public Welfare for the fourth quarter, 
October-December, 1921, gives the child welfare program for the care and 
protection of dependent, neglected and delinquent children. "The Child Wel- 
fare Work in North Carolina as carried on by the State Board of charities and 
Public Boards of Public Welfare, Juvenile Courts - all related agencies - has 
developed so rapidly in the past few years that the time seems here to publish 
a bulletin devoted exclusively to children's problems as they are now handled 
by these agencies." says the introduction to the bulletin. Mrs. Clarence A. 
Johnson was director of child welfare division before being elected state 
commissioner of public welfare. Since then, the work has been taken over by 
Miss Mary G. Shotwell and Miss Emeth Tuttle. Dr. Howard Washington Odum* 
is consulting expert on the board; Roy M. Brown the field agent, and Dr. H.W. 
Crane the psycho-pathologist. 

Most of the facts for this bulletin are the results of physical examinations 
given to NC youth during World War I. "These examinations showed that... 
North Carolina ranked 10th from the worst in rejection for pulmonary and 
suspected TB, and was exceeded only by Alaska in rejection for malnutrition. 
In rejection for vice diseases North Carolina had a record of 73 per 1000 
against the national average of 58; in rejection for mental disorders, NC had 
28.5 per 1000 against the national average of 18; in rejection for defective 
physical development, North Carolina had 4.23 per 1000 against the national 
average of 2.66; while in total rejections North Carolina ranked 19th. Roughly 
speaking, this means that the proportionate number of physically defective and 
mentally deficient children in our state is almost twice that of the average state 
in the union. This is true, not because of an inferior stock of people, but be- 
cause we have almost criminally neglected the child in our midst. 

There are over 300,000 children in North Carolina - a priceless crop of boys 
and girls whom no money could buy - and yet their interests are sometimes 
sacrificed for the sake of money. In this group are thousands of delinquent, 
dependent, and defective children, all in need of special care and treatment. 
NC is a rural state, no large cities, but rural slums, centers of mental, moral 
and social stagnation, with their incalculable drain upon child life. These 
slums are not confined to any one part of the state but are to be found from 
the remotest mountain cove and eastern swamp to the illiterate community of 


farm tenants under the shadow of the state university. It is from these slums 
and conditions that criminals, paupers and mental defectives come. Everyone 
is responsible, the home, the school, the church, the community for the type 
of citizen produced. 

To the question, "What is a child worth?" a professor of economics at Yale 
University replies, "Four Thousand dollars." After a careful consideration of 
scientific data and mathematical calculation, the Yale professor says that a 
good, healthy American baby is worth that much. Therefore, from the stand- 
point of economy, as well as that of moral responsibility, that state should save 
its defective and delinquent children. "One child prevented from becoming a 
criminal or pauper saves the state not only the four thousand dollars which a 
normal child is worth," says the bulletin, "but the cost of keeping a criminal 
in the penitentiary or jail, or the county cost of keeping a pauper in the county 
for an indefinite number of years." 

Since the juvenile court law and the law providing for a superintendent of 
public welfare was enacted in 1917, forty of the 100 counties show that ap- 
proximately 10,500 children have received care and assistance in these coun- 

We have four types of children in the state's care - the delinquent child, the 
dependent child, the neglected child, and the defective child. There are many 
contributory causes for the delinquent child, chief of which perhaps is the 
broken home, Evil companions, bad heredity and environment are other 
causes of delinquency. "It lies within .ne power of any community to enlist 
help of the right men and women in solving these difficulties and in producing 
the type of citizen it wishes to produce", says the bulletin. 

The dependent child is the one thrown upon the public for support. There are 
2,500 dependent children in North Carolina orphanages, while the number of 
dependent children outside of institutions is fully as great. "The neglected 
child is one who is destitute, homeless, abandoned, dependent on the public 
for support, "says the bulletin, "one who is found in any house of ill fame or 
with vicious or disreputable persons, or one who is suffering from the 
depravity or cruelty of it's parents or other persons in whose care he may be." 

A very valuable member of the executive staff of the State Board of Public 
Welfare and Charities is Dr. H.W. Crane, a psycho-pathologist and head of the 
Bureau of Mental Hygiene. Dr. Crane is now making a study of children in 
institutions for the purpose of classifying them according to their mentality. 
He also examines and gives advice concerning any special cases of defective 


or problematical individuals that come under the supervision of the juvenile 
courts and superintendents of public welfare. 

(Howard Washington Odum was the eminent Southern sociologist who was 
lured in the 1920's to UNC by President Chase of the University. Professor 
Odum, in turn, drew or attracted many other scholars in his field, such was 
his reputation and record. William D. Snider, in his recently published history 
of The University of North Carolina, LIGHT ON THE HILL, (UNC Press-1992), 
says "These scholars specialized in various fields, doing pioneer studies on 
the black family, the cotton culture, farm tenancy, labor relations, the mill vil- 
lage, the chain gang, rural illegitimacy, sharecropping, and the convict release 
system." I am not aware of any major studies or study that he or any of his 
associates did on institutional child care as it existed in the state at that time. 


"(This piece I included to contrast today's attitudes with those of 1922. As this book is in final preparation, one of the 
most talked about cases of punishment is that of American Teenager, Michael Fay, who has been sentenced by a 
Singapore court to six lashes by a ratta n cane for vandalizing property. Some are calling the sentence cruel and 
unusal; others say the U.S. should adopt such a code. Even the President interceded and got the sentence reduced 
to four lashes The sentence was carried out, and the boy appears to be O.K. He left Singapore. Ed ) 

JULY 9, 1922 

They strike Again and the Court Orders That They Be Made to Work, 

Whereupon a Razor Strap Is Brought Into Play 

and All Soon Are Engaged In Their Labors. 

(Special to Daily News.) 

Danville, Va., July 8 - The strike of the city chain gang at the rock quarry 
was renewed this morning and the authorities this time dealt more se- 
verely with the members than yesterday. 

The chain gang, on reaching the place early this morning, served notice 
on the guards that they had decided not to work until their wish to have 
Henry Snead reinstated was complied with. 

The superintendent, after vainly talking with eight of the prisoners, left 
the men under guard and came to Danville where he had a conference 
with Judge D. Price Withers. Judge Withers gave Superintendent Frank 
Cousins notice that the men were to be made to work. Cousins collected 
half a dozen policemen and went back to the quarry where the men were 
standing in the shade refusing to work. Cousins served notice that un- 
less the men worked they would be whipped. Some of the negroes then 
started to work, but five including Will Hailey, the only white prisoner, 
became rebellious and they were whipped. 

The men were stripped and chained to a log while Cousins plied a razor 
strap which had been split several times. One by one the men pleaded, 
"enough", and agreed to work. Hailey was the last man dealt with and 
he too agreed to work. 

Hailey told the assembled guards that W.D. Henderson, a prisoner held 
as a witness but under indictment in Henry County for murder had urged 
the chain gang to "buck" and the program agreed in the jail last night 
was to walk half way to the rock quarry and then march back. Other 
prisoners told of a note being handed into the jail last night. 



Over the years, and from my own awareness and observation in the Home, I 
have heard girls say, and I have seen, that they were treated more strictly than 
the boys. I know that was true, but know that it was true pretty much as a 
result of prevailing societal attitudes at that time as to how girls should be 
treated, and standards to which they should adhere. Mr. Johnston had great 
respect and admiration for Barium girls. In some of his writings, he ac- 
knowledges that without the larger girls the Home just could not function. 
Their roles were many and varied. They looked after the sick in the infirmary, 
they looked after the small children in the Baby Cottage, they prepared the 
food under supervision and served it, they laundered clothes, bed clothes, and 
with state-of-the-art industrial equipment, they manufactured clothing in the 
sewing room, they ran the canning house, and the small girls strung the 
beans. A select few even looked after the boys at Synod's Cottage. But, even 
with all that responsibility, and they handled it beautifully, in the back of his 
mind was the awareness that just as true as the saying, "Boys will be boys", 
equally true is the saying, "Girls will be girls." Both quite normal, but society 
said OK to the "Boys" adage, but altered the other to say, "Girls must be LA- 

Following is a newspaper piece which illustrates what was going on at the 
time he came to Barium, a reality he knew he had to deal with in so far as the 
Home's public image went, and how he would administer. 


February 13, 1922 

"Girls Blame Young Men" 
"Glad To Go To Samarcand To Escape From Their Influence" 

High Point, Feb 7. - The two High Point girls who were ordered to the home 
for wayward girls at Samarcand when given a hearing before W.M. Marr, 
judge of the juvenile court, made confessions regarding their conduct which 
led Chief of Police L.W. Blackwelder to the opinion that many parents are not 
placing proper restriction on their young daughters. 

Chief Blackwelder and Police Sergeant Williams carried the girls, Sudie Powell 
and Genevieve Brown, both 15 years old, to the home at Samarcand in an 
automobile. On the way over, the girls talked freely of their conduct, which 
they said was not different from that of many of their youthful acquaintances 
in this and other cities. 

The girls told the Police officers of such conditions prevailing among at least 
a restricted element of the population that the Chief of police is outspoken in 
his warning to mothers and fathers to be more careful about their daughters 
going automobile riding at night. 

The girls gave the names of several young men who were in the habit of 
making arrangements with them and other girls to go riding at night. On all 
of these occasions, the girls said, when they reached the outskirts of the city, 
they would find two or three other men concealed in the back of the car, or 
the driver would stop and pick up other men, as if by appointment. 

On such occasions, the girls told the officers, they suffered all manner of in- 
sults, and when they protested, were threatened and told they would have to 
walk back home. 

They told the officers they had tolerated this conduct so far that they could 
not appear on the street without being insulted by these boys. They wanted 
to go to the home at Samarcand, they said, because they realized that if they 
stayed here they could never hope to command respect. 

When they reached the home, one of the girls told Chief Blackwelder, as she 
stepped from the automobile: "I am away from that crowd." The Chief of 
Police and Sergeant Williams are loud in their praise of the State's home for 
wayward girls. They spent three hours at the institution and were made to 
stay and take supper with the authorities. 


"We reached Samarcand at 6 o'clock in the evening," Chief Blackwelder said 

today in commenting on the trip, "...and were met by Miss Mac Naughton, the 

Superintendent and one of the finest types of women I have ever known. She 

gave us a hearty welcome and made them feel at home from the start. 

"I wish to state that the home is not what most of our people think it is; it is 

not a prison with iron bars but a great institution for the molding of 




John N. McCall 

Mary Turner and I both moved to the Presbyterian Orphans' Home at Barium 
Springs, North Carolina, in 1926. I was just two years old and was placed with 
30 other two to five year olds at the Baby Cottage. Mary, who was twenty, 
trained to be a matron and was then assigned to the Synods Cottage where 
she helped to supervise 40 boys age six to ten years. At that time she was the 
youngest matron to be hired full-time. 

Barium, our preferred name for the institution, comprised 1200 rural acres in 
the Carolina piedmont. The central campus had nine dormitories, or "cot- 
tages", which housed over 300 children who were carefully segregated by age 
and sex. Our lives were closely regulated by the ringing of a bell in the dining 
hall tower. It called us to meals every day and marked the times for school 
and church. In most respects it was a self-contained community with its own 
dairy, truck farm, and orchard. 

Mary knew she liked working with children well before coming to Barium. She 
had looked after younger brothers while growing up on a farm in the Blue 
Ridge mountains of Virginia, later, she earned room and board at the Blue 
Ridge Academy by supervising younger girls. After high school, she earned a 
teachers certificate and taught elementary school for two years. Then she 
learned about Barium and decided she might best like working full time with 
children in a residential setting. It was a gamble to give up her teaching posi- 
tion for matron work. 

She found the matron work hard but challenging. Tons of clothes had to be 
sorted for the laundry, then mended or patched. And there was a regular 
schedule to keep for meals, play periods, baths, and bed times. The boys 
themselves were fascinating. They responded well to her suggestions and 
asked a thousand questions. It was hard not to like some boys more than 
others but she looked for something good in each boy. She hated physical 
punishment and tried to head off misbehavior by engaging the boys in pursuits 
they would like. Bedtimes, for instance, became more fun when all 40 boys 
gathered around her in the playroom to hear ghost stories. 

After just one year at Synods, a crisis developed when the senior matron took 
an indefinite leave of absence. Mary believed she could handle the cottage 
alone if she had to, so she went to ask the superintendent's permission. He 
hesitated because of her youth and her limited experience, but he liked Mary's 


courage. Also, he had gotten good reports about Mary and he knew that 
skilled matrons were hard to get. Mary got the cottage. 

I first met Mary when I was five and staying at the Infirmary Building to 
recover from an illness. Miss Turner (adults were never called by first names) 
was visiting the Infirmary and had decided to come back to the sick wards and 
cheer us up. I recall that she was tail with long brown hair tied into a bun at 
the back. Her wide-set eyes and smiling mouth sparkled with interest as she 
talked. "My goodness, you boys don't look very sick", she teased. We 
laughed, pleased to see someone after several days of confinement. As we 
talked, she mentioned that before long I would become one of "her boys" at 
the Synods Cottage. Her natural friendliness made a lasting impression. Soon 
after my sixth birthday in August, 1930, four of us Baby Cottage boys moved 
up to the Synods Cottage. This was a dramatic step in our lives. It signaled 
the end of our babyhood and began a new life with older boys in an entirely 
different setting. Mary stood at the entrance and greeted each of us with a 
generous hug. "My, what big boys you are now. I'm going to love each one 
of you." We were too shy to return her affection openly but all of us were 
tickled to hear that we had become big boys. 

The next few weeks seemed like heaven as we joined the older boys and 
explored the boundaries of our new playground. Quite unlike the Baby 
Cottage matron, Mary encouraged us to have fun. The previous matron was 
much older and, perhaps, was a bit overwhelmed by 30 active "babies". One 
time she tied my hands behind my back for several hours to stop me from 
throwing stones. Mary was more likely to show us a safe target at which we 
could throw stones. One day, when the lightning in a storm had passed, Mary 
suggested we put on bathing suits and play outside in the rain. The rain was 
surprisingly warm and it was exhilarating to splash so freely in the large 
puddles. She laughed as we pulled at the long, freakish earthworms which 
came above ground to get air. 

This holiday ended in September when school began and Mary moved to 
another cottage. I learned afterwards that Mary had previously moved to this 
girls' cottage and was only substituting for the Synods Cottage matron who 
had gone on leave. Mary stayed at the other cottage for about two years then 
moved to the Lees Cottage. The girls, sad to see her go, showed their 
affection by having a quilt made for Mary. It had a piece of discarded dress 
material from every one of the girls. 

Mary stayed at Lees for ten years and often remarked that it was her favorite 
cottage. It housed 36 boys age eleven to fourteen. When not in school or 
participating in athletics, they worked on the truck farm. Otherwise, they were 


free to roam the nearby woods, go swimming, or play on the athletic fields. 
On Saturday afternoons they often hitchhiked to nearby Statesville to see a 
movie. I think Mary was more temperamentally suited for this age group. 
They were more independent than younger boys and had more freedoms than 
girls could have. Still, they needed her guidance as they discovered more 
about themselves and the nearby world. I think Mary also enjoyed these boys 
because they reminded her of her own brothers while growing up on the farm. 

In the summer of 1935, as my eleventh birthday approached, I wondered if I 
would be sent to Lees Cottage. The alternative was Alexander Cottage where 
similar age boys took care of the dairy cows. I did not relish the idea of 
getting up long before breakfast to milk cows and I did not know the Alexander 
matron. I did know Mary and I liked the prospect of planting and harvesting 
vegetables. I even fantasized myself standing in the huge watermelon patch, 
picking out a superb melon, and gorging myself. One August afternoon, when 
Mary happened to pass our playground, she called me over and reported, 
"Jack, have you heard the news? You'll soon be one of my boys again." 

I sometimes look back on my four years at Lees Cottage and think we had 
much more fun than Tom Sawyer rafting down the Mississippi. And this was 
during the Great Depression years when most children endured severe hard- 
ships. We worked some long hours on the truck farm but I did get my fill of 
watermelon and other fruits. None of us wore shirts in the summer and we all 
acquired dark tans. I discovered blackberries, poison oak, and the astringent 
taste of green persimmons. Sometimes we stole baby squirrels to tame for 
pets, or we brought home wild rabbits or snakes. Mary admired our catches 
but sometimes advised us to release them for their own good. She organized 
a picnic down at the Catawba River each summer and on Halloween she 
sometimes arranged a taffy-pull party. Once, girls from one of the cottages 
came to this party but we were much more comfortable with the taffy than with 
the girls. 

Mary's supervision influenced each of us in some way. Her method was to set 
clear limits and leave us to grow naturally as individuals. She enjoyed us and 
trusted us to do the right things. She ignored a million small mistakes but 
was quick to compliment occasional good deeds. Her good common sense 
told her when to bend rules and when to stand firm. She gave personal 
comfort or left boys alone, as they wanted. Rather than yell or hit anyone, she 
appealed to his good judgment or to Christian ideals of fair play or kindness. 
Persistent bad conduct was punished by taking away privileges or assigning 
work on Saturday afternoons. 


Gradually, I came to know Mary as a person with her own needs. A longtime 
beau, Mr. Otis Ritchie from Kannapolis, would come to see her on Saturday 
evenings. She sometimes prepared a dinner for the two of them in her small 
apartment and would ask one of us boys to find wild flowers for the table. 
Later, we volunteered and some of thought to make flower beds around the 
sides of the cottage. Mary paid for the seeds and bulbs. 

During my last Christmas at Lees, some of us decided to give Mary a present 
she might remember us by. We thought the best suggestion was a stationary 
box filled with paper and envelopes. Secretly, we got donations from the other 
boys and hitchhiked to Statesville to buy the gift. We found a handsome wood 
inlay box filled with stationary and had it gift-wrapped. Inside was placed a 
card which read, "To Miss Turner, from all the Lees Cottage boys." Back at 
the cottage, we put the gift in a prominent place under the Christmas tree. 
There were no outside markings since this was to be a true surprise. 
Christmas morning, when the truck farm manager came to distribute presents, 
he was asked on the sly to give Mary her present first. She wept when she 
opened the package and read the card inside. 

Each of us moved from Lees Cottage when we reached fifteen, but most of us 
kept in touch with Mary. These contacts decreased, of course, as we finished 
high school and went away to the Second World War. Whenever I returned to 
Barium, on furlough or later during my college years, I never failed to call on 
Mary. And she continued to refer to me as one of her boys. 

Many years later, during the summer of 1983, I visited Mary in her home near 
Laurel Fork, Virginia. She was seventy-seven years old and in good health 
except for some arthritis. Her small house, hidden in a tall grove of pines by 
a steep gravel road, stands on the very same farm where she was born and 
raised. The sheep and turkeys which her parents kept were long gone and 
most of the land was leased for pasture or hay crops. Mary recounted for me 
much of what happened since she left Barium. She married Otis in 1944 and 
moved to Kannapolis, where she also looked after her elderly parents. She 
and Otis never had children of their own even though they tried. Otis died 
quite suddenly from a heart attack, when they had been married just five 
years. When both of her parents had also died, Mary returned to Barium in 
1953 to work two more years as a matron. Most of the staff she had known 
were gone and she felt less enthusiasm than before. While visitng her family 
home near Laurel Fork she met Mack Bondurant, a former sweetheart during 
her high school days. He, too, was widowed but he had a twelve year old son. 
Mary accepted his marriage proposal and they lived nearby, where Mack 
worked as a rural mail carrier. After several years, Mack also died suddenly 
and Mary continued the mail route until her own retirement. The boy has 


since grown and provided Mary with four "grandchildren" who live not far 

Perceiving that Mary had sacrificed having a family of her own to work as an 
orphanage matron, I asked if she had sometimes thought of herself as our 
mother. She answered frankly, "No, I never did. I felt more like a big sister 
put in charge of little brothers. I loved you boys but I knew you would be with 
me just a short while." Then I asked if she ever regretted some of the twenty 
years she spent at Barium. Mary replied, "Barium gave me much more than I 
ever gave Barium. I never knew a day when I was not happy there with my 



1920 - 1928 
by Jack W. MacKay 

My first impressions of Barium Springs left a lot to be desired. My mother, 
my two brothers, Bill and Ned, and I arrived at Barium Springs by taxi from 
Statesville on a hot Friday afternoon in September, 1920. We had journeyed 
by train that morning from our home in Asheville to Statesville a trip made 
memorable by going through the railroad tunnels, seeing Andrews' Geyser 
near Old Fort, and buying a box lunch from the window of the train at Connelly 
Springs. Someone directed us to the Infirmary building where we all stayed 
in one room. It was apparent that little provision was made for visiting parents 
and they obviously weren't expected to stay long. I had never seen smooth 
doors on rooms before and was told by my mother that they were standard in 
hospitals and infirmaries. 

On the following Sunday, as my mother prepared to leave, she sought out E. 
McSherry Hyde, the superintendent who was replacing Mr. William T. Walker, 
Sr., to see if she could telephone to Statesville to get a taxi to come pick her 
up. Mr. Hyde informed her that the telephone was never used on Sunday -- 
my introduction to religion as then practiced by the Home. Mother got out on 
the dirt highway and thumbed a ride to Statesville with two young men in a 

The Infirmary was a relatively new building, having been built in 1916, the gift 
of James and William H. Sprunt of Wilmington. 

The Infirmary housed the head nurse, a Miss Critz, and some six to eight girls 
who did the cooking, cleaning and nursing. There was an emergency room, 
several ward rooms, four or five bathrooms, two sun parlors, a dental office, 
and dining room with kitchen. Food was prepared on a coal burning stove 
which also heated the water. 

Dr. Montgomery, a Statesville dentist, came to the Home every Wednesday 
afternoon to provide dental services. Most procedures were either to fill teeth 
or pull them. There was no Novocaine to ease the pain of drilling, nor use 
of braces and bridges. 

The emergency room took care of cuts and bruises with generous applications 
of Lysol in water, salve, iodine and for colds, liberal doses of castor oil or 
Epsom salts. Anything more serious, such as broken arms or legs, were 
treated at Davis Hospital in Statesville. 


Common ailments of the day were colds, measles, mumps, whooping cough, 
the flu and common itch (scabies) or as we called it, "seven year itch." The 
latter ailment was fairly prevalent, but was easily taken care of by a germicidal 
bath at the Infirmary. 

We three children were retained at the Infirmary for ten days to see that we 
were free of any communicable disease. During this period we explored the 
area around the Infirmary and I saw my first cotton in the field adjacent to the 
building. Daily, we watched the farm boys come by on flat bedded wagons 
with flat steel wheels and two mules pulling the wagon. Also, during this time, 
we made our first acquaintance, a boy named Earl "Monkey" Baker. He was 
a Synod Cottage boy who daily carried scuttles of coal to the Infirmary for 
cooking and heating water. His physique gave him his nickname. 


Just prior to the beginning of school in mid-September, 1920, we were sent to 
Synod Cottage, which housed some forty boys, aged six to twelve years. This 
cottage had been built prior to 1900 and showed considerable wear. It was a 
three-story building with a wide concrete porch around the North and West 
sides. The building had a tin roof. A large wisteria vine covered the entire 
front of the building and wrapped around part of the porch. The rooms for the 
boys were named Round Room, Middle Room, Baby Room, East Room, and 
West Room. In addition, there were quarters for two teachers, the matron and 
two high school girl helpers. There was a large assembly room on the first 
floor where all activities for the boys were conducted. On the first floor also 
was a locked playroom, which was never opened, and a parlor, which was 
used one time, in my memory, when my father visited us on a cold November 
night in 1920 and brought us a box of Belle Meade candy, which quickly dis- 
appeared. A clothing room and a room where water was heated were also 
on this floor. 

The matron of the cottage was a Miss Nettie Miller, called many things but, 
behind her back, mostly "Dusty Miller", possibly as a synonym for the ubiqui- 
tous moth of summer which was always a bother around one's ears, or more 
likely for the three-thong leather strap she constantly carried to "dust" us kids 
off. (Very possibly for the bedding plant, "Dusty Miller", Ed.) 

She was an extremely stern disciplinarian. Her favorite punishment was the 
administration of the strap across the back and, secondly, the rubber fly 
swatter across the back of the hands. For small offenses, she placed you on 
your knees with nose to the wall. A normal period of this type punishment 


was about 30 minutes. It was difficult to understand what exactly constituted 
an offense, as she seemed to take delight on almost any occasion in whipping 
the children. Her punishments were so severe that word got out and she was 
released shortly after I got there. 

Woe to any bed wetter! A wet bed automatically meant a whipping. No 
thought was given to whether or not the condition might have arisen from 
some physical malfunction. There were several bed wetters' at Synod. They 
slept on ticking mattresses filled with wheat straw. About every other day the 
mattress was emptied of soiled straw and refilled with fresh straw. Some 
years later, some of the boys in this category had medical help and ceased to 
wet the bed. 

Miss Miller maintained a small blue box in her room called the "Blue Blessing 
Box." Into it disappeared all the little monies, usually nickels and dimes (5 
and 10 cents) given the boys by relatives. There was no place in Synod Cot- 
tage to keep any personal articles. The boys would bury their coins in various 
places to keep them from the clutches of this voracious box. The contents, 
we were told, would go to the "starving Armenians" and it was constantly 
pointed out that our status was much better than theirs - an explanation that 
fell on many a disbelieving ear. 

My mother gave me approximately 50 cents in change when she left us in 
September, 1920. We three brothers trudged to Mr. Parks' old store at the 
station and bought three bags of stale peanuts for 15 cents. The balance I 
hid around Synod Cottage until some boy saw me and reported it to Miss 
Miller. Faced with a whipping, I revealed the hiding place and my 35 cents 
disappeared forever into the Blue Blessing Box. I hope it went for a better 
use than stale peanuts. 

Along with the money I lost a nice stamp collection. I had been working on 
this collection since I was seven years of age. In addition, I lost an auto- 
graphed child's book, which had been sent to me by Mr. John Wanamaker, the 
prominent Philadelphia department store owner. My mother and father went 
to Philadelphia each year to buy clothes from him for the six children in our 
family. The book was inscribed, "To my little friend, Jack MacKay, John 
Wanamaker." It was a beloved possession, but since there was absolutely no 
place in Synod Cottage to store any personal belongings, it went into Miss 
Miller's room. 

In the fall of 1920, my mother sent us a box containing a beautiful chocolate 
icing cake, some pistachios, oranges, figs, and dates. Miss Miller opened it 
in her room for us and gave us each a slice of cake and an orange and then 


a short lecture about how it would not do for us to have all this food and the 
other boys none; so it would be "taken up." I must presume Miss Miller had 
no compunction about its disposal - we never saw the contents again. 

When Miss Chambers came as matron, she had me write cards for several 
children who couldn't write, to their relatives. One such was John Alexander 
of Gastonia, whose father, a widower, came to Barium once to visit him. Mr. 
Alexander insisted I accompany him and John to the spring for a picnic. He 
had cookies and small bottles of Welch's grape juice, which were delicious. 
John later went home and I saw him last at our Barium-Gastonia football game 
in 1925. 

Barium, at that time, was a "child keeping institution", not a "child caring in- 
stitution." Most people spoke of it as the "Orphans' Asylum" or just the 
"Orphanage." Through no fault of their own, the children had come to reside 
at Barium. They were treated as pariahs of society. There had been consid- 
erable increase in the number of children at Barium shortly after the great and 
disastrous influenza epidemic of 1918. Many children lost both parents as a 
result of this disaster. 

Instead of extending comfort and sympathy, the Home treated the children as 
if they were incarcerated, to be feared, and to be kept in subjugation. Some 
matrons exhibited a sadistic tendency in punishing the children. Punishment 
for minor infractions of rules was swift, cruel, and severe. Some of the ma- 
trons were dismissed for being too severe in administering corporal punish- 
ment. This treatment engendered both hate and rebelliousness. A few of the 
boys would run away from time to time. Because of the clothes they wore, 
they stood out like a bandaged thumb and were usually picked up and re- 
turned by local or county police authorities. Some did escape to Army or Navy 

Homesickness was a real sickness - stressful and poignant, and many suffered 
from it. Stories of past family life or former homes quickly elicited tears and 

At this time there was no case worker to review children presented for 
admittance. A church would propose a child or several to come to the 
orphanage. Then, as now, politics played a part in who was taken. The larger 
supporting churches had greater leverage. Children were admitted who were 
later determined to be retarded or feeble minded and some in such poor 
health they were a danger to other children. Later, when Miss Stevens, the 
first case worker, was employed, these particular bad cases were weeded out 
and sent to other institutions. 


The period of cruel and unusually severe treatment lasted, as I knew it, from 
1920 to mid-1922. The period of "liberation" or reform began in 1922 when 
Mr. J. B. Johnston arrived as Superintendent. It was then recognized that the 
children were in the orphanage through conditions over which they had no 
control, were human beings like others, had hopes, aspirations, and abilities 
that needed to be channeled and developed. In my own mind, I've often 
compared the period 1922-1928 to the Elizabethan age when men were en- 
couraged to let their minds wander with development of the spirit, mind, and 
individual personalities. 

A common threat to recalcitrant or unruly boys was, "Do you want to be sent 
to Jackson Training School?" This school was the state reformatory for boys 
located near Concord. I visited there once. It had the sternest of discipline 
with hard work, barred windows and locked doors. I understand it is still in 
operation (1984). 

In the fall of 1920, I decided to run away and, in preparation, accumulated a 
supply of food consisting only of pears. They were obtained from the pear 
orchard near the Boiler House as we went to get scuttles of coal. I hid the 
pears in the cannas around Synod Cottage. One day, some of the boys dis- 
covered my cache, and the pears quickly disappeared along with my dreams 
of taking to the road. It was just as well - I doubted that I could have walked 
125 miles to Asheville in chilly weather, sustained only by a few pears. 

Every now and then some family came to adopt a child. This was considered 
a lucky and easy way to depart the Home. Sometimes a family would take a 
boy into their home and provide his "keep" in return for working. One such 
boy was Benny Harreil, who went to live with a family at Barbers Junction; 
his job being to peddle box lunches to the passengers on the trains which 
stopped at this railroad crossing near Salisbury. 

One of the main items of interest in Synod Cottage was a long and wide, low 
bench in the assembly room. It was painted a bright red and it had been the 
resting place of a Lees Cottage boy killed by a boy named Davis in an argu- 
ment over a girl. The Davis boy ran away and stayed on the run for two years, 
then surrendered to authorities and, in a subsequent trial, was sentenced to 
the Iredell County Home for two years. He was considered by the boys as 
something of a hero for evading the law for two years. Avery Davis, his 
brother, was a companion of Synod Cottage. He and a younger brother left 
when their widowed mother remarried - a hope which was nourished in many 
a young heart, at that time. Avery Davis was especially good at "jack stones", 
using rounded, white creek pebbles. 


Most of the children at the home were "real" orphans, meaning one or both 
parents were dead. Many of these deaths had resulted from the 1918 influenza 

Ned, Bill and I were considered oddities being in an orphanage with both 
parents living. Our parents were divorced and our residence resulted from a 
court decision. I never felt like an orphan until late when I asked to be ad- 
mitted to the Crescent Theater in Statesville as an "orphan boy." The theater 
made a practice of letting the Home boys in free, except for some 
extravaganza like Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. in "The Thief of Baghdad." I could 
put on a woeful look when identifying myself at the box office. 

Saturday was bath day for all children as well as a recreation day for visits 
to Statesville by the bigger boys from about age 14 and up. The Crescent 
Theater was really a good friend to the orphanage boys, readily admitting 
them free on Saturdays to see the westerns in which Tom Mix, Art Accord, 
Hoot Gibson, and William S. Hart starred. We were encouraged to use the 
bathroom prior to a trip to the movies. Occasionally, a truck load of boys or 
girls were taken to the movies. All the theater visits began about 1922-1923. 
The boys had much more liberty to go about than did the girls. 

Haircuts were given at the Home for all boys. The barbers were high school 
boys who used hand clippers and who received about 20 cents per head. I 
bought into one-third of a set of electric hair clippers in 1924 with Troy Coates 
and one other boy. We would take turns cutting hair for Synod and Lees 
Cottage boys at 20 to 25 cents per head, paid by the orphanage. The older 
boys from the 8th to the 11th grade mostly had their hair cut in Statesville for 
50 cents per head by a licensed barber. 

"Monkey" Baker was the "house cat" for the Infirmary. I got to know him well 
during our initial stay there. While "Monkey's" features gave rise to his name, 
he was, however, distinguished in two other ways: the best jack stone player 
and the most accurate sling artist. Jack stones were white, rounded creek 
pebbles about three quarter inches in diameter and rubbed against an abra- 
sive surface until they were almost round. The stones were tossed in the air, 
by hand, and then they were caught on the back of the hand. His fingers 
turned upward and made a natural depression which gave him some advan- 
tage over the other boys. There were many steps to the game of jack stones 
and he could go through all of them without an error. There was no rubber 
ball to bounce as in the game of jack stones using the metal jacks. 


A sling was made by taking the tongue from a pair of high top brogan shoes 
and punching holes in each end through which stout cords were inserted. A 
pebble about 1" in diameter was placed in the middle of the tongue while the 
cords held the tongue as it was being twirled around the head. "Monkey" 
could release the sling at just the right moment and hit a squirrel at 15 to 20 
yards. This was similar to the sling David used in killing Goliath and we 
readily identified with it from the Sunday School lessons, as well as learning 
about the "starving Armenians." 

The bathroom at Synod Cottage had three lavatories, three toilets, and three 
tubs. All were discolored an orange-red from years of exposure to Barium's 
iron-laden water. The stains could absolutely not be removed. Baths were 
taken on Saturday in relays of six boys. Water was heated in a large tank by 
a circulating water jacket coal stove. An enthusiastic fireman got it so hot one 
Saturday that hot water was coming out of the cold water spigots. It really 
was a dangerous situation. A strong hygienic soap, like Octagon soap, was 
used. After the bath, clean clothes were issued for the following week, con- 
sisting of underwear, a denim shirt, and overalls. In winter, black stockings 
were also issued, as was a sweater. 

Shoes of assorted shapes, sizes, and kinds were issued after the first frost. 
They were worn usually from about November 1 to April 1. During other 
months of the year, the smaller children went bare-footed, while the high 
school boys and girls wore shoes year round. 

When a new child arrived at Barium, some Sunday School class or church 
undertook to supply his clothing. My first box of clothes came in October, 
1920, and was furnished by the Presbyterian Church at Faison, N.C. 

The clothes box for each boy included long, one piece underwear, light weight 
for summer and heavy for winter, short pants (knickers fastened by a strap 
or a button below the knees), a belt, long, black ribbed stockings, a sweater, 
and usually two pairs of bib-type denim overalls, and denim shirts. In most 
boxes there were white shirts and a nice pair of knickers for Sunday wear only. 

Rooms were heated during the winter with steam radiators with the steam 
coming from the main boiler room on campus. About 1922, lines were in- 
stalled to carry hot water from the main boiler house to each building, pro- 
viding plenty of hot water and eliminating the stoves in each cottage. In 
winter, the boys would vie with each other to place their stockings on the 
steam radiator so they would be warm in the morning. 


Shoes were removed in the large assembly room on the first floor. All boys 
then went to their rooms, undressed, and placed their clothes on the bed. The 
long nightgowns, made of something resembling cheesecloth, were under 
each boy's pillow. Lights were turned off promptly at 9:00 from a master 
switch. No talking was allowed after lights out and any infraction was swiftly 
punished. Night time toilet facilities in Synod Cottage consisted of a 
galvanized steel bucket in each room. The boy who was being punished most 
for the week usually had the daily morning bucket duty detail of cleaning 

In November of 1920, the old matron, Miss Miller, was replaced by a Mrs. 
Chambers, from Washington, Pennsylvania. She was very enlightened in her 
outlook as to how to care for children. She had the older boys clean all floors 
downstairs and paint all of the wall with "kalsomine", a cold water paint. It 
did wonders for the looks of the cottage. She also opened up the locked 
playroom and gathered some story books and encouraged us to read them 
as well as teaching us how to play games, such as Authors, Rook, and 

All of the young children at both Synod Cottage and Annie Louise Cottage 
assisted in the preparation of food by stringing beans or shelling blackeyed 
peas and butter beans. All children in every cottage had various duties to 
perform. The older boys worked on the farm and the young boys, ages 10 to 
12, worked on the truck farm. The girls did the laundry and cooking, and 
waited on the tables. 

At Synod Cottage, two high school girls assisted the matron and usually took 
care of the very young children. One of these girls was named Stacy Hasting, 
who took special interest in me, encouraging me to brush my teeth regularly, 
read books, and study hard. She developed tuberculosis in 1921 and was sent 
to a state sanatorium. Her case was advanced, and she lived only about a 
year or two. She was from Huntersville and was buried there. The first school 
annual published at Barium, the 1924 Spotlight, was dedicated to her memory. 

No beds were available in Synod Cottage when Ned, Bill, and I arrived there, 
so we slept in the hallway of the third floor on a quilt-all three on the same 
quilt, with one quilt to cover us. There was no sheet, but a pillow was pro- 
vided for each of us. 

The children at Synod Cottage had to make their own fun and amusements. 
The boys were very adept at doing this. In addition to making and playing 
jack stones, the boys made slings, slingshots, whistles and flutes from reeds, 
bats from poles, which we would cut in the woods, played hopscotch, 


mumblepeg, and occasionally made a kite to fly in the March winds. The best 
marble player was "Monkey" Baker. He was a marvel at shooting a steel ball 
into a ring, knocking out the clay marbles, which we called "peewees" and 
"agates", which were the larger colored marbles. Baker could shoot a steel 
ball in such a way as to hit a marble, knock it out of the ring, and at the same 
time the steel ball would spin backwards behind other marbles. He was a real 
marvel. Avery Davis was also a good player, as were several of the other 

We also made crude bows and arrows, played cowboys and Indians with these 
and metal cap pistols carved from wood. One plaything I have never seen 
elsewhere was the use of wooden window blind slats. These thin slats were 
about 3/16" thick x 1-1/2" wide x 8" long. One was held between the index 
and middle finger of the hand; another between the middle finger and ring 
finger. They made a loud clatter when the hand was shaken violently. 

We were always making up foolish rhymes such as: 

"Twas midnight on the ocean Not a street car was in sight The captain hired 
a taxicab and Rode all day that night. 

One bright day in the middle of the night Two dead boys got in a fight The 
deaf police on hearing the noise Came up and killed the two dead boys. 

"Twas a winter day in summer The snow was falling fast The barefooted boy 
with shoes on Stood sitting in the grass. 

In 1921 and 1922, the rage for boys was to have a pompadour hairdo. The 
hair was combed straight back over the head, usually held in place by a hair 
dressing. Many of the boys wore what we called skull caps, which were felt 
caps made of various colored felts. It was a type of beenie, which sat right 
on the top of the head and was even sometimes worn within the usual cap, 
which every boy had. Old pictures of the day would show most of the boys 
wearing caps. 

One of the hairdressings used was a 10 cent jar of perfumed Vaseline, usually 
purchased at Roses Dime Store in Statesville. The older boys used Vaseline 
hair tonic and the ultimate was to use "Stacomb", which was a nicely per- 
fumed hair dressing, and cost 50 cents. Not many boys could afford the latter. 
Regular felt hats began to appear on the older boys about 1927 to 1928. 

Baseball was the most popular game, and baseballs of any sort were dearly 
sought. The usual ball we played with was made by removing the hard cover 


of a gold ball and then winding the core with string and getting some girl to 
sew it. They took hard wear and did not last very long. In 1921, my father 
sent me two mitts. We used one for the catcher and one for the first baseman. 
Everyone else usually played bare-handed unless someone had received a 
glove from a relative and used it himself. 

In the middle and late twenties, as clothing improved, the younger boys almost 
dispensed with wearing caps, and the older boys began to acquire and wear 
felt hats - mostly in cold weather. There were a few straw hats worn in sum- 
mer for special occasions. They, for the most part, were the flat-topped, stiff 
brim hats - called Panama hats. They were cool, but very uncomfortable. 

Over the Thanksgiving weekend in 1921, Ada McPhail and Mary Nowland 
chaperoned a group of fifteen boys from Synod Cottage and fifteen girls from 
Annie Louise Cottage on a trip to visit the Second Presbyterian Church in 
Charlotte. The visit was to stimulate the Thanksgiving offering - a mainstay 
of the Home's financing. 

The group left on the Friday morning train and returned on the train the fol- 
lowing Monday. The children were allocated by couples to the church mem- 
bers' homes. Billy Harrell and I were guests of Dr. and Mrs. John R. Irwin. 
He was a descendant of a pioneer Mecklenburg County family and took us to 
see an ancestor's name of the Revolutionary War statue in front of the Court- 
house. After our return to Barium, we each received from him a long-barrel, 
single-shot cap pistol, and a supply of caps. These pistols looked like the ones 
William S. Hart, the cowboy movie star, used in his films, so we were the envy 
of all the boys. 

As pictures of the time will show, every boy wore a cap. There were long bills, 
short bills, fluffy tops, and close-fitting top in a variety of caps. My father sent 
me a very attractive gray cap in 1922. It still had the price sticker of $5.00 on 
it. We thought it was a fortune. The cap was a good hiding place, or a place 
to carry letters, notes, etc. There was much discussion as to whether or not 
wearing a cap would make one lose his hair. 

The group was called to the rostrum of the church on Sunday morning. It was 
announced that a boy would make a speech. Jerome Nowland stepped to the 
front of the group, threw out his right hand in a gesture of greeting, and said, 
"Dear friends--". After a short hesitation, he turned to our group and said, "I 
don't know what to say." End of speech. Charlie Moore was then presented 
to the congregation and recited the following rhyme, which, for some reason 


or other, has stuck in my mind all these years, and was received with laughter 
by the congregation: 

I went to the River 

And I couldn't get across 

I paid five dollars 

For an old gray horse. 

The horse wouldn't pull 

I swapped it for a bull. 

The bull wouldn't holler, 

I swapped it for a dollar. 

The dollar wouldn't pass so 

I threw it on the grass. 
The grass wouldn't grow 

I swapped it for a hoe. 
The hoe wouldn't dig and 

I swapped it for a pig. 

The pig wouldn't root 

I swapped it for a boot. 

The boot wouldn't wear 

I swapped it for a hare. 

The hare wouldn't run 
I shot it with a gun. 

At Christmas time, each child in the Home wrote a letter to "Dear Santa 
Claus." These were all written in the school rooms and sent to the First 
Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. We were all cautioned not 
to ask for too much - the gift usually being targeted at approximately $1.00. 
I don't know what the girls asked for, other than dolls, but the boys usually 
wanted a $1.00 Ingersoll watch, a bag of marbles, a harmonica, a kazoo, a 
book, or a fountain pen. Each child signed his name to the letter and the gifts 
were marked with their names when they were delivered at Christmas. 

Boxes of fruit and candy came to the main office and were distributed to each 
of the cottages. There were no Christmas trees and little decorations in any 
of the cottages except in later years. About 1924, some of the high school 
boys would decorate their rooms with holly and most tried to get a sprig of 
mistletoe, which they would carry to school, having heard of its mystical 
oscillatory effect on girls. The girls giggled at the boys, but few, if any, kisses 
were ever bestowed. 


There were some wonderful, older high school girls, whom I remember with 
warmth and affection, and who aided me greatly in the first two years at 
Barium. Among them were Lola Earnhart, Stacy Hasting, Mary Nowland, Ada 
McPhail, and Martha Boyce. Mary Nowland especially protected me from a 
bullying young man, named Stuart Perry. She threatened to "box his ears" if 
he laid a hand on me. He must have feared her, for he left me alone there- 
after. Harry Estridge, one of the finest gentleman I ever knew, also protected 
me from this same boy. 

There was a regular pecking order around the boys and, as could be expected, 
some bullying by certain boys. One quickly learned how to be a peace maker, 
or who he could whip in a fist fight or wrestling match, and who to avoid in 
a fight. Fights could arise over little incidents - teasing someone, calling 
someone a name, an argument over most anything. Usually they were of short 
duration; one or two blows being struck, and it was over. Calling someone 
an "old bastard" was reasonably acceptable, but calling someone a "son of a 
bitch" was the ultimate in degrading a family name and sure incitement for a 
fierce fight. While no one seemed to know exactly what it meant, thumbing 
your nose at someone was sufficiently provocative to start a fight. I assume 
it was in the category of the more modern gesture of raising the middle finger 
in the air. 

In later years, boys would put on boxing gloves and settle arguments in a 
"gentlemanly" fashion. However, a knock-down and drag-out fist fight took 
place one year in Jennie Gilmer when Russell Strickland and Lewis King 
jumped on Grier Kerr, who had been separately picking on each one; they beat 
Kerr thoroughly. It was necessary, at times, to band together to put a bully 

Just before Christmas in 1920, my mother arrived from Asheville to see us. 
She took us to Statesville on the train to see a movie and then eat at Gray's 
Restaurant. I got a toothache and, after getting some medicine at a drug 
store, we found we had missed the train. There were several Barium teachers 
dining at Gray's Restaurant, and mother told one of them to tell Mr. Hyde we 
would spend the night in Statesville. She took us to the Statesville Inn, a fairly 
large two-story wooden building, located where the Playhouse Theatre was 
built in 1927. We returned to Barium next morning by taxi at the then astro- 
nomical cost of $1.50. She spent two days with us, and it only made us more 
homesick for our old home. 

After Miss Chambers, a Mrs. Fullwood came to Synod Cottage as matron, I 
think she stayed about one year. 


As mentioned, all the children at the Home worked. The ten year olds and 
younger shelled peas and beans. Boys from 12 to 18 years of age worked on 
either the Farm for Mr. J. D. Lackey, Sr., Farm Manager, and later Mr. Troy 
Cavin from Troutman, or on the truck farm gang, run by Mr. John Thomas. 

The Farm Group planted and harvested corn and wheat, some oats for the 
mules, cut silage for the dairy, distributed fertilizer, and threshed the wheat. 
Mr. Lackey ran an old International Tractor with large metal-cleated wheels in 
the rear. This tractor pulled a large disc plow, but most plowing, reaping, and 
cutting corn was done by mule-powered equipment. 

One year, a caterpillar-type Ford tractor was brought to Barium for a demon- 
stration. It was not purchased, and shortly thereafter, Caterpillar Tractor 
Company sued Ford for infringement of their patent rights on the caterpillar 
track design and won a sizeable judgement. 

The Truck Farm planted the extensive vegetable farm with beans, peas, 
turnips, potatoes, kohlrabi, turnip greens, tomatoes, and gathered them all 
along with fresh corn. A large sweet potato house, which held over 200 
bushels, was erected about where the new school was built, just north of Lottie 
Walker. We had white and red yams all winter long. They also took care of 
the peach, apple, and pecan orchards. 

Peaches were distributed to each cottage in summer. They were delicious and 
came from the orchard just in front of Mr. Thomas' home. Apples were sent 
to each cottage, but most went to the kitchen for processing into canned apple 

The farm boys fed the hogs and horses, killed the hogs, scraped them of hair, 
and butchered them for the kitchen. 

The farm produced some 200 acres of excellent wheat, averaging 40 bushels 
to the acre. The wheat was stored in an excellent storage building behind 
Mr. Lackey's home. It was bagged and sent to Statesville or Troutman in ex- 
change for flour, or sold outright. 

The wheat straw was blown into the big dairy barn and used for hay, along 
with silage, and for filling the stalls. 

Two silos were filled with silage each fall. As the silo was being filled, the 
cut corn stalks were packed and heavily watered down. Old silage had such 


a strong odor that it was difficult to see how the cows could eat it, but they 
did. This was supplemented with hay and meal and cottonseed hulls. 

The dairy had approximately 100 cows, milked twice daily by the Round Knob, 
and then the Alexander Cottage boys. We always had plenty of milk. 

Mr. Johnston began paying 3 cents per toe sack for leaves, which were easily 
gathered from the surrounding woods. The leaves were used to line the large 
barn where most cows were quartered. By spring, the floor was about 18 
inches to two feet deep in excellent cow manure, which was dug up and dis- 
tributed on the farm. 

The farm boys had to transport these loads of fertilizer to the farm in the one 
mechanical spreader. It was embarrassing to pass Lottie Walker Cottage and 
have the girls laugh at us and ask what we were carrying. For some reason, 
the boys always yelled back, "Revenue Stamps."* This nomenclature may have 
arisen because the distributor scattered the fertilizer like large dots on the 
fields, as the boys called it - stamping the fields. This was natural or organic 
fertilization and was effective. Lime was added to the field about every two 

(Could it have related to the "Worthlessness" of revenue stamps on bootleg, non-taxed alcohol? This was the Prohibition Era, 
from the passage of the Volstead Act of 1919 on into the 1930 s Ed.) 


In 1921 or early 1922, construction was begun on the south wing of Rumple 
Hall. When it was completed, all of the children were served their meals in 
this wing, while the old dining hall was closed down for remodeling and, at 
Synod Cottage, all of the boys used to gather by the hour to see the workmen 
unload bricks, tile, slate shingles for the roof, steel beams and windows. All 
of the boys were very interested in the workmen who prepared and applied the 
slate shingles. These shingles were about 8" wide, about 15" long, and ap- 
proximately 3/16" thick. One skilled workman would put each slate shingle 
into a jig or a fixture, and tap it with a sharp pointed hammer in two places 
toward one end. This created two holes for the nails, which secured the 
shingles to the wood roof decking. He was very adept at this, but in spite of 
his skill, would break one shingle in about every 15 or 20 he placed the holes 
in. This was much before such things as portable drills. 

During the period that we were all eating in the south wing, Mrs. Chambers, 
the matron at Synod Cottage, decided that each boy, who would get $1.00, 
would buy a hen and could eat the eggs that the hen laid. The Home provided 
a fenced-in area near Synod Cottage and also provided the feed and, at one 
time, I think we had some 30 to 40 chickens -almost a chicken for each child 
in the Cottage. Eggs were delivered to the kitchen and were served to the 
boys at breakfast once or twice a week. One of the pranks that the boys 
played was to slip into the chicken pen, grab a chicken, and tuck its head 
under its wing. The chicken, after being stroked gently, would almost go to 
sleep and could be set down gently on the ground. At times, it looked like a 
host of headless chickens. 

In 1920-21, the girls wore their hair with bangs across the forehead, and buns 
of hair on each side of the head over the ears. The girls began using the "spit 
curl", a strand of hair which hung down over the forehead, about 1927 or 1928. 
The dresses that the girls wore hung about midway between the knee and 
ankle in the early 20s, and, as usual, went up and down thereafter, according 
to the popular style.* 

Prior to 1922, when Mr. J. B. Johnston came to the Home, there were no or- 
ganized athletics, although baseball was the most popular game among all the 
boys. Before 1920, Barium had some outstanding baseball teams, playing 
many nearby mill teams and town teams. Two excellent players were Harry 
Estridge, the catcher, and Dwight Eddleman, who played short-stop. The old 
grads came back to commencement in 1921 and played a game against a team 
from either East Mombo or Troutman, and won the game in the bottom half 
of the 9th inning. Baseball rather died out after 1922, although there were 
games between pick-up teams and Cottage versus Cottage, (me hems of the dresses 

went up and down. Ed.) 


In the summer of 1923, Roy Barnhill and I pitched for Alexander Cottage. Lees 
Cottage lost 17-16 with J. D. Lackey, Jr., the Farm Manager's son, scoring the 
winning run in the 9th inning. Real baseballs were real hard to come by, and 
a baseball glove was a prized possession at that time. 

In 1920, and for several years after, Mr. Parks, who lived about 200 yards from 
the station, was the Southern Railway Station agent, and his daughter was the 
post mistress. Mail was carried from the station across the space that is now 
the paved highway, to a white, painted, clapboard store, which was the Post 
Office. It had been a country store, but was used solely as the Post Office, 
and opened only at train time. Here the mail was segregated and distributed 
for the Home, as well as being placed in a number of boxes for local citizens. 
There were four trains daily passing through Barium Springs, running from 
Taylorsville to Charlotte. The 8:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. trains went south to 
Charlotte, and the 10:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. trains went north to Statesville and 
Taylorsville. There were two mail pick-ups for the Home , one in the morning, 
and one in the afternoon each day. There were two freight trains daily, one 
in each direction. 

For approximately a year and a half, when I was in the third and fourth grades, 
I was the mail boy, working under Miss Barnett, the bookkeeper, who later 
married and left the Home. I took a leather bag with a shoulder strap on it 
to the station with Home mail, and watched the 10:00 A.M. train from Charlotte 
pull up and discharge mail, passengers, and express items, plus take on 
similar items. The same procedure was repeated for the 3:00 P.M. train. 
There was considerable traffic from the baggage car of five gallon demijohns 
of Barium Springs mineral water. These bottles were in wooden crates with 
a place for an address tag on the side. The full bottles with the address tags 
were put on the train, and the empty bottles in the crates were returned for 

After the mail was distributed, I took all the mail going to the Home to Miss 
Barnett, where she, in turn, put it in packets for each Cottage. The mail was 
then delivered to the Matron in each Cottage. 

The mail was censored, especially the letters coming to Howard Cottage high 
school girls. As I passed the high school each day about 10:30, during recess, 
several of the girls would ask me to ascertain if they had received a letter. 
Walking away from the office to carry the mail to the Cottages, I looked in the 
mail one day to see if one of the girls had received a letter. Miss Barnett saw 
me and called me back to give me a severe reprimand. Thereafter, I tried to 
review the mail just after I left the Post Office so I would be able to give the 
information to the girls as I passed the high school. 


My mail-carrying experience did me in good stead, however, as it got me very 
interested in big league baseball. Each morning in spring, when I passed the 
high school, the older boys would crowd around to ask me if Babe Ruth had 
hit another home run, or what had happened to the New York Giants, the 
Brooklyn Dodgers, or the New York Yankees. Everyone had his favorite team. 

As soon as the mail was brought from the train to the Post Office, Miss Parks 
let me have a copy of the Charlotte Observer for a quick glance at the sports 
pages. I would make quick notes and try to remember what had happened 
so I would be able to tell the high school boys. This was prior to even radio 
at Barium, and the newspapers were almost the sole sources of current in- 

Mr. Parks had a son, John Parks, who graduated from Barium High School 
and went on to Davidson, later becoming a Presbyterian minister. 

The railroad tickets, which Mr. Parks dispensed, were printed with all the 
stations from Taylorsville to Charlotte. A ticket would be inserted in a small 
hand machine and an indicator was moved to the appropriate station. The 
ticket was then torn off, leaving a small indentation pointing to the destination. 

A railroad ticket from Barium Springs to Statesville cost 16 cents for an adult. 
Children under 12 years of age rode for half fare. The rate for tickets was 
approximately 3 cents per mile, with a discount of about 15 percent for a round 
trip - a very welcome provision at vacation time. Tickets to destinations other 
than on the Taylorsville-Charlotte line were filled out by hand and date 
stamped. A round trip ticket had a 30 day expiration. 

There was a large poster-calendar hanging in each waiting room, on which 
were shown two passenger steam engines rushing past each other on the 
Southern Railway System "Double Track Trunk Line" between Washington and 
Atlanta. Most travel was by train. 

The Barium station was painted a pretty yellow and white, and had some 
elaborate wooden trim around the eaves. It contained two waiting rooms (for 
white and colored), two little pot-bellied stoves rarely lit, the station ticket of- 
fice, a locked storage room for less carload freight, and Railway Express 
items, and a substantial wooden platform for loading and unloading heavy 
articles. The siding adjacent to the station received all freight cars - hay, ce- 
ment, rock, fertilizer, and heavy machinery for the Home, as well as items for 
the small mill towns nearby - mainly East Mombo cotton mills. 


If there was no freight or passengers, the mail was placed in a mail sack, 
which had metal rings at each end. Flexible clips were inserted in each ring 
and the bag was hoisted to a metal post beside the track. The bag was se- 
cured top and bottom by metal chains. If the train had nothing to discharge 
except mail, it did not stop, and the mail sack was plucked from the chains 
by a large metal hook attached to the door of the mail car. Any mail to be 
received at the station was tossed out onto the platform. 

Trunks were carried in the baggage car to their destination free of charge for 
all passengers holding tickets. At vacation time, there was considerable 
movement of trunks. Each passenger with a trunk had to fill out a baggage 
ticket. Half the ticket was wired to the trunk. The passenger retained half as 
a claim check upon reaching the destination. 

One day, as we were awaiting the arrival of the 10:00 A.M. train, we heard it 
coming and then it stopped, out of sight. Finally it came into view, moving 
fairly slow. We learned it had hit the automobile of the manager of the County 
Home, as his car crossed the tracks going to the Home. It was an open 
crossing with only the well-known crossed white arms, with the words in black 
"Stop, Look and Listen". The manager apparently did none of these things, 
but he did sue the railroad, claiming some cross ties obstructed his vision. 
It was later shown the cross ties were on the opposite side of the track from 
his car. This was my first knowledge of "sue 'em regardless." He did recover, 
and I believe the railroad fixed his car. 

A siding over a trestle at the Barium Steam Plant had space for two drop- 
bottom coal cars. Coal was unloaded in the summer to be used in the boilers 
in the winter. Two large boilers, with two firing doors each, provided steam 
and hot water to the Home. The boilers were fired by hand by employed help. 
A large hot water vat on the side of the building was used for dipping 
slaughtered hogs prior to scraping off the hog hair. 

During my days as mail boy, and between trips to the station, I would go next 
door to the Boyd Cottage and play with "Willis" Walker, the Superintendent's 
son. There was a barn back of his house where we would spend an hour or 
so jumping from the rafters into the hay. The September, 1984, Barium Mes- 
senger made note of his passing, as shown below: 

"Mr. William T. Walker, Jr. of Memphis, Tennessee, passed away September 
16, 1984 after a long illness. Mr. Walker was the son of the late W. T. Walker, 
former Superintendent of Barium Springs Home for Children. His mother, 
Lottie Arey Walker, and a brother and sister are buried in the Cemetery at 


Little Joe's Church. The Lottie Walker Building, on our campus, was named 
in honor of his mother." 

After he left, I would visit Archie Hyde, son of E. McSherry Hyde, who occupied 
the Boyd Cottage after he became Superintendent. Archie had a pup tent, in 
which we played and planned our future journeys to the great West. We were 
reading novels about the West by Zane Gray and William McLeod Raines and 
were enthralled with the prospect of being cowboys. Archie had an old Civil 
War pistol, which was fired by caps placed over each bullet chamber. We 
practiced "quick draws" with this, day after day. One day Archie found some 
of the caps in his father's desk and we placed them in the pistol, then cocked 
the hammer and pulled the trigger. There was a loud explosion, which 
brought Mr. Hyde hurrying from the house with confiscation of the pistol and 
the culmination of our quick-draw exercises. 

Mr. Hyde mounted butterflies as a hobby. He would pay the children 5 cents 
to 10 cents each for beautiful, undamaged specimens. In the summer of 1921, 
many of the Synod boys spent most of their spare time trying to catch 
butterflies. This was done to such an extent that Miss Chambers, our matron, 
forbade us to continue the practice. 

Mr. Hyde had formerly been a professional baseball player with at one time, 
Bluefield, West Virginia. He was an expert with a fungo bat. When we could 
only rarely get him to unbend a little, he would stand at home plate on the 
small Synod baseball field and hit fungo fly balls into the air directly over his 
head and very high. We would gather round home plate and take turns 
catching the ball. 

Mr. Hyde was a short, wiry man with a long striding step, toes turned out. 
He had a mass of curly stiff hair with horizontal waves above his forehead. I 
never saw him in anything but a blue serge suit, well pressed and with his 
coat always buttoned. He always wore stiff starched collars attached to the 
shirt by collar buttons. This was the style of the day. 

Summertime was vacation time for two weeks for those children at the Home 
who had relatives to take them. For those who could not go home, provisions 
were made to send them to neighboring towns to visit with families for several 

In 1921, I went to Statesville, where I was the guest for four days in the home 
of a Mr. Gray, who was Superintendent of the City School System. The family 
also owned a drug store (Polk-Gray Drug Company) on one of the corners of 


the main two intersections. His son, Mac Gray, played against Barium's first 
football team in the fall of 1922. 

On another occasion, in the summer of 1922, Billy "Piggy" Harrell and I were 
sent for three weeks to various families in the Concord Presbytery area. The 
families were all members of the Rocky River Presbyterian Church. We would 
stay with a family for three or four days and then over to another family. 

One of the families we stayed with was the Morrisons, at Pioneer Mills in 
Cabarrus County. Mrs. Morrison was the mother of Mrs. S. A. Grier, whose 
husband was chief engineer of the Home. Another family visited, the 
Chennaults, was that of the pastor of the Rocky River Presbyterian Church. I 
well remember that the church had kerosene lanterns for night services. The 
Manse, a lovely brick veneer home, also used kerosene lanterns and had 
outside "plumbing." This was long before rural electrification. 

Rev. Channault had one of the finest mounted collections of Indian arrowheads 
that I have ever seen. They were all collected in Cabarrus County and, judg- 
ing by the size of the collection, there had been quite an Indian civilization in 
this area at one time. There were different sizes and shapes for almost any 
purpose - fishing, hunting, and warfare. 

The Morrison's home was located at the site of the first gold mine in North 
Carolina. The veins had been worked out and the mine had been closed many 
years before. A sufficient amount of gold had been mined in this area that the 
U.S. Government had established a mint in Charlotte at one time. The mine 
tunnels had caved in at various spots, and we were cautioned to stay clear. 
There was an old miner who lived nearby and was convinced that he would 
rediscover the vein. We would take some freshly-churned butter to him at his 
nearby shack, where I first tasted sourdough bread. We boys even went down 
into a pit, which he was mining, and saw numerous samples of pyrites, which 
certainly looked like gold, but was worthless. 

In the matter of electric lights and running water, I felt at the time that the 
Morrisons, Chennaults, and other families were somewhat deprived, as com- 
pared to what we had at Barium. There was no rural electrification in those 

We stayed with another family, who lived near Jackson Training School, and 
who knew Mr. White, the school Superintendent. The family we stayed with 
were the only ones who had electricity. They had a Delco motor-generator set, 
which produced electricity for lighting, as well as running their water pump 
on the well. 


Mr. White invited us to visit Jackson Training School, which we did. He took 
us to see the "Giant's Footprint", a depression about twenty feet long, resem- 
bling a footprint. He also showed us how the boys worked (all day in summer) 
and how they were quartered in barred rooms. They were under constant 
guard. These boys were just one crime and a year or two in age from being 
in prison. 

While the Barium highway was still a dirt road, the entire school was assem- 
bled by the road one day in 1921 to watch a detachment of the Army come 
by. They were moving from some location in South Carolina to another base. 
The line of trucks, tanks, guns, kitchen and personnel carriers extended about 
a mile. It took about one hour for the group to pass the orphanage. We were 
really enthralled at the exhibit of tanks and cannons. The entire group was 
traveling over roads with minimum traffic, but it became necessary to 
strengthen bridges to carry the loads. The old steel bridge over Third Creek 
was reinforced for this reason. 

There were very few paved highways in North Carolina in 1920-21. The roads 
to Statesville and Charlotte were dirt roads. In rainy weather, they were very 
slippery and developed deep ruts, making passing very hazardous. In sum- 
mer, the roads were inches deep in a powdery dust, stirred up by each vehicle 
and almost obscuring one's vision when one car passed another. Autos had 
mechanical "cut-outs", which enabled the driver to direct the exhaust blast 
downward against the road surface and create a storm of dense dust. It was 
used by speeders and bootleggers to evade pursuing police, and was effective. 

The highway by Barium, Highway 21, was paved in 1923. A tremendous pile 
of crushed rock was accumulated in front of the second location of Mr. Grier's 
home. All the grading, cut and fill, was done with mules and dirt pans. A 
tractor or mules would pull a large plow over an area to be excavated and 
then the mules and dirt pan would move in. Each pan had a mule and driver. 
The dirt was scooped up in the flat pan, which held about 1-1/2 to 2 cubic 
yards. The pans were then dragged to the place where the dirt was to be 

We children watched all of this activity with great interest. Even more fasci- 
nating was the large self-propelled concrete mixer, which laid the road base. 
After about a week of setting, an asphalt surface about two inches thick was 
placed and rolled smooth. We delighted in riding our bicycles back and forth 
to Statesville on this new surface, and it wasn't dangerous at the time because 
of the scarcity of traffic. 


This soon changed, with regularly-scheduled trips by Camel City Coach 
Company buses from Winston-Salem to Charlotte, and the appearance of 
many Fredrickson Motor Lines trucks hauling freight from Charlotte to 
Statesville, Winston-Salem and other towns. The Fredrickson drivers were 
very cooperative in giving rides to the Home boys, back and forth to 

As a result of several accidents to boys chasing balls into the new highway, 
a fence was erected on both sides of the highway extending the length of the 
campus from Howard Cottage to Mr. Lowrance's home. At the same time, the 
State Highway Department agreed to provide engineering and labor for the 
construction of two pedestrian underpasses, with the Home providing the cost 
of the materials - mostly concrete. These underpasses were completed about 
1924 or 1925. 

The Home then bought a Ford truck for transporting children and used also 
to carry wheat to Statesville and, to transport other freight items, a "T" model 
Ford Sedan was also purchased. The greatest use of the truck was to carry 
children to Statesville for the movies and Chatauqua, and also to transport the 
boys to the Davidson College football games. 

in the summer of 1922, we had such a bountiful peach crop that there was a 
tremendous quantity of peach seeds, which were collected and taken to 
Statesville to sell the U.S. Army. The army was buying them for use in some 
way in gas masks. Another boy and I took about 70 pounds in the Orphanage 
truck one Saturday afternoon. We received 3 cents per pound, and the money 
went into the Synod Cottage ice cream fund. 

The farm and orchards provided wonderful and tasty treats for all the children 
from the peach, apple, and pecan orchards. There was also watermelons in 

One summer, about 1922 or 1923, the two, big, prized Holstein bulls, Count 
and Jules, were inadvertently allowed to get together. They were always kept 
separated. The meeting resulted in a terrible fight, with Jules goring, and 
almost tearing off, Count's leg. It was a costly fight, with terrifying bellowing 
by was necessary to kill Count, a task of real effort. Mr. Privett, the 
Dairy boss, shot him in the forehead twice with a .38 pistol. Then Mr. Grier 
hit him behind the head several times with a sledge hammer. He finally top- 
pled, and his throat was cut. We had plenty of beef served in the next few 
weeks and, because I had seen the fight, none of it tasted good to me. 


We boys learned about the "birds and bees" from watching Jules and Count 
service the herd and other farmers' cows in the neighborhood. 

The farm boys got their rudimentary sex knowledge from similarly watching 
the boars service the sows of the large hog herd. 

Unfortunately, there was no formal instruction on sexual matters. There was 
much discussion among the boys about such matters, with little knowledge 
and much misinformation. Some facts were gleaned from our hygiene text 

Statesville was the largest town in Iredell County and the focus of the farmers' 
trading. Prior to the paving of the dirt highway through Barium, and before 
cars and trucks were widely used, we would see farmers in white covered 
wagons carrying their goods to market. A favorite campground for them was 
the "Old Soldier's Graveyard", about two miles north of Barium. 

Whether or not old soldiers were really buried there is unknown. There was 
a square graveyard plot some fifty feet on a side with some ten to fifteen 
headstones. The plot was situated in a large and dark grove of pines. We 
went there occasionally on walks, but the place was "spooky" to me. 

About the mid-twenties, a murder was committed at the graveyard. The mur- 
derer was caught and tried in Statesville, with the punishment unknown to 
me. Thereafter, I think we all avoided the location. The sighing of the wind 
in the pines seemed more like moans to us, and would raise the hair on our 

Statesville had the first stop light I ever saw, at the juncture of Main and Broad 
Streets. Prior to this a policeman sat in a small stand in the middle of the 
intersection, usually only on Saturdays. He operated a lever that protruded 
through the roof and on which were two signs at right angles. One sign read 
"Stop", the other "Go." 

As traffic increased in the twenties, the city installed one light at this same 
intersection. It had a loud bell, which rang for about five seconds as the light 
changed from red to green and vice versa. The bell was to alert the drivers. 

There was still a considerable amount of horse and mule-drawn wagon traffic 
up to about 1925. Statesville would be crowded with wagons on Saturdays. 


There was a small tobacco factory in Statesville that manufactured plug 
chewing tobacco. I never sampled their wares, but I used to enjoy walking 
by and smelling the tobacco. 

Interestingly enough, I never recall seeing any of the boys at the Home smoke 
real tobacco cigarettes. Occasionally someone would buy a pack of Cubebs, 
an ersatz-type medicinal cigarette. Some of the boys, at about age 14 or 15, 
would chew tobacco-Spark Plug and Apple Plug tobacco being the most 
popular. I tried both at age 13. Apple was too strong for my mouth, and Spark 
Plug made me violently sick when I accidentally swallowed some juice. I 
never tried it again. Some of the boys were good chewers and proficient 
spitters ~ hitting a target with a stream of tobacco juice. I never saw anyone 
using snuff, except Bob Templeton, a black farm helper, and Mr. Troy Cavin, 
the Farm boss. 

We did experiment with smoking dried corn silk and "rabbit" tobacco. The 
latter was stripped from a stalk in the fields. The small leaves were gray on 
one side, brown on the other. We rolled the leaves in strips of newspaper to 
form a cigarette. The boys also liked to chew "rabbit" tobacco. It made the 
salivary juices flow and kept the mouth moist. 

in the summer of 1921, a group of about 50 Synod Cottage boys and Annie 
Louise Cottage girls were taken to Statesville to see a performance of the 
Sells-Floto Circus. We had good seats in the Main Tent, saw the big top acts, 
and then were allowed to stay and see the Wild West Cowboy Show, which 

The following year, a somewhat larger group of boys and girls - mainly Synod 
and Annie Louise - were taken to Statesville in the Home truck and other cars 
to see the performance of the John Sparks Circus. These were memorable 
occasions and enthralling to all us children. The clowns, animals, the trapeze 
artists, and the circus band all combined to entertain and awe us with the acts. 

It was my understanding, at the time, that these visits were sponsored by 
various groups in Statesville, who paid for the Home children to attend. 

Curiously, there was no great amount of cursing among the boys, aside from 
an occasional "Oh, Hell," or "Aw, Damn" when something went wrong. One 
day, while a group of us boys were playing baseball at Synod Cottage, my 
brother, Bill, missed a pop fly, and in disgust said, "Well, I'll swear." E. 
McSherry Hyde, the Superintendent, must have heard this from some 50 yards 
away. He dashed to our ball diamond and shouted, "You will not swear!" By 


that time, we had almost forgotten who said it. There was no careless and 
repetitive use of four letter words, as later generations commonly employed. 

A Mr. Young ran an old-fashioned drug store in Troutman. It had all the old 
patent medicines of the day, plus prescription service and candy and gum. 
The chocolate Hershey bars were 5 cents each, and about twice the size of 
present bars. Another favorite was "Juicy Fruit" chewing gum - at the time, 
in two segmented sticks about 1-1/2 inches wide and 5 inches long, wrapped 
in "tin" foil (really aluminum foil). He did not have a soda fountain, we had 
to wait for that until about 1925, when a modern drug store, with soda fountain, 
booths, and overhead fans, was built next door to the Troutman family home, 
facing Highway 21. I dated one of the Troutman girls, who lived there. 

"Dotty" Neilson's store, in Troutman, was a mecca for hot dog enthusiasts. 
He carried a variety of goods, and even had an "art" gallery and barber shop. 

One well-known firm was the Troutman Mills, where denim shirts were man- 
ufactured. The shirt collar had a small label sewn inside, showing a fisherman 
with rod and reel and the words "Trout-man" shirts. They were the work shirts 
for all the Orphanage boys, and were a pretty shade of blue, comfortable, and 
long wearing. I hauled many a case of shirts from the Mill to Barium in Mr. 
Lowrence's one-horse wagon, with "Old Sue" providing the horsepower. 

In 1920, Synod Cottage housed 40 boys, 6-11 years of age; Lees Cottage, 36 
boys, 12-18 years, usually from the 5th or 6th grade through the 11th. Annie 
Louise Cottage housed 40 young girls, ages 6-11, and Howard Cottage had 36 
girls from 12-18 years of age. Rumple Hall, which was then only the three- 
story center section, housed the dining room and kitchen, the 16 girl cooks, 
some waitresses on the second floor, and several teachers on the third floor. 
"Round Knob", a two story yellow and white painted house, situated just in 
front of the dairy barn, housed some 20 boys - the milking gang. A man and 
his wife were the housekeepers and dairy manager. Each of the other cottages 
had a matron who ran the cottage, usually assisted by two or three high 
schools girls. The infirmary housed a matron, nurse and some 6 to 8 girls. 

Jennie Gilmer Cottage, Lottie Walker, and the Baby Cottage had not yet been 
built. Alexander Cottage was only a burned-out shell of a building. 

Annie Louise Cottage was the first dormitory erected at Barium. This was 
followed by Synod Cottage, a small ilnfirmary, then Rumple Hall, Lees Cot- 
tage, about 1900, Boyd's Cottage, Burroughs Cottage (the main office, 
Alexander Cottage (where the printing plant was housed, Howard Cottage, in 
1903, and followed by the new Infirmary in 1916, the Baby Cottage, about 1923, 


and, lastly, by Jennie Gilmer in 1923 and Lottie Walker in 1924. The old school 
building (McNair Building) was built in 1913. 

The Regents met in a room in Burroughs Hall. The room was a memorial to 
Mrs. Carrie Burroughs Dula, and housed many of her personal possessions. 
The room was beautifully furnished, with large rugs, lovely furniture, and se- 
veral large mirrors and other items. Included was a machine resembling a 
phonograph, on which metal records, pierced by many holes of varying sizes, 
were played. Miss Barnett, the bookkeeper, took me in the room at one time 
and played the musical instrument for me. It was a very pleasing sound. 

Mr. S. A. Grier, a mechanical engineering graduate of North Carolina State 
(A&M at the time) was the Home engineer, a fine man, and a good friend. I 
worked for him on his "gang" for about one and one-half years, fixing leaky 
faucets, repairing wiring, keeping the water pump in order, and cleaning the 
water tank. 

Mr. and Mrs. Grier lived in a small, white cottage where the Baby Cottage was 
later located. They had one child, a baby girl, who died at about two years 
of age. Their home was moved on rollers to face the Statesville highway and 
to make room for the Baby Cottage. Mr. Grier was very religious, in a quiet 
way. I recall a time when we had fished unsuccessfully for the pump rods on 
the water pump. He suggested we take a few minutes off. After some ten 
minutes he came back and said we would now get the rods because he had 
prayed over the matter. It must have been a good prayer, for we were suc- 
cessful on the next attempt. 

I was working for Mr. Grier when we installed the shoe shop machinery and 
the printing presses prior to the start up of printing the Barium Messenger in 

Mr. Grier was an ardent football fan, having played for North Carolina State 
around 1900. When Mr. Johnson started football at Barium, Mr. Grier was 
one of our best cheerleaders. 

In a time when spare parts were not easily obtained, Mr. Grier made do on 
his own. One time, the brass sleeve bearing failed on the water pump. He 
couldn't wait for new ones, so he made a clay mold, supported the shaft above 
it, and poured his own melted babbit around the shaft. It worked beautifully, 
and was replaced only when the manufactured sleeve arrived. 


Mr. Grier was also a very good electrician, taking care of all the wiring prob- 
lems, transformer, and motor connections, and setting up new machinery such 
as in the shoe shop and the printing shop. 

One of his greatest joys occurred when the new well was drilled near the 
steam plant, and brought in an abundant supply of clear water, untainted by 
any iron taste or coloring. The swimming pool was drained, cleaned, and 
filled with the new water. It was the first time one could see to the bottom of 
the pool. 

I saw Mr. Grier for the last time when I visited him in 1965 at a retirement 
home just north of Barium Springs. We had a joyful reunion, and discussed 
many of the things that had happened at Barium. 

Mr. J. H. Lowrance was purchasing agent for the Home, buying fertilizer, coal, 
clothes, and other items. He lived just south of Lees Cottage, where a tennis 
court was built, and where he plowed and planted a fine vegetable garden. 
He was in charge of a horse named Sue, and the Orphange truck, both of 
which did drayage jobs around the campus. 

Walter Fraley, Eli Morris, Billy Harrell, and I were Mr. Lowrance's gang. We 
drove old Sue, fed and watered the horse and cow, milked the cow, delivered 
fresh fruit to the cottages, and helped plant and harvest his vegetable garden. 

Old Sue really was an old horse. She had a large swelling above her right 
foot, caused, some people said, by a snake bite. We really never knew. 

I would hitch her to the wagon and deliver corn and wheat to the flour mill 
at Troutman to be ground up for feed for chickens and hogs. The journey back 
and forth usually took about two hours. The people who operated the flour 
mill were covered with flour-in the eyebrows, lashes, hair, and in their noses, 
plus all over their clothes. No dust masks were worn and apparently no one 
considered that the dust could be harmful. I couldn't tolerate the dust, and 
always stayed outside. 

Mr. Lowrance bought me my first pair of long trousers in the fall of 1925, and 
a suit the following spring, from Belk's Department store in Statesville. 

Every Saturday morning, Mrs. Lowrance would ask me to pick a hen from her 
flock and kill it for her family's Sunday dinner. After the chicken was killed, 
she would plunge it into hot water and I would then pick the feathers off. She 
showed me how to kill a chicken by wringing its neck. This was too barbaric 
for me, so I usually used an axe to cut its neck off. I wasn't always accurate, 


and the mess that followed, with a half-beheaded and flopping chicken, dis- 
pelled my appetite for chicken. I haven't enjoyed it to this day. 

Mrs. Lowrance prepared her own home-churned butter. Many is the hour I 
sat and churned the dasher up and down to produce butter. As the butter 
formed, some of it would gather around the stick hole in the top of the churn. 
Naturally, I wiped this off with my finger and ate it-very delicious. I don't 
believe she ever caught me at it. 

Old Sue would occasionally be taken to Lottie Walker Cottage on Sunday aft- 
ernoons, where the girls were permitted to ride her. The girls had lots of fun, 
but it usualy resulted in a swollen foot and a day of rest for Sue. 

Billy Harrell and I would both ride Sue in the pasture behind Mr. Lowrance's 
house. We rode together, bareback, in a kind of lumbering gallop, with one 
or the other falling off now and then. 

Old Sue died at about age 27 and was buried near the Farm horsebarn. In 
later years, Mr. Lowrance was entirely responsible for purchasing clothes for 
the children. He established a clothes room in the laundry building, from 
whence allocations were made to the children. Suits for the older boys were 
purchased by Mr. Lowrance in Statesville. 


All of the children ate in old, three-story Rumple Hall, which housed the dining 
hall, kitchen, and some bedrooms. It was relatively small in 1920, before the 
two-story North and South wings had been added. 

There was a piano at the entrance to the dining room, on which sat a bell, 
which was tapped (by Bertie Craig, in 1920) for a moment of silence while 
someone asked a blessing-usually a faculty member. A green placard, with 
gold lettering, which sat atop the piano, had the following verse on it: 

Christ is the Head of this house 
The unseen guest at every meal 
An ever-present help in trouble. 

Eight people were seated to each table. The head of each table was a matron, 
a member of the faculty, or one of the older high school girls. Food for the 
students was placed on the table, but members of the faculty and matrons 
were served from dishes prepared especially for them and carried from table 


to table by the waitresses. After Mr. Johnston came, this practice was dis- 
continued, and everyone ate the same food prepared in the new kitchen. 

Each person at the table recited a Bible verse prior to being served. Lola 
Earnhart, head of my first table, told me to say, "Jesus wept," which I did for 
several days until she suggested I learn something new. I learned John 3:16. 
This practice was also dispensed with after Mr. Johnston came to the Home. 

Prior to the rebuilding and additions to Rumple Hall, most of the windows, 
unfortunately, lacked screens or had big holes in them, hence, in summertime, 
as soon as the blessing was asked and everyone sat down, hordes of flies 
descended on the hall and joined in the meal. At each table, a newspaper 
was tacked to a broomstick and cut into streamers with scissors. It was the 
duty of each child, in turn, to wave it back and forth over the table to keep the 
flies away. 

In addition, there were yellow, sticky sheets of "fly paper" about a foot square 
on each table and spiral streamers of the same material hung by each window. 
These were very effective at snaring flies but never seemed to make much 
headway against the swarms. 

The standbys for breakfast were oatmeal or corn flakes, along with grits, rice, 
or another dish, plus bread. Dinner, as we called the mid-day meal, was 
mostly vegetables grown at the Home, always served with plenty of cooked, 
flat, white bread, which we called "flat cake." There was a little butter, but the 
bread was usually generously smeared with molasses from the ever-present 
metal container of molasses on each table. There were "soup" days and 
"hash" days each week. Supper usually consisted of grits, rice, or hominy, 
some meat, like meatloaf, or sausage, in winter, occasionally a pork chop, 
potatoes, beans, and rice pudding or applesauce for dessert. There was al- 
ways plenty of bread and milk from the Home's Holstein herd. 

A favorite dish of the children was "liver pudding", which, years later in my 
travels in the North, I learned was called "Philadelphia Scrapple," in that area 
mostly as a breakfast food. 

One dessert which always was a hit with the children was generous servings 
of ginger bread. 

Sometimes in the spring and summer, the cows would eat patches of wild 
onions. The milk had a strong taste and smell of onions and was unpalatable, 
even when icy cold. This condition would pass in a few days. All the milk 
produced at the Home was served as raw milk-not pasteurized. The herd was 


tested for tuberculin bacteria from time to time and I never heard of an ill ef- 
fect on the children from drinking milk. 

There were no meals served in the dining hall on Sunday nights. A box of 
apple butter and peanut butter sandwiches, along with a five gallon can of 
milk, were delivered to each Cottage. The peanut butter sandwiches were the 
most popular and disappeared the quickest. In summer, the milk was usually 
warm and not very palatable until the new refrigerated milk room was built 
under the Rumple Hall kitchen. 

The so-called "flat cake" bread, which we really did enjoy, was a sort of 
sourdough bread baked in a large brick oven, which was fired by coal from 
outside the building. The dough was rolled out in large flat pans and, after 
the bread was baked, it was cut into numerous pieces of all shapes and sizes. 
The bread was about the height of a normal biscuit. A piece or two of this 
bread, tucked inside one's shirt, provided a delicious repast between meals. 

Archie Moore was the fireman for the bread oven when I went to Barium. After 
the new kitchen was built, the Home purchased "Aunt Sally's Bread" from the 
A. J. Sally Bakery in Statesville. 

Corn bread was still baked at the Home and served plain and with cracklings, 
especially after a hog killing in the fall. 

During the rebuilding of Rumple Hall, Mr. S. A. Grier, the engineer for the 
Home, erected scaffolding and installed a new bell in the bell tower. The old 
one had cracked, and it later became one of two inverted flower pots in front 
of the Lottie Walker building. 

The bell in Rumple Hall tower called us for wake-up times, all meals, and 
school and work periods. The schedule of the day, except Saturday and 
Sunday, was as follows: 

6:30 A.M. Wake Up Time 

7:00 - 7:30 A.M. Breakfast 

8:00 - 12:00 NOON Morning School and work 

12:15 - 12:45 P.M. Luncheon 

1:00 - 5:00 P.M. Afternoon School and work 

5:00 - 6:00 P.M. Recreation and Play Period 

6:00 - 6:30 P.M. Supper 

7:00 - 9:00 P.M. Study Hall (in Cottage or School Building) 

9:30 - 10:00 P.M. Lights Out 


During the summer of 1922, Mrs. Will Reynolds, of the famed Winston-Salem 
Reynolds family, provided the entire student body with ice cream one evening 
a week. This was a most welcome treat for everyone. 

Taking things more or less in chronological order, the first improvement was 
Rumple Hall. Aside from the added space, light and cleanliness of the dining 
room, was the greatly improved, newly-acquired kitchen facilities. 

The kitchen was completely new. An automatic potato peeler was installed (a 
great relief from hours of peeling by hand), new ovens for baking bread, new 
steam facilities for cooking, large food preparation and serving tables, a new 
cold storage room for perishables, and for handling milk along with a sepa- 

The food was served faster, hotter, cleaner, and more appetizing. A side 
benefit was enjoyed in summer when the boys would pick blackberries and 
carry them to the kitchen girls, who would cook us blackberry pies on a ratio 
of one for them, one for us. A boy could ask for the pie to be served at his 

About 1925, Mr. Johnston arranged an annual visit to Barium by the Kiwanis 
(he was a Kiwanis Club member), Rotary, and Lions Clubs of Statesville, 
usually in the fall after hog killing. The kitchen girls prepared wonderful 
meals of grits, sausage, gravy, and biscuits for our visitors, who were dis- 
persed among the tables to eat with the students. The occasion developed fine 
support for the Home and developed some needed experience by the students 
for outside contact. I devised the program cover for Mr. Edwards, and printed 
the program under his supervision. The cover had on it a combination of the 
lettering of the three Clubs, as follows: 






In summer and fall, the children from Synod and Annie Louise Cottages sat 
out front of Rumple Hall and shelled tubs of blackeyed peas, green peas, 
butter beans, and strung the string beans. 

The annual campus picture of the children was always taken in front of Rum- 
ple Hall by the J. W. Moon Company, from Charlotte. 


During reconstruction of Rumple Hall, the old central section of the building 
was also rebuilt to provide new bedrooms and bathrooms for both teachers 
and young girls. 



During the early 1920s, on Sunday mornings it was customary for the children 
of each cottage to go on a long walk usually to the spring. After lunch, fol- 
lowing a short rest period, all children dressed and went to Sunday School 
which was held at 2:00. At 3:00 regular church services were held in Little 
Joe's Church. Prayer meeting, as we called it, was held every Wednesday 
night from 7:00 to 8:00. Christian Endeavor or the Presbyterian Young Peoples 
League meetings were held for the high school students on Sunday nights, 
beginning about 1923. 

Dr. Harry M. Parker, an elderly, retired missionary from China was our pastor. 
He preached at West End Presbyterian Church in Statesville on Sunday 
mornings and at Barium in the afternoons. He was the son of Presbyterian 
missionaries to China and, as I recall, his father had been killed in the Boxer 

Dr. Parker was a well-educated man and his sermons were quite erudite. 
Most, I think, were over the heads of the younger children. He was the best 
and most fascinating storyteller I have ever heard. He would gather the Synod 
Cottage boys around him on the concrete porch each Wednesday night prior 
to the prayer meeting service and keep the group enthralled with some story. 
Usually these stories were fairy tales or condensation of novels he had read. 
The 1924 "Spotlight" Annual was dedicated to him. After he retired about 1923, 
our pastor was Dr. W.C. Brown for whom a manse was built just north of the 
campus on the newly paved Statesville highway. 

For the first two years I was there, the Rev. Long, son of a Judge Long in 
Statesville, preached the sermon on Mother's Day. He was an excellent and 
emotional orator. When he preached on Mother's Day, the sobs were audible 
and there was never a dry eye in the church. 

Children from each cottage sat together as groups in designated locations in 
the church. The faculty sat in the rear of the church and the choir was made 
up of faculty and students. I well remember Mr. Young, a druggist from 
Troutman and an elder, passing the offering plate. He just sort of waved it 
over the end of the rows in which children sat as he never expected a con- 

Popular church hymns were: "Onward Christian Soldiers", "The Old Rugged 
Cross", "Power in the Blood", "Sweet Hour of Prayer", "When The Roll is 
Called up Younder", "Bringing in the Sheaves", "Beulah Land", "In the Gar- 
den", and "The Little Church in the Wildwood". These are hymns that are 
rarely heard nowadays. The latter hymn was sung enthusiastically, especially 


on the chorus of, "o come, come, come, come, come to the church in the 
Wildwood, O come to the church in the vale...". There was sort of rollicking 
exhilarating good march cadence to "Onward Christian Soldiers". A piano 
provided the music. 

In 1921, when I was still in the third grade, I recited the Child's Catechism of 
246 questions and was recognized in church the following Sunday with pres- 
entation of a New Testament. The following year when I was in the fourth 
grade, I recited the Westminister shorter catechism of 107 questions to Mrs. 
Chambers and was rewarded in church with a Bible on which my name was 
printed on gold letters. 

After Dr. Brown came as pastor, church services and Sunday School were held 
on Sunday mornings. 

In addition to formal church services, devotionals were held in the dining room 
after breakfast each morning. Usually a short passage from the Bible was 
read and then a call for some scripture recitation. Passages like the 8th, 23rd, 
91st and 121st Psalms were recited from a long list we were supposed to 
memorize. Helen Dezern was phenomenal; she had memorized all the 
scriptures on the list and when others faltered, she kept right on. The 
meetings were concluded with a short prayer. 

One year Mr. Johnston had a group from each of the cottages conduct the 
Sunday morning devotional. 

In some cottages, a short Bible reading and recitation of the Lord's Prayer 
was offered prior to going to bed. 

From time to time since leaving Barium, I have tried to get a list of the Bible 
memory selections. Some of my classmates remember the list but none has 
a copy. Memorizing the selections was wonderful training for the mind as 
well as life. I wish my own children had something similar in their growing 
up years, aside from Sunday School and Church. 

We all learned the story of Joe Gilliland and Little Joe's Church as soon as 
we reached the Home. 

Joe Gilliland was a nine-year old child who died at the Home. His expressed 
dream was to build a church with porches on it, at the Orphanage. From his 
savings of forty-five cents and contributions, the dream was realized. 


As part of Bible studies I learned almost all of the printed list of memory se- 
lections from the Bible and most stay with me to this day. From time to time 
I've had my wife ask me how I knew so many passages and could recite them. 

After Jennie Gilmer cottage was built, Mr. Johnston conducted a Sunday 
School Class there each week for the cottage boys. Jennie Gilmer boys also 
were ushers at church services each Sunday. 

Bertie Craig was my first Sunday School teacher. Classes were held in the 
Auditorium of the School Building. Each child was handed a printed card on 
which a Biblical scene was printed on one side. The other side had a "Golden 
Test", a verse from the Bible, and a short story of the lesson. 

From time to time, we would have returned missionaries tell us of their expe- 
riences in the far corners of the earth. Their tales were entrancing in many 
respects, grim in others, but always with hope of accomplishment. I especially 
enjoyed hearing the medical missionaries, although it seemed they were 
against insurmountable odds. We learned of the cruelties of the Turks toward 
the Armenians, the cruelty of the Japanese toward the Koreans and the many 
superstitions and the religions or faiths practiced around the world. It was 
clear that Americans were privileged people but even this feeling suffered 
somewhat when we heard stories from our Home Missionaries, usually from 
Kentucky or West Virginia. 

Revivals were held yearly in the spring for three nights. Exhortations were 
made fro the children to join the Church and as far as I know every person 
at Barium was a church member. I joined the church in 1924 when I was in 
the seventh grade and felt good about it. 

John Parks, son of the Station Agent, was the only young man I knew who 
became a Presbyterian Minister, after attending Davidson and Seminary. 

The Presbyterian Standard, published in Richmond, was received in each 
cottage regularly. I used to enjoy solving its cross word puzzles using Biblical 
knowledge and references. 

Christian Endeavor* and later Presbyterian Young Peoples League groups 
were popular with the High School boys and girls. The groups met at the 
Church every Sunday night. It was a good chance to see the girls. 

*(l recall that many of us as youngsters thought "Christian Endeavor" was, 
"Christian and Devil." Ed.) 


Many people from the surrounding area, not connected with the Home, at- 
tended Church regularly. 

Every child was encouraged to read the entire Bible. This accomplishment 
was on an honor system and declaration that one had read it was reason for 
a better grade in Bible in regular school. I persevered at this task for two or 
three months and finally accomplished the job. While the task seemed oner- 
ous at the time, the benefits have been enormous. I have always preferred the 
King James Version for the beauty of its language, although I realize some 
of its words are better understood in the modern revised versions. 

Each cottage had an illustrated book on "The Story of the Bible". These books 
were very helpful to the younger children. 

While it was never an item for discussion in Church, the John T. Scopes trial 
in Dayton, Tenn. in July, 1925 was discussed in our regular Bible studies in 
school. The newspapers named the case "The Monkey Trial" because Mr. 
Scopes was tried for teaching the Darwinian theories on the origin of man. 
William Jennings Bryan, a famous churchman, preacher and politician, was 
the plaintiff lawyer and Clarence Darrow, a famous criminal lawyer, defended 
Mr. Scopes. The case ended in Mr. Scopes losing his teaching job. 


In addition to his duties as Southern Railway Station agent, Mr. Parks was also 
in charge of bottling and distributing the Barium Springs rock water, which 
came from a spring said to have been discovered in 1775. A small booklet 
had been printed by the Home to publicize the remarkable curative effects of 
the water. Among its purported cures were eczema, stomach ailments, can- 
cer, rheumatism, kidney, liver and blood poisoning. There were numerous 
testimonials printed in the booklet from satisfied patrons. There was even a 
testimonial letter from the Rev. R. W. Boyd, dated February 10, 1903. He was 
a former Superintendent of the Home. 

The Springs was located about a mile southeast of the Home and adjacent to 
the Barium Springs Lodge. Over the spring was a small, one-story pine wood 
framed shelter. The outside of both the Lodge and the spring shelter were 
covered with pine slabs. 

The spring water flowed from a pipe coming out of a large rock. There was 
a spigot where one could take a drink, always refreshing and cold, and about 
a 2" pipe, which flowed some 100 feet to the bottling house. The bottling 
house was a one-story yellow and white clapboard building, about 25 feet wide 
and 50 feet long. The water flowed into two large galvanized steel tanks ex- 


tending the length of the building. The tanks had numerous spigots on one 
side and the bottles were placed under these as they were filled. 

Each Friday or Saturday, Mr. Parks would load up a flat bed wagon, pulled 
by a mule, and take some 40 to 50 bottles of water to Statesville. He had a 
regular route delivering the bottles and picking up the empties. 

In addition to the above-named cures, the water was supposed to be good for 
promoting the growth of hair. Since my father had lost most of his, I didn't 
want to be in the same circumstance as I grew older, and I, therefore, drank 
copious quantities of the good, cool, wonderful-tasting water. Alas, it had 
some effect, until after I reached to the age of 40. 

A five-gallon demijohn cost $2.50, one-gallon bottles $3.50 each, and half- 
gallon bottles at $3.50 each, in cases of 12. The water was also sold in 20,33, 
and 53 gallon barrels, possibly prior to 1920, as I never saw the larger con- 
tainers in use. The larger barrel cost $9.00, and there was a rebate for re- 
turning the bottles and the crates. 

There was a road and several trails leading to the spring. It was a most 
popular place for picnicking and hiking. The small creek flowing nearby was 
a favorite place to catch "crawdads", or crayfish. There was a nearby 
mulberry tree, a walnut tree, plenty of blackberry bushes, and trees with lots 
of mistletoe - all of which were regularly visited in its season. 

All the Cottages, at one time or another, visited the spring on a Sunday hike. 
Everyone loved the place, but I heard that one of the Home's later Super- 
intendents destroyed the entire spring. What a thoughtless deed, and how 
wasteful and destructive it was. 

In the years I was at Barium, I never heard of any lack of water from the 
spring. It always flowed a clear, clean, and apparently potable water. 


The Lodge was a fascinating old hotel, constructed of pine wood, probably 
some time prior to 1900. It was typical of the resort hotels of the day, built 
at various "watering holes." 

The building was approximately octagonal in shape, had a basement with 
large rock wall foundations, and had three stories above ground. It was 
mostly on level ground, with the side toward the spring on land sloping toward 
the spring. 


The basement housed the kitchen and a glass-windowed dining room over- 
looking the land toward the spring. The ground floor had a registration desk 
and office, several rooms, a large lobby or lounging area, and a large 
screened porch above the dining room. On the porch were numerous straight 
and rocking chairs, a sofa or two, and a swing. It could accommodate ap- 
proximately thirty to forty guests. 

The two top floors contained guest rooms with a "community bath" room on 
each floor. The rooms were built more or less in a circle with a walkway 
outside each room door, all built around a central atrium, which looked di- 
rectly down into the lobby. 

Stairs led from floor to floor. Three meals a day were served, along with co- 
pious quantities of spring water. The Lodge was still in limited use by guests 
until 1922. For several years afterward, it was occupied solely by a Mr. Foster 
and his daughter, a school teacher at the Home, who acted as caretakers. It 
was a beautiful old structure, but was considered a fire trap, and was finally 
torn down about 1927. 

As we children used to go to the Spring on walks, we would explore the Lodge, 
walking up and down the stairs and delving into all the rooms. It was con- 
sidered too dangerous; therefore, the doors were locked to prevent entry. 

(It is my understanding that the original hotel at Barium was built on the spot 
where Rumple Hall later stood. If so, it was probably built earlier - about 1880 
- as the Lodge was built prior to 1900.) 


In the fall of 1922, my brother Bill and I were sent to Lees Cottage. He was 
in the fourth grade and during that year I made two grades, the fifth and sixth. 
Lees Cottage was one of the oldest on the campus and was in terrible condi- 
tion. The floors on the second story where the boys lived were worn down so 
badly that there were ridges where the planks crossed the sleepers. The floor 
was worn down between the sleepers and nail heads were exposed where the 
floor planks had been nailed to the floor cross members. Woe to any careless 
bare-footed boy! The hallway running from one end of the second floor to the 
other was lined on each side with trunks, the old chest-type trunks used at that 
time, and were the only repositories for clothes, books and keep-sakes. 

Each of the rooms, about nine, had two double-decker beds for sleeping a total 
of four boys. There were no closets in the rooms but most had a mirror on 
the wall and a small bureau. There were no screens, curtains, or shades on 
the windows. 


Clayton "Creepy" Jordan and I were the "house cats". We made the beds each 
day and changed the sheets and pillow-cases once each week. We swept the 
rooms and halls daily and made a noble effort to keep the two bathrooms in 
reasonably sanitary condition, which was almost an impossibility due to the 
very old plumbing system. There were two shower heads in the basement 
with hot water available on Saturday. Many showers were taken in cold water. 
After 1922, there was ample hot water from the new boiler house lines. 

The very worst thing about living in Lees Cottage was the terrible infestation 
of bed bugs. They were fat and healthy and infested the floors, walls, 
mattresses and inside the coiled springs on each bed. In summer time 
sleeping was most uncomfortable, if not impossible. 

About every other month "Creepy" and I along with the matron would go room 
to room and spray beds, mattresses and the wall cracks with an evil smelling 
spray to endeavor to make some headway. The problem was not overcome 
until Lees Cottage was gutted in 1923 and the interior rebuilt with the instal- 
lation of all new bedding and disposal of all trunks. The rebuilt building had 
sleeping porches at each end. Each room had several built in lockers, study 
desks and chairs. All clothing was then stored in the new lockers. The Lees 
Cottage boys were moved, approximately half to the new Jennie Gilmer Cot- 
tage and the younger half to Howard Cottage while Lees was being rebuilt. 

Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Stollenwerck, who had come from Alabama, were custo- 
dians of the boys in the old building and left when the boys were transferred 
to Howard Cottage. Mr. Stollenwerck was a good mechanic and worked on 
the Home automobiles as well as tending to the new boiler in reconstructed 
Rumple Hall, which provided the heat for all cooking. They had two daugh- 
ters, neither of whom had ever seen any snow prior to coming to North 

About 1923, my brother Bill and Parks Earnhart ran away. They got as far as 
Mooresville (12 miles) before being returned by a deputy sheriff. Bill told me 
they had no particular place in mind to go but simply wanted to "get away". 
A whipping and no supper was the punishment. 

Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were a time for fireworks. Fire crackers 
ranged in size from the small bunched bundles to 2" long and the 
"thunderbolts" 6" long. They were relatively inexpensive, a package of four 
2" firecrackers (called "Salutes") costing 10 cents a pack. "Torpedoes", small 
balls about 1" in diameter would explode on contact when thrown against a 
solid surface and make a terrifically loud noise. And of course "sparklers" 
were very popular and fairly safe. Woe betide the boy who lighted a 


firecracker in his hand and to make sure the fuse was burning, held on a little 
too long. It would numb the hand for hours. In spite of many accidents there 
was only one case of tetanus, that to Charlie Moore who died of it. The fire- 
works were bought for the most part from the Ostwalt family, who owned a 
country store at Oswalt, a tiny village about 3 1/2 miles south of Barium. 

The older Lees Cottage boys had regular "trap" lines setting out rabbit "hol- 
lows", a simple and easily built hollow wooden box with a sliding trap door 
sprung by a rabbit tripping the trigger. These traps were set out during winter 
in the fields around the Orphanage. The boys would get up about five o'clock 
in the morning, usually every other day, and go inspect the traps. Any rabbit 
found was quickly dispatched by a hand blow behind the head, carried back 
to the Home, skinned and offered for sale in Statesville for 25 or 30 cents. 
Occasionally a trap would net an opossum which was killed or sold alive in a 
toe sack. 

The boys were adept at catching king snakes and bringing them to school 
inside their shirts. Many a class was disrupted by girls screaming at the sight 
of a snake. The boy was usually punished by whipping, staying after school 
or, worst of all, having to work on Saturday afternoon. 

We would also catch baby squirrels and keep them in boxes in the cottage and 
feed them with milk and scraps from the dining table. 

In 1923, my father sent my brothers and me a "Word" coaster bicycle and a 
"Flying Arrow" sled, the first real sled at the Orphanage. About this time John 
Alexander's father sent him a "Columbia" bicycle. Others acquiring bicycles 
were Clayton Jordan, Thad Brock, and Walter Fraley. We all rode them to 
Statesville or Troutman on the newly paved state highway. All the bikes were 
equipped with coaster brakes, either "Morrow" or "New Departure". We spent 
endless hours arguing the merits of the two and many hours repairing tire 
punctures and taking apart and rebuilding the brakes. They were wonderful 
to ride on all the walks, trails and dirt roads around Barium and to Statesville 
on the paved highway. 

We would "catch" rides from Statesville to Barium holding on to the sides of 
trucks or automobiles and let them pull us. It was a dangerous practice re- 
sulting in a painful accident at one time to Thad Brock. If the driver of the 
vehicle veered too close to the side of the road one's bicycle was forced onto 
the rough shoulder giving the rider a severe shaking. The king of bicycles 
was the "Iver-Johnson" with a double bar running from the seat to the fork. 
Other bicycles had only one . My brother had owned an "Iver-Johnson" before 
we came to the Home; so I was an authority on this make. The best bicycle 
seat was a "Troxel", wide, soft and very comfortable. 


When we rode bicycles to Statesville to see a movie, we would chain and lock 
them to a telephone pole in front of the theatre or leave them at the Carolina 
Motor Co., the Ford dealer, where my friend Mr. Bremon Quinn would allow 
us to park them. 

On one occasion Mr. and Mrs. Quinn and their daughter Jean came to Barium 
to take me to Statesville to meet a train on which my mother was a passenger. 
We had a ten minute visit with her. 

We were always discussing our desires to have motorcycles which were well 
out of reach. The police officers of the day used them for transportation. The 
outstanding makes were "Harley-Davidson" and "Indian". 

Mr. Johnston had the first car at Barium, a Dort. About 1924, Mr. John 
Thomas bought a four-door Dodge, "touring car" with solid disc metal wheels, 
for which he bragged, he paid $1,000. This was followed by Mr. Grier's pur- 
chase of an Essex sedan. The Home had in the meantime purchased, about 
1922, a "T" Model Ford Truck with removable wooden sides in which was 
printed: "Presbyterian Orphans Home, Barium Springs, N.C.". Mr. Johnston 
later bought a two-door Buick which would carry five or six passengers. 

All of these cars were used from time to time to carry the students to 
Statesville to the movies and to Davidson for football games, as well as 
transporting the teams to football and basketball games. 

A "T" Model Ford Sedan was purchased about 1925 by the Home and was on 
call for Mr. Lowrance, Rosie McMillan or an older boy on an errand for the 
Home. Eli Morris and Bob Estridge drove the truck most of the time. 

In 1921, my uncle, Roland Walters, his wife and my two sisters drove to Barium 
from Charlotte over the dirt highway to visit my brother and me. He drove a 
King 8 car which was scrutinized from every angle by the Synod Cottage boys. 
My uncle had lived in England at one time and on returning to America came 
to Charlotte and started the manufacture of the first small or midget car in 
America. It was later featured in an article in "The State" magazine. Legal 
suits by Henry Ford exhausted his capital and the company went under. 

Mr. Troy Cavin, the farm boss after Mr. Lackey died, had a "T" Model Ford 
pickup truck which we used to haul fruits, vegetables, tools, etc. around the 
campus. This was the first automobile I learned to drive. 

A group of the faculty took the train to Charlotte about 1923 or 1924 to see and 
hear the famous evangelist Billy Sunday. A religious "tabernacle" had been 


built and the services were conducted nightly for a week. Mr. Sunday had 
been a former baseball player among other things, had reformed and began 
preaching nationwide. He was quite successful, in an era when there were 
many popular evangelists. 

About these same years a group went to Charlotte to hear an American 
operatic singer, one of the first Americans apparently to achieve stardom with 
the Metropolitan Opera. I think she had been a Kansas farm girl. 

Raafael Sabatini wrote "Captain Blood", a novel, and during Christmas holi- 
days about 1923 the Crescent Theatre had J. Warren Kerrigan in the movie 
"Captain Blood". It was on the screen about a week and most orphan boys 
saw it at least once. 

Another picture was "Moby Dick" with either John or Lionel Barrymore as the 
star. Since these were silent pictures, music accompanied most showings 
usually a piano player or player piano, with music suitable for the scenes. 
"Just a Song at Twilight" was background music for a sad scene in this one. 

Mr. Johnston experimented with a program to acquaint the children with 
handling money. He started a banking system, whereby each student was 
credited with a certain amount of money, say $5.00. This money was in alu- 
minum script which he had made. Certain extra duties would increase the 
account and at some point the script was convertible into dollars at a low rate 
of exchange. It became, in time, too complicated and was done away with in 
favor of a regular savings and checking account bank. 

The bank was in the main office building and John Craig was the banker, teller 
and custodian. Anyone who had real money could open an account or have 
credited to the account 20 cents per hour for Saturday afternoon work or va- 
cation time spent working. No interest was paid. Checks were printed by the 
printing office and money could be drawn by using a counter check. 

This was a very fine innovation for the students. It allowed them a place to 
deposit money for it to be kept safely and gave them experience in handling 
it. Most checks were written for under one dollar. 

In the summer of 1924, I was allowed to work my vacation on the rebuilding 
of Howard Cottage. I worked 10 hours a day for 20 cents an hour, for two 
weeks, resulting in some $25.00 which I deposited in the Home bank. 

It was a real good experience. I hauled concrete and plaster in a wheelbarrow 
and carried wood and other items for the carpenters and plumber. 


The kitchen staff arranged for me to get an early breakfast at about 6:30 a.m. 
and have lunch in the kitchen at 12 noon. We had the very best of food. 

Once each year in late summer, a holiday was declared for the older students 
to attend State Farm Day held at the State's agricultural experimental farm just 
west of Statesville. 

Contests were held and prizes given for the best preserves, canning, cattle, 
sheep, etc. It seemed to me that the authorities were unerring in their decision 
to pick the hottest day of the year. There was always plenty of lemonade to 
drink at 10 cents a cup but never a place to find a drink of water. Farmer 
families attended enmass and made a picnic day of it. 

Robert Beattie and I took two of my hard earned dollars, went to the State 
Farm in the morning, got tired of it and then went to Statesville for a movie. 
We ate several hotdogs and drank Coca-Colas and on the way back to Barium 
bought some Oreo cookies and bananas. We didn't get sick but we didn't eat 
supper either. 

A typical Saturday afternoon in Statesville started with catching rides or hiking 
to Statesville immediately after the noon meal was over at 12:45 P.M. We 
could make the five miles to town in about one hour walking and running but 
usually caught a ride. 

The first thing was to get a bag of popcorn or peanuts, then go to a movie. 
After the movie we would go to the nearest hotdog stand (there were several) 
get a 5 cent hotdog with weiner, kraut, mustard and chili, plus a 5 cent 
Coca-Cola. Then to Roses or another store to get 5 cents worth of penny plug 
licorice, called "One Navy Cent". We would then walk to Boulevard Street to 
get a ride or more often walk down Main Street to the railroad station, get a 
big piece of Dentyne Gum for 1 cent from a slot machine, check the train 
schedules and usually see a freight or passenger train come into the station 
and depart. If we had any money or appetite remaining, we would get a most 
delicious 5 cent hotdog at a lunch stand at the station, then walk the tracks 
to Boulevard St. to catch a ride to Barium. 

On other occasions we would shop for food to supplement our meals at 
Barium, or buy things we did not ordinarily receive. The self-serve Piggly 
Wiggly store was our most desirable and inexpensive store. I would buy a 
large box, about 12 oz., of Sun Maid Raisins for 10 cents. A box of 12 
Shredded Wheat Biscuits (not really biscuits) which cost 13 cents per package. 
Ginger Snap cookies cost 5 cents per box as did a box of Cheese Tidbits. 
Gasoline cost 12 and a half cents per gallon and kerosene (still used in lamps) 
cost less. 


One of the best bargains in Statesville was an egg sandwich bought from a 
small "hole in the wall" restaurant located next door to one of the theatres. 
It was run by some Greek people who apparently did well. The sandwich 
consisted of one egg scrambled into a patty, placed on a large round bun with 
tomato and mayonnaise and lettuce; the whole costing 10 cents. They were 
really delicious. 

If by chance we went to two movies or were otherwise delayed, we could and 
sometimes did take the 7:00 PM train to Barium for 16 cents. The older boys 
at Lees or Jennie Gilmer were excused from Saturday night meals if they so 

After Lees Cottage was rebuilt a candy store was opened in one of the rooms 
facing the front porch. A pretty young lady named Judy McCoy was the store 
keeper. I sat beside her at a dining room table. The shop sold candy bars 
of all types, chewing gum and licorice plugs. I was a regular purchaser and 
I think Judy occasionally gave me a "bakers dozen" when counting. The store 
was open only in the afternoons from about 4 to 6 o'clock. All candy bars cost 
5 cents each. 

In 1923, while I was at Lees, Mr. Lowrance drove Mr. Johnston, my three 
brothers and me to Statesville to catch an early morning train to Asheville. 
There was to be a court hearing to determine if we were to stay at Barium. 
My father, whom I hadn't seen in three years, joined the train at Hickory. 

We were standing in front of the old Bon Marche department store on Patton 
Avenue when my mother saw us from her hat shop across the street. She 
came over and spoke to us and Mr. Johnston. We went to the court house 
and found that the hearing had been postponed for some reason. We all then 
returned to the railroad station and caught a train to Statesville. 

Mr. Johnston got us seats in the parlor or observation car on the end of the 
train. It had a small platform on the end of the car where we sat as we went 
through several tunnels between Black Mountain and Old Fort. Mr. Johnston 
ordered dishes of ice cream for us and paid 20 cents per dish. It seemed such 
an extravagance at the time, although we did enjoy the ice cream. 

About 1924, the government began flying airmail. The route from Washington 
to Atlanta was just east of Barium Springs. On clear nights we could stand 
in front of Jennie Gilmer and see the flashes across the sky of several rotating 
guide beacons on the route. Since navigation depended upon visual view of 
the beacons, there were many accidents in bad weather. One particular pilot 


achieved some publicity for walking away from several crashes. One was on 
the edge of a cliff in the mountains in Western Carolina. 

One day in summer, about 1925, the entire school was let out to glimpse the 
dirigible Shenandoah which was supposed to fly in a path from Charlotte to 
Washington and be visible. Alas, two hours or more scanning of the skies 
revealed nothing. The dirigible later crashed over Ohio in a violent storm. 


In 1922, Mr. J.B. Johnston drove up to the Home in his Dort automobile, with 
the thermometer sticking up out of the radiator cap. Things were never the 
same again at Barium - and thankfully so. So began a completely new era in 
child care. A case worker, Miss Stevens, was employed, Lees and Howard 
Cottages were rebuilt, as was Alexander. Lottie Walker, for older girls, was 
constructed, along with Jennie Gilmer, for the older boys. Mr. Grier's house 
was moved to make way for construction of the Baby Cottage. Rumple Hall 
had already been greatly enlarged by the addition of two wings and a new 
kitchen and cold storage rooms for the milk and other perishables. 

Other physical plant improvements were the hot water lines to each building, 
the new boiler installations, sidewalks with drains, a new laundry and sewing 
building, the drilling of a new well, fencing the campus, and construction of 
the two highway underpasses. 

It was a completely new era and atmosphere on the campus, especially new 
freedoms and educational reforms began to be felt and taken pride in. It was 
akin to being liberated from confinement. 

Mr. Johnson's contributions to Barium were many, but a few stand out in my 
mind as superlative: 

1. Organized athletics 

2. Better schooling 

3. Aid for college students 

4. Improved and new housing 

5. Establishment of the "Barium Messenger" 

6. Organizing the Home's Financing and Bookkeeping 


Mr. Johnston erected a sign at each end of the campus on the side of the 
highway, reading: 

Presbyterian Orphan's Home 

Barium Springs, N.C. 

360 Children 

Owned and operated by 

The Synod of North Carolina 

The signs were large, done in colors in a really professional way, were at- 
tractive, and left no doubt as to what the Home was. 

During this era, the quality of clothes for the boys and girls was vastly im- 
proved. Overalls were for work only, and no longer permissible in the dining 
hall. Denim shirts for boys were used only for work as well. More store- 
bought clothes for both boys and girls were dispensed. Haircuts for boys, and 
more hair styling for the girls were a regular part of life. Cleanliness was the 

Mr. Johnston saw to it that anyone who wanted to leave and could find rela- 
tives to care for them was free to go. Boys no longer ran away; however, a 
few did elect to enlist in the Army or Navy - usually those who had no interest 
in further schooling and were at least sixteen years of age. 

In schooling a survey was made of high school students to determine those 
who could do the work and aspired to college, those who were more inclined 
to do commercial work in the business world, and those whose talents lay 
more in trade school areas, such as auto mechanics, or electricians. They 
were then directed in courses of study to provide necessary background 
training for the different fields of endeavor. 


The infirmary, as has been mentioned, took care of all the childhood diseases. 
Any serious health problem was taken to Statesville to Davis Hospital. 

As has been mentioned, little organized care was undertaken until Mr. 
Johnston came. In 1922, all children were vaccinated for typhoid by Dr. M. 
R. Adams from Statesville. These shots became a standard health measure 
every three years thereafter. 

About 1925, all children were given a tuberculin test, and several students 
were found to have tuberculosis and rest treatment was provided for them at 
some Sanitarium.* 


*(At McCain, Huntersville, Jamestown, Asheville. Ed.) 

Children were also examined for dental needs, and care was provided in better 
measure than prior to 1922. 

The first serious accident I recall at Barium was a compound fracture of the 
left arm of Edward Fraley, class of 1923, who was trying to slip a leather belt 
over an electric motor pulley, and got his arm caught. 

In 1923, Julian West, Eugene Kerr, and I were the three members of the 
"Broken Arm Club." My break was the result of pole vaulting, Gene's and 
Julian's resulted from trying to crank the Home's "T" Model Ford auto. The 
crank was located in front of the car, just below the radiator. This was before 
auto "self-starters", as they were then called. The spark and gas levers were 
mounted on the steering wheel column, and adjusted prior to each cranking 
of the engine. Too much "spark" or ignition, and a backfire in the engine 
cylinder resulted in a quick, powerful reverse (counterclockwise) spinning of 
the crank. The crank handle usually caught the cranker just about the wrist 
and usually broke it. There was a group picture of us in the 1924 "Spotlight" 
annual with the motto, "Get out of as much work as possible," which we did. 
Mr. Johnston drove me to Statesville where my arm was x-rayed and set at 
Davis Hospital, then located on Main Street. 

Buck Squires had an accident to his hand, as mentioned in notes on the 
Barium Messenger. He had an excellent recovery. 

So far as I know, only three people died at the Infirmary during my stay at 
Barium. The first was Richard Archibald, a twelve-year-old, and a distant 
cousin, in 1922 from typhoid, it was said. The second death occurred to 
Charlie Moore, also about twelve years old, in 1924, from Tetanus, resulting 
from a cap pistol wound. The third death was that of John Craig, aged about 
20, a midget, 1926, I believe. 

Kilby Wilson, a young boy about 10 years of age, died in Statesville from a 
burst appendix in about 1923. 

Mrs. Herman became the Infirmary nurse about 1922, succeeding Miss Critz. 

Most infirmary services involved cuts, bruises, a nail in the foot, or care for 
measles, mumps, whooping cough, chicken pox, and colds and flu. 

Theodore Brock, of the class of 1924, had a club foot. Mr. Johnston arranged 
for several operations on this foot in Charlotte, and between visits to the hos- 


pital, he let Theodore reside in his home. The operations were a complete 

Another successful operation was that on Lafayette "Toe" Donaldson, who had 
a severe burn from scalding water on his foot. The toes were drawn up and 
there was considerable damage to the top of the foot. "Toe" had walked with 
a severe limp until after the operation healed the foot and toes and gave him 
a reasonably normal foot. 

My brother, Ned, had a severe accident while unloading a freight car at the 
depot. The rear end of a wagon caught the freight car door and closed it 
against his head just back of the ear. It was a severe injury, with blood 
coming from his mouth, ears, and eyes. He was rushed to Davis Hospital for 
treatment. His hearing was impaired, his eyes were crossed for months, and 
he developed a stutter in his speech. He never fully recovered from this ac- 
cident, although he continued to improve through the years. 

When I got to Barium, I suffered severely from asthma and hay fever. Dust 
would make me sneeze for hours on end, and occasional asthma attacks at 
were frightening experiences as I struggled for breath. I went to the infirmary 
several times with attacks and obtained relief from inhaling the smoke from 
burning "Green Mountain" asthma powders. In the summer of 1921, I was 
detailed along with other boys from Synod Collage to distribute the wheat 
straw in the dairy barn, as the threshing machine threw it into the loft. After 
half a day, I couldn't speak and was gasping for breath. The same thing 
happened when we handled some cottonseed hulls at the dairy barn. 

Beginning in the summer of 1922, there was a regular procession of children 
to Davis Hospital for removal of tonsils and adenoids. A group of three or four 
were taken at a time. I went in 1922 with two other boys. We were driven to 
the hospital by Mr. Johnston about 7:00 a.m., operated on by 8:00 a.m., woke 
up about 3:00 p.m., and carried back to the Orphanage, where we were given 
ice cream to sooothe our sore throats. 

I was in the Infirmary for asthma, measles, mumps, and a broken left arm. 

George Estridge and another boy found some blasting caps. They put them 
in a fire to see if they would explode. They did so, and George lost one eye 
and the other boy's eyes were seriously damaged. 

Old Davis Hospital in Statesville was sold and became a commercial hotel, run 
by a Mrs. Wardlaw. The new Davis Hospital was built in the western section 
of the city. My only visit there was to have several clips placed on a cut above 
my left eye to hold the flesh together. The cut resulted from a collision with 


Thad Brock in a football drill. The day after the accident, I played football 
against Mooresville and we beat them. The cut was re-opened and occasioned 
a return visit to the Hospital. 

One of our self-administered remedies was that of "Rosebud Salve," a small 
tin with a rose on the cover and containing a light red perfumed substance, 
probably vaseline. We applied it to cuts, bruises, burns, etc. I doubt if it was 
medicinally efficacious, but it probably did no harm either. Of course, the in- 
structions on the container said it was good for all manner of ailments. 

The little cans sold for 10 cents each. If a person could sell 10 cans, the 
manufacturer would send him a nice white or red bandanna handkerchief. 
There were other prizes based on the quantity sold. At one time, several of 
us banded together and sold enough cans to obtain a small motion picture 
projector. It had a small kerosene lamp for projection lighting, but aside from 
some burned fingers in trying to operate it, we got very little. 

In the first health examination about 1922, it was found that Alma Harrell had 
an advanced case of tuberculosis. She was immediately sent to a sanitarium 
in Asheville but died within a year. Her body lay in state in Little Joe's Church 
attended by Jennie Gilmer boys. She was buried in the Barium Springs 


Jennie Gilmer was built in 1923 and immediately occupied by the High School 
boys from Lees Cottage and a few boys who were in Special Classes. It was 
the first cottage on the campus without a matron or monitor. It was operated 
under a student government or honor system. Mr. Johnston was the Judge; 
there was a council and a jury was elected or chosen each month. 

This was a completely new building housing some 26 to 30 boys. There were 
18 new rooms, two large sleeping porches, three excellent baths with showers, 
a large concreted basement with lockers for work clothes and football uni- 
forms, a large storage area on the third floor and, best of all, a large, well 
furnished living room or lounge. A wind-up Victrola and later an Atwater-Kent 
radio were in the lounge. These two instruments provided hours of enter- 
tainment for the boys. The living room was used on Sunday morning as a 
Sunday School classroom taught by Mr. Johnston. 

One of the first things Mr. Johnston did was to endeavor to start a Boy Scout 
troop. He had a scoutmaster from Statesville talk to the boys. An effort was 
made to begin work towards earning merit badges, and of course the boys 
learned the Scout Creed and how to salute. Many boys were somewhat old 


to begin scouting, and somehow scouting did not provide the outlet for ex- 
tensive physical energy of the boys. 

Mr. Johnston got Tresco Johnson from Statesville to come and instruct the 
boys in boxing and wrestling. These two sports proved popular and boxing 
was used to settle arguments in a "gentlemanly" way without resorting to bare 
fists. We were becoming more civilized! 

The basement was used as a skating rink, being the only place aside from a 
stretch of concrete walk, where one could skate. 

A Halloween party was held in the basement in 1924. Girls from Lottie Walker 
were invited, everyone was masked, and various games were played such as 
dunking apples, eating and mouthing suspended strings, and others. This 
was the first large scale function which mixed boys and girls in social activ- 
ities. Other parties were held in later years, but I think this was an area in 
which the Home could have done a better job. 

I went to Jennie Gilmer in the fall of 1924 and roomed with Troy Coates. 
Subsequently I roomed with Walter Fraley before Fraley and I were transferred 
back to the rebuilt Lees Cottage as monitors in September 1926 

As we began to get about with our new freedoms we experienced many things 
and were allowed considerable movement away from Barium-mainly to 
Statesville and Charlotte but at other times "bumming" rides to Greensboro 
and Durham to see family. 

About 1924 or 1925 Thad Brock and I caught a ride to Charlotte and then to 
Pineville to the Charlotte Auto races on a 1 1/4 mile wooden track. The track 
was built with approximately 2"x10" timbers laid on edge. We got there in 
ample time for the race, got in the infield for about $1.00 each and saw the 
prominent racers of the day including Tommy Milton, Peter Di Paolo, and 
Harry Hartz. There was a 25 mile race followed by a 250 mile race. I think 
Milton won the longer race. There were about 40,000 people at the race, a 
tremendous crowd in those days. The races were held two or three years and 
then were discontinued. We had no difficulty in catching a ride back to 
Charlotte and then Barium. 

Mr. Johnston bought a single-reel motion picture projector and built a booth 
for it in the School Auditorium. Earland Caudill and Eli Morris were the first 
operators. Movies were shown on Friday nights; usually 6 reel westerns or 8 
reel dramas. Each reel had to be changed as it was shown. During this short 
hiatus the Lottie Walker girls would begin leading the audience in songs. 
Among the popular songs we sang were: "A Long, Long 


Trail","Tipperary","Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party", "Let the Rest of the World Go 
By", and "Old McDonald Had a Farm", and a song that had a chorus some- 
thing like: "Fair thee Well, I'm going to Loosiana to see my Soosiana 

During the interim between reels, two brothers McLain and John Capps would 
often perform on stage. They did a song and dance routine that was quite 
good and certainly entertaining. They had had some experience i this field 
before coming to the Orphanage. 

McLain Capps became a real good and dependable drop kicker in football and 
played on some of the smaller teams while I was at the Home. 

For some time as I worked for Mr. Lowrance I would pick up the movie reel 
metal containers every Friday at the Station and carry them to the School 
building. We never knew what we were getting until it was shown. 

One unusual and welcome episode in showing movies at Barium was the 
showing of "When Knighthood was in Flower", starring Marian Davies. The 
Crescent theater in Statesville brought the film to Barium one morning. Quilts 
were hung over the windows of the school building auditorium and the film 
was shown one reel at a time. The entire student body was sent to the audi- 
torium to see this picture. No charge was made by the Theatre for this wel- 
come service. 

All the moving picture shows were silent with sub-titles on the screen. Music 
was furnished by a player piano or a pianist playing music selected for a 
particular film. 

Among the pictures we saw at Barium were featured the star comedians of 
the day; Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Ben Turpin, and Buster Keaton. Fe- 
male stars were Alia Nazimova, Pola Hegri, Gloria Swanson and Mae Murray, 
among many others. 

Rudolph Valentino, the star of the movie, "The Sheik", was one of outstanding 
male stars of the silent movies. Every boy hoped to achieve his expertness in 
handling women as demonstrated in his movies. One movie critic called him 
"Catnip to Women". He died unexpectedly at age thirty one in 1926, and the 
news reels showed hundreds of weeping women at his funeral. 

Among the other movies shown at Barium, I remember seeing "Robin Hood", 
"The Man in the Iron Mask", "The Three Musketeers", all with Douglas 
Fairbanks, Sr., I think, William S. Hart, the cowboy star appeared in 
"Ginfighter", Carole Lombard in "Hearts and Spins", Raymond Navarro in "Ben 
Hur", Gertrude Norman in "King of Kings", Harold Lloyd in "Safety Last" and 


"Girl Shy", and Tom Mix the very popular cowboy film star in "A Texas 
Ranger", "Riders of the Purple Sage", and the "The Rainbow Trail", all from 
books by Zane Grey. The theme of almost every picture was good versus evil; 
the good guys against the bad guys-and good triumphant. 

Living in Jennie Gilmer was enhanced by the visits of Mr. Ellis L. Jackson, 
CPA, with the Firm of Todd & McCullough, Auditors, of Charlotte, who did the 
Home accounting. He was a bachelor, interested in athletics and enjoyed his 
visits to Barium. He would frequently spend weekends at Barium with the 
boys. He was going to marry Mrs. Leila Simpson, a widow and a sister of 
Mrs. Johnston just prior to his tragic death in an automobile accident in 1926. 
He was an excellent football official and refereed may of our games. I never 
head an opposing team object to any of his calls. We all felt his loss and 
missed him keenly. 

Mr. Jackson bought an Atwater-Kent radio and installed it in the new Jennie 
Gilmer in 1923. This was a great innovation at the time. We crowded around 
the set on weekends to hear the early stations such as KDKA-Pittsburgh, 
WLW-Cincinnati, and WSB-Atlanta. Stations broadcast only for few hours 
mostly at night; the best reception. 

The radio stations were noted for the unique styles of their announcers. The 
KDKA-Pittsburgh announcer always let us know that Westinghouse Electric 
and Manufacturing Co. owned the station, giving them a good play upon 
signing off. I think the most famous was the "voice" of WSB-Atlanta. He was 
featured in many articles and his activities were noted in his recent obituary. 
He concluded the broadcasts by signing off in a long drawn out sing song 
saying: "W-S-B, The Atla-a-a-n-t-a Journal, At-l-a-a-a-n-t-a, Georgia, The 
Journal covers Dixie like the dew." 

The early radio shows featured popular music orchestras such as Coon- 
Sanders and Paul Whiteman playing the popular songs of the day. There were 
also some comedy routines and some news features. The radio signals would 
come and go; strong sound at one time and fading away at other times. The 
stations broadcast mostly at night for the best reception was at night. 

Mr. Jackson also bought records for one wind-up Victrola. He delighted in 
giving three boys each week in summer a weekend at the Mountain View Inn 
at Chimney Rocky, N.C. The boys would drive up with him on Friday afternoon 
and come back Monday morning. On one trip he took my brother Bill and 
drove him into Asheville to see our mother. The following week he took me 
to Chimney Rock and informed my mother, who drove over with an older sister 
and brother to see me. I still have the photographs Mr. Jackson was very 
agile and lots of fun. We played a fast and rough game of tag with him. I 


have a small scar over my right eye where one of his fast closing doors caught 

Victrola records cost 75 cents each and the boys bought each new song hit 
as they were published. Popular orchestras of the day were the Coon-Sanders 
group and Paul Whiteman. Among the popular songs were: 

"Dardanella'7'Ukelele Lady","Where'd You Get Those Eyes","The Prisoner's 
Love Song", "The Wreck of Old 97", "The Death of Floyd Collins", and "Blue 
Heaven" among others. Gene Austin was the male singer who made the girls 
quiver. There was even a popular song called "Roll Em Girlies, Roll 'Em" 
published about 1924 or 1925 when the fashion for the day decreed that the 
girls roll their stockings down just below the knee. It was still difficult, but 
thrilling to get a peek at the girls' knees, because of the dresses being a bit 
long at the time. 

Mr. Jackson refereed our football games and got Dick Kirkpatrick and "Red" 
Johnson, former college players, to come to Barium now and then to give a 
day of coaching to the football team. 

After one of the Winston-Salem football games he took me and two and three 
other boys to have dinner with him at the Hotel Zinzendorf in Winston. He 
assisted me in ordering from a very extensive menu and we were most pleased 
at eating at a table with such beautiful white linen and napkins and shining 

On another occasion he took several of us boys to dine in a lovely restaurant 
in the Johnson Building in Charlotte. The restaurant had a nice looking black 
pianist who played the piano during our luncheon. 

Mr. Jackson was a real gentleman, completely honest, no pretensions, most 
thoughtful and generous almost to a fault. All of the boys admired him and 
had looked forward to many future associations, but he was unfortunately 
killed in an automobile accident. We observed a day of mourning for him at 
the Home. 

In 1926 and 1927, Ben Dixon MacNeill, a cousin of my father, Daniel McNeill 
MacKay, cam to Barium to visit us three brothers. He was a successful 
newspaperman for the "Raleigh News and Observer", writing a daily column 
called "Cellar to Garret," and a weekly feature article on some phase of life in 
North Carolina. 

Ben Dixon was a friend of James Boyd the author who wrote Drums , a 
Revolutionary War historical novel and Marching On , a similar novel about 
the Civil War. North Carolina was the locale for both novels. He gave me a 


copy of each book along with biographies of Woodrow Wilson and William 
Hohenzollern (Kaiser Bill of World War I). He had detected my interest in 

Mr. MacNeil arranged for the Barium football team to have dinner with Gov. 
Angus McLean at the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh after our December 
game in 1926 with Raleigh Methodist Home. 

His large, wire-wheeled 8 or 12 cylinder Dusenberg touring car was a great 
attraction for the boys at Barium. It would easily run 90 miles per hour, as 
we soon found out. A lever in the floor controlled the "cut out" or exhaust and 
when switched on would sound like the roar of an aeroplane engine. It would 
stir up the greatest cloud of dust on a dirt road and, as he said, enabled him 
to elude the "minions of the law" on several occasions. 

On one visit Buck Squires and I went to the First Presbyterian Church in 
Statesville with him. He got into a discussion with Dr. Raynall, the pastor, and 
was invited to stay for lunch. He asked me if I could drive his car back to 
Barium and return later to get him. I drove the car back to the Home and 
returned to get him without any incident. The car's gear would get stuck in 
"high" or "third gear" at times, but I had no trouble as there were practically 
no stop lights in those days. 

Mr. MacNeill had a great interest in the people of the Carolina Outer Banks, 
especially the inhabitants of Buxton, who used many early English expressions 
in their speech. He was a great admirer of the Coast Guard and used to talk 
of their adventures from Chiccamacommico Station. He enjoyed swimming in 
the ocean; going out one or two miles. After his newspaper career, he retired 
to Buxton. I corresponded with him for many years and he always urged me 
to go to college and wanted me to try to be a writer. 

His friends were legion numbering governors, stage personalities and promi- 
nent business people. He drove the Dusenberg or flew all over the State in a 
Waco biplane to such places as had airports or in most cases good level hard 
fields. I have pictures from him of Gov. McLean on a fishing trip, Will Rogers, 
the prominent comedian and writer, and air views of many places in the State. 
He covered the attempted bomb destruction of a bridge near Badin, N.C. by 
the U.S. Army Air Bombers. The bridge became surplus when a lake was 
created near the site. Gen. Wm. Mitchell of the Air Force was endorsing air 
bombing at the time and having a terrific fight with his superiors who demoted 

Ben Dixon MacNeil was a frequent visitor to Barium and took groups of us 
boys riding all over the countryside, as has been said. I have pictures of a 


group at Lookout Dam on the Catawba and many of the boys in the Dusenberg 
at Barium. 

Unfortunately, his visits to Barium were terminated when several of us boys 
persuaded him to take Nell Coxwell and another Lottie Walker girl on a ride 
to Troutman and back. We were reported on this completely innocent trip and 
Buck Squires and I were "campused" for 30 days, the girls were disciplined 
and Mr. MacNeill was requested not to return to Barium. So much punishment 
and hurt for such a completely innocent venture. 

When he retired, he continued to write and finished a book called "The 
Hatterasmen" a few years before he died. He certainly gave us a good 
glimpse of the world outside Barium; something we all needed. 

Among Mr. MacNeill's many exploits was doing historical research for James 
Boyd's books and interviewing Mr. Washington Duke. He was a good friend 
of Paul Green, he famous Carolina playwright. Mr. MacNeill was intensely 
interested in the history of North Carolina, especially the early Scottish people 
who settled along the banks of the Cape Fear River, and the early English 
settlers on the Outer Banks. 

I learned a good lesson about gambling from Irwin Squires. One Sunday night 
when we were hungry and Buck had 35 cents, we decided to walk to the gas 
filling station about 1 1/2 miles towards Statesville to get some crackers and 
a Coca-Cola. Unfortunately, there was a slot machine at the station. Buck 
put in a dime and got back three. Another dime in the slot rewarded us with 
two more dimes. We now had enough money for a feast, but Buck was de- 
termined we would eat like kings. A few more dimes in the slots and our for- 
tune was zero. It was a miserable, hungry distance we walked back. I have 
played some machines since but never expected to win on extended play. (I 
used this example for children not too effectively, I fear). 

As we got older we were allowed to go to Statesville at night to see a movie 
or to go to Redpath Chatauqua, an annual event. Many times after the show 
we would get a fountain Coca-cola for 5 cents or buy a pint of delicious 
pineapple ice cream for 25 cents. As we started home we often, on Monday 
nights I believe, dropped by to see what was happening at the Mayor's Court. 
In those days the Mayor conducted a City Court, heard the cases, usually petty 
thievery, intoxication, domestic quarrels, small claims, etc. and rendered 
judgement on the spot. There would be fines, sentences to the jail or county 
farm, and sometimes just warnings. We did begin to see a side of life in the 
world from which we had been protected. 


The Statesville people were much aware of and solicitous of the children at 
Barium Springs. The theatres were most generous in allowing the orphanage 
children to see the movies without paying. Various church groups brought 
clothing and sent other items to Barium. The stores gave discounts to Mr. 
Lowrance on all his clothes purchases. Many families provided annual vaca- 
tion periods to Barium children who had nowhere else to go. 

The competition in athletics with Statesville teams and attendance at 

Statesville High School by some of the children of Barium's faculty opened 
numerous social occasions, to the boys particularly. We Jennie Gilmer boys 
met and were invited by the girls in Statesville to many parties. It was a 
wonderful and very needed social outlet for the boys, providing training in 
social graces and imparting a good measure of self confidence. 

Two young ladies whom I have always remembered with esteem were Carmen 
Goforth, a beautiful young girl, and Jean Quinn, the pretty daughter of Mr. 
Bremon Quinn. I was fortunate to date these young ladies on several occa- 

Annually the people of Statesville sponsored the visit of the Redpath 
Chatauqua. This was one of several groups of artists touring the United States 
originating, I believe, from Chatauqua, N.Y. The Chatauqa was a traveling 
show going from town to town and operating in a large tent with some 500 
folding chairs seats. The show would operate six nights in a location, and 
provide a different entertainment feature each night. They would present 
plays, magicians, lectures, choral groups and orchestras or bands. 

The Statesville people provided tickets for about two truck loads of orphanage 
children each night. The boys usually got to Statesville in cars or on their 
own, but the girls were taken in the Home truck and carefully chaperoned. 

One of the finest performances I ever saw was that of Bohumir Kryl and his 
Royal Hungarian Orchestra. They played marches, popular, classical and 
semi-classical selections and had some wonderful singers who sang "In a 
Little Spanish Town". The climax of the show was the rendition of "The Anvil 
Chorus" from Verdi's "II Trovatore". The stage was darkened, the anvils 
electrified and at the appropriate place in the music four men attired as 
blacksmiths hit the anvil with a hammer. The resulting contact created a long 
stream of sparks. It was a beautiful effect. 

On the way home from this occasion I caught a ride on the Home truck which 
was filled with Lottie Walker girls under the chaperonage of Miss Mildred 
Moseley. She scolded me but did not report me and I escaped another 


One of the side benefits to the Chatauqua was the visits to Barium by people 
from the Chatauqua group to entertain the children. We had visits by several 
ventriloquists, a magician or two and others. The most memorable artist to 
me was a lovely lady of about 25, who was a whistler. Her father had noted 
this proficiency in her and had sent her to the only conservatory for whistlers, 
I believe, in California. 

This lady played the piano and whistled at the same time to almost any song 
or tune and gave wonderfully true imitations of bird calls. She described to 
us her early training and life with the Chatauqua. She whistled through her 
teeth without using her fingers (as boys do) and without pursing her lips. 

The Chatauqua entertainers would give their performances in the dining hall 
immediately after supper. 

On one occasion a man and wife, Vaudeville performers, stopped by the 
orphanage about 1923 in the fall and requested an opportunity to entertain the 
children. They came to the school auditorium and the afternoon school 
classes were dismissed to see them perform. They did a few songs, a comedy 
routine and a soft-shoe dance together. One of their dittys had in it the fol- 
lowing: :fol-de-rol, fol-de-rol, fol-de-rol, de-ra-ta". They performed well and the 
children enjoyed it. The couple said they were pleased as they just wanted to 
do something for the poor orphan children. 

When the Playhouse Theatre was built in Statesville in 1927 on the site of old 
Statesville Inn, it became the center of our movie going activities. Groups of 
Home children were also allowed to attend this theatre free of charge, at that 

The most memorable occasion for me in this theater was when a group of us 
were allowed to see the movie of Lawrence Stalling's book "The Big Parade". 
It was the story of World War I and an American boy (Frederic March) falling 
in love with a French girl (Renee Adoree). The showing was accompanied 
by a live orchestra whose musicians provided special effects such as the 
sound of machine guns and bursting bombs, and all the sound effects of a 

Here too, Kay Kyser brought his University of North Carolina student orchestra 
to play. He called his band "Kike" Kyser in those days and traveled by bus. 
When later achieved national fame as an orchestra leader, he began to call 
himself Kay Kyser. 


About 1925 or 1926, Mr. Johnston initiated the first of several annual train ex- 
cursions to the Presbyterian Assembly Grounds at Montreat. The dairy boys 
milked the cows about 4:00 AM, breakfast was served about 6:00 A.M., and all 
the children were gathered at the station to board the train at 7 o'clock. Mr. 
Johnston had me letter a white banner about 30 feet long with the words 
"Barium Springs Home" and attach it to the side of one of the passenger cars. 

The train stopped at Statesville to pick up additional passengers, then dis- 
charged the Barium students at Black Mountain where cars were awaiting to 
take the children to Montreat. Other passengers went on to Asheville. The 
round trip fare was $2.00 per person. Those at the Home who could pay did 
so and all others had their fare paid by the Home. 

Thad Brock, Clinton Caudill, Charles Hunt and I among others sold drinks, 
candy, sandwiches, etc. on the round trip to pay our fare. We did an excellent 
business and there was a tidy profit for the Home. 

After spending the day at Montreat, hiking to the top of the mountain, swim- 
ming, playing games, and having lunch, the students went back to Black 
Mountain and boarded the train for Barium arriving about 8:00 PM. The dairy 
boys then milked the cows to finish a long day. Everyone considered the trip 
well worth the effort. I also went on this trip the following year but missed the 
trip in the summer of 1927. 

On the 1927 trip my brothers, Bill and Ned had communicated with my mother 
in Asheville. They were met in Black Mountain and driven to Asheville to 
spend the day with my mother and older brother. Unfortunately as my brother 
drove them back to Black Mountain in the afternoon he had a tire puncture 
and was some thirty minutes late, holding up the train's departure. Mr. 
Johnston was very upset and I believe made them work a Saturday afternoon 
or two as punishment. 

On the first trip to Montreat, Miss Nettie Miller, my first matron at Synod Cot- 
tage, greeted some of the former Synod boys she had known. Remembering 
her stinging leather whip, I kept my distance. 

These trips to Montreat with the hikes on the mountain, provided an opportu- 
nity to occasionally put an arm around a girl or best of all steal a kiss or two. 
While I was never expert at this, in fact too shy, I have been intrigued at the 
influence of the moon, the wilderness and the back seat of an auto at night 
had on the feminine mystique. 

One Christmas, Buck Squires and I decided to procure some holly to decorate 
our room. A farmer who lived about one mile north of the County Home had 


a magnificent holly tree some fifty feet tall. He had built a pig pen around it's 
base so that any pilferers would disturb the pig and alert the house. None the 
less we took the chance and managed to get a few branches which we se- 
creted in the nearby woods. After deciding that this was risky business we 
went around to the farm house front door, identified ourselves and asked if 
he could give us some holly. He smiled as if he knew what we had been up 
to but said yes and gave us a generous armful. We had a real life experience 
of Ben Franklin's admonition that, "Honesty is the best policy". 

Jennie Gilmer had two groups of boys or gangs known as "The Nighthawks" 
and the "High & Lofty" gangs. They were into all sorts of mischief. Each gang 
had obtained keys to the smokehouse, the kitchen and the creamery. Every 
now and then they would go into these places for a ham, a tin of canned meat 
or a can of milk. Any boy caught doing this was promptly shipped away from 
the Home. It went on for some time, however. 

Mr. Lowrance established a central clothes room where those clothes sent by 
Churches and those he bought were stored. He bought clothes for all the High 
School boys, usually taking each boy to Statesville to be fitted at Johnston- 
Belk Co., Kelly Clothing Co., Crowell Clothing Co., or some other store. The 
quality of dress for the boys and girls was vastly improved. 

The senior class of boys was allotted $10.00 per month for clothes, toilet arti- 
cles, hair cuts, etc. The senior class girls received $7.50 for the same pur- 

The new laundry building built about 1924 or 1925 was equipped with the most 
modern machinery for washing and ironing clothes. It was operated entirely 
by a staff of girls under a woman supervisor. They did a wonderful job and 
provided us with clean clothes, sheets, towels, etc.; a great improvement over 
the old facilities. 

The sewing room stitched our first numerals to the old sweat shirts we wore 
as football jerseys. My 1925 sweat shirt had number eleven on it, two ones, 
but they were sewn on backwards; the serifs at the top of the number ex- 
tending to right. I hurriedly took it back to the sewing room and had the 
matter corrected. It was bad enough wearing number eleven as if I was the 
last man to make the team! 

The sewing room girls were required to patch the boys cloghing, sew on 
missing buttons, etc. They were also very skilled at designing and making 
some of their own dresses. 


One exceptional girl who must have had some training in this department was 
Armigene Roderick. She went to New York and by her own efforts established 
a clothing firm called D'Armigene located near Bay Shore Long Island where 
she had a beautiful bayside home. Armigene had patented some type of 
sewing a sleeve to a girl's blouse, employed approximately 150 girl sewing 
operators, and a designer and cutter. She received contracts from several 
large airlines, domestic and foreign, for designing and manufacturing the 
blouses and skirts (outfits) for the airline hostesses. At the time of one of my 
visits she was working on an order for some 14,000 outfits for Howard Johnson 
Motels and Restaurants. 

I visited Armigene often on my business trips to New York. I had my company 
make her a beautiful wooden sign with her name and street number for her 
residence. She later married a Mr. Howard Lenk and retired to Florida. After 
her husband passed away she retired to Kingsport, Tenn. where she had 
some relatives. I still correspond with her. Her sister was Elma Roderick, one 
of the outstanding girl basketball stars at Barium. 

During Armigene's early business years Buck Squires did her auditing work 
or acted as a consultant for her. 

On one of my visits to her plant she gave me approximately a dozen 
stewardess blouses designed for several different airlines. They were all in 
my wife's sizes and she wore them proudly for several years. They were 
stylish and beautifully tailored. 

Another girl who did exceptionally well was Martha Boyce Beal. She had gone 
to Nashville to the hospital connected to Vanderbilt University and taken 
Nurse's training. Somehow she got to the West Coast and married Dr. Beal 
and they live in Milwaukie, Oregon, near Portland. On a business trip to 
Portland about 1972, I called them and invited them to have dinner with my 
wife and me. They accepted and we had a wonderful visit. The following year, 
they toured the South and came to visit us. Her sister, Frances, was an out- 
standing basketball player at Barium. 

About 1923 or 1924, The Vance Hotel was built in Statesville. It was a fine, 
modern downtown hotel where I later stayed on a return visit to Barium. An 
attraction in the hotel was the newsstand and soda shop of Mr. Walter "Steve" 
Culbreth, who became an ardent supporter and fan of the Barium football 
teams. I bought my first copies of Collier and Liberty magazines there for 5 
cents each. We boys would often go there and get a chocolate milk shake for 
10 cents. 


About this time also, the young men began wearing "bell-bottom" trousers. 
These pants had cuffs and were approximately 24 to 26 inches in width at the 
cuff. They looked somewhat like the flared trousers that enlisted Navy men 
wore. Naturally a song was written called "Bell Bottom Trousers". The style 
was popular only one year and did not take hold in Barium. We simply could 
not afford an extra pair of trousers just to be in style. 

While card playing was permitted, no dancing was ever condoned. In fact, it 
was strictly taboo. Mr. Johnston became very exercised one time when his 
daughter, Anne Fayssoux, brought some girls home from Queens College in 
Charlotte and were caught dancing in his home. 

There was much discussion about the marathon dances shown in the news 
reels as well as The Charleston dance which was sweeping the country in 
1925. There must have been some practicing however, as the girls were ex- 
perts as they could demonstrate when no one was looking. 

Rush Lackey, the son of Mr. J.D. Lackey, Sr. was a good friend of Troy Coates, 
my roommate. He would gather eggs during the week and bring them on 
Sunday night to our room at Jennie Gilmer where we had an electric hot plate. 
We would buy a loaf of bread, fry the eggs and have a feast. 

Mr. Johnston came into our room one Sunday night saying it certainly smelled 
good and please prepare a sandwich for him. He joined us as one of the boys 
and after we dispelled our initial fear of the consequences, had a nice sociable 

About 1927, Mr. Johnston transferred me to the Farm Gang under Mr. Troy 
Cavin, Mgr. I worked with three very dependable black men hired by the 
Home. The three were Bob Templeton, Abner White and Ed Young. They did 
most of the handling of the mules and plowing. One mule name Maude was 
really obstreperous, constantly kicking and to such an extent that hobbles had 
to be used to prevent an accident. 

I remember discussing Lindbergh's airplane flight from New York to Paris with 
Bob. It was just impossible for him to believe a man could remain aloft in a 
plane for 33 hours. 

In 1926, Francis Ghigo, a son of a matron came to live with us at Jennie 
Gilmer. He attended Davidson College and had a sister named Anita who at- 
tended Salem College in Winston-Salem, where my sister, Aileen, was also a 
student. Since Salem was considered quite expensive, they never understood 
how we three brothers could be in an orphanage. The Ghigos were 


Waldensians coming originally from a valley between France and Italy and 
settling at Valdese, N.C. They were all Protestants. 

The Waldensian bakery at Valdese was famous throughout North Carolina for 
its bakery goods. It was also rumored that one could obtain a good bottle of 
wine in Valdese, in spite of the Prohibition Laws. 

While I was still at Jennie Gilmer and working on the farm, Mr. J.B. Johnston 
bought a herd of sheep to graze and control the growth of grass on the ex- 
tensive campus. In the herd was a big ram; mean, easily excited and a past 
master at butting people. On one occasion, he picked on Mrs. Herman from 
the Infirmary. After butting her down, he stood by and as she would regain 
a position on her knees-bang, another but on her posterior. Her screams 
attracted some boys who rescued her, with more damage to her pride than 

It was decided that a large motorcycle chain should be fastened to the ring in 
the ram's nose to inhibit his proclivities for butting people. Mr. Troy Cavin 
handed me the chain, a piece of wire and some pliers and said, "Go do it." 
In fear and trembling and with the help of two boys we were able to fasten the 
chain to his nose ring. It looked effective but wasn't. The sheep were sold. 

Thereafter, I mowed the campus with a manual push reel mower. I would start 
at the Infirmary on a Monday and by Wednesday had finished the campus to 
Lees College. One day more took care of the grass on the east side near Lottie 
Walker. I took great pride in doing this job and making the campus neat and 

After residing in Jennie Gilmer Cottage and rooming with Troy Coates and 
Walter Fraley for two years, Walter and I were sent to newly rebuilt Lees Cot- 
tage to act as monitors. We had a bedroom, a bathroom and a study room; 
the nicest quarters on campus. We had few duties other than to maintain or- 
der and see that the boys studied, got to bed on time, and went to sleep 
without commotion. 


Some two or three years prior to 1920, the Orphanage published a monthly 
paper called "Our Fatherless Ones." I saw a copy of one of the issues, which 
had been preserved. It was printed in a shop in Alexander Cottage before that 
building was destroyed by fire. 

About 1922, after Mr. Johnston arrived at Barium, he started a four page 
mimeographed monthly campus newsletter. It was printed on an A.B. Dick 


machine. The type was set by hand into grooves on the machine cylinder, 
passed over an inking roll, and pressed against a sliding horizontal platen, 
on which the paper had been laid. Mr. Johnston saw me doing this and I 
presume this was the reason Bob and I were chosen in the first group in the 
new printing shop in 1923. 

Mr. Grier's gang set up the Lee two-revolution press for the paper, a job press, 
type cases, and assembly tables. I worked for him and assisted. All of the 
equipment in the printing shop was donated to the Home by Mr. James Sloan 
of Redlands, California. 

Mr. Johnston conducted a contest to select a name for the new Home paper 
to be published once a month. Mary Lee Earnhardt, as I recall, selected the 
name "Barium Messenger" and received a $5.00 prize. 

Mr. A. P. Edwards ("Ape", behind his back) was the printing plant boss and 
was well versed in this trade, and a good man to work for. He lived in 
Statesville, where his mother-in-law ran a boarding house. He and his wife, 
Stella, would usually carry one of the printing office boys to Statesville on 
Friday night for a good dinner, a movie, lodging, and breakfast, and return to 
the Home on Saturday morning. 

Mr. Edwards taught us - Irvin Squires, Ned MacKay, Bob Estridge, Charles 
Hunt, Guy East, Lee West, and me - to do all the necessary chores to become 
journeyman printers. We set and distributed type, made up forms, ran the two 
presses, cleaned the ink rolls, changed ink on the job press, and folded and 
mailed the Messenger. Our paper was four pages, five columns, each column 
13 ems wide, with body copy set in 8 and 10 point type. Each paragraph was 
indented one em (about 1/8") and there was one em (1/16") between each 
sentence. We set type in a brass "stick" held in the left hand with a "lead" 
between each line of type. 

Setting type was excellent training in spelling for each word had to be men- 
tally spelled out as each piece of type was set or distributed. 

In addition to printing and mailing approximately 15,000 "Messengers" each 
month, we printed programs for many occasions, forms for the office, lists of 
Bible selections to be memorized, and occasionally we would print calling 
cards for our girl friends and name plates for placing on dormitory room 
doors. We printed the Annuals for the school, beginning in 1924. The first 
"Barium Messenger" was printed in November, 1923. 

Irvin Squires was our first casualty, catching his hand in the job press as it 
closed. The hand was badly mangled, but a quick trip to Davis Hospital in 


Statesville effected an excellent recovery. A safety devise was then bought 
and placed on the press; as the press closed this device snapped up and lit- 
erally kicked the hand away. 

Every newcomer to the print shop was inducted into the "type lice" scam. As 
the type forms were cleaned of ink and the type was ready to distribute, a 
small opening between leads was made and filled with water. Then, as the 
newcomer looked down closely to see the "type lice", the column was shoved 
together quickly - directing the dirty water straight up into the unsuspecting 
receiver's face. It worked on every newcomer, including me. 

In 1925, Mr. Sloan bought us an 8-14 Mergenthaler Lineotype machine for 
setting type. This was much faster, cleaner, and less laborious. Melting the 
type and recasting as "pigs" was the only dirty chore. On occasion, some 
operator would not finish out a line and we would have a "squirt out" of hot 
lead, which could be painful. 

Scrap paper was utilized in the school rooms for spelling exercises. 

About 1925, Mr. Edwards took all the printing office gang to Charlotte. We 
visited the printing plants of the "Charlotte Observer", "The Charlotte News", 
and had lunch at Ivey's Cafeteria. We all discovered "Eskimo Pies" on this trip 
- Mr. Edwards bought a supply of these delicious ice cream and chocolate bars 
for our group. Robert Estridge, Charles Hunt, Guy East, and I made the trip 
with Mr. Edwards. 

We had a paper storage room for various types of paper to be used for the 
Messenger, the Home letterheads, programs, etc., and were taught to select 
the correct paper for each purpose. 

Brady Printing Company in Statesville was a good friend to our printing de- 
partment. We took all the annuals to them for cutting and stapling, and 
learned much about a commercial printing shop. As I recall, they printed the 
"Landmark", a weekly newspaper for Iredell County inhabitants. The 
"Statesville Daily" was, I think, printed elsewhere in the town. 

Mr. Johnston utilized the "Messenger" to its fullest advantage, publishing 
monthly names of contributors, individuals, churches, Sunday Schools, items 
of interest from each Cottage, names of Honor Roll students, news of alumni, 
a running recap of contributions from each Presbytery, and appeals especially 
for the big Thanksgiving contribution drive for $100,000.00 to run the 
Orphanage for a year! 


In 1924, Mr. Johnston conducted a contest for the best paper on "How to 
Save." I won the contest and received $10.00. A girl from Lottie Walker got 
second prize of $5.00. The papers were published in the "Messenger", mine 
after scrutiny by Mrs. Holton, my seventh grade teacher, who scolded me for 
spelling spigot as "spicket." 

Mr. Johnson also started a serial shorty story with each episode being written 
by a different teacher. The name of the story was the "Hills Juggle the 
Juggernaut." It was about a hidden treasure in a railroad tunnel. There was 
some romantic interest, and it was the consensus of us typesetters that Mr. 
T.L. O'Kelley's story was the best in this regard. 


The school system covered grades one through eleven. The school year cov- 
ered nine months with Thankssgiving and Christmas the only holidays. I think 
we got out of school about a week at Christmas. Grades one, two and three 
were called the Primary grades, with the Grammar School covering grades 
five through seven. High School was the eighth through the eleventh. The 
school day covered four hours with a fifteen minute recess. Class periods 
were approximately forty-five minutes each, all in the same room. Each grade, 
one through seven had one teacher. In High School there were different 
teachers for each subject. No time was allowed for any study periods; all 
study hall was at night in the school building or finally in the dormitories or 
cottages. The first, second, third, and fifth grades along with High School 
went to school in the morning; the fourth, sixth and seventh grades in the 
afternoon. It was standard secondary school curriculum. 

An excellent commercial course covering typing, bookkeeping, shorthand, and 
business math was offered for those not going to college. 

The science courses touched on physics, geography, astronomy and chemis- 
try. Chemistry was not taught as a full course and there were no chemical 
laboratory facilities. 

Barium Springs High School was a private school at that time, and we had 
some very fine teachers, very knowledgeable in their subjects and very dedi- 
cated to their profession. 

Spelling "bees" were held frequently in each grade. It was a daily exercise 
in each grade. Charles Hunt and I stood the entire High School down when 
I was in the ninth grade and he in the tenth. He won when I misspelled 
"benefited". I put two "t's" in the word then, but never since. 


In 1920, Barium hired a mother and a daughter to teach reading music and 
voice. The two lived in Synod Cottage and stayed only one year. In my 
opinion it was a sad loss for the students when they departed. 

The two would teach each grade at least twice a week. They drew the music 
lines and notes on the blackboard as we all learned them along with do, re, 
me, fa, so, la, ti, do, and singing of simple songs. It was marvelous training 
and regretfully of short duration. 

There was always a piano teacher at Barium. I believe the one in 1920-21 was 
Miss Kate Compton. Her pupils were mostly girls but there were two or three 
excellent boy pupils. 

Mr. William P. Nesbitt came to the school in 1923 from Davidson College as 
Principal of the school. He taught mathematics in High School, was an ex- 
cellent cornet player and could throw a long and beautiful spiral pass with a 

In 1924, Mr. T.L. O'Kelley became High School principal and also taught 
mathematics. One of his sons was killed in World War II and another son, 
Dr. Joseph O'Kelley, became a Professor at the University of Alabama. 

Miss Fannie Foust of Graham, the third grade teacher when I arrived and, who 
later became the librarian; Miss Belle Smith, an elderly, retired missionary 
from China who taught Science and Latin in High School and was a fluent in 
Latin and Chinese as she was in English; Mrs. John Q. Holton, the seventh 
grade teacher, a firm disciplinarian, an excellent teacher and the best reader 
of B'rer Rabbit stories I have ever heard; Miss Mildred Mosley, a graduate of 
the University of Oklahoma, who came to Barium to teach S panish in 1924, 
were all excellent and dedicated teachers. Miss Mosley (who later became 
Mrs. Ken Stewart) was a source of great encouragement to me and I have 
corresponded with her from 1928 to the present time. The class of 1928 had 
a reunion in Greensboro, N.C. in November, 1983 and we phoned her at her 
home in Duncan, Oklahoma and had a joyful and emotional reunion by phone. 

Miss Foust, directed me to reading good books and opened up new worlds to 
me in this fashion. She insisted that I must read only good material and she 
constantly reminded me that I must go to college. In high school, in addition 
to Miss Belle Smith, other excellent teachers were Miss Louise Williams from 
Dunn, N.C. who taught English, Miss Emma Plaster, a University of Georgia 
graduate, who taught Latin, Miss Eva Mae Reese a domestic science teacher 
and Mr. T.L. O'Kelley who was our principal. Mr. O'Kelley did an excellent job 
in helping me get through first year algebra in high school. 


One of the finest gentlemen I have ever known was Mr. Samuel Andrew Grier, 
a mechanical engineering graduate of N.C. State (A & M at the time). He was 
the home engineer, an extremely fair man and a very good friend. I worked 
for him on his "gang" for about 1 1/2 years fixing leaking faucets, repairing, 
wiring, replacing light bulbs, cleaning the water tank and keeping the water 
pump going. While not a regular teacher, he gave us "on-the-job" vocational 

Miss Foust caught me reading a copy of Capt. WM. Fawcett's (a World War I 
hero) "Capt. Bill's Whizbang", a small paperback containing jokes and "po- 
etry", both of which could be described as smutty. We tried to learn the 
rhymes from the Section called "Smokehouse Poetry". It wasn't much in the 
way of poetry but a lot of boys were punished for trying to learn some of it's 

Miss Kate McGoogan was the second grade teacher. My brother Billie was 
under her and Ned went to the first grade. 

In the school year 1921-22 I was in the fourth grade under a Miss Overcash, 
a recent college graduate who was taking on her first teaching assignment. 
She was an excellent teacher and during the year I attained an average of 
98.6, the highest in the class. 

It was during this year also that I was sent to Miss Hostetler, who was the 
afternoon principal, for a whipping for talking in class. I faced her with fear 
and trembling but instead of administering a whipping she gave me a good 
talking to which was much more effective. The children in the class were 
switched for various infractions of the rules. Miss Overcash usually sent me 
to get the switches, all of which were obtained from a large hedge growing 
beside the Boyd Cottage. We would select the switches and on the way back 
to class we would notch them with our knives so they would bend easily and 
sometimes break while the punishment was being administered. She never 
did catch on to this trick. 

Because I was a year behind in school for my age due to a late start because 
of asthma it was decided to skip the fifth grade and promote me to sixth in 
1922. Mrs. Hostetler was my teacher in the sixth grade, and quite good except 
she never taught me to do fractions but I excelled in geography and spelling. 
A girl named Ruth McQuaige was the class whiz in arithmetic and would do 
fractions in a flash. I think Mrs. Hostetler tried to teach by too many rules and 
not enough logic. At any rate fractions are a favorite form of mathematics and 
I was able to assist my three children to understand them in later years. 


The following year in the seventh grade, Mrs. John Q. Holton was the teacher 
and a very fine one. It was to her I recited the Shorter Catechism with proofs, 
contributing to an "A" in Bible. She was an expert at teaching decimals and 
percentages in math, and I've never forgotten the basics she taught. 

A particular fetish of hers was insistence on imparting knowledge to us stu- 
dents in the courtesies of extending and replying to formal invitations. This 
was part of our English course. We had to make up invitations to fictitious 
events and then make the proper replies. By today's standards those forms 
were quite formal and stilted. There was also instruction in how to properly 
address people of all sorts of stations in life, and how e should have our own 
calling cards printed. She was great on sentence structure also. I think we 
were well prepared for High School after learning Mrs. Holton's classroom. 

Mrs. Holton wanted her students to be aware of what was going on worldwide. 
She had the class subscribe to a weekly news magazine called "Current 
Events". News of the United States and the rest of the world was condensed 
for easier understanding. Each student had to verbally report in class on 
some important event and then write a short theme about the subject. These 
classroom periods were interesting and stimulating. 

Usually on a Friday afternoon, Mrs. Holton would read us one of the Uncle 
Remus stories written by Joel Chandler Harris. She was an expert in reading 
and pronouncing the dialect of Uncle Remus and entertained us royally in 
doing so. 

In my grammar school years, two series of books were very popular reading 
among the boys: The "Tom Swift" series detailing all his new inventions and 
his romance and marriage to Mary Nestor; and the adventures of the three 
"Rover Boys", a series. Of course, we eagerly read the rise to riches books 
of Horatio Alger, Jr. Western stories by Zane Grey and Wm. McLeon Raines 
were very popular as were books by Harold Bell Wright and the romantic 
"Graustark" books. Many fo these books were made into movies. James 
Oliver Curwood was a popular author of romantic novels of Canada and the 
Royal Northwest Mounted Police. We also read Jack London's books. 

Two books which caused a great stir at the Home as well as elsewhere were 
the publication of "It" by Elinor Glyn and the "Plastic Age" by Percy Marks. 
They were somewhat controversial and considered racy or scandalous for the 

Elinor Glyn said "It" was a quality embodying many things in a persons 
makeup. After we boys saw Clara Bow in the movie we were convinced it had 
to do something with sex, a topic few of us knew anything about and a word 


rarely heard and if so usually sotto voce We boys quickly identified which girls 
among the students had "It". The girls copied Clara Bow's hairdos and dis- 
cussed what "It" was with one another and sometimes the boys. 

Harry Estridge of the Class of 1923 was, I believe, the first Barium boy to go 
to college. After graduating in 1923 he applied to the University of North 
Carolina for admittance and was rejected, in spite of good grades, as having 
insufficient credits from an unapproved school. Determined, nevertheless, he 
went to Chapel Hill, insisted on an examination, passed it and was admitted. 
He attended Carolina two years before transferring to Davidson College and 
completing his education there. He was a letterman on the Davidson wrestling 

Prior to 1922, female graduates generally became nurses, stenographers, 
telephone operators, took beauty parlor courses or got married. The boys 
joined the Army or the Navy or got work somewhere. If any got to college they 
had to do so on scholarships (very limited in those days) or receive help from 
relatives. There were no student loan programs. 

One of Mr. Johnston's greatest contributions to Barium Springs was creating 
a loan fund to assist graduates to go on to college. Some of the funds pro- 
vided were outright gifts and some borrowed from the orphanage fund to be 
paid back upon graduation and over a period of time. Summer jobs helped 
accumulate some funds for the school year expenses. 


In my opinion, there was a dearth of social contact between the boys and girls, 
as well as insufficient education in sexual matters. The boys were occa- 
sionally warned by Mr. Johnston about venereal diseases and this was about 

There were times for dating the Lottie Walker girls, usually 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM 
on Sundays. Dating was carefully supervised by Miss Maggie Adams who 
patrolled the parlor at Lottie Walker with eagle eyes. It was a little better when 
a couple could sit outside on one of the several benches placed around the 
building. I guess we made our dates by telling our girlfriends at school on 
Fridays that we would see them Sunday. Sometimes a date was made when 
we saw each other at the dining hall. At any rate the girls always were ex- 
pecting us and seemed to know exactly whom to look for. 

Lottie Walker parlor had one love seat, a twin seat shaped like an "S" where 
the boy and girl sat side by side and face to face, and best of all, in "close 
proximity". It was easy to hold hands and the seat was dearly sought after 


on a first come, first served basis. We boys would run all the way from Jennie 
Gilmer to Lottie Walker to be first. Usually in hot weather we were so sweaty 
by the time we got there that we couldn't have been appealing to the girls. 
Several parties were organized from time to time such as the Halloween Party 
at Jennie Gilmer to get boys and girls together. Miss Mildred Mosely took a 
fancy to the Class of 1928 and made numerous successful occasions for us to 
get together, usually dinners cooked by the girls and served in the basement 
of Lottie Walker. She also encouraged us in achieving some social graces. 
Coach McMillan took us on a picnic to Buffalo Shoals on the Catawba River 
when we were in the tenth grade. 

I was an incurable romantic but extremely shy and unsure of myself around 
girls. In spite of this, I think I managed to have a sweetheart in almost every 
grade. Being sweethearts consisted of a provocative glance or two, a wink 
or so, maybe a note passed or some girl telling you that, "Mary really likes 
you". All of these cemented an unspoken liking for each other and acknowl- 
edgment that you were sweethearts. 

Physical contact between boys and girls was minimal in my days at Barium. 
Occasionally one had a chance to hold hands with a girl, put an arm around 
her and maybe steal a kiss, usually in some darkened place like the Home 
truck at night or even in the dimly lit underpasses. A kiss from a sweetheart 
would send one into a state of euphoria for several days. 

How well I remember those lovely girls that were my sweethearts. In the fifth 
and sixth grades, Gladys Kelly was my girlfriend; in the seventh and eighth 
grades Eugenia Coletrane; then followed Elsie Westall and Mary Jones. In the 
tenth and eleventh grades I dated Daisybelle Torrance and termed Nell 
Coxwell my steady girl. Many years later I saw Mary Jones in Birmingham 
after her marriage. She was visiting relatives there. I used to phone her sister 
Margaret who married Sam Jackins, when I occasionally was in Shreveport, 
Louisiana on business. Mary had several children and the last word I had of 
her she was living in Longview, Texas. Nell Coxwell came to our class reunion 
in Charlotte about 1968. The Class of 1928 has really kept in touch with each 
other. Our last reunion was hosted by Buck Squire and his wife Frances in 
Greensboro in 1983. 

One very embarrassing incident occurred to me when I was in the seventh 
grade. I received a note addressed to me and inside were the words "Much 
love". In my first and only attempt at being a chirographist, I decided I knew 
the young lady's handwriting. I returned the missive to her on which I had 
also written "Much love". Imagine how I felt when she said, "I didn't send it, 
it was sent by Kathleen". I could have sunk through the floor. So much for 
a little knowledge. We laughed about it in later years. 


Social graces were acquired by reading about how things were done, listen- 
ing, looking and practicing. There just wasn't enough conversation with the 
girls to become an interesting conversationalist and at ease. All the members 
of our class, at our last reunion, admitted this was a shortcoming in our edu- 
cation. We also admitted we had all needed more instruction in sexual edu- 

The attendance at Statesville High by Lamont Brown, the Johnston children 
Ruth Lowrance and others opened many social occasions for us in Statesville. 
We met many of the girls there and occasionally dated them in Ralph Thomas' 
car, the Home Ford or Dr. Brown's automobile. They were always gracious 
to me and treated us as equals. Unfortunately, we were invited to parties 
where sometimes we hesitated to go because we didn't consider our clothes 
nice enough. The girls would also come to Barium on Friday afternoon during 
the football season to cheer us on. A little jealousy was generated by this with 
the Home girls, but they were always curious about whom we were dating in 
Statesville and what we did. 

Dr. W.C. Brown had a very beautiful daughter who dated Robert "Bob" Collier, 
a lawyer in Statesville and a former Wake Forest College football star. They 
were married and I understand Mr. Collier later became a State Superior Court 

Among the family names of girls, I remember were Gilbert, Sherrill, Bowles, 
Deaton, Bunch, Taylor, Quinn and Goforth among many. I received an invi- 
tation from Jean Quinn for her graduation from Mitchell College in 1930, but 
at that time was attending Danville Military Institute in Virginia, and couldn't 
go to Statesville. 

In later years, my first cousin, Mary MacKay Brandon, and her husband, Dr. 
Wm.R. Brandon, retired from his practice in New York City to Statesville. 
From time to time I visited her and made contact with several of the Statesville 

One occasion at Barium that I remember well was about 1923, when my 
brother MacNeill MacKay III came to visit us. He was attired "fit to kill", with 
a mustache, black derby, gloves, and a walking cane. He had a date with 
Mary Lee Kerr and was thoroughly smitten. They corresponded for several 
years but never saw each other again. Mary Lee Kerr from Statesville was a 
very beautiful young lady and I could well understand his feelings. 

In spring and fall teachers would take an entire class, boys and girls, for a 
walk to the spring, to the Old Soldiers Graveyard towards Statesville or some 


other place. This did give us an excellent chance to mix and talk with the 

On these walks, the boys would try to demonstrate their ability to catch 
squirrels, rabbits, snakes, etc. A favorite pastime on a spring walk was to 
gather and present to the girls a hand full of "sweet shrubs", a small bulb 
about the size of a fingernail. Placed in a damp handkerchief, they exuded a 
delightful fragrance. In winter, we were always trying to present the girls with 
a sprig of mistletoe or holly and hoping they would at least reward us with a 
warm smile. 

The year-end banquets for the boys and girls who were on the various teams 
were always a highlight of the years. We usually had a neighboring coach 
as a speaker and an excellent meal prepared by the Domestic Science Class 
girls. Athletic letters for the various sports were awarded. It was a good 
chance to see the girls but unfortunately we always sat at different tables. 

Checkers, Rook, Parcheesi, and all sorts of card games were permissible. 
There was an absolute restriction on dancing, although the girls did learn to 
dance with each other and seemed to know the latest dance craze. Knowing 
how to do ballroom dancing would have been such a great asset after leaving 
Barium. I learned to dance at Danville Military Institute with my instructor 
being another cadet. Every cadet was forced to learn dancing and attend our 
frequent "hops" as the dances were called. As I learned, I thought how much 
more enjoyable it would have been to hold a warm soft pretty girl in my arms 
than a stiff old cadet in a military uniform. Dancing introduced me to my wife 
to be and was a wonderful asset in business entertainment in later life. My 
wife and I still go dancing once a week. 

Mrs. Lowrance tried to assist us in getting together with the girls. On one 
occasion she gave a card party for her daughter Ruth and a cousin. She 
invited the tenth and eleventh grades in 1926 to come to her house. We played 
auction bridge and "hearts" and one or two other card games. Mrs. Lowrance 
rotated us from table to table to have a chance to visit with different girls, and 
then we selected one girl to be our partner when refreshments were served. 
I had the pleasure of dating Ruth's cousin, a very attractive girl, whose name 
I can't remember. 

Ruth Lowrance was in the Class of 1928 but she transferred to Statesville High 
School, graduated there and went on to college. 

Miss Maggie Adams, the matron at Lottie Walker, had a real phobia about 
boys and girls dating. I sometimes wondered if she had ever had a beau and 
experienced the feeling of young love. She patrolled the hall outside the living 


room at Lottie Walker, walking up and down the hall by the doors into the 
living room where several couples would be dating. She was quick to enter 
the room and reprimand any boy who was sitting too close to a girl or had 
their arms entwined while holding hands. It was almost as if she thought the 
girls would lose their innocence or worse through mere contact. Even the 
mothers in Statesville placed more trust in the boys dating their daughters. 
At any rate, I never knew of any sordid events with the girls at Barium. 

The cherished hour of the week days was from 5 to 6 o'clock. We were free 
to roam the campus, play games, go to the library or meet a girl on a campus 
bench to talk. I'm sure I did all of these but preferred the library in winter 
time. In the other seasons of the year there was tennis, touch football games, 
and some pickup baseball games. It was a wonderful hour of relaxation. 

In the time I was at Barium, I had the highest regard for the members of the 
Class of 1928. Unfortunately, Buck Squires and I did not have the pleasure 
of finishing with them. Buck graduated from Greensboro High and I from 
Danville (Va.) Military Institute. We have all kept in touch and have had two 
reunions, the last in 1983. 

They have all had fulfilling and successful lives. Nell Coxwell True, Daisybelle 
Torrance Nesbitt, Geneva Player Batson, Louise Gufford Pfeiffer were all 
married. Hilda Bernardo had a very responsible position with the Duke 
Endowment prior to her retirement. Louise became a very successful real 
estate operator in Baltimore. Bennie Boyette was General Freight Traffic 
Manager for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in Jacksonville. Irvin Squires 
was a most successful partner and CPA with the A.M. Pullen Co., in 
Greensboro. I was a graduate engineer of the University of Alabama, taught 
in the Engineering School for 5 years and retired as Vice President in Charge 
of Sales for American Cast Iron Pipe Co. in Birmingham. The boys were all 
married. Dennis is now a widower, and Daisybelle and Louise are widows. 
Buck Squires is still married; and I have been married to a lovely Welsh girl 
for 47 years. I think most of the married ones had children. 

While there were many shortcomings at Barium, I do think we all learned to 
appreciate and respect others, learned the values of hard work and study, the 
virtues of honesty and obedience and the values of belief in Christianity as a 
foundation for life. 


One of Mr. Johnston's first athletic endeavors was to build a swimming pool 
just west of Synod Cottage. Forms were built and the concrete was mixed on 
the site. Walter Fraley, Eli Morris, and I helped, hauling cement in Mr. 


LowrancE/s wagon to the site. Previously, the Dairy boys had dammed the 
creekflowing to the spring for a makeshift dirty water pool. Before that, the 
boys who wanted to swim learned in Third Creek near where the highway 
bridge crosses the stream now. 

The pool was immensely popular and times were set for the various cottages 
to swim. Boys and girls had separate times, but they came to watch each 
other swim. There was a spring board and a diving tower with approxi- 
mately six feet and twelve feet platforms. Richard "Dick" Griswold was by far 
the best diver and was at this best when any girls were present for his swan 
dive. He would also dive from the twelve foot platform through a tire on the 
surface of the water. 

The girls' swim suits were almost that - something between bloomers and a 
two-piece suit. The boys wore two-piece suits somewhat skimpier than the 

Although it was against the rules, the boys from Jennie Gilmer would slip out 
of the dormitory and into the pool on many a hot summer night. 

One of the greatest assets to Barium was the establishment of organized ath- 
letics, especially football and track for the boys, and basketball for the girls. 
Westling and basketball for boys came later. The first of these began in 1922. 

Mr. Johnston bought sweat shirts, helmets, shoulder pads, and pants, and Mr. 
Sipes, in the shoe shop, added cleats to heavy brogan high top shoes. The 
first game was played at Barium against Statesville High. Barium's boys had 
all the equipment except the pants. Overalls were substituted. The game was 
won by Statesville 21 to 18. "Boots" Kerr scored two touchdowns for Barium 
and "Hooky" (Guy) Jackson scored one touchdown on an end around. Mac 
Gray was the Statesville star, scoring all their points, with someone kicking 
three extra points for them. 

On the following Saturday, with the pants having arrived, Barium journeyed 
to Statesville and was thoroughly whacked 46 to 0. Later, Barium lost to 
Davidson 118- to 0; Lincolnton 31-6, and Huntersville 18-6, ending the 1922 

In the 118-0 defeat at Davidson, Charlie Carriker was the Barium Captain. 
After each Davidson touchdown, the referee asked Charlie, "What do you want 
to do-kick or receive?" About the end of the third quarter, when the score was 
monumental, Charlie answered him thus: "Well, I think we ought to go home, 
I don't see much chance of winning this game." For weeks afterward, the boys 
at Lees Cottage had great fun at Charlie's expense, asking the same question 


as the referee and providing a host of different answers. I must say Charlie 
Carriker took it in real good humor. 

Buck Squires and I thumbed rides to Chapel Hill and saw UNC beat Davidson 
26-0 in the very first game ever played in Kenan Stadium. The original sta- 
dium seated 26,000 people and was patterned after the University of Georgia 
stadium. The team of 1922 had little coaching, was very inexperienced, hardly 
knew the rules and assignments, but put forth a fine effort. 

During the football season of 1923, Barium lost in succession to Davidson 
High, Mooresville, Landis (twice), and Loncolnton (twice) being held scoreless 
the entire season. The boys were still enthusiastic about the game and 

The season of 1924 was our first successful one. The boys had obtained some 
additional equipment and better shoes, plus some dedicated coaching by Mr. 
J. Lee Peeler of Troutman. The squad played sixteen games! They won 10, 
lost 5, and tied 1. Statesville was beaten three times, with one loss to them. 
These were full four quarter games, but were later termed "scrimmages" by 
Statesville because at least two of the games were played in mid-week. A 
result of this claim was that Mr. Johnston wrote and editorial in the Barium 
Messenger challenging Statesville to a regular Friday afternoon scheduled 
game. They accepted for the 1925 season. 

Another highlight of the 1924 season was the hard-earned victory over 
Belmont Abbey, a school with record of success. Barium won the game on 
Thanksgiving day at Belmont, with Jack Harris scoring the winning touchdown 
on the old "Statue of Liberty" play for a 13-12 victory. 

Most of the big boys had graduated as we started the 1925 season. Mr. E.L. 
Jackson, from Charlotte, the Home auditor, was able to get Dick Kirkpatrick, 
a former Charlotte coach, and "Red" Johnson, a former star at University of 
North Carolina, to help us, assisted now and tehn by some Davidson College 
players. We had only 13 players to start the season. 

Gastonia, the state high school champion that year, played us in the first 
game. The score was 6-6 at the half. We lost Bob Johnson with a broken 
wrist, and Thad Brock with a broken leg. They literally beat us down in the 
second half and won 47-6. Pat Crawford, a Davidson graduate, coached 
Gastonia. He played baseball with the New York Giants, but refused to play 
on Sundays, and was released. 

Charlotte High, a very heavy favorite, beat us only 14-0. The score was 0-0 
at the half. Mr. Johnston said we played so well that several supporters who 


watched us, called in money and materials contributions, including a gentle- 
man who sent us a carload of chemical fertilizers. 

Mr. E.L. Jackson had me and two others stay at his rooming house. He wined 
us and dined us, and took us to see Harold Lloyd, a popular comedian, in the 
movie, "The Freshman." He bought me a Saturday morning issue of the 
"Charlotte Observer" where, on the sports page account of our game was 
"Jack MacKay, 114 pound end of the visitors, played an outstanding game." 
I still have the clipping somewhere. 

On Saturday afternoon, we went to Wearn Field, the baseball park, to see 
Davidson and Wake Forest play. Wake Forest had whipped Carolina the pre- 
vious week, and was a heavy favorite. Davidson led 3-0 on the effort of Dick 
Grey's field goal dropkick of some 30 to 40 yards. Rackley, the Wake Forest 
quarterback, tied the game with a 30 yard drop kick in the 4th quarter. The 
game ended ina 3-3 tie. 

We won Mr. Johnston's 1925 challenge game with Statesville 7-0 in the rain 
and mud at Barium. I wrote an English class theme on this game and got an 
"A". Contrary to Mr. Johnston's recollections in his book, "The First Twenty" 
we recovered a Statesville fumble at their 38 yeard line. Alternate off tackle 
plays by Walter Fraley and Eli Morris got the touchdown and Fraley place 
kicked the extra point. We kept Statesville hemmed up in the second half. 
They probably had the better team, but we had something to prove. It gave 
the whole orphanage pride in us and we walked with a more confident stride 
when in Statesville. We had bragging rights on them, and used it. 

Earl Dunlap, the star of the thornwell Orphanage team, and a later Ail- 
American at Georgia Tech, beat us almost by himself 34-0. We could run the 
ball well, but rarely over the goal line. Our lone score resulted from a fumble 
I recovered on their 10 yard line and a pass from Estridge to Fraley. Mr. 
Johnston reserved two rooms for us at a Chester, S.C. hotel, and we all rested 
before the game which was played at the Fairgrounds with very few specta- 

A game that sticks in my memory was our 9-0 win over Thomasville 
Orphanage. In a scoreless game, up to the fourth quarter, we decided to kick 
a field goal from their 20 yard line. I had been practicing with Walter Fraley, 
and held the ball. As we lined up, I was afraid Troy Coates, our center, would 
snap the ball before I was ready. I yelled, "Just a minute." The Thomasville 
team stood up, Coates snapped the ball, I had plenty of time to place it, and 
Fraley kicked the field goal. With about a minute to go, we recovered a fum- 
ble, and Estridge passed to Fraley for a touchdown. The game was memora- 


ble to me, also, because Mr. Lowrance gave me my first pair of long pants, 
which I proudly wore that day. 

A former Marine, from Quantico Marines, who lived Statesville, helped coach 
us that year. His name was Mr. Elliott. He changed me from drop kicking to 
place kicking. 

Walter Fraley broke his nose and was fitted with an old time nose protector, 
made of rubber. It covered the nose and mouth, held in place by a strap 
around the head and the mouthpiece clamped between the teeth. We had 
several problems during games when the mouthpiece would fall out, and we 
would stop the game to search for it. He was called "Beak" man by our op- 
ponents. Later, a helmet with a leather extension over the nose was pur- 
chased. It lasted three or four games until the nose cover became too pliable. 
This was well before the time of helmets with face guards. 

The 1926 season was the first for which we were all measured and received 
new equipment - pants, shoes, helmets, white stockings, and, best of all, new 
colored jerseys. The jerseys were black and orange-black background with 
orange rings on the sleeves and a solid orange bar from shoulder to shoulder. 
We, nevertheless, called them Black and Gold, and got to be known as the 
Black and Gold Tornado- so named by Mr. Morrison, or Mr. D. P. Gray, 
sportswriters for the Statesville Daily. 

We beat Statesville again this year 9-7, and retained our "bragging" rights. 
Bob Estridge drop-kicked a field goal for the winning margin. 

The last game of the year was played in Raleigh, at North Carolina State's 
Riddick Field, against Raleigh Methodist Orphanage, for the orphanage 
championship. We didn't play well, and lost 14-6. My father and older brother 
came from Durham to see us play. 

The outstanding event of this trip was having dinner at the Governor's Man- 
sion with Governor Angus McLean. It was a beautiful state dinner, well 
served, and thoroughly enjoyed. Mr. Ben Dixon MacNeill, a cousin of my fa- 
ther, and a writer for the "Raleigh News and Observer", arranged it. 


We lost the best six players of the 1926 team to Davidson College. Two of 
them-Walter Fraley and Thad Brock-became outstanding stars at Davidson. 

The 1926 team was the first to have a full-time coach. He was Coach Ralph 
"Rosie" McMillan, a Davidson College graduate. He installed a series of plays 
from three different formations. We learned more about blocking and tackling 
and strategy. I greatly admired him. He was a very successful coach at 
Barium before leaving years later. 

He also had the training room to prevent and treat injuries and he individually 
wrapped the ankles of all players before each game. 

The 1927 team started the season without six members of the 1926 team, all 
of whom had gone to Davidson College. We won five games, lost three, and 
tied three. 

The most exciting game was that against Belmont Abbey on Thanksgiving day 
morning at ten o'clock. We out-played a much heavier team, but lost as a 
result of the completion of two, thirty-yard passes by Johnnie Branch, their 
quarterback, who went on to Carolina to become an outstanding star. During 
this game, Mr. Ernest Milton typed the play-by-play account, which was rushed 
to the printing office. By lunch time, a complete resume of the game was 
distributed to all the Belmont team, which had Thanksgiving lunch with the 
Barium team. They were amazed at how small we were in everyday clothes. 
Mr. A. P. Edwards printed the menu for the meal on green paper with gold 
lettering and a big gold shamrock in the front. There was a short message 
welcoming the Belmont team to Barium. I was immensely proud of my 67 yard 
punt in the game. 

The last game of the season was against Raleigh Methodist Home for the State 
Orphanage Championship, and was played at Barium. We lost 6-0 in the last 
quarter. Robert Wilkes and I came down with the mumps the week of the 
game and missed it. Mr. Johnston came to the infirmary to take us to the 
game in his car. He was going to wrap us in the new Barium blankets, which 
had been donated by Mr. William Preyer, and avid supporter who was a top 
official with the Vick Chemical Company. Dr. Adams would not let us go out, 
so we missed our last game. 

Robert Wilkes later joined the Army and was captured at Bataan in the 
Philippines. He endured the infamous Japanese "death march," was later 
rescued, but died shortly afterwards in an Army hospital. "Rosie" McMillan 
installed mainly a "short punt" formation to run our basic plays. He had 
learned it at Davidson, where it was installed by Coaches Monk Younger and 
Tex Tillson. It was a balanced line, two backs in line behind and slightly right 


of center, one back left of center, and the deep man directly behind center and 
5 yards back, i later learned Fielding Yost, the famous coach, used it first at 
Michigan and his son-in-law, Dan McGugin, used it at Vanderbilt. 

We also had an unbalanced line single wing formation with all back in slanting 
in a line toward the end. Also, we had a "spread" formation for unusual 
passing situations. One of our best and most deceptive scoring plays was 
Old Number 6, a pass to the weak side back from short punt formation. It 
never ceased to gain yardage. I still have my football "playbook". 

Winston-Salem High used the "T" formation about 1924 or 1925. It was in- 
stalled by a Coach Musick, a graduate of Maryville College, who had some 
good teams at the time. Winston-Salem, I believe, won the state football 
championship one of these years*. Thomasville Orphanage used the "I" for- 

The cheerleaders in High School were not as organized as today, but just as 
enthusiastic. There were more signs, especially printed ones, on the autos 
that usually surrounded the fields. 

One such that I remember, for some reason, was a sign on the windshield of 
a "T" Model Ford at Statesville, in a game against Winston. The sign had a 
large "W" and was as follows: (In acrostic form We-Will-Watch-Warners- 

Statesville watched but didn't win by 20-0. 

Rosie McMillan was a great teacher of fundamentals, precision, and passing. 
The ball changed shape considerably between 1922 and 1925. Earlier balls 
were fat and more round for drop kicking. They had a bladder, which had to 
be blown up, sealed, and then the ball was laced up. About 1925, the balls 
became more oblate, spheroidal in shape, slimmer, factory laced with an air 
valve already installed, and were much easier to throw in the popular passing 
game, which was coming into style. They were more difficult to use in a drop 
kick and the place kick for making extra points and field goals was employed. 
They punted longer and better spirals also. 

'(State Football Champions: 1924-Rockingham; 1925-Gastonia. Ed.) 


When football practice started, usually about September first, Coach McMillan 
brought in football players from Davidson and occasionally Carolina to get in 
shape with us, as well as instruct us. One I remember well was Odell Sapp 
of Carolina, whose brother was a quarterback at Davidson. They were of great 
assistance to us. 

Mr. S.A. Grier built our first goal posts from two upright small trees and the 
cross bar was a slim tree trunk, which sagged considerably in the middle. 
The bark was still on the posts and bar. Later, Mr. Grier built the goal posts 
from galvanized steel water pipes. The posts were one yard back of the goal 
line and the cross bar was offset to be directly above the goal line. The up- 
rights were very short, and occasionally we had an argument as to whether 
or not a kicked ball had gone between them. The entire goal post assembly 
was painted green. 

Standard time in High School football was 12 minutes per quarter. Occa- 
sionally coaches, by agreement, would change times by quarters and a game 
might be 10-12-10-12 minute quarters. Players played both offense and de- 
fense. There was little substituting. Head gears and shoulder pads were 
primitive, compared to today's equipment. Shoes were always high top. 
Three time outs were allowed each half. A substitute coming on the field re- 
ported to the referee, announcing his name and whom he was replacing. He 
could not speak to his team mates until after one play. Failure to report or 
speaking entailed 5 yard penalties. 

I got the first advanced helmet from Bocock-Stroud Company in Winston- 
Salem, after my old helmet was damaged in the Winston Game of September, 

My brother, Bill, scored the first touchdown on the first football game played 
on the new Sloan Field. This was after I left the Home. Bill went on the 
McCallie School, where he was All-State. He played at Georgia Tech in the 
early 1930's. 

Following almost every Friday afternoon game, I was really bruised up be- 
cause I was light in weight compared to the teams we played. I never weighed 
over 125 pounds at Barium. Mr. Johnston would take me to Statesville on 
Saturday or Monday following the Friday games, to see Dr. Hoffman, an 
osteopath. He would place me on his table, double my legs up to my chest, 
and almost jump on me. My bones sounded like someone stepping on a box 
of uncooked macaroni. It did seem to do some good. 


The great emphasis on athletics at Barium developed a wide interest in na- 
tional sporting events. We followed the records of the major football colleges 
of the State, especially Davidson. 

About 1923 or 1924, we began going to Davidson to see the college football 
and baseball games. I was among a group who saw Davidson beat Citadel 
7-0, in the first game played on Richardson Field. The game was actually 
played on the practice field as the regular football field and stands were being 
constructed. The kick off tee was a small mound of mud or clay, shaped to 
the kicker's pleasure. Davidson won the game on a trick play, when the cen- 
ter, Joe McConnell, the Davidson center, turned at 45 degrees to the line and 
snapped the ball sideways instead of between his legs, to the back, who 

Another memorable game was when "Sook" Boggs, a Davidson guard, got 
through the line and blocked a punt for the only touchdown of the game, to 
beat Wofford College 7-0. 

Davidson won the state college championship in 1926, beating the major col- 
leges, Duke, Carolina, and North Carolina State. They may have tied Wake 
Forest that year. Dick Grey, the excellent Davidson back, drop-kicked the ball 
to scores and victories over Carolina and State - both these games were 
played at Davidson. The college bell rang for hours after the Carolina game. 

Thad Brock was instrumental in beating Duke one year, running from behind 
his own goal line, where he had lined up to punt, for 102 yards to the Duke 
two or three yard line, where Walter Fralley scored the winning touchdown. 
The run was featured on a Ripley "Believe It Or Not" cartoon. 

Mr. Johnston had made and provided a gold-colored felt armband with black 
letters "POH" on them, to the boys and girls attending th£ Davidson College 
football games. It was held in place with a small elastic band. These were 
our admission tickets to the games and later to movies in Statesville. The 
students were usually transported to the games in the Home truck or faculty 
autos, although some boys continued to "bum" rides. 


Bill McCall 

This rambling set of anecdotes about the good life at the Presbyterian Orphans 
Home, Barium Springs, N.C., is dedicated to Mr. Joe Johnston, the superinten- 
dent from 1922 to 1951 and to the 350 or so brothers and sisters who helped 
mold Barium into a very lively community. It is purposely written in a light 
vein even though some of the events pictured here seemed pretty serious at 
the time. 

I like to remember Mr. Johnston as the super chief whose personal charm, 
unquestioned authority, and wide range of knowledge made Barium a success. 
He was a super salesman who raised money for the orphanage, sold the Board 
of Trustees on providing extras like our swimming pool, a banking facility, the 
orchards, and many other projects that made life richer and more satisfying. 
We boys and girls made the best of the situation. We tried all the games that 
were in fashion and then invented more to pass the time. We also made 
friends easily then dropped them with reckless abandon. Oftentimes, we 
fought each other for good reason or no reason at all. Overall, it was a very 
good life that we had together. 

There were five of us McCalls who came to Barium about 1926. All but one of 
us, brother Ed, stayed until we finished high school. Ed ran away at the age 
of ten or so and grew up in Iowa with a distant relative. Marian was the oldest 
of us and I remember she sometimes played the piano at church instead of 
Miss Laura Greene. My twin brothers, Tom and Jack, and I went to stay at the 
Baby Cottage, and after a couple of years I was found to have tuberculosis. I 
wound up at the Sanatorium near Aberdeen, N.C. and stayed there a year. I 
recall that Tom and Jack developed rickets, but they recovered in time to catch 
the next thing that was going around. 

When I returned from the Sanatorium, I stayed at the Infirmary for nearly three 
years. Dick Parrish and Sally Farmer were with me and we appointed our- 
selves Directors of Tourism for incoming families. For all of our efforts to extol 
the virtues of Barium to others, we were rewarded with cases of itch, lice, or 
both. I especially remember one of the Smith families being loaded with these. 
Several times, Dick, Sally and I were in the tub together getting our treatment 
for these. Prior to this I had ringlet curls, but afterwards I would go to school 
with a shaven head and a turban on. 

The Synod's Cottage found me to be a very energetic kid. I got into trouble 
each and every day for something. When Miss Taylor couldn't find out who 
was talking, she would spank us all with a radiator brush. There were three 


forms of punishment: To get spanked, stand in the middle of the floor, or take 
a nap during playtime in the afternoon. Taking a nap was the most severe. 
Synods Cottage was rather unique in design. The first floor consisted of a 
large room with a two-foot square box for each boy to sit on and keep his 
worldly possessions in. Upstairs were the sleeping wards, arranged in military 
style, row after row. I don't recall if we had to make up the beds. Anyway, 
with 40 boys housed there, one can imagine the flair of tempers that rose from 
day to day. (We did make our beds. Ed.) 

At the age of 10 we moved to the Lees or Alexander Cottage. But I can't 
remember who decided which cottage we were moved to. However, I went to 
Lees and began work on the Truck Farm. This seemed better than moving to 
the Alexander Cottage where the boys had to get up at 4:00 a.m. to milk cows 
and clean up the barn. No one envied them although they did get to drink all 
the milk they wanted. 

Barium Springs really came to life for me at Lees Cottage. So, this is where 
most of my story actually begins. For example, I recall one way that i began 
to adjust myself to the situation. It involved the dining room at Rumple Hall. 
This large room accommodated everyone at Barium during meal times. A loud 
bell tolled to call us for chow, and children sat at their assigned tables. Of 
course, as we grew older and moved to different cottages, we changed tables. 

Now at Lees, there was this little game going. ..that the swift of foot gained first 
place at the table and got to eat all he wanted before the next person could 
take a helping. This meant that the first four or five at a table for eight ate 
pretty well, but the others had to survive on syrup sandwiches. As you might 
expect, I had to survive on syrup sandwiches for quite a while, even though 
our pretty waitresses did their best to supply us with extra food. The guy who 
was first to race from Lees Cottage at the sound of the bell also got first 
coming back, for extras. Sometimes, this led to fist fights, including the very 
first time that I got there first. Another boy challenged me but I won the fight 
and he agreed that he was second after all. 

I think that I might have been into more fist fights than the average boy. At 
one time, Jesse Weeks was the biggest bully around. He picked on other kids 
and many more of us were bluffed into not daring anything with him. You 
know, the con-artist type. Well, one day I stood up to Jesse and challenged 
him to a fight. Luckily, my good friend and protector, Acorn McCrimmon was 
standing close by. Old Jesse backed down, and you know, my ego shot sky 
high. I was then ready to challenge anyone. 


When I entered Jenny Gilmer I was in the eighth grade and growing like a 
weed. In fact, I was a big boy for my age. But size didn't count when it came 
time to run the belt line. At this cottage, everyone was initiated by running the 
belt line, where older boys tried to hit you with a belt or with a paddle. We 
tried to run as fast as possible to get the fewest possible hits. It was my fate 
to receive a buckle to the ribs where a big welt rose. I recall that despite our 
fears, we had actually looked forward to this rite of passage. Getting thrown 
into the swimming pool was another part of this initiation. No one went in to 
save you unless you really couldn't swim or were in serious trouble. I think all 
this helped to make us mentally and physically tougher, ready to dare further 

In Jenny Gilmer, where the high school boys lived, there were two of us 
(sometimes more) in each room, plus one common bath located on each of the 
two floors. Henry Allessandrini was my roommate for a while and "Tootie" 
Marlowe for a time. "Tootie" was older and would often send me down to 
Doodlums* for a 100 shot of wine. He smoked and covered it up with Colgate 
toothpaste. Once, I went down to Doodlums to buy some suckers and ordered 
5c 7 worth of BB Bats. And when I said, "BBBats" to the clerk, old "Tootie" was 
there and he turned (with his eyeballs floating) and looked to see what kid was 
buying such a silly thing. Those BB Bats were all-day suckers and the very 
best buy of its kind in those days. 

My brother Tom inherited (from a graduated friend) a large rabbit territory with 
exclusive rights to set out rabbit boxes, or traps. Well, ole Tom would get up 
before daylight sometimes to check his boxes and he was often seen bringing 
back a rabbit in each hand. Sometimes, I would help Tom skin his catch, 
which was then carried down to the infirmary to Mrs. Moore to cook up a pie. 
If Tom came back from his territory empty handed, he would suspect that 
someone else had raided his boxes. 

On frosty days we used to go sledding on the leaves behind the barn. The 
scene was something like this. A very steep hill led down to a creek and the 
aim was to ride your sled downhill on the leaves. And, it was important to 
make a ninety degree turn just in front of the creek. This sledding took place 
between breakfast and the school bell. Well sir, one day I didn't quite make 
the turn and at that very moment, the school bell rang. Being eager to keep 
my perfect attendance record in tact, I ran off to school dripping wet. I got 
there just in time but was sent back to change into dry clothes. I also got a fat 
zero in the class that day. 

"(-Doodlums' was a filling (gas) station located about one mile south of the Campus. With a pool table, it was a local 'watering 
hole' hangout. Barium boys usually bought candy, pop and cigarettes there. Ed.) 


One particular summer, the milk from our dairy tasted of wild onions. About 
twenty of us boys were placed under the direction of a senior, say Joe Savage, 
and made to pull any type of weed that might have caused the bad taste. 
Golden rod and dog fennel were in abundance and, believe me, there must 
have been a solid twenty-five acres of it growing in the pasture. Our task was 
to pull 25 armloads before we could rest. It was a distasteful job, especially in 
the hot sun, and it lasted for a couple of weeks. ..when the milk started tasting 

Behind Mr. Johnston's house was an old tennis court which had grown up with 
weeds. He hinted to some of us that if we wanted to play tennis, we would 
have to help fix up the court. So, a bunch of us jumped at the suggestion and 
went to work. We pulled up the weeds, leveled the courts, and repaired the 
backstop screen. Eventually, we made ourselves a real tennis court. We 
worked on the court after each work day was over and Mr. Johnston was there 
to supervise and help. The finished tennis court became a very popular place 
to be. Once, I recall playing with Lelia Johnston and we faced Mr. Johnston 
on the other court. We couldn't get a ball past him, as he returned every shot. 
To top it off, he kept all the returns in the right court, too. 

I worked for several years on the Orchard crew, under Mr. Thomas. We were 
really the hardest working group around and had to work right up to the very 
last minute of each period. Aside from picking fruit, we hoed out from under- 
neath the peach and apple trees, sprayed, pruned, and thinned out the 
peaches. We robbed the bee hives and operated the canning house, where we 
canned tomato juice, greenbeans, peaches, then made apple sauce and pickled 
cucumbers. Besides this, we cultivated the grape vines. With just 5-6 guys 
working under a supervisor, I think that we did one heckava job. And, I can't 
recall ever having a bad season for fruit crops. 

Working on the Orchard crew was a great experience because we often ran 
across unusual things in nature. Fruit trees bring on varmints of all kinds, 
particularly snakes. We had puffing adders, black snakes, copperheads, water 
moccasins, and king snakes. Many a time some kid would be carrying around 
a king or garter snake wrapped around his neck. We used to catch a puffing 
adder by the tail and pop off its head in a whip-like manner. One day I walked 
up to Mr. Johnston's porch and saw a copperhead snake coiled at the front 
door. I immediately called inside to alert Mr. Johnston and after shooing the 
snake away, he offered a reward to the fellow who would catch a king snake to 
put under his house. King snakes are natural enemies to some breeds of 
snakes, especially the copperhead. I don't recall who got the prize, but I did 
catch a king snake about three feet long and placed it under the Johnston 


house. I also remember seeing Leslie (Jap) Smith, who was the best snake 
catcher around, with half a dozen snakes wrapped around his neck. 

Mr. Johnston once asked me and a couple of others to clean out his goldfish 
pond. We caught the fish first and put them in a bucket, then scrubbed the 
pond clean by hand. One of the rewards was that we kept the bullfrogs that 
had nearly filled the pond. After catching what seems like a barrel full of 
frogs, we then took pliers and a knife to skin the frogs. Of course, we threw 
away all but the hind legs and took them down to the Infirmary and asked 
Miss Moore to fix us a frogleg pie. Boy, was that delicious! Tom had his 
rabbit pies but I had my share of frog pies. 

I recall another time when Ben Lewis and I looked around the Indian Cave 
area for a place to hide our peach brandy project. Fortunately, we found a 
place which we thought no one would ever find. Then we set out to make our 
brandy, with only a hazy idea of how to do it. We had already gotten some 
peaches, a few potatoes, and sugar (swiped from the kitchen). We filled two 
gallon jars with our concoction, which we hoped would make some fine peach 
brandy. For about six months, we visited the secret hiding place and tasted 
the brandy. Getting caught was far from our minds, but we did wonder just 
what we would do with two gallons of fine peach brandy. Well, it all went for 
naught. One day, while visiting the cave once more, we discovered the jars 
were missing and written in the dirt with black walnuts was the one word, 
"tuff." Some dadburned orphan had found our brandy. 

One particular night, after weeks of careful planning, four of us decided to stay 
out in the woods all night. Besides myself, the others were Paul McKenzie, 
Tom McCall and Ben Lewis. Part of our plan was to prepare a banquet dinner 
for ourselves. I was elected to raid the canning house for a large can of 
peaches; another was to raid the potato house for sweet potatoes; a third was 
asked to go to Doodlums to buy a large orange partipak, a jar of peanut 
butter, and a loaf of bread. The last of us was to get a blanket, a flashlight, 
and some charcoal. We all met at the Indian Cave about three hours later, 
barely ahead of a rainstorm. I remember the water rose up to our knees 
before we decided to leave the cave for someplace else. Fortunately, there 
was an old shed near by and we set up housekeeping in there. We built a fire 
to make hot coals to cook the sweet potatoes, then ate our peanut butter 
sandwiches and drank the orange juice. Then for dessert, we opened the can 
of peaches that I had brought. Lo and behold, it turned out not to be peaches 
but only a can of beans. I never really lived that one down. 

You can see that we orphan kids were much like anyone else, just trying to 
have fun. Sometimes we did go to unusual lengths to have fun. Most of the 


time the fun came easy. I recall one Saturday near the Fourth of July when 
someone's family came to visit and they brought along a bunch of firecrackers. 
When they found out that it was improper to fire them off on campus, I was 
given the firecrackers and asked to dispose of them. About a dozen of the 
kids followed me to the big pasture down below the main milking barn. It 
seemed like a good place and well out of sight of the campus. WE lit the 
sparklers, then the cherry bombs, and the Roman candles. ..saving the Cannon 
Ball for the final event. This cannon Ball was tied to a stick and I placed it in 
a Coke bottle and lit the fuse. Would you believe it, the bottle fell over and the 
Cannon Ball started to spin around and around. You should have seen us kids 
scatter. WE didn't know which way to run. Suddenly, it took off about one 
foot off the ground and then about fifty feet away it hit a cowpie and exploded, 
throwing cowpie all over the place. 

I recall one Saturday when Buck Jackins was holding court to find the culprit 
who had committed some petty crime. Those of us who were anxious to get to 
the "bumming corner" to catch a ride to town were annoyed by the delay. We 
were tempted to name our best friends as the culprit if only to get out of there. 
Finally, I did get my turn at thumbing a ride. A motorcycle stopped and the 
guy offered me a ride to Statesville. I climbed on and got the wildest ride of 
my life. I saw that speedometer hit 110 miles an hour and, man, was I ever 
grateful to set foot on ground again! 

Football season brought on three teams which excelled every year: The 85 lb., 
the 125 lb., and the varsity team. I never played on the 85 lb. team but I 
played two years on the 125 lb. team, then moved up to the varsity. Our 125 
lb. team never lost a game and, as a matter of fact, it never lost a game in 
nearly ten years. Once, I recall playing Kannapolis and I turned up lame and 
had to sit on the bench and watch. A wingback on their team got off a long 
run and a man behind me yelled "That's my boy." Suddenly, our safety man 
put on a tackle that completely knocked this same wingback out like a light. I 
nudged the man behind me and said, "That's my boy." 

Our life perked up tremendously when Barium acquired land on the Catawba 
River and used many of us boys to help build Camp Fellowship. We built 
barracks for boys and for girls, a large dining hall, a pavilion, and flat bottom 
boats for poling up and down the river. Everyone got to spend at least one 
week at camp but the kids who never got a vacation to see their kin got two 
delightful weeks there. There was a big flood one summer and the water 
came way up to the boys barracks, which was farthest up the hill. Light bulbs 
strung around the pavilion were bobbing in the high water. James Shroyer 
and I dove for watermelons that came floating nearby. The strong undercur- 
rents made it hard to get the melons and despite the danger involved, we 


fought the current and won. ..Thank the Lord. Arthur Roach found some pota- 
toes and we commenced to fling them at the iightbulbs bobbing in the water. 

Shooting the rapids was indeed the most fun one could encounter on the river. 
These rapids began about a half-mile above the camp and ended right at the 
campsite. The swift flowing water tumbled over or between huge granite boul- 
ders and one could barely stand up in the boat while poling through there. 
We were challenged to improve our skill at steering the long boats through the 
rapids without damaging the boat or falling out. Thus, shooting the rapids 
became the most sought after sport while at camp. 

During my last two years at Barium I was put in charge of the bank. Years 
earlier, Mr. Johnston had persuaded the Board of Regents to establish a small 
bank whereby the high school students could earn extra money by working 
overtime or by doing special jobs. For example, cleaning the swimming pool 
was a hard and dirty job. During the summer months, volunteers were called 
out each Saturday to scrub the pool. Since it was such a dismal task, it paid 
the premium rate of 200 per hour. It took about 20 kids two hours to clean it 
and get the refill started. Other work projects popped up now and then at 
different times of the year and there were always plenty of volunteers for these 
jobs. Some kids earned up to $4 or $5 in a couple of weeks of this overtime 
pay. It only took a quarter to attend a movie at the Playhouse Theater in 
Statesville and buy popcorn and a cold drink. Since one could thumb a ride to 
town for nothing, this quarter could help fill up the whole Saturday afternoon. 
A whole dollar could nearly get you the Key to the city. 

Meanwhile, back to the banking business. As the banker, it was my job to 
record the overtime to be paid each person and to debit each account as 
required. Pay days came on Saturday mornings at 11:00 and those with over- 
time pay coming would write a check for whatever amount they chose to with- 
draw. Mr. Johnston would take me to the commercial bank in Statesville 
beforehand so we could withdraw the proper funds needed to cover any pos- 
sible runs on our own bank. In most cases, I had a run on the bank every 
Saturday. Fortunately, there were never any lOU's or overdrafts. 

I faintly recall that in the bank's earlier stages, tokens were used in lieu of real 
money. Apparently, this became too difficult to administer and we changed to 
the real stuff. On one occasion, which I came to regret, I advanced $100 to 
one of the Barium boys who was attending Davidson College. Usually, these 
boys worked summers at Barium and their earnings were saved up for college 
expenses. This particular person wanted to drop out of Davidson and get 
married, which was something that could make Mr. Johnston real angry. Well, 
old Billy broke all the rules by advancing this money. I found out how angry 


Mr. Johnston could get down at Camp Fellowship, where I happened to be 
shooting the rapids when he came to deal with me. Whoever told me that he 
was looking for me said he was mad as a wet hen. At once, I knew I was in 
deep trouble; so I took my own good time getting back to the shore. As I 
arrived, I could see Mr. Johnston standing under the pavilion and right beside 
him was the prospective bride and groom. I really knew I was in trouble then. 
He let me have it with both barrels. "Who gave you the authority? When are 
they going to pay it back? Why on earth did you do it without telling me?" 
Questions and more questions. Boy, did I feel small. I was speechless, humil- 
iated, and felt knee high to a grasshopper. I never saw him so mad. 
However, after ranting and raving for about five to ten minutes, he seemed to 
calm down and to decide how he could handle it from there on. Oddly 
enough, we became the best of friends from that day forward. 

Most of the boys I palled around with, including my brothers Jack and Tom, 
were nature lovers or "nimrods", as we used to call ourselves. We explored 
the fields and woods during our spare time looking for wildlife or anything that 
might seem interesting. There was an old fish pond up the hill from the Big 
Spring which was chock full of large bull frogs, every kind of snake, turtles, 
lily pads, and (yes) it had a couple of fish. It was a good place to convene 
with nature. 

I remember how Ben Lewis and I once spotted two large bass in the pond and 
we decided to keep their existence a secret. We watched them so long our- 
selves that they got used to us and would even follow one of us along shore, 
hoping for a handout. But they were smart, too. If a line hit the water they 
would vanish. One day, however, ole Ben slipped a crawdad on his hook and 
slowly dropped it into the water. ZING! That crawdad was sucked in so fast 
that ole Ben nearly took a bath trying to hold on to his fishing pole. He hol- 
lered and I ran over to save him. .both of us waist deep in lily pads. The bass 
broke water several times but after a spell, it gave up and allowed us to bring 
him in. We marveled at its size; maybe eight to ten pounds, at least! 
Somehow, we imagined that his huge fish was showing off and wanted us to 
catch him. After showing him around Jenny Gilmer to everyone, we gave the 
fish to Buck Jackins to eat. 

We had good times in the winter, too. Once, when it had snowed pretty hard 
and Buck Jackins was attending a basketball game out of town, some of us 
decided to go sledding right out on the highway north of Barium. It was so 
slippery that the cars could barely make it up the hill near Third Creek. When 
they came along, of course, we veered off the road. But we could sail down 
the hill at 25 to 30 miles per hour. Unfortunately, it was my bad luck to 
wrench my back while sliding into a ditch to let a big bus go by. It hurt for 


several days afterwards, especially during practice sessions for wrestling. 
Buck Jackins asked how I had hurt my back and with a straight face, I told 
him that it happened while sledding. This was the truth, but not all the truth. 

As you can see, Barium Springs was truly a fun place to grow up. We had 
some risky adventures but no real mishaps that I can recall. At least nothing 
that mercurichrome and a Band-Aid couldn't cure. I should not fail to mention 
how very special Christmas was at Barium. All of us, no matter what our age, 
wrote letters to Santa Claus asking for one or two gifts. These letters, we 
knew, ended up in the collection plates of churches throughout the North 
Carolina Presbytery. Families took the letters and went shopping to fill a given 
child's request. The presents were collected and shipped to Barium. At 
Synods Cottage, we smaller boys had presents placed under our beds late on 
Christmas Eve. You can imagine the happy surprises Christmas mornings and 
the bedlam that reigned for several days afterwards. We always wrote "thank 
you" letters afterwards even though we never knew or saw who had served as 
Santa Claus for us. Christmas time at Barium has always been a very 
touching story for me and I have gladly recited it to others since then. 

I am grateful to all those many friends of Barium Springs who gave so freely 
to its support. Sometimes we seemed a bit tattered and torn, but we had many 
good times and we played hard in sports and played by the rules. It earned 
us a lot of respect. Our teachers were dedicated to teaching us a life worth 
living in the outside world. The lessons we learned at Barium made us better 
parents, or better men and women. 

My best wishes to all of you who share these good thoughts about our past 
lives at Barium. 

Billy McCall 


By John N. McCall 

Dr. Joseph B. Johnston was an effective child welfare leader. Prompted by 
religious convictions and by personal tragedy, he put aside a successful 
business career to do orphanage work. Thus, he became superintendent of 
the Presbyterian Orphans Home at Barium Springs, North Carolina. More 
than 1500 children, from 1922 to 1949, depended on his resourceful leadership 
for their physical and personal well being. This help came at a time when 
churches, rather than the state, provided for orphans or impoverished chil- 
dren. Dr. Johnston was highly successful in reporting the needs of children 
and in planning for their care within the institution. In time, he became widely 
respected by church and education officials for this achievements. 

Joe Johnston was born March 2, 1881, in Lincolnton, North Carolina. He was 
the youngest of nine children, which included six girls and three boys. One 
brother died before he was born; the other, Zed, became a naval officer and 
won the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Spanish-American War. 
His mother, Catherine Caldwell Johnston, came from Chester, South Carolina, 
and it is from her Huguenot ancestors that some of the Johnston children got 
their French names. Besides her many church and community activities, 
Catherine Johnston took a special interest in the fledgling Presbyterian Or- 
phans' Home that was established in nearby Charlotte. This interest continued 
when the Home was moved to Barium Springs in 1893. 

Joe's father, Reverend Robert Z. Johnston, was raised in Rowan County, North 
Carolina, on the farm which belonged to the Johnston family for generations. 
After completing Davidson College and getting a divinity degree from Union 
Theological Seminary, he obtained a pastorate at the Lincolnton Presbyterian 
Church. He remained there for 36 years and was active in community affairs, 
becoming a school board member and a superintendent of schools. He also 
served nine small churches in the surrounding areas. As a boy, Joe often 
accompanied his father on this circuit ministry and listened to him preach. 
His father was a large man whose soft voice expressed wise, deeply religious 
thoughts. It is quite probable that Joe's own strong Christian beliefs and 
genuine concern for others came from his father. 

Joe attended the Lincolnton public schools and enrolled at Davidson College, 
as his father and older brother had done. He was active in numerous clubs 
at Davidson, plus football and other sports. And he graduated in 1901 with 
distinction in mathematics and chemistry. He was employed for seven years 
as superintendent of a manufacturing department at the Atlanta Steel Com- 
pany in Georgia. Then he held a similar position for four years with the 


Conners-Weyman Steel Company in Helena, Alabama. In 1912, he returned 
to Lincolnton to go into business for himself. There he formed the Johnston 
Ice and Fuel Company and invested in the development of loading docks and 
delivery equipment. He soon became firmly established as a respected 
member of the Lincolnton community and served as city mayor and as county 

When he returned to Lincolnton in 1912, Joe was already married and had 
three children. His wife, whom he called Nancy in private, was Annie Lee 
Davidson. He had known her since childhood since she was literally one of 
the girls next door. Her father, Colonel William Lee Davidson, had brought 
his family to Lincolnton in 1881 and built a house next door to the Johnstons. 
The two families became quite close and shared many personal joys and sor- 
rows. Later, the Davidson family moved to Chester, South Carolina, and it 
was there that Joe and Nancy were married in 1907. Joe's father Reverend 
Johnston, helped officiate at the wedding. In the years that followed, the new 
Johnston family had seven children: Ann Fayssoux, Robert, William, Joseph, 
Jr., James, Bessie and Leila. 

At the age of 40, Joe left his prosperous ice and fuel business to begin a new 
career. This dramatic change followed two accidents which brought much 
anxiety and sorrow to the Johnston family. In 1917, Joe was severely burned 
one early spring morning when he tried to light a fire in the stove for his 
business office. Unknown to him, someone had put gasoline in the kerosene 
can he used to start fires. The resulting explosion severely burned his legs 
and lower body, leaving him helpless in the hospital for several months. At 
the same time, his son, Jim, was near death with a stomach illness. Won- 
dering if he would be spared to look after his family, Joe prayed, "Lord, if you 
will just let me live to take care of my little children, my life will be in your 
service for the rest of my days on this earth." The two did recover, but within 
four years his daughter, Bessie, died in a tragic fire. 

Hoping to give his life new purpose, Joe accepted the offer to become super- 
intendent of the Presbyterian Orphans Home at Barium Springs. In the view 
of many, he proved to be the right man at the right time for the institution was 
badly run down. Most of the buildings needed repairs and the morale of the 
children and staff was low. Drawing upon his administrative skill, Joe or- 
ganized departments, instituted a training program for matrons, and began to 
raise money for new buildings. Within a few years, there were constructed a 
new cottage for the youngest children, an elementary school with a combined 
auditorium and gymnasium, a print shop, an outdoor swimming pool, and a 
football field with a stadium for 500 persons. A new brick home was also built 
for the superintendent, which provided much needed housing for the growing 


Johnston family. Its location among shady oak trees on the south edge of the 
campus permitted a pleasant retreat from the hectic pace of life on the central 

A preventive program for health problems was instituted, which included an- 
nual physical examinations for each child. An active sport program did much 
to improve morale. Within a few years the Barium Springs teams in football 
and other sports won their share of championships in competition with area 
schools. Numerous boys and girls earned athletic scholarships to area col- 
leges, including Davidson College. Scholarships were also found for children 
who were talented in other ways than athletics. 

Joe's responsibilities through his 27 years at Barium Springs required him to 
travel extensively throughout North Carolina and nearby states. He spoke to 
large numbers of church and civic groups on behalf of children, especially 
those at Barium Springs. While he usually got their support, this proved es- 
pecially difficult during the depression years and again during the Second 
World War. At those times, his audiences had other pressing concerns and 
the needs of children were bypassed. Public attitudes toward child care also 
changed. Rather than place children in large institutions, the public preferred 
foster homes or direct state aid to needy families. Joe hoped to prepare the 
Presbyterian Synod for these changes but he also believed very strongly that 
the church had a special responsibility for child care through its Christian 

Joe Johnston's efforts on behalf of children were widely recognized. Three 
times he was elected president of the Tri-state Conference of Orphanage 
Workers and several times he was elected president of the North Carolina 
Conference on Child Welfare. In 1947, after completing 25 years of service at 
Barium Springs, he was elected moderator for the Presbyterian Synod of North 
Carolina. Davidson College had recognized him in 1933 by awarding him its 
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Unselfish Service. In 1948, the College 
invited him to join the distinguished alumni chosen for Homecoming Citations 
of Merit in Their Chosen Field. Finally, in 1950, Davidson College honored 
Dr. Johnston by awarding him the Doctor of Laws degree in recognition for 
his achievements. 

Dr. Johnston retired from the Orphans Home in 1949 and accepted a position 
at the Davis Hospital in nearby Statesville as director of personnel and public 
relations. Just before his retirement, he and Mrs. Johnston enjoyed several 
farewell parties arranged by Barium Springs children, alumni, and staff. This 
outpouring of love helped to counter the shock of retirement. But after just two 


short years, he passed away and was buried at the Little Joe's Cemetery near 
the orphanage campus. 

Everyone who met Dr. Johnston viewed him as a big man, both physically and 
personally. His large size and plainspeaking, direct manner added to his im- 
age as a leader. He liked people and excelled at remembering names. He 
once wrote, "I can call each child by name. Sometimes when I'm driving 
along, I name them by cottages just to keep in practice." He also knew each 
child by his school grade and by the home church from which he or she had 
come. His cheerful outlook and good humor got him through many difficult 
times and caused almost anyone to treasure his company. Like both his par- 
ents, he enjoyed good health and he believed in doing useful community ser- 
vice. He regularly taught the high school boys Sunday School class at Little 
Joe's Church and served as deacon and elder. He also served for nine years 
as a trustee for Davidson College. 

Dr. Johnston's private papers tell very clearly some of the beliefs which guided 
his work. For example, he believed that "servants" in child care work must 
be more unselfish, more clear-sighted, and loving than persons in any other 
professions. Their joy at observing a child's success and sorrow at noting his 
or her failure give a richness of human experience far beyond that of persons 
who may earn several times as much money. Growing children, he believed, 
should be given responsibilities early in life. This builds character and inde- 
pendence, so necessary in modern life. Strong moral leadership is also nec- 
essary if children are to accept adult responsibilities. He chided those who 
think their success in life results entirely from their own efforts. True success, 
he believed, requires surrender to God's will. This point is expressed in a 
hymn which he liked to quote: 

"Others, Lord, yes others, Let this my motto be. Help me to live for 
others That I might live like thee." 


Superintendent, Barium Springs Orphan's Home 

By Sarah Parcell Howard 

The skies above are clear again Let us sing a song of cheer again! 
Happy days are here again!* 

Mr. Johnston liked this song. We heard it frequently at Barium Springs in the 
1930's. The song reveals much of his outlook on life. He wanted his children 
to be happy! In addition to happiness it was his desire that we acquire good 
moral conduct, see and experience new things, and above all else to learn to 
know and love our Lord and Savior. 

Mr. Johnston was the son of Robert Zenos Johnston. He was born March 2, 
1881 in Lincolnton, North Carolina. His mother was the former Catherine M. 
Caldwell of Chester, South Carolina. His father was pastor of Providence - 
Sharon churches in Mecklenburg county of North Carolina from 1861-1871, 
pastor of Lincolnton Presbyterian Church (N.C.) and different contiguous 
churches until 1907. 

Mr. Johnston was prepared for college in the Lincolnton schools and gradu- 
ated from Davidson College in the class of 1901, with distinction in Chemistry 
and Mathematics. After spending several years with a Steele company in 
Atlanta, he returned to Lincolnton and established himself in the Ice and Fuel 
business. About 1920 he was elected County Commissioner. He was an active 
member of the School Board. He was elected by the Presbyterian Synod of 
North Carolina late in 1921 to the office of Superintendent of the Barium 
Springs Orphans Home and assumed control in February, 1922. 

He married Anne Lee Davidson of Charlotte in 1907. They had seven children: 
Ann Fayssoux, Robert, William, Joseph, James, Bessie, and Lelia. Joe sur- 
vives. Mrs. Johnston was the helpmate of her husband, he could always turn 
to her with full assurance of sympathy and understanding. She did her own 
housework, caring for her own family of six children in addition to mothering 
360 others in the orphanage. She was a very active church worker and a 
beautiful Christian character. 

Mr. Johnston's father made these remarks at the Centennial Day at Third 
Creek Presbyterian Church in Rowan County, North Carolina in 1892. Mr. 
Johnston had the same beliefs as his father. 

This church deserves our whole-hearted and cordial support. 


1. Because it has been the friend on intelligence. 2. Because it has fos- 
tered good morals. 3. Because it has been the friend of freedom noted 
for religious zeal and high ideals of personal liberty. The command to 
instruct children in religion, given to Israel, has not been repealed. The 
duty of one generation to transmit to the following what it has learned, 
is binding still. Parents cannot escape this responsibility, but parents 
cannot teach everything now; hence the public school becomes a neces- 
sity. But positive religious truths must be taught by individuals. If our 
Presbyterian culture is to be continued, it must be done by the united and 
unselfish efforts of Presbyterian men and women. 

Mr. Johnston was the father of thousands of children who passed through 
Barium during his 27 years as its superintendent. "I can call each child by 
name," he once said. "Sometimes when I'm driving along, I name them, by 
cottages, just to keep in practice." He also knew each child by age, by grades 
and conduct as well as identity by each church and presbytery. 

He was a big man with a big heart. The Barium children appreciated his 
kindness, love and inspiration. Just to see his mighty figure looming across 
the campus gave them a feeling that all was well. He wrote to Barium boys 
in service twice a month. 

Mr. and Mrs. Johnston spent a day and night in Graham, North Carolina, with 
some Barium alumni in 1947. In a letter to his brother he wrote of their visit. 

After dinner these folks commenced talking about their days at Barium- 
the times when they got in trouble, their misbehavior, some of the times 
when they tried to run away, and the things that were done for them and 
to them, and how it had all worked out so that they had a real chance in 
life. They have all reached the age when in raising their own children 
they are beginning to really realize the reasons for the things that were 
done to them while here. It was a most enjoyable and heartening occa- 
sion and made up for a lot of the headaches that we have to endure in 
doing for a child who just refuses to understand or cooperate. 

In addition to his sincerity and responsibility he had a sense of humor. He 
wrote the following to his wife, whom he called Nancy, when she was away 
from home. 

"The cat showed up this morning, but he didn't like my preparation of 
breakfast worth a cent. He must have been eating partridges because 


he couldn't get enthusiastic over bread and milk. I left him on the back 
porch giving me a dirty look." 

In another letter he wrote: 

"Two of the extraordinary things we got: one was a stick of candy nine inches 
in diameter and six feet long, weighing 120 pounds. We did not know whether 
to stand it up and just let all the kids lick it or whether to break it up and use 
it in the kitchen, but finally we decided on the latter. 

Here is an example of his appreciation of the beauty of nature, taken from a 
letter to his brother: 

"I wish you could see our campus here right now. You know we have a 
good many maple trees--we have had our first frost and that turns the 
maples the most brilliant reds and yellows you ever saw. It really tints 
up the inside of the house from the brilliant colors outside. 

He was content with his life. He wrote in 1945: 

"I am interested in your comment on wages and salaries. I used to let 
that worry me a good deal. I am drawing some less money now than I 
did twenty-three years ago in comparison with the big wages paid, but I 
am still eating three meals a day and have a good place to sleep, am not 
too embarrassed among my friends who have more, so I am not kicking, 
and I guess that is about the way it is with you. 

He once said that he had stayed away from the game of golf, feeling that he 
could not afford it. Both he and his wife were overwhelmed when some of the 
Barium alumni presented them with a T.V. set, when he retired. He said that 
he had stayed away from the T.V. because he felt he could not afford it, and 
that he had best not expose himself to the temptation of wanting one. 

I am sure that all of us have thought about the responsibility that the job 
carried. He supervised all of the departments and was ready to be of service 
and help to any of the heads of departments. He was constantly watching to 
see if any children had a health problem. But in spite of the awesome job he 
had he was always thinking up things for the children to do. Just to name a 
few, there were: Davidson football games, circuses, magic shows, movies, 
swimming, and even riding to Statesville to see a dead whale that was on 


Mr. Joe, as he was sometimes called, had faith in young people. This is the 
advice he gives to his brother in 1941 about the difficulty of the times: 

"I was quite interested in your observation about the difficulty of the 
times--my advice to you is not to worry about that too much. I have found 
out that the human race is a pretty adaptable thing, but the human indi- 
vidual isn't! And this present generation of old timers, to which you and 
I belong would be utterly inadequate to meet the conditions in the new 
world order that is being built up right now. We will end up like old 
Methuselah did out back of the barn grumbling about the fool notions of 
his grandson Noah when it commenced to rain, and the old gentleman 
got drowned. We will no doubt be out back of a barn or some other place 
like that deploring what the world is coming to and the younger gener- 
ation will be taking things in charge and probably making a better go 
of it than we did. I'm not worrying about the distant future of the world. 
I am quite ready to turn over the part that requires initiative and drive to 
the younger generation that is always endowed with these things, and I'll 
be an innocent bystander, not a viewer with alarm. 

He was an elder of Little Joe's Church, he led Chapel Services in the dining 
room on Sunday mornings, and he still found time to teach the Senior Boys 
Bible Class. He led church services many times. He was called for services 
elsewhere occasionally, speaking for Barium. Otherwise he was to be seen 
in his usual place in Little Joe's Church. 

He was outstanding as an orphanage superintendent, and was widely recog- 
nized. He was President of the Southeastern Conference for three terms, and 
was also president of the North Carolina Conference several times. Davidson 
College awarded him the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Unselfish Ser- 
vice. The Synod of North Carolina elected him to the Moderatorship on the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of service. 

Mr. Johnston loved every form of sports. He participated in varsity athletics 
while a student at Davidson, played tennis, basketball, softball at Barium. He 
was Secretary of the Western North Carolina High School Activities Associ- 
ation for a number of years and in that capacity kept the records and furnished 
good publicity. He started the Junior Mid-Piedmont double elimination bas- 
ketball tournament. Mr. R. G. Calhoun, a teacher and coach at Barium, re- 
counted a typical weekend showing Mr. Johnston's enthusiasm for football. 

Let me recount a weekend that was somewhat typical in showing his in- 
terest in the game. We would see our own varsity game here at Barium 
on Friday afternoon, and then go on a scouting trip that night; and be- 


lieve me, Mr. J. B. was one of the finest scouts in the country as he would 
always come up with idea to pull on the opposition the following week. 
Then, there would be Junior games to attend early Saturday morning. 
On this particular weekend we left the Junior games and went down to 
Durham for the Georgia Tech-Duke game a there was a Barium boy on 
the Tech ream. We went on over to Raleigh for a game Saturday night 
in which Barium boys were playing. It was late in the night when we 
returned to the campus at Barium Springs and I was just about ex- 
hausted, but Mr. Johnston was up on the campus bright and early the 
next morning. I attended his Sunday School Class that morning and 
heard one of the finest lessons ever taught. 

In the fall of 1941 we wrote to his brother. 

All in all, it has been a very pleasant Fall. I have gotten to see fifteen 
good college games, twenty-two good High School games, twenty Midget 
games, two freshman games, two Negro games and an All-Star. Now, 
if I get to see two more good games, everything will be lovely. 

After retiring in 1949, he was made Director of the Personnel and Public Re- 
lations Department of Davis Hospital in Statesville. 

In my research I have found several human interest items by Mr. Johnston 
relating to his various experiences. One of these was his first airplane ride. 

Saturday morning the Writer was fortunate enough to be given a flight 
over the town and surrounding country. The experience was such that 
automobiles have ceased to have any attraction for us. The beauty of 
everything seen from 1000 feet high in the air is past belief. The ugliest 
gullies and the most unsightly houses that you can possibly see took on 
a beauty that is beyond description, even the trash piles looked like 
bouquets. The fields with the different crops furnished a variety of colors 
making one think that he was looking at a display of cloth spread out 
below him. Corn and cotton being the stripped goods and the wheat 
fields with the wheat still in shock looked like cloth with brown buttons 
sewed thick. 

As to the sensation of knowing you are in the air, the Writer missed part 
of that in his eagerness to see everything that was to be seen; having the 
advantage of a very long neck, and head hanging away out, had a clear 
unobstructed view of everything. 


On coming down, it seemed to us that the airplane was making a great 
deal of unnecessary speed and about the time the boat touched the 
ground we noticed a peculiar taste in our mouth which upon consulting 
a doctor was found to be the taste left by our heart. 

Then there was the Christmas of 1944. 

You know, in spite of our big family of our own children, we are now 
practically orphans. Of our six children, one girl is married, three boys 
are in the service, one boy is with the railroad, and one girl is away. So, 
nobody is at home with us. One of our sons got off for a few days, 
enough to be with us on Christmas Day, but in spite of that, it was the 
quietest Christmas in our own home that we have every spent; maybe 
that is why Mrs. Johnston contracted flue; she didn't have anything to 
occupy her mind but that. She was just about to start recovering when 
your box of candy came and played Russian Bank and ate candy, and 
now this morning she is completely recovered. 

Then to a brother in 1945 on buying coal. 

Your speaking of the trouble you have had getting repairs made on your 
heating plant reminds me of some of the things we have been up against 
here. Coal, for instance; we burn about 20 carloads of coal a year and 
this year the fuel administration had cut us down until we could not stock 
up as we usually do in the summer, and then here the first of October, 
a coal strike and all coal shipments cut off. We got down to a twenty-day 
supply and I was just about to head for Washington but a telephone 
conversation accomplished what I might not have been able to manage 
in person, so we are on a little easier street right now, but not too easy. 
We have to cut off the boilers on days that are a little too cool to be 
comfortable-today, for instance. 

After a vacation exploring the United States in 1947, he wrote: 

days and 430 gallons of gasoline later we pulled up at our home, winding 
up a series of most thrilling experiences, chief among which was the 
conviction that however great our nation may be and however wonderful 
the different states may be and however wonderful the different states 
may appear there is nothing quite so nice as that particular part of North 
Carolina known as Barium Springs. 

Of all the songs that he liked to sing, we remember his favorite, "I Wonder 
As I Wander." 


I wonder as I wander, Out under the sky, How Jesus the Saviour did come 
for to die For poor on'ry people like you and like I - I wonder as I wander 
Out under the sky. 

(a) (." Happv Days Are Here Again" was aDepression era song 
which became the anthem for F.D.R.'s "New Deal" and the 
Democratic Partv. It still is toaav. Ed. ) 

(b.) (." I Wonder As I Wander " is an Appalachian Folk carol 
and generally credited to John Jacob Niles. Ed.) 




Homecoming 1984 was taking place at the swimming pool of the Statesville 
Holiday Inn under a hot August sun. Most people had checked into their 
rooms and had ambled back out to mix. I had just completed my daily walk 
of four miles, an exercise prescription following open-heart surgery the pre- 
vious March: insertion of an artificial aortic valve and one bypass. I joined 
Earl Adams, Sadie Buie and some other alumni at the pool, seeking refuge 
from the heat beneath a metal umbrella centered into a patio table. Perspiring 
heavily, I removed my golf shirt and thus revealed the long surgical scar 
which divides my chest. 

The late Bill Johnston, who bore an amazing resemblance to his father, and 
who knew of my surgery, approached with a large photo album in his hand. 
He came straight to the table, put the album down, and shook my hand in 
greeting. He then said something to the effect of, "Let's see here." With that, 
he took hold of my bare shoulder, leaned over to get his ear close to my chest 
where he listened intently to the regular clicking of the artificial valve in my 
heart. He then pulled himself back up to full height, still holding on to my 
shoulder. Smiling that Johnston smile, he gave me a pat on the shoulder and 
pronounced me fit with, "It's working just fine." Bill then began to show us 
photographs of a 1948 Hudson automobile, and other family treasures. 

For me, the action was deja vu. I had experienced that scene before, with his 
father. It was in the early 1940's, '41 or '42, "during the War," as is said 

It was a hot summer day of that year, and a group of us truck farmers were 
working under Joe Clark's watchful eye in one of those endless fields which 
lay beyond the railroad tracks that ran by grave yard. The campus shimmered 
on the horizon, nearly out sight. There was some sort of shed nearby, perhaps 
used for vegetable or grain storage, perhaps an abandoned cannery. 

A cloud of reddish dust billowing behind his black Mercury created an illusion 
of great speed for the car; in actuality it was only moving at about thirty miles 
per hour over the hot, powdery, dirt road. (Correct grammar notwithstanding, 
it was not "he".) It was him! And he had a man with him. The car rolled to 
a stop, his hands still on the wheel. He lifted both hands and brought them 
down lightly on the steering wheel to punctuate a point to his passenger, a 
point which appeared to please him, for he was smiling that big smile that 
brightened everything around. Pointing and nodding toward me, he opened 
the car door and got out, as did his passenger. 


A few long strides brought him to where we were. He stopped a few yards 
away, at a mid-point in some illustration he was making. The black, high-top 
shoes were planted firmly in a cleanly hoed row; his companion was having 
difficulty getting his footing. His large frame turning on an axis, he surveyed 
the whole field while giving out pertinent information about acreage and pro- 
duction. His feet did not move. His companion, however, fought for balance 
as he turned to gaze this way and that. 

Hands at his sides, he turned to look at me. He smiled. We both knew why 
he was there; we had done this several times before. I could already have 
removed the right shoe and sock and been ready for examination, but that 
would be presumptuous, which I knew at age eleven. Besides, that was not 
the way we did it. i stood there and waited. 

Joe Clark had moved close by in a position of attendance, but not obtrusion. 
Some of the other boys continued to work; others stopped and looked at him, 
calling out greetings which he smiled at but did not acknowledge verbally. 

He came and put his hand on my shoulder. That's the way we did it. Then, 
the familiar words, "Charles surgery was done at the Miller Orthopaedic Clinic 
in Charlotte. Dr. Oscar Miller did it." "Dr. Miller?" "Yes, Dr. Miller himself. 
Let's have a look at that foot." I sat down in the row, feeling the cooler, freshly 
hoed soil. I pulled my right brogan off, then the smelly sock. He leaned down 
in his seersucker trousers and took my foot in his hand. His sleeves were 
carelessly rolled up, exposing his powerful forearms. Gently, he turned the 
foot back and forth; his right forefinger traced the surgical scars as he talked 
to the visitor. "Yes, Miller essentially took the foot apart and realigned it.. .a 
congenital flat foot. How do you feel, Charles?" "Fine!" I recited, one of my 
lines in that scenario. "Do you have any problem walking or running?" "No 
sir, I'm fine. I can do anything I want to." My other line. 

I put the sock and shoe back on my foot. More was said about Barium's health 
program to the visitor. The big hand was resting on my head now. There 
was a final head pat, the smile, the little crooked grin, and they left. The dust 
rushed up behind the car cutting through those enormous fields. 

A voice calling from the Holiday Inn entrance brought me back to the present. 
Bill Johnston looked up and recognized his nephew, Ann Fayssoux's son, who 
had flown in from Denver to be with him and the rest of the family. The 
nephew, a handsome young father, came with his small son inside the pool 
fence to greet his uncle. Bill extended his hand. I don't recall that the nephew 
took it at all—probably not. I do clearly remember that the nephew took over 
the greeting responsibilities. He said something to the effect of, "What's 


that?", pushing the hand aside "We came a long way to see you." With that, 
his arms went around his uncle's neck in a warm embrace. The nephew had 
on sandals, and had to stand on his toes to reach around the tall Johnston 

Here were Johnstons showing open affection for one another with no concern 
as to whether a Barium child might feel rejection. Love never was democratic, 
even in families. Lucky for Bill Johnston - who in reflex was practicing a 
long-ago learned reaction in behalf of Barium kids - his nephew felt no need 
to "Bariumize" their relationship. His was a straightforward, "we're family, 
flesh and blood family, and we love and care about each other." That other 
mystique of relationship that bonds the Barium crowd through the commonly 
shared experience had nothing to do with that one. 

(My path intersected with the third generation Johnstons several times during 
that weekend, and I sensed that although much describing and detailing had 
been given, the "Barium" connection was never made which was quite pre- 
dictable. It had to be experienced.) 

There is a certain mystery that surrounds the whole "Mr. Johnston": his 
charisma, his ability to inspire; his heroic, larger-than-life qualities; to pro- 
mote; to be who he was. The Barium Springs story during his years there is 
definitely his story. 

"It was fun, wasn't it?" was a summary statement - more so than a question - 
of his Barium years. He said it to his son, Bill, from his hospital bed not long 
before his death. 

To me, that says it all so completely, so accurately. As I allow my mind to 
drift back to those distant memories, stopping here and there to adjust for 
clearer focus on some event or conversation, a consistency develops to "It was 
fun, wasn't it?" 

In a loving and respectful way, many images come to mind: a giant-sized Pied 
Piper, a middle aged Peter Pan of heroic proportions, but one who is imbued 
with a deep, unshakable Christian spirituality. Wagnerian grandeur with a 
Gilbert and Sullivan sense of humor. 

There he was attempting to answer the question, "What does the man in 
charge do when he is surrounded by and responsible for hundreds of chil- 
dren?" "He has fun with them!" he thundered. "That's what he does." And 
so he did! It was all quite simple to him. Children like to be comfortable, 
secure, fed, and most of all play and have a good time. Hence, he set about 
to have a good time with all of us. He would risk a lot to do so. 


He was near Roman in his love for the games. In devotion to that love, and 
his desire that his charges have an adequate place to experience the devel- 
opment of natural athletic skills, he oversaw the construction of athletic facil- 
ities which would, even today, be the envy of many small colleges and high 
schools. During the Depression years, Barium Springs High School was 
dressing out and fielding teams in football, basketball—girls and boys- 
wrestling, and track and field, with excellent facilities for baseball. 

In a history of the school, Sara Parcell writes about his like for 
Roosevelt/Democratic Party/New Deal anthem, "Happy Days Are Here Again." 
That became obvious in many actions he took in pursuit of fun during those 
dark Depression days. He took totally to heart Roosevelt's assertion that 
only fear is feared. Fear apparently didn't frighten him. 

He confronted fear at every turn and flaunted himself in the confrontation. 
Elsewhere I have cited such in the account of his accompanying ten Barium 
children, Pullman class, on the train to a summer vacation with Barium's own 
"Daddy Warbucks" to the "Orphan Annies": multimillionaire Edwin Gould in 
upstate New York at his summer estate. 

Tempting total rejection from his already meager support base, he wrote about 
the experience on the front page of the "Barium Messenger" which went to 
those humble and poor churches with demands (my underlining) for their 
continued support. His readership was made up of a large number of people 
who were having trouble finding transportation to church; a fabled trip on 
a Pullman to far-away New York was out of the realm of any reason. 

Also written up were stories about those children who weren't going to New 
York. They were on their way to Myrtle Beach for an ocean vacation, or to 
Montreat to experience the cool refreshment of mountain air and laurel. He 
was always there: he was not one to delegate a good time. 

By the mid-thirties he had negotiated successfully for a camp site on the 
Catawba River. He had the land cleared and buildings erected. (All these 
events are given in detail in other sections of this book). 

During the school months, he generated fun through the athletic program 
which he supported to the extent that some, even some at the Home, felt was 
excessive. At this late point, no purpose is served in attempting to make a 
judgment either way. This writer would be terribly biased in his favor. The 
athletic program was a very large part of the life of the Home, but after all, the 
life of the Home was lived essentially by K-12 children who spent inordinate 
amounts of time in tennis shoes. 


On weekends, after the Barium teams had finished their schedules, he would 
still be at it, apparently. 

Coach-Principal R. G. Calhoun sent written hope that Mr. Johnston's plans to 
see the 1945 Army-Navy game not be "thwarted," and expressed an eagerness 
to rejoin him in attending games during the fall months, after Calhoun was 
released from the army. (For younger readers, the 1945 Army-Navy gave was 
the biggest football game played in the nation that year. It was the Davis, 
Blanchard era of greatness at West Point. That Mr. Johnston obtained tickets 
is not surprising. He usually got them.) 

In 1939, the following activity took place at the annual football banquet: 

"The concluding event of the evening was Mr. Jackins' announcing that 
Mr. Johnston would be a guest of the workers at Barium when Texas 
Christian and Carnegie Tech locked horns in the Sugar Bowl at New 
Orleans. Mr. Johnston replied that if people were listening over the radio 
on January 2nd, and heard the announcer say that there was a torrential 
downpour and that nobody was there, except one person, and they 
couldn't get him out, the people at Barium would know that this was him, 
and that he wasn't so sure that he would be thinking about football that 
day, but would be thinking of the people at Barium who had made this trip 
possible. "(Messenger) 

Sometimes because of, perhaps in spite of, the fun, the Home functioned. 
Those things needing to be done were done. Much of that was due simply to 
him and his presence. 

An egregious understatement would be, "He was a man of strong convictions." 
What he believed in he was committed to, what he was committed to, he fol- 
lowed with obsession. Those old fashioned words, "zeal," "fervor," "undying 
faith" applied to him. He was a man who had grown up hearing of and being 
taught Emerson's "Self Reliance." His generation was quite familiar with ar- 
mies of salvation, with singing hymns about Christian Soldiers marching as 
to war, of Rudyard Kipling's heroic poems about manhood, of Browning's 
questioning Heaven's purpose if man's reach did not exceed his grasp, of 
Cardinal Newman's oneness with the Divine. 

Additionally, following the freeing of the slaves during the Civil War, a massive 
social consciousness turned toward the educating and Christian conversion 
of American Blacks and "other" races around the world. Thus began the large 
Protestant missionary movement in Africa, China, and the Pacific Islands. He 
felt and accepted that consciousness, and carried it into his work at Barium 


Springs and in the Presbyterian Church. Several other writers have cited his 
taking the hymn, "Others, Lord Yes Others" as a sort of signature hymn for 

The caution was "Beware" to that person or group that confronted him or 
stood in his way in obtaining an objective for the children. His willingness to 
threaten with God's wrath those who were slack in making contributions to the 
Home's support has been cited. As another hymn directed, he viewed himself 
to be a man of God who had been called to rise up, and he did, indeed. 

Bill McCall received some notes from Bill Johnston taken by Mr. Johnston at 
a White House Conference on Child Welfare. The notes are interesting in the 
way they affirm the man. 

He refers to professionals working in child welfare as "servants" - a chosen 
group. "...They reap the joy of the child's success... (and therefore). ..must 
have more unselfishness than any other profession." Perhaps he was taking 
notes of someone else's comments, but he, too, believed that. 

He was direct. Most of what he wrote in the "Messenger" in the early De- 
pression years had to do with the Home's need for money. In one article, he 
removed all economic and social conditions which may have been joined to 
cause such a large number of children to be housed at the Home and went 
directly to the biological issue of birth control as that relates to economics. 
He made direct comments about Presbyterians' willingness to, "...propagate 
with apparent enthusiasm," but, just as directly, he accused them of their lack 
of enthusiasm in supporting their progeny. To the point, "...if you cannot or 
are not going to support them, don't have them!" There would usually be a 
companion piece to accompany such a lecture, probably a feature about the 
large number of sets of twins at the Home. There would be a photograph of 
all of them in a group in front of Rumple Hall. He knew public relations, and 
brought his own style to the craft. 

Regardless of his skill, he had his detractors. He confronted them with great 
drama and high purpose. Deep down, he knew that society would not tolerate 
a prolonged attack on someone or someplace that was looking after children 
in the right way, a place and a person cited for excellence in such care by the 
prestigious Duke Endowment. He was right. Below is his printed reaction to 
a rumor he disliked in July 1939. (Note the tabloid technique with the "startl- 
ing" headline. Note also how he uses this as an opportunity to jostle 
Presbyterian consciousness with his admission that they as a denomination 
have had to use the child care facilities of other denominations more than the 
reverse. Note his recommended corrective action: "...don"t hesitate to shoot 
...this dangerous animal." He was not frightened by violent imagery. Also, 


those were really quite familiar terms to a readership grown accustomed to 
reading about John Dillinger's and Baby Face" Nelson's exploits and deaths, 
and of J. Edgar Hoover's "G-Men".) 



One of the speakers on the Orphanage at one of the Presbyterials is being 
quoted as having made the statement that Barium Springs is so full of 
Methodists and Baptists and children of other denominations that here isn't 
room for Presbyterians here. We feel sure that his statement was the result 
of a misunderstanding, for whenever an application is made to the Orphanage, 
the first thing that is determined about it is whether or not it is a Presbyterian 
responsibility. If it appears to be more of a Baptist responsibility, it is imme- 
diately referred to the Baptist Orphanage, and if it is Methodist, it is referred 
to the Methodist Orphanage. 

Quite often it is difficult to determine just which Church has a greater re- 
sponsibility toward a particular family. There have been times when we have 
accepted children from other denominations when the orphanages of those 
denominations have been full and unable to do anything about it at that time, 
and when the case was a real emergency. For that reason, you will find a few 
children of other denominations in Barium, but we are rather ashamed to ad- 
mit that you will probably find more Presbyterian children in the orphanages 
of other denominations than you will find their children here, because we 
found the other orphanages most generous in helping our Presbyterian fami- 
lies when we were unable to do so. 

We think that most of the church members know something about our routine 
in accepting children. Whenever an application comes to us, the pastor of the 
church is always consulted, and it is a rare case indeed that we ever accept 
a child or children without the urgent solicitation of the pastor and the church. 

We turn down many more applications, even when the pastors and churches 
are urging them, than we accept. 

And this brings up another thing: If anyone is able to find a Methodist or 
Baptist child at Barium, we guarantee that you will find that child was urged 
on us by a perfectly good Presbyterian preacher and church. 

Summing this all up, we are trying desperately hard at Barium to serve the 
children brought to our attention through our churches, who are most in need 


of the services of this sort of institution. It means that we quite often turn 
down cases not only where there seems to be an affiliation with some other 
church, but also cases where there seems to be a member of the family who 
is willing and able to take care of the children. 

We can hardly understand how a rumor could live, blaming us for being too 
liberal in our policies of acceptance. Most of the letters of complaint that we 
get are blaming us for leaning too far to the other extreme; we are too strict, 
we are told, in our policies or acceptance. 

If anybody comes in contact with this rumor, don't hesitate to shoot it. It's a 
complete outlaw, and really does have a price on its head. 

We feel that as long as this rumor is at large that many of our friends will feel 
justified in lessening their support of the institution, and for that reason there 
is a decided price on the head of this dangerous animal. 


He introduced a column in the "Messenger" in the early thirties with the quite 
unlikely title of "Ollapodrida." It is a Spanish stew; the Americanized meaning 
is "hodge podge." It was that, a sort of catch-all for making more requests for 
money, for telling about Barium, or thanking people for money already sent. 
In one column he goes to great lengths to thank churches that have kept up 
their pledges. He then explains why they have not received receipts for the 
contributions. The answer is that he is saving the Home and its contributors 
money by not sending receipts and saving the three cents it costs to send each 
one: i.e, send the money, I will thank you in "Ollapodrida." If you don't read 
"Ollapodrida," that's your problem. Who can argue with that? 

Mrs. Johnston played a definite role in the Home's activities, but it wasn't re- 
ally that of "First Lady." She had her own schedule of quiet duties. She was 
active in the work of the Sunday School in the elementary grades, and knew 
which older children could teach Sunday School, and which could not. She 
was profuse in praise for work well done, making sure that "he" knew about 

She and he both had a certain bearing, that presence which so very few in- 
dividuals possess in a natural way. She had the patrician's tilt of the head 
which was aided in effect by a finely chiseled profile. He was of French an- 
cestry in part, and those genes served him well in his zest for life, but also in 
his example: a certain nonchalance in manner that only the French really do 
well. Theirs was a casual dignity, an absence of any pretense. In a word of 
today, Class. A group of orphans looking for role models in self respect, 


industriousness, good manners, not to mention good posture, could have 
asked for none better than those two. 

(I had never thought much about his French lineage as related to his 
mannerisms, but now that I do, I can see it in the jaunty way he popped his 
hat down over his eyes, or tossed it to the back of his head in the manner of 
a boulevardier. I am sure that I am excessive, but look at the man standing 
at the boat rail in Renoir's "The Luncheon of the Boating Party." The angle 
of the head, the hat. Let your imagination work, and see him as a young man.) 

It's all so long ago, all these remembrances, but they are still vivid and fresh 
in my mind, especially that presence. His unmistakable shape in a crowd. 
There he was moving up and down the sidelines at a football game, sitting 
on that back center row in old Little Joe's Church, standing in the center of 
the dining hall talking about the War and our boys and girls in uniform, 
walking across campus on a Sunday afternoon with young children tugging 
at available fingers, standing in top coat, hat and with smile in the dressing 
room door on a cold fall night when we had been defeated in an "away" game; 
taking us to a warm cafe, anyway; playing checkers under the pavilion at 
camp; walking to vespers at camp, across the road up in the woods to sit on 
split logs. 

He was always there to experience it with us. He gave himself to us. Thank 
goodness he was not "trained," but came to his work with an unshakable faith 
in himself through his Maker, and a genuine love for life and for children. 
He knew "quality time" but he didn't have to name it to make him appear to 
be superior with terminology. He knew "tough love." He practiced both of 
those. Not all Barium children will praise him. To me, that simply speaks to 
his genuine humanity and to life itself. Wisely, he never tried to be "popular" 
with us. He cared for us. He did not, would not trivialize that care. He did 
not clinically note our achievements against some base-line data with corre- 
sponding projections, given in light of intervening variables, as do the psy- 
chologists. He genuinely loved us, cared for us, was proud of us in that 
imperfectly perfect way of human effort and aspiration. Never did I hear him 
insult or demean us by telling us, "You're as good as anyone." He knew that 
few statements affirm second class status so clearly as does that one. He 
knew who we were, and expected us to achieve the dignity he already held for 

I never thought of him as a father; I don't now. Some like to refer to him as 
"Daddy" Johnston. I don't, simply because he is not. I was and still am awed 
by him and his memory in me. What a power! Even at this point, several 
years beyond the midpoint of my life, when I hear something fine and inspi- 
rational, I think of him. When something happens of significance in my life 


or in the lives of my children, I think of him. I regret that he was not here that 
I might have gone with him to see the film, "The Sound of Music." How he 
would have loved that one! How I wish he could have been with me in the 
private box at Carnegie Hall when the North Carolina Symphony made its New 
York debut. I wish that he could have come to Raleigh when Joe Porter was 
responsible for the largest budget in the public sector of the State. I'd like to 
have him back to stand in the dining hall and tell us about the men landing 
on the moon-he would have been grand at that one. I could go on and on. 
It all comes down to the feeling of fabulous luck. What a childhood! What 
adventure! "It was fun, wasn't it?" Yes, it was! 

It was. 

Charles M. Barrett 














Jos. B. Johnston General Manager and Treasurer 

J. H. Lowrance Assistant 


Miss Beatie Lackey, Kitchen 

Miss Boone Long, Asst. Kitchen 

Mrs. Mamie Purdy, Dining Room 

Mr. A. P. Edwards, Printing 

Mr. T. C. Cavin, Campus and Farm 

Mr. Joe Clark, Truck Farm 

Mr. Harvey Mr"-' 1 " 1 *" "-"<-■ 

Miss Frances 

Miss Lulie Andrews, Bookkeeper 

Miss Nealy Ford, Laundry 

~ i rector 

. Lavin, Lamp us ana rdrrr 
Clark, Truck Farm 
?y McMillan, McDonald Farm 
ices Steel, Field Worker 
ie Andrews, Bookkeeppr 
Miss Nealy Ford, Laundry 
Miss Gertrude Marshall, Seen 
Mr. R. McMillan, Athletic Di 
Mr. H. L. Thomas, Orchards 
Mr. Erwin Jackins, Dairy 
Mr. S. A. Grier, Master Mechanic 
Miss Mona Clark, Sewing Room 

MATRONS: Miss Maggie Adams, Head Matron 

Miss Vera Woods, Howard 

Miss Leona Miller, Annie Louise 

Mrs. Louise Garrison, Lees 

Mrs. W. F. Privette, Alexander 

Miss Kate Taylor, Synods 


HIGH SCHOOL: Mr. T. L. O'Kelly, Superintendent 

Miss Elizabeth Doggett 
Mr. R. G. Calhoun 
Miss Ruth Johnson 
Miss Reba Thompson 
Miss Irene McDade 

GRADES: Mrs. John Q. Holton, Principal 


Kate McGoogan, Second 
M. Massey, Spec. Primar, 
E. Hostetler, Spec. Ind 
L. G. Greene, Music 
D. Carson, Kindergarten 


My Dear Mr. Johnston: 

I am in receipt of the questionnaire filled out for the 
Presbyterian Orphans' Home, and want to offer my congratulations 
on the high rating of your institution under the Duke Endowment 

Si ncerel y yours , 

Edwin Gould 

(Edwin Gould was the son of the notorious Jay Gould, 19th Century mogul 
who attempted to corner the gold market, resulting in the Wall Street 
"Black Friday". Edwin had a sister, and he and she dedicated their lives 
to philanthropic endeavors.) ****** 

Child Welfare League of America, Inc. 
130 East Twenty-Second Street 
New York City 

October 19, 1932 

Mr. Jos. B. Johnston 
Presbyterian Orphans' Home 
Barium Springs, North Carolina 

My Dear Mr. Johnston: 

I am pleased to hear that the Presbyterian Orphans' Home 

rated so high in the comparisons of children's institutions made 

by the Duke Endowment. I have written to Mr. Pickens requesting 

information about all of the institutions' ratings. I will be 

especially interested in the standing of those who are members of 

the Child Welfare League. Let me assure you that my acquaintance 

with you and your staff will always lead me to expect superior 

achievement in comparison with the work of other organizations. 

Si ncerely yours , 

H. W. Hopkirk, Special Assistant for 
the Study of International Needs 193 

(From The Concord Daily Tribune) 

Over 48 percent of the organized Presbyterian churches of the 
Synod of North Carolina have not contributed a cent during the 1932- 
1933 church fiscal year toward the maintenance and support of the 
Presbyterian Orphans' Home at Barium Springs, according to a check- 
up of this year's receipts which has been made in the treasurer's 
of f i ce . 

The last minutes of the general assembly listed 535 organized 
churches in the North Carolina Synod, which did not include the 
chapels and missions under the supervision of this synod. Of the 
535, 257 have failed to respond in gifts to Barium, which means that 
278 have made some contribution since April 30th, when the fiscal 
year of the church ended. 

At the present time, all officials at Barium are lending their 
energies toward making the coming Thanksgiving campaign a successful 
one. Last year, Barium received $32,000 following the Thanksgiving 
drive, which meant a drop of $10,000 over the year previous. The 
regular contributions from the churches also fell off over $11,000 
last year, for a total reduction of $21,000 in income, which is 
responsible for the present financial predicament at Barium. 

It is almost impossible for us to think of any auxiliary agency 

of the church--and we mean of every denomi nati on--more important 

than its orphanages, and certainly when we think of the Presbyterian 

Church in North Carolina we think of Barium Springs not only as one 

of its most important proteges, but as one of its principal assets. 

Conditions have been such that the Tar Heels have been forced to 

retrench in their spending, but we can't believe that her people 

have reached that point where such institutions as Barium Springs 


are to be permitted to suffer either from indifference or neglect. 

Those churches overlooking the work of Barium Springs are 

overlooking a real opportunity for service, not only to the Church 

but to the State and Nation. 



(From The Charlotte Observer) 

Thanksgiving Day is the occasion set for the Presbyterians of 
the State to come to the rescue of their major benevolence, which is 
the Barium Springs Orphanage, and the mark the board of regents 
has set for attainment is the modest sum of $50 ,000--modes t when 
set against the Presbyterian pocket-book. The management of the 
orphanage has accomplished wonders under the handicap of insufficient 
funds and in keeping the debt of the institution down to the 
minimum sum, and the duty would seem devolved upon the pastor of 
every Presbyterian church in the State to make especial appeal to 
the generosity of the Thanksgiving congregation to chip ,n lively 
in support of a cause that should be dear to the heart of every 
member of the denomination. Pity so few Presbyterians take 
the trouble to make personal visits to the Barium Springs Orphanage, 
for they would there witness scenes of benevolent activity that 
would warm the heart. Thanksgiving should be regarded as rescue day 
for an orphanage which ought to be the pride of all Presbyterians. 



(From The Gastonia Gazette 

It ought to come as a distinct shock to the Presbyterians of 
North Carolina that they have been shamefully mistreating the 
Barium Springs Orphanage. 

Over 48 percent of the organized Presbyterian churches of the 
Synod of North Carolina have not contributed a cent during the 1932- 
1933 church fiscal year toward the maintenance and support of the 
Presbyteri an Orphans ' Home, according to a check-up of this year's 
receipts which has been made in the treasurer's office. 

The last minutes of the general assembly listed 535 organized 
churches in the North Carolina Synod which did not include the 
chapels and missions under the supervision of this synod. Of the 
535, 257 have failed to respond in gifts to Barium, which means that 
278 have made some contribution since April 30th, when the fiscal 
year came to an end. 

At the present time, all officials at Barium are lending 
their energies toward making the approaching Thanksgiving campaign 
a successful one. Last year, Barium received $32,000 following the 
Thanksgiving drive, which meant a drop of $10,000 over the year 
previous. The regular contribution from the church organizations 
also fell off over $11,000 last year, for a total reduction of 
$21,000 in income, which is responsible for the present financial 
predicament at Barium. 

The Presbyterians of North Carolina ought to be ashamed of 
themselves. You will not find any such condition prevailing among the 
Baptists regarding the Thomasville Orphanage, or among the Methodists 
and their orphans' homes at Winston-Salem and Raleigh. 


There are 257 Presbyterian churches in North Carolina which 
have not contributed to this most worthy cause. Imagine a Baptist 
church, even in the remotest corner of the State, not giving 
anything to the Mills Home at Thomasville. The Presbyterians 
of this state are too wealthy, too liberal for such a condition 
to continue. It ought to be remedied, and that right soon. 
There is no better time than the approaching Thanksgiving season 
to do their part by the orphans at Barium Springs. 



We submit the following with reference to our Orphan's Home 
at Bari urn Springs: 

We have studied the situation at Barium Springs in a most 
patient and sympathetic manner. In submitting the following 
observations and suggestions we want it to be understood that 
we in no wise desire to trespass upon the rights and duties of 
the management nor seek to find fault, exaggerate conditions or to 
even mildly criticize anyone. We find that the explanation of the 
situation is the fact that, inthe midst of the many trying conditions 
of the past few years, the churches have unwittingly neglected these 
ch i 1 dren . 

The failure of the churches to give substantial financial support 
has resulted in the following conditions: 

Cash donations have fallen off seriously. 

The deficiency of the Orphanage has grown tremendously. 

Salaries have been unpaid. 

Numerous bills have been left unpaid. 

The number of teachers has been reduced. 

The number of children in the Orphanage has been reduced. 

The doors are closed to many who ought to be admitted. 

Due to the stress of economic retrenchments, the children in 
the Orphanage have suffered. 

However, we find existing in the Orphanage a splendid spirit and 
we wish to commend the unfailing loyalty and self-sacrifice of 
Mr. Johnston and all his assistants. 


John N. McCall 

Boonie Mae Long served as head dietician at Barium from 1929 to 1944. 
During this 15 year period she was responsible for the preparation of three 
meals each day, 365 days a year. This adds up to more than 15,425 meals, 
served to about 400 children and staff, plus occasional special banquets, 
birthday dinners, and the like. Twice, the Presbyterian Synod of North 
Carolina met for several days at Barium and Boonie estimates that at least 700 
persons were served at one time. Besides getting these meals on the table or 
preparing box suppers to be served at the children's' cottages on Saturday 
and Sunday evenings, she had to plan meals, order supplies from Statesville, 
and cope with fruits and vegetables brought in from the orchard and truck 
farm. The Howard Cottage girls often helped with the stringing of green beans 
or shelling peas before these were delivered to the back porch of the kitchen. 

Boonie first learned about Barium through the Barium Messenger which her 
family received as members of the Unity Presbyterian Church in Denver, North 
Carolina. She had studied home economics at the Denver High School but got 
most of her knowledge through employment as a cook or dietician. For a time 
she worked as a nurses aide at the Orthopedic Hospital in Gastonia. Then, 
without her knowledge, her mother asked Mr. Joseph B. Johnston to have her 
come for an interview at Barium. She was immediately hired as the Head 

Her job required getting down to the kitchen by 5:0f a.m. each morning to 
prepare breakfast. Two older girls helped her, plus two adult women who 
helped during the morning hours. 

The toughest part of her job was handling the special banquets or large 
groups such as the Synod of North Carolina. And, there were regular crises 
such as coping with bushels of ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash that 
were dumped on the kitchen porch just before supper time. There were many 
satisfying moments, too. Each month all those children with birthdays that 
month sat together to share a meal of fried chicken with all the trimmings. 
Perhaps most satisfying of all was the chance to train young girls in the art of 
planning and cooking meals, 

After leaving Barium, Boonie Mae returned to her home in Denver. She 
worked at the Federal Reserve Bank in Charlotte for 29 years, then retired. 
Now, living at home, she spends much of her time sewing, canning, and 
freezing food for her family. She believes it was a special privilege to work at 


Barium with Mr. Johnston, Maggie Adams, Mary Turner, and all the others 
who were so helpful. Some of her special memories include: The little boy 
who gave her a handkerchief for Christmas with "Mother" embroidered on it; 
preparing meals for 700 people when the Presbyterian Synod met at Barium 
for several days; going to the school auditorium on Friday nights for square 
dances and dancing with the high school boys. Most of all, she treasures the 
chance she had to love so many children and have them love her back. 



Faye Stevenson has been one of our more constant visitors at Barium 
Homecomings. We quickly recognize her slim figure and quiet smile and we 
hurry over to chat with her about old times in her sixth or seventh grade class. 
Her calm manner and clear memory for details suggest that she has changed 
very little through the years. Hundreds of us alumni gained by her steady 
discipline in the classroom and by her systematic efforts to cultivate our raw 
talents. She took teaching seriously and she expected us to work just as hard 
as she did with the lessons in fine arts, English literature, and other subjects. 

Faye came to Barium in 1929, after teaching four years in a north Iredell 
county y school. Acquaintances who were familiar with the needs of Barium 
for good t eachers recommended her to the home superintendent, Mr. Joseph 
B. Johnston. Af ter interviewing her briefly, he hired her to be a special tutor 
to children wh o were behind in their work. She also substituted in the regular 
classrooms a nd thus became acquainted with the Barium school system. 

During her first years, the Barium schools were entirely private. There were 
twenty-two teachers on the staff and there were kindergarten through twelve 
grades. Some of the teachers, like Faye initially, tutored or taught special 
classes and there were two shifts in the high school. Half the students came 
for morning sessions and the other half began their schooling early in the 
afternoon. Study sessions were held during evening hours, either at the cot- 
tages or at the classroom buildings. With all this effort, the Barium students 
compared favorably with other Iredell county students on the seventh grade 
achievement tests. Barium was somewhat unique for a time in offering busi- 
ness courses to the girls and trade skills, such as the printing or linotype op- 
erations for boys. These proved valuable for getting jobs after high school 

In 1930, Faye was asked to teach the sixth grade fulltime. She taught there 
for several years before moving to the seventh grade. Much later, after the 
Barium schools merged with Troutman, she taught the third and fourth grades. 
Over these years, Fayo also served as a substitute cottage matron during 
summer months. She believes this experience in the residence halls gave her 
a far better understanding of the children whom she worked with in the 

In retrospect, it is obvious that Faye was fully committed to the total Barium 
enterprise of raising educated Christian children. She recalls that the high 
school curriculum included Bible instruction and the Catechism was taught 


at the sixth grade level. Bible stories were used regularly in morning de- 
votions at school and during evening prayer sessions in the cottages. Far 
more influential, she believes, was the personal example of Barium staff 
members who lived their Christian beliefs day by day. In looking back, Faye 
easily recalls Sunday mornings when Mr. Johnston began the day with de- 
votions in the dining hall, Mr. Sam Grier guided the Sunday School sessions, 
and Miss Laura Green provided dependable music at the main church service. 

After leaving Barium in 1963, Faye taught for eight years at the Monticello 
Elementary School near Statesville. In all, her teaching career added up to a 
total of 46 years, most of it at Barium Springs. And they give her added rea- 
son to remain close by Barium during her retirement. 



Tom McCall 
I'm a little orphan 
I work for Mr. Clark 
We hoe the beans and 'taters 
From morning until dark. 

This verse was invented on a certain summer day, about 1936. It refers to the 
late Joe Clark, who was Barium's truck far manager. Mr. Clark supervised the 
truck farm from about 1932 to 1944. He was a native of Iredell County and 
was raised just a few miles away, close to the Catawba River. He really un- 
derstood truck gardening and liked to raise vegetables. 

The popular folk song, "Old Joe Clark", will always bring him to mind. Al- 
though, our Joe Clark was not the swain who lost the girl, as happened in the 
song. Mr. Clark was the fanciful story teller of Piedmont country ways. He 
seemed to know every detail of local history, including some alleged doings 
by the Catawba Indians who left their arrowheads to be turned up each spring. 
We also remember him as a sincere nature lover and as a person who was 
friendly with each of us. 

We worked for Mr. Clark every season of the year, from the time that seeds 
were planted or beds prepared for potato and tomato slips until harvest time. 
We spent many long hours setting plants, watering or hoeing them, dusting 
them, then harvesting them. After the frost came, we picked collards and 
other greens, shelled dried beans, and worked with cross-cut saws to clear 
new land. Sometimes, we felt sorry for the Howard Cottage girls who snapped 
the hundred of bushes of green beans that we picked. Other boys our age 
worked on the dairy or the orchard crew and the big farm that grew wheat 
and corn. We assumed that us truck farm boys had more fun by being out in 
the fields and woods. 

Imagine if you will, about 15 boys around age twelve, dressed in blue jeans 
and work shoes, and very well tanned above. It's the middle of July and they 
are resting in the shade along side of a red clay field of green beans. We had 
just finished hoeing the long rows of beans and we were watching Henry 
Houston, the regular hired hand, get ready to cultivate between the bean rows. 
We were cooling off with the help of a fresh bucket of water from the nearby 
Big Spring, Someone began telling jokes and soon we are all talking and 
laughing. Our hoes hung on the tree limbs nearby. 

Whack! Ben Lewis seemed to hit a hoe handle each time he shot his sling 
shot, Cecil Starling walked over to the hoes and swung one back and forth. 


"Try to hit that, Ben." Whack! Whack! Then we each took turns and most of 
us managed to hit the hoes. 

Next, we began singing popular songs, making up words when we couldn't 
remember the right ones. One of us made up the words to the above verse, 
t caught on and we remembered it for a long time afterwards. Similar verses 
were made for other work groups at Barium, which included the dairy boys, 
the laundry girls, and others. We even made up a verse about Paul Home, 
who had the enviable job of driving the large delivery truck. 

Our fun was interrupted by the sound of Mr. Clark's pickup truck bouncing 
over the wooden bridge at the Big Spring. We grabbed our hoes and began 
to chop weeds at the edge of the field. Thank goodness we had finished 
hoeing the beans. Shortly after came the call "Hey, Mac, Mac, Pig, and Jack. 
Come on with me, now." This was his familiar way of calling me, my brother 
Jack, another boy named Jack, and Cecil Starling. We were his favorite hoe 
hands and he needed us elsewhere. 

Each summer, Mr. Clark and our Lees Cottage matron, Mary Turner, planned 
a special picnic for us down at the Catawba River. We looked forward to these 
outings with great anticipation. Usually, we stopped briefly at Mr. Clark's 
family home, on the edge of the campus, for a taste of wild plums and other 
goodies. Sometimes we met other boys and girls who lived on farms. There 
was no difficulty telling the orphan kids from the others. We always seemed 
more energetic and happy. I like to think it was due to the loving attention 
we got from our matrons and supervisors. I particularly like to think it was 
due to the loving attention we got from our matrons and supervisors. I par- 
ticularly like to thank Joe Clark, time and time again, for teaching me to love 
the outdoors and to respect wildlife. 


Barium Springs 1929 - 1963 

Someone asked me how I came to Barium Springs. 

I had taught four years in a small school north of Statesville that 
was later consolidated with the Scotts High School. The first year I 
boarded in the home of the chairman of the County Board of Education 
in Statesville and whose wife was a sister of Miss Maggie Adams who was 
Head Matron at Barium. That was the only way I could imagine that 
Mr. Johnston knew there was a Mary Faye Stevenson when I received a message 
that Mr. Johnston had asked for me to come to Barium for an interview. 

After talking with Mr. Johnston, I was hired as a tutor to work 
especially with those elementary students who needed extra help in their 
studies. It so happened that I was a handy substitute if a classroom teacher 
was out, so I got a pretty good idea of the whole school program. 

In 1929, there were 22 teachers, beginning with a kindergarten class. 
There were also special classef for some students who needed that extra time. 
Teachers held study hall some in the cottages and some in the school buildings 
for a number of years. 

The Barium School--in 1929~-offered opportunities that all county schools 
did not offer, There was a Business course that prepared students to get 
employment when they finished high school. A number of girls were fortunate 
in this. 

There was also the Print Shop, where a number of boys received training 
there which enabled them to get work when they finished high school and have 
been quite successful. 


Before the state began paying teachers' salaries, the older students 
alternated with one group going to morning classes and the others going 
to afternoon classes so there was help in the different work groups. 

(In 1930, there was a vacancy in the sixth grade and I was persuaded to 
take sixth grade. From there, I was moved to seventh grade until the move 
to Troutman began and "I ended with third and fourth grade and being 
responsible for all reports, etc.) 

In those earlier years, the children took their vacation when it best 
suited their people. The cottages were used all summer so there had to be 
substitutes while the House Mother had a vacation. I did substitute work 
one month during the summer several years working in Synod's Cottage, Annie 
Louise, and Rumple Hall. This gave me experience and better understanding 
in that phase of the life of the children in my classes. Classes averaged „ 
25 - 35 and at one time I had 45 in my sixth grade. 

Our Barium School had students who could hold their own wherever they 
went. I knew at least one year when our 7th grade rated highest in the 
county on the achievement tests which were given each year. 

Another important phase in the Barium life was the religious training. 
In the earlier years, Bible was taught in the High School and the catechism 
was taught in sixth grade. Bible stories were used in morning devotions 
in school and in the cottages. Few people would ever forget a number of 
persons we learned to know who lived their Christian beliefs day by day. 
Our ministers, Mr. Johnston's Sunday morning devotions during the war years 
especially; Mr. Grier, as superintendent of the Sunday School; Mr. Lowrance's 
patience; Miss Green's music for church and prayer meeting and others too 
numerous to mention. 

I'm thankful for the 34 years in the classroom at Barium and then for the 

last happy eight years at Monticello--just five minutes from my door--making 

altogether 46 years with fond memories. 


I'm sorry to be this late but I get involved in too many things. 
My typewriter is old and I'm no expert at that anyway. Hope you won't 
have too much trouble picking out what you want to use. 

My best wishes . 

Faye Stevenson 



Some things I can remember about Barium are that Brother Ray and I went to 
Barium in 1924. Ray entered Synod's Cottage for young boys. This particular 
cottage didn't have a work group to attend such as farm, shoe shop, dairy, etc. 
I entered Lee's Cottage from which I was assigned to the farm. When we 
became older, Ray was assigned to the Print Shop, where he learned his trade. 

Other things I remember, as I go along. One time, all the children at Barium- 
three hundred and fifty at that time-had the itch, lice, and bed bugs. That 
went on for quite sometime until the red, strong Lifebouy soap came on the 
market. Then, all other soap was taken up except this brand which cured the 
itch and lice. The Gulf Oil Company came out with a new spray which took 
care of the bed bugs. 

Reaching the age of fifteen, I started driving the campus truck. Didn't require 
driver's license at this time. Mr. Lowrance drove the truck out on the football 
field, parked it, and told me, "When you learn to drive it, go haul the laundry." 
After a couple of hours, I was hauling laundry. Certain days we had to pick 
up laundry from each cottage. While we are on the subject of vehicles, Mr. 
Johnston was driving a "T" Model Ford coupe when I entered the home. 

About the time I started driving, Barium had just gotten full control of the land 
and spring itself. We still got calls for the water from people in Charlotte, NC. 
Every Friday, I would take fifteen or twenty five-gallon glass jugs with cork 
stoppers placed in wooden crates for hauling. At that time, we got one dollar 
for five gallons of water. Also, at the same time, you could buy five gallons of 
gas for one dollar. After all these years, the spring began to lose its taste, and 
the water vein got weaker. After a while, the water business was discontinued. 
The old hotel was still standing when the Barium Home bought the land and 
the spring. Although the hotel was run down, the boys and I dismantled it and 
hauled it away. The big hot water tank from the boiler room was taken up on 
the campus to catch the hot water that came back from the buildings which 
were heated with steam from the main boiler. 

A few years later (1920's), they needed a tractor driver on the farm. Troy 
Cavin was farm manager for a while before Mr. Floyd Stinson took over. I 
recall when we took the old iron wheel (cleat) tractor and had rims put on the 
wheels, also rubber tires. We were one of the first to have rubber tires in 
Iredell County. 

The State took over the schools (1932). It was then they had to hire more help. 
Later on, I was offered a job on the Orchard helping Mr. Thomas. When he 


retired, I took the responsibility of the Orchard work. The orchard was coming 
along very good with the group of boys I had and we all did all the canning of 
peaches, apple sauce, all green beans, tomatoes off the truck farm which was 
separate from the orchard. By the time Mr. McClure came to be superinten- 
dent (late 1950's), I opened up the selling yard without even asking. He never 
did question it. So I would suppose it did satisfy him. We sold for eleven 
years under him, five years under Dr. Reiney. About every year, we averaged 
sales of anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 of surplus produce. 

I worked with many boys but can't remember their names, only the ones that 
made an impression on me. Remembering Nelson Farmer, he was very easy 
to get along with and a good worker; however, I did get sorta mad when he 
sliced off the end of my little finger as we were pruning peach trees. I am not 
mad at him anymore. After he left Barium, he stopped by one day with a big 
fish and even cleaned it for me. I certainly didn't forget that. To mention 
others. Tom and Jack, the twins; also another brother, Bill McCall. I still 
think about the time I chased Tom with a big bush beating the yellow jackets 
off him. Also, Tom always looked after Jack. They were good boys. Walter 
Barefoot stands out in my mind. Howard Cox helped on the selling yard. One 
Saturday afternoon, this lady came in and bought one-half bushel of apples. 
She picked off another basket five or six big apples to put on her half bushel. 
Howard's job was to carry out, put in the car. When the lady left, I noticed 
Howard grinning from ear to ear. "Howard, what's the matter with you?" I 
asked. Whereupon, he unzipped his overall jacket, pulled out those big apples 
and put back on the basket. I never did tell him that was the right thing to do. 
I just didn't say. Dan McLarin was another boy who like to come out to work 
when he wasn' supposed to just to be around the tractor. Royce Harris was 
another boy who went out of his way to help. Richard Blackman hauled the 
fruit to the yard using tractor and wagon. We didn't have a truck at this time. 
One thing they told on Richard when he took a load of Georgia Belles 
(peaches) out to the yard, a lady asked, "Are they free stone?" "No," he 
replied, "they are Georgia Belles." On the subject of peaches, Mr. McClure 
was down in the orchard one day, saw all those peaches hanging there. Such 
a pretty sight. They wi!l probably plant a peach tree on your grave when you 
die and stick a pitch fork on mine, he might have mused. 

One night, and many other nights after closing the selling yard, we went back 
to the orchard to haul out a load of apples we had picked. Several boys were 
with me. We got loaded and while the tractor was idling, the tractor lights 
went out, When we got out on the road, it was so dark we headed the wrong 
way, toward the spring, going all the way to the spring to get turned around. 
Before they had power saws, the boys and I went to the woods to saw trees by 
hand for logs to haul to sawmill for lumber to build our apple house and crate 


shed. We made our own boxes out of them I had all the Utsman boys. Five of 
them. Our particular department got along good with all of these boys. Oscar 
was later lost at sea. Most of the Utsman boys have been to see us recently. 
That gives a good feeling. Leonard Utsman was helping one day at dinner 
time. We were grading apples and trying to eat a bite at the same time. A 
man customer came in, got to snooping around thinking we had the big apples 
hid. He turned over Leonards milk hid under a crate. He got in his car, went 
all the way to Statesville, bought him some more milk and something else, 
don't remember! Larry Ellis was always a leader when he was at Barium. He 
helped on the selling yard, kept the yard mowed and looking nice. Anything 
you tell him to do, you could depend on him. Larry's brother, Jerry Ellis, 
helped on the yard too. Other boys picked on him a lot. At this time, we had 
an old Ford truck, no windows in the doors. One Sunday morning I had the 
old truck parked on a hill so we could get it started. This particular morning, I 
went up to milk the cow. Just happen to glance in the truck; there was Jerry 
in his pajamas and bedroom slippers wrapped in an old quilt we kept on the 
seat. Poor boy was about froze to death at 10 degrees. Lucky the old truck 
would start when it rolled down the hill. Took Jerry back down to the house, 
got him in, got him warm (he had done turned blue), fed him some coffee and 
breakfast, then took him back to his housemother. She didn't know where he 

Charles Barrett, I don't expect you remember me too much but I do remember 
something about you. When you were "a little fella," Mr. Johnstcn and I were 
back of the kitchen in the car. You came by; Mr. Johnston said, "Hello 
Charles." You wouldn't speak. I asked, "What's the matter with him?" Then 
he told me that he had your tonsils taken out and while you asleep, they 
circumcised you. When you woke up, you were hurting on both ends. "He's 
mad at me," he said. (Charles, if you don't want this remembrance in just 
leave it out.) (On the contrary, I remember you quite well. As for the story, I 
would not "cut" that; it is too good. C. Barrett, Ed.) 

I will mention a few other boys and a few details about some. Thad Brock was 
a good deal older than me. He was one of the best football players that left 
Barium; going on to Davidson College. One Saturday at a Davidson football 
game with all the grown Barium children at the game, including Mr. Johnston, 
the Davidson team was backed up in the end zone and Davidson had to punt. 
Thad was the punter and a full back for the Davidson team. He faked the punt 
and then ran a hundred yards for the touch down and won the game. Mr. 
Johnston was walking nine feet tall. I can still see that grin on his face!* 

Cheek and Morris Freeman. Cheek and I boarded at Mr. Lowrance's home 
together for a while. The first night, Mrs. Lowrance had pancakes. We ate up 

"(Actually, Brock ran 110 yards for the touchdown; he started at the back of the end zone. His athletic feat was heralded in the 
famous 'Ripley s Believe It Or Not * XflCKMcKay tells us his opponent was Duke. Ed ) 


the whole batch she had mixed for the whole family. Later she told me she 
thought we never would get full. Alexander Edwards was known as "Spunky." 
One night he had the home Ford taking it back to Mr. Lowrance's house. He 
wrecked it, tore it all to pieces. He ended up in the hospital, not hurt bad. He 
was; however, scared Mr. Johnston was going to put the bad mouth on him. I 
went up to see him the next night. I asked, "What did he say to you?" When 
he found out I wasn't hurt bad, he reached in his pocket and pulled out a 
dime, lay it on the night table. That's all we got for that car when we traded 
it. Three other boys with him went through he top but they didn't get hurt. 
Cars at that time had chicken wire and cloth on top so that's the reason they 
went through the top. Lester King and Charlie Sears were good football 
players. Joe and Ernest White. Ernest had one glass eye which he took out 
at night and put in a glass of water. He said that the eye was watching every- 
thing while he was sleeping. Joe Ben Gibbs came back to Barium after the 
war to help in maintenance department. Mr. John Ervin was in charge. I'm 
sure Joe was like me, and from Mr. Ervin I certainly learned more from him 
than anyone. Cromer Curtis always looked after his belongings. He had a 
new pair of slippers that he wore to church every Sunday. When he came 
home from church, he would dust his shoes off, roll each sock, put them in his 
shoes and place back in the shoe box. Walter Jake Beattie came back each 
year to help pick apples for the fun of it. He knew we were pushed for time 
and would go out and buy a bag lunch. Jerry Florence made an impression 
but we don't know his whereabouts. Mr. Joe's son, Bill Johnston. I would 
pass through their yard twice a day going to work walking. Sometime Bill 
would meet me out there at the road. We would play "pitch penny." Draw a 
line in the dirt road, stand back, each man pitch his penny toward the line. 
The one closest to the line got the other man's penny. You could play for 
hours and not lose any money. Bill got a job over at East Mombo Mill. He 
had made a small metal boat with a small outboard motor and wanted me to 
help put it in the pond at East Mombo which we did. Cranked up the motor, 
went just a little ways and sheared the prop pin. There we were, no paddle 
and we floated toward the dam. I guess it was Bill's idea to lay down in the 
boat; he paddled with one hand on one side and me on the other side with my 
hand. Boy we done some dog paddling, finally got back to shore. Jim 
Johnston, Bill's brother was about my size. In the spring of the year, when 
before it got too hot, he would be waiting on me, wanting to wrestle. I was on 
the wrestling team while in school. He would always try to take me but never 
could. Mr. Johnston loved to sit out on the porch and watch us wrestle in the 
grass. Parrish brothers I remember the name and also they were red headed. 
Fred and Wilson Lowrance. I roomed with Fred for several years while 
boarding at the Lowrance home. He was lost in the war. Other boys--W.A. 
Johnson, Donald Bolton, Arthur Sigmon, Potter boys, A.D., A.J. and Norman. 
Paul Burney and Fred Edwards. Each Thanksgiving, people from Prospect 


Church and other churches from Mooresville, N.C., other churches from sur- 
rounding areas donated live chickens, fruit, produce, canned goods, and quilts. 
Farther away churches usually donated money. I remember the live chickens 
donated mostly from Prospect Church. I helped to kill. I would chop the heads 
off as fast as the boys handed them to me. This took place under the kitchen 
in the basement where we also picked off the feathers. There were three 
hundred and fifty kids to feast on Thanksgiving. 

Since we had our own bank, each of us would go to the office once a month 
where in one room you were allowed what they called funny money. Into 
another we went where John Craig was in charge to take our funny money 
deposit for real money. This procedure was something similar to other people 
who worked and got paid with cash. When you needed some real money you 
would go to the bank, withdraw real money. I would like to add that Mr. John 
Craig was the only dwarf at the home. Mr. Johnston always found something 
for everybody to do. 

Some of my teachers, I still remember. Faye Stevenson, Gladys Burroughs, 
Irene McDade, R. G. Calhoun, while we are remembering teachers and school. 
Barium had their own school. Part of us had to attend school in the basement 
at Lottie Walker Building. I can remember when they built the new school 
building and gymnasium north of Lottie Walker. The new and old are torn 
down. I was big enough to help on the building of the Smoke Stack at the 
boiler room and it was over a hundred feet tall. Ab Young mixed the mud. 
They had a little while mule hooked to a rope and pulley to pull the brick and 
mud up to the man laying the brick. You had to lead the mule in order to stop 
at the right place. It has been torn down also! 

One summer Ed Oliver and I, two other boys were the right size to help culti- 
vate the large corn crop. We had eight mules, four plow boys and four black 
men for each team. About this time of year, milk supply would get low. 
Sometimes for dinner, you would only have green beans and corn bread. We 
would race back after lunch to see if any black men had any pie or cake left 
over. I was plow boy for Abner White. After two or three days, I could take 
my mules, plow without lines. Each teamster were proud of their own team of 
mules. Since I was the only one who could plow without lines, just by talking 
to the mules gently. Abner was proud of me and the mules. From then on, I 
didn't have to race back after dinner for he always had for me a piece of pie 
or cake every day. 

When football started at Barium, it was played on the field west of 21 at 
Barium. Then they decided to build a new one east of 21 which was the pig 
lot at that time. We used the same mules with one tractor, made the Sloan 


Field which is still there. We had to move at least 12 or 15 feet of dirt on one 
end. A lot of dirt for four team mules, one tractor and a lot of boys. 

I can remember when the milk barn burned to the ground. We had to build a 
new milk barn. I worked with the home thirty-eight years. I hauled kids to 
picture shows in an open truck for years and kids on the farm to and from the 
field; also worked in the field. I guess the good Lord was with us. We never 
had a serious accident in our department. Every department usually has a 
standard joke. I was always on the boys not to bruise the apples and peaches. 
When a new boy would come out and we would be picking apples, especially if 
he was on the ladder, the rest would tell him if you fall off the ladder, be sure 
to fall on your back so as not bruise the apples. Each boy had his own 
picking sack. 

Can't remember the year but back when Mr. Johnston was overseer, Barium 
leased some land, a 10-year lease on Catawba River, established a camp. 
Every summer, they used it all summer long until the 10-year lease was up. 
It's all gone now, covered up with Lake Norman. On weekends, they always 
closed the camp for back-to-campus church. They would leave two of the 
larger boys to look after the camp. One weekend, I'm not sure, but I believe 
Tom McCall was one of these boys. They were in the boat digging frogs in 
this little cave where the trees were hanging out over the boat. A big snake 
dropped off a limb into the boat; a wooden homemade boat. They beat the 
bottom of the boat out trying to kill the snake. They made it back all right. 

Every year at homecoming we always had a big table of fresh peaches which 
tl.e boys and I got up before breakfast to pick on Sunday morning. They were 
always willing to help out on these special occasions. Everything at Barium 
went by the bell in the tower at Rumple Hall. You get up by the bell, go to 
work by the bell, get off by the bell. Even the mules on the truck farm would 
heed to the bell. If you were plowing out the row, going toward the house, 
they would get to the end of the row. If you wanted to make another round, 
they wouldn't go. They knew it was dinner time. 

Prior to 1968 Barium was beginning to not be an orphans home any more. 
Things were changing real fast and which was a hard decision to make we 
decided to leave Barium at the end of 1968. Within two years' time, the 
orchard was pushed out, the dairy cows were sold, including the beef cattle, 
truck farm closed down, all equipment sold, all pigs sold, no garden, no 












Walter Archer 
Lucille Beck 
Pearl Virginia Bostian 
Helen Louise Drye 
Marguerite Gaskill 
Joseph Riley Keenan 
Lester King 
Frank Purdy 
Jesse Roper 
Charles Ray Shaffer 
Ruth Shannon 
Marvin Stone 
Margaret Stinson 
Mildred Thomas 
Clifton Vann 
Mary Latham West 
Alyce Yarbrough 
Ace Medal 



ANNOUNCER: Mr. T. L. O'Kelley. 
STATION !929. 

Ladies and gentlemen, you well remember the four -year race on the 
track of Barium Springs High School which set off with twenty-five brightly- 
colored racers. They now are about to end that race. Look, they are still 
going faster and faster. Oh, but there are not twenty-five now for some were 
not able to cross the steep way from Mathematics to geometry from 
Latin to French, and other hill-tops that were rough and rugged. 

Only eighteen, yet we must — what? Did some one call me? 

A tiny boy who was sitting near the front said, "Yes, Mr. Announcer, I 
did. I wanted to know what the prizes were, because someday maybe I'll be 
racing and win one." 

"Oh, wait a minute, sonny." 

Mr. O'Kelley turned and faced the many spectators. "Pardon me for a 
moment , ladies and gentlemen, while I tell this little fellow what he wants to 
know . " 

"Say, sonny, what's your name?" 

"Who me? I'm Bobby Collier. But when are you going to answer my 

"Well, the highest prize is the Valedictory. If Marion McCall is 
careful in rounding these last few curves, she will most likey; receive this 
prize. Then there are others who are not very far behind her in the 
race for this honor; Mildred Thomas , Mary L. West, Lucille Beck, and Ruth 
Shannon . " 

"Mr O'Kelley, don't you even have any big offices and all that?" 

"Yes, Joe Keenan is our President: Frank Purdy, Vice-President; Mary 
L, West, Secretary and Treasurer, Ray Shaffer is editor of the 
year-book. Lester King is business manager, Lucille Beck, prophet; 
Ruth Shannon, sports-editor; Alyce Yarbrough, class poet; Clifton Vann, joke- 
editor, and Marguerite Gaskill, historian." 

By the time all this was tola, half of the people had begun to leave. Mr. 
O'Kelley looked distressed and adjusting his glasses said, "Wait, the race has 
not ended." The people k:5ep leading so he says, "Come back about May the 22nd 
and see the finish of the race. The prizes will be awarded on Graduation 
Night in the Barium Springs Auditorium — a time that they have looked 
forward to for all these /ears," 


Bobby, who has stayed behind, says, "You can count on me to be here and 
lead the procession on that night." 




We, the senior class of 1933, being in our right minds, and realizing 
that our last days at Barium are slowly coming to an end, and having many 
valuable articles that will help our minors along this world's journey, do 
make and publish our last will and testament. 

First, we, the senior class, do will and bequeath our deepest love 
and heartiest gratitude to Mr. Jos. B. Johnston who has always been our true 

To the faculty we do will and bequeath as a whole a sweet and unbroken 
succession of restful nights. No longer need you lie awake at night 
and worry about our grades and general attitude. 

To the juniors we do will and bequeath our ability to look wise and 
dignified (something we were never able to do). 

To the sophs we will all our chewing gum wads and hope they will be able 
to chew them all through school as we did. 

To the freshmen, "last but not least" we leave our paint boxes so that 
they can change their natural color of green next year. 

Second, we as individuals do will and bequeath to our best friends 
the following: 

I, Pearl Bostian, do will and bequeath to Lillian Wicker my ability to 
be on time for meals. Now, Lillian, you must fulfill it as well as I did, 
which will be a difficult task, as I was never late. To Elsie Brown, I 
will my easy task of rating going to town. (I assure you that it will be 
very often. ) 

I, Marvin Stone, do will and bequeath my poem, "The Stump-puller," to 
anyone who wants extra points on English. Don't everybody bid at once! 

I, Marguerite Gaskiil, do will and bequeath to Elsie Brown and Olive 
Gaskiil all my old shoes. To Margaret Brooks and Margaret Pittman my 
ability to rate town, but listen, girls, don't abide by the old saying, "better 
late than never, 1 To Milton Gaskiil the privilege of using the front hall on 
Sunday nights, 

I, Margaret Stinson, do will and oaqueath my tall statue to Ruth Gordon. 

I, Mildred Thomas, do will and bequeath to Mary Foster, Helen Wood and 
Myrtle Johnson the care of the kid sister, Dot. Make her be good. 

I, Marion McCall, do will and bequeath to my little brothers all my old 
toys, etc To Lillian, anything she wants that I leave behind. To 
Brooks- the privilege of asking Mr. Calhoun for his morning paper. 


I, Lucille Beck, do will my four feet eleven inches of 
height to my pal, Mable Billings. "Little but loud" that's 
me all over, eh, Mable. 

I, Alyce Yarbrough, do hereby will and bequeath the following: 
To Lavada Lambert and Hattie Morris all my old bottles. You'll 
find them on the bottom shelf in the closet behind the door. Here's 
hoping your red hair will be the topic of conversation all over the 
campus, as mine was. To Lil Bobbitt and Irene Shannon all my beaux. 
Don't be lonesome on Sunday nights, girls. 

I, Clifton Vann, do will and bequeath my old room (frigidaire) 
to the person who can stand it all winter and I am hoping that it will 
be occupied in order that it might be called the "Cold Bleak House" 
always. Also my position as a farmer to any person who likes to cut 
grass (I pity him) and saw wood. 

I, Helen Drye, do will and bequeath to Bonnie McKenzie my white 
pumps which were dyed black and hope that she will get as much use 
out of them as I did. To my sister, Florence, my ability to sing 
in the choir, and to my brother, Bill, my popularity among the 
teachers . 

I, Mary Latham West, do will and bequeath to Red Mott my 
seat in the sitting room for her blind dates. To Lillian Wicker 
my position as pianist on all occasions (even to the pigs at football 
games ) . 

I, Lester King, do hereby will and bequeath to Parker Lyons my 
place as having the straightest legs on the campus. To Morris 
Freeman my seat in the eleventh grade room which is an honorable one. 

I, Jessie Roper, do will and bequeath to Mary Foster all my wads 
of chewing gum both at the table and on my bed. Be sure you do not 
chew it in school. To Phyllis Morgan, all the money that I have in 
the First National Bank in Statesville. 219 

I, Joseph Riley Keenan, do hereby will and bequeath to Joe 
White, my side-kick on the truck farm, my old, war-torn, work hat, and 
any old work shoes, etc., that he can find. 

I, Walter Archer, do will and bequeath my fish pond and ability 
to hunt to Woodrow Clendenin. 

I, Frank Purdy, do will and bequeath to Miller Blue my place in 
Mr. McMillctn's heart. To any junior who wishes to be dressed in 
the height of fashion, I will my old shirts, socks, etc. 

I, Ray Shaffer, do hereby will and beoueath to Margaret Pittman 
my old French textbooks. To Ed Oliver, all the pictures of my girl 
that I leave hanging on the wall. 


Washington, D. 
May 22, 1943 


Dear Mr. Johnston: 

For the past year I have been gathering information about each member of 
the class of '33, and knowing you are interested 1 will pass it on to you 
to be published in the Alumni Column of The Barium Messenger. 

Last week as I turned on the radio I heard a program of songs heartfully 
played and sung by Mary Latham West, who is now broadcasting from . ^adio 
City in New York. I immediately sent my congratulations to her, and in her 
return letter she told me that Marian McCall was in charge of the Carnegie 
Library there in the city. 

mean or\e. a 
Did you see the Florida paper thai/ 1 Lester King's football team as the 
champion of the United States? That reminds me. too. that Alyce Yarbrough 
is basketball coach of the University of California. 

Last night I had the shock of my life when I entered the theatre and 
saw Helen Drye starring in "Way Out West." It's reported that she is the 
"It" girl in Hollywood. Now doesn't that sound like Ripley's "Believe It or 
Not?" The news reel featured Walter Archer as one of the greatest big game 
hunters in the world. 

I know all your children at Barium are interested in politics now that 
Joe Keenan is president of the United States and has chosen Clifton Vann to 
fill an important place in his cabinet. Now we are certain that hard times 
are over and that prosperity is not just around the corner, but right here! 
He is giving a charity supper at the White House in order to raise funds to 
add a new laboratory to Dr. Marvin Stone's hospital, where Jessie Roper is 
head nurse. Pearl Bostian is decorating the White House for the occasion 
and Marguerite Gaskill is planning the meal. The toast mistress will be 
Mildred Thomas, the famous orator. 

Of course, there is Margaret Stinson with a beauty parlor of her own 
in Charlotte. If Leila still desires red hair, tell her that is the place 
to go. 

Two friends and I visited Canada last summer and can you guess who 
piloted our plane? Frank Purdy! It was indeed a delightful surprise to 
meet up with him again. He told us that Ruth Shannon, or perhaps I should 
call her by her correct name, Mrs. Jonathan Labourn Aquinalda, is the 
manager of one of the finest hotels in Montreal. 

By the way, is Ray Shaffer filling Mr. Crier's place efficiently? Give 
him my love and tell him that he can't write too often. 

I remain as ever. 

Your old Barium girl, 
Lucille Beck 
(Class Prophet) 



Our high school days are over 

And there's sorrow in our hearts 
As we think of all our classmates and school-chums 

From whom we must soon part. 
We've all dreamed of and looked forward to this date 

But we're really not so happy now that we are going 
to graduate. 
Of our once large class, eighteen remain 

These will go now, their fame to gain. 
Joe is our president, this shows our class' good taste. 

Frank is vice-president; they ran quite a race. 
The other sixteen, I won't attempt to name 

But all have worked hard to remain in the game. 
As we go now from this school, 

Into life's great sea 
May we forever have happy memories 

Of the Class of '3 3, 

■ Alyce Yarbrough 

Seni or Superlatives 


FRANK PURDY--- — Best All Around 

LESTER KING ._-_-- Most Athletic 

RAY SHAFFER- Handsomest 

CLIFTON VANN----- Wittiest 

WALTER ARCHER----- Best Sport 

JOE KEENAN------ Most Intel lectual 

MARVIN STONE-- Most Pleasing Personality 



RUTH SHANNON Most Athletic 


MARION McCALL Most Studious 


JESSIE ROPER Most Domestic 

PEARL BOSTIAN Most Cheerful 

HELEN DRYE Per test 



MARY L. WEST Best All Around 

MILDRED THOMAS Most Intellectual 


February 1933 

Santa brought us so many nice things. We only hope that he was 
as good to other people as he was to us. You ought to have seen 
our faces light up when we saw the Christmas tree and the presents 
ol d Santa had 1 eft . 

During the holdiays, we had many visitors. Some were: Mary 
Morgan's mother, the mother of Janie and Stanley Smith, Mabel 
and Myrtle Weddington had a visit from their folks, Mabel Billings 
had a visit from her daddy, Rachel Mills was visited by her mother, 
the brother and mother of Charles and Mae Allen Barrett came to see 
them, and Mama Girt enjoyed a short visit from Murphy and John, her 
sons. Mr. Salvaggio and friends also brought Zora Lee, one of our 
old girls, who paid us a delightful visit. 

Some of us enjoyed a picture at the Playhouse during the holidays. 
We are very grateful to the manager who made it possible for us to 


We are still enjoying the gifts that we got ourselves for the 
cottage Christmas, and we will continue to enjoy them for some 
time. We want to thank all of the kind friends who made it possible 
for us to have such a fine Christmas, and we wish all of them 
would come to see us sometime. 

There has been a regular flu epidemic at Barium. At first, it 
did not invade the Baby Cottage, but we did not get to skip it 
even though it looked as if we would. Ten of us became ill, and 
when we got well, most of the rest made a trip to the infirmary. 

One day not long ago. after CherLeo Barrett had recovered from 
the flu, he was in Pina's room looking at the picture of a police- 


man. Pina asked, "Charles, are you going to be a policeman when 

you are grown?" 

"No," replied Charles, I am going to be a doctor." 

"And are you going to be my doctor?" asked Pina. 

"No," he readily answered, "I'm going to be Mama Girt's doctor 

and give her bread pills." 


March 1933 

It is true that we have shaved our expenses tremendously, but even discount- 
ing this, it is going to take some real contributions in the month of March to 
keep our heads above water. 

We don't like to say too much about money in the columns of The Messenger. 
A lot of people read The Messenger, and we know that the entire family at 
Barium Springs reads it. It is terrible for any home to have anything de- 
pressing hanging over it constantly. It is hard on grown folks to exist under 
this, although grown folks, as a rule, take matters of this kind more philo- 
sophically than children. It is terrible for a children's institution to have 
something hanging over it like we have had for the last few years. 

We speak of depression when we refer to business conditions, and we some- 
times make a joke of it. It is something that is here today, and may be gone 
tomorrow like a rain or a storm, but a child's life may have a depression so 
stamped upon it that it will wear the scars through maturity. A depression 
isn't a good thing to have in connection with children, and we are not referring 
altogether to business depressions. 

We want our children's institution to be a cheerful place, a place of security 
and safety, and it can only be that when you who read this make it safe fi- 
nancially. Let's think of these matters in this critical month of March. You 
know the church affairs are run differently from a business. If the groceryman 
comes around with his bill this month and you can't pay it, you can depend 
on it that he will be around with that same bill next month. Well the month 
of March is the time when all the church causes present, not exactly their bills, 
but at least a memorandum of service rendered and needs. 

If the church does not pay it, it is not added to next year. It apparently is 

- 1984 - (Editor's Comments) 

At this writing, the year 1934 seems much further back in time then the fifty 
years it is-more like a hundred years. 

In 1934, the Great Depression was five years old. The Depression and all that 
accompanied it had reduced living to a very basic level for most everyone, and 
certainly Barium Springs was not one of the exceptions, at least not in the 
living-at-a-basic level sense was concerned. 


In 1934, life was basic at Barium. There was nothing "instant" at Barium but 
retribution. Working "smart" meant working hard, and that is what people did. 
Cars were few and they were black. Containers were glass, steel or 
galvanized, some porcelain-nothing plastic or paper. Radio was still new 
enough to be a novelty. Talking movies were only a few years old; they were 
black and white. Clothes were cotton or wool, even bathing suits and they 
wrinkled. Toothpaste was Colgate; soap was Lifebuoy or Octagon; a store was 
Belk's. Good was that and Bad the opposite, and each was clearly known and 
understood. No one spoke of "grey areas" in 1934; there were no such areas 
in 1934. The world had not shrunk in '34, and distance was felt. Places were 
far away. Things took time in 1934. 

I leave it to others to do a detailed history of Barium's financial plight during 
the early 1930's; however, the following from the May 1933 Messenger de- 
scribes it vividly. 


1930-1931 1931-1932 1932-1933 Decline 

SYNOD $95,064.35 $74,043.99 $67,477.77 $27,586.58 

Some idea of the financial calamities that have overtaken the orphanage in the 
past two years might be obtained from the figures that appear above. From 
time to time, articles have appeared in The Messenger recounting the financial 
distress through which the institution was passing, but these statements might 
have been forgotten. 

The feeling of the authorities here had barely subsided from the distress of a 
$21,020.38 drop in income, when the report for 1932-1933 showed a further 
decline of $6,566.20. This brings the grand total of a two-year decrease to 
$27,586.58. If you are not familiar with what this means, ask any businessman 
what state his business would be if he had suffered that much a decline in the 
operation of a business whose budget was in a neighborhood of $100,000.00. 
Bankruptcy proceedings would have been long ago instituted, or his business 
would have gone into a receivership. 

Neither of those two things has occurred at the orphanage. However, it must 
be stated that the effectiveness of the work has been decidedly curtailed by 
this amazing slump in receipts from Presbyterians of the state. If the number 
of children were reduced to comply with the decreased income, over 100 boys 


and girls would have been sent out without shelter over their heads. No child 
will be discharged unless we are positive that it will be sheltered, clothed and 
fed and have proper surroundings. 

As a matter of fact, the orphanage enrollment has decreased only 31 students. 
The children could not be deliberately sent away without a place to go, and, 
consequently, your officials have endeavored to meet the needs and necessi- 
ties of the children the best they could. However, only the very necessities 
have been met. 

The situation is acute. It needs no one to tell you this when you read the 
figures above. The problem also arises as to how we shall answer the several 
hundred applications that are coming to us. Would you like to have the task 
of replying to over 450 applications of people whom it was impossible for the 
Orphanage to accept? Last year, 458 applications were receive, while only 18 
children could be accepted! From the present trend of income, not even 18 
can be accepted during this year. 

The financial report of the Orphanage for the year shows that there are bills 
payable totaling $16,000.00. At the present time, there are salary checks of 
over $6,000.00 in our vault, some of which have been pending since last Jan- 

Some of our creditors write and ask us what is the matter? Why is it their bill 
was not paid? Is there some mistake in the bill presented? Our reply must 
be that there is nothing wrong except that we do not have the money. Our 
workers come in and ask for their salaries and our reply must be the same. 
However, we will say for both these group that they are friendly and patient 
with us, but after awhile, their patience is exhausted, and our words of 
pleading for a continuation of their tolerance reaches a monotony that is both 
irksome to them, and to us. 

You might write and ask what we are going to do about this? The question 
is, what are YOU going to do about this? This is your orphanage. The chil- 
dren have been sent to us by you with an unexpressed understanding that you 
would send us the money with which to properly clothe, feed, and shelter 
them. Our responsibility is to do this and train these children along the lines 
of Christian living, which we are endeavoring to do. Your responsibility is to 
send us the wherewithal to do this. We are doing our level best to meet our 
obligations, and we plead with you that you meet the obligations which you 
assumed when these children were sent to the Orphanage. 


There are over 76,000 Presbyterians in the Synod of North Carolina. The 
Orphanage has set us a goal, $1.20 per member a year. This is ten cents per 
month, or a penny every three days, for every Presbyterian within the Synod. 
We have carefully checked the receipts from every church, and find that only 
37 churches of the 535 in North Carolina have met this quota. 

Does this seem too large an amount to ask? Isn't it possible for you to make 
some slight sacrifice that will enable you to send us ten cents a month? We 
realize that there are a few churches that will be unable to meet this appor- 
tionment, but we think there are sufficient people of means within the Synod 
who would more than make up the difference which the smaller groups could 
not give. 

If every Presbyterian resolved in his heart to do his utmost, give this minimum 
amount each year, the Orphanage could not only amply care for the children 
at present entrusted to its care, but could fill the 50 empty beds which at 
present have no occupants because we do not have the money to accept more 

The time for New Year resolutions is over four months past. Now the time for 
Church Year resolutions is at hand. Won't you make that resolution? Won't 
you do your best to carry out that resolution? Don't forget it. Don't forget the 
children. Don't forget the many others outside the Orphanage who need its 
protection, its sheltering influence, the chance for them to develop into real 
Christian citizens. 



Mr. Johnston held the collective feet of North Carolina Presbyterians 

to the fire during the financial crisis. Issue after issue of The 

Messenger cranked out with his plea—no— his demand for help. He would 

attempt to shame the churches into giving by printing the name of a 

particular Presbytery in bold type with the words "Last in giving" or 

"Contributions off" and name the amount. In one column, he threatened 

them with the wrath of the Old Testament God. He concluded an August 

1933 column this way. 

"If we do not give the Lord's work a large and first share in our 
returning prosperity, that prosperity will be only for the day, and we 
will all live to look back on this particular time as a time of promise 

but promises unfulfilled. 

Read your Book of Judges. Count the number of times that this idea 

expressed: That the people forgot God, and then disaster came upon 


The absolute courage of his convictions is, to me, revealed in another 

joyful event that took place in the summer of 1933. Edwin Gould, son of 

the 19th Century Mogul, Jay Gould, invited a group of Barium Springs 

children to his estate in New York. (Gould died in 193o. He and his 

sister had been involved in philanthropic activities-she more than 

he-and had established the Edwin Gould Foundation for Children. Gould 

gave the playhouse at Annie Louise Cottage.) Mr. Johnston's description 

of that trip and a letter eleven year old Miller Blue wrote to Miss Kate 

Taylor*, Synod's Cottage Matron, follow. However, back to courage and 

convictions, the amazing thing from today's perspective when every 

organization is so very image conscious, is that not only was the trip 

made, but reported front page in The Messenger! That's style! Here is 

the Home nearly in receivership, pleas for help to "spare a dime" going 

out repeatedly, and Mr. J. B. takes ten children to New York on a 

puilman! There the boys get to meet a virtual baseball Hall of Fame: 

Gehrig, Ruth, Foxx, see a baseball game, dine out-the works; albeit it 

was Gould's money that paid the tab, it took courage to accept the offer 

in those times. 

■'(Kale Tayior was a Scotswoman who came to America and to Barium Springs 

in 1926 and retired in 1970. she was for many years the matron of 

Synod s Cottage and known as a strict disciplinarian and an enemy to all 

dirt. There are several references to her in this book Ed ) 



(Jos. B. Johnston, Superintendent, Recounts Main Events of The Trip) 

"Plenty Excited" 

Children win hearts of other passengers on train: Something was said in the 
last issue of the Messenger about an invitation from Mr. Edwin Gould, for us 
to send ten children to New York to be his guests for the summer. The names 
of the ten children were mentioned in this article, but The Messenger went to 
press before the actual trip took place. 

Well, here is what took place: On the night of June the first, when the 8:25 
train rolled into Statesville, the New York sleeper had as passengers an old 
couple (rather drowsy looking), a case hardened traveling man, an old maid, 
and a nice looking young lady. They were drowsy and a little bit bored with 
the trip. When the train stopped at Statesville, a man got on with ten children, 
and went into the same pullman. And right then things commenced to hap- 
pen! The traveling man raised one eyebrow and shrugged his shoulders. The 
old couple heaved a sigh, the old maid looked like she was going to speak to 
the conductor about it, and the young lady looked interested. The children 
were supposed to confine themselves to two and a half sections, but they were 
just overflowing their quarters all the time! It was not long before the young 
lady's interest reached the point where she joined the party, and assisted very 
maternally in getting the family bedded down for the night. The children 
asked so many questions and seemed so alive that even the traveling man 
thawed out, and the old maid was seen offering one of the little girls a mag- 
azine to look at. 

When bedtime came and the children were all in their berths, everybody set- 
tled down for a peaceful night. It was not necessary to get off the train before 
seven o'clock the next morning in Washington. The children were five to a 
section, and there were times when as many as four would go to sleep at one 
time, but never when it was unanimous! Every time the train would stop, the 
one or two who were awake would wake up all the rest; they would look out 
the windows: they would talk to the people on the platform, and them re- 
member that they were terribly thirsty, and have to run to the dressing room 
to get a drink of water; and this kept up until five-thirty in the morning, and 
at six, it was necessary to get up. 

The man of the party rather dreaded the expressions that he expected to find 
on the faces of the other passengers, and wanted to hurry and get off the train 


before the rest of the passengers waked up, but could not do it; and now he's 
glad he didn't, because instead of seeing a grumpy set of people whose rest 
had been disturbed, there was a smiling crowd of good natured pullman pas- 
sengers to wish every child well when they left the train. Even the pullman 
porter was in a good humor, although the children ate their breakfasts in the 
drawing room, and left a good deal of cake icing deeply imbedded in the thick 
carpet of the drawing room. 

Everything slipped along on schedule; the train arrived in Washington on time 
and the transfer to the Pennsylvania train was made safely and comfortably. 
Several of the officials of the Southern Railway checked up on the party to see 
that their needs were met, and offered to send telegrams or do anything else 
to add to the comfort of the party. This is just a habit that the Southern Rail- 
way seem to have through its servants. 

The trip from Washington to New York was most interesting. The party of 
young people had seats in the front of a long passenger car, and it was not 
long before the other passengers became interested, and gifts of fruit, maga- 
zines and chewing gum helped make the morning pass more pleasantly. One 
good lady who failed to see Flora Mae Newman or Virginia Cranfill said that 
the children looked hungry. (She must have seen just the lean ones!), and she 
gave the man a dollar for a set-up for the youngsters, and this furnished a half 
pint of milk apiece and it certainly did taste good to everybody but Charlie 
Nungezer. Charlie had insisted on drinking three glasses of water while 
waiting for the milk. 

In Philadelphia, just as soon as the train stopped, we looked out of the win- 
dows, of course, and there stood Helen Wood and her mother, and we thought 
we were back in Barium Springs, 

Helen knew that we were to pass through Philadelphia that morning, and she 
took a chance on seeing them, and just happened to get on the platform at the 
exact place that our car stopped. Helen gave us a fresh supply of chewing 
gum, and we were all set then for New York, where we arrived about 12:30, 
or 1:30 daylight saving time. 

Mr. Gould and Mr. Moen met us, and took us immediately to an Automat for 
our dinners. It was the rush hour at noon, and more people than anybody ever 
saw at one time outside of New York,, but in spite of all that everybody got 
plenty to eat, and then we started out in the bus to go somewhere. All of the 
men folk stopped at the Yankee Stadium to see the Athletics, and Yankees play 
a game of baseball. The girls went on to the Bronx camp. 


The boys got to see a great game of ball and got to shake hands with Jimmie 
Foxx, Groves, Earnshaw, and Cockran. Then, they went to camp. 

The next day the boys took in the Metropolitan Museum, and another ball 
game, and this time they got to speak to Babe Ruth, Johnnie Allen, Earl 
Combs, Dickey, and some others on the New York team. The boy that did the 
introducing was Johnnie Allen, and old Mills Home boy who is a member of 
the New York team. 

Earl Combs took a great fancy to Miller Blue and Tom Morgan. We thought 
he was just going to make baseball players out of them right then. 

The Barium children were the first to arrive New York on Mr. Gould's invita- 
tion. The following Tuesday, however, the children from Connie Maxwell ar- 
rived, and during the next two weeks, all of the southern children came up; 
and then on the 17th, everybody packed up and went out to Windham, New 
York, Howell's Fresh Air Camp, the same place that the party spent the sum- 
mer last year. And now we get an occasional letter from these youngsters. 
We hope to publish two of them in this same issue, but you will have to wait 
for further details except that in the letters until they come home in the fall. 


New York, N.Y. 
June 6, 1933 

Dear Miss Taylor: 

How are you getting along? I lost my pen so I have to write with a pencil. 

I am going to start at the beginning and till up to now. 

When we arrived, Mr. Gould and Miss Fetch met us at the station. We washed 
our hands and then went to a cafeteria for dinner. After dinner, Mr. Gould, 
Mr. Moen, and Mr. Johnston took the boys to see the Yankees and 
Philadelphia play ball. The Yanks won, 5-4. After the game we went to the 
Camp Gould and had supper. 

The next day we went to the American Museum of Natural History. After we 
got through seeing the things we ate dinner at a restaurant. After that Mr. 
Johnston took us to the Yankee Stadium. We went out on the field and shook 
hands with Babe Ruth, Jim Foxx, Johnnie Allen, Lefty Grove and Lefty Gomez. 
We saw Babe Ruth knock a home run. The Yanks won, 17 to 11. After the 
game we came back to the camp. 

Sunday morning we played all morning and had ice cream for dinner. In the 
afternoon at 3:15 a lady came down and we had Sunday School. That night 
we went to a branch of Pelham Bay. 

Tell all the boys I said "hello." 

Your son, 

Miller Blue 



November 1933 

Twelve months ago my report to you reviewed the work at the Orphanage over 
a ten-year period. 

At that time we were in the midst of a period of re-adjustment, and this report, 
covering the first year of the second decade under the present management, 
will give you the results of the re-adjustment. 

First: The number of children. There are 10 less children enrolled at the 
present time than the same date last year. During the 12 months, 45 children 
have left the institution -17 of these by graduation, four are attempting to 
continue their studies further, but none are at present depending on any help 
through Barium's loan fund. Fourteen have secured work, having reached the 
age to become self-supporting, without being able to graduate. Thirteen have 
been restored to their homes, either through re-marriage of their surviving 
parent, or through changed home conditions. There has been one death. 

Of the 35 children admitted, the selections were made after carefully looking 
into applications involving over 300 children, and those selected to enter were 
chosen as being most dependent on this particular form of child relief. 

Wherever possible to enlist the aid of relatives to relieve the dependency, or 
other forms of child relief, such as Mother's Aid, Child Placement, or Boarding 
Homes, this was done, and we feel that the 35 children who did enter are our 

In the various departments: We at present have 10 matrons, whereas a year 
ago we had 13. We have 11 heads of departments, as against 13 a year ago. 
There are four office employees, against five a year ago. We have 10 teachers 
against 17 before our schools were turned over to the state. 

The morale of the institution was never better. In spite of the infrequent pay- 
days, and the abolition of many things that tended to make our living here 
more pleasant, both for grown-ups and children there is a splendid spirit of 
cooperation and loyalty present everywhere. We do not know of a single 
worker who has even thought of giving up his or her work at Barium, because 
of the financial situation. 

The excellence of the work here, as rated by the Duke Endowment, still leads 
in the Carolinas, but not by the margin that it did 12 months ago. 


For the year 1931, Barium Springs had a rating of 956, as against 915 of its 
nearest rival. Last year one other institution rated 956, with a third making 
955; and seven other rating above 900. 

This shows clearly that while Barium has held her own, the other institutions 
have made progress, and we wish it were so that something could be done 
right now to improve our standing, to enable us to hold the leadership for the 
years to come. 

Our housing conditions are responsible for our failure to more nearly ap- 
proach the 1,000 point which is the highest rating possible. 

We would appreciate this year gifts of Irish potatoes, as we lack at least 500 
bushels of having enough for our needs. 

We can also use a car load of peanuts, if any community in the peanut section 
of the country wants to get that much of their product off the market. We are 
not able to raise peanuts profitably at Barium. 

The diary has been furnishing us with milk and beef, and had been fed entirely 
from products of the farm. That is, as far as hay and silage go. The very dry 
summer cut down our hay crop considerably, and we will no doubt have to 
reduce our beef herd because of our inability to feed them through the winter. 
We are waiting until a more advantageous time to sell our surplus beef cattle. 

The condition of our outlying farms is more encouraging than for any year 
since 1929; and the Nicholson and McDonald Farms should show a fair return 
this year. 

We are using cotton seed produced on these farms to trade for cotton seed 
meal in order to hold down our diary costs in prepared grain food. There has 
been such a tremendous increase in the price of this that it adds considerably 
to the cost of maintaining a dairy. 

We are only running the school eight months. This naturally brings about a 
more crowded, more hectic school term than formerly, and we are doing ev- 
erything in our power to hold the number of repeaters and failures to some- 
thing in the neighborhood of what it was with a longer school term, and fewer 
pupils in a classroom 

There are other developments in our school program which, so far, have not 
worked a hardship, and we hope will not. The lowered state budget has cut 


down the amount of clerical help, not only in the schools, but in the county 
set-up, so that it is necessary for all schools in a particular district to have 
identical holidays and teaching days, so as to have their months end on the 
same date. This is so that the report will cover the same teaching hours, and 
the payroll the same number of teaching days. This means that our holidays 
must be identical with the Troutman school, and should the weather make any 
of the roads impassable (as was the case last year), thus requiring the 
Troutman School to suspend, our school would have to suspend the same 
days, although no truck serves our school. 

Should an epidemic require Troutman School to close for a day or a week, our 
school would have to close the same period. 

This is something that has not come up yet, and we hope will not. 

Our crowded school day has forced out instruction in Bible in all but two 
classes, and very likely this will have to be discontinued altogether after this 

In spite of our best efforts to make the day's schedule allow for students to 
be free to carry on the work of the place, we have not been able to do so with 
as much success as formerly. We have had to employ a Negro woman to work 
in the laundry, and we have had to have additional hired labor on the farm. 
This condition applies only during the school months. We will have an abun- 
dance of help during the four months in which there will be no school, and 
we are trying to make our plans in our outside activities so that the bulk of the 
work will fall during those months. For instance, in our farm activities, we are 
busy now putting enough grain to keep our force busy during the months of 
May and June. The labor of harvesting is much greater than planting. 

The health of the children has been good, but not quite up to that of former 
years. We have had a persistent epidemic of measles, lasting from spring until 
the present time. Our most careful efforts to prevent an epidemic have ap- 
parently only tended to prolong the stay of the disease. If we had not been 
so careful, we would no doubt have had all of the children sick during the 
summer, and be done with the disease by this time. As it is, we have at the 
present time about a dozen children convalescing from measles, with others 
certain to follow. 

Our tubercular re-acting children have all shown marked improvement. The 
one came that gave us greatest concern shows the most marked improvement; 
and we now have good hope of her ultimate, complete recovery. 


There has been one death in the institution. This death resulted from an acute 
bone infection which suddenly carried off a 14-year old boy during the sum- 
mer. We have searched for a cause of this trouble, but have not been able to 
locate anything, or any symptoms that would have given us warning in time 
to have helped this lad. One Saturday night he complained of a sore shoulder. 
Sunday night he was violently ill, and Wednesday he was dead. 

All in all, we believe that the general conditions within the orphanage are 
much more encouraging than they were a year ago. There is a development 
however, that is beginning to embarrass us, and we want the Board to be 
thoroughly familiar with this situation. Just as fast as the wholesalers and 
manufacturers adopt an N.R.A.* code, we find that it also does things to the 
use of credit, special concessions, and in our case, it has meant the with- 
drawal of concessions, and the shortening of credit terms. This means that 
we will no longer be able to carry the institution on such a small fraction of 
its yearly income for the first eight or nine months of the year. We will no 
longer be able to accumulate debts with the hope of settling them at Thanks- 
giving or at the end of the church year, but it will be necessary to have a much 
larger percentage of our actual needs each month in cash. 

We believe that this will be a good thing for us, when our friends learn of this 
condition and react to it. We believe it will be much easier to send the money 
each month than to labor so desperately trying to clear up the debts in the 
latter part of the year. 

I hope that the members of the Board will take time to see enough of Barium 
and talk enough with the Barium people to soak up some of the optimism that 
you will find prevailing here. It is an amazing thing to me. I have been to 
church courts and I have heard pessimistic reports and dire predictions made 
as to the future of the work in the Kingdom, I have heard great men say that 
we were in a time of re-adjustment, when a lot of the frills were going to be 
cut off, and the "frills" evidently meant the things that we were doing for the 
destitute children of our church. I have come home from these church courts 
feeling rather depressed myself; and have then exposed myself to the atmos- 
phere of hope and optimism at Barium. 

I have tried to analyze why such an atmosphere should prevail here when the 
idea of depression seemed to prevail so much elsewhere; and the conclusion 
I have come to as the reason, is because we have such a large percentage 
of young people here. That is the wholesome optimism of youth mixed with 
the faith of little children, a faith that believes without questioning the prom- 
ises of God Almighty, and the courage that is able to face the morrow una- 


fraid, that sometimes is lost by us older people when we think too much of 
our own disappointments. 

Thinking of these things, I have come to this conclusion: That we have been 
looking on our work for children from the wrong viewpoint. We have been 
thinking of how much we were doing for the children, and we may have lost 
sight of what the children were doing for us, and I verily believe that the 
greater blessing comes to us who think we are contributing something to help 
these young people along. 

If you will, pardon a personal observation. I have heard superintendents 
praised and glorified because they were "giving" their life to such and such 
an institution for children. If anybody ever makes such a remark about me, 
deny it. There has not been any work that I have done, no sleepless nights 
that I have spent, no physical hardships, or mental worry, that this institution 
has cost me, but that I have been repaid manifold in blessings-not in some 
future life, but in this present everyday world that we live in. If we measure 
rewards by our feeling of happiness and satisfaction, I am a vastly overpaid 

And if I may extend this thought to embrace you and through you, the entire 
Presbyterian Church, I firmly believe that the blessing in this Orphanage 
transaction is many times more to the people who contribute their time or their 
money to carrying on this work, than it is to the children whom it is our priv- 
ilege to serve and with this thought in mind, I commend to you this most 
precious opportunity of service, with the hope that nothing will be left undone 
that will insure its present welfare, and the safeguarding of its future. 

"(N.R.A. National Recovery Administration. A 'New Deal' Agency. Ed.) 


Major League Baseball Representative Visits Barium 

Earl Mack, the assistant manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, 
occasionally comes through Statesville, has made several visits 
to Barium, and has witnessed some of our athletic doings. At his 
suggestion, some of the balls used in the spring training of the 
Athletics were saved and presented to Barium Springs Orphanage. 
We understand that young Earl Mack, Jr. had a lot to do with it. 
He had heard the praises of Barium Springs sung by our master 
rooter and friend, Steve Culbreth, and he cast the final vote to 
donate those balls to Barium. And now, just think of it, all this 
summer we will be playing baseball with balls that maybe Jimmie Foxx 
knocked out into the deep outfields. One ball in particular that 
has a deep bruise on one side looks just like one that he must 
have knocked against the centerfield fence, to give it that bruise. 
There's no telling what ambitions will be stirred up by playing 
with these historic balls. There may be a Johnnie Allen in the 
lot. You know the famous pitcher of the New York Americans was 
raised at Thornasville Orphanage, and even the mighty Babe Ruth 
himself is a product of a Baltimore institution. 

There is no doubt but what the doings of the Philadelphia 
Athletics will be followed with deep interest, not only as a team, 
but as individuals, by the baseball lovers at Barium. 



Sixth--Alice Jones, Margaret Wilson 
Seventh--Leila Johnston 

Eighth (B)--Billie Martin, Louise Wilson 
Eleventh--Marian McCall 


F i rs t- -Totnmi e Li ns day, Mabe 1 Billings, John R. Lewis, 
Marshal 1 Norri s 

Fourth--Agnes Coppedge, Sal 1 i e Farmer, Lucile Johnson, Henry 
Pittman, Gertie Smith, Neil McKee 

Sixth--Nelson Farmer, Charles Kelley, Mildred Willis 
Seventh--Luci 1 e Burney, David Spencer 
Eighth (B)--Bernice Stone 

Ninth--T. L. O'Kelley, Jr., Iris Spencer 

Tenth--Herbert Blue, John Elliott, Morris Freeman, Myrtle 
Johnson, Bruce Parcell 

El eventh--Luci 1 e Beck, Ruth Shannon, Mildred Thomas 

Post Graduate-- James Johnston 


Fi rs t--Tommi e Linsday 

Sixth--Alice Jones, Margaret Wilson 

Seventh--Lei 1 a Johnston 

Eighth (B)--Billie Martin, Louise Wilson 

Tenth --Myrtl e Johnson 

El eventh--Mari on McCall 


First--Mabel Billings, Marshall Norris, John R. Lewis 

Second--Dai sy Cayton, Myrtle Mills, Watt Mills, Annie Sue Wilson 

Thi rd--Wi 1 1 iam Billings, Emma Eudy, Louise Martin, Russell 

McKenzie, R. C. Miller, Flora Mae Newman, Dixon Parrish 


Fourth--Agnes Coppedge, Sallie Farmer, Lucile Johnston, 

Neil McKee, A. G. Norris, Henry Pittman, Gertie Smith 

Fifth--Bessie Kennedy 

Sixth--Nelson Farmer, Charles Kelley, Mildred Willis 

Seventh--Luci 1 1 e Burney, Lucy Bryant, Frances Lowrance, 
Claiborne Jessup 

Eighth (B)--Bernice Stone 

Ninth--T. L. 0' Kelley, Jr., Iris Spencer, Miriam Sanders 

Tenth--Herbert Blue, John Elliott, Leonard Fort, Morris 
Freeman, Phyllis Morgan, Bruce Parcel! 

El eventh--Luci 1 e Beck, Ruth Shannon, Mildred Thomas, Mary 
Latham West, Alyce Yarbrough 

Post Gradua te- -James Hannon, James Johnston 


First--Tommie Lindsay, 94; Mabel Billings, 91 

Second--Daisy Cayton, 89.5; Watt Mills, 88 

Third--Russel 1 McKenzie, 87; R. C. Miller, 86.1 

Fourth--Lucile Johnson, 90.3; Gertie Smith, 90 

Fi f th --Bess i e Kennedy, 92.5; (in school only 2 months); 
Henry Al esso-ndri n i , 89.3; Walter Mott, 88.5 

Sixth--Alice Jones, 94.5; Margaret Willis, 93.8 

Seventh--Leila Johnston, 96.9; David Spencer, 91.3 

Special El ementary--Laura Smith, 85.7; Lugene White, 84.9 

Eighth A--Dewey Barnhill, 85.8; Milton Gaskill, 83.8 

Eighth B--Billie Martin, 95.8; Louise Wilson, 95.3 

Ninth--T. L. O'Kelley, Jr., 92.4; Iris Spencer, 90.2 

Tenth--Bruce Parcell , 92.9; Myrtle Johnson, 90.9 

Eleventh--Marian McCall, 94.4; Ruth Shannon, 92.2 


(This list was published in the 1933 "Spotlight". It was the only Public Listing 
of Children ever, ed.) 

Robert Adams 
Tommy Adams 
Gaston Alessandrini 
Henry Alessandrini 
Victor Alessandrini 
Walter Archer 
Dewey Barnh i 1 1 
Charl es Barrett 
Mae Al 1 en Barrett 
Luci 1 e Beck 
Howard Beshears 
J . D . Beshears 
Lacy Beshears 
Evelyn Billings 
Helen Billings 
Mabl e Billings 
William Billings 
Herbert Blue 
Mi 1 ler Bl ue 
Robert Blue 
Lily Bobbitt 
Nina Bobbitt 
Donal d Bol ton 
Worth Bolton 
Pearl Bos ti an 
Eugene Bosworth 
Robert Bosworth 
Ga rnett Bradl ey 


Helen Bri 1 ey 
Jasper Briley 
Margaret Brooks 
Elsie Brown 
Lorena Brown 
Richard Brown 
Robert Brown 
Gertrude Bryant 
Lily B ry a n t 
Lucy Bryant 
Georgia Burgin 
Johnny Burgin 
Pauline Burgin 
David Burney 
Ed Burney 
Lucile Burney 
Paul Burney 
Denzil Cartrett 
Hazel Cartrett 
Daisy Cay ton 
Gladys Cayton 
Grace Cayton 
Aubrey Clark 
Ernest Clark 
Oscar CI ark 
Ray Clendenin 
Woodrow Clendenin 
Luzon Cook 

Frank Cornett 


IN 1933 

Paul Cornett 

Agnes Coppedge 

Evelyn Coppedge 

Grace Coppedge 

Mary Duffie Coppedge 

Charlie Rob Coxwell 

Ruth Cranfill 

William Cranf i 1 1 

Li nda Cul p 

Nel 1 i e Culp 

Milton Daniels 

Nan Daniels 

Rhoda Daniels 

John Donaldson 

Lee Donaldson 

Florence Dry 

Helen Dry 

Willard Dry 

Wilma Dry 

Arnim East 

Harry East 

Leone East 

Alexander Edwards 

Carl Edwards 

Fred Edwards 

Fred Elliott 

John Elliott 

Althea May Ellis 

John Ellis 
Eleanor Eudy 

Emma Eudy 
Mi 1 dred Eudy 
Sadie Eudy 
Nelson Fa rmer 
Sally Farmer 
Betty John Foust 
David Flowers 
Edward Flowers 
Ma bl e Fl owers 
Irene Fort 
Leonard Fort 
Sarah Fort 
Mary Foster 
Angel i a Fowler 
James Ladd Fowler 
Cheek Freeman 
Morris Freeman 
Carl es Ga" lyon 
Robert Gal lyon 
Caroleen Garrett 
Ernestine Garrett 
Marguerite Gaskill 
Mi 1 ton Gaskill 
01 ive Gas kil 1 
Brandon Glasgow 
Ruth Gordon 
James Hannon 
Amos Hardy 

Margaret Hendrix 
Monteith Hendrix 

Roy Hendrix 

Paul Home 

Annie Inman 

Lafayette Inman 

Maud Inman 

Claybourne Jessup 

Lee Jessup 

Raymond Jessup 

Wilma Jessup 

Clyde Johnson 

Fred Johnson 

Myrtle Johnson 

Nellie Johnson 

Luci 1 e Johnston 

Thelma Johnston 

Alice Jones 

Gordon Jones 

Mary Lynn Jones 

Joe Keenan 

Bessie Kennedy 

Mary Lee Kennedy 

Julius Kinard 

Martha Kinard 

Lester King 

Marjory L a i 1 

Lavada Lambert 

Ben Taylor Lewis 

Ben Lewis 

George Lewis 


John R. Lewis 
Rex Lewis 
Ma ry Penn Li ndsay 
Wi 1 1 i am Li ndsay 
Glenn Linsday 
Tommy Linsday 
Graham Long 
Jane Lyons 
Parker Lyons 
Jack McCall 
Marion McCall 
Tom McCall 
Willard McCall 
Hugh McCrimmon 
John C. McCrimmon 
Annue W. McDonald 
Jean L . McDonal d 
John Irby McDonald 
Lily Mari e McDonal d 
Thelma Mclntyre 
Bertha McKee 
Hattie McKee 
Laura McKee 
Neil McKee 
Baxter McKenzie 
Bonnie McKenzie 
Paul McKenzie 
Russell McKenzie 
Standi sh McKenzie 

Herbert McMasters 

John C . McMas ters 

Juam'ta McMasters 

Edna Marl owe 

Effie Lee Marlowe 

Larry Marlowe 

B. W. Martin 

Jas. William Martin 

Louise Martin 

Richard Martin 
Albert May 
Clyde May 
Millie May 
Myrtle May 
Hattie Michael 
Hazel Miller 
R. C. Miller 
Horace Mills 
Myrtle Mills 
Rachel Mills 
Robert Mills 
Sadie Mills 
Watt Mills 
Charles Mizelle 
Helen Moore 
Margaret B. Moore 
Margaret F. Moore 
Richard Moore 
Frances Morgan 

Marie Morgan 

Phylis Morgan 

Ruth Morgan 

Thomas Morgan 

Hattie Morris 

Ben Morrow 

Ernest Morrow 

Hazel Morrow 

Jack Morrow 

Louis Mott 

Walter Mott 

Flora May Newnam 

Jacquel i n Newnam 

Lee Newnam 

Catherine Norman 

Hugh Norman 

Laura Lee Norman 
Pleas Norman 
Ray Norman 
A. G. Norris 
Luci 1 e Norri s 
Marshall Norris 
Charles Nungezer 
George Nungezer 
John Nungezer 
Edward Oliver 
Bruce Parcell 
Nancy Parcell 

Dixon Parrish 

Sidney Parrish 

Alice Pittman 

Henry Pittman 

Margaret Pittman 

Scott Mc. Poole 

A. D. Potter 

Norman Potter 

Frank Purdy 

Robert Reavis 

Clarence Robards 

Mary Elizabeth Robards 

Thelma Robards 

Grace Roberts 

Janie Roberts 

Jessie Roper 

Daniele Salvaggio 

P h i 1 i p p i n a Salvaggio 

Vittoria Salvaggio 

Lillian Sanders 

Mary Elizabeth Sanders 

Miriam Sanders 

George Savage 

Joe Savage 

Ray Shaffer 

Eugene Shannon 

Irene Shannon 

Ruth Shannon 

Mable Shoaf 

May Shoaf 

Grace Shroyer 

James Shroyer 

Arthur Sigmon 

Carmett Sigmon 

Marley Sigmon 

Dori s Slate 

CI eo S I uder 

Eva Sluder 

Doris Smith 

Elmaree Smith 

Flora May Smith 

Gertie Smith 

Janie Smith 

Laura Smith 

Leslie Smith 

Lily Be He Smith 

Marie Smi th 

Stanl ey Smi th 

Vance Smith 

Will i am Smi th 

David Spencer 

George Spencer 

iris S p e n c p r 

Lee Spencer 

Ralph Spencer 

Cec i ': Starling 

Charles Starling 

W i 1 1 i a in Starling 

Bern ice Stone 

Joy Stone 

Marvin Stone 

CI i f ton Vann 

Dorothy Weeks 

Jack Weeks 

Jesse Weeks 

Joyce Weeks 

Mable Weddington 

Marie Weddington 

Myrtle Weddington 

Ruth Weddington 

Mary Latham Wert 

Ernest White 

Joe White 

Lugene White 

Lillian Wicker 

Marguerite Wicker 

Dallas Williams 

Dennis Williams 

Margaret Willis 

Mildred Willis 

Annie Sue Wilson 

Harvey Wilson 

Louise Wilson 

Margaret Wilson 

Marsha 1 1 Wi 1 son 

Roy Wilson 

Carson Wood 
Helen Wood 
Alyce Yarbrough 




SECTION V- 1934 










An act of nature was one of the significant events of 1934. The Messenger 
reports that in February a heavy ice storm hit the western and piedmont 
sections of the state with considerable damage done at the Home. "...Hardly 
a tree passed unscathed. Almost all of them 'topped' and the crashing of the 
limbs and their tumbling to the ground with their ice was an incessant occur- 

As this is being written, Barium has been isolated from the outside world for 
a ten-day period, insofar as telephone connections are concerned. Officials 
are hopeful that a line will soon be opened with Statesville, but it will take a 
month to restore the telephone system of the campus, for wires are still down 
by the wholesale and are being put up as fast as possible. 

Lights at Barium went off Sunday night at eight o'clock, and the campus was 
without electricity until 6:40 Monday night and then only partially, ft was 
mid-afternoon of Tuesday before all of the buildings here had electricity. The 
power people in Statesville concerned themselves with getting electricity to the 
hospitals in Statesville first and then detailed workmen to get a line "through" 
to Barium. Other electricians worked on the Barium campus with the boys 
here to get up poles and make the proper connections. 

The water supply at Barium was exhausted by noon Monday, and neither of 
the two pumps were working. This was the most serious problem of all, but 
it was solved when one of the boys here suggested that a tractor be used. 
One was promptly brought to one of the pumps, the proper belts hitched on, 
and it began to work. The tractor was kept going steadily until seven o'clock 
Monday night, when the first connections were made, and the tractor kept the 
campus supplied with its water needs up until that time. 

There was, of course, damage to the fruit trees at Barium, but this was largely 
dealt to the older trees which had already passed their period of usefulness. 
All through the night limbs could be heard crashing to the ground and some 
of the workers at Barium said they could not sleep because of the continuous 

Even on into the early hours of Tuesday morning, the limbs were breaking. 
A crew of boys started around with long sticks to knock off some of the ice 
on the lower limbs and relieve them as much as possible. Fortunately for this 
whole section, the sun came out bright and warm about mid-morning and the 
ice melted quickly. By noontime most of it was off the trees, but for a couple 
of days the lower part of the trees was imbedded in ice. 


It took a week at Barium to clear the major portion of the debris of broken 
limbs off the main part of the campus, and crews are still working on various 
parts of the property on this task. Visitors at Barium the early part of the week 
were bemoaning the damage done to the trees, but those who have had sim- 
ilar experiences such as this one recently passed through say that it will not 
take but a year or two before the trees will have a normal appearance. 

About the only group that was not affected by the catastrophe were the dairy 
boys. "The cows didn't freeze up," they said "kinda" regret-ful-like, and were 
consequently down at the dairy barn early Monday morning to perform their 
usual duties. 

•(The campus was severely damaged by weather again 55 years later when "Hurricane Hugo" roared through on September 
22, 1980 Ed.) 



Herbert Blue 

Helen Briley 

Margaret Brooks 

Autrey Clark 

Nellie Culp 

Harry East 

John Elliott 

Leonard Fort 

Morris Freeman 

Myrtle Johnson 

Graham Long 

Wilson Lowrance 

Phyllis Morgan 

Lois Dixie Mott 

Cathryn Elizabeth Norman 

Edward Oliver 

Bruce Parcell 

Margaret Lewe Pittman _ 

Dorothy Mae Thomas 

Mae Belle Knox 

Helen Coleman Wood ' 

Lillian Vivian Wicker ( 

Bobby Re avis ', 

Class Mascot: Fred Cole 



President: Leonard Fort 
Vice President: James Ladd Fowler 

Secretary: Lois Mott 

Treasurer: Bobbie Reavis 

Historian: Bruce Parcel! 

Mascot: Fred Cole 

Ace Medal: Bruce Parcel 1 

Dr. J. R. McGregor of Lexington and Dr. Walter L. Lingle of Davidson 
College were the speakers Leonard Fort was valedictorian. 




Best-All-Around Lillian Wicker 

Most Studious Cathryn Norman 

Most Athletic Margaret Brooks 

Most Attractive Margaret Pittman 

Most Ambitious Helen Briley 

Most Intellectual Myrtle Johnson 

Most Amusing Dorothy Thomas 

Most Pleasing Personality Phyllis Morgan 

Cutest Lois Mott 

Wittiest Helen Wood 

Quietest Nellie Culp 


Best-All-Around Morris Freeman 

Most Studious Leonard Fort 

Handsomest Bruce Parcell 

Most Ambitious John Elliott 

Most Intellectual Herbert Blue 

Best Dressed Wilson Lowrance 

Most Tal ented Tom Clark 

Most Professional Harry East 

Witties-t Graham Long 

Ace Medal Bmice_ Peac-eLL 



This, the graduating class of "34, began its eventful career four 
years ago when thirty-four pupils, fourteen boys and twenty girls entered 
the freshman class. This first year passed quickly with little of note 
happening except the loss of six members of this spirited class which was 
soon to become possessed with a reputation. 

It was during the Sophomore year that our class fell to its lowest 
ebb. Five more members of our class passed quitely out of the picture. 
Lucky fellows, some would have called them! In the course of this year, 
things did not fare so well with us, we must confess. We received a name-- 
one which was not altogether fitting or desirous to us. It was the "Bloody 
Ninth". Our class, it seems, has not been able to rid itself completely of 
the handicap which was bestowed upon it at this time. 

However, eveiything has it dark side, and in our case this was 
partially overcome by the success of the following year. As Juniors, we 
assumed a more dignified and serious attitude, and, as a result, our junior 
year was by far the most successful and best of all our high school course. 

Finally, we attained that invevitable position, desired by so many, 
the rank of seniors. Once again our nowdnvuuishedclass was dispossessed 
of four members, which leaves us a total of twenty-one. 

Looking backward tends to discourage us to a certain extent, so we 
hopefully look forward, with rising ambitions, into the future, with no 
doubt in our minds that we shall all attain the highest degree of 

— Bruce Parcell, Historian 



We, the senior class of 1934, while on the eve of graduation, 
look backward to our Alma Mater, do hereby will and bequeath: 


This box of paint to change your natural green to another color more 
appropriate to the rise in high school which you will take next year. 


We leave our privilege of going to town any day in the week. 

Our smiles, patience and good looks and willingness to work. 

I, Cathryn Norman, do hereby will and bequeath to my little brothers 
and sister everthing I didn't get that I was supposed to get (including the 
senior table). 

I, Lois Mott, do hereby will and bequeath to Irene Shannon my red hair 
to match her freckles; to my brother, Walter, my athletic ability. Be sure 
and don't abuse it. 

I, Margaret Brooks, have nothing to will as I am taking it all with 

I, Lillian Wicker, do hereby will and bequeath to Margurerite her hope 
chest which I have so faithfully kept for the past three years. 

I, Margaret Pittman, do hereby will and bequeath to "Shotgun" East the 
black sweater she borrowed last year and forgot to return and to Alice 
Pittman my ability to reduce and hope she may have the willowy form I have. 

I, Helen Wood, do will and bequeath to Carson Wood my room on the 
front side of the Woman's Building with the hope that he will keep it as 
clean as I have (not). 

I, Helen Briley, do will and bequeath to my little brother, Jasper, my 
great height (4 ft., 11 inches). To my friend Maude all the old dresses 
which are too small for me. 

I, Myrtle Johnson, do hereby will and bequeath to Nina Bobbitt my old 
place in the choir, and to Thelma Johnston any old clothes that I may leave 
behind. Be sure and let out the tucks. 

I, Leonard Fort, have nothing; am in a very great need; do you have 
anything that you would like to give me? 

I, Bruce Parcell, do leave all my possessions (with some few 
exceptions however) to the "Country Home" boys. 


I, John Elliott, do will and bequeath to my kid brother, all my extra 
belongings except my shirts. 

I, Wilson Lowrance, do will and bequeath all I have to any one who 
will take it. 

I, Herbert Blue, do will and bequeath all my old socks to the house 
catsjand to Ernest White, his favorite chair by the radio. To my kid 
brother, Miller, I bestow all my attraction to the ladies. To Mr. McMillan 
and Mr. Calhoun, I will and bequeath all the hot air in the world. 

I, Phyllis Morgan, do will and bequeath to Hattie Morris all I haven't 
got and to Gordon Jones my name of "Senior". 

I, Nellie Gulp, do will and bequeath to mv. sister Linda, my make-up 
box, and to Lucy Bryant, all my pictures of Bin Crosby; and to 8essie 
Kennedy, my ability to dance. 

I, Dorothy Thomas, do will and bequeath my place as Mr. Calhoun's pet 
to Margaret Wilson. and my knowledge of remembering dates to Ralph Spencer. 

I, Tom Clark, do will and bequeath to Clyde Johnson my place as 

center on the football team- and my ability to shoot peedabs to Clayborne 

I, Edward Oliver, being sound in mind, etc., do hereby will and 
bequeath to Edward Flowers all my girl friends with the hope that he will 
entertain them as much as I did and that they will love him like they did 
me. Also, I bequeath to Edward Cole my place as truck driver on the truck 
farm and other positions of honor on the campus. 



"Would you not like to have the history of your class-mates revealed 
to you?" I looked up from reading and a tiny fairy standing before 
me. I was so amazed that for a moment I could not speak. Then, regaining 
my wits, I cried, "Oh, yes!" 

"Then come with me," she said. 

She waved her magic wand over me and suddenly I found myself in the 
White House in Washington. Coming through the door who do you suppose I 
saw? Leonard Fort, who was president of our class of '34 and who was now 
the president of the United States, 

followed by two of his cabinet members who were none other than Bruce 
Par cell and John Elliott. Leonard told me that Herbert and Cathryn were 
now married and living there in Washington where Herbert was the president 
of a bank. I ran over to see them and Cathryn told me that Harry East was 
employed in the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and boarded at their home. 
As he was working I did not get to see him. 

"But what has become of the two Margarets in our class?" I asked the 
fairy. She waved her wand over me and I found that I was in a large 
theatre in Hollywood. Two of the most famous stars of the day were making 
personal appearances in that theatre that day and whom do you suppose they 
were? Margaret Pittman and Margaret Brooks. They did not see me but, of 
course, now that they were so famous they would not have known me if they 
had seen me! 

The fairy waved her wand and I was in Paris! "Come," said the fairy, 
"and I will show you a wonderful sight." I followed close^behind her and 
we came to a closed door marked "private". "Go in," said the fairy. I went 
in and was overjoyed "to see my old class-mate, Lois Mott, who was now the 
most famous model in Paris. 

"And now what has become of my old room-mate, Myrtle Johnson?" I asked 
the fairy. She waved her wand and I found myself before a building in the 
front of which in large letters was, Beauty Salon of the Famous Madame 
Johnson." I went in and there stood Myrtle fixing someone's hair- I was so 
glad to see Myrtte that I didn't notice the girl whose hair was being 
fixed. Someone said, "Well, hello, Phyllis." I looked up and discovered 
that it was Lillian Wicker in the chair. She told me that she had 
inherited $20,000,000 and was touring the world at the present time. 

Again the fairy waved her wand and I found myself at the University of 
North Carolina. I saw someone walking across the campus. I recognized 
Morris Freeman and called to him. He told me that he was coaching 
football there and that Ed Oliver was coaching basketball and wrestling 
there, too. 

Then I found myself in Florida. It was nice and warm and I decided to 
go to one of the beaches. When I arrive there I saw another one of my old 
class-mates, Wilson Lowrance. He was lifeguard and had rescued many people 


during his stay there. He came over to me and I learned from him that he 
was living in Florida and was the owner of several orange groves. 

The next place we came to was New York. Ve walked into a large 
hospital and to my amazement I saw Dorothy Thomas and Nellie Culp, now 
graduate nurses i^i working there. I larned from Nellie that Dorothy was 
engaged to the owner of the hospital. 

Later 1 found myself in a broadcasting station. The announcer was 
just introducing Tom Clark and his orchestra. As Tom's time was limited 
and I had to go 1 did not get to speak to him. 

Our next stop was Philadelphia. 1 knew that Helen Wood must be 
somewhere in the city because this was her home town. So I hunted her up 
and found that she was now a very famous criminal inspector. 

"Now, where is Helen Briley?" I asked the fairy. She again waved her 
wand and I found myself in New York. I learned that Helen Briley was 
private secretary to the governor of the state. 

Next I found myself in Hollywood and found that Graham Long, the clown 
of the class, was producing cartoons similar to Mickey Mouse. 

Well, all the rest of the class have done well for themselves, but I 
am just an old maid, spending my spare time reading and knitting. 

— Phyllis Morgan, Prophet 



April 1934 

(Rev. J. L. McBride selected as third speaker for the young 
people. Valedictorian and salutatorian announced — complete program.) 

Last month two of the speakers for commencement were announced, and 
since that time the third one has been invited and has accepted the 
invitation. He will be Rev. J. L. McBride, pastor of the Front Street 
Presbyterian Church of Statesville who will deliver the annual 
sermon to the Young People's Societies. 

The others announced last month were Rev. J. R. McGregor, 
Th.D, pastor of the Lexington Presbyterian Church to deliver the 
baccalaureate sermon, and Rev. Walter L. Lingle, D.D., president 
of Davidson College who will give the literary address at the final 
and graduating exercises. 

The initial event of the commencement exercises will be on 
Friday night, April 20th, featured by the class program. This will 
include the reading of the last will and testament, the prophecy 
of the class, the history and poem, and other things generally 
connected with this particular part of the graduation program. 

On Sunday morning, April 22nd, Dr. McGregor will deliver the 
baccalaureate sermon, and the night of the same day, Rev. Mr. 
McBride will speak to the graduates and others at Barium. 

The final event will be Monday night, April 23rd. Prior to the 

awarding of diplomas, Dr. Lingle will make the literary address. 

The audience will be welcomed by Herbert Blue, second high honor 

man among the graduates, who is salutatorian. Dr. Lingle will 

speak, the diplomas and special awards will be made, and the 1934 

exercises will close with the valedictory, delivered by Leonard 

Fort, first honor man who is also president of the class. 


Fred Cole, a member of the Baby Cottage, has been selected 
by the class as its mascot. 

An outline of the program follows: 

Friday night, April 20, Class Exercises. 

Sunday morning, April 22nd, Baccalaureate sermon by Dr. J. R. 

Sunday night, April 22nd, sermon to Y. P. Societies by Rev. 
J. L. McBride. 

Monday night, April 23rd, Final Exercises, with Dr. W. L. 
Lingle delivering the literary address. 

There are 21 in the graduating class this year, two of them being 
children of local workers. This means that the orphanage population" 
will be 19^ew^.<- after April 23rd. 



In August 1934, Miss Rebekah Carpenter arrived at Barium to replace 
Miss Frances Steele as case worker. Miss Steele took a job with the Federal 
Relief Agency in Georgia. She had been at Barium for five years. Miss 
Carpenter had been a pastor's assistant at the First Presbyterian Church in 
Lexington; further, she had formerly been director of recreation for the 
City of Lexington. She had an A.B. degree from Flora MacDonald College and 
a B.S. degree in physical education from Teachers College, Columbia University. 
Miss Carpenter's residence was in the infirmary. 

Earl and Bobby Allen arrived at Barium in 1934. Bobby, age 2/4-, was 
the new baby of the campus. 

Barium's annual turnover in population was 30 percent. The age limits 
for admission were no child over 12 years, none under 2 years. 

Other newcomers were Margaret Bell, fourth grade teacher; Laura Northrop, 
third grade teacher; B. S. Linville, farm manager; and R. E. Jackins replaced 
Ralph McMillan. 

Other activities taking place during the summer of 1934 were a severe 
drought and a cry for an additional well for the campus. The drought was 
such that for a period of time the swimming pool could not be filled. To 
make matters worse, Mississippi "Bitter Weed" attacked the dairy pasture 
giving the milk a bitter taste. Then, amidst that heat and bitter taste 
came typhoid inoculations in July. Two hundred and ten children were 
inoculated in forty-five minutes . Each child received a double dosage. 
The Rumple Hall girls, however, managed to find something bright about 
the summer; they got together with the younger girls and boys from Howard 
and Synod's Cottages and gave a play on Sloan Field called "Peggy of the 

*(My underline for emphasis! ed.) 



By John N. McCall 

Rebekah Carpenter's remarkable career as caseworker for the Presbyterian 
Home for Children at Barium Springs, North Carolina stands as a model of 
Christian service. She was employed to investigate family circumstances 
behind each child's application to the Home. But she contributed a great deal 
more to the lives of the many children whom she knew. 

From the very beginning of her work at Barium, Becky (or, "Miss Carpenter", 
as the children called her) became part of its ongoing lifestream. She lived in 
a small apartment in the Rumple Hall cottage and ate with the children in the 
central dining hall. Besides chairing women's groups in the Little Joe's 
Church, she served as elder and taught Sunday School to the high school girls 
for over 30 years. 

Most of the children who came to Barium from 1934 to 1941 knew Becky as 
their first contact with the orphanage. Her cheerful optimism helped most of 
them adjust initially. She continued to keep close contact with each child and 
with his or her family members in their hometowns. She arranged annual 
vacation trips with relatives and kept detailed records of school and other 
achievements. After graduating, many of the children who considered Becky a 
close family member, corresponded with her. She was the recipient of 
numerous wedding invitations, family photos, and other signs of individual 

As a young girl growing up in Rutherfordton, Becky hoped to become a 
kindergarten teacher. She majored in education at Flora McDonald College in 
Red Springs and earned a masters degree in Recreational Leadership at 
Columbia University, New York City. Afterwards, she taught high school for 
two years, then accepted a position as Director of City Recreation in Lexington, 
North Carolina. This brought her in contact with all the city schools and 
various civic and church groups. After a few years, Dr. J. R. McGregor of the 
First Presbyterian Church in Lexington asked her to accept work as Pastor's 
Assistant. She served in this capacity until he accepted a call to a different 
church. It was then that she accepted the work at Barium. 

Being a lifelong Presbyterian who was raised in Rutherfordton, Becky was 
distantly familiar with the children's home at Barium Springs. She recalls that 
her mother was very interested in the welfare of children at Barium and 
encouraged her to contribute to the monthly church offering for their support. 
Later on, while working in Lexington, she visited Barium while delivering a 


quilt which the church women had made for the children. When Dr. McGregor 
left the Lexington church, he was serving as Chairman of the Board of Regents 
for the Barium home. He knew that the current Social Worker, Miss Francis 
Steele, was planning to leave and he recommended Becky for this position. 
Joseph B. Johnston, the superintendent at Barium interviewed Becky and 
hired her immediately. It was Mr. Johnston who actually trained Becky for the 
case-worker position, although her experience as a pastor's assistant had 
given her excellent preparation for working closely with families who were 
having difficulties. 

Keeping tabs on the health of the children was one of the important responsi- 
bilities of the Social Services Department. Each year, pictures were taken of 
each family, or sibling group, and a copy was put in their family file. 
Oftentimes, a close inspection of these pictures revealed problems because a 
child might not look physically well. One time, a tired expression led to further 
examination and tuberculosis was identified. Becky, it happened, would take 
children to the hospital for operations or other treatments and she brought 
them home. Sometimes, because she went into the operating room with them, 
children thought she had done the surgery herself. Several wanted her to 
remain in the hospital with them continuously. Once when Becky asked, "But 
where would I stay tonight?", a small boy replied, "You can sleep with me." 

One of Becky's more pleasant assignments at Barium was supervising the 
Christmas present program. With over 300 children, this was an enormous 
logistical undertaking but it had dramatic consequences for each child. Each 
year, classroom teachers were alerted to have the children write brief letters to 
"Santa Claus." These letters requested a small gift and included a description 
of their authors. The letters were then sent to church groups throughout North 
Carolina and the gifts were returned sometime before Christmas. Becky had 
already recorded each child's Christmas wish and she then checked to see if 
each child had gotten a present. Sometimes there were unfortunate omissions 
or problems with delivery and it was Becky who had to see that corrections 
were made. Over the years, hundreds of children at Barium Springs benefited 
from the generosity of Presbyterians who, along with Becky, helped to play the 
role of Santa Claus. 

We alumni remember Becky in numerous personal ways. Her table in the 
dining hall was a popular place. She usually had the "new" boys or girls sit at 
her table for several weeks until they got settled with their own cottage groups. 
There was also a good mix of other children, by sex and age, who learned 
good table manners and cooperative living from her. She would pull from us 
the positive news of what had just happened in school or at work,. We knew 
she was interested in us and we found her animated conversations enlight- 


ening. I recall a very pleasant week's vacation at Camp Fellowship on The 
Catawba River. Becky was in charge of this particular camping session and 
she had planned an interesting schedule of hikes, picnics, and special games. 
Toward the end of the week, which had been immensely satisfying, several of 
us were sitting on rocks at the base of the small waterfall called "Buffalo 
Shoals." Becky was with us and it became apparent that none of us wanted 
that summer, that week, or even that particular day to end. We reflected with 
Becky that while this moment must pass, we could always enjoy the pleasant 
memory of the summer afternoon together. This is just one example of 
intensely personal moments we shared with Becky. 

For her last few years at Barium, Becky was Director of Special Services. She 
enjoyed this position very much as it gave her a chance to make friends for 
Barium all over the state. She retired from Barium in 1971. She had served 
three different superintendents during her 36-year stay and they had each 
found her work invaluable. She thus deserved the recognition which she 
received at farewell parties and in the newspapers. The Barium alumni hosted 
one of the farewell parties and expressed their sentiments with a silver service 
set. Becky now resides at her family home in Rutherfordton, where she lives 
with her brother, Kent. Characteristically, she has plunged into active volun- 
teer work with her family church and local hospital. She takes courses at the 
nearby community college and has taken up the hobby of oil painting. Those 
of us who have visited with her find much pleasure in talking about previous 
days together at Barium. We also learn interesting details about her family 
and get to see her paintings and the beautiful antique furniture which has 
been in the family for generations. On summer days, she will very likely serve 
visitors iced tea while they sit outside in her "tree house", a patio mounted in 
the branches of a huge white oak next to the house. 

While talking recently with Becky about how she came to work at Barium, she 
remarked how she had not actually sought any one of her jobs in the past. 
Neither had she made a general plan to become a Social Worker. Instead, 
"one thing just seemed to lead to another." It happened, she explained, that 
influential people who were familiar with her work recommended her to other 
employers. Also, she was fortunate that each employer was a delight to work 
for and their high standards gave her something for which to aim. That is a 
thought provoking observation on a career that has been extremely rewarding 
to Becky and to hundreds of young children. 


1934 Reviewed 

John Elliott, assistant dairy boss, went to the Chicago World's Fair. 

Swannanoa was the location of the summer camp which 115 children attended 
that year. That trip is remembered for the rain. The journey was made in 
open trucks, and quilts and other belongings were soaked. The site was a 4-H 
club camp, rented at 50 cents per person. 

Meanwhile back at the campus, a wheat thresher machine being pulled to 
the hill behind the old milking barn came loose and rolled back down the hill, 
causing some damage to it. The accident caused considerable concern, given the 
shortage of money and cost of repair. 

At the movies, "Alice in Wonderland," "Wild Carrjo," and "Melody in Spring." 

Honors to Barium people during 1934 included Mr. Johnston was elected 
Davidson Alumni President; Ben Forte completed Davidson in three years; Julian 
West had been elected Davidson student body president, A. J. Potter was elected 
president of the Davidson College Athletic Association. 

In April of 1934, the graduation exercises were held for the class of 

that year. Its members were: 

Herbert Blue 
Helen Briley 
Margaret Brooks 
Aubrey Clark 
Nellie Culp 
Harry East 
John Elliott 
Francis Leonard Fort 
William Morris Freeman 
Myrtle Johnson 
Graham Long 
Wilson Lawrence 
Clarissa Phyllis Morgan 
Lois Dixie Mott 
Cathryn Elizabeth Norman 
Edward Oliver 
Bruce Parcell 
Margaret Pittman 
Dorothy Mae Thomas 
Mae Belle Knox 
Helen Coleman Wood 
Lillian Vivian Wicker 
Bobby Reavis 


October, 1934 

(Adjustments are Rapidly Made to New Matron, Work and Surroundings) 

There are nine different cottages at the rphanage, the children 
living in them being arranged principally according to their ages. Some 
Orphanages follow the plan of placing boys and girls of varying ages in the 
same cottage and letting them remain there until their graduation, but 
officials at Barium consider it more advisable to have children of the 
same age in the same cottage and advance them from time to time. 

As each child reaches the proper age they are promoted to the next 
group, which is quite an occasion in the lives of most of them. Although 
each advancement means more and harder work, they look forward to "going 
up" and adjust themselves to the new surroundings and new work rather 
quickly. They have a new matron, new work and a different set of boys or 
girls with whom they are to become intimately acquainted. Several may be 
promoted from one cottage at the same time, and they have these friends as 
a nucleus from which they readily broaden their range of friendships. 

Most of the promotions are made during the summer time, and by the 
school opening everybody has been thoroughly adjusted to the new 
surroundings. Below are being published the promotions which were made 
during the past summer. These are being listed in order that clothing 
people may know where "their" boys or girls now live. They will learn of 
this a little later on when the children write them, but this information 
is now being given. 

From Baby Cottage to Annie Louise: Rachel Mills and Anne McDonald. 

From Baby Cottage to Synod's: Amos Hardy, Raymond Jessup, Albert 
May, Hebert McMasters, and Stanley Smith. 

From Baby Cottage to Rumple Hall: Mildred Eudy, one of the older 
girls who helped the Baby Cottage matron with the children. 

From Baby Cottage to Woman's Building: Iris Spencer, another one of 
the older girls who helped with the smaller children. 

From Annie Louise to Howard: Evelyn Billings, Helen Billings, 
Gertrude Bryant, Vivian Brigance, Ruth Cole, and Elizabeth Robards. 

From Synod's to Lees': Gwyn Fletcher, Joe Ben Gibbs, Billy Lindsay, 
Oscar Newnam and Dennis Williams, 

From Howard to Rumple Hall: Gladys Caton, Grace Caton, Lucile 
Johnston, Sadie Mills, and Thelma Robards. 

From Synod's to Alexander: Joe Denson, Thomas Morgan, Henry Pittman 
and James Shroyer . 

From Lees to Jennie Gilmer: Ray Clendenin, John Donaldson, Willard 
Dry, Arnim East, George Faison, Julius Kinard, Hugh McCrimmon, and Joe 
Savage . 


From Rumple Hall to Woman's Building: Alice Jones, Alice Pittman and 
Elmaree Smith. 

From Rumple Hall to Infirmary: Linda Culp and Nellie Johnson, who 
will help out in the nursing. 

From Infirmary to Rumple Hall: Mary Duffie Coppedge, who has been 
helping with the sick. 

From Infirmary to Woman's Building: Lucy Bryant, who has likewise 
been helping with the sick. 

From Alexander to Jennie Gilmer: Paul Cornett, Robert Gallyon, Ray 
Norman and Marley Sigmon. 

From Jennie Gilmer to Alexander: Ralph Spencer, who will act as 
monitor at the latter cottage. 

From Woman's Building to Baby Cottage: Sarah Fort and Margaret Moore, 
who will help at the Baby Cottage for the next year. 

With so many transfers occurring, it may possibly be that one or two 
of the children have been missed. If so the omission of these transfers 
is through error, and these omitted changes will be recorded in next 
month's issue of The Messenger. 



November 1934 

(Many former residents of orphanage will return to spend day here; 
program given; this event is growing in importance every year.) 

There is one day in the year that everybody at Barium looks 
forward to, It is Home-Coming Day, We used to have it around 
Christmas, and the day was spent in old timers coming back and just 
renewing acquai ntances and looking over the place. Several 
years ago, however, the Alumni Association wanted the date of the 
Home-Coming Day set on a day when a football game would be played 
here. You would think that this request might come from the 
younger members of the Association, but it came from the older 
ones. So since that time, we have been having a rather collegiate 
Home-Coming Day, one of our big football games being staged for that 
day. The first time this arrangement was made, Belmont Abbey was 
the team that was played. The game resulted in a scoreless tie. 
The next year, Greensboro High School was the opposition to Barium, 
and Barium defeated Greensboro 28-0, under the inspired rooting of 
the Home -Comers , 

Last year, Winston-Salem was our quest, and again victory 
perched on Barium's banner' to the tunc- of 7-0. 

This year, Hickory High School, coached by Barium's one time 
coach., Ralph McMillian, will be the other half of the entertainment. 

We are looking forward to having the biggest crowd of Home- 
Comers ever, The Barium team realizes that they will have a harder 
nut to crack this year defeating Hickory than possibly any of the 
former Home-Coming Day games, but they believe that they can win 
the victory if enough older- timers are back to cheer them on. 


The exercises for Home-Coming Day are very brief: 

Registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Rumple Hall. Every- 
one is invited to come just as early as they can conveniently do so. 
No exercises are set until 11:30 when a chapel period will be made 
a special program for the Home-Coming Day crowd. 

No lengthy speeches are on the program, however. 

Dinner will take place at 11:15, and immediately after dinner, 
the regular Alumni Association meeting will be held. 

The President is Mr. R. E. Jack ins of the staff at the 
Orphanage. The Secretary is Miss Hilda Bernardo of the Duke 
Endowment, Charlotte. 

The football game will start at 3:15, giving the Association 
plenty of time to have a meeting, and to settle such matters as 
may have come up during the past year. 

Don't forget the date-- FRIDAY , NOVEMBER THE 23RD. Come early 
and stay late. We hope you will enjoy the day as much as we will 
enjoy having you! 


November 1934 

Little Joe's Church at Barium Springs took the annual Thanks- 
giving Offering on Sunday, November 11th, and contributed the 
largest amount that has ever been given in the history of that 
church. The amount given was $375.20, which exceeds the best 
sumof $345,03 contributed in 1927, When the 1934 Thanksgiving 
Offering is finally completed Sunday, November 18th, the total will 
probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of $400.00. 

Of great significance, too, was the fact that the children 
at the orphanage contributed $42,75. Twenty-five dollars of this 
was given by the Virginia Hall Mission Band, a group of orphanage 
girls who sell drinks, candies, etc. at the football games at 
Barium. This represents their profit and they gave it as their 
Thanksgiving Offering. The remaining $17.75 was given by other 
children at the Orphanage out of their meager earnings in odd jobs 
about the place. 

Further significance of this amazing Thanksgiving Offering 
by the church at Barium is the fact that the number of workers at the 
institution has been greatly reduced in the past few years and 
salaries have likewise been c u t s while back in 1927, when the 
previous best, total was contributed, many more workers were 
connected with the orphanage and salaries were at the peak. This 
contribution by Little Joe's Church represents sacrificial giving. 

When the 1934 Thanksgiving Offering is wound up on November 18th, 
it can also be said that every man, woman, and child of Little 
Joe's Church has made a gift, carrying out the plan to get a 100% 
response from every one of the 79,000 and more Presbyterians in the 
Synod of North Carolina this year. 269 

November 1934 

The measure of the worth of an institution is to be found not 
in its buildings, grounds and equipment but in the degree to which 
it fulfills a real need in the child-caring program and gives to that 
child such care and training as will most nearly compensate him 
for the loss of the spiritual, educational and emotional values 
of a normal home. Buildings and equipment are only important 
means to an end. The personalities and ideals of the Board 
members, superintendent, matrons, teachers and all of the 
institution workers, create the spirit of the institution, and 
upon that spirit the vital interests of the child depend. 

New ideals of the physical aspects of child-caring institutions 
have led to the development of a type of construction very different 
from the original congregate form. The small cottages of adaptation 
of a family dwel 1 i nga.r£ now generally held to be the most desirable 
type of building, and in new institutions group of cottages and 
other necessary buildings usually replace the former congregate 
structures. But the really vital progress is not in the changed 
character of the buildings; it appears in the changed methods of 
dealing with the children which such a change in construction faci 1 i teAea- 

The moral and spiritual training of the children, the develop- 
ment of good habits, and the extension of right influences on their 
daily lives are the matters of greatest importance. To accomplish 
these ends the institution must make a consistent effort to supply 
the elements of home life in as great a measure as is possible 
outside a normal family group. Some institutions with the finest 
equipment may lack the i nf 1 uences that are really vital for 




the children's happiness and well being. Other institutions, large and 
small, which have not the approved physical equipment may yet give to the 
children in good measure the essentials for their development 
and for their usefulness. There is always danger that overemphasis 
of the physical features of institutional life may result in the 
substitution of material values for the spiritual. This danger is 
especially great if supervision is delegated through too many channels 
and if the people who come in direct contact with the daily life of 
the children lack experience and understanding of child psychology 
and are therefore unable to give sympathetic direction. Attractive- 
ness and convenience of buildings are undeniably great assets in making 
possible a good type of service, but the quality of an institution 
depends far less upon the size of the buildings and upon the equipment 
than upon the personnel and the understanding care that each child 
recei ves . 

Because of the decreasing need for institutional care in 
communities with a wel 1 -devel jped child-caring program, it is not 
probable that any large number of new institutions will be 
organized. Institutions that cannot change their physical 
aspects very considerably are, nevertheless, giving heed to 
experiments that have been found practicable in arrangements modify- 
ing the building, so that the children may be grouped in accordance 
with the modern ideal of the small units, permitting more individual 
supervision than was possible under the old congregate plan. 

The purpose and value of an institution is the following: 
(a) What is the institution's value in relation to the 
community? What real need does the institution 
fill, in view of other existing agencies and the 

resources that might be made available? 


(b) What is the institution's value in relation to the child? 
Will the child whom the institution serves be cared for 
better by this institution than by some other agency, or 
even better than through aid in his own home? 

(c) What is the institution's value in relation to the 
service given? What kind of help does it give to the 
child physically, intellectually, and morally? Is 

it developing right habits of body and mind with the 
object of adjusting the child to his future life in 
the community? 

Children's Bureau, U. S. 
Department of Labor 



The highest cost per-child per day of the 13 larger 
orphanages was $0.9627; Barium's cost was $0.8733. The average 
for the 13 was $0.7195 per child. This shows that Barium's per 
capita cost per-day was $0.0894 less than the highest cost of any on*t« 
institution, while the local expenses are $0.1538 above the average 
of 13 orphanages . 

Included in Barium's cost is the large item of interest on the 
indebtedness of the institution, which figures out at around three 
cents per-child per day. The cost per-child per-day, too, includes 
the estimated worth of all contributed commodities and what the 
state pays the teachers in the schools. 



(Written by Jos. B. Johnston for "The Tar Heel Woman") 

There is a place in Iredell County just halfway between the National Summer 
Resort of the Asheville district and the equally famous winter resort at 
Pinehurst-a place where the marvelous sandhill peach and melon belt over- 
laps the Appalachian apple belt; a place encircled by a ridge that divides the 
watersheds of the Yadkin and the Catawba; where something over three 
hundred children live and attempt to work out their destiny. 

It is an orphanage maintained by the Presbyterian Church in the Synod of 
North Carolina, but nature and circumstances have caused it to be much more 
than an Orphanage. We might say that it is a unique situation. Here young 
people soon learn that a successful life is based on the proposition that living 
is a cooperative affair, and on that proposition some amazing results are evi- 

A time-honored policy of orphans has been from time immemorial is to plan 
to get things, and any visitor coming to an orphanage is expected to bring 
gifts. If an individual or group at an orphanage needs something, the policy 
has been to hunt somebody who is able to give that things, and thus procure 
it. From the children's viewpoint, it is almost entirely a proposition of getting. 

Many years ago this idea was changed at Barium, and the policy that now 
prevails is one in which the institution asks for things that cannot be provided 
within itself, both individually and collectively, and the institution strives to 
produce those other things they may be wanted. 

It might simplify it to express it this way: That the institution looks to the 
supporting Church for its NEEDS; it looks to itself for its WANTS above those 
needs. The Church furnishes the cornbread, the individual efforts of the chil- 
dren themselves furnish the ice cream. 

Without going too much into detail, this policy over a period of years has 
changed some of those time-honored orphanage traditions. When the institu- 
tion wants something, it first tries to supply that want itself. If it is unable to 
do so, then it asks outside help. 

Sometimes the success in producing it is so great that they have something 
to spare, and this rare situation arises: That visitors can come to the 
orphanage and at times be given something rather than be on the giving end 
altogether, and the thing that does for the personalities of the children living 


at Barium Springs, certainly proves the truth of the proverb that "It is more 
blessed to give than to receive." 

Through the efforts of the children at Barium, the institution produces its own 
bread, meat, vegetables, milk, fruit, altogether 85 percent of the things that 
are eaten. 

The athletic program produces revenue enough to provide for most of the 
recreational activities, and enables the institution to play host to other schools 
and organizations in many of its recreational programs. 

What is the end result of such a policy? Well, people have said that a young 
man, or woman who had been reared at Barium Springs has a distinctive way 
of walking, talking, and acting. Their chins are up, their shoulders back, and 
they look you straight in the face. They have helped work out problems that 
arise in the business of growing up. They have been the dispensers of good 
things as well as the recipient of good things, and they meet life, as a rule, 

Barium Springs has a splendid staff of workers and somehow they seem to 
improve with the years just as the children do, under the aforementioned 
combination of nature and circumstances. 

Barium Springs is surrounded by neighborly friends. Among these friends 
are doctors who make the health program of this unique institution something 
that it might be veil to set a national standard by. The treatment of disease 
is incidental; the discovery of symptoms that might lead to disease is the main 
part of the health program, and a statement showing the success of this pro- 
gram is so unbelievable that we hesitate to make it to anyone who cannot 
verify the statement by actual investigation. Suffice it to say that visits of 
doctors to the campus, except for examination purposes, are rare occurrences. 
Death has visited this group once in twelve years. Epidemics seem to detour, 
and abounding health seems to make its permanent abode at Barium. 

One other thing: Children are gathered in this institution from all over the 
state of North Carolina, and when children are moved from a home, however 
humble, homesickness is bound to result. 

Barium Springs is ideally situated to make this malady quickly disappear. The 
little ways from the mountains will find enough hills to remind him of the coves 
and the peaks of the home community, and they can view old Grandfather 
topping the other mountains on the Western horizon, any time they feel that 
ihey must turn their eyes in that direction. At the same time, those newcomers 


from the Coastal Plain and the flat sections of our state, can find enough level 
land to feel safe and to see enough of the things that grow in those lush fields 
to restore their sense of security. 

Barium Springs, the village of perpetual youth, where there is a lot of fun, a 
lot of laughter, a lot of kindness-a lovely place to be. 












Elsie Brown 

Edward Burney 

Ernest Clark 

Leone East 

Cheek Freeman 

Maude Inman 

Thelma Johnston 

Laura Lane McKee 

Eston Lackey 

Bonnie Mc Kenz i e 

T. L. O'Kelley 

A. D. Potter 

Sidney Parrish 

Miriam Sanders 

Irene Shannon 

Iris Spencer 

Joy Stone 

Carson Wood 

Mascot: Jimmy Barkley 

Ace Medal : Cheek Freeman 



The class of 1935 wishes to relate the history of our happy 
high school days at Barium. 

On September the first, nineteen and thirty-one, thirty-two 
timid freshmen were scattered among the upper classmen. It was 
not long, however, until we were over our timidness and had 
organized into a strong body. The class was so large that we 
were divided into two sections. 

As sophomores in high school, the class had dwindled down to 
twenty- three . There wasn't as much studying done, because we 
all relaxed, having overcome the fear of algebra, Latin and the 
teachers. We found out that they, too, were human and not 
s uperh uman . 

In the third year there were only nineteen grave Juniors 
looking forward to the day when we would be the "Big Shots" of the 
Campus, "The Seniors." 

Now that we have reached this destination, that feeling has 
gone and another one has taken its place, a feeling of regret and 
sadness because our happy years here have ended. 

Leone East, Historian 



We, the senior class of Barium Springs High School, 1935, 
do hereby will and bequeath: 

To Mr. Johnston, our very best friend at Barium, our love 
and admiration for all the things he has done for us, and our 
appreciation for the way he has helped and guided us during our 
stay here. 

To Miss Irene McDade, our thanks and love for her services 
as our class teacher and advisor. 

To the Junior class, all the senior privileges that we didn't 
get and especially the last two nights at the Mid-Piedmont Tourna- 
ment (if there is one next year). 

To the Sophomore class, our athletic ability as a class and 
as individuals. 

To the Freshman class, anything that they are bright enough 
to find, in hopes that it will be brains enough to pass ninth 
grade r^ath and and Latin. 

Next, we as individuals do will and bequeath to our friends 
the following articles: 

I, Bonnie McKenzie, being entirely sane, I hope, and in good 
health, do hereby will and bequeath to Louise Martin all my old 
Cutex bottles, and to anyone that can fill it, my place as 
"O'Kelley Housecat." 

I, Ernest Clark, do hereby will and bequeath to my brother, 
Oscar, all my old love letters, souvenirs, etc., and any other 
such junk that I don't take with me. (Maybe I should disinherit 
him, but why bother? It will all be the same.) 


I, Laura Lane McKee, do hereby will and bequeath to Bertha, 
Neil and Hattie, my ability to finish High School. I ain't got 
nothin' else and nowhere to put it. 

I, Ed Burney, do will to my beloved brother, David, every- 
thing that I don't take with me. (That's not saying much.) 

I, Thelma Johnston, do will and bequeath to my sister, Lucile, 
part of my pleasing personality. (Poor Lucile!) 

I, J. Carson Wood, as a tax paying citizen of North Carolina, 
demand my just rights, and as long as I get them, then, everything 
is 0. K. I do hereby will and bequeath to no one any particular 
thing,' but the day of my departure I will have a great scramble 
over at Jennie Gilmer for all individuals' interest. 

I, Leone East, leave to my kid brother, my angelic disposition. 
It's a rare trait, Arnium. 

I, Eston Lackey, do hereby will and bequeath to Ernest White 
my place in the senior cl assroom. and to Fred Elliott my place on the 
football team, in hopes that they will do better than I did. 

I, Iris Spencer, do hereby will and bequeath to Linda Culp, 
the Roosevelt pillow in our room; to Margaret Moore, all of the 
old dresses and shoes that she can find. 

I, Miriam Sanders , do hereby will and bequeath to my sisters, 
Mary Elizabeth and Lillian, my good standing in school. 

I, T. L, 0' Kelly, being in my right mind and in the possession 
of all my faculties, do hereby will and bequeath first to all 
my classmates and friends my goodwill and friendship for all time. 
Second, to the president of next year's graduating class, all the 
c a r e s j worries, trials, and tribulations that I have had. I hope 
that they will not ruin your health and disposition as they have mine. 


I, Elsie Brown, do hereby will and bequeath to Bernice Stone my 
cracked mirror which she has so faithfully helped me use every Sunday 

I, Maude Inman, do hereby will and bequeath to my little sister, 
Annie, everything I leave behind that will be of any use to her. 

I, A. D. Potter, do hereby will and bequeath to John Donaldson 
and John Henry Ellis all my money in the Statesville banks (if they 
beat me to it), and to Joe Mike, that brown shoe string that he has 
so often asked me for. 

I, Irene Shannon, do hereby will and bequeath to my big brother, 
Eugene, my height of five feet and one-half inch. (Be sure you use 
it more than I did.) 

I, Sydney Parrish, do hereby will and bequeath to "Glutton" 
Barnhill my place on the Red Truck every time it has a wreck, and 
to my little brother, Dick, my ability to shoot marbles in hopes 
he will win as many as I have. 

I, Joy Stone, leave to Irene Fort the privilege of rooming 
with my kid sister, Bernice. I hope you don't fuss and fight as 
we have. To Bernice, I will my reputation as the quietest pupil 
in the eleventh grade. 

Joy Stone, Lawyer. 



On learning that in the stars lies one's fortunes, I decided 
to go to the home of a friend, an astronomer, and gaze at them 
through a twentieth century telescope to find what had become 
of my classmates of '35. 

Going up into his high tower, I gazed at each star in turn, 
but not one of them could I find. I decided that my aim was too 
high so I focused it on the earth; I had no difficulty in spotting 
them because all were very prominent. 

First turning the telescope on Paris, I saw our old Class 
President, T. L. O'Kelley, Jr., going into an opera house. T. L. 
has at least realized his ambition as a famous musician. 

Next I turned toward New York where I saw a famous social 
leader, Leone East, wife of a millionaire. 

Looking westward I saw a magnificant building. Looking closely 
I was able to distinguish the words, Potter's Life Insurance Company. 
It was A, D. Potter, owner of the largest insurance company in the 
worl d . 

A school building next attracted my attention. Iris Spencer 
was now superintendent of the school, 

I saw next a basketball game in progress at Northwestern 
University. I know Northwestern was winning because Carson Woods 
was the i r Coach . 

Speaking of basketball, I often see the name of Irene Shannon, 
one of the famous women coaches of the world. 

I glanced about and discovered where the rest of my classmates 



Joy and Red surprised us all by marrying shortly after our 
graduation. It was a good match for Joy because Sydney is now 
President of Reynolds Tobacco Company. 

Most any night you turn on your radio you can hear the two 
famous singers, Ed Burney and Elsie Brown. 

Laura Lane McKee is a buyer at a large department store in 
New York. The owner, another classmate of ours, is Eston Lackey. 

No wonder everyone likes to see Davidson play football and 
win its games, for Cheek Freeman is head coach there. 

When we read the New York Times we often see the name of the 
editor, Ernest Clark. 

Bonnie McKenzie has become one of the famous artists of the 
day. You can see her works on most any magazine cover. 

Maude Inman is Superintendent of nurses at Johns Hopki ns . If 
you need an operation be sure to go there. 

Thelma Johnston is now owner of a beauty shop in New York. 
Her work on our hair must have helped her some. 

Miriam Sanders, Prophet 



We started back to school today after nearly two weeks of 
hoi i days . 

I suppose most everybody is busy either making or keeping their 
New Year's resol uti ons . 

Did you enjoy the holidays? We sure did, for when we woke up 
Sunday morning everything was completely covered with snow. We had 
to walk where we thought the sidewalks were, with the result that 
there were tracks in every direction. Snow balls and sleds were 
kept going until today when we didn't have much time for play. 

Santa finally got around to our house on Christmas Eve after all 
the wondering if he would ever come. Everybody was pleased with 
what he or she received and we thank all of our kind friends who 
played Santa Claus to us. 

There were lots of visitors, especially the children's 
relatives, on campus during the holidays. 

We are now looking forward to getting our report cards for 
the first four months, which is the first semester, and we are 
all wondering what we made on our examinations. 

Mr. Sams invited us to see "A Christmas Carol" and "Freckles" 
during the holiday season. We enjoyed them both. Many thanks, 
Mr. Sams . 

Our class basketball games are over and it won't be long before 
we start playing varsity games. We're hoping to win all of them 
thi s year. 

-Helen Moore 



First Grade--Mae Allen Barrett, Fred Cole 

Second Grade--Stanley Smith 

Third Grade--Tommi e Linsday 

Fourth Grade-- Myrtle Mills 

Fifth Grade--David Burney, Ruth Cole, Charles Nungezer 

Seventh Grade--Edward Cole, Helen Thomas 

Eighth Grade- -Nel 1 i s Johnson, Alice Jones, Charles O'Kelley 

Ninth Grade--Lucy Bryant, Leila Johnston 

Tenth Grade--Berni ce Stone, Joe White, Louise Wilson 

Eleventh Grade--T. L. O'Kelley, Jr., Miriam Sanders 


March 1935 

The St. Cecilia Music Club met in Miss Green's studio on 
March 2nd. 

Following is the program which was rendered: 

Linda Culp played a piano solo entitled "In Uniform." 

"The Country Dance" was played by Louise Martin. 

Stanley Smith, a newcomer to the club, played "The School 

Ruth Cole played "Long, Long Ago." 

"Lily of the Valley" was played by Lugene White. 

David Burney and Miss Green played a duet. 

"The Polish Dance" was played by Irene Fort. 

Fred Edwards played "La Donna Mobile." 

After the program, those in attendance were favored with 
several pieces by our hostesses, Misses Thompson and Green. 




(Paralysis Scare, Old Age and "Flat Feet" of Trucks Keep Children 
Here. Gather at spring; slept in own beds and ate two meals in 
own dining room . ) 

We suppose that by this time everybody knows about our summer 
camping trips. It is a brief outing for all those boys and girls 
who have not been away from Barium Springs for their regular 
vacation visit to relatives or friends. There are usually about 
100 children left over, and in the past, we have had most 
delightful trips to Myrtle Beach, Lake Lure, Lake Waccamaw, and 
last year, to Swannanoa. 

This year, for various reasons, we could not make a long 
trip. In the first place, it did not look so good to be hauling 
a hundred youngsters around over a state that was in the throes of 
a panic over infantile paralysis. It looked like flaunting 
Providence. Another reason was the fact that our trucks are getting 
a little bit decrepit and rheumatic, and sometimes have "flat 
feet." So this year, we went camping in our own back yard, slept 
in our own beds, and ate breakfast and supper in our own dining 

Immediately after breakfast the whole party went to the spring, 
and there were games of every description, all during the day; 
games that you know about, such as horseshoe pitching, checkers and 
so on; and a lot that you never heard about, which were the products 
of the fertile brain of Miss Carpenter, our case worker. 

By the way, during the period of this camping trip, Miss 

Carpenter was just another kind of case worker. Instead of going 

out and investigating cases of families where application had 

been made for entry into the orphanage, she investigated cases of 


stumped toes, cut fingers, blisters, and misunderstandings and 
she was so good at it she almost lost her other job. 

We ate dinner at the spring. As staple articles of diet, 
we had roasting ears, boiled potatoes, and cantaloupes, and then as 
specials, roast-beef sandwiches, mutton sandwiches, weiners, and on 
a couple of days we tapered off with marshmal 1 ows , and had plenty 
of peaches and watermelons to fill in the otherwise more or 
less empty hours between meals. 

The swimming pool was kept busy. One afternoon the larger 
children went out to our old pleasure ground on the Catawba River, 
and we believe that the very fish in the river were glad to see 
us--they were wondering what had become of us! And when the week 
was over, we reported at the vnfirmary with the usual number of 
mosquito bites, poison ivey cases, and possibly over-eating 
victims that we usually have from our long trips. There was a 
noted difference in the amount of tan accumulated by the campers 
as against their quieter brothers and sisters on the campus. 

The serving of the meals to the campers in the dining room 
was quite different from the regular routine. Mrs. Purdy, the 
dining room matron, just cut off half the dining room for the 
campers, and they acted just like they were on a camp. They sat 
where they pleased and seemed to be more or less free from 
ordinary dining room inhibitions. A casual visitor might have 
wondered, on entering the dining room, to note that the children 
on his right were behaving in a most demure and lady-like manner, 
while the children on his left were in a more boisterous and 
hilarious humor, 


This situation lasted for five days and then we settled down to our 
usual routine, without any harm being done to our regular manners or 

The youngsters continued to get a great thrill out of these camping 
parties. We hope they will continue. Sometimes they do become a little 
trying on grownups, but not enough to warrant their discontinuance. 

We heard once of ar editor who was almost lynched when he published 
in his paper the day after Christmas that there were "364 more shopping 
days til next Christmas!" We don't go to such extremes with our youngsters 
here, but on the day after the camping party, there were some 60 who made 
the inquiry as to where we were going to have our next year's camping party. 

It's a great life if you don't weaken! 




(Dallas, 15, and Dennis Williams, 12, go by bus to re-establish home 
in Idaho.) 

Did you ever get uneasy over sending a youngster somewhere 
on the train or bus? Well, listen to this: The family from which 
two little boys came to the orphanage about eight years ago was re- 
established way out in Cottonwood, Idaho, which is not yery far 
from the Pacific Ocean. The family was in shape to take the boys 
back. The problem was getting them to their new home. The rail- 
roads were consulted and the bus people were consulted. 

We knew from past experience that it would be perfectly safe 
to entrust youngsters of this age to the railroad people as they 
are most careful in looking after children when put in their care. 
There was one instance that made history, we thought. That was 
when 10 children (the oldest one under 12 years) were sent from 
Barium Springs to New York on a day coach, necessitating changes in 
Salisbury and Washington, and arriving in New York to be met by a 
person they had never seen before, They made that trip without 
any disturbing incident, and enjoyed the trip possibly more than 
if a grown person had been along to keep watch on them. 

In arranging this trip to Cottonwood, Idaho, the schedule 
that the bus offered suited a little better than that by train, and 
so these two youngster s--a boy of 12 and a boy of 15-- 
started off, They left Statesville at 9:30 a.m., August 26th. 
Their first stop was Asheville; then Knoxville; Nashville; 
Evansviile, Ind.; St. Louis, Mo.; Kansas City, Mo.; Denver, Col.; 
Cheyenne, Wyoming; Ogden, Utah; Pendletown, Oregon; Lewiston, Oregon 
and finally, Cottonwood, Idaho. At 6:00 p.m., Friday, August 30th, 


they arrived home safe and sound, dirty and hungry, and with the 
memory of a thrill that will last them all their lives. 

These youngsters had a pocket full of postal cards which they 
were supposed to write at each changing place, but it was so hard 
to keep up with pencils and find mail boxes, that this schedule was 
not entirely carried out, but enough postal cards drifted in to 
let us know that they were getting along all right. Whenever there 
was a bus change, the boys managed it themselves without difficulty 

This was our first experience of a long trip by bus and it 
appears that this comparatively new method of transportation is 
now as careful to take care of youngsters committed to their 
care as the railroads have been for a number of years. Quite 
some advance over conditions 10 or 12 years ago! 

To repeat the question at the head of this article: If you 
are ever uneasy about sending a child 50 or 75 miles in the care of 
a bus driver, remember the success that we had sending two boys 
entirely across the continent. 

Dennis and Dallas Williams are the names of the two boys. 
Dallas' nickname is "Chin." His chin is rather prominent. ~Kot 
enough to keep him from being a fine looking boy, but just enough 
to indicate that it would take a pretty good sized obstacle to stop 
the lad. He had the kind of chin that means determination. If he 
had not had that, we might have been a little more uneasy about 
starting these two boys on such a long trip. We have no doubt 
that as they grow to manhood, that Dallas will be glad to know 
that as a lad, the boys called him "Chin." 



(Rev. E. G. Carson, of Statesville, was speaker at the opening 
exercises; new teachers; R. G. Calhoun began duties as Principal 
of School . ) 

Traini ng, character and industrial habits are three fundamental 
necessities for a truly successful life in the opinion of Rev. E. 
G. Carson, pastor of the Pressly Memorial Associate Reformed 
Presbyterian Church, who spoke September 5th at the opening 
exercises of the 44th school session at the Presbyterian Orphans' 
Home here. 

He prefaced his expounding of those three contentions by 
asking his hearers a number of pertinent questions: "What is 
necessary that we might live worthwhile lives? What do we need 
to do to be a success? What do we intend to do when we 
become grown men and women?" He told of questions being asked 
some youngsters as to why they went to school. One replied "to 
make more money" but the answer of another was "to make my life 
count, for so much that the world will be a little better off when I 
am gone." It was the latter aim which the speaker commended to 
members of the Barium Springs school. 

Taking up his main points, Mr Carson told his audience that 
they must have some kind of training to be a success, that they 
must be equipped. He cited the training oftentimes obtained by 
many people in skillful professions who were unable to read and 
write, but he maintained that it was far more worthwhile to have the 
literary training plus a knowledge of how to use one's hands in 
working. Moses and Paul, the first living before Christ and the 
second after Him, were held up as the two greatest men in history 
in the opinion of the speaker. 


Both of these men, he said, were mighty in words and deeds. 
You might not be like these two men, but you can help the world with 
your wisdom and character, he said. He admonished the pupils to get 
all the training they possibly could, and told them that the 
teachers were at Barium to assist them in the development of their 
mental powers and capacities. 

In developing the point of character as a necessity to success, 
the speaker told of one of the best educated men in the community 
in which he was reared who was a drunkard, and whose life could not 
be termed a success because of his intemperance. He recalled another 
person who was kindhearted and a good neighbor, but lacked the 
essential elements of a good character and thus was classified as a" 
dismal failure. "A good character," he averred, "is one of the 
most valuable assets you can have." 

"You might have good training and an excellent character," he 
said in coming to his final point, "but these combined will not make 
your life one of worthwhi 1 eness unless you have industrious 
habits, unless you want to work and are willing to work. If a 
person won't work, there isn't much to him. Don't be lazy." He 
recalled that the children at the Home were trained to work, were 
given every advantage to build a good character, and expressed 
a hope that these two assets would be further enhanced by a 
willingness of the individual to make full application of their 
knowledge and character and training. 

R. G. Calhoun, principal of the school at Barium Springs, 

presided over the opening exercises. The assembled pupils and many 

visitors sang two songs during the program; Rev. W. C. Brown, 

pastor of Little Joe's Church, conducted the devotional, and Miss 

Laura Northrop, one of the teachers, sang a solo. 


Two new people are members of the high school faculty this year 
Mr. George Neel , formerly principal of the Troutman schools for a 
number of years, is teacher of physics and Mr. Sossamon who was 
also connected with Troutman last year, has replaced Miss Letha 
Copeland as teacher of foreign languages, 

Mr. Calhoun began his duties as principal this fall, 
having been elevated to that post this spring when T. L. O'Kelley 
resigned. Mr. O'Kelley had been with the Barium schools for 11 
years, Mr. Calhoun has been connected with the orphanage in a 
teaching capacity since his graduation from Davidson College in 

The personnel of the grammar grades remains unchanged. Mrs. 
E. D. Holton is seventh grade teacher; Miss Mary Faye Stevenson, 
sixth; Miss Gladys Burroughs, fifth; Miss Margaret Bell, fourth; 
Miss Laura Northrop, third; and Miss Minnie Morrison, first and 
second . 

Others on the high school faculty besides Messrs. Calhoun, Neel, 
and Sossamon are Miss Irene McDade and Miss Reba Thompson. 



Dec. 18--This morning Sarah Fort was exempted from one of her 
examinations, so she came home and helped Mama take the children, 
who do not go to school, to Statesville to see if we could see 
Santa Claus. We didn't see him but we saw some of his work and had 
a good time. Mama took the boys and girls who go to school in the 
afternoon, and they had better luck. They saw Santa Claus on the 
street . 

Dec. 19- -Mi s s Carson, a former teacher at Barium, came out with 
five other ladies and most of her first grade from Statesville. We 
are always glad to see Miss Carson. Wish you could see all the nice 
things her first grade brought us. Included were toys, candies and 
apples. Many, many thanks. 

Dec. 21--Mr. Sams invited us to see "Scrooge," based on the 
Christmas carol by Charles Dickens. Thanks a lot, Mr. Sams. 

Dec. 22--We were surprised to see snow on the ground this 
morning. Virginia Hall Mission Band, of which Miss Rebekah 
Carpenter is leader, gave a Christmas pageant and it was very beauti- 
ful. Mama Girt took us and we enjoyed it a great deal^ for Mama and 
the big girls have been reading to us about the birth of Jesus, 
and we have learned the first twelve verses of the second chapter 
of Matthew. 

Dec. 23--Mama Girt decorated our Christmas tree and it looks 
real pretty, too. Charles Barrett said he thought Santa Claus 
would not come to see people who had pine Christmas trees, so it 
is a good thing that Mr. Clark brought us a cedar, for we don't 
want Santa to miss us. 


Dec. 24--Mr. Sams has invited us to see another show. We 
appreciate his thoughtfulness and kindness to us and sincerely 
hope he has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. A nice lady, 
Miss Durham of Kannapolis, brought us three nice scrap books. A 
heap of thanks to you, Miss Durham. When we came back from the 
show^Gene Love's aunt and uncle came and brought him a nice big 
red wagon and lots of other presents. Tonight we all hung up our 
stockings for Santa Claus to fill and put our names on them. We 
left the lights on the Christmas tree so Santa Claus could read 
our names better. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy McGirt came to spend 
Christmas with Mama McGirt and us. We hope they enjoy their 

Dec. 25--My! Santa Claus sure was good to all of us. All 
our stockings were full of candy, nuts and fruit, and beside our 
stockings were all sorts of toys. Each of us got presents from 
under the Christmas tree. Mr. and Mrs, Johnston came over to see 
what Santa Claus brought us and 'Daddy" Johns to., gave out the 
presents. Santa Claus left him and Mrs. Johnston some candy and 
fruit, too, Al ! of the 5 girls got a pretty doll and either got a 
trunk or tea-set with them, and maybe, both. We got lots of story 
books from which the big girls will read us bedtime stories, and 
also lots of color books. There were many musical instruments, 
drums horns, a violin,, a piano, an accordion and harps. We had 
almost enough instruments for a band. Santa brought us tops, balls, 
train?, trucks, wagons, cars 3 marbles and all sort of playthings. 
Santa certainly made the 21 members of this cottage awful happy 
by his visit. We woul i like to thank Santa Claus for all the 
pretty play toys. 













Joe White 

Angel i a Fowler 

Vel ma Berni ce Stone 

Ralph Spencer 

Margaret Faye Moore 

Dewey Barnh i 1 1 

Eva Lucille Sluder 

Fred Edwards 

Sadie Eudy 

Ernest White 

Louise Wilson 

Charles Ga 1 lyon 

Irene Fort 

Edwa rd Fl owe rs 

Georgie Allene Burg in 

Roy Wilson 

Margaret Wilson 

Benjamin Morrow 

Mi 1 ton Gaski 1 1 

Mascot : Mabel Mi 1 ton 

Ace Medal: Roy Wilson 




Best-All-Around Sadie Eudy 

Most Studious--- Louise Wilson 

Most Athletic Bernice Stone 

Most Attract ive Irene Fort 

Most Ambitious Margaret Moore 

Most Amusing ■ Georgia Burg in 

Most Pleasing Personality- Eva Sluder 

Cutest Angel i a Fowler 

Frankest Margaret Wilson 


Best-All -Around Ed. Flowers 

Most Studious Joe White 

Most Athletic Ralph' Spencer 

Handsomest Ben Morrow 

Best Sport Charles Gallyon 

Most Ambitious Dewey Barnhil 1 

Most Professional Ernest White 

Best Dressed Roy Wilson 

Wittiest Fred Edwards 



It was the third day of September, 1932; a calm, peaceful 
autumn day, radiant with the sunshine of hope, cheer and joyous 
promise that the good ship Barium High School stood at anchor 
at the wharf of a new school year. 

As the ship stood at anchor on that eventful morning of 
September, the passengers began to arrive. Soon so many were 
crowded around us that all the berths were filled and we were 
assured of a very happy voyage. 

We were young and socially inclined, so it did not take us 
long to become acquainted with our fellow passengers, nor to feel 
very much at home with our pilot, the captain, and the porter. 
Our fears of shipwreck were entirely wiped away in the assurance 
that so able a staff of seamen had us in their charge. 

The usual intimacy of shipboard soon sprang up between us 
voyagers and we have been loyal shipmates ever since. We sailed 
over Freshman Sea and received our checks of identification from 
the purser almost before we knew. 

It would take too long to read the complete log of this event- 
ful voyage. It would be very interesting to tell the many delightful 
experiences, the changes in the passenger list at the various 
points along the way, the partings from this one, and the welcoming 
of that, with the why and the wherefore of it all; but after all, 
it has but little vital significance except to ourselves, the few 
who still remain together to land at commencement wharf. The best 
and most vital history of any person or thing is never given to 

the world. So must it be with the class of 1936! 


We are accomplished in all things. We have often proved 
to you how well we can sing, dance, read, recite, and perform in 
many entertaining ways before the public. lie have all proved 
our skill in athletics, and won many honors for our class and 
school , 

We have within our ranks: poets, musicians, actresses, 
preachers, statesmen, judges, and one president. Do not ask me 
to specify the which or the who. Ask me thirty years from now, 
and perhaps I may be better able to say. 

Now we look at the larger, more majestic ocean ahead and 
feel that our experience has fitted us to withstand every storm, 

and weather any opposing force with no fear of disaster. The 

ii it 
voyage of Real Life is now here! 

Louise Wilson, Historian 



We, the senior class of Barium Springs High School, 1936, 
do hereby will and bequeath: 

To Mr. Johnston, our love and thanks for the many oppor- 
tunities he has given us to make a successful life. 

To Mr. Leroy Sossamon, our appreciation for the way he has 
guided us through our senior year at Barium. 

To the Junior Class, the ability to unify their class as we 
have ours. 

To the Sophomores, our natural instinct to be quiet. 

To the Freshman Class, our polished and dignified manner. 

I, Dewey Barnhill, do hereby will and bequeath to Arthur 
Sigmon my place as right hand man on Mr. Clark's group. 

I, Sadie Eudy, do hereby will and bequeath to "Little Red," 
all of my old pickle jars. 

I, Charles Gallyon, do hereby will and bequeath to my little 
brother, Rabbit, everything I own except what I take with me. 

I, Georgia Burg in, do hereby will and bequeath to John 
Donaldson my ready wits. 

I, Margaret Wilson, do hereby will and bequeath to my 
brother, Marshall, everything he can find, and to my little 
sister, Annie Sue, my good standing with the natrons. 

I, Angelia Fowler, do hereby will and bequeath to the first 
girl that gets to my room, everything that I leave behind. 
(Don ' t rush me . ) 

I, Fred Edwards, do hereby will and bequeath to "Coach 
Mills," all my old tooth paste tubes. I hope you get more out 


of them than I did. To "Jug" Cornet, my place as "campus chauffeur," 
but don't hit any more Frederi cksons . (_A FeE.»£^frugeje. £d..\ 

I, Ben Morrow, do hereby will and bequeath to the newest 
comer at Barium, all the pleasure and good times that I have had 
at Barium. 

I, Louise Wilson, do hereby will and bequeath to Laura Smith, 
a chair in the lobby, to use while waiting for people as she has 
for me, and to Nellie Johnson, all the things I leave behind. 

I, Joe White, do hereby will and bequeath to my sister, 
Lugene, my ability to study hard. To John Ellis, my marbles. 
To Joe Savage, my junk. To Skinny Farmer, my place in the cell 
next to "L. S. U." East. Last but not least, I will my love and 
gratitude to everyone here at Barium. 

I, Ernest White, do hereby will and bequeath to my sister, 
Lugene, my radio, and to Arthur Sigmon, my place as boss of the room, 
To "Rat" Blue, the broom handle. Scramble the rest between Ray 
Norman and Joe Savage. 

I, Roy Wilson, do hereby will and bequeath to Clyde Johnson, 
all my pants that are too small for me. To Ed Cole, the duck legs 
that I've been breaking in for h i it the past years. To Nellie 
Johnson, some of my common sense. 

I, Milton "Aggie" Gaskill, do hereby will and bequeath to 
my dear, dear roommate, Ray Norman, the dungeon and all that 
goes with it. He can also have all the old c o c a - c o 1 a signs on the 
wall. To Ralph Spencer, I leave all my ability to fix radios, and 
to him also the use of the dungeon for a radio workshop. "As 
soon as your business fails, come to me and I will see if I can 
get you some kind of an office job." 

I, Ralph Spencer, do hereby will and bequeath to David ; all 


my shaving material, and to Lee, my place at the Woman's Building 

I, Ed. Flowers, do hereby will and bequeath to David, my 
place as being the pest of the campus. 

I, Irene Fort, do hereby will and bequeath to Sarah, my 
place of working in the refreshment stand at football games, and 
at the basketball tournament, and hope that she can do better 
than I did in catching fellows. 

I, Eva Sluder, do hereby will and bequeath to my sister, 
Cleo, all of my old clothes that I leave, and to Hazel Miller all 
my old shoes. 

I, Margaret Moore, do hereby will and bequeath to Laura 
Smith, my place as being late for school, and hope she won't be 
fussed at by the teachers as I have. To Nellie Johnson, all my 
"ole" socks that I brought back from home in hopes they will 
serve the purpose. 

I, Bernice Stone, do will and bequeath to Lugene White, my 
cracked mirror, which the past two senior classes have used 
so faithfully. Don't forget to pass it on, Lugene. 

--Bernice Stone, Lawyer 



Following are the selections given by the music department: 

Melody in F Rubinstein 

Ernestine Garrett 

Forest Dawn John Thompson 

Betty Lou Wi 1 1 i amson 

Birds in the Branches Rolfe 

Dixie Lee Buie, Lillie Bell Smith 

Fi rst Wal tz ■ Durand 

Nancy Pa rce 1 1 

Minuet and Trio Mozart 

David Burney 

School Day Joys ____ Koelling 

Elizabeth Robards, Betty Whittle, Evelyn Coppedge 

Sea Gardens James F. Cooke 

Ma rth a Price 

Valse-Arebesque Lack 

Johnny Burgin 

Venetian Love Song Nevin 

Mary Duffie Coppedge, Alice Jones 

Oriental Cui 

Sarah Parcel!, Miss Greene 

To the Rising Sun-— Torjussen 

Helen Price 

Overture (William Tell) Rossini 

Alice Jones, Helen Thomas, Lugene White, Miss Greene 



The Senior Class play, "Poor Father"^,was presented by the 
graduates several weeks before graduation. There were two 
presentations. On the first night the performance was gratis 
and it was witnessed by the children at the orphanage. On the 
second evening a nominal admission charge was made to the workers 
and outsiders who were convulsed with laughter almost from beginning 
to end. As a result of the play, the class had a surplus after 
the expenses were paid and made a gift of a choir curtain for 

The following is information about the play, the actors, 
synopsis of the acts, the director and others who assisted in the 
en terta i nmen t : 

A farce in three acts, by J. K. Stafford. 

Characters: William Tompkins, a hard pressed father, Fred 
Edwards; Clifford Tompkins, student of Psychology, Ralph Spencer; 
Harold Caldwell, always in the way, Roy Wilson; Sidney Dummel , a 
wealthy bachelor, Ben Morrow; George Washington Brown, a trifler with 
the truth, Milton Gaskill; Sergeant O'Connor, of the police, Joe 
White; Gladys, the eldest daughter, Irene Fort; Bessie, another 
daughter, Margaret Wilson; Caroline, another daughter, Louise Wilson; 
Mary Tompkins, a distracted mother, Georgia Burgin; Vivian Larmie, 
an actress, Margaret Moore; Marie, the new French maid, Bernice 
Stone . 

Synopsis of acts: Act I — Living room of the Tompkins 1 Home. 
One evening. Act II--The same. That afternoon. Act III — The same. 
That night. 

Direction: Leroy Sossamon. 307 

Properties: Eva Sluder. 

Technicians: Dewey Barnhill, Charles Gallyon, Robert Mills. 

Ushers: Angelia Fowler, Ernest White, Sadie Eudy. 


Program By Grades 

On Friday night, April 24, 1936, the grammar grades 
presented a very interesting program as the first event of the 1936 
commencement. Those taking part and the numbers rendered are as 
f ol 1 ows : 

tf The World Needs Sunshine"", Welcome Chorus; "Happy Farmer," Stanley 
Smith ; w Farmyard Stunt", First Grade; "With Martial Step," Ruth Cole 
and Louise Martin; "Old Folk's at Home," Miller Blue;" As a Boy 
Sees It" John Ammons ; "Scarf Dance," Linda Culp; "Rose Petals," 
Myrtle Mills and Elizabeth Robards; "The Fountain," Hattie Michael; 
'Negro Minstrel", Fifth Grade; "Juba," Frances Lowrance; "Papa's 
Letter," Billie Ammons; Bachelors' Reverie" Third Grade; "Brown- 
Eyed Susans," Virginia Cranfill; "In A Polish Garden," Nancy Parcell 
and Helen Thomas; Readin' The News", Sixth Grade; "Joy Ride," David 
Burney; "Hungarian Dance No 7", Lugene White and Irene Fort; 
Radio and Families", Dick Parrish; "Minuetto," Lei i a Johnston; 
"Favorite Songs in Action', Fourth Grade. 

Lead Drama in One Act 
Class Day Exercises 
On Monday morning, April 27, 1936, of the commencement 
period, the Senior Class made a novel presentation of the class-day 
exercises, the stage being prettily arranged and decorated for that 
particular event. Every one of the seniors had a part in the program, 
during which the last will and testament and the history of the 
class were read by Bernice Stone and Louise Wilson, respectively. 
It was in the form of a drama as follows: 


A drama in one Act, written by the senior English class. 

TIME: Spring 1954. 

PLACE: Pleasantvi 1 le 

CHARACTERS: Louise Wilson, housewife; Bernice Stone, house- 
wife; Joe White, banker; Angelia Fowler, banker's wife; Margaret 
Moore, welfare worker; Sadie Eudy, matron; Margaret Wilson, house^ 
wife; Georgia Burgin, blues singer; Eva Sluder, hostess; Roy 
Wilson, retired inventor; Ben Morrow, movie actor; Fred Edwards, 
newspaperman; Ed Flowers, bank president; Ernest White, wrestler; 
Dewey Barnhill, wrestling coach; Ralph Spencer, radio expert; 
Milton Gaskill, County Agent, Iredell County; Charles Gallyon, 
Secretary of Agriculture; Irene Fort, a professor; Mascot, Mabel 
Milton; Children, Mabel Billings, Gaston Allesandrini. 


Baccalaureate Sermon 

"Be a benediction to the world and a blessing to your state 
by being a good citizen, an asset to society and your Saviour, and not 
a liability," was the plea of Rev. W. W. Akers , pastor of the West 
Avenue Presbyterian Church of Charlotte, in the baccalaureate 
sermon to the graduates of the high school at the Presbyterian Orphans' 
Home when he spoke to them Sunday morning, April 26th. "You've 
received a blessing, pass it on," he urged. 

Mr. Akers used Abraham, one of the most august characters of the 
Bible as an example for the graduates to follow. He used that portion 
of the twelfth chapter of Genesis when Abraham was told to leave his 
own country, when God told Abraham that He would bless him, make 
his name great and pass it on to generations to come. 

"God called Abraham to a particular position, a special place 
and a special work, which shows that God, the Great Architect, has 
a plan for each i ndi vi dual --a divine plan and a divine work. Find 
out that plan and develop it to the best of your ability," was his 
advice. As a second point, he emphasized the strong faith of 
Abraham, who was ready to obey God and adopt His plan, and the 
Charlotte minister pointed out that God always "encourages us in the 
things that He calls us to do. If we take up the cross, if we suffer, 
if we do everything that He calls upon us to do, He enriches us." 

The speaker pointed out that God didn't say to Abraham that He 
would make him famous, or rich, or a great character of the Bible. 
God simply told Abraham that He would make him a blessing, but riches, 
fame and honor and many other things came to Abraham because he obeyed. 

Then followed a series of illustrations to show how men had 

suffered, how they had endured opposition, worked diligently and 

incessantly, sacrificed themselves that they might develoD a scheme 


that would be a blessing to mankind. He mentioned Pasteur, work in 
orthopedic surgery, Marconi, the development of all means of 
transportation, the telephone, thought of intellect, in which all 
men involved in these advances had given them to the world. 

Christ was given to the world, he continued, that the world 
might be blessed through eternal salvation. Special work was 
planned, he asserted, for Moses, Elijah, Paul and countless other 
great men of the Bible. "God's ambition for you and me," he 
averred, "is to be a blessing. He has endowed every individual, and 
whatever that endowment may be for us, God asks you to take it and 
pass it on." 

Night Sermon 

"Facing Life Victoriously," was the subject of another 
stirring and thought-provoking sermon delivered at Barium that night, 
when Rev. Harry K. Holland, pastor of the Plaza Presbyterian Church 
in Charlotte, spoke to the graduates, the assembled members of the 
young people's societies and others who had gathered for the second 
graduation exercise. Throughout this sermon Paul was upheld as the 
great example of faith, as one who lived the victorious life, as one 
who was ready to say at the end of life, "Thy will be done." 

In examining the life of Paul, the visiting minister found 

four distinctions of faith. First of all, he said, Paul had 

faith in himself. "Paul bowed his ho^d to no man; in some ways, he 

was an ultraegotist, but this great man had his faith in himself 

tempered by a super-faith in Jesus. We can't afford to feel that we 

are defeated before we start, you must have faith in your own ability." 

He told of a young baseball plr.yer who was repeatedly farmed out by 

bio leaguers, ar, d his college coach explained it by saying, "He 

doesn't havt: confidence in himself." Confidence can go too far, he 


warned, but not if it is tempered by a knowledge of Christ. 

As a second point, he said that Paul believed in Jesus. "The 
cross of Christ became a glorious fact in Paul's life. He felt 
that he was crucified in Christ. He knew that Christ had already 
saved him. He knew that Christ came as a representative of the 
resources and power of heaven." At this juncture, he told of the 
cry "Man Overboard" that goes up on a ship when a man is washed into 
the sea by a high wave, and the rejoicing that follows when he is 
saved. He felt that the angels looked over the battlements of 
heaven as they watch the saving of a lost soul, and that there was 
glorious rejoicing when a lost man was saved. 

"Paul not only believed in Christ on the cross, but he had faith 
in the presence of Christ in his life. He knew Christ was present 
with him always even in the midst of enemies, when he was shipwrecked, 
wherever he was and with whomsoever he happened to be. Christ 
was there, too. Paul was afraid of nothing and said, "I can do all 
things through Christ which strengthened me." 

As his fourth point, Mr. Holland said that Paul had faith in 
his destiny. "He knew where he was going, and at the end of life 
Hecould say, 'I have fought a good fight.' That destiny of his was 
uppermost, and because of it he could face all difficulties undis- 
turbed and unperturbed." 

In closing, he asked all his hearers, "As you face life, 
will you not have faith in yourself, in Christy in the 

destiny out yonder? You're on the stage of life, playing the 

game of life. Play it like Christ would have you play it. Will 

you not be conscious of His presence, will you not assume the 

attitude of conqueror and victor as you look upon danger and peril, 

those things which make for defeat and which you will inevitably meet? 




(Three splendid addresses or sermons were delivered by visiting 
ministers; awards made; Louise Wilson was valedictorian; Joe White 
gave the salutatory.) 

"Pride of Our Country" was the subject of the commencement 
address delivered here Monday night, April 27, 1936, by Rev. 
Kenneth J. Foreman, D. D., Professor of Bible and philosophy 
at Davidson College, at the closing exercises of the 1936 
graduation program of the Barium Springs High School. The 19 boys 
and girls who finished their careers here were awarded their 
diplomas, various medals were presented^, and other events took place^ 
that night. 

After the processional, Rev. W. C. Brown, pastor of Little 
Joe's church, pronounced the i nvoca ti on^ and the salutatory address 
was delivered by Joe White, second-honor student of the class. 
Irene Fort and Fred Edwards, two of the graduates, played a piano 
duet, "A Song of India." After "A Graden Party" was sung by the 
seven tii grade, Mrs. John Q. Hoi ton, teacher of that grade and 
principal of the grammar school, awarded the certificates of promotion 

Or Foreman's address was followed by the presentation of 
Bibles by S. A Crier, superintendent of the Sunday School. Bern ice 
Stone presented the class gift, which was a choir curtain for 
Little Joe's church, and if any funds were left over after that 
was bought the class directed that it be used for the establish- 
ment of a dramatic fund. The class gift was made possible because 
of net receipts from the class play given earlier in the month. 

Jos, B. Johnston, superintendent of the orphanage, presented 
the medals. Ihe medal for highest grades in the grammer school 

went to Joe Ben Gibbs, and that of the high school to Louise Wilson. 


The music improvement medal went to Lugene White. The Bible medal, 
awarded for the highest grade in the Bible courses and for recitation 
of Scripture passages and other memory work went to Joe White. The 
Ace medal, presented for the most consistent effort during the stay 
at Barium and voted upon by the high school and workers, went to Roy 

At the beginning of the 1935-1936 school session, Fred W. 
Sherrill of Statesville, offered ten dollars in prizes, broken up 
into four equal parts for the boy and girl making the highest 
grade in high school, and for the boy and girl showing the most 
improvement. Louise Wilson and Joe White made the highest marks, 
and Helen Price and Clayborne Jessup showed the greatest improve- 
ment. Each was given $2.50. 

Mr. Johnston presented two medals to Fred Johnson, which he had 
won by winning first place in the 100- and 220-yard dashes at the 
state high school track meet, and Ed Flowers was awarded a m al 
for being runner-up in the 220-yard dash in the same meet. Mr. Johnston 
also publicly presented the loving cup which this year became the 
permanent possession of Barium by virtue of winning the state wrestling 
title for three years. The captains of the three teams that have 
won in successive years were all members of the graduation class. 
They were Ernest White, Ralph Spencer, and Ed Flowers. 

J. A. Steele, superintendent of schools in Iredell County, was 
present and made a few brief remarks, after which R. G. Calhoun, 
principal of the local schools presented the diplomas to each 
graduate. Joe White, president of the class, acknowledged them and 
Louise Wilson, high honor student, made the valedictory. After 
singing the alma mater, Dr. Foreman pronounced the benediction. 


At the outset of his address that night, the Davidson College 
professor said that it might seem peculiar for him to use the 
subject, "Pride of Our Country," for a commencement address, but he 
advanced as his reason the great tendency on the part of people to 
feel patriotic only on special occasions, just as some people 
parade their religion on Sunday and set it aside during the other 
s i x days of the week . 

"What do you see when you see the flag?" he asked. Do you 
see your country as 3,000,000 square miles?" Immediately he con- 
trasted the size of America with other nations, and gave some idea 
of the vastness of the state of Texas alone by saying that there 
was a cotton patch in Texas larger than the whole state of Ohio, 
that there are timber stretches greater than Massachusetts, grazing 
pastures larger than Pennsylvania and corn plots greater than the 
state of Illinois, This was simply one of the many ways in which 
he pointed out to his hearers the vastness of the United States. 

He asked them to think of their country as a varied one from 
the products that are grown and the climates that it has. He urged 
them to think of their country "in all its power'.' Someone has 
said that the American flag looked like a piece of stick candy, and 
an individual agreed when he said, 'Yes, it's made everybody sick 
who has tried to lick it.' Outside of Britian, America is the 
most powerful nation of the world. You're a native-born citizen, be 
proud of it, be glad of it. Think of the beauty of the country, think 
of the people in it. 

Asserting that first and foremost the flag stands for duty, he 

followed this up by saying that the flag does not mean getting a 

government job. "There are too many people whose whole idea is 

to get something out of the government, not doing something for it, 


but doing the country for something. The flag doesn't mean 
keeping things just as they used to be. The idea of some people 
today is to put the constitution under a glass cage. That's not 
patriotism. That's stupid. Neither does the flag mean, 'my country, 
right or wrong, but always my country.' Your country may be wrong." 

On the positive side he said that the flag does mean to know 
your country, know its history, being a press-agent for it. It means 
knowing your nation as it is. It means working for your country. 
It means thinking of government as yourself, for after all "we are 
the government. Whatever the governemnt does through all of its 
alphabet, from A to Z, is paid by you and me. Whatever is done, we're 
res pons i bl e . " 

He went on to say that the flag means upholding the fundamental 
and basic ideals of the forefathers. "How many people read the Con- 
stitution, the Declaration of Independence, Washington's addresses, 
Lincoln's second inaugural address? You'll find," he said, "that 
our forefathers stood for liberty but people nowadays are losing 
their independence, they are letting other people think for them, 
they are becoming cogs in a machine. Believe in the right and 
privilege of the individual." 

Lastly, Dr. Foreman declared that the flag meant "maintaining 
the ideals of our religion. It will be a black day for America 
when religion becomes a form, something enclosed in a book, and to 
be looked at and used only on Sundays. In North America a great 
many people came over to find God. If the ideals of God become 
old-fashioned or thrown overboard, it will be a dark day for 
America. Make your religion real." 



May 1936 

We are starting to write up a department at Barium in each 
issue of The Messenger. There are some 15 departments. What should 
we write about first? After much thought, we decided to start at the 
end and back up. So many of our departments head up in the dining 
room that we thought it best to write about that first, and then 
from it, trace back the flow of milk and beef to the dairy; the 
flew of corn meal, pork mutton, chicken, etc. to the farm; the flow 
of fruit to the orchards, and the 57 varieties of vegetables to 
the truck farm. 

We are making a study of the "power-house" first, and then 
going upstream to the various tributaries that make that power- 
house effect i ve . 

During the winter time, our dining room and kitchen are 
organized as follows: Two girls assist the kitchen matron in 
preparing breakfast. Then two assistant matrons help the regular 
kitchen matron to prepare dinner, Four girls assist the kitchen 
matron in preparing supper, In the summer time, this routine is 
the same, except that there are no assistant matrons. A group of 
girls take the place of the assistant matrons and help prepare 
d i nne r . 

Our breakfast consists (usually) of cereal, milk, sometimes 
eggs , sometimes bacon, and on rare occasions, cakes. 

Don't get the idea from this that this is just a pink-tea 
affair You know how big a box of Post-Toast i es is. Well, we 
open 36 boxes to start off breakfast, and hold 20 boxes in reserve 
for second helpings. \ery seldom are there any left of the 56 

boxes of cereal for breakfast. In addition, we quite often have 


oatmeal. You know how oatmeal swells--just a couple of tea- 
spoonsful swell up and make a breakfast for a neat little family 
of two or three; well, it takes nine pounds (three of those big 
three-pound packages) to begin to go around our dining room! 
Eggs? Oh, yes, we have eggs frequently- Sometimes hardboiled 
eggs, sometimes scrambled and these eggs are not like Mormon 
Missionaries--that is, they don't go in pairs. Usually the part 
allotted to each child is one egg. Even with that, one complete 
crate of eggs doesn't quite do the job; 400 are needed for a meal. 

What do we have for dinner? Well, that just depends on the 
time of year. If it is sweet potato time (and that usually lasts 
all year!), it takes five bushels for the meal. Four bushels 
of Irish potatoes seem to do. Nobody has accurately measured 
the amount of beans that is necessary to string, although when 
they are canned, it takes 16 gallons. It takes 21 cans of pie 
peaches to arrange for peach pie all 'round. The Howard Cottage 
girls say that it takes a whole truck load of string beans to 
go around (they are the ones vvho have to string them). Fifty 
dozen roasting ears takes care of the situation; and then, to 
wind up the meal (except in fresh fruit time) 12 gallons of 
canned f rui t . 

For supper, there is usually that good old Southern dish-- 
grits. We use it as a sort of mortar to make a homogeneous 
mixture of the other things that usually come along at this meal. 
We are not so hurried at supper as we are at other meals and can 
take more time. Usually a meat course appears and that meat business 
requires an explanation in itself. Instead of trying to describe 
to you a daily ration, we will sum it up with a week's. 


Here is what we eat in a week's time in the way of meat: Two 
hogs (average weight, 225 pounds); half a beef (around 400 
pounds), all of which is interspersed with chicken occasionally, 
rabbit occasionally, and mutton more frequently. On those 
occasions when we do have fried chicken, it requires the preparation 
of 75 unfortunate young chickens. When it is rabbit, it takes 20 
frying-sized rabbits. These rabbits, by the way, weigh about six 
pounds each . 

There is another item that appears on our tables at practically 
e\/ery meal, and that is 40 gallons of milk. We have recently made 
some improvements in the dairy department which will be described 
more in detail later which makes this milk just taste better and 
do better. Did you ever taste milk that left a lingering after- 
taste, as though you had eaten a particularly tasty nut? Well, 
that's the way our milk is now. 

The kitchen prepares, in the course of a year, approximately 
297,920 individual meals; fixes lunches to be taken to the cottages 
for 33,280 meals; and to keep this business rolling the farm 
contributes 2,000 bushels of wheat to bread us; 16,000 pounds of 
pork; usually about 40 lambs; 500 chickens; 36,000 eggs; and 
corn meal necessary for cornbread and such. 

The orchards supply approximately 1,000 bushels of peaches 
for eating, strawberries, raspberries, pears, apples, plums, in 
varying amounts and from 500 to 1,000 pounds of honey to coax 
it down-- if it needs any coaxing! 

In addition to this, the orchard department cans . an average 

of 8,000 cans of fruit and vegetables. The dairy supplies from 

45,000 to 50,000 gallons of milk and 25 beeves; and the truck farm 

supplies an endless variety of vegetables and meloNS . In addition 


to this, we usually buy about 1,000 gallons of canned fruit and 
vegetables of the varieties that we are unable to produce here^ and 
receive as donations from individuals and organizations a tremendous 
amount of canned goods to help round out a comprehensive diet. 

During the year we use approximately 20,000 pounds of sugar, 
in addition to that used in canning. We use about a ton of salt 
in the kitchen, in addition to that used for preserving meat. 
Coffee and tea are usued in very small quantities. Our youngsters 
do not seem to need stimulants to get. cranked up in the mornings. 
And now we come to the dining room. 

The kitchen group prepares the food; the dining room group 
serves it. There are 40 tables seating eight people each. There 
is one waitress to two tables which means 20 girls are on duty. 
The meals are put on the tables about five minutes before meal 
time, and the waitress sees that food is kept supplied. The amount 
first put on the table is barely enough for a modest helping 
for each one at the table, and it is the waitress' duty to keep 
the dishes replenished. 

It is up to the waitress to estimate the total consuming 
power of the 16 people that she is waiting on. If she is a bad 
guesser, in that she does not bring in enough, there are 16 people 
who will inform her about this in more or less guarded language. 
If she brings too much, the amount of her bad estimate goes to the 
pigs. They are served from the back porch. There is no table- 
cloth on their table, but nevertheless their food is almost 
as carefully taken care of as the other. It goes through a chute to 
a barrel and this barrel is hauled each morning to the Hog College 
where it eventually graduates into pork. 


The waitresses in the dining room are such good guessers that 
the supply that goes to the pigs is a very small quantity. It is 
the duty of this group of young girls to set the tables, to wash 
the dishes afterwards, clean up the dining room, change table- 
cloths, to generally police that very important gathering place-- 
the dining room. These girls have to get up a little earlier in 
the mornings than the rest of the population. They have to hustle 
immediately after breakfast to get the dishes washed and the tables 
set for dinner. They have to hurry in from school at noon and 
serve meals. One grade of them--the seventh--has to stay an extra 
hour at dinner to wash the dishes and otherwise clean up the wreck- 
age so that the work can be finished in the afternoon. They simply^ 
go to school one hour later and stay one hour longer than the others. 
This may explain why there are so few failures in the seventh grade! 

The kitchen is presided over by Kiss Boonje Long; the dining 
room by Mrs. Mamie Purdy. Their jobs recognize no holidays, no 
let-up of any kind. Appetites must be satisfied, and there is 
nothing any more permanent about a meal than there is about a bath! 
Three hundred and more children leave the dining room three times 
a day with a satisfied expression on their faces. Within six hours 
they are back most amazingly empty! We wonder what becomes of 
it all. It is only when we measure and weigh up at the first of 
the year that we get some inkling of the extent of the miracle of 
turning bread into boys and girls. 

It just looks like the food that the boys raise and the girls 
prepare is more effective in building up bone, muscle and brain 
than the article which is not home-raised. It seems to do a lot 
of things for us. Maybe if our pigs were granted a brief glimpse 
of what happens to them immediately after they graduate from their 


college, they would be amazed. You know our football field is 
part of the original hog pasture. Just across the fence from the 
football field the hogs still disport themselves. Shall we call 
it a "rooting" section? Well, some crisp Tuesday morning in the 
fall a hog may be rudely snatched from this rooting section, and 
swiftly go through the procedure of being scraped clean of hair, 
and otherwise prepared for the sausage mill. By Thursday (at 
the latest), it appears on our dining room table as most delicious 
sausage, and Friday afternoon, he again (in another form) occupies 
a very busy section of the bleachers at our football games--in 
another rooting section! Do you get that, or is it too deep? 
Anyhow, our rooting is very effective and the things they root 
for are also most effective and we believe these home-raised 
articles have something to do with it. 

Comparing the whole work of the place we want our athletic 
teams, for instance, to mount up on wings as the eagles. We 
want many of our other departments to be like those that run 
and are not weary. They have their days of extreme activities 
and then their days of relaxation. We want our kitchen and 
dining room to be like those that walk and do not faint. It's 
an everyday business. It no doubt gets monotonous. To have to 
have some special arrangement for even part of this group to be 
excused from a single meal; and yet, if they do not hold up each 
day's job to a high level, the result is a lowering of the vitality 
and the effectiveness of every department at the orphanage. 

We said we would start at the end and work back. Maybe we 
have started at the peak and worked down. Of all the departments 


at Barium, there is nothing so vital to the needs of all the other 
departments as our dining room and kitchen. There is nothing 
that keeps us in a better humor, and more able to do our work well 
than these departments when they work effectively. There is 
nothing that reflects more on our entire attitude than when there 
is a lag in these most important departments. We are glad to say 
that the kitchen group is faithful in the preparation of our meals, 
and the dining group serves us effectively and cheerfully--and 
don't forget that "cheerfully." 


September 1936 

Featuring the opening of the 1936-1937 session at the Presby- 
terian Orphans' Home at Barium Springs tomorrow will be an 
address by Rev. R. Murphy Williams, pastor of the Church of the 
Covenant in Greensboro. Mr. Williams will speak at the general 
assembly of the entire school at 11:30 a.m. He has been in 
attendance at the Synod. 

The high school faculty for the coming session includes 
R. G. Calhoun of Laurinburg, principal; Leroy Sossamon of Cabarrus; 
George Neel of Barium Springs; Miss Irene McDade of Lenoir; and 
Miss Reba Thompson of Danielsville, Georgia. 

In the grammar school will be Mrs. John Q. Holton, Winston- 
Salem, principal and seventh grade teacher; Miss Mary Faye Steven- 
son of Stony Point, sixth grade; Miss Gladys Burroughs of Ila, 
Georgia, fifth; Miss Margaret Bell of Decatur, Ga., fourth; 
Miss Laura Northrop of St. Pauls, third; Miss Sadie Brandon of 
Yadkinville, second; and Miss Theoria Staughn of Spencer, first. 

Misses Brandon and Staughn are newcomers to the faculty at 
the orphanage. The first and second grades combined were taught 
by Miss Minnie Morrison of Statesville last year, but these are 
being divided into two separate grades this fall because of the 
unwieldy number in the class, and the difficulty of teaching two 
classes in the same room. 



(Statesville, N.C., Monday, September 23) 

Dairy Barn at Barium Burned 

Small boys save 50 cows and old mule saves himself; Statesville firemen use 
swimming pool to good advantage in saving $15,000 of other property; burned 
barn insured -- 

A barn and its contents at the Presbyterian Orphans' Home, Barium Springs, 
including 100 tons of hay and straw, were destroyed by fire of unknown origin 
late Saturday afternoon. The loss was estimated at $5,000 to $6,000 with ap- 
proximately $3,000 insurance. 

The building was a combination dairy and storage barn. The east end of the 
building, 40 x 60 feet, two stories high, was filled with bales of alfalfa hay, oat 
straw, barley straw and wheat straw. The west end of the building, 40 x 100 
feet, one story, with concrete floor, was used as a milking barn. The storage 
barn was a total loss; the milk barn was so badly charred within as to be 
classified as a complete loss. 

The fire came apparently at a most inopportune time. Some of the orphanage 
officials and nearly all the larger boys were at Davidson attending the ball 
game. The small boys, around 12 years of age, had the cows in their places 
in the milking quarters, when they discovered a fire in the loft of the storage 
barn. These cool-headed, heroic little fellows quickly organized for business. 
The 50 cows, in their stall ready to be milked, were hastily released and taken 
to a safe place in an open field 200 yards away; a group of juvenile fire 
fighters got into action using a hose and also starting a bucket brigade. They 
called Mr. R. E. Jackins, a dairy foreman and other orphanage attendants who 
telephoned the Statesville Fire Department for help. 

It was about 5:30 o'clock Saturday afternoon when the distress call came to 
the fire station here. In a few minutes 12 firemen, composed of both regular 
and volunteers, were on the scene. The orphanage swimming pool was used 
as source of water. A line of hose was run from the pool to the burning 
building and the fire truck, which is jointly owned by the City of Statesville 
and the County of Iredell, was put into immediate action pumping a stream 
of water from the pool. The firemen fought for about two hours. Those who 
witnessed the battle with the flames report that it was some of the best work 
they had ever seen. They confined the blaze to one building, reducing the loss 
to the minimum. In close proximity to the burning barn was another wooden 
structure packed full of alfalfa hay. Nearby also were stacks of hay and straw; 
another barn would have been included in the general conflagration that was 


prevented by the prompt and efficient work of the Statesville firemen. The 
property in close proximity to the burned barn is estimated at around $15,000 
in value. In speaking words of praise and appreciation for the fine work of the 
firemen, General Manager Joseph B. Johnston stated that this was an illus- 
tration of the value of the extra truck which the County and City purchased 
jointly last year to be used out of town as well as inside the City limits. This 
equipment helped save $15,000 worth of property in a fight which lasted for 
two hours. 

The dairy boys who attended the game in Davidson returned during the be- 
ginning of the fire and joined in the battle. The cows, accustomed to being 
milked in the barn, had to be milked in the open field. Some of the young 
cows had to be roped before they could be milked. It was 10:00 o'clock Sat- 
urday night before the milking job was complete. In the morning the job of 
milking cows out in the open field had to be undergone again. This time some 
of the football boys had to "tackle" the cows for the milking. 

The charred debris in the dairy barn was cleared out during the day Sunday 
so that the cows could be confined in their regular stalls for the Sunday 
evening milking. 

The heroic and cool-headed group of boys who took the cows to safety in the 
field, overlooked the old mule that was confined in a stall in the burning 
building. This faithful work animal, one of the favorite companions for the 
boys at the orphanage for three decades or more, apparently felt that his work 
on earth was not complete. The mule's name is "Pet." When the chunks of 
fire began falling on Pet's back, he apparently instinctively realized that his 
earthly pilgrimage was nearing an end unless he were able to do something 
for himself. In obedience to the first law of nature, which is self-preservation, 
Pet used his heel in kicking the door open and then quickly made his exit, 
joining the cows in the field. General Manager Johnston, in relating the un- 
usual escape of Pet said "the old mule is more than 30 years of age - he's the 
oldest thing on the hill." 

When asked about plans for rebuilding, Mr. Johnston stated that he hopes to 
rebuild at once. He was not certain whether he would erect the new barn on 
the sit e of the burned building or change to some other location. 

The origin of the Saturday afternoon fire has not been figured out. It appar- 
ently started among the feed on the second floor of the barn and could have 
resulted from spontaneous combustion. 


The roofs of two silos were burned off. One was entirely empty, though there 
is approximately 100 tons of silage in the other. The extent of damage to this 
has not yet been determined. Both were of concrete, except for the roof. 

At the height of the fire an unknown visitor handed one of the orphanage girls 
15 cents and said this was to be applied on the construction of a new dairy 
barn. That was placed on deposit today. 


Joseph B. Johnston 
Milk - Meat - Melody 

The department we are writing about this month is the dairy. It is the home 
of something like 90 musical beeves that are about the busiest inhabitants at 
Barium Springs. 

Of course, a cow never does seem to be in a hurry, and yet she has to eat 
faster than she can chew it in order to get enough stored away to produce the 
milk that is necessary to make her a paying project. She has to spend most 
of her daylight hours just swallowing her food; and then when she is asleep, 
finish up with the chewing. The cow is one animal that does not seem to have 
any sympathy at all for the Blue Eagle. The NRA* means nothing to her. 
Seven days a week and twenty-four hours a day is her stint, and does not 
seem to pay any attention to national holidays, the fourth commandment, or 
anything else, but crowds into the few years between the time she is an awk- 
ward little calf until she is a graceful beef-steak, in doing an amazing lot of 
growing and in giving an amazing milk production, too. 

The Barium dairy has 50 cows in the milk herd. This sometimes drops as low 
as 40; sometimes runs as high as 65. The production of milk varies from 100 
gallons a day to 150 gallons, provides ample milk for drinking, usually for all 
three meals every day. The annual production averages 45,000 gallons! 

This milk is sufficient to provide ice cream every week during the summer and 
for birthday dinners during the winter. That means once a month during the 
winter and once a week during the summer. Twenty to twenty-five beeves are 
suppled by the dairy herd every year and this constitutes the entire beef ration 
for the Orphanage. 

The farm supplies the diary with the necessary hay for rough feeding, straw 
for bedding, ensilage, and a good part of the grain. The grain is ground up 
with cottonseed meal, wheat bran and other ingredients to make a balance 
ration suitable for the particular time of year and the flow of milk. 

The needs of the dairy vary from year to year and the production of the farm 
varies. So that there are some years in which the extra large crops from the 
farm more than supply the dairy needs. There are other years of drought or 
storm when the production of the farm does not meet the dairy needs. In order 
to keep this from embarrassing us, we try to store the surplus of the fat years 
to take care of the lean years. The year 1935 was a fairly fat year; 1934 was 
also one in which a surplus was laid by. 

• (Not the National Rifle Association, but the National Recovery Administration - A "New Deal' agency Ed ) 


This resulted in some 80 tons of the very choicest alfalfa hay being baled and 
stored away in a barn as a surplus to draw on in case of a shortage; and this 
was the hay that was burnt in the fire we had last September. Now, 1936 looks 
like it is going to be a rather bad year. Our first cutting of alfalfa was ex- 
tremely short and the second cutting, so far, hasn't developed, as it has not 
rained at Barium Springs since the first cutting. However, we don't want to 
talk about this in this article, as we are talking about the dairy. 

The fire that we have mentioned destroyed the milk barn of the dairy. It seems 
a miracle that it did not destroy two other barns, but the efficient fire fighting 
of the local folk and the Statesville fire department confined it to one barn. 

In rebuilding this barn, we added some improvements that were very much 
needed, (this old barn had been in use over 20 years) and now the milk is 
handled at this new barn, and is ready for the table immediately after milking. 

Let us describe the old method of handling the milk and the new: 

The old method: The milk was milked into five-gallon cans at the barn. It 
was then taken to the milk house up hear Rumple Hall, and run over an 
aerator and cooler which reduced the temperature to around 70 degrees. It 
was then stored away in the cold storage and in something like 12 hours the 
temperature had lowered to where it was good to drink. In this time, of course, 
the cream had risen and it was not always well-mixed when it was put back 
on the table. Sometimes it happened that some tables would get much richer 
milk (no matter how careful the instructions were to the contrary). 

The new method: It is strained up at the barn and goes into a special milk 
room there, where it is again strained and aerated, going over a cooler which 
reduces the temperature to 40 degrees. It then goes immediately to the dining 
room and is used for drinking purposes before the cream has even started to 
rise and while the bacteria content is extremely low. It tastes so good that you 
would just have to drink it, even if it were not so good for you. 

The schedule of the dairy crew is as follows: 

Up in the morning with the regular crowd and finishing breakfast at 6:45. The 
cows are already in the barn; ready to be milked. This milk has to be taken 
care of, utensils cleaned up, the cows put back in the feed barn, or the pasture 
(depending on the time of year), and a little cleaning up done around the barn. 
Then to school. 


The dairy boss and his assistant to keep the cows company until 2:30 in the 
afternoon when the boys come from school. Then the real heavy cleaning up 
is done and then the bedding up. If you are a housekeeper, you would say 
"wash the dishes and make up the beds." The cows don't have to have their 
teeth brushed, but they do have to have their hair combed; and these jobs take 
a long time when you are taking care of 80 head of cattle. 

By 4 P.M it is time to milk again. The cows are put in the milk-barn, curried, 
cleaned up, milked, and put back into the feed barn and then the milk-barn 
cleaned up and feed put out for the morning, before the boys can call the day 
"a day." 

Now this goes on every day in the week. The routine is varied a little bit for 
holidays. On Saturday afternoons half of the boys do the milking; the other 
half are free to go to Statesville or to do as they please. The next Saturday 
the other half do the milking and the ones who were busy last Saturday have 
that Saturday afternoon off. The boys' duties are divided into several divi- 
sions. The newcomers to the dairy group are clean-up and feed-up boys. 
Their work is sometimes a little dirty and sometimes a little dusty. They 
gradually learn to milk and then they become milkers. As they become more 
and more efficient in milking, they become strippers; and the strippers check 
up on the milkers. 

When they become more careful and proficient, they become milk-house 
boys-the ones who take charge of the milk, see that it is weighed up, properly 
strained, aerated, put into can and delivered to the dining room or cold stor- 
age, as the case may be. This is a very responsible job and a boy who is 
careless in this particular division of the work soon finds himself back among 
the milkers or as a clean-up boy. 

There are about 40 boys in the dairy group, 10 to 16 years old. When that 
many boys get under one roof and all get to talking they keep the atmosphere 
pretty well agitated. We don't know whether this has any effect on the cows 
or not, but we have our suspicions. Anyway, someone suggested that cows 
were supposed to give more milk to music than without music; so a victrola 
was installed and there was quite a difference in the amount of milk produced. 
And something that was not looked for, the diary boss fattened up! And got 
over his hoarseness! You can draw your own conclusions as to how this 
music affected the dairy group. The boys who work in the dairy are very much 
attached to the cows that they have as their responsibility and take a lively 
interest in the calves as they come along. 


Several years ago a calf was born that was too small to reach its dining room 
table. The boys had to hold it on their laps while it got its nourishment from 
its mother. The calf was so grateful this that it did not seem to recognize its 
mother as a source of nourishment at all, and would pay no attention to her 
at all when she was near it. But the calf would run after the boys and bawl 
and take on at a terrible rate until they picked it up and carried it to its mother 
for its morning or afternoon meal. 

"Onions in the milk!" Did you ever hear that in the spring of the year? Well, 
we have plenty of wild onions in our pastures. The onion taste used to get into 
the milk, but not now. Just a boy's idea, but it worked. This boy may have 
gotten the idea from his own experience some day when he arrived at the 
dining room late and found that all of a particular article had been eaten up 
before he got there. His idea was just this: Turn the dry cows in the pasture 
for about a week before the milk cows go. They all like those onions better 
than anything in the pasture and by the time the milk cows get there, there's 
not enough onions left for them to even taint the milk. That is the plan we 
have used since this boy had that idea and we have not been bothered by 
onions in the milk. 

The pastures that our flocks use in the summer are rather extensive. There 
is one that is called the "five-mile" pasture. That's the distance around the 
fence; and you can depend on a hungry cow locating a weak place in that 
fence very promptly. 

There are times when our pasture gets short, due to dry weather; it is then 
that these weak points are often located and the cow that goes through evi- 
dently says: "Come on, girls, let's go picnicking!" 

That's when we hear frantic calls from some neighbor than an avalanche of 
cattle is bearing on their roasting-ear patch or something. And that calls for 
just as strenuous action as a fire! If left unnoticed, it is as disastrous as a fire; 
and the dairy crew have to be organized to answer these calls on a moment's 

The big milking job is not a hard job. In fact, during threshing time, the dairy 
boys are through with their work long before the farm boys are thinking of 
getting through. The same thing happens during harvest and during canning 
time for the truck farmers and orchard crew, but it is so regular. Every day 
the same thing must be done on the campus and it is done with a fine spirit 
of loyalty and faithfulness to the work. 


The boys at Barium learn lots of things in the different departments here. 
We think they learn to be faithful and dependable in the dairy, and that sticks 
with them all the way through. The boys that have plugged through most 
successfully in college have at one time been dairy boys. 

Look them up when you come to Barium. We haven't near told you all about 
them in this short article. 



October 1936 

October is the month of fairs and it is very fitting that this should be 
the month that we write about our Truck Farm. If you can stagger through 
this entire article, you will see why before you get through. Barium's Truck 
Farm Department is under Mr. Joe Clark, a man who was reared very close to 
Barium Springs. He has been our good neighbor from the time he was a lad. 
He lived for a time in Florida and became thoroughly acquainted with truck 
farm business in that prolific state. He knows every hill, gully and valley 
on the Barium Springs farm. This combined knowledge makes him an ideal Truck 
Farm Manager. He knows just what articles will grow here and just what articles 
we need. 

Under his management, there are 43 different articles furnished our table 
from this one department. Some of the figures are rather impressive. If you have 
a paper and pencil handy, add up a few of these figures. 

Our average annual yield runs something like this: 1,000 bushels of sweet 
potatoes, 400 bushels of Irish potatoes, 600 bushels of string beans, 400 bushels of 
assorted beans, 500 bushels of tomatoes, 3,000 heads of lettuce, 2,000 stalks 
of celery, 500 pumpkins, 4,000 watermelons, 5,000 cantaloupes, enough broom corn 
to make 200 brooms, of which the orphanage gets 100; enough carrots to tint 
the hair of every youngster in this end of Iredell County, enough onions to give 
the entire county a delicious flavor, with squash, radishes, egg plant, okra, 
pepper, popcorn, peanuts, and everything else in the catalog or alphabet! 

Maybe, to give you a better idea of our Truck Farm Department and its every- 
day use, we ought to take you into the kitchen. 


You know people quite often ask us if we have a dietitian. A dietitian is 
a person who gets up on Monday morning and plans a balanced diet for the week. 
Then the purchasing agent goes down to the store and buys the necessary articles 
to prepare that balanced diet. About all you need is a good imagination and a 
fine can opener; and, of course, good credit at the grocery stores. 

We do not have such a dietitian at Barium. We have one far more expert. 
She, together with the Truck Farm Manager, prepares the budget and the menu 
for at least a year in advance to get the right daily production of beans, greens, 
tomatoes and everything like that to make a balanced diet, served--not with 
a can opener--but with our own little bunch of bean stringers and pea-hullers. 

Here is the yearly program: We will start in January, a time of year 
when most people forget about gardens. We have on our table: collards, rape, 
turnip greens, cabbage, and from our own canning, tomatoes and stringed beans, 
with a daily diet of both Irish and sweet potatoes. This carries through 
January and February. 

In March, in addition to this, the onions appear--and how good those early 
March onions do taste! They are so good that even the cows will break down 
fences to get to them, and you know that's the only place that onions don't 
taste good--when served with milk under the cow's own mixing. 

In April, the potato diet dwindles somewhat, but lettuce appears as an 
added inducement to spring appetites; and in May, those first timid radishes 
like little new rabbits decorate the table. Children thrive on them. Some of 
us old worn-out adults sometimes get heartburn from eating them. The Barium 
radishes are \/ery kind to your stomach. Through an ingenious method of 
irrigation and fertilization, the Truck Farm gang has managed to produce 
radishes just three weeks old, and they have not been radishes long enough 
to get tough and hot. They are just good. 


In June, the first tomatoes and the new Irish potatoes appear. This is 
the month that we rely on the Orchard gang to tease our appetites with early 
fruits, and it is not until July that the Truck Farm comes in strong. Then, 
cantaloupes appear. Cucumbers, beans, roasting-ears , squash, and the whole 
battery of both heavy and light artillery-shell the dining room. Then you 
can see the Howard Cottage girls in a shady place every afternoon, busily 
shelling peas, stringing beans, and shucking corn. 

In August, we still have lots of things, but we forget their names, 
because that is the month that watermelons dominate the situation. My! How 
we do enjoy those grand melons! Joe Clark all but sleeps in the watermelon 
patch during that month! 

In September, new sweet potatoes, with the sweetness fairly oozing, 
make their appearance. In October, celery and lots of other things, too. 
In November, what do you reckon? That's the month "When the frost is on the 
pumpkin and the fodder's in the shock," and those pumpkins just get us right 
for that Thanksgiving feeling when we hope and sometimes have, turkey and 
cranberries! In December, maybe we don't have time to think about much but 
Christmas and candy and such, but three times a day, we get the foundations 
laid for our growth and happiness from butterbeans, black-eyed peas and all 
those products that are stored away for winter use from our Truck Farm. 

We have a very kindly feeling toward our Truck Farm at all times. 

The fields are tucked away in places that are hard to reach. When visitors 

come to see us it is easy to drive them around and show them the big alfalfa 

fields, the corn fields, and the orchards but it is difficult to find the 

truck farm fields. They are not big fields. They are down in inaccessible 

valleys and hillsides, and a visitor has to be very persistent and also a good 

walker to really view this department. We here at Barium Springs are so apt to 

take it for granted. 


However, the Truck Farm has been in the limelight for the last six 
years, because it really broke the depression in this part of the country. 
Let me explain a little bit: Six years ago, Barium Springs, along with all 
the rest of the country, was in the depths of a depression. You remember 
that depression was frightening. It had us here at Barium really panicky. 
Some of us were actually afraid we were not going to have enough to eat. 
We didn't know whether we were going to be able to keep all the children 
here because the money income had dropped to such a low ebb. Along about 
that time, some citizens of Troutman, our little nearby town, decided to 
have a Community Fair. The -fair was not going to have any carnival attached 
to it, but just have a display of the articles raised and manufactured within 
a radius of ten miles of the little town of Troutman. This ten miles included 
Barium Springs; and to get our minds off the terrible disaster that had struck 
our country, we got busy and gathered up a sample of everything that we raised 
at Barium. Then we all went down to the -fair. We thought that we could 
at least enjoy ourselves before the weather turned cold and be frozen or starved 
to death. 

And then, we commenced to take in the -fair really. It was held in the 
school house at Troutman. It took a large section of the display space to 
house just a little sample of each of the things raised at Barium Springs. 

There was wheat and corn and hams and wool, and alfalfa raised from our 
farm. There were samples of the dairy products with a tabulation of the 
amount. There were peaches, pears, apples, strawberries and honey, produced 
by the Orchard Department; and then to cap it all, there were 40 different 
articles raised by the Truck Farm Department, with a great big watermelon at 
one end, and great big luscious egg plants at the other. 


Anybody who could look at that display and really be afraid of starving 
to death was just plain dumb. We came home from that fair feeling that although 
something might have happened to the temples of money and big business, 
that the God of the Hills, the Great Jehovah, could still be depended upon, 
and that we with our clumsy efforts could do what we could, with faith, because 
that God yielded the increase. Maybe there isn't anything very thrilling 
in killing potato bugs. Certainly there are lots of things more pleasant 
than digging potatoes; and maybe we don't look for sermons in filling 
gullies, but when it's all summed up, there is something about it all that 
strengthens our faith and gives us courage. 



Joseph B. Johnston 

Mules - Machinery - Man-Power 

In selecting a heading for this article, it might have been called: "Stones, 
Stumps and Saturday Evenings" or it might have been called "Pigs and Poison 
Ivy" — just depending on the things that might seem important to you. There 
are a lot of other things connected with our big farm that could not get into 
the headlines, and may not get into the body of the article without making it 
too long. 

Visitors are amazed when they attempt to comprehend all the activities of our 
four, big, outdoor departments. We have already written about the Dairy, and 
during the next two months we will write about the Orchards, and the Truck 
Farm. We have selected the Farm to write about this month because right now 
is the time of its greatest activity. 

Just as soon as Commencement is over, work really commences on the farm. 
At that time, already a good deal of corn has been planted, but the alfalfa is 
just ready to be cut, and immediately after that comes, the cultivation of corn, 
and then harvest, and then threshing, and then more alfalfa, and then planting 
peas, and beans, and late corn, and then getting the wood cut for winter use, 
terraces built, land prepared for fall sowing of wheat, new alfalfa land seeded, 
and all of these big jobs are interspersed with hundreds of smaller jobs, like 
sheep-shearing, pasture fence building, and keeping the campus policed. 

This latter job may not sound like a big one, but it is a pretty big job. The 
hundreds of trees on the campus need occasional pruning. The hundreds of 
loads of leaves have to be raked up and hauled to the dairy barn. The gutters 
all over the campus have to be kept clean. Papers and trash of all sorts seem 
to accumulate at times. The grass has to be cut, and occasionally replanted. 
The rose bushes on the fence have to be cut back and otherwise kept ship- 

The only way a person can fully realize the number of activities of the farm is 
to spend a month or more here. It might give you a better idea of what goes 
on by telling you what the farm produces. In a normal year the production 
of wheat is around 2,500 bushels. The straw from this wheat is baled and is 
used by the dairy as bedding for the cows. From 500 to 1,000 bushels of oats 
and barley. The straw from this is winter diet for the mules. From 250 to 300 
tons of alfalfa hay are used mainly for the dairy. 


Usually about 100 tons of pea hay, or bean hay, 200 tons of silage, 3,000 
bushels of corn. This corn is used for mule feed or hog feed. 

The farm has charge of the hogs, sheep, and the chickens. And the ordinary 
year's production from these departments is 16,000 pounds of pork, 40 lambs, 
200 pounds of wool, 3000 dozen eggs, 500 chickens, and an occasional rabbit 

All of this is produced from 125 acres of wheat: 50 acres of oats, 80 acres of 
alfalfa, 150 acres of corn, and the peas are produced in 75 to 100 acres of 
stubble land; and then we have an equal amount of stubble land in lespedeza 
each year. This land is dirt turned into pasturage and later on is cultivated. 

The equipment on the farm consists of the following: Two and a half tractors. 
The half a tractor is an old Fordson that is used mainly for pulling stumps. 
A threshing machine, two binders, three drills, one sub-soiler, one mill for 
grinding feed, one shredder, one silage cutter and one hay baler, eight mules 
and a handsome team of mares, and those mares have two colts. The colts 
are named Dan and Daisy. They are about the most popular members of the 
whole Barium family. Dan and Daisy were born on April the first, and April 
the 29th. Dan is the oldest and attempts to "boss" Daisy around as though 
he owned the world. 

The sheep at the Orphanage were first secured to act as lawn mowers. No 
attempt has been made to increase the herd beyond its present size. In an 
ordinary year they manage to keep all of the lawns cropped reasonably close. 
They have to be fed during the winter, but the lambs they produce for the 
dining room and the wool that goes into our blankets more than pays their 
winter board. 

We could not get along without our hogs, although feeding them on Sunday 
is somewhat of a nuisance. The boys tried to work up some scheme whereby 
they could feed the hogs Sunday afternoons without changing from their 
Sunday clothes. You would be surprised what a fine arrangement they worked 
out. This arrangement required the building a special sort of hog pen. This 
was done by our own force, and one of the boys named it "The Hog College." 

There is some reason for this name. There is one large compartment where 
the hogs are first put to begin fattening. They are rather rambunctious and 
noisy and scrapping among themselves, "just like a bunch of Freshmen" some 
one has said. Later on, they are moved into another compartment where they 
begin to take on a little more dignity and are less noisy, although just as 
greedy. Later on they go to still another compartment where their dignity 


becomes somewhat ponderous. And then after a final three weeks in the 
Senior compartment, they are graduated some frosty morning with appropriate 

Pigs are about the only things on the place that do not become pets. The 
calves, lambs and colts all become such members of the family that any 
parting has something of the same grief that we have when a member of the 
family leaves us. The bees and the pigs are the only things that do not come 
in for this wholesale petting. 

This hasn't anything to do with the farm particularly, but during the course 
of a year there are usually something like 20 stray dogs that take up their 
residence here. We suppose that if dogs were running an orphanage, there 
would be about that many little stray boys that would stop in and make their 
homes with the dogs. Somehow boys and dogs just will get together. Along 
about the time when tax paying commences, we have to get rid of all these 
dogs, but by that same time next year, our dog population is right up to 
normal again. 

A description of an enterprise like our farm may be dry reading to anyone who 
is not particularly interest in that sort of thing. If we could draw a picture of 
the development of some of the ideas that are now in existence on the farm, 
it would be intensely interesting to everyone. A different outlook altogether 
from what it was at one time. A number of years ago, the boys looked on the 
farm as simply a place to suffer. They had to put in a certain amount of time 
as a kind of penance. The value of their work did not appear in any tangible 
way. It did not seem to make any difference to them whether they did effective 
work or whether they just put in time. 

The mules on the place seemed to have that same notion, and were not in- 
clined to step out and really get anything done. A reluctant mule and a 
careless boy didn't add up to much in the way of real production. 

For the last few years, however, the idea has been entirely different. The old 
mules have been traded off for some real animals. Dignified animals! Did you 
ever see a dignified mule? Well, if you haven't come to Barium, big, hand- 
some animals that you would be proud to walk behind. They are used to doing 
a day's work, and a boy is rather keen for the opportunity to work one of the. 
It is a big promotion from being just a hoe hand. It is a bigger promotion to 
drive a team of these mules. 

The fields have been cleared of stumps and gullies and thoroughly terraced 
and the crops are something that you would like to show your friends. Espe- 


daily if you have had a hand in producing those crops. All of which might 
have had something to do with the change in attitude of the boys that work 
on the farm. They do not any longer look on it as the "chain gang," but as the 
top department. They seem to get a lot of satisfaction out of doing a big job 

There are a lot of other things beside just satisfaction. You may get the idea 
by the names that are sometimes given to the different fields. Of course, the 
cornfield is the "Corn Bread"; the wheat field would naturally be the "Biscuit 
Pasture"; the alfalfa field is the "Ice Cream Pasture" because everybody has 
noticed that since the production of alfalfa has increased, there have been 
more frequent ice cream meals in the dining room. The boys gave the alfalfa 
field the name of "Ice Cream Pasture" a good many years ago, and it means 
something. And you know scrub-farmers can't raise alfalfa. You have to know 
your stuff and keep working at it to raise that king of all the crops for this 
section of the country. 

If you stayed with us long, we would have to introduce you to the mules on 
the farm. They are real members of the family. There is Mabel and Cordy, 
Nell and Beulah, Red and Blue, Bob and Dobbin. We would like to introduce 
you to some of the men who work here. They become so attached to the mules 
sometimes that strange things happen. The faithful colored men who have 
worked on the farm are Bob and Ebb and Tom and Abner. They drive the 
teams during the winter when the boys are in school. They are mighty good 
folks—these colored men. They are mighty polite to everybody, provided you 
don't criticize their teams, then they are apt to get impatient, and might say 
something that you won't like. In the mind of each of these men, the particular 
team that he claims as his own is the "best team of mules on the face of the 

We believe this affection and admiration is reciprocated. Here's why: During 
the past winter, we had the misfortune to lose one of our faithful colored 
men--Abner. He had been with us for a number of years. His team was the 
big white mules that he claimed could just outdo any other team anywhere. 
Abner was sick for about two weeks and then died, and another man was 
obtained to take his place. A good man but the mule that was old Abner's 
favorite--Cordy--got sick. The Veterinarian could not find anything the matter 
with her but she just couldn't eat, and she lost over 300 pounds before she 
commenced to take any real interest in things again. The other men say that 
she was grieving for Abner. You might laugh about that. We who knew Abner 
and something of the affections he had for his team do not laugh about it. 


Mr. B. S. Linville has charge of the farm at this time. He is a graduate of State 
College and taught Agriculture at the Troutman School before taking on this 
work. He is an expert in erosion control and the beautiful terraces that you 
can observe in the fields at Barium are largely his work. He did a lot of this 
before coming to Barium, while he was our neighbor at Troutman. 

Mr. Stinson, Mr. Lackey, and his son, also belong to the farm crew and carry 
the brunt of the work for the eight months that school is in session when the 
boys do not get to work until 3:00 P.M. 



Joseph B. Johnston 

Peaches - Pears - Pecans 

There is something about an orchard that reminds one of an army. Our or- 
chard department does this even more so. There are the strawberries that you 
might call the infantry. The raspberries bear a striking resemblance to barbed 
wire entanglements, and then, the trees. Column after column. The peach 
trees we might call the Calvary. They grow so fast; they produce so rapidly 
and are gone so quickly. The apple trees are the artillery. They are bigger 
then the peach trees. The fruit can be stored away and lasts longer. Then, 
there is another department--the bees. We won't have any trouble at all 
classifying them. They belong to the air division of the army, and if you don't 
believe that they know their warfare, just do something out of turn sometimes 
and attract their attention-after they have gotten mad. 

This big army at Barium is comprised of two acres of strawberries, one acre 
of raspberries, 120 pecan trees, 300 pear trees, 500 grape vines, 1,050 peach 
trees, and 1,250 apple trees. This big army is equipped to fight the fruit ap- 
petites of a growing army of children. You just ought to see the conflict. 

We had arranged to write this article on the orchard in August, right when the 
apples had commenced to turn red and would photograph most beautifully; 
when the peach trees were in their eatingest shape, when we would absorb 
our 12 to 15 bushels of good ripe fruit every day, but the orchard this year 
played a trick on us~they declared a truce or something. Maybe it was a 
Sabbatical Year. That last hard freeze last spring just upset all of our plans 
and, instead of gathering upward of 1,00 bushels of Elberta peaches, we 
gathered three pecks. They were too pretty to eat. We just stood off and 
looked at them! The apple trees, except for a very few exceptions, are a total 
loss this summer also. 

The strawberry and raspberry crops were cut short by the drought. So will 
have to write up this department from memory. 

However, our memories are so pleasant that we can write a most vivid article 
about them. Mr. Thomas is the head of the orchard department. Fifteen years 
ago he had the orchards and the gardens. At that time there were not more 
than ten acres altogether in the entire orchard department. 

That was just enough to tease us. Due to Mr. Thomas' ambition and careful 
planning, the orchards have been added to from year to year until now we 
have one of the best balanced peach orchards in the whole country. Even 


with just a half crop we commence eating peaches with the earliest in June 
and, up until the first of September, have all that we can comfortably absorb 
in ripe fresh fruit. 

In addition to that, when the yield is anything like a full crop, we have an 
abundance to can. The peak year in canning was four years ago when we 
put up four thousand gallons— a two years' supply— in addition to our fresh 
fruit. Last year we put up something over 1,000 gallons of peaches and sold 
a surplus. A fair crop of peaches runs to about 2,500 bushels. Each year we 
try to set out as many new peach trees as the normal death rate of our orchard 
in order to hold it at just its present capacity as nearly as possible. 

Until just six years ago, very little attention was paid to the apple trees. There 
was an orchard very near the Woman's Building and the Laundry that was 
supposed to supply our wants, but so many children lived within smelling 
distance of that orchard that the apples had to go through just too many 
hazards to run much of chance of ripening. We slowly realized this and 
started a new apple orchard quite some distance from any of the dormitories. 
We set out four kinds of apples to test and find out which were best suited for 
the particular climate. There was the Stark King, the Stark Delicious, Stamen 
Winesap and the Black Twig. Just as soon as this orchard commenced to 
show us what we needed, other trees were added and now we are commenc- 
ing to get results. Last year we stored away enough apples to have them twice 
a week at dinner up until the Christmas holidays. Our goal is to some day 
have enough to have a distribution of apples every day until March. Just give 
us time and we will reach that. We have the land and a willing crew. Then 
we can say that we have that "apple-a-day" that keeps the doctor away. By 
the way, if you need proof of that adage, you can find it right here at Barium. 
It has been amply demonstrated that a diet of fruit does more to keep the large 
family of children in good shape than any other one thing. 

Since we have set out our new orchard of apples, we have made the old apple 
orchard a "Help-Yourself Orchard" and here is something surprising: Now, 
any child any time can go in that orchard and get himself or herself an apple. 
They can eat it green or wait until it gets ripe. There are a good many trees 
there. We just don't count them in as an output of the Orphanage. They be- 
long absolutely to the youngsters when they want to use the fruit. 

Now before we made this a "Help-Yourself Orchard" the most careful watching 
very seldom resulted in apples being on those trees after the first of Septem- 
ber. Now, there is quite a bit still hanging on the first of October! You tell 
us how come? We cannot quite figure that out. 


We have two pecan groves. And to match that, over across the hills, about 
50 walnut trees. Walnuts are help-yourself. The pecans are gathered by the 
orchard crew and distributed to the cottages, and you will locate some of those 
in the homemade candy that is distributed so liberally among the cottages at 
Christmas time. 

The squirrels that now inhabit the campus have not quite learned the dis- 
tinction about these help-yourself orchards. They raid the pecan orchards just 
the same as though it were help-yourself. We don't want to take drastic 
measures about this, because we enjoy having the squirrels on the campus 
so much that we are inclined to make an exception in their case. 

The pear trees are the step-children of the place. Very little is done toward 
cultivating them, or pruning them or spraying; and yet year after year, these 
faithful trees bear abundant crops. We can pears usually as long as the cans 
hold out. This fruit is not nearly as popular as the peaches and other things, 
but helps us taper off a season and gives us bigger variety. 

The raspberries which we have been enjoying for the last two years are a new 
venture. We have the large red raspberries, and it was some time before the 
children really thought they were good, but you don't have to argue now about 
it. They follow the strawberries and make a most valuable addition to our 

We spoke of the orchards as being somewhat like an army. Well, it requires 
an army and real battle tactics to keep that orchard producing.We buy no 
commercial fertilizer for our big orchard. We have found that a liberal appli- 
cation of stable manure every other year, applied during the winter and 
plowed under in the spring, gives the best results. We have to buy a tre- 
mendous lot of chemicals, however. There are the aphids which seem to like 
everything but tobacco dust. We have had to get tobacco dust to exterminate 

Then there are the borers that have to have a chemical that would take up too 
much space to names, even if we knew how to spell it, to get rid of them. Then 
there is a dormant spray for treating the trees and the sulphur spray for the 
fruit disease, and so forth, that have to be religiously applied to the trees. 

Then, when the peaches start to grow, the trees have to be beaten with a 
rubber hammer to knock off all the fruit that is not firmly attached to the trees. 
We find that this fruit usually has worms in it. By taking these peaches that 
are knocked off and burning them or burying them in lime, we destroy that 
infant curculio and save a second generation that pretty well destroys a crop. 


It takes this procedure in addition to the multitudinous sprayings to handle this 
particular pest. They say he is a first cousin to the boll weevil. He certainly 
has a boll weevil's habits and mean disposition. 

Then there is pruning. Our boys (under Mr. Thomas' direction) become rather 
expert in this. They go over our peach orchards just like a barber goes over 
an unruly head and, whenever they get through, that orchard not only looks 
good, but acts good. 

The machinery equipment of the orchards consists of a small Farmall tractor, 
a spraying outfit, an orchard cultivator, disk harrow and hand tools without 

The various cottages call on this orchard group to trim up the shrubbery 
around the dormitories and to transplant anything that needs transplanting. 
They also have a lot to do with the shrubbery at the football field and other 
places on the campus. 

In addition to all these duties, the orchard department looks after the canning. 
Our season's total of canning usually runs around 5,000 gallons. This year, 
there has been a total failure of the peach crop. The truck farm department 
has increased its tomato acreage, and we hope to double the amount of 
canned tomatoes and tomato juice, and next winter we will make believe that 
we like tomato juice just as well as we do canned peaches. The cannery not 
only takes care of fruit canning, but cans the surplus of the truck department. 

Now we will tell you about this truck farm department in October. We are 
going to break into this series of farm groups in September, and tell you about 
our athletic departments. We think that it is in keeping that this should be 
done the first month of school, so that you can understand the far reaching 
organization that we have and the privileges that it makes possible for our 
school-particularly those who participate in our various programs. 

We are proud of our orchard department. Mr. Thomas has been indefatigable 
in trying to make this produce for the Orphanage the things we could not 
otherwise afford. He has not shed so much blood over it, but he suffered a 
good deal over it. He felt that it was necessary to have a bee department in 
order to insure the greatest results from the orchards. So a few stands of bees 
were added as an accessory to the orchards. 

Mr. Thomas didn't understand the bees so much at first, and they did not seem 
to understand Mr. Thomas. They insisted on investigating, and each time they 
did there was a bump. Now, our bee department consists of 25 flourishing 


stands and they all know Mr. Thomas by name. They seem to like him. They 
like his little grandson who helps him tend to the bees, and seem to be thor- 
oughly familiar and friendly with Mugger, the big bull dog who also is an in- 
terested spectator every time a hive is opened. It is interesting to see Mr. 
Thomas' grandson with the orthodox Barium-summer uniform, consisting of 
a pair of overalls and nothing else, with that whole upper expanse of his body 
bared to the atmosphere and possible bee stings, nonchalantly looking on 
while a hive is being robbed. The bees must just know that he is not partic- 
ularly afraid of them to make them act this way. 

Last year, we sold a lot of peaches. We didn't have near enough to sell to 
everybody and those people who came expecting to buy something got out 
of patience with us. We hope we are going to have big crops next year and 
all succeeding years, but we don't think we are going to try to sell any more. 
We want to play host to the numbers of people who are always doing nice 
things for us, and if you will come to see us during the peach season, we will 
try to put a few peaches in your car for you to remember us by. 

We look to our cornfields and wheat fields for the things that make us strong. 
We look to the dairy for the things that make us beautiful. Milk and ice cream 
will put dimples in your cheeks. We look to the orchards for the things that 
make us kind to each other. 




Joseph B. Johnston 

Teeth - Toes - Tonsils 

In case you don't know what we are talking about, it's the Infirmary and the 
various activities that grow out of it. Doctors have called their hospitals by 
various names, one very celebrated hospital going by the name of "Hotel For 
Convalescents." Our Infirmary at Barium Springs is that, too, but is far more 
than that, it is more like a modern service station for automobiles, where care 
are given a periodic check-up and heavy repairs averted by keeping the ma- 
chine in good shape at all times. 

Our Infirmary is in charge of Miss Una Moore, the dean of the staff of workers 
at Barium Springs. Miss Moore is not a musician, and yet, we can't help but 
believe that she hums a tune under her breath -- the tune of "River Say 'Way 
From My Door'; only she says "Pneumonia Stay 'Way From My Door." And 
she has sung this song to such good effect that but one case of pneumonia 
has showed up under Miss Moore in the last four years, and we have had our 
share of flu and bad colds. 

Now, to the actual work of the Infirmary. There are 36 bed in this department 
for patients. The staff is composed of Miss Moore, the nurse, and Miss Lackey, 
the housekeeper. As assistants, there are four high school girls who help keep 
the house in order and wait on the patients. There is a fifth-grade boy to do 
all the other jobs about the place. Now, in the course of a year, a good many 
children go to the Infirmary on account of sickness. It may be just a bad cold; 
it may be severe indigestion; it may be something serious. A typical years 
shows that there are around 1,200 "patient days" taken care of during the year, 
or an average of between three and four children every day. 

This sounds like a good many, but yet it is the smallest part of the work of this 
department. Here is where that comes in. When new children come to the 
orphanage, they are checked over very carefully at the Infirmary. They are 
weighed, measured and thoroughly examined by our doctor. Then once a 
year, every child at Barium is carefully weighed, measured, and these are 
compared with those of the previous year. They are carefully gone over by 
our doctor who makes recommendations about things that should be done. 

For instance, in our last examinations, 22 children showed up with bad tonsils 
that needed to be remove, 12 had bad teeth, and 20 others needed special 
attention in one way or another. At the same time that this examination was 


going on, a doctor from the Sanatorium checked over the children for 
tuberculosis, and made his recommendations for any that might need special 
care. A number of children were referred to a specialist for more complete 
examination for some particular things. For instance, once boy, after our last 
examination, was sent to Charlotte for a special examination by a bone spe- 
cialist, and is receiving hospital treatment there. 

Our last examination showed that 14 children had not grown sufficiently dur- 
ing the year, or are underweight and these are now on a special diet and 
treatment to correct this. The results of this special treatment are checked up 
on every 30 days and then, or course, a final wholesale check-up on the entire 
Orphanage family 12 months later. 

It is always an interesting thing when a school holds and examination to see 
how much knowledge the children have packed into their brain-boxes over a 
period of time; and in the same way, it is intensely interesting to see the re- 
sults of physical corrections and change in diet or special treatment in the 
physical structure of the children here. 

These examinations have far-reaching results. As an example, three years 
ago an unusually large number of defective feet were notice - fallen arches, 
flat-feet, crooked toes, etc. To remedy this condition, special exercises and 
treatments were given those children, and also an effort was made to locate 
the cause. The cause for a good many of these conditions was apparently in 
the use of improperly fitted shoes. A change has been made in this detail, 
with the result that at our last examination, only three children with defective 
feet were noted. 

Once a year, a dentist comes and spends from two to four weeks doing the 
dental work necessary for every child and tabulating the condition of their 
mouths. Some children have to have continued treatment all during the year, 
but the majority need only this one general check-up and work. 

Then there is the business of accidents that have to be handled. You know 
wherever one or more children are gathered together, there are going to be 
accidents. Not so many serious ones, but plenty of minor accidents. Children 
learning to skate fall down. Boy imitating Tarzan will fall out of trees. There 
are ways to get hurt, even with a milk-bucket, and every farm tool will fight 
back if handled too carelessly. As a consequence, there is a constant flow of 
accident cases to the Infirmary. 

The majority of these Miss Moore handles as "out-patients." A stumped toe 
properly cleaned and tied up can depart under its own power. Then, there 


may be other things like nails in the feet, pitchfork wounds, etc. that may 
cause dangerous infection. It is the business of the nurse to decide in these 
matters whether it is necessary for them to go to the hospital in Statesville for 
treatment. There are many other things that the nurse has to decide. 

In the summer time when it is very hot and it is time to gather potatoes, 
sometimes the boys suffer an epidemic of headache. They come to the 
Infirmary so distressed (apparently) that the nurse puts them to bed, some- 
times without taking their temperature. A nice cool bed, with a magazine to 
read, is so much more comfortable than a potato patch with the sun shining 
down on your whole unprotected back that sometimes creates headaches. The 
nurse has to decide how many of these headaches are genuine, and it is sur- 
prising how accurately she can read temperature and character in this con- 

We mentioned at the first of this how successful our nurse was in keeping 
pneumonia away from our family. She is also wonderfully successful in de- 
tecting a bad condition around the appendix. It would not do for every case 
of stomach ache to be sent to the hospital for diagnosis. There are certain 
times in the year when pretty much the entire population would have to go to 
the hospital. Miss Moore has to determine just that to do about these various 
cases, and to not fail to note a dangerous condition. She certainly "has a way 
with her" in this. Maybe she has watched a robin hunting worms. You know 
how they do it -- just stand still and listen, and they hear a worm whispering 
to itself on the ground and they immediately go and get it. An appendix acting 
up must make some sort of noise that Miss Moore knows exactly what's the 
matter, and to the hospital that child goes. 

We have not had a single instance, under Miss Moor's care, of an appendix 
getting to the hospital too late, and that's a record to be proud of in anybody's 

Then, there is another thing the Infirmary has to bear the brunt of, and that 
is the periodic inoculations. Did you ever figure out how many of theses there 
are? A record of these things is kept in the office, but the carrying of these 
special things falls on the Infirmary. For instance, every five years, we have 
to check-up on vaccinations, and some 300 children have to be vaccinated. 
They have to be watched to see that it "takes". They also have to be watched 
to see that the vaccination does not become infected and get out of hand. That 
is a pretty good-sized job in itself. Then, every three years typhoid inoculation, 
and there's three of these inoculations - 900 punctures in one short month! 
Then there is diphtheria toxin-antitoxin, and when that's over, a little kid can 


strut and say he's been "vaccinated, 'noculated and 'toxicated' and tell you 
that he has been punched plum full of holes since he came to Barium! 

The organization of our Infirmary has to be ready for emergencies. This is 
one of the most difficult things in the world. It is somewhat like a fire de- 
partment in the city. The firemen have to be there ready for a strenuous job 
when that job comes up. They amuse themselves playing checkers, fixing 
dolls, toys and doing hundreds of other things to keep in condition. Well, the 
organization at the Infirmary at times has nothing whatever to do but to keep 
house and amuse themselves. Then without a notice, they may have so much 
work piled on them that they have not time to rest or relax. 

It takes a high class set of folks to stand these emergency peaks without 
cracking and the periods of relative inactivity without demoralization. Some- 
how our crowd manages to keep that sort of an organization going. Being 
sick at Barium is not the worst experience in the world. Working for a more 
abundant health through this department is one of the most satisfactory things 
in which anyone can be engaged. 

We have only given you a brief and rather sketchy description of this one of 
our most vital and important departments. 

*(Mr. Johnston extolled Barium's good health and good health care. As I have worked on this project, it occurred to me that 
he nor anyone else seemed to connect our "springs", our good water, to our good health. Maybe our water really was a dis- 
ease preventive and had curative properties. Ed.) 



We are breaking in on our monthly series of articles about the different de- 
partments of Barium to write this article on social contacts. One of the worst 
things that can happen to an institution like this is for it to become isolated 
or insolated. Sometimes the tendency on the part of those who have the 
management of its affairs work to keep it insolated. It is easier to keep bad 
habits out of a group of children if they do not come in contact with other 
groups of children where these bad habits persist. 

At Barium we have always believed that it was best to have as many contacts 
with other people as possible, in spite of the fact that it was not the easiest 
course to pursue. And many sources of social contacts have been developed. 
Some orphanages have this through a traveling singing class. This particular 
group of children in such a class come in contact with a very wide circle of 
acquaintances, but the bulk of the children do not get a contact in this way. 
Others have visiting days in which the entire church is invited to visit the in- 
stitution. This is fine, but rather high pressure. Barium springs has recently 
experienced a most delightful occasion of this kind when they entertained the 
Synod of North Carolina and had the members of the Synod eating at the 
orphanage tables for two days. There is no more valuable social contacts for 
the Orphanage family than that. 

However, our visitors on the occasion of the meeting of Synod were all 
grown-up folk. That still does not answer the need for making acquaintances 
with children and young people of the same age as the children in the 

In our school activities, we are trying more and more to have these wholesome 
contacts made. During the past 12 months, we have entered into a conference 
of debaters and declaimers and in these contests we come in contact with at 
least four other schools. Last year the high schools were Statesville, Hickory, 
Concord and Kannapolis. 

Then, in our music contests our children come in contact with a great number 
of schools and those that are fortunate enough to reach the finals in the state 
music contest meet with representatives from all over the state. 

A few of our young people (usually ten to each conference) each year have the 
high privilege of attending the Davidson conference and the two Mitchell 
conferences, and all of our young people get to know the Mitchell conference 
young people since a day at Barium is always included in their program. 


It is really in our athletic contest, however, that we come in contact with the 
most people. Our readers have heard a lot about our athletic program. They 
have possibly thought of them only as athletic contests. In this article we want 
to tell you a little bit out the social side. 

Take basketball, for instance. Our teams play seven other schools which 
means a visit to Barium from each of those schools and a visit to those schools 
by the Barium teams and a small rooting section. These games are double- 
headers always, boys and girls. There is quite a friendly atmosphere about 
these affairs and quite a number of friends are made this way. 

Then, at the end of the basket ball season, there is an orphanage tournament 
in which all the large orphanages in the state participate at some central point. 
This tournament usually lasts two days and the basketball players, both boys 
and girls of all the orphanages, get to know each other intimately. Then our 
teams usually compete in a regional tournament. Last year, one was held at 
Winston-Salem, in which 90 teams participated. Our young people got to meet 
a great variety of students that they would hardly come in contact with in any 
other way. 

As a final wind-up of the season, Barium Springs gives a basketball tourna- 
ment in which they do not participate as players, but only as host. Thirty-two 
teams attend this tournament and many swapping experiences and some of 
the closest friendships have developed from such occasions. When the 
Barium team plays away from home, one high school class accompanies it to 
cheer and the whole party is usually the guest at supper of the local church 
or school. 

Our midget team plays 10 other schools, different schools from one varsity as 
a rule. Altogether, our football brings us in touch with something like 20 high 
schools. The friendships that our boys and girls make through these contacts 
carry on sometimes through college and later life. 

Then wrestling. It doesn't take many boys to constitute a wrestling team. 
Barium Springs has always been particularly interested in this form of sport. 
It brings them in contact with an entirely different set of high schools. For 
instance, in football, the teams that play Barium are: Mooresville, Statesville, 
Hickory, Concord, Lexington, Kannapolis, the Children's Home at Winston- 
Salem, the Mills Home at Thomasville, Albermarle and Charlotte. The teams 
that Barium meets in wrestling are: Salisbury, Thomasville, High Point, 
Greensboro, Durham, Mt. Airy, Bragtown, and a YMCA team. Barium's rating 
in these contests is so high that it insures their meeting other boys without 
any danger of our having an inferiority complex. 


Then, there is track. Track is a beautiful sport. It ends up the school year, 
and we there come in contact with still another group of schools. The con- 
solidated schools of Forsyth County, Winston-Salem, Charlotte (again). In the 
big state meets like the one at Carolina, the Inter-state meet at Duke, and the 
Civitan meet at Greensboro, our boys come in contact with approximately 75 
leading track schools in North Carolina and Virginia. 

In these contacts our young people are benefited immensely. Their circle of 
friends is as wide as that of any group of high school children in the state. 
And then, other people get to know our youngsters. They can form an opinion 
about Barium Springs from the things that they do and the way they act. We 
wonder if our church people realize how much of the good will that Barium 
Springs possesses is due to the fine opinion that the public at large has gotten 
of the orphanage through the observance of the athletic teams. 

There is one church in North Carolina that somehow did not let up on its 
giving all through the depression; and it was a church that was having a lot 
of difficulty itself. In trying to run down the reason for this, we found that a 
good deal of the enthusiasm in this church was kept alive by the activities of 
one class; and this one class was kept enthusiastic by the persistent efforts 
and enthusiasm of one man. Then we tried to find out why the one man was 
so enthusiastic. Here is the story: 

A good many years ago this man brought his car full of visitors to see a 
football game at Barium. These visitor were rooters for the visiting team. The 
visiting team was supposed to be a lot stronger than the Barium team, so 
much so that Barium that day had a grand chance to have a moral victory 
without having a real victory. The game rocked along with the other team 
showing some superiority until the beginning of second half. Then, one of the 
Barium boys got loose and apparently ran for a touchdown. At that time, there 
were not as many officials handling the game, as is the case now, and the 
referee was not positive whether or not the boy ran out of bounds. He saw 
one of the Barium players standing right near the spot where the claim was 
made that the player ran out of bounds, and he asked this boy "Did you see 
whether he went out or not?" The boy replied, "Yes." "Did he go out of 
bounds?" The boy said, "Yes, right here." Now, that boy's honesty cost 
Barium Springs what might have been called a touchdown, and it occurred in 
the time when that particular touchdown might have decided the game. This 
visitor was standing right nearby and heard the conversation, and the boys 
attitude and his manner in making his reply so convinced the man of his 
honesty and good sportsmanship that he went right back home and has been 
a seething volcano of Barium enthusiasm ever since/ 


These social contacts that come about through our large athletic program 
certainly do work both ways. Here is another thing: It may occur to some of 
you that this sounds expensive. We want to assure you that it is expensive, 
but it does not cost the orphanage anything directly. Our football games are 
so popular and our basketball tournament so well attended that the proceeds 
from the gate receipts from these two sources have so far taken care of the 
expense of handling our athletic program. 

The transportation of the teams does cost the orphanage something some- 
times. Not much. The workers at Barium gladly contribute their cars for the 
transportation of the teams. The orphanage furnishes the gas. Outside of 
that, the expense of equipment (and by the way, that runs into the neighbor- 
hood of $800.00), the expense of officials, of trophies and all those things are 
paid for by the people who come to see our games played. 

So, any of you that hear of a Barium athletic contest being played, you can 
come to it and enjoy it without your conscience hurting you at all, or without 
the thought entering your mind that any of the money is used unwisely. The 
money that comes in at the gate may be Presbyterian; it is just as apt to be 
Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Catholic, Jew- and sometimes from our good 
colored friends. 

One final word: No doubt every one who reads this paper has heard so much 
about Sloan Field that it is not necessary to say any further word about it. 
Sloan Field was built by the boys. It gets prettier every year. We can say 
without bragging a particle that it is the most beautiful high school field in 
North Carolina. We can say that visiting teams always like to come back. 
Barium plays all the home games on that field. So does Statesville, and that 
means a number of visiting teams are here every year--at least ten. 

Our young people go out to see these games. They mingle with the visitors 
who come to see it. They make friends that way in a most happy manner. 

Some schools think so much of their games with Barium that they give a 
holiday when they play here. Concord is an illustration. And when that hap- 
pens, there are in the neighborhood of 500 to 600 young people here to see, 
not only a ball game, but to mingle with our young people at Barium. 

Everybody at Barium is enthusiastic about the athletic program. Not only 
because of the athletic angle and the pleasure of seeing a good team perform, 
but in the many opportunities that it gives us to be just folks like everybody 



Last year, we attempted to sum up the number of schools that had a contact 
with Barium Springs through the athletic program. There were 140 schools 
that had a direct contact; a good many more had an indirect contact. The 
number of individuals involved in this would run well over 7,000. Our social 
contacts, therefore, through our school activities gives us this outlet in a most 
happy and wholesome way. 

You know when you visit the orphanage yourself, you can't get it out of your 
head that young people here are orphans. The same way when they visit your 
church, but when you visit them at an athletic contest, they are just kids like 
yours, and you would be surprised what delightful friends they turn out to be. 

'(Good sportsmanship had long been taught at Barium. In a 1930 write-up of a midget game played between Barium and the 
Charlottesville "Fives* in the Charlottesville paper, the writer extolled the good sportsmanship of the Barium team as much as 
their skills. Barium won. 




Joseph B. Johnston 

Water - Power 

Last month our article was on the Infirmary, the place that everybody thinks 
of whenever they get to feeling bad - a stumped toe, a stomachache a head- 
ache, or sometimes a hard lesson -- and we have Miss Moore taking our 
temperature right quickly. This month we are wanting to talk about another 
department somewhat similar. If anything goes wrong outside of our bodies, 
we think of one man. If it is the light that won't light, if the radiators won't 
heat, if the sewer gets stopped up, if the refrigerator won't fridge, it is always, 
"Send for Mr. Grier," and you'd be surprised how many times Mr. Grier is sent 

Mr. Grier and his department have charge of the heat, the light power, the 
water, the sewage and all the things and mechanical appliances connected 
with these. It may be a potato-peeler that won't function properly; it may be 
the old storage rooms that refuse to get cold, or get too cold. All of these call 
for the attention of Mr. Grier. 

You folk who are fond of statistics could just revel in statistics in this depart- 
ment. There are 311 children at Barium Springs at the present. The average 
number to a room is six. There are 45 teachers, matrons, and other workers 
at Barium and that means about 40 more rooms. There is an average of two 
electric lights to a room. You know how frequently a light gives trouble! Then, 
there is the big dining room with its 39 big lights; the auditorium with its 12; 
the school buildings, the playrooms, the study halls, the living rooms, all with 
special light fixtures. And then there are radios, hot plates and electric irons 
and one electric train, a big electric oven, three electric cook stoves, six 
frigidaires, electric cooling system for chilling and aerating the milk at the 
dairy barn; something like 20 motors doing everything from running a printing 
press, a linotype machine, well pumps, a circulating hot-water system, to the 
motors that pull the cold storage outfit. All of this is just one part of Mr. 
Grier's responsibilities. 

Take the water system. There are three deep wells. All of them give a dif- 
ferent sort of water. The one that furnishes the least water has the best water 
in it. Mr. Grier arranges it so that that well is used during the day when the 
laundry is running and when most of the drinking water is used. Then at 
night, that well is shut off and another well is put on. The latter is a well that 
has the most water, but more mineral in it. It is water which, if used in the 


laundry, would stain the clothes and would make our tea turn black instead 
of a nice clear pink. However, this water (with its mineral content) is perfectly 
good for all other purposes, including the swimming pool. The horses and 
cows do most of their heavy drinking at night and they get this mineral water 
which is not so valuable for laundry water. Nobody could quite work out this 
combination so well as Mr. Grier does. It takes constant attention to detail to 
keep things going in this line without endless difficulty. 

Here is an interesting development in this particular department. People 
continue to laugh about the old "Saturday night bath," and maybe the young 
folk today think it is just a joke and that it never actually was just that way. 
We old-timers know differently; we know that the business of bathing was not 
just a casual event that it is today. It was an occasion; it had to be prepared 
for and not to be considered lightly. Water had to be gotten together, that 
water had to be heated, a room had to be arranged for, and a good deal of 
effort gone into to get that bath on the schedule. Once a week was often 
enough and in severe winters, a good many weekends went by without the 

Well, Barium Springs, up until about 1924, lived strictly by the Saturday night 
bath, and in the warmer months of the year, a midweek bath was also ar- 
ranged for. It was not an easy thing even to arrange for those. But along 
about 1924 two things took place. One was a circulating hot-water system that 
was installed at Barium, making hot water available every day in the week. 
The other was the growing popularity of athletics and a vigorous team of any 
description has to have a bath right afterwards to round out a perfect day. 
These two things have resulted in a tremendous increase in the use of water 
at Barium. 

In 1922, for instance, one well supplied the water for Barium with 232 children. 
At the present time it takes three wells working pretty well up to capacity to 
supply the water needs for 311 children; and nowadays we do not mark on 
the calendar the days that we take a bath. Most of us take one every day to 
be sure; and all of this add materially to Mr. GrieKs responsibility and work. 

Then, after using all that water, it has to go somewhere. And there is where 
the underground department comes in -- the sewer system. Most of us just 
don't like to think about that sort of system, but quite often it insists on getting 
into the picture. When it is stopped, for instance, and sometimes the things 
on the campus that we admire most bring about these sewer complication. 
We are referring to our beautiful maple trees. 


Now, our campus in the fall of the year is the most beautiful thing in the world. 
The maple trees with beautiful red leaves; and maple trees with beautiful yel- 
low leaves, and we wouldn't harm one of these maple trees for anything in the 
world. But the roots from these trees just travel on and on, and they search 
out a sewer line. If they can find the slightest crevice in that line, they get into 
the sewer pipes, and before you know it, such a mass of roots has gotten into 
that sewer that it is stopped up! And then those beautiful maple trees lose 
some of their popularity, and a few more lines are added to Mr. Grier's face. 
When this happens, the sewer line just has to be dug up and replaced with 
cast iron pipes, or the maple trees in that particular vicinity destroyed. We 
usually just replace with iron pipes. 

Our buildings are heated from a central heating plant and this steam circu- 
lating system is a complicated thing. When the engineers laid this out, they 
just treated every building exactly alike, and they did not notice that the 
Infirmary and the Baby Cottage were on the extreme end of the line. In other 
words when steam is gotten up, it reaches the school building and the church 
first. Then Lee's Cottage, Jennie Gilmer, Synod's, Rumple Hall, and finally 
around to the Infirmary and the Baby Cottage. Now, at night, these are the 
last buildings for the steam to cease to be effective but that is long after the 
children have gone to bed, and they wouldn't mind it anyhow because they 
are asleep then. 

Mr. Grier has to arrange for steam to be gotten up early enough in the 
morning to reach the Baby Cottage and the Infirmary by getting up time, and 
to continue on at night until the last algebra problem is worked out and the 
last Latin lesson prepared; and then, he has to watch the coal pile, too. In 
other words, his judgment has to balance between complaints and coal piles 
and he usually uses mighty fair judgment in deciding these matters. Just for 
information, we use between 800 and 900 tons of coal during a normal year. 

Mr. Grier has one full-time worker in his department. Will Thomas is his 
name, who is fireman at the big boiler. He has from four to six boys, usually 
with o s senior, one junior, one sophomore, one freshman and a couple of 
smaller boys. This crew not only keeps the buildings warm, but they also keep 
the boiler going at the kitchen that does our cooking; and in addition to 
shooting trouble, they do the majority of the painting, both inside and out. 

Up until the depression came along this crew did all of the painting. A certain 
amount was done every year and they would get around before a building got 
too badly in need of paint. During the extreme curtailment of expense during 
the depression, the purchase of paint for this activity had to be dropped, and 


right now, every summer, painters have to be employed to catch up the work 
that might otherwise have been done by Mr. Grier's group. 

Mr. Grier is one of the oldest members of the staff at Barium and is one of the 
most valuable. To fill his job takes a person with a wide mechanical experi- 
ence, with most mature and experienced judgment, and above all, he has to 
be a diplomat. And all of these things, Mr. Grier* is, as well as being one of 
the greatest influences for good in our Community. 

*(Mr. Samuel AndrewGrier, known always as 'Mr. Grier' was a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College 
(N.C. A&M) in Raleigh - now N.C. State University. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War and a much loved, along 
with his wife, member of the Barium family. After his wife died in the late 1940s, several of u( high school boys would take 
turns staying at his home with him to keep him company. He was truly the most genuinely humble, Christian man I have ever 
known. Ed.) 














Laura Smith 
Leila Johnston 
Paul Cornett 
George Fa i son 
Grace Roberts 
Frederick Elliott 
Lugene White 
Olive Gaskill 
John Donaldson 
Arnim East 
Lucy Bryant 
Ray Clendenin 
Bobby Marlowe 
Oscar Clark 
Wi 1 1 ard Drye 
Fred 0. Johnson 
Lucille Burney 
Lula Jane Lyons 
CI ayborne Jess up 
Clyde W. Johnson 
Robert L. Gallyon 
Frances Lowrance 
Linda C u 1 p 
Fred Lowrance 
Julius Kinard 
Margaret Hendrix 

Ray Norman 

Sarah Elizabeth Fcrt 

Mascot: Peggy Neel 

Ace Medal: Lucille Burney 




President Fred El 1 iott 

Vice-President Lucy Bryant 

Secretary Grace Roberts 

Treasurer Jane Lyons 

Ass't Business Manager Ray Clendenin 

Historian Leila Johnston 

Mascot: Peggy Neel 

Fl owers : Sweet Peas 

Motto: "Not 1 uck but pi uck. " 



Wash i ngton , D . C . 
April 26, 1948 

Dear Pal , 

I rode through Barium last night* and I saw the graduating 
class preparing to march into the auditorium to receive their 
diplomas just as we did eleven years ago. I stopped and went in, 
too, and as I sat there I realized that the graduating class was 
the first grade when we graduated! That fact certainly brought 
back memories, so when I arrived home I dug up all the old 
Spotlights and read them from cover to cover. 

There were twenty-nine in our graduating class, which was the 
largest graduating class then. There were ten of us together in the 
first and second grades and thirteen in the third. About eight of 
us were together in kindergarten. So our class has always stuck 
together, and a surprisingly large number of our senior class were 
there at the beginning. 

We began our school career by starting in the first grade when 
the new school building was really brand new. After the first three 
years of our history, taught by Miss Mary Hunter, Miss Kate 
McGoogan, and Mr. R. L. Johnson, respectively, we were ready for 
the fourth grade. Do you remember how proud we were when we went 
to the "old school building?" Along with the sixth, seventh, and 
eighth grades, we went to school from one to five p.m. We had a ten 
month school year then, and Miss Fannie Foust was our teacher. 

*Had Leila come through Barium on April 25, 1948, she would have 
been about a month early for graduation. From 1937 to 1948, a nine- 
month school year had been introduced. Graduation night at Barium 
in 1948 was May 18. Ed., President, Class of 1948. 


Next year, 1931, we were back at the new school building. We 
were fifth-graders then, and though we never received much notice 
about our size, there were fifty-one of us. We were divided, 
part being taught by Miss Irene McDade, and part by Mrs. Emma 
Hos tettl er . 

Do you remember when we got the reputation of being the 
worst class in school? We were in the sixth grade, Miss Mary Faye 
Stevenson was our teacher and we went to school from one to five- 
thirty p.m. That was the first year that we began to be under State 
aid. Next year we were divided again, part of us having Miss Gladys 
Burroughs for our teacher, and part of us having Mrs. John Q. 
Hoi ton . 

In 1933 and 1934, we changed our colors to the proverbial green. 
We were again divided this year. Eighteen boys and two girls went 
to school, with Mr. T. L. O'Kelley as the room teacher, from 
seven-thirty to twelve-thirty p.m. Miss Reba Thompson was the 
teacher of the eighteen girls and two boys who went to school from 
one-thirty to six-thirty p.m. 

I believe all of us remember our ninth grade. We were a state 
school and all the grades were together again, the hours being 
from eight-thirty until two-thirty with an hour for dinner. Miss 
Reba Thompson was our room teacher and from then on we began to act 
more like seniors (minus the dignity). 

Didn't you enjoy your Junior year? We could enjoy the dignity 
of near-seniors, but we had little responsibility, except to 
entertain the Seniors. We raised such a fuss over elections, and 
there was so much politics that the whole school breathed a sigh 


of relief when the elections were over! We were glad to have Miss McDade for 
our class teacher again. 

Finally came September 3, 1936. How we remember the first day 
of our seniority. Everything went along smoothly, except for the 
usual storm over class elections. I remember how sorry we were 
when one of our classmates, who had been with us ever since the 
second grade, dropped out because of an injury. He graduates with 
the next year's class, however. 

We were so proud of our reputation of being the smartest class 
in the entire school. Twelve out of twenty-nine made the honor roll 
one month, and I'm sure at least half of us made it before the year 
was out . 

Our class, as you remember, had many other things to be proud of 
besides scholastic honors. Twenty-two of us went out for some 
form of athletics and we had many champions. One boy was state 
champion in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes, and another was state 
champion wrestler. Our class had the mainstays on the football and 
basketbal 1 teams . 

Six of our number took piano and there were lots of good 
voices. We also had the reputation of being the "singingest" 
class in high school. At the chapel periods in our classroom, 
we had some good music, with soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Mr. 
Calhoun used to come in and sing with us, and we had lots of fun. 

We had lots of other honors, too, but I think most of the credit 

goes to our teacher. Mr. Leroy Sossamon was our room teacher, and 

he taught us English and French. Mr. R. G. Calhoun taught us Bible 

and Mr. George Neel taught biology, physics, and general science. 

Miss McDade taught business arithmetic, and Miss Thompson was in 

charge of sociology and economics. 


Of course we all had our blue Mondays and other blue days, 
but I think our happy days out-weighed our blue days. 

Si ncerely , 

Leila Johnston 



We, the Senior Class of Barium Springs High School, 1937, 
being sound in mind and body, do hereby will and bequeath: 

To Barium Springs, our love and devotion, and the si nee rest 
wishes for happiness and prosperity in the years to come. 

To Mr. Johnston, our love and appreciation for his interest in 
us as individuals. We wish him every happiness possible. 

To Mr. Sossamon, our gratitude for his patience and co-operation 
in helping us reach the end of our senior year at Barium. 

To the Faculty, our sincerest appreciation for all that you have 
done for us during our high school days. Also all the luck in 
the universe for people as "smart" as we are. 

To the Juniors, our willing determination to agree, and the 
dignity that was so easily acquired. 

To the Sophomores, all the seats in the Senior room, with the 
hopes that you have the largest class at Barium. 

To the Freshmen, our intellectual ability and our undiscovered 
secret of keeping quiet. 

We, as individuals, bequeath as follows: 

I, Leila Johnston, as last of the long line of illustn'ous 
Johnstons, do will and bequeath to Nellie JohnscM , the letter 
"t" in my last name, in the hopes that she may make something of 
it. To Helen Thomas, I will my seat in the Senior Class room, 
when and if she becomes dignified. 

I, George Faison, being of sound mind and possessing most of 
my mental faculties (I hope), do hereby will and bequeath to Rex 


Lewis all my old pants that are now too short, also any old shoes, 
socks, or razor blades that he finds after I leave. To Eugene 
Bosworth I will all of my old positions of honor on the campus. 

I, Lucile Burney, reluctantly will to Grace Shroyer all my 
old bobbie pins. May they keep her hair in "kinks" as well as they 
have mine. 

I, Julius Kinard, being crazy, shall will to no one any particular 
thing. However, due to the custom of willing and bequeathing, I shall 
will to the Bolton family (including Worth) the last and only shirt 
of the Kinard family, which has no sleeves, buttons, or tail. 

I, Linda Culp, do will and bequeath to Grace Coppedge my brown 
jacket which she has So faithfully worn during the winter. 

I, Ray Clendenin, being in my best state of mind (which is 
not saying much), do hereby will and bequeath to Elwood Carter my 
place as "loafer" of the printing office, in hopes he can get out 
of as much work as I did. 

I, Laura Smith, as first to graduate in a family of six, do will 
and bequeath to my sister, Elmaree, the flower of the family 
(blooming idiot), my ability to graduate. To the rest of the family 
the right to use the Smith name, with all the privileges and blessings 
that go with it. 

I, Olive Christine Gaskill, do hereby will and bequeath to 
Alice Virginia Jones all my old empty candy boxes, hoping that she 
will not have any competition in the candy business after my 
depa rture . 

I, Willard Drye, being of a sane mind at the present, do hereby 
will and bequeath to "Moon" Sigmon my great ability to behave in 
school and sincerely hope that he is as big a "pet" as I was. 


I, Grace Roberts, do hereby will and bequeath to my pal, 
Nellie Johnson, everything I leave behind. Here's hoping you find 
a lot, Nellie. To the newcomers of Barium all the good times I had 
wh i 1 e here. 

I, Bobbie Marlowe, do hereby will and bequeath to my brother, 
Larry, my great intellectual abilities, with hopes that they will 
be of some use to him in his future work. 

I, Margaret Hendrix, have nothing to will --every thing that's worth 
having, I'm taking with me. 

I, Janie Lyons, do will and bequeath to Bessie Kennedy and Dot 
Weeks my room on the first floor. Keep it as clean as Margaret 
and I have done in the past. 

I, Robert Gal lyon , being in my usual state of mind, do hereby 
will and bequeath to Lacy Adcox my ability to be on time at least 
once a year to feed swine. But don't bluff, Willie! 

I. Lugene White, have nothing to will (to Nellie Johnson) but a 
cracked mirror which has been handed down for the last three 
graduation classes. Don't forget to pass it on, Nellie. 

I, Oscar Clark, do hereby will and bequeath to Jessie Weeks 
my ability as a hunter to hit every fourth rabbit at which I shoot. 
Also, I hope he has better luck than I had. He'll need it. 

I, Sarah Fort, do will and bequeath to Hazel Miller my room 
and the job of opening and closing the front door at night and morning, 
and turning out the hall lights. 

I, Clayborne Jessup, in my right state of mind, do hereby will 

and bequeath to Lee Jessup the place of being the chief "beater outer" 

of work. To Joe Savage all my used toothbrushes and money I leave, 

especially that nickel that dropped in one of the numerous traps 

here . 


I, Ray Norman, as a committee of one, do hereby will and be- 
queath to "Spunky" Edwards that which he wants very much--my bed; 
to Henry Pittman, my radio ear; to Bessie Kennedy, my black cap. 
If I have anything else I wish someone would find it for me--I 

I, Paul Cornett, being broken in mind and body, do hereby 
will and bequeath to Pleas Norman all my pleasing personality, in 
hopes that he may do better than I did. 

I, Arnim East, being in my right mind as usual, do hereby 
will and bequeath to "Tootie" Marlowe all my old western books, 
and to "Shorty" Beshears my love and razor. Use it but don't 
slit your throat. 

I, Fred Lowrance, being of usual body and in my right mind at the 
time of this testament, do hereby will to "Coach" Mills, my place 
in the home car, and to "Runt McLouse" Blue my ability to tickle the 
tonsils of a piano. 

I, John Donaldson, do hereby will and bequeath to "Moon" 
Sigmon my honored position under Mr. Clark^and to Rex Lewis any old 
trash that I leave in the room. 

I, Lucy Bryant, do hereby will and bequeath to my "big" sister, 
Lillie, my wonderful athletic ability; to my little sister, Gertrude, 
my pleasing personality, in hopes that she may accomplish more than 
I did; to Elmaree Smith, my old room, including all the pictures 
of Robert Taylor on the walls. 

I, Eugene Shannon, do will and bequeath to Nelson Farmer all 

old junk that I leave behind and to Paul McKenzie, my ability to 

study hard and make good in school; that is, if the teachers are 

not looking. 

I, Wm. Fred K. Elliott, do hereby will and bequeath to Rex 


Lewis and Worth Bolton my place as wrench boy for Mr. Grier and 
they also may have the privilege of rooming in the dungeon. 

I, Clyde Johnson, do hereby will and bequeath to Arthur Roach my 
duty of feeding the mules on the farm and to John "Rome" Ellis my 
old scout knife and junk in hopes that he can use them better than 
I did. To Nellie my place in the eleventh grade. 

I, Fred Johnson, do hereby will and bequeath to my only sister, 
Nellie, my French book, and my place as Senior, with hopes that you 
finish up better than I did. To Bill Martin my ice box and old 
razor blades. To Henry Allessandrini, my job of operating the 
cylinder press at the print shop. Be patient Henry. 



The Senior Class of "37 had been called together by their 
class teacher, Mr. Leroy Sossamon. We had just had a party and 
by request I had consented to run a movie of our future lives. 

Sh - sh - 

We see on the screen our class president, Fred Elliott, and he 
is Governor of North Carolina. We see an old woman thanking him 
for pardoning her son. Next we see George Faison, who has become 
a prominent lawyer, and look who his secretary is--no one but one 
of our brilliant classmates, Lucile Burney. The scene vanishes 
and we see people laughing and talking. In the midst of them is 
Paul Cornett, now a world-famed comedian. 

The next scene is in a hospital and there we see a tall, black- 
headed girl dressed in a white uniform. She is none other than 
Janie Lyons, who has become head nurse in the Mayo Clinic. At the 
same time we see a small, light-haired nurse who is rendering 
service to a patient in Johns Hopkins' Hospital. Yes, you've 
guessed it. It is Linda Culp,and the eye specialist in the same 
hospital is Sarah Fort, who is a competent doctor. 

The scene turns to where a good-looking young man is giving 
orders to reporters. This time it is Ray Clendenin who is now 
editor of The New York Times, and his most dependable reporter is 
John Dona 1 dson . 

Next we see people reading books and exclaiming over them. 
At the bottom of one book we see the author's name, Leila Davidson 
Johnston, who has become a noted novelist. Suddenly we see a girl 
singing over N. B. C. It is Lucy Bryant, accompanied by a famous 
pianist, Lugene White. 274 

The following scene shows a beautiful estate, and who is the 
owner, but Robert Gallyon, who is now a rich bachelor living in 
California. In the same state we see a tall, brown-haired man. 
It is Ray Norman, who is a prosperous business man. 

In the field of sports, we see Clayborne Jessup as track coach 
of the Olympic Team. He is talking to Fred Johnson who is now 
Olympic Champion of the one-hundred metre dash. 

Next we see Grace Roberts coaching a brilliant girls' basket- 
ball team in S. C. We also see Clyde- Johnson, Fred's brother, who 
owns the winning horse in the Kentucky Derby. Clyde has become 
very wealthy. 

The scene flashes to Hollywood, where we see Margaret Hendrix, 
a leading lady in society, who is now married to a movie director. 
Here's hoping she'll see more shows. 

All at once we see Oscar Clark who is now married. He is a 
famous explorer of the jungle. Suddenly the scene changes and 
we see Frances Lowrance, who is a lovely model. We see that she 
models the clothes that Bobbie Marlowe, a noted designer, designs. 

The principal at Barium Springs, as we see, is Eugene Shannon. 
Julius Kinard is the minister at Little Joe's Church. 

In Greensboro we see Laura Smith who is now owner of a beauty 
shop . 

Arnim East at Washington, D. C. has become head of the 
G-men. He has realized his one ambition. 

The scene flashes now to Willard Drye, who is now head of the 
Greyhound Bus Lines. Willard was a good truck driver at Barium. 

A flash -- and then we see Fred Lowrance, who is speaker 
in the House of Representatives. Fred always was a good speaker. 


I was ready to turn off the projector when one of our brilliant 
classmates said to wait and see what the future held for me. 
There we saw Olive Gaskill as air hostess on a passenger plane on 
the Trans-Atlantic Lines. 

Olive Gaskill, Class Prophet 


April 1937 

"Small Town Romeo" was the name of the Senior Class play given 
at Barium on March 25 and 26, 1937, but it was played in a "big- 
time" way by the boys and girls who had been selected to perform 
in this rollicking three-act comedy. The first performance on 
Friday night was given for all of the children atthe Orphanage, 
while the second one was a paid-admission affair for the workers 
and other friends. The profit from the play will probably go into 
a Senior Class gift to the Home. 

Those participating and others having a hand in making this 
production so entertaining are as follows: 

CHARACTERS: Joe Stanford, a breezy young playwright, Geo. 
Fa i son; Sly Perkins, the village constable, Willard Drye: Bud 
Williams, the village mechanic, Fred Lowrance; Morton Kendall, the 
village miser, Fred Elliott; L. B. Lloyd, the mysterious guest, 
David Spencer; Betty Braxton, the young owner of the hotel, Frances 
Lowrance; Sarah Higgens, the spinster maid-of-all work, Leila 
Johnston; Miss Gates, another mysterious guest, Olive Gaskill; 
Jane Hastings, the village banker's daughter, Margaret Hendrix; 
Anna Aldrich, the village school teacher, Bobby Marlowe. 

DIRECTION: Leroy Sossamon. 

STAGE SET: Paul Cornett, Fred Elliott, Julius Kinard, Clyde 
Johnson, Oscar Clark, Eugene Shannon, Ray Norman, Willard Drye, 
Fred Lowrance, John Donaldson, David Spencer, George Fa i son. 

PROPERTIES: Lucile Burney, Sarah Fort, Fred Johnson, Lugene 
White, Eugene Shannon. 



PUBLICITY: Ray Clendenin, Robert Gallyon, Ray Norman. 
HOUSE-MANAGEMENT: Clayborne Jessup, Jane Lyons, Julius 
Kinard, Grace Roberts. 


April 1937 

(From the Statesville Daily and The Statesville Record.) 

The fourteenth annual get-to-gether dinner meeting of the civic 
clubs of Statesville and Mooresville was held in Rumple Hall, 
Presbyterian Orphans' Home, Barium Springs, Friday evening at 
6:30 o' clock. 

General Manager Jos. B. Johnston was master of ceremonies and 
he was joined by Mrs. Johnston and members of the Orphanage house- 
hold in making the visitors feel perfectly at home. The Rotary 
and Kiwanis Clubs of both Mooresville and Statesville and the Lions 
Club of Statesville were represented, the members of these clubs 
having numerous guests. There were more than 500 people seated 
at the tables in the spacious dining hall, and they were served 
by the girls of the home. The food which was served in super- 
abundance was composed almost entirely of the products of the 
orphanage farm and dairy--a most pleasing repast to which the people 
of Statesville and Mooresville look forward with delightful an- 
ticipation each year. 

The main dining room of the institution was filled to capacity 
with club members, their families and guests, as well as the children 
and officials of the home, and the tables were plentifully supplied 
with a menu that would tickle the palate of the most fastidious 
of gourmands . 

"Gone with the Wind," Margaret Mitchell's story of the South 

during Civil War days was used as a fitting motif in arranging 

the menu which consisted of PORK sausage, ASHLEY Ham, RHETT Grits, 



Coffee with MELANIE Sugar and ELLEN cream, BONNIE BLUE MILK, the 
whole meal developing into "Civic Battle Between the Teeth." 
Anyone who has read this book will see the similarity of the titles. 

A refreshing program of entertainment by the boys and girls of 
the orphanage is always a feature of the meeting, but this year the 
program was unique, something entirely different from any hereto- 
fore presented. 

In the first scene, a group of boys appeared on the rostrum, 
each naming some Statesville or Mooresville man as his ideal, 
expressing the desire when he becomes grown-up to be like his 
ideal . 

St. Patrick, attired in the traditional green, promised the boys 
that their wishes would be granted, that they would have the 
opportunity to "change places" with the business men of the two 
principal Iredell towns, and in the next scene the aspiring youths 
appeared on the stage, each impersonating his ideal. This was a 
striking scene, the boys actually resembling their ideals in 
dress, in demeanor and in walk. 

No public announcement was made, but it was later learned that 
Miss Anne Fayssoux Johnston is the author of this unique play. 
Miss Laura Gray Greene was piano accompanist, and the directors 
were Mrs. R. E. Jackins and Miss Anne Fayssoux Johnston. 

The cast of characters included Dr. Wallace Hoffmann, represented 
by Ray Lewi s . 

Lewis Twins (John and Henry Lewis) represented by Tom and Jack 
McCall, twin brothers. 

Z. V. Turlington of Moores vi 1 1 e--Mott Price. 

Rev. R. A. White, D. D., of Moores vi 11 e--Pl eas Norman. 


Hugh G. Mitchell--Ed. Cole. 

Hugh Mitchell's Yes -Man- - Frank Denson. 

Fuller Sams--Gastone Alessandrini. 

Fred Sherrill--Miller Blue. 

C. V. Henkel -- J i mmy Stafford. 

Dick Hall--Bobby Whittle. 

Walter Cul breth--Thomas Morgan. 

Special Delivery Messenger Boy--Billy Everett. 

Rev. Lewis Thornburg--Marshall Norris. 

Bob Collier--Cecil Starling. 

Norman Sch i ff-- Vance Smith. 

Karl Rogers --Davi d Flowers. 

June Scarborough — Paul Horn. 

June Scarborough's bevy of gi rl s --Loui se Brock, Martha Price, 
Marie Morgan, Mary Alice Stevens, Jackie Newnam, Betty Williams. 

St. Pa tr i ck- -Tommy L ins day. 

Other features of the delightful program included a reading, 
"When I'm Sweet Sixteen," by Betty Whittle. 

A song, "I Can Hardly Wait Until I Get To Be A Man," rendered 
by a group of small boys composed of Charles Barrett, Grady Mundy, 
John Ammons, Scott Blue, Earl Allen, Dwight Spencer, Amos Hardy, 
Harvey Stri ckl i n . 

A song, "When I Grow Up," by Myrtle Rushing, soloist, with a 
chorus including Hannah Price, Betty Lou Hooten, Virginia Presnell, 
Doris Gantt, Betty Williams, Helen Vinson, Mattie Pearl Denson. 



May 1937 

The clothes department is in two parts, all housed in the same building. 
The first part is clothes-making and the second is keeping these same clothes 
clean -- the Laundry. This building was donated and equipped by Mr. C. W. 
Johnston of Charlotte in 1922. It has been in constant everyday use for 
15 years, and most of the equipment originally furnished is still in use and 
in good condition. 

We will describe the sewing room first: It is Miss Mona 

Clark who has been in continuous charge of this department for 14 years. 
(Although she doesn't look it.) She has 12 girls with which to work, and 
the system now used is quite different from that of just a few years ago. 

Our school system is now for eight months with a full day's work in 
school -- not a half day, as it used to be; and no girls are available for 
work in the sewing room during the winter months until 2:45 p.m. This makes 
a \/ery short day. And when time is taken out for music, for basketball practice, 
for play rehearsing, and the many other interruptions that come along during 
the winter months, it is extremely difficult to carry on the work necessary in 
this department. 

For this reason, it has been found advisable for the sewing room to take 
its vacation in the winter. So it is closed during January and February, 
and operates through most of the summer months. 

As this is written, the sewing room is flourishing, and Miss Clark is 
busy breaking in the new-comers to this department -- the rising senior class. 

The machines in the sewing room are each equipped with a separate motor. 
There are eight machines, one hemstitching machine, and one small machine for 
special work. When a girl first comes to work here, she is taught the 
manipulations of this highly complicated machine, and as soon as she can 


begin to sew in a straight line, she is put to work hemming sheets, table- 
cloths, pillow cases, and such straight work as that. The next job is making 
pajamas. Now, pajamas ought to be carefully made, but so few people see your 
mistakes in pajama making that this is the next step in training in the sewing 
room. Maybe it's a good thing that no one has to make a parade in this garment, 
because sometimes the buttons are sewed on the wrong side, and the legs do 
not all point in the same direction. 

However, none of them is so badly made as to disturb our sleep, and after 
practicing up on this, the girls are ready for their next course. This is in 
making the plainer dresses and aprons. Then, the more complicated garments are 
made and in this class are the smocks which look so attractive for everyday wear. 

By the time the new class of girls have reached this stage, they are ready 
to take on the making of "boxes." We want to explain about those boxes in detail. 
Back a number of years ago, when life was a so-much simpler matter, whenever 
a child entered the orphanage, someone volunteered to clothe that particular 
child. Once or twice a year a box was sent in to this child, containing the 
necessary garments for the next six months. A very intimate contact existed 
between the "Clothing People" and that particular child. 

However, as time went on and people became busier, it was found so much 
easier to just send the material or the money, instead of sending the actual 
garments made to fit. That was when the necessity for a sewing room arose. 
Right now, considerably more than half of the girls are clothed from the 
sewing room, but we try to have them retain some of the pleasures that were 
attached to this old "Box" idea. So when a matron sends in the measurements 
and list of clothes needed for a child, the sewing room makes up that box just 
as though it was being sent in from the outside. The average box contains 


three dresses. One is for Sunday and two for everyday wear, two aprons, and 
about 14 other garments of a more or less intimate nature, all of which are 
made in the sewing room. 

Then, Mr. Lawrence puts in the shoes and the stockings and the box is 
sent complete to the child for whom it is intended. They are just as proud 
as though the box had come from some individual outside. 

When this box-making starts, it is a busy time in the sewing room. 
It is something like threshing time on the farm. They will take a cottage 
at a time, fix up every child in that cottage before they stop, and then 
they take another cottage. Before a cottage is started on, however, the 
matron of that cottage checks over and sees how many hand-me-down garments she 
has. The youngsters here have a habit of growing out of their clothes faster 
than they wear them out; that is, most of them are that way. 

And some of these good outgrown garments just fit a smaller youngster, 
or it will fit them with just a slight alteration. These alterations are made 
in the sewing room. 

Now in addition to that, new children are coming in all the time but 
mainly during the summer. Some of them are well outfitted with clothes. The 
neighbors have attended to that before they came. Others are badly in need 
of an outfit. These are fixed right away. There also seems to be an endless 
demand for curtains, laundry bags, smocks, pillow cases, and even horse-blankets! 
You would not think the farm would make a demand on the sewing room and yet 
they do. There are covers for the threshing machine; cloths to catch the 
shattered wheat during the threshing time, etc. All have to be made in the 
sewing room. 

The sewing room is one of the most attractive places on the campus. 
Our oldest girls work there. That's one reason why it is attractive. It is 


a quiet place. The girls actually have a chance to talk to each other, and 
this is the only big group of girls where this can be done. There is no chance 
to do this in the dish hall where dishes are being washed, on account of the 
clatter. There is not much chance in the laundry because of the noise of the 
machinery there, but in the quiet of the sewing room it is so easy to catch up 
on these conversations that may have backed up in their systems for four or 
five years . 

The sewing room is full of beautiful ferns. Miss Clark has a way with 
flowers, just as she has with clothes, and they seem to grow most luxuriously 
there. Then there are a few electrical fans that lend an air of comfort, 
especially during the summer months. They didn't just happen there, but are 
the results of the girls doing extra work and paying for these things that make 
their summer days so much more comfortable. We always have been proud of our 
sewing department. It is a job that has to be kept on a high level at all 
times. We want our girls to look good at all times, and that is one desire 
in which they agree with us. That's why we are all interested in the sewing 

Our schools give us a head full of knowledge; our dining room gives us a 
full stomach; maybe our sewing room gives us all an eyeful. The sewing does 
have its big part in helping turn out a well-groomed product from our Home. 

And now, the laundry: It is a pity that clothes just will not stay clean. 
You remember about the little boy who grumbled about having to wash his hands 
with soap. He said it made the water so dirty when he used soap. He could not 
be made to believe that the dirt was on his hands! Well, the laundry is a most 
necessary place, even if the younger children don't see the need of it. Once 
a week, a heavy wash goes from Jennie Gilmer, Lee's, Alexander, Synod's, 


Lottie Walker, Howard, Annie Louise, and the Infirmary, and twice a week, from 
the Baby Cottage and the dining room. 

Those tablecloths! They just will get dirty. Milk will jump out of the 
pitchers and glasses and slosh on the tablecloths. Molasses will get on it 
and gravy just seems to prefer jumping out of a gravy dish e^ery time you have a 
perfectly clean tablecloth. The tablecloths have to be changed at least twice 
a week in our big dining room and that means 44 tablecloths have to be washed. 

The laundry is equipped with two big washing machines, a dryer, a return 
apron mangle, two presses, and a whole flock of ironing boards. During the 
school months, Mrs. Lackey, with Miss Overcash to assist; and two colored women, 
run the laundry during school hours. Just as soon as school is out, 12 girls 
go into the laundry while the two colored women proceed to clean up the school 
buildings. Of these girls, three run the washers, the wringer, and the drying 
machine. Three run the mangle, two to feed it, one to fold, and from four to 
six are at work on the ironing boards. This is one busy department. Not only 
is there a lot of work to be done, but it must be done so carefully. If you want 
to hear a howl of protest, just listen to a Jennie Gilmer boy opening his 
laundry bag and finding some of the Baby Cottage clothes therein! And that 
happens if the work is not carefully done. 

This laundry group usually finishes its work in the summer time by Thursday 
noon. They spend Thursday afternoon in cleaning up the laundry. In the winter 
time, it is late Thursday afternoon before the work is completed. One of the 
reasons why they work so hard to finish off Thursday is because on Friday after- 
noon there is usually a football game to go to, and the laundry crowd are the 
most enthusiastic rooters for the Barium team. 

The laundry girls do a lot of extra work, too. Some of the workers who 
live at Barium have their laundry done there. This money does not go to the 


individual girls, but it goes into a fund, and from this fund is paid the 
expenses for special trips, picture shows, or such things as that. Usually 
there's about $75 a year that the laundry girls really set up for the rest 
of the family. The laundry girls also take care of a lot of flowers and potted 
plants that adorn different places on the campus, and that need a safe place to 
go through the winter. 

The laundry is rather a warm place, especially in the summer; and for 
that reason the laundry girls become expert swimmers. It is surprising how 
good that pool feels after a day in the laundry! Mrs. J. D. Lackey is the 
matron in charge of the laundry. Mrs. Lackey's husband was at one time in 
charge of the farm at Barium. Her children have grown up in the Barium school. 
One of them became quite famous as a Statesville football player; then at 
McCallie and after that at Georgia Tech. And another son will be heard from 
at Georgia Tech this year. 


June 1937 

No department of Barium Springs has undergone more changes in the last 
15 years than our school. We believe that a description of these changes 
will help you to realize just what our school is today. 

Let's commence with the fall of 1924. At that time, Mr. T. L. O'Kelly 
was secured as principal, coming to Barium from Westminister School in 
Rutherford County. He set about the monumental task of strengthening all 
the departments in the high school. We were weak in mathematics, in 
languages and in English. 

Mr. O'Kelly first strengthened the mathematics department, then the 
language and finally the English. During his years here, from the fall of 
1924 until commencement of 1935, there was a consistent improvement in our 
entire school system, especially in the high school. 

During those years, the Orphanage school was run on a half-day system. 
The fourth, sixth, seventh and half of the eighth grades went to school in the 
afternoon; the others went to school in the mornings. 

School started at 7:30 and continued until 12:00; then from 1:00 p.m. to 
5:00. The children who went to school in the afternoon worked in the morning; 
and those who went to school in the morning worked in the afternoon. All of 
the work was carried out in this way with just grown people enough to supervise 
and direct the work. 

It required one or two more teachers under this system than we have been 

using since, but there were some splendid features connected with it. The 

children really learned to do work in a more thorough manner under that system 

than under the present one. There were more failures in school and less time 

to really devote to the school work, but the whole thing totaled up as a valuable 



In 1932, there was a big agitation for the Orphanage to go into the 
state school system and the following fall this was attempted. At first, the 
idea was for the state to pay the teachers and for the Orphanage to furnish 
everything else. During the first year, the state did provide for a few 
teachers with everything else going along as usual. It was a nine months' 
school term, the state assisting with eight of these months. 

Then, it was found necessary to conform to the state hours and length 
of term. We had to lengthen the hours of the day and shorten the term to 
eight months. 

This brought about complications. We were unable to get into our regular 
half-day periods the hours required by the state. For one year we attempted 
to lengthen these. We started school at 7:30 in the mornings and taught until 
one o'clock. We started the afternoon session at 2:00 and taught until 6:30. 
We had supper at 7:30, then study hour, and the youngsters finally got to bed 
about 10 o'clock. 

One year of this arrangement was enough to convince us that it was entirely 
impractical. We were forced with two propositions. One was to go on a full day 
school plan; the other was to drop the state school system entirely. 

The decision was made to teach the full day, and for the last three years 
this has been the plan. School starts at 8:30 and runs until 2:30 in the after- 
noon, with an hour-and-a-half study hour at night. 

This has tended to improve our schoool . There are fewer failures, more 
honor roll candidates and possibly a fresher, livelier bunch of youngsters 
in classes. However, on the other hand, it has practically eliminated group 
work. Only the dairy boys and the dining room girls continue their full assign- 
ments. The work of these departments has been described in detail, and we 


won't attempt to go into that. For all the others, their work time is only 
from 2:30 in the afternoon until 5:00. The many interruptions in this particular 
time make it total up very little actual work done by the children during the 
school term. 

As far as the boys are concerned, they catch up when school is out, and 
some of the girls' departments do likewise. 

We don't want to bring in a description of the other departments too much 
on this, as this article is mainly about the schools. 

In building up our school, various departments were added. The commercial 
department; then domestic science, then kindergarten after the Baby Cottage 
was added to the Orphanage, and three extra teachers for coaching backward 
students and for ungraded rooms. During this time there was once when the 
Orphanage had 377 children enrolled and 17 teachers in all the departments of 
the school . 

The first and second grades were combined. Thus there were six teachers 
below the high school and five teachers in the high school, including the 
principal. Sometimes the state pays four of these high school teachers and 
sometimes three, depending on the average daily attendance, and the average 
daily attendance of the Troutman High School, of which Barium is technically a 
part. The past year the state paid for three high school and five grade 
teachers, eight out of a total of 12. 

For the last two years, Mr. R. G. Calhoun has been principal and has worked 

out plans in connection with the state department in a most satisfactory manner. 

During the last year, we were able to increase the number of teachers in the 

grammar school, which allows one teacher for each grade. The work of the whole 

department of the grammar school, of course, ends up with the seventh grade. 

We are glad to state that the statewide examinations that are given the seventh 

grade have shown up our school in a most commendable way ever since these 


examinations have been given. The Barium Springs' seventh grade has led 
Iredell County for five years hand-running. Mrs. J. Q. Holton teaches the 
seventh grade and is the senior member of our faculty. She seems to be the 
member of the faculty whom the graduates remember longest and oftenest. 

We wish we could insert extracts from letters from these graduates in 
this article. 

The burden of these letters conveys this idea: That Mrs. Holton is the 
person who really made these more or less irresponsible students realize the 
necessity and the way to study. She was the one who trained them into the 
habits that made their high school careers a success. They did not realize 
that she was doing this to them at the time, but they do realize it after leaving 
school . 

The size of the graduating classes has shown a change; also their complexion. 
Back in the early twenties, there were usually six or seven in a graduating class 
and at least three-fourths of these were girls. We had almost arrived at the idea 
that "book-larnin" was sissy. However, along about this time Barium commenced 
to take an interest in athletics, too, and the boys began to realize that an 
education, far from being sissy, was the door to some of the reddest-blood 
activity open to any man. The size of the graduating classes has steadily 
increased and the proportion of the boys and girls has changed until now one or 
two more boys than girls graduate. The average class now numbers 20. 

At times a group of girls will want to go to college, but as a general 
thing, there are more boys seeking higher education than girls. At the present 
time, there are four girls and 20 boys in the various colleges. 

Flora Macdonald is the most popular college for the girls; Davidson for 
the boys. 


Barium does not have a full time physical director. The work of this 
particular individual is divided up among the members of the faculty, and one 
member of the Orphanage staff other than the faculty. 

The debating, declamation and activities of this kind are under the sponsor- 
ship of Mr. LeRoy Sossamon, our English teacher. Some interesting statistics 
on our school are inserted below. 

Right now, we are arranging to put back domestic science into our 
curriculum. If we had put off writing this article for another 12 months, we 
believe a number of additional interesting things could be included. 

Take a look at the high school faculty whose likenesses are displayed in 
this issue. We don't know how they look to you, but we believe they are the 
best in North Carolina. 

One of the big achievements of the high school, principally the senior 
class, is the publication of The Spotlight, our High School Annual. You would have 
to see a copy of this fine book to appreciate. The first issue was in 1924 and 
has been published continuously ever since. 


July 1937 

This article describes the Social Service Department; its activities 
touch all phases of Orphanage life. In some ways it is the most important 
department, and yet it is one that very few orphanages had until about ten 
years ago. It was only after we commenced to use case work that we discovered 
how very important it was. People who run hospitals wonder how they ever got 
along without x-ray machines or departments for strictly diagnostic work. 
Well, that is the way orphanages feel about case work. 

In 1926 a case worker was added to the staff at Barium Springs, and then 
shortly afterward we wrote an article on this work. The pamphlet was called 
"CASE WORK, WHAT IS IT? AND WHY?" Much to our surprise, there were calls for 
the pamphlet from all over the United States, and believe it or not—Australia. 
In the preparation for this article we have re-read that ancient pamphlet, and 
it still sounds like pretty good reading. We will quote the first paragraph 
which attempts to define Case Work: 

"Case Work as used by orphanages is simply the careful investigation of 
the individual application, by someone who is thoroughly trained in the aims 
and purposes of the institution he or she serves, and all the other agencies 
for child relief operating in the territory for which the application arises." 

Now, that is a splendid definition as far as it goes, but it covers only 
one-third of the duties of the case worker. 

In order to get started with this article, however, we will concentrate 
on the definition for a while. Applications pour in to Barium Springs at the 
rate of about 150 per year, involving from 300 to 500 children. Most of these 
applications come with a recommendation from pastors, church officers, Auxiliary 


members, or other interested church members. Some applications come to us from 
Welfare Departments. Other applications come to us from parents themselves or 
other relatives. Without a Case Worker, we would just take the first 60 children, 
who would fill up a year's vacancies, and say "No" to the balance. 

However, with a Case Worker, these applications are taken, they are 
investigated, relatives are interviewed, the purposes of the Orphanage explained, 
and other forms of relief are gone into, with a net result that over half of these 
applications are taken care of by the relatives themselves without going any 

The next largest number are taken care of through some other form of relief, 
principally State Mothers' Aid. Quite a number of others are cleared up 
simply by an explanation of what the Orphanage is trying to do. Some people 
actually think they are doing the Orphanage a favor when they recommend children 
for entry here, and we have actually been urged to advertise the Orphanage 
in periodicals just as though it were a preparatory school. 

The Case Worker, in investigating the cases, gets to know the children. 
She gets to know the relatives and the neighbors and the neighborhood from 
which each family of children comes. When a family is accepted, the Case Worker 
quite often is the only person at Barium whom they have ever seen before. Hers 
is the one familiar face that they see on their arrival here. 

When relatives visit the Orphanage, quite often the Case Worker is the 
only person with whom they have any sort of an acquaintance. It is through 
her that other contacts are made. 

The Case Worker's table in the dining room is always filled up with the 
newcomers. She introduces them to the other children. That leads us to a 
description of the second duty of the Case Worker; i.e., the contact-person 


with the relatives of the children here with the old home. All during a 
child's stay at Barium the Case Worker visits the old home at every opportunity 
possible, keeping in touch with parents or other relatives. She takes first- 
hand news, she arranges vacations and visits, and explains so many things to 
these relatives that might otherwise appear awkward and unfair. She is the one- 
more than any other person--who keeps cordial relations alive between the old 
home and the temporary home. 

There are numerous occasions when misunderstandings with children have 
been straightened out by a visit to a relative. 

This duty leads up to the third and possibly the most important of the 
Case Worker's duties, keeping in contact with the children after they leave 

One of the most frequent questions asked us is this: "What do you do with 
your children when they graduate?" The opinion seems to be in so many quarters 
that when a child is graduated or reaches the age for leaving the Orphanage 
he is handed his hat and a bundle of clothes and put out of the front door and 
the door locked behind him. Such is not the case. Contacts are made with the 
relatives or with the people with whom he will likely work. After the boy or 
girl leaves, many visits are made to see how they are getting along, to help 
them make changes in their work and in many ways play the part of "Big 
Brother" to the youngsters who are trying their wings for the first time. 

From this brief description, you can see the three-fold duties of the 
Social Service Department: That of investigation and diagnosis of applications; 
that of liaison officer between the Orphanage and the homes from which the 
children come; and that of a Big Brother lending a helping hand to those who 
are attempting to make their first contacts on their own. Quite a job! 


In addition to this, there are many other duties. Let us enumerate: 
First, since the Case Worker is familiar with the health situation in families 
before they come to Barium, it is perfectly natural that she should assist 
and keep a check on health measures for those children after they enter. 
Second, the keeping of records, case histories, health charts, school records, 
etc., that are necessary to give an accurate picture of the child's past, 
present and an indication of its future. 

A boy or girl joins the Church. That fact eventually finds its way into 
the child's history. When a boy or girl earns a letter in any of the sports, 
that fact is noted on the social record of the child. Any illness or any 
operation is also placed in the records. A result of the annual clinics, in 
the weighing and measuring; becomes a part of the record in this department. 

One other thing that has been added in recent years is a photographic 
history of each family. This is one of the most interesting and informative 
things that you can imagine. Every summer each family group has a kodak 
picture made of it and one of these kodak pictures is placed in the Case History 
of that particular family. A person can look at these pictures and check most 
accurately the yearly progress of that family. Here is an interesting thing: 
One of these pictures located a sick child. It was when we were studying 
these pictures that we noted a dejected appearance on a little girl who was 
\/ery vivacious when spoken to. It was only when she relaxed in having her 
picture taken that her run-down appearance was noted. With this clue and 
others, the child was found to be quite ill and the necessary measures were 
adopted to restore her to health. Later pictures told quite a different story. 

Barium Spring's first Case Worker was Miss Frances Steele. She came 
to us from Georgia where she had done similar work for the Red Cross. She 


served seven years, with the exception of one year, at which time she was in 
New York taking a special course in this particular work. While she was away, 
Miss Portia Mengert did her duties. Miss Steele deserves credit for installing 
a most valuable system of records that we use at Barium and which have been 
copied by a number of other institutions. She is now the head of the Child 
Welfare Service in Georgia. 

Our present Case Worker came to Barium in 1934. She is Miss Rebekah 
Carpenter. She had been pastor's assistant in Lexington, and she has served 
most acceptably. 

A Case Worker is a person who has to grow into the job. She becomes 
acquainted with all the new children whose applications she investigates. 
As years go by, she eventually becomes acquainted with all the children in the 
Orphanage and their families. At the present time Miss Carpenter has 
investigated the applications of half of the children who are at Barium. 
She knows their relatives better than any person here. She has visited the 
homes of practically all the other children and of the graduates for the last 
three years. 

As Miss Steele faced the tremendous job of installing a system and breaking 
in a new job, Miss Carpenter has the tremendous job of adjusting our work to 
the new laws that have been passed during the past year. 

For a number of years North Carolina has had a small Mother's Aid 
appropriation. It was not nearly enough to take care of all the families 
that might have been served with a Mother's Aid grant. 

But this year, commencing July 1, 1937, the State, together with the Federal 
Government, is launching a program that should care for every family that has 
broken down from financial reasons alone. No child with a good mother should 
have to come to the Orphanage. 


cheerful about it because she can see possibly better than any one else, the 
actual work that the Orphanage is doing. She remembers, more than any other 
person on the Orphanage staff, the situation when the children were in their 
deepest need, and she followed them right on through until she sees those 
same children step out into the world ready to do their part without handicap 
and with their chins up. 

Maybe that's why the children feel a little differently toward the Case 
Worker than toward anyone else. They look on her as a member of their family, 
and they rely on her to do things for them and to interpret things for them as 
long as they stay at Barium. 

The best known person at Barium among the Auxiliaries, Sunday Schools 
and the other organizations of the Church is Ernest Milton. The best known 
person among the Clothing Folks and those who send money is Miss Lulie Andrews, 
the bookkeeper and clothing secretary—the person who signs those receipts. 
The best person to people that have something to sell is J. H. Lowrance, the 
assistant superintendent and the purchasing agent. The best known persons 
among the various teams that meet Barium teams are the coaches. But, the 
person whom visiting relatives always ask for is Miss Carpenter. All these 
other folks might come and go without seeing her but relatives, never. 

When Homecoming Day comes around and the oldtimers come back, their day 
is not complete without a reunion with the Case Worker. Her work covers the 
admission of children, it affects their lives here and it is their contact with 
the Orphanage after they leave. 

For 25 years we got along without a Case Worker. Then we found out that, 

by adding this one person to the staff, the effectiveness of the Orphanage 

work was practically doubled. If you don't believe it, write and get one of those 

pamphlets that we referred to in such a complimentary way in the first part of 

this article. We still have a few on hand. 


August 1937 

For the past year or more, we have been writing special articles on the 
various departments, and we published last month the final one of this series; 
but when we commenced to sum up the situation, we found that we had left out 
the most important group of workers at the institution. 

They do not belong primarily to any department, and yet, they have a 
greater effect on the children passing through the institution than any other 
group of workers employed. They are the House Mothers or Matrons. 

Let us introduce them to you: Miss Maggie Adams is the head matron and 
in charge of the High School girls as her particular responsibility. At the 
same time, she has general oversight of the other House Mothers. She lives 
at the Lottie Walker Building, and there are usually from 50 to 70 girls under 
her care. 

Miss Mildred Stevenson is the matron in Rumple Hall, and she has from 32 to 
40 girls under her care, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years. They are the 
dining room crew. 

Miss Verna Woods is the Howard Cottage matron, and she has 28 girls from 
eight to fourteen years of age. 

Miss Kate McGoogan is the Annie Louise matron, with from 32 to 36 girls 
from six to ten years of age. 

Mrs. J. K. McGirt is the Baby Cottage matron and has from 20 to 25 boys and 
girls from two to six years of age. How would you like that job? 

Miss Kate Taylor is the Synod Cottage matron with 32 to 36 boys from six 
to ten years of age. 

Miss Elizabeth Reid is Alexander matron with 35 to 40 boys from 10 to 16 
years of age. 


Miss Mary Turner is Lee's Cottage matron with 32 boys from 10 to 16 years 
of age. 

Jennie Gilmer Cottage, of high school boys, does not have a matron, but 
Miss Nannie Johnston is housekeeper, and performs a good many duties that fall 
to the matrons of other cottages. 

Now, all a matron has to do is to be in her cottage 24 hours a day to see 
that her children get up in time for breakfast, that they are properly clothed, 
that they arrive at breakfast on time, that' they get to school on time, that they 
spend the necessary time on their books, that they change their school clothes to 
their work clothes for their period of work in the afternoon, that they come in 
from their recreation hour on time, that they get to supper on time, that they 
get to bed on time, that they are in good health, that they sleep well, that they 
get up in a good humor, that they are toned down when they are too exuberant and 
cheered when they are despondent, and then, in addition to these duties, she 
must always have time to listen to a child's grievance and to clear up misunder- 
standing between the children and between the children and grown-ups. 

They take the place of a mother in a home for these wery much enlarged 

Visitors to Barium see the children in school, or in the dining room or in 
their work groups, and no doubt think of the Orphanage as one big family. 
We are not exactly one big family, but nine big families, and we live in a 
little village where these families come into rather intimate contact with each 
other. These families have the same problems that an ordinary family has. 
Sometimes these problems are magnified tremendously by the number of people 
involved, and the smooth running of these families is largely in the hands of 
the matrons. 


At the beginning of the Orphanage work very little attention was paid 
to the kind of matron employed. If she was willing to work for little enough 
money and if she was strong and could retain discipline with a strong hand, she 
was pretty apt to be a successful matron. Not so very much intelligence was 
required of her but a good strong back. 

Even in those beginnings of the Orphanage work there were some most 
excellent women doing the work of matrons. In fact, it was the success of these 
few that pointed the way to the present stage when much more is required of a 
matron and so much more consideration is given her. 

Now, the matron is recognized as the key person in the whole Orphanage 
set-up. She is the person that comes in more intimate contact with the children. 
She has more to do with their training and the shaping of their thoughts. She 
is in the lives of the children in her family if she is a good matron. She 
rejoices when they rejoice and grieveswhen they grieve. She has a tremendously 
lot of work to do -- the sort of work that is wearing on most folks -- and yet 
she must never grow tired. She must get up in the morning as though the day 
that was breaking were the day that she had lived all her life to greet. And 
she needs to impart to her family of boys and girls some of this enthusiasm 
so they will look forward to the day not as a hum-drum repetition of other days, 
but as a new experience crowded with new opportunities and pleasures. 

A good matron can't help but love the children under her care and yet she 
must not have pets. And you don't knowwhat a temptation it is to have pets, 
among the children. 

Barium Springs is extremely fortunate in her matrons. They are a loyal, 
congenial group of women, and to describe them in detail would be to describe 
just what the ideal of an Orphanage matron should be. There have been many 


complimentary things said about the children at Barium Springs, about their 
success in the things that they undertake to do, their likeability and their 
good citizenship. We all like to take some credit to ourselves for these 
things, but we must hand the largest share to the matrons. An institution 
may have the finest equipment in the world, and money without end, and still 
not do a satisfactory work if they do not have a staff of good, unselfish, 
Christian women as their matrons, or Cottage mothers. An orphanage may have 
the finest organization and the best of training in the various trades and 
professions, but if that foundation of all things in the cottage is weak, the 
work of the orphanage will be weak. 

The different orphanages in this section of the country have different 
systems. Some of them have children of both sexes and all ages in one 
cottage, having naturally, a small group to each cottage, with its separate 
dining room, making it more like the ordinary home than the system that others 
employ. A child will enter a cottage of this kind, and he or she stays there 
until they finish their sojourn of the Orphanage. The other extreme is for a 
child to enter an Orphanage and stay in a cottage with other children of near 
one age and then move up to a cottage of older children. They do look forward 
to the time of promotion to another cottage where they are given more duties 
and have more pleasures. 

Both systems have their advantages. The latter is used at Barium, not 
so much from choice but because of the arrangement of the buildings and the 
practice that has been employed for so many years. 

If we could change, it is doubtful if we would. Some children seem to 
thrive and develop faster under these promotions. A child that is not such 
a good child under one matron may develop into a very good child under another 


matron. Their natures just do not seem to always adjust to each other. 

The work of a good matron is never lost, no matter how the appearance 
may be. A child may not progress under a matron but later years will 
establish the fact that she has made an impression for good on that child. 

The job of teaching the Bible is now largely the duty of the matron. 
The Bible, unfortunately, has not been in evidence in our schools to the 
extent that it was formerly and a larger part of this duty has devolved on 
the matron. Many other things devolve on the matron. In fact, every 
incomplete job of any department naturally comes back on the matron. A child's 
first lessons of loyalty are learned in the cottage. There is a strong feeling 
of loyalty between matron and children. If you don't believe it, watch a 
basketball game between Lee's and Alexander Cottages. It is always best to 
have a good many people between these two matrons, as in their enthusiasm 
they might become too vigorous in their cheering. 

How do the children feel toward their matron? Well, it would be 
illuminating to sit and listen to some of the conversations when matrons 
are under discussion. Most of the youngsters are positive that their own 
particular matron is the best ever. And we are inclined to agree with all of 

One time a visitor to Barium, when he was asked what he thought was the 
distinguishing trait of the young people at Barium, said: "They act as though 
they expect people to be good to them." 

Well, other people have commented on the same thing, and when you come to 
think of it, that feeling must have been inspired by their associations with 
their matrons. And I think we cannot add much by way of compliment to that 
particular statement. 




First Grade--Ernes ti ne Baldwin, Charles Barrett. 

Second--Dal 1 as Ammons , Helen Hawley, Edgar Long, Hannah Price, 
Myrtle Rushing, Lucile Smith, Dwight Spencer. 

Third--Billy Everett. 

Fourth--Jean Fletcher, Lillie Belle Smith, Betty Williamson. 

Fi f th--Beul ah Baldwin, Evelyn Coppedge, Bobby Whittle. 

Sixth--Joe Ben Gibbs, Myrtle Mills, Margaret Presnell, Mott Price, 
Betty Whittle. 

Seventh--Emma Eudy, Sarah Parcell. 

Ni nth--Ruf us Long . 

Tenth--Mi 1 1 er Blue, Eugene Bosworth. 

El eventh--Lucy Bryant, Lucile Burney, John Donaldson, Clayborne 
Jessup, Leila Johnston, Julius Kinard, Grace Roberts, 
Eugene Shannon, Laura Smith, David Burney. 


First Grade--Ernes ti ne Baldwin, Charles Barrett. 

Second--Dal 1 as Ammons, Myrtle Rushing. 

Third--Billy Everett, Esau Davis. 

Fourth--Li 1 1 ie Belle Smith, Betty Williamson. 

Fi fth--Beulah Baldwin, Bobby Whittle. 

Sixth--Mott Price, Betty Whittle. 

Seventh--Emma Eudy, Sarah Parcell. 

Eighth--Mary Adams, Mary Penn Lindsay. 

Ninth--Rufus Long, Nancy Parcell. 

Tenth--Mi 1 1 er Blue, Nellie Johnson, Marley Sigmon. 

Eleventh--Lucile Burney, Leila Johnston. 


October 1937 
There were 2 7 who made the honor roll in October. Apparently, 
the boys and girls required a little time to assiduously apply 
themslves to their studies, but now such application has been 
made and they are in their regular school stride. Therefore, 
there could be a substantial increase in the number last month. 
Those 27 honor roll children in October are as follows: 
First -- Herbert Good 
Second--Ernes ti ne Baldwin, Charles Barrett, Mildred Monroe, 

Betty Joe Smith, and Lucille Stricklin. 
Third-- Myrtle Rushing 
Fourth --Esau Davis 
Fifth--Betty Williamson 
Sixth — Billie Ammons and Leland Rogers 
Seventh--Joe Ben Gibbs and Mott Price 
Ei ghth--Sarah Parcell 

Ninth—William Brock and Arthur Roach 
Tenth--Henry Al esssandri ni , Al exander Edwards, Arthur Sigmon, 

and Helen Thomas 
El eventh--Martha Adams, Robert Brown, Nelson Farmer, Nellie 
Johnson, Alice Jones, Eugene Shannon, and David 
Spencer . 


November 1937 

The Saint Cecelia Music Club met October 21, 1937, and the 
following program was enjoyed by the members of the club: 
Wh i ms --Schumann , Hattie Michael. 

II n 

Sing, Robin, Si ng--Spaul d i ng , Ernestine Garrett and Miss Greene 
''Dream River- -Kern, Helen Thomas. 
Reading of Life of Stephen Foster and playing of "Old Black 
Joe," Betty Mi 1 ler. 

"Curious Story --Stephen Heller, Ma ry Duffie Coppedge. 
"Moment Mus i ca 1 - -Sch ubert , Johnnie Burgin and Martha Kinard. 
" Amarq 1 1 i s ,'' Alice Jones. 
Song "Bob! ink"--J . W. Bischaff, Miss McKethan. 
The program was concluded by a musical contest conducted by 
Hattie Michael and Lucille Norris. 
The new club officers are: 
President — Alice Jones. 
Vi ce-Pres i dent--Nancy Parcell. 
Sec. & Treas . --Martha Adams. 



"Around The World In Music Germany," Irene Fort. 

"The Happy Farmer "- -Schuman , David Burney. 

"Evening "--Law, Myrtle Mills and Miss Greene. 

"Rondino"--Kuhlauk, Ruth Cole. 

"Water Nymphs '-- Rol fe , Grace Cayton. 

"Sail Boats " --Loui se Stairs, Mabel Billings (played and sang 

"Indian Lament " --Cadman , Lelia Johnston. 

"The Spinning Wheel " --Schmol e , Martha Kinard. 

"School Day Joys "-- Kramer , Lugene White, Irene Fort 




(He cited two reasons for an annual assembly of The Barium Alumni. 
How to help- He told Alumni to let it be known that they are 
graduates . ) 

Rev. J. Oscar Mann, director of religious education in the 
Synod of North Carolina and 1902 graduate of the Presbyterian Orphans' 
Home, made a very striking, timely and stirring address to the alumni 
who assembled in the auditorium of the grammar school building for 
an afternoon meeting on Home Coming Day here November 26. It was 
the first time, but it won't be the last, that a prepared program and 
a selected speaker was arranged for the returning alumni who came 
back to their Home from several states. 

The speaker began his address by citing a two-fold purpose of 
such assemblies. The first was the opportunity of getting in 
touch with "our old home," catching again the visions and dreams 
of our boyhood and girlhood days, renewing friendships and sharing our 
experiences with others. The second purpose of an alumni gathering, 
said Mr. Mann, is that "we shall, in our united and cooperative 
way, work to make the institution stronger so that in the future 
others might come to Barium Springs." 

It was upon this second point that Mr. Mann elaborated at 
length and he advanced two salient ways in which the alumni can be 
of invaluable assistance to the Home. The first mentioned was 
"let it be distinctly known that we have a happy pride in being 
reared in the Barium Home" and the second one, "live up to, as best 
as we can, the teachings, traditions and character instilled in us 
whi 1 e we were here . " 


The speaker, who travels the length and breadth of this Synod 
in his present capacity as religious education director, said that 
he had been amazed and thrilled to learn of the great love of many 
thousands of Presbyterian friends. Offsetting this delightful 
revelation was his contact with a few (not very many, he added) 
of the graduates of the Orphanage who try to "soft-pedal the fact 
that they were once at Barium, who are not anxious for people to 
know that they were in the Home." 

At this juncture, Mr. Mann became vehement and said that such 
an attitude was "unbecoming, ungrateful and contemptible. Every 
last one of the boys and girls who have ever been at the Orphan- 
age ought to be glad of the Providence of God that he was here 
and proud of that fact. You'll increase your own self-respect 
and increase the respect of others, he contended, if you'll let 
the world know that you are an alumnus of the Presbyterian 
Orphans ' Home . " 

In touching upon his second point, the visiting minister felt 
that "when we go out, we can, in our conduct, standards and ideals, 
carry the institution to the eyes of the world." A person goes 
out, he continued, "to carry not only his personal honor, but the 
honor of the institution." The latter, he said, would be judged 
and appraised by that honor. 

Mr. Mann felt that the alumni could honor the Home by finding 
"our place out there where we can find ourselves. There is a 
place for each of us. * * * There is a particular call to Barium 
boys and girls, for in the world there stands a constant challenge 
to people of intelligence, courage and character. 

"It's no accident that you ever came to Barium" said Mr. Mann 

toward the close of the address. Let no one leave Barium thinking 


that they are handicapped. It's a privilege to be here. It is fine, 

effective and inspiring to complete your elementary education at 

the Orphanage. God placed us here because he had a place and a 
chal 1 enge for us . " 




(Last month marked another year in which there was no fatal illness; 
none in past five; only death since July, 1926, happened in June 1933 

Another twelve months have gone by, and another year has been 
completed without a death occurring among the large Orphanage family 
at Barium. This means that there has been only one death among 
the average enrollment of 325 children in the past 12 years, and no 
death in this Barium family of children in the last five years. 

The only death since July, 1933, was that of Harvey Lee Wilson, 
who died in the early part of June, 1933. He was stricken with a 
malady that is generally fatal and died after only three days' 

It is believed that doctors everywhere will marvel at the 
record that has been made at Barium. It is recalled thatone doctor 
found difficulty three years ago in giving credence to the state- 
ment that there had been but a single death in a span of nine 
years, and his credulity will be taxed all the more today because 
of the announcement of only one death in 12 years. 

It is seriously doubtful that any community, with an average 
child population of 325 children in a dozen years, could claim 
such a record as has been made at Barium Springs. The population 
here has successfully weathered that large number of children's 
diseases, some of which are fatal in youth. There have been 
plenty of serious operations, too, but they have come through 

Many factors have contributed to this phenomenal health 

record, among which can be named: wholesome food, plenty of 

milk, regularity of hours, bodily exercise, splendid and painstaking 

health supervision locally. 


Among the alumni recently visiting the Orphanage was Mrs. 
Janie Gilliland Mayhew of Moores vi 1 1 e, who is a sister of the 
little fellow for whom Little Joe's Church at Barium Springs was 
named when it was erected over 30 years ago. Mrs. Mayhew finished 
at Barium Springs in 1914. She and her brother, Little Joe 
Gi 1 1 i 1 and, came to Barium at the same time. 
















Hazel Miller 

Marley Sigmon 

Marie Smith 

Eugene Bosworth 

Nellie Johnson 

Bryson Stinson 

Lucille Norris 

Joe Savage 

Martha Lewis Adams 
Eugene Shannon 

Robert Stinson 
CI eo SI uder 

Dorothy Weeks 

David Spencer 

Elmeree Smith 

Hugh McCrimmon 

Mascot: William Thompson Clark 

Ace Medal : Eugene Shannon 



The purpose of this history is not to relate every step 
in the progress of a class from their humble beginning as Fresh- 
men, four years ago, to their arrival at the dizzy height they 
now occupy. On the contrary, in accordance with the modern 
tendencies in historical writing, we aim to emphasize only those 
factors in our class development which appeal to us as most vital 
from the standpoint of today. 

You will notice that there has been no attempt on our part to 
smooth over any awkward spots in this history; we have faithfully 
kept to the truth, regardless of tradition or custom. 

This history is divided into three interesting parts: Discovery, 
Exploration and Settlement, with an afterword for each. 


The discovery of the class of 1938 was an accident. Four 
years ago, early one morning on the first of September, the faculty 
of the Barium Springs High School was strolling aimlessly through 
the halls talking about the just-ended vacation and wondering 
whether there would be anything new in the coming year's work. 

Suddenly they caught a glimpse of something new and strange. 
Just inside the front door, huddled together in silent embarrass- 
ment and anxiety, were the members of what became the class of 
1938. To the casual eye, they seemed merely a group of ordinary 
boys and girls, well-dressed, reasonably good looking, and badly 
frightened. But to the eye of these experienced explorers these 
strangers seemed to possess talents, deficiencies and capabilities 
worth finding out. 



Gently (Misspelling their fears, the faculty bade them enter 
and succeeded, after great difficulty, in gaining their confidence 
and friendship. 

Principal O'Kelly received the news of the discovery of an 
addition to his territory with marked delight and a few misgivings. 
He examined with interest the trophies presented by the strangers 
to their discoveries. 

The strangers were divided into small groups under different 
explorers and given the name of Freshmen. Many new and strange 
customs were taught them, also many hard lessons. But by Thanks- 
giving they were familiar with their new situation. 

They elected their own class officers: President, Roy Hendrix; 
Vice-President, Mabel Flowers; Secretary and Treasurer, Miller 
Blue; Historian, Alice Jones. These Freshmen were unusually 
intellectual . 

At the end of the year a terrible thing happened. This dis- 
aster was Final Examinations and the receiving of a new name, 
Sophomore. Many failed to withstand this shock. 

Everything was familiar now so they elected officers: 
President, Elmeree Smith; Vice-President, Hugh McCrimmon; 
Secretary and Treasurer, Miller Blue; Historian, Hattie Michael, 
and pushed forward. 

In the third year these became Juniors and their sense 
of importance increased. 

And now the fourth and greatest year of our history--the 
Senior year. They were converted from a band of ignorant natives 
into a dignified class. Class officers elected were: President, 

Joe Savage; Vice-President, Bryson Stinson; Secretary and Treasurer, 


Nellie Johnson; Historian, Lucille Norn's. They plunged into social 
and finishing events. By way of celebration a strange ceremony 
known as Commencement was held. 

The next period is not so easy to describe. These Seniors 
have all chosen their vocations. Each is determined to become 
famous and honored throughout the land. 

Lucille Norris, Class Historian 



We, the Senior Class, Will: 

To Mr. Jos. B. Johnston, we leave behind our thoughts of 
appreciation and gratitude, for all the things he has done for 
our Senior Class. 

To the Teachers: Our thanks for the many, many times they have 
made things easy. 

To the tenth grade: Our place as being the "Best" class in 
high sdhool. 

To the ninth grade: Our places in the senior class room. 

To the eighth grade: Our ability to finish high school. 

I, David Spencer, do hereby will and bequeath my athletic 
ability to Wilma "Shorty" Jessup, and to Lee, my brother, my school 
sense, and also my ability to get along with the girls. 

I, Dorothy Weeks, do hereby will and bequeath to my brother, 
Jessie, my ambition to finish school; to Jack, my height: to Joyce, 
my place in the sewing room, and to Bessie, everything I leave 

I, Hugh McCrimmon, do hereby will and bequeath to Miller Blue 
(the mighty man of next year's football team) my duty of blocking 
for J. D.; to "Acorkj," my place at the Woman's Building, if he 
cares to use i t . 

I, Cleo Sluder, do hereby will and bequeath to Ernestine 
Garrett all my old nail polish; to Grace Coppedge, my white dress 
that she wanted so long, and to Hattie Michael, all my bobby pins. 

I, Joe Savage, hereby will to the ones who are at Barium 
the happiness I received and hope that they make the most cut of 


it. But speaking of junk, it goes to my ex-brothers, Donnie and 
Dalma; to Hattie, my place as guard on the football team. 

I, Hazel Miller, do hereby will and bequeath to Hattie Michael 
all my clothes that are too small for me, and everything I leave 
behind so that she will not borrow any more; to Wilma, my extra 

I, Bryson Stinson, do hereby will and bequeath to "Hod Bolton," 
my future Ducks. 

I, Elmeree Smith, do hereby will and bequeath to my sisters, 
Gertie, Flora Mae and Lillie Belle, my pleasant smile and my happy 
disposition with the hope that, as with me, it will bring them many 
happy returns; to Vance, my ability to get along with teachers 
and matrons; to Hattie Michael, my place on the basketball team. 

I, Eugene Bosworth, will and bequeath to Bobbie, my brother, my 
luck in wrestling in hopes it will do as much for him as it did 
for me; to Roland Gant, all my old razor blades. The rest is to 
be scrambled for. (Boys, Boys! Don't get choked !) 

I, Marie Smith, do hereby will and bequeath to my brothers and 
sisters my ability to finish school and to all newcomers to Barium 
all the good times I have had here. 

I, Robert Stinson, do hereby will and bequeath to Willie, my 
brother, my ambition to finish school. 

I, Nellie Johnson, do hereby will and bequeath to Bessie Kennedy, 
a broken mirror which has been handed down for ages; to Dwight,my 
place in school; to Lorene Brown, my room on first floor when she 
becomes a senior. Watch out, Lorene, or you might fall through a 
rat hole; they are getting rather large now. 


I, Eugene Shannon, being a little beyond my self and probably 
out of my mind, do hereby will and bequeath to Paul Mase McKenzie 
anything he can chisel out of me and to Hi-Yi Long, my place in 
the room, if he's big enough to bluff the brutes already here. 

I, Martha Adams, do hereby will and bequeath to my sister, 
Mary, my personality and common sense and to Betty, my muscial 
ability; to Mary Elizabeth Sanders, all my love letters which I 
spent the majority of my time hiding from her. Tear them up as 
you read them, Mary Elizabeth. 

I, Marley Sigmon, will to my smaller brother, "Moon Long John" 
Sigmon, the Savage-Si gmon barber shop, and hope that he will leave 
the rest of the ears that Savage did not cut off; to Paul McKenzie 
and Ed. Cole, I will my place in the dungeons where the rats 
have a football game every night. 

I, Lucille Norris, do hereby will and bequeath to my brothers, 

Marshall and A. G., my appreciation of school; to Alice Jones, my 

bobby pins; to Hattie Michael, my surplus weight that she may 

never be skinny, and to David Flowers, my cha^win^ smi 1 e . 

Dorothy V. Weeks 

Lawyer and Witness 



One day in the year 1960 I went to a football game at David- 
son Col 1 ege . 

At the gate taking up tickets I saw a face that I thought 
was familiar. After an introduction by a friend* I found he 
was the son of Professor Savage and Elmeree Smith Savage. The 
boy told me I would not know his father because he now wore glasses 
and had a bald head. 

Upon entering the stadium my attention was attracted to the 
coaches. They were Hugh McCrimmon and David Spencer. Farther 
along the sideline I saw another classmate, Marie Smith, seated 
near her son who was a star football player. Marie seemed to 
express the same anxiety she had expressed at Barium's games. 

During the game I noticed Dorothy Weeks, secretary to Marley 
Sigmon, who is head of a large firm in Virginia. After talking 
with Dot, I learned that she and Marley still had their spats; 
also, that there were prospects of her becoming his wife instead 
of secretary. 

It was nearing the end of the game when I received an invitation 

to dinner at a hotel with Nellie Johnson, an old friend, who, 

after ten years of teaching, was happily married and living in 


We spent most of the time talking about our classmates and 

I learned from her that Cleo Sluder was to be wedded to an Italian 
the following month. 

While in that part of the country we decided to visit Barium, 
even if it was night. We went first to see the music teacher, 


Lucille Norn's, and telephoned the principal, Eugene Shannon, to 
come over to the studio and bring Bryson and Robert Stinson, who were 
now in charge of Barium's farm, which covered twice as much as 
when we were there. The convict camp had been removed. 

Each of these persons added bits of information to my 
knowledge of my classmates. Eugene Bosworth was a member of the 
House of Representatives in Washington. Hazel Miller was a nurse 
in a hospital there and had finished her training in time to go 
to the war in China as a government nurse. 

On my way home that night I spent my time thinking how well 
everyone in our class had done. I hoped that they were all as 
content as I. After my trip I sat for a long time thinking how 
I would go back to my work in the morning as postmistress and hoped 
to see all my classmates again. 

Martha Adams, Class Prophet 



January 1938 

Making hay is one of our major jobs on the farm during early fall, so 
we will try to point out to you readers and friends how this is done at 

Getting a good cure on the hay is one of our most difficult problems. 
In order to make hay of high quality, it must be cured evenly, so as to have 
a uniform pea green color throughout. The stems should be dry enough, so, when 
a hand full of hay is picked up and twisted, the stems will break readily 
(but not brittle). Just as many leaves as possible should cling to the stems, 
for in the leaves we find most of the food value. When this is accomplished, 
we have a hay which is very nutritious and very palatable. 

Our methods of curing hay to make it of a desirable color, nutritious 
and palatable are simple. Cutting, drying, cocking, hauling, and storing 
are the processes. 

There are about 91 acres of land devoted for hay at Barium. This is cut 
with two horse-drawn mowers and one tractor. 

It is mowed from two to four times per year. After it is cut, it is 
allowed to dry from one to two days. 

There are two types of drying. One is the sun-dried; the other is air- 
dried. Hay that has been air-dried usually has a better color and more plant 
food. If too much direct sun is allowed to come in contact with the hay, it 
will bleach out most of the plant food. This is avoided by a process called 

Cocking consists of putting the partially cured hay in small piles. The 
object is two-fold: It reduces the surface exposed to the dew and it evens up 
the drying for the reason that the relatively dry leaves draw water from the 


moist stems. Cocking also reduces the amount of bleaching. If the hay 
happens to get rained on while it is cocked, it is spread out to dry and then 
repiled. When this happens, the hay is usually damaged some. 

Caution is taken to never handle partially cured hay while wet with dew 
or rain. The surface of the hay, if lyfnq in a pile, is the part which was 
best cured before the rain or dew. It is in the best position to dry promptly. 
If stirred before the surface is dry, the surface moisture would come in 
contact with the dried hay beneath, by which it would be readily absorbed. 

After the hay is cured, it is loaded by hand in loads from one to three 
tons per load and hauled to the barn and stored in a dry loft, so as to 
preserve its qualities for winter feeding. 

We cannot afford to deprive our cows of good hay because we cannot afford 
to be deprived of lots of good milk. 


February 1938 

(New minister for Little Joe's Church will assume his duties in February; second 
pastorate. Mr. Cook went to Salisbury Second Church from seminary.) 

The people at Barium Springs have been \/ery much pleased since it was 
announced that Rev. Thomas C. Cook, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church in 
Salisbury for the past seven years, had accepted a call to become pastor of Little 
Joe's Church here. 

Rev. Mr. Cook, his wife and two sons will move to Barium Springs the first 
part of February. Installation of the new pastor will take place on Sunday, 
February 20. 

"He was born in Richmond, Va., on June 12, 1899, and is the son of Rev. James 
E. Cook, a Presbyterian minister now located at Bay Minnette, Alabama. He 
married Miss Rosie Mae Brooks, of Richmond, on August 28, 1926, and they now 
have two children: Tom, Jr., 6 and James Montague, 2. 

Rev. Cook graduated from his school in the spring of 1917, and in 
September of that year enlisted in the army at Fortress Monroe, Va. He was 
shortly sent overseas serving with the 54th C. A. C, Battery B. He saw about 
six months active service on four fronts: Meuse-Argonne, Shamaigne-Marne, 
Aisne-Marne, and St. Mihiel. After the armistice, he spent about seven months 
with the army of occupation in Germany." 


July 1938 

(Those responsible for camp entertained with fish fry on June 17--now in use.) 

Way back last winter, we set a hen on a great big egg. That egg contained 
our hopes about a camp. Well, now it's hatched out, and my! such a hatching! You 
can actually see and touch and enjoy that camp. It's no longer just a hope; 
it's a reality. It was formally opened on Friday night, June 17, with a big 
fish fry. This fish fry was given in honor of all the people who had helped 
in any way to get this thing started, and you ought to have seen the crowd. 
Something like 250 people came, and more than that number were eligible to 
come, but were unable to come. We all just ate fish and inspected the camp 
and had dreams about what the camp was going to mean to the orphanages of this 
part of North Carolina. 

We wish we could describe this camp to all our readers. We would have 
to take an airplane view of it to really get an adequate description of it. 
Briefly, it is composed of three main buildings. One is for the girls' sleeping 
quarters, one for the boys' sleeping quarters and one for a dining room and 
kitchen. Then there's an outdoor shed with just a roof on it which we named 
"The Pavilion.." Then there's an outdoor furnace or stove, ideal for frying 
fish, weiner roasts, barbecues, and such. It was the last named place that the 
fish fry was staged. 

There were some 50 people from Charlotte. There were people from 
Salisbury, Hickory, Mooresville, and, of course, Statesville and Barium Springs. 

A good many people have written about this. The Charlotte Observer and 
The Statesville Daily have both carried pretty full writeups. We are hurrying 
through this part of it to get to the first week the camp was put into actual 
use, and that was Monday, June 20. On tha-bday, accompanied by heavy rains, 
and all sorts of ominous omens, 85 boys and girls from six to twelve years of 


age went out. They swarmed over the place like the sheep did when they were 
first taken out there. They ran from one end to another, and tried all the 
swings, tried all the games and did a little bit of everything until supper 
time; and then they ate up everything that was in sight. This was the first 
lesson to the counsellors: That folk on a camp eat just twice as much as they 
do in their regular daily habits. The first night at camp nobody slept, 
which is usually the case. Everybody is so excited, but even at that, nobody 

The river running over the shoals right near the camp makes such an even 
soporific sound that, as one little girl expressed it, you could lie awake 
in one end of their sleeping quarters and not hear anybody snoring at the other 
end. Part of them could be awake and part of them sleeping without disturbing 
the sleepers. 

Tuesday was an ideal day. The swimming arrangements were organized and 
the old Catawba River had one busy day! Not only Tuesday, but Wednesday, 
Thursday, Friday and Saturday -- twice a day — the whole bunch went out and 
thought up more different ways to enjoy the water than any hundred grown 
people could think up by concentrating a year. 

The most popular place in the river was the shoals, where the water was 
swift and made a lot of noise, and acted awfully dangerous; but after all, it 
was just like puppies growling -- it was all in fun. 

One of the most delightful features of the camp was the fact that the Catawba 
River at that one spot has more safe territory than any other place on it. There 
ens. at least four acres of shallow water with sandy bottom that even the small 
children can play in. 


We won't attempt to describe this too much in detail for fear it will get 
monotonous. You will find mention of this in every cottage letter from now 
until snow falls. 

Speaking of puppies, a neighbor gave us two small collie pups, and they 
are part of the camp equipment. They get awfully lonesome when there are no 
little boys to play with them; and when they get tired of the boys, they just go 
right under the house and rest up. They furnish a lot of fun and get a lot 
of fun out of the camp. 

Before we close this article, we want to hand some bouquets to the sheep. 
You remember our first description of the camp in a former issue of The Messenger- 
It was one mass of honeysuckle, poison oak and cane. We despaired of getting it 
cleaned up enough for this year, but we did make a start at it, and then fenced 
this in and put some sheep in it. Those sheep first ate every sprig of poison 
oak that there was in the camp site, then they worked on the honeysuckle and 
then the cane, and they did such a grand job of it that not one single case of 
poison oak poisoning resulted from our week's camp. There were a lot of stumped 
toes and cut feet from stumps and roots, but the sheep just couldn't quite handle 
this in one summer. We believe that they will have it all in ship-shape by next 
summer so that even a stumped toe will be a rarity. 

Even when we have a stumped toe, it isn't altogether a calamity. Mr. Allen 
Mills and his daughter, Mildred, presented us with a beautiful first-aid cabinet 
and it has so many things in there that it looks likeeyery emergency was 
anticipated. It just makes you want to go out and stump your toe to get treated 
from such a fine cabinet. 

By the way, the Mills family have had a lot to do with this camp. Mr. N. B. 
Mills is the trustee of the land on which the camp is located. It was through 


his cooperation and encouragement that the land was secured for this camp. His 
son, Mr. Allen Mills, helped work this through also. And now his daughter's 
name is on the first-aid cabinet. Three generations of Mills! We hope there 
will be a dozen generations like them. 

The only thing that marred the first camp was the lack of light. We built 
the camp in such a hurry that we had not made adequate provision for lights, 
and when the time came to start up, it looked as though we would not get the 
lights, but several good friends, working together with the Duke Power Company, 
arranged for us to have lights, and these are now being installed. Next week 
it will look like the Great White Way. 

It may be of interest to our readers to know the schedule of this camp. Here 
it is: Next week, commencing July 4, the Junior Order Orphanage of Lexington 
will use the camp. On the week following, July 11, Barium will use it. On the 
18th, Barium will use it. Then the week commencing July 25 and August 1, it will 
be used by the big Baptist Orphanage of Thomasville. The week commencing 
August 8, it will be used by the Children's Home of Winston-Salem. Then 
August 15 and August 22, again by Barium. 

If you are interested in any of these groups, drop in and pay them a 
visit. It will knock a few years off of your age to spend a little time with 
these delightful groups of young people. 

On the opening night, June 17, it had been suggested that a name be selected, 
and a number of names were mentioned — names of individuals -- but somehow none 
of these suggestions seemed just to click. During the first camp, somehow 
folks just commenced to call it "Camp Fellowship." They knew that the Fellowship 
Club of Charlotte Second Church had sponsored the idea, and everybody else had 
fallen in with the idea just like good fellows, too. It seems that that name 


"Fellowship" just grew on the camp rather than by having anyone suggest it 
and it looks like that name will stick. Can anyone suggest a better? 



During the week of June 20-25, 80 Barium boys and girls tried out Camp 
Fellowship on the Catawba River for the first time. Misses Mary E. Turner, 
Sadie Brandon and Ann Fayssoux Johnston were counsellors-in-charge. Mr. and 
Mrs. George Neel and Miss Rebekah Carpenter assisted during part of the stay. 

At the end of the week, the children held an election in order to determine 
who was the best camper. Results: Girls, first place (tie), Martha Price and 
Margaret Steed; second place (tie), Ernestine Baldwin and Helen Hawley. Boys, 
first place (tie), Bennett Baldwin and Raymond Good; second place, Gene Love. 

A committee of senior counsellors selected the following as outstanding 
campers worthy of honorable mention: (Girls) Betty Lou Davis, Callie Dunn, 
Dorothy Maples; (Boys) Dallas Ammons, Billy Everett, Grady Mundy, Robert L. 
Pearson and Dwight Spencer. 

The families deserving of recognition were: Blue, Buie, Ferguson, three 
Smith families, Stricklin and Rogers. 

Tournament Winners 

Hop Scotch--first, Wilbur Coats; second (tie), Dallas Ammons and Bertie 
Lou Whitner. 

Horseshoe--Gene Thomas Whitner. 

Bubble--(tie) , Mattie Pearl Denson and Robert L. Pearson. Gene Love 
chosen as champion over long period of time. 

Marble--first, Grady Mundy; second, John Ammons; third, Herman Smith. 

Jump Rope--first, Hannah Price; second, Dorothy Maples; third Martha Price. 
Special mention to Bertie Lou Whitner and Frances Evelyn Whitner. 

Jack Rocks (all winners)--Hannah Price, Myrtle Rushing, Violet Knight, 
Grady Mundy, Bertie Lou Whitner, Helen Hawley, Johnnie Ferguson, Wilbur Coats, 
Nita Shepherd, Janie Smith, Mary Alice Stevens, Pete Long, Gene Bonous, and 
Betty Dorton. 




(After getting $2.50 from Tarboro lady, asked to be remembered in 
her prayers . ) 

Another imposter, who goes by the name of J. J. Alley, is again 
soliciting magazine subscriptions in the eastern part of North 
Carol i na, cl aimi ng to be a graduate of the Presbyterian Orphans' 
Home here and using that as a basis of appealing for subscriptions. 
This was called to the attention of Orphanage officials in a letter 
from a lady in Tarboro who said that she had given the young man 
$2.50, but had never received any magazines. The solicitor was a 

The Presbyterian Orphans' Home has never authorized any graduate 
to solicit subscriptions and does not know of any bona fide graduates 
who are in the legitimate business of selling magazines. If any 
graduate ever goes into the magazine field, he or she will have in 
'Ms/her possession a letter from Jos. B. Johnston, superintendent of 
the Orphanage, and other things to substantiate the claim that the 
solicitor is a graduate of the Orphanage. 



August 1938 

(Four changes in regular corps of workers at Orphanage--one addition; 
two in schools; new grammar school principal and new domestic science 
teacher. ) 

Every year at the beginning of school we expect to see a number 
of new faces among the children, and by the same token we miss a lot 
of the faces that have been regular members of our faculty for 
years past. 

The same way, but to a lesser extent, we observe changes in 
the staff. This year, among the workers in the various cottages, 
we will miss Miss Kate McGoogan, Mrs. Eola McGirt, Miss Una L. Moore 
and Miss Maude Inman. Miss McGoogan died during the last school year, 
and her cottage is now being presided over by Mrs. John Q. Holton. 
We do not need to introduce Mrs. Holton, as she has been the seventh 
grade teacher here at Barium through two generations of Orphanage 
children. She is making a most acceptable Annie Louise matron. The 
Baby Cottage: Mrs. McGirt has had to drop her work for a time and 
has been succeeded by Mrs. M. D. Southerland. A number of years ago 
Mrs. Southerland was Lee's Cottage matron, and comes back to us to 
work in the Baby Cottage just as young, just as agreeable, and just 
as efficient as she was years ago at Lee's. Mrs. T. L. O'Kelly will 
continue as a most satisfactory assistant at the Baby Cottage. 

In the Infirmary the dean of all the Orphanage workers has left: 
Miss Una L. Moore. We won't attempt to tell her age, because she 
still reads The Messenger, although 'way out in Nebraska, and she 
doesn't begin to look or act her years. Miss Moore has been head 
of the Infirmary for many years and before that she saw service at the 
Baby Cottage and Alexander Cottage. 


We should mention the carpenter and head repair man, John Wesley 
Ervin. He came to us about a year ago. Mr. Bob Nesbitt had been doing 
the repair work for quite some time, and left us and was succeeded by 
Mr. Ervin, who came to work right at the time when a lot of repair work 
was going on. The repair of Mr. Lowrance's house fell to him, and 
then during the winter and spring, the plans for the building of the 
camp out on the river fell to his lot. The lion's share of the credit 
for the fine success of the camp belongs to Mr. Ervin and his crew. 

In the school there are several changes. Mrs. Holton has retired 
from the seventh grade, and her work will be taken up by Mr. Harry 
Barkley, long-time neighbor of Barium. He came straight from Erskine 
College to Troutman, where he taught for a number of years, and then 
for several years was at Scotts. He has been many times at Barium; 
as a visitor, as a competitor, and sometimes as an official in 
our football games. We are glad for both Mr. and Mrs. Barkley to 
move in and belong to our family. 

*Scott's High School (ed) 

(A rural Iredell County School) 




Hi Everybody, 

So many things have happened this month that we don't know what 
to say first. All that we hear on the campus now is about our 
camping trip on the banks of the Catawba River. 

The swimming pool is open now and we are having a good time 
splashing about in the water. 

Mrs. McNatt, our beloved matron, spent the weekend at Fayette- 
ville with her daughters, Miss Rachel and Virginia McNatt and 
Mrs. C. S. Clark and her daughter, Doris. 

We want to thank Mr. Sams for inviting us to the two pictures, 
"College Swing" and "Kentucky Moonshine." We certainly enjoyed 

A nice man from Atlanta, Ga., gave us a dollar to get some 
candy. We certainly did apprecite it. 

Louise Brock, one of our girls, recited the Shorter Catechism 
and five recited the Child's Catechism. They are: Janie Hall, 
Betty Joe Smith, Nita Shepherd, Lucile Strickland, and Dorothy 
Shephard . 

We want to thank Miss Carpenter and Miss Clark for the nice 
May-Day program they sponsored at the football field. Our May-Day 
Queen was Nancy Parcell and our cottage had the honor of having 
the Maid of Honor, Mildred Eudy. 

You will hear more from us next month. 

Martha Price 

Janie Smith 




Hello There , 

There seems only a short time since our last letter, but time 
flies when we are busy at work. 

Now that vacation time is here we think time stands still while 
each boy awaits his turn to go. 

All are looking forward to a few days' stay at our new camp on 
the Catawba River. 

John Lee is visiting his mother in Cherryville. Thomas Morgan 
and Henry Pittman are going to Lenoir soon to visit Mrs. Bernhardt. 
Lacy Beshears expects to leave June 4th to visit his sister in 
Danvi lie, Va . 

Two of our boys, Henry Pittman and Roland Hooten, moved to 
Jennie Gilmer this week and Clifton and Clifford Barefoot of Synod's 
Cottage came in to take their places. 

Jimmy Stafford will attend the Intermediate Young People's 
Conference at Mitchell College, Statesville, June 6-11. 

Others booked for vacations soon are: Dick Parrish and Hugh 
Norman. Dick is going to Winston-Salem and Hugh to Washington, DC. 

Our early peaches are ripening now and Mr. Thomas, our orchard 
man, has sent some to the cottages several times. 

If our paws don't get writers' cramp from this, we will write 
again soon. 

--Cecil Shepherd 

Richard Shoaf 




Dear Fr i ends , 

Although we needed rain we wish it would stop so we could go 
swimming, play baseball and do some pole-vaulting. 

We have three new boys. They are Billy Lybrand, John Smith, 
Jr., and Donald Pettus. We hope they enjoy being with us. 

Clifford and Clifton Barefoot have moved to Alexander. 

Wilbur Coats went on his vacation May 30th. He will 
stay two weeks . 

Seventeen of us were in the May-Day Festival last Saturday. 

We have been going to the river and picking up the rocks around 
the camp. 

Leland Rogers caught a turtle at the river. It has been quite a 
pet around here. 

We are counting the days until June 20. We go to the camp for 
a week then. Misses Turner and Anne Fayssoux Johnston will be our 
counsel 1 ors . 

We hope you all are having a pleasant vacation. 

---"The Wigglers" 



Howdy Everybody, 

Hoeing and planting season is now on and what a time we are 
having trying to keep the weeds out. This sure is nice weather we 
are having and our crops are tops. 

We have planted about half of our sweet potato crop already. 
This year's crop, if it turns out good, should be the largest we 
have ever had. Our cantaloupe crop should be the largest crop in 
many years . 

Our tomatoes are sure stepping out and we should have some 
tomatoes ripe enough to eat about the twentieth. 

0. D. Mundy (a truck-farmer) and also Ben Lewis fell out of a 
tree and hurt their arms. The former received a broken arm; the 
latter two broken wrists. They were hunting squirrels when this 
happened. Here's hoping they will be back with us soon. 

Joe Porter, one of our members, has left us and is now working on 
the carpenter's group. We will miss him very much. 

Out of the 1938 graduating class we lost only one boy from our 
group, that being Joe Savage. Joe is now at Wilmington, N. C. We 
truck farmers wish him the best of luck. 

We have had lots of luck on our crops except the peanut crop. 
We can't get them to grow as good as they ought to, but after our 
replanting them they will probably come around. 

The bugs have got on our potatoes, cantaloupes, beans, etc., but 
we have scattered them with poison and lime. 

Last week we had so much rain that it was too wet to work and 
Mr. Clark took us to see the free show, "Kentucky Moonshine." We 

wish to thank Mr. Sams for the invitation. It was a swell picture. 


Everyone is looking forward to their vacations. Jack and Tom 
McCall (twins) are going to New York soon for their vacation. May 
they have a nice time in the "little" city. 

Right before the work bell everyday we throw a horseshoe 
game. John (Pineapple) MacDonald and Tom (Big Tom) McCall seem 
to be champs . 

We have a new 1936 pick-up Dodge in place of our old International 
truck which is a lot more good to us than the other one. 

Reckon this will be all for this month and we wish all who 
have crops planted may reap a wonderful harvest. You will hear from 
us again soon. So long. 

"Moon" Sigmon 
"Shorty" Cole 



Hel 1 o Fri ends , 

As the days fly by, we find it is time to write you again. 

Vacation days are here and the boys and girls can hardly 
wait until their time comes to go home. 

Miss Moore, the Orphanage nurse, is going on her vacation 
soon. We all certainly will miss her. She is going to tour North 
Carolina. Miss Lackey, the kitchen matron, is planning to go on 
her vacation in June. 

We have added two new members to our family. Miss Mary McNatt 
of Parkton, N. C., has come over from Annie Louise Cottage to be 
the nurse in Miss Moore's place. We are very glad to have her with 
us. Miss Woods, the matron of Howard Cottage, is spending her 
vacation down here. She hasn't been feeling quite so well here 

Nancy Stafford and Sadie Mills are going to the Conference. 
Sadie is going to Mitchell in Statesville, and Nancy is going to 
Davidson. They will stay seven days. We know they will enjoy it 
and they want to thank all who made it possible for them to go. 

We have started having our summer pictures taken. Nellie 
Johnson, this year's graduate, is taking them. 

Swimming season has started and nearly everyone has been in. 
The water is just right to cool you on these hot days. We had a 
cold spell last week and it seemed as though it might be the 
beginning of winter. 

Mr. Eryin, the carpenter, has been busy down at the river 
building cabins and boats for the campers this summer. Everyone 


is going to spend a week down there. We want to thank the men again 
for the money. We know we will get a lot out of it. 
We will be with you again nest month. 

Lillie MacDonald 





SECTION X - 1939 








Grace Shroyer 

Arthur Sigmon 

Helen Thomas 

James Martin 

Eleanor Eudy 

J . D . Beshea rs 

Hel en Moore 

Dal ma Jessup 

Ernestine Garrett 

Lee Spencer 

Alice Jones 

Worth Bolton 

Bessie Kennedy 

MacSherry Lackey 

Elizabeth Shropshire 

Alexander Edwards 

Mildred Eudy 

Miller Bl ue 

Mary Duffie Coppedge 

David Flowers 

Hel en Pri ce 

Nelson Farmer 

Robert Brown 

Paul McKenzie 

Lacy Adcox 

Larry Marlowe 

Robert Bosworth 

Roland Gant 

Mascot: Mary Ann White 

Ace Medal: David Flowers 



Rest dressed boy Mac Sherry Lackey 

Best dressed girl Ernestine Garrett 

Best student boy David Flowers 

Best student girl Helen Price 

Witt i est Alexander Edward s 

Prettiest girl Helen Pr ice 

Most popular boy Arthur Sigmon 

Most popular girl Bessie Kennedy 

Most versat i le Al ice Jones 

Handsomest Larry Marlowe 

Most athletic girl Bessie Kennedy 

Most athletic boy Lee Spencer 

Cutest Eleanor Eudy 

Most vivacious Grace Shroyer and Helen Moore 

Most charming and musical ...Hattie Michael 



This is station B. H. S. and we wish to interrupt this program 
to bring you a special bulletin concerning the graduating class 
of 1939. 

This famous class began its High School career in September 1935, 
with 40 "Green Freshmen." The first day we were ushered into 
Mr. Calhoun's office and were kept busy outlining our schedules. 
After everyone had finished this was the result: History, Algebra, 
English, Latin for some and Science for others. This was a very 
successful year for us. 

In 1936, our schedule was the same, save the addition of Bible 
under our principal, Mr. Calhoun. By the end of this year we had 
begun to see our way more clearly, but, alas, quite a few of our 
members had fallen by the wayside. We now numbered only 34. It 
took a stout heart to carry on. 

In 19 3 7- ' 38 , our Junior year, our goal was now in sight. We 
began to feel more dignified and more on the level with the Seniors. 
When we had the Junior-Senior banquet we realized more than ever 
that our time had at last come. 

With lots of encouragement from our teacher, Mr. Sossamon, we 
have reached our goal. For further information, be sure to read 
"who's who" column in your daily paper. 

Historian, Helen Price 


President Arthur Sigmon 

Vice President Worth Bolton 

Secretary Alice Jones 

Treasurer Bessie Kennedy 

Historian Helen Price 

Colors Silver and Lavender 

Mascot Mary Ann White 

Motto What We Are To Be We Are Now Becominq 

/I/I c 


We, the Senior Class of '39, do hereby will and bequeath: 

To Mr. Johnston, the best of luck in making the Seniors in the 
future love and admire him as much as we do. 

To Mr. Sossamon, our admiration for the way he has smoothed 
our path through High School. 

To the faculty, our apprecition for the knowledge we have 
received in High School. 

To the Junior Class, our ability to surpass other classes in 
honor rol 1 students . 

To the Sophomores, our ability to enjoy all four classes. 

To the Freshmen Class, our ability to climb to the top and become 
Seniors with dignity. 

I, Arthur Sigmon, do hereby will and bequeath to "Sausage" 
Whittle my ability to plough for Mr. Clark; to "Duck" Bol ton my 
place in High School; and to Rex and Howard, my room. 

I, Worth Bolton, have nothing of any immediate value. However, 
as it is customary to will someone something, I'll promise to go 
"halvings" with anything anybody can find. 

I, Alice Jones, do hereby will and bequeath to my little sister, 
Mary Lynn, my place in High School, and to everyone here at Barium, 
the good times I've had. P. S. --Anybody who wants to will me 
something, I will be here a few days following graduation. 

I, Bessie Kennedy, do hereby will and bequeath to Jesse Weeks 
all the geese in my scrapbook; to Mary Parks Allen, my extra pounds; 
to "Peanut," my good standing with all workers; and to Thelma 
Robards, the old broken mirror of the last ten years. Pass it on. 


I, Helen Price, do hereby will and bequeath to my kid sisters, 
Martha and Hannah, my ability to finish High School before they are 
twenty-five; to Mott, my place as Miss Thompson's "Lone Ranger" 
in Sociology class; to the "Ezra Family" (Wilma, Agnes, Johnnie), all 
the old ginger ale bottles in my closet. 

I, Nelson Farmer, being in my right mind, do hereby will and 
bequeath to my roommates, "Whoppy" Alessandrini and "Goon" McCall, 
everything they can take away from me without a struggle. To my 
little sister, Sallie, my watch, if it is still running. 

I, Helen Thomas, do hereby will and bequeath to "Tricky" 
Coppedge a certain salt shaker and to Nancy Parcel! my ability to 
collect things for my scrapbook. 

I, Lacy Adcox, do hereby will and bequeath to Henry Pittman 
our trunk and the lock that hasn't been knocked over three times 
a day; to anyone else, anything they may find. 

I, Mildred Eudy, do hereby will and bequeath to my little 
sister, Emma, all my trash that I leave behind and to Thelma Robards 
my red hair ribbons to go with her freckles. 

I, Miller Blue, do hereby will and bequeath to Jack Weeks the 
honored name, Rat, to uphold as I have. 

I, MacSherry Lackey, do hereby will and bequeath to John Ellis, 
my seat on the front row in the Senior Class. Here's hoping you 
can get by with more meanness than I did. 

I, Eleanor Eudy, do hereby will and bequeath to Flossie Smith 
and "Whoppy" Alessandrini, mine and J. D.'s seat on the front 
porch. (Keep it warm, Flossie.) To Mary Ann McCormick, the honor 
of being the smallest girl in the Senior Class; and to Sallie 
Farmer my red hair, which she has wanted for such a long time. 


I, J. D. Beshears, do hereby will and bequeath to my brother, 
Lacy, my place in my room; to Howard, my job of carrying the leather 
on the gridiron. 

I, Ernestine Garrett, do hereby will and bequeath to Sal 1 i e 
Farmer my place by the radio and my old finger nail polish; to 
Thelma Robards, my good luck in basketball; to Flora Mae Smith, 
all my hair ribbons, and to Bertha Broome, my smile. (Watch out, 
Bertha . ) 

I, Bobbie Bosworth, do hereby will and bequeath to "Slicky" 
Porter, my bed in the room; to "Shorty" Weeks, my place on the truck 
farm, and to my sister, Nancy Parcell, my position on the wrestling 

I, Roland Gant, do hereby will and bequeath to my brother, A. C. 
and my sister, Doris, the ability to finish High School; to 
William Wadsworth all the junk I leave behind. 

I, Grace Shroyer, do hereby will and bequeath to Mary Adams, 
my place at the sewing machine; to Agnes Coppedge, my pink hair 
ribbons; to my brother, James, his baketball medal, which he so 
faithfully let me keep. 

I, Dalma Jessup, do hereby will and bequeath to my sister, Wilma, 
my place in the Senior Class; to Tommy Adams all the things I leave 

I, Lee Spencer, do hereby will and bequeath to David Burney my 
watch chain; to "Slicky" Porter, my place as boss of the room, and 
to "Hi-yi" Long, all his marbles that I won from him. 

I, Helen Moore, do hereby will and bequeath to Wilma and Agnes 

my room; to Grace Coppedge, my place at the Senior table in hopes 

she gets more to eat than I did, and to Johnnie my place as "Sunshine" 

in the sewing room. 


I, Alexander Edwards, do hereby will and bequeath my knowledge 
to some poor fellow who might not be as fortunate as I ; my wit 
to Arthur Roach, my place at the Infirmary^ but "Look for me back 
e\/ery weekend . " 

I, James Martin, do hereby will and bequeath to Richard, my ice 
box; to Billy Brock, my place at the workshop, and to my little 
sister, Louise, my ability to get along with the men. 

I, Paul McKenzie, will and bequeath to Edward Cole, the position 
as head of our room and may he do a better job at this position 
than I did; to Rufus Long, all the growth I have lost in the last 
ten years and may he make good use of it. 

I, Robert Brown, do will and bequeath to Billy Lindsey my 
strong box and anything else I may leave. 

I, Elizabeth Shropshire, do hereby will and bequeath to 
"Little Ezra," Johnnie Burgin, my "rattletray" in the sewing 
machine; to Nancy Parcell and Richard Martin, my place at Ramseurs. 
PI ease don ' t fuss . 

I, David Flowers, do hereby will and bequeath my entire 
chicken farm to Tom McCall and Pleas Norman. 

I, Larry Marlowe, do hereby will and bequeath my curly hair to 
Howard Beshears and my pleasing disposition to Mr. Sossamon. 

I, Mary Duffie Coppedge, do hereby will and bequeath to my 
little sister, Evelyn, my place in High School and my ambition 
to be an honor student. 



(Held at Rarium on March 2*»th; attendance unusually large.) 

From The Statesville Daily: 

Barium Springs, March 25- — Officials at Barium Springs had prepared for 100 
more guests than attended the annual civic club supper at the Orphanage last year, 
and it was well that this foresight was exercised, for the number of guests here 
last night from three civic clubs in Statesville and two in Mooresville for the 
sixteenth consecutive supper for these clubs took up all but ten of the places 
arranged. A seating capacity of 505 was available, and almost 200 others were 
served at the second table after the guests had departed. 

Without any preliminaries, except the asking of the blessing by Rev. R. A. 
White, D.D., pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Mooresville, the guests and 
those children who ate with the visitors thoroughly enjoyed a delicious meal that 
consisted of baked ham, sausage, grits, candied yams, black-eyed peas, pickles, 
rolls, butter, coffee, milk, cake and ice cream. The enjoyment of the food was 
indicated both by the quantity consumed and by the comments made. 

The program was under the direction of Miss Rebekah Carpenter, assisted by 

Misses Laura Grey Green and Elizabeth McKethan and could best be entitled "Pictures 

Through Song" or strolling down memory lane. A stage had been erected and was 

decorated with evergreens in the background, with a moon shining through the pines, 

and the footlights were made attractive through a generous arrangement of artificial 

tulips for reflection. The lights of the dining room were switched off and as the 

footlights came on, Gertie Smith, as the grandmother, and Jacquelin Porterfield and 

Hilda Barnes, as the grandchildren, came on the stage. The grandmother seated 

herself, with a grandchild on each side, and slowly started turning the pages of a 

memory book. As each page was turned, a chorus was heard singing the appropriate 

song in the background and on to the stage came individuals who did the necessary 

pantomines . 


"School Days" was portrayed by Betty Jo Smith and George Landrum; "In the 
Evening by the Moonlight" by Paul Reid, Douglas Ryder, Marshall Norris and Herbert 
McMasters (all lights were off during this scene, with only the moon glowing); "My 
Wild Irish Rose," by Agnes Coppedge; "Umbrellas" by Vance Smith; "Annie Laurie" by 
Sallie Farmer; "Short'ning Bread" by Isabel Monroe, Rachel Bullard, May Francis 
Strickl in and Peggy Land; "Sweet and Low" by Alice Jones; "Little Old Lady" by Marie 
Morgan; a Square dance was indulged in by Ruth Cole, Mabel Shoaf, Sara Parcel 1 , 
r,lenn Lindsay, Arthur Roach, Gwyn Fletcher, Henry Pittman, and Ed Cole; "Smilin 1 
Through " by Helen Price and Lee Spencer, and "Old Black Joe" by John Ellis. 

The chorus members, who never publicly appeared, were Virginia Cranfill, Bertha 
Lee Broome, Mary Lynn Jones, Ernestine Garrett, Grace Cayton , Li 1 lie Bryant, Li 1 lie 
Bell Smith, Lillian Sanders, Betty Lou Williams, Martha Price, Lillie McDonald, 
Daisy Cayton, Johnnie Burgin, Tommy Lindsay, and Pleas Norman. 

After "Old Black Joe" left the stage, Ethel Brotherton came out, took her place 
in the center of the stage and said "That's all folks" to conclude the sixteenth 
annual Civic Club supper for Iredell County. 




May 1939 

(Three splendid addresses marked 1939 corrmencement . David Flowers awarded Ace 
Medal, Eleanor Eudy won Bible Medal, and Music Improvement went to Helen Price.) 

In a world that takes delight in white-washing misery and in thoroughly 

misrepresenting a multitude of things to the distress of humanity, members of the 

1939 graduating class of the Barium Springs high school were urged by Rev. Jas. A. 

Jones, pastor of the Henderson Presbyterian Church, to "give to your life a 

conception of the dignity of life itself, an invariable love of truth, and adhere 

unswervingly to the virtue of faith." Rev. Mr. Jones was delivering the 

conmencement address at the final exercises on Monday night, April 2*tth, when 28 

boys and girls of the local high school finished their careers here. 

Prior to the address of the visiting minister, the invocation was made by Rev. 
T. C. Cook, pastor of Little Joe's Church; Helen Thomas delivered the salutatory 
address, and certificates of promotion were given to the seventh grade members by 
Harry Barkley, principal of the grammar grades. After the address. Rev. Mr. Cook 
presented a Bible to each of the 28 graduates and Jos. B. Johnston, superintendent 
of the Presbyterian Orphans' Home, made the award of medals. 

Before so doing, Mr. Johnston announced that 60 students in the elementary 
school had perfect attendance records and this honor went to 50 in the high school 
which meant no absences or tardiness in the whole year. Fourteen children in the 
elementary grades were to receive reading certificates, said Mr. Johnston. He also 
publicly aknowledged the gift of the graduating class, which was two lovely vases to 
be used for flowers in the church. 

Instead of the scholarship medals in the grammar and high school grades, it was 
decided to award several prizes this year, due to a change in the grading system. 
Lillie Bryant, Wootson Davis, Betty Williamson, John Ammons and Esau Davis won these 
prizes in the lower grades. In the high school, these went to Mott Price, George 


Norris, Nelson Farmer, Rufus Long, Edward Cole and Henry Alessandri ni . 

The Fred Sherrill prizes for the two boys and two girls showing greatest 
improvement in the high school during 1 938— 1 939 went to Marjorie Lail, Louise Brock, 
Robert Brown and Worth Bolton. The music improvement medal was awarded to Helen 
Price; to Eleanor Eudy went the Bible medal, and a prize to Helen Thomas, for 
runner-up for the Bible medal. The final presentation was the Ace medal, which 
went to David Flowers upon the vote of the high school members and those workers 
affiliated with the Home. 

After R. G. Calhoun, school princiapl, presented the diplomas, the junior class 
gathered behind the seniors to sing the farewell song, the valedictory address was 
made by Alice Jones, the Barium alma mater song was sung, and Rev. Mr. Jones 
pronounced the benediction. 

Baccal aureate Sermon 

"What is That in Thine Hand?" was the subject of a timely baccalaureate sermon 
delivered here Sunday morning, April 23rd, to the 1939 graduates of Barium Springs 
high school by Dr. John R. Hay, pastor of the Hickory Presbyterian Church. In the 
evening Rev. Neill R. McGeachy, Spencer Presbyterian Church pastor, urged his 
hearers to anchor their lives to that of Jesus Christ as they launch forth upon the 
sea of college, or business or of matrimony. 

These two sermons, part of the 1939 commencement program, were listeneed to by 
the entire Orphanage family and a good many outsiders, most of whom were at Barium 
Springs Monday night for final exercises. 

Class-Day Exercises 

On Monday morning, April 24th, the senior class presented its class-day 
program in the form of a three-act play entitled "Beyond the Port." The setting was 
the deck of the good ship "SS Barium Springs." The first scene was the embarking of 
the class of 1939 in the eighth grade almost four years ago; the second scene dealt 



with the discouragements that the class mmembers were experiencing as the journey 
continued, while the closing scene was the disembarking of the class upon the 
completion of the journey. Just before the members trekked down the gangplank, the 
Ancient Mariner, played by Nelson Farmer, gazed into the crystal ball and visualized 
the future activities of each member. 

The characters and the parts played by each were: Prologue, Helen Price; 
Captain, Arthur Sigmon; First Mate, Lee Spencer; Sailor, Robert Brown; Purser, 
Bobbie Bosworth; Senior, Worth Bolton; Radio Operator, Roland Gant ; Chief Engineer, 
MacSherry Lackey; Captain's Aide, J. 0. Beshears; Ship's Doctor, David Flowers; 
Ship's Hostess, Ernestine Garrett; Stewardesses, Elizabeth Shropshire; Pauline, 
Helen Moore; Eleanor, Bessie Kennedy; Mary, Grace Shroyer; John, Paul McKenzie; 
Jean, Mildred Fudy; King Neptune, Miller Blue; Ambassador, Dalma Jessup; Ancient 
Mariner, Nelson Farmer; Epilogue, Alice Jones. The properties were in charge of 
Larry Marlowe and Lacy Adcox and special effects were in charge of James Martin and 
Alexander Edwards. 

Elementary Program 

On Friday night, April 21st, the elementary school presented an entertaining 
and delightful program in two parts. The first half of the program was an operetta 
by the primary department and the first, second and third grades participated in 
this. The second division was entitled "Episodes in American Music." The sixth 
grade took part as American Indians; the fifth grade members were mountaineers; the 
fourth grade portrayed Negroes and miscellaneous American music was sung by the 
seventh grade. 

Play Was Given 

"What Happened to Jones" was the title of a comedy in three acts that was 
presented by the public speaking department of the high school under the direction 
of George Neel . This was part of the graduating exercises and was offered to a 


packed house on Thursday night, April 20th. 

The three scenes were all laid in the New York home of "Prof. Ebenezer Goodly," 
who was portrayed by Nelson Farmer. "Professor Goodly" was a teacher of anatomy. 
The others in the cast included "Jones," who traveled for a hymn-book house, David 
Flowers; "Rev. Antony Goodly, D. D." bishop of Bal 1 aret , Miller Blue; "Richard 
Heatherly," engaged to Marjorie, William Smith; "Thomas Holder," a policeman, Henry 
Al essandr in i ; "William Bigbee," an inmate of the sanatorium, Ed Cole; "Henry 
Fuller," superintendent of the sanatorium, Dalma Jessup; "Mrs. Goodly," Ebenezer's 
wife, Helen Price; "Cissy," Ebenezer's ward, Johnnie Burg in; "Marjorie" and 
"Minerva," Ebenezer's daughters, Sally Farmer and Marjorie Lail; "Alvina Starlight," 
Mrs. Goodly's sister, Mary Ann McCormick, and "Helma," a Swedish servant-girl, 
Thelma Robards. 

Commencement Marshals 

Nancy Parcel 1 was chief marshal for the 1939 commencement, and assisting her 
were Henry Al essandr ini , Ed Cole, Rufus Long, Willi? am Smith, Clarence Robards, 
Walter Mott and John Cole McCrimmon. 


June 1939 

Sixteen of the young boys and girls at Barium Springs have either already 
attended Young People's conferences this summer, or will be in attendance at""' them 
before this month has been concluded. Eight of them went to Davidson on June 7th 
for the Synodical conference, while four intermediates will be at Camp Fellowship on 
the Catawba River for the Junior conference for Concord Presbytery, June 19-24. 
Four seniors will go to the Presbytery Senior Conference at Mitchell College in 
Statesville, June 26th - July 1st. 

Attending the Davidson College conference through dining room scholarships were 
Ed Cole, Nancy Parcel 1, Thelma Robards and Jimmy Stafford. The Business Women's 
Circle of Little Joe's Auxiliary sent Mary Adams and Paul Home, the Auxiliary 
assumed the responsibility for sending Rufus Long to the Davidson conclave, and 
Gertie Smith went under the auspices of Circle No. 1 of the local Auxiliary. 

Enrolled for the Camp Fellowship Intermediate Young People's conference were 
Gastone Alessandr ini , Evelyn Coppedge, Marie Morgan and Lillian Sanders. Daisy 
Cayton, Sallie Farmer, Billy Linsday, and Lillie McDonald are the ones who will go 
to Mitchell College for the Senior Young People's group the latter part of this 
month . 

Until this year, the intermediate Conference has always been held at Mitchell 
College, but the officers decided to avail themselves of the use of Camp Fellowship 
for one of the two weeks that it will not be used by Barium Springs and other 
Orphanages this summer . The Senior Mitchell group will probably spend one afternoon 
at Barium Springs, as is customarily done each year. 


Class of 1939 

Baby Cottage was originally for children three to six. However, that rule was 
stretched somewhat. And anyone, housed there in 1935 or 1936, then I surely 
helped care for you. Sara Forte, Margaret Moore and I was "Big Girls" there 
at that time. And, that is my only first-hand knowledge of the Baby Cottage. 
My memory of that period is that of bathing small smelly bodies with scruffy 
knees (Earl Allen's were particularly scruffy) and of washing piles of dirty 
socks. Mrs. McGuirt apparently did not believe in sending them to the laundry 
or, more likely, there was a shortage of socks. We also watched them (the 
tots) a lot n that circular swing out by the magnolia tree. And in the swimming 
pool after which there was always nap time ... and, even the smallest tot there 
made his or her bed. I suppose that should read "they made at it." Big girls 
went behind them after they left the bedrooms. 

Annie Louise was my first stop in the year 1929, after a day at the Infirmary 
for inspection. Mrs. Ghigo was matron there and she seemed kind and 
understanding to me. Those first few days she had one of the other girls loan 
me a pair of skates, something I'd never owned and that made me forget I 
was away from home and family. I really burned up that walk between Annie 
Louise and Rumple Hall. The only chores I recall at A. L. (I wasn't there very 
long because they wanted to move my sister up from Baby Cottage and 
thought it best that we be separated) was the bed making and picking up trash 
in the yard. 

Howard Cottage days stand out as fun days to me, possibly because the age 
from nine to twelve is such a formative time, maybe because Miss Woods tried 
so hard with us. There were 28 girls there and NO Big Girls to help. The 
chores were rotated monthly and the only one I really hated was cleaning the 
bathroom with the three commodes, four sinks and two tubs! As you know, 
most of the bean stringing was done there. We would sit on that big back 
porch stringing beans by the hour. But it was fun because one of the girls 
(during our time Gladys Cayton and her sister Grace) would tell tall tales of 
love and adventure. You would not believe the imagination Gladys had. And 
we would sing along for lack of any other amusement. The number of bushels 
of beans did seem endless. Some beans we sent to the kitchen for immediate 
use but most we sent to the cannery. Miss Woods made sure that we all 
learned to mend our clothes and darn our socks. Her favorite expression was 
"A stitch in time saves nine." She had a million of them ... "Pretty is as pretty 
does," "Cleanliness is next to godliness." "Beauty is only skin deep," and on 
and on. We also played, of course. One of our punishments was to go down 
to he woods and carry up buckets of peat for the flower beds. That was a 


wonderful punishment because we could play in the woods each time we went 
there. Miss Woods would give a black "mark" for anything she considered a 
misdemeanor, and we would have to work to get each mark erased. One 
punishment was standing in the hall in silence for an hour. That took care 
of just one mark. She rarely used the switch but she would make us use it 
on one another-any two who were caught fighting. Margaret Cook and I had 
to switch each other many times. We were such good friends that we were 
forever at each other. One day it was snowing and our punishment was to 
go out and throw snowballs at each other. Some punishment! We were pitiful 
looking little characters with our school garb of homemade dresses and ugly 
lisle stockings. When we left for school, the hose were neatly up; but as soon 
as we reached the other side of the underpass, they immediately became 
anklets. And that action was reversed on our return trip. 

Rumple all was the beginning of growing up and seemed oh-so-different. 
Where we had shared a room with seven or eight girls, we now only had one 
roommate, and look how much closer we were to where the boys lived! Work 
here consisted of waiting on tables, washing dishes and keeping the dining 
hall clean. There were "house cats," too, of course, but I was never involved 
at Rumple Hall, except each of us had to keep our own room clean. When 
we waited tables, each one had two tables to take care of. No need to tell you 
how fast some of those boys could gobble. After everyone left, we girls sat 
down to what was left. Then to dishwashing and mopping and setting the 
tables for the next meal. These jobs were rotated, of course. The toughest 
one, I felt, was doing the silverware. It had to be dunked into boiling water, 
using a metal bucket with holes in it to let that scalding water drip. Besides 
being heavy, that was a dangerous action. It's a wonder that no one really 
got burnt. At least not in our time. There was a dishwasher for the flat plates 
and for glasses, but the large bowls had to be done by hand. And you know 
all about the fly killing chore-disgusting. 

High school girls were housed at Lottie Walker, or as we usually called it 
"Woman's Building." Privileges were not abundant.. .town on 

Saturdays.. .dating with everyone in the same room. Remember the chairs and 
sofas turned to the walls for a bit of privacy and Miss Adams (for us) sneaking 
up and down the hallway? Also football games, not only our out of town 
games but occasionally to Davidson? When the leaves start to turn, even after 
all this time, I can feel the nostalgia of football at Barium. After all, we had 
the best. I went out for basketball until Miss Greene said I had best make a 
choice between that and piano. It was not a very difficult decision. I'm no 
athlete. But the times I did go with the team and got to play a bit were ex- 
citing. It was fun having a special supper, always getting hot tea to pep us 
a little bit. I remember Mr. Neal while driving us to games, always told us 


he had to concentrate on his driving, so he wouldn't talk but liked to listen to 
our chatter. 

Chores at Woman's Building were: 

1. The basic House kitty. 2. Kitchen--two girls (rotated monthly, I believe) 
slept over at Rumple Hall because they had to get up around 4:30 a.m. 
There was always one of the boys supposed to come and help with the 
fires and carrying anything needed from the storage. Anyway, those two 
girls made a big steam pot of hot cereal every morning, filled all he large 
cereal bowls with dry cereal, poured up milk and made toast, sliced 
butter, etc . and had everything ready for the little waitresses to pick up 
for their tables. Also, a big pot of coffee for teachers and when the 
seniors were allowed to have coffee— that too. Miss Long didn't often 
show until about time to eat. Lunch during school sessions was prepared 
by hired people helping Miss Long. Supper--a different group (and I 
believe there were about four went to the kitchen right after school. 
Whatever the noon people did not get to, they finished up. We peeled a 
lot of potatoes, made all the mayonnaise, shucked corn. Sometimes we 
had cornbread but mostly Aunt Sally's bread which in those days did not 
come sliced so we had that to do on a nice slicer donated by a kind 
friend. I still have a scar on one of my fingers from the ditty. The worst 
job in the kitchen was clean up. The cooks had to wash the pots and 
pans. Phew! 3. Laundry-Each cottage had a special day to send their 
dirty things. That laundry was pretty up to date with spin dryers and 
mangles large enough to iron the sheets. Am sure you have heard the 
girls talk about picking out their favorite boy's shirts to do. The hand 
pressing seemed endless and that was some hot place in the summer. 
A real sweat shop. 4. Sewing Room-Mostly senior girls worked in the 
sewing room. Each child had a clothing person or group of persons, and 
some of these monies being sent for buying dry goods. The sewing girls 
made sleepwear, undies-even bras— and dresses. The sewing room 
matron (Miss Clark for us) did all the measuring and cutting and she 
would let each girl have a choice of material and sometimes a choice of 
design. The only thing I recall making for the boys was p.j.'s. 

5. Cannery-This I don't know much abut except that it was usually done 
by rising seniors and I believe that they were compensated for it. The 
summer I was a senior I worked at Mirror Lake for which I also was paid. 

6. Baby Cottage-Big Girls served about one year. I suppose because it 
was an all-time job. 



Splashing around in that non-chlorinated pool on a hot summer day with about 
90 other kids. 

Camp. My very first year I did not get to go home but we "unfortunates" had 
a camping trip to Myrtle Beach. I tasted shrimp for the first time there. Then 
when they opened the camp down on the river, that was wonderful. Everyone 
had a chance at that, vacation or no. 

Music. There is no way I would have ever gotten to play a piano in Concord. 
A guitar maybe. 

Miss Carpenter, and Worth, and Sally, and Ernestine and Charles... 

Now we talked a bit about trauma. Actually, the only real trauma I recall was 
the day they took my sister and me to Barium and we left Gordon at home 
because they said they didn't have room for even one more boy. But when 
they made room a couple of weeks later, that made it o.k. 

Of course, I missed my folks. But then I was 13 and went back to my 
hometown and found that my 14-year old best friend had a fatherless child; 
even at that age I knew I was better off where I was. 

My most disturbing incident was when I was stupid enough to speak up about 
a well-know "octopus" instructor. Mr. Johnston nearly expelled me for saying 
it out loud. Years later it disturbs me even more to hear that any number of 
girls made the same complaint and nothing apparently was ever done about 

Punishment? Of course, we were punished for little things we did against the 
rules. But then we punished our daughter and she punishes her kids. As long 
as love goes with the action, it is going to be o.k. 


Class of 1939 

Before I started this tonight, I was thinking back to how people used to think 
about those "poor little orphans." I guess I had a lot of pride because I did 
not want people feeling sorry for me so I would not tell them where I grew up. 
Now I realize we were very lucky children to have been chosen to grow up at 
Barium. During the years I grew up there, we had a depression going on and 
there was so much hunger in the country. We knew very little about this, and 
we had every opportunity a child could ask for. 

I was three or four years old when I came to Barium with my little sister, Polly. 
My mother told me I must not cry and to look after my sister. We were sent 
to the Baby Cottage. The boys slept downstairs and girls upstairs. We had 
a matron and also some big girls who looked after us. We had a big merry- 
go-round we played on a lot. As I remember, right from the start, we were 
treated as individuals. We each had our own wooden boxes that we kept our 
toys in, and we also had our own clothes. 

I remember when I was five years old I would lie in bed at night after the lights 
were out, and I could see out the window into the next cottage on the third 
floor. In those days, we had lights that hung from the ceiling on a cord, and 
I could see the light on and a lady with very long hair (Anita Ghigo) walking 
around. I would imagine she was a witch and every night I would look for 

They moved us up to the next cottage either by age or by grade. So, when I 
was five years old, I was moved to Annie Louise Cottage and started the first 
grade. Mrs. Ghigo, an Italian lady, was our matron. I liked her very much 
and her daughter Anita would stay there often. She would teach us songs in 
French and little dances. 

The music teacher, Miss Greene, had her apartment in part of the building and 
we would go and sit with her in her swing and talk with her when she wasn't 
giving lessons. 

We would have to march to the dining room in two's from our cottage at 
mealtime and had certain tables to sit at together. 

We would play games such as hide and seek, jump rope, simple games that 
were fun and sometimes we could go to the movies on Friday nights. In those 
days, they showed movies in the auditorium of the elementary school. They 


were silent movies, mostly westerns. Miss Greene played the piano during the 

Our parents could visit us at certain times. I would go down by the road and 
wait for the greyhound bus as I knew my mother would be on it. 

We also could go for two weeks in the summer to visit relatives. I was fortu- 
nate to be able to do this. When I came back after these visits, I would have 
to bite my lip to keep from crying when my mother left me. Fortunately, time 
heals everything. 

When we went into the third grade, we were sent to Howard Cottage. At this 
point, we began to have little chores to do such as make our beds. We were 
assigned different little things which we thought were "big" things to do. 

Miss Wood was our matron and one of my favorites. She was very good to 
us. If we did something we shouldn't do, usually the punishment was to stand 
in the large hall without talking to anyone for an hour or two. 

I don't remember any mistreatment of children at any cottage. 

While at Howard Cottage, we had a large cement porch, and the boys would 
bring large baskets of string beans they had picked. We would sit for hours 
stringing beans for our meals and telling stories while doing it. 

We had beautiful flowers and Miss Wood would send us out in the woods to 
get rich soil. Sometimes, we would start swinging in the trees and forget to 
go back when we should. 

Each cottage had swing sets which we all enjoyed. I started taking piano 
lessons at Howard Cottage when I was ten years old but hated practicing. 

Each cottage had certain hours and days we were allowed to go swimming 
which I really enjoyed. We would have to rest an hour and then we could go 
swimming from 2 to 4 .m. But at Howard Cottage we had to memorize the 
child's and shorter catechisms before we could go swimming or join the 

The pool was always closed on Monday for cleaning which I hated. (Usually 
the concrete pool was scrubbed down on Saturday afternoon by young boys 
using wire brushes. With a single two-inch refill pipe, it was Tuesday before 
there was enough water to swim in. Ed.) 


We had a basement at Howard Cottage which was used very little so some of 
us would put on plays and our audience would be the other girls. 

We were taught to use our imaginations, and talents were both recognized and 
encouraged to develop. 

The staff would take us in school buses to football games since we would all 
come together and sit together. The mass of people may have been unusual 
to some, but to us it was quite normal. Barium always had good teams and 
we were proud of them so that, once a game started, we'd forget everything 

Alice Jones ad I were friends all through school and sometimes we would wear 
dresses alike to the ball games, and people would think we were twins. 

We were allowed to ask Santa Claus for three things in our letters at Christ- 
mas, which we always wrote. The letters were sent to people in Presbyterian 
churches in North Carolina. We always had a good Christmas even though 
you weren't always sure of getting what you had asked for! 

The Christmas for some reason I never forgot was when I was ten years old. 
I had asked Santa to give me a Negro doll and a piano. I don't know why I 
asked for this; I know I always loved music but the doll I haven't a clue as I 
wasn't much at playing with dolls. When I looked under the Christmas tree 
and saw that little green piano and little Negro doll with three pigtails I was 
so happy I knew they were mine. 

We were given candy and fruit between meals. The boys would bring each 
cottage buckets of fruit every day which they had picked and it was carefully 
handed out. 

On Sunday, usually we didn't go to the dining room for supper. Each cottage 
would fix sandwiches for the girls, usually peanut butter and jelly or jam. 

Usually at the age of eleven, or sixth grade, we moved up to Rumple Hall 
Cottage. Rumple Hall was built in the middle of the campus since it was 
where everyone ate their meals. 

The dining room was on the first floor. The girls lived on the second floor-two 
to a room-and a lot of the teachers lived on the third floor. I remember that 
we had our Halloween parties there. We would duck for applies, had fortune 
tellers, and all sorts of games as we could not go trick-or-treat on Halloweens. 


The girls took turns working i the kitchen and the dining room; two girls also 
worked upstairs. The kitchen, you cooked three meals a day. Breakfast was 
the worst, as you would have to get up so early in the morning. 

Cleaning pots and pans wasn't exactly fun, but Miss Long who was in charge 
of the kitchen had things so organized that we would have fun sometimes. 

Working in the dining room consisted of setting the tables, waiting on the ta- 
bles, cleaning them off, and washing the dishes. Miss Purdy was the dining 
room matron. And I remember, she was the only matron I could not get along 
with nor could a lot of the other girls. So I was moved upstairs. For punish- 
ment, she would make you kill a hundred flies in the dining room and some- 
times the girls would give theirs to someone else after they had killed them 
and shown them to Miss Purdy. 

We had fun too, such as piling into a truck and going to Statesville to see the 
movies at the Playhouse Theater where we only paid a dime to get in. 

We had one room upstairs at Rumple Hall called the ironing room where we 
would ironOn our clothes when we wanted to. We had a radio in there and 
we would sit in there and listen to the radio; also sit in the windows and watch 
the boys who would come up from Alexander Cottage to kill chickens or bring 
the milk up from the barn to the kitchen. 

The barn was off limits to us, but sometimes some of us would go down to the 
barn just for fun and seldom get caught. 

We had a swing set right outside next to where the boys always came to eat. 
Usually, they would come early and the girls and boys would talk and have 

When we started to high school, we moved to the Woman's Cottage. I really 
enjoyed that part of my life, more so than any other as there was so much you 
could do. 

The girls in the first two years of high school lived upstairs on the second 
floor-two to a room. 

The juniors and seniors lived on the first floor-two to a room. We had a large 
sitting room on the first floor; and when the boys came over to see their dates, 
they usually went into the sitting room to wait. 


Miss Adams was the matron at the Woman's Cottage and her sister lived there 
also. They both had never been married but I thought Miss Adams was very 
understanding. I would sit on the porch for hours and talk with her. She was 
interested in all of the girls and their futures. 

The work for the younger girls was in the laundry where all of the washing 
and ironing of the clothes and everything from each cottages was done. Mrs. 
Lockey was in charge. Upstairs above the laundry was the sewing room where 
the senior girls usually worked. Miss Clark was in charge. She would cut out 
all of the clothes without patterns, and we would sew them and try them on 
there. Miss Clark lived in Statesville and had a rooming house there and had 
movie stars stay there sometimes, and she would tell us about it. 

In the corner of the sewing room was a storeroom where we would go for 
shoes and things from Mr. Lowrance who also was in charge of the cleaning 
products too for every cottage. 

A lot of our clothes were what we bought with money those who had relatives 
had given to us or had sent to us, but many were made in the sewing room. 
Most dresses were made of cotton fabric. 

Seniors were given an allowance each month, and we would go to Statesville 
usually to Belk's department store, and spend it on what we wanted. 

The girls were always borrowing each other's dresses, skirts or sweaters to 

We had two tenis courts in back of the Woman's Cottage next to the apple 
trees, and I would get up and play for a couple of hours before breakfast and 
also after breakfast until we had to go to our work. 

We were able to go out for basketball during the fall, which I did, and made 
the team when I decided to stop playing around. I always did everything did 
to win. I was always very competitive. We had a good team and played 
twenty games a season. We were taken to other schools at which we played 
on school buses. We would sing and have fun on the bus, but I was always 
afraid I would not get back in time to get enough sleep. We had a conference 
basketball tournament at Barium; and, if you were on one of Barium's teams, 
you sponsored a team and took care of them. 

We could only date boys from Barium and if you were caught dating or 
meeting boys off of campus, you were sent back to your home or where you 


came from and could not graduate at Barium. That happened to a few girls 
during my senior year. 

On weekends, the boys who were dating girls would meet them at the school 
house which was close by, or in the underpass, which was built beneath the 
highway. It seems now that we really saw each other quite a bit; then, it didn't 
seem that way. 

Sundays were usually spent in church, Sunday school, and vesper services 
at night. The boys would walk us girls back to the cottages after vesper ser- 

There was always something to do and someone to do it with, especially in 
sports, such as skating, swimming, tennis, and basketball. Some of us who 
had music talent sang in the glee club and choir and took piano lessons. 

They would have church conference in the summer at Mitchell College and 
Davidson College. Ten boys and girls were chosen to go for a week. I was 
lucky to be chosen to go to both conferences. We met girls and boys from 
churches from other towns, and every minute was filled with things planned 
for us. When we returned, we would give reports in church on what we did. 

We all went to the circus and carnivals every year; also to Iredell County fairs 
at Troutman. That was fun, and we would walk the railroad tracks there and 
back with a boyfriend or friends. We would also spend a week at camp on the 
Catawba River, which we really enjoyed. At the river campsite, the boys and 
girls' barracks were separated by the combined kitchen/dining hall. There 
was a little country store across the river and a group of us would take a walk 
over to it. There was an older man who ran it, and some of the boys and girls 
would give him a "hard time" and he would give us some penny candy or 
something and as we were leaving, we looked up and he would be watching 
us out the window. 

We went swimming in the river, the current of which was so swift and strong 
that you could only swim one way, and we would end up in the rapids which 
was rather rough on suits and skin. 

In summer some of us were taken to Montreat for a week. It was beautiful 
there. There was a man-made swimming pool with a diving board; we could 
go in and it was so cold. There also was a small candy store where we could 
go to. 

We had so many opportunities that we really didn't miss out on much. 


When it came time to graduate and leave Barium, somehow r. Johnston saw 
to it that everyone had somewhere to go or he would try and help you with 
your future. 

I had never known any other home and leaving Barium and my friends was 
a sad time for me. It took many months for me to get over being away from 
Barium Springs. 

It took a remarkable person like Mr. Johnston who cared to give all of us such 
a good life. It could have been quite different. I feel sorry for the ones who 
do not realize it. 



Nicknames at Barium Springs during this period were plentiful. Nicknames 
were plentiful everywhere in America then. It appeared to be a part of the 
culture, the renaming of individuals in recognition of some physical character- 
istic (I'm not about to give examples, Ed.); some activity the individual was 
caught at or reported to have been caught at; some special accomplishment; 
a state of cleanliness or the lack of; some preference for a particular food; a 
speech impediment; nothing more than a whim. 

For whatever reason, the nicknames added that little spice that livens and 
relaxes a place and group. Even to this day, it's warming to hear and observe 
some distinguished looking person being addressed with some outrageous 

Nelson Farmer supplied the bulk of those names below; Ed. added some 
more. You add your collection. 







Mink Dog 



King Kong 

















To To 


Big Tom 

Bonk Bonk 




Chug Chug 
























Shoe Full 









Hi Yah 





Shot Gun 






























SECTION XI - 1940 







Edward Cole 
Henry Alessandrini 
Johnnie Burg in 
Howard Beshears 
Grace Cayton 
John Ellis 
Agnes Coppedge 
Rufus Long 
Grace Coppedge 
Rex Lewis 
Wi Ima Jessup 
John I rby McDonald 
Sad ie Mills 
John Cole McCrimmon 
Mary Penn Lindsay 
Walter Mott 
Isabel Monroe 
James A. Porter 
Nancy Parcel 1 
Clarence Robards 
Gertrude Smith 
Will tam Sm ith 
Charles Starl ing 
Nancy Stafford 
Mascot: Hilda Donaldson 
Ace Medal : Ed Cole 



One rainy day in the year 1975 I was in the attic looking through an old trunk 
of mine when I found a queer-looking old document signed by myself. Upon opening it 
I found it was a history of the Senior Class of Barium Springs High School, year of 
1Q*»0. Much interested I glanced through it and found it read as follows: 

In the fall of 1936 w e entered high school with 36 on our class roll. We found 
this year to be very interesting, although it was very different from anything we 
had had in the past. Also, it was a little hard to get used to the new schedule 
which was given to us. Finally, after eight months of struggling (and I mean 
struggling for the most of us!), we got through this school year. 

In the following fall, the year of '37» we entered into another year of school 
work. Much to our own joy we were at last getting used to our new life. We lost 
only two out of this class and we had four to take their places. This raised our 
number to 38. As the days passed by, we came to the end of another school year. We 
were proud of our improvement, although we still had plenty to achieve. 

At last we were Juniors, being much older than we were when entering high 
school. We at last began to realize we would soon be Seniors. With this in mind, 
we all tried to put ourselves as near the top as we could. 

As this school term came to an end we found ourselves nothing else but proud 
Seniors. We all had waited a long time to become Seniors and were happy to reach 
this goal. All of our school years had been full of excitement, happiness, and 
disappointments . 

I am sure we will never forget those things no matter how long we live. They 
will always hold a place within our memories. Here's hoping that all who become 
seniors after us will enjoy their high school careers as much as we have. Look for 
the best that's in life, and the best you'll find. 


We, the Senior Class of 1 9^0 , wish for all of you, luck and happiness in your 
coming school days. 

Nancy Stafford, Historian 



We, the Senior Class of 19^0, do hereby will and bequeath: 

To Mr. Johnston, our love and appreciation for guiding us so carefully during 
our stay at Barium. 

To Mr. Sossamon, our thanks for pulling us through our tight spots. 

To the Juniors, our knowledge and ability to learn more. 

To the Sophomores, our ability to get along with our teachers 

To the Freshmen, our courage to fight through High School . 

I, Sadie Mills, do hereby will and bequeath to the Infirmary girls the work I 
was supposed to do; to my little sister. Myrtle, all the things she can find in my 

I, Charles Starling, do hereby will and bequeath to my brother, Cecil, my bed 
and old box; to Sal lie Farmer, my school sense. 

I, Isabel Monroe, do hereby will and bequeath to Mary Ann McCormick all my 
empty Woodbury powder boxes; to Mary Parks Allen my place on the basketball team 
(come on, Parkie); to my sisters my place in the laundry. 

I, Walter Mott, do hereby will and bequeath to Ed Williamson my bed and door 
key. Sleep well, Ed, and don't break out any panels. 

I, Grace Cayton, do hereby will and bequeath to Daisy, my little sister, my old 
painted-over, 21-year old alarm clock, which has only one leg and no alarm, hoping 
she can get ready for school on time; to Mary Ann my place in the choir. 

I, John Irby McDonald, do hereby will and bequeath to my fellow Nimrods, James 
Shroyer and Russell McKenzie, all my rabbit hollows and hope them plenty of luck; to 
Jimmy Dorton my ability to stay away from the girls; to my sisters my ability to 

I, Gertie Smith, do hereby will and bequeath to my kid sister, Flossie, my 
position as barber; to Lillie Belle all the things I leave behind; to my brother, 


Vance, my ability to finish high school. 

I, Fd Cole, do hereby will and bequeath to my sister, Ruth, my height; to Fred 
my good times I have had while here at Barium; to Billy (Rip Van Winkle) Brock my 
sleeping quarters. 

I, Nancy Stafford, do hereby will and bequeath to Mary Adams all the old 
clothes I leave behind; to Jimmy, my brother, his sweater which I have so faithfully 
worn for the past eight months. (It's not quite threadbare yet, Jim.) 

I, Henry Al essandr ini , do hereby will and bequeath to David Burney the key to 
the printing office; to the "Mocs" family our room and any old duds; to anybody, 
anything they can find. 

I, Wilma Jessup, do hereby will and bequeath to "Skeeter" Sanders all my 
skeeter bites I got at camp last year; to Mary Adams all my hamburger bags I leave 
behind . 

I, Clarence Rohards, do hereby will and bequeath to anyone who will take them, 
th extra pair of football socks Cap gave me during football season. 

I, Grace Coppedge, do hereby will and bequeath to Flora Mae Newman my place as 
captain of the basketball team; to Sail ie Farmer all my Lady Esther lipstick tubes 
if George hasn't beat her to them. "Hold tight" to them, George. 

I, Rufus Long, do hereby will and bequeath to Joe and Pete, my ability to make 
the honor roll at least once; to Billy "Moc" my wrestling ability; to anyone, 
anything they can beg, borrow, or steal. 

I, Johnnie Burgin, do hereby will and bequeath to Sal lie Farmer the opportunity 
of spending extra days while off on weekends; to Mary Adams all my old rusty 
pennies. Here's hoping they will make her heart "jump with j'oy." 

I, Rex Lewis, do hereby will and bequeath to my brother, Ben, my bed in the 
room and hope he keeps it made up more than I did; to "Doc" Munday my place as Mr. 
Grier's chauffe«-of his work car. 

I, Agnes Coppedge, do hereby will and bequeath to Sarah my old room; to Sal lie 
Farmer all my empty soft drink bottles. 


I, William Smith, do hereby will and bequeath to Joe Ben Gibbs my place on the 
basketball team; to my brother, Stanley, anything he can find. 

I, Howard Beshears, do hereby will and bequeath to my fat brother. Lacy, half 
boss of the room; to Henry Pittman my ability to block for Roach. Do better than I 
did, Pitt. 

I, Mary Penn Lindsay, do hereby will and bequeath to Virginia Cranfill all my 
old Song Hit books; to Myrtle Mills anything she can find to put in the scrapbook. 

I, Nancy Parcel 1, do hereby will and bequeath to my sister, Sarah, anything I 
leave; to Donnie Bolton my seat in the Senior cl assroom. . . if he ever gets there. 

I, Thelma Robards, do hereby will and bequeath to Sal lie my old fingernail 
polish; to Mary my old sewing machine; to Flossie my place as Miss Adams' office 
girl; to my sister, Elizabeth, my red turban. 

I, John Ellis, do hereby will and bequeath to Joe Ben my old hat which he has 
claimed for the past three months; to William Wadsworth my work gloves. Hope they 
serve the purpose. 




(Speakers for the 1 9**0 Commencement were Rev. Malcolm Calhoun of St. Pauls; 
Rev. Samuel Wiley of Thomasville, and Rev. Carl Pritchett of Sm ithf iel d . ) 

(Ed Cole was winner of Ace Medal.) 

(Arthur Roach was presented with Bible Medal; Music Improvement Award went to 
Margaret Jarvis.) 

Twenty-five boys and girls whose stay at Barium Springs has averaged almost 10 
years each were, on Monday night, April 22nd, awarded their diplomas at the final 
graduating exercises of the 19^0 program. During the final evening the commencement 
address was delivered by Rev. Carl R. Pritchett, pastor of the Smithfield 
Presbyterian Church, on the subject, "Your View of Life," who urged the graduates to 
take both a long and short view of life and to understand the real meaning of life 

The concluding exercises began with the invocation by Rev. T. C. Cook, pastor 
of Little Joe's Church, immediately followed by the salutatory address of Rufus 
Long, second-honor student of the class. Harry Barkley, superintendent of the 
grammar schools, awarded the seventh grade certificates. 

After the commencement address each graduate was presented a Bible by the local 
pastor, and Jos. B. Johnston, superintendent of the Home, presented the prizes and 
awards. He prefaced his presentation with the disclosure that 10^ Barium children 
had perfect attendance records last year — 67 in the elementary school and 37 ' n the 
high school — and that 22 students had won reading certificates. 

The Barium superintendent announced and thanked the senior class for its 
parting gift, which is a plaque upon which will be engraved the names of all those 
who have won the Ace Medal. Scholarship prizes for the grammar grades went to Pearl 
Morgan, Dwight Spencer, Esau Davis, Billy Everett and Wootson Davis. High School 
scholastic prizes went to Ed Cole, John McCall , John McCrimmon, Billy McCall and Joe 


Ben Gibbs. 

Fred W. SherrMl of Statesville annually contributes scholarship prizes to two 
boys and two girls showing the greatest improvement in high school. Winners this 
year were Gerald ine Blue, Sarah Parcel 1, Ben Lewis and Paul Burney. The music 
improvement medal went to Margaret Jarvis, with Betty Whittle and Betty Lou 
Williamson getting prizes as runners-up. The Bible medal was won by Arthur Roach, 
and the most coveted award, the Ace medal, went to Ed Cole. 

Mr. Johnston also presented the gold basketballs to members of the girls' and 
boys' basketball teams, who were 19^0 champions of the South Piedmont conference, 
the girls winning the title for the second year in succession. Loving cups from the 
conference were scheduled to be presented, but these had not arrived at Barium 

After the presentation of diplomas by R. G. Calhoun, school princiapl, the 
junor class marched to the stage behind the seniors and sang the farewell song. Ed 
Cole delivered the Valedictory as the first-honor student; everybody sang one verse 
of "Blest Be the Tie That Binds" and Rev. Mr. Pritchett, the visiting speaker, 
pronounced the bend ict ion. 

Senior Class Exercises 

The final assembly of the class of 19^0 as a unit was on Monday morning, April 

22nd, at which time they presented an unusual and highly entertaining program 

entitled, "The Open Road" which was a gypsy harvest festival in one act. The 

graduates were attired in gypsy costumes, and it was a unique way in which the class 

history, the class will and testament, the class poem, and the prophecy were 

presented. The roles of the various characters played by the seniors were as 

fol lows: 

Madre — Nancy Parcel 1 
Captain — John Ellis 
Queen — Sadie Mills 
Princess Senior — Wilma Jessup 


Marko — Clarence Robards 

Prince Nikoli — Henry Alessandrini 

Persa — William Smith 

Elena — Agnes Coppedge 

Todora — Walter Mott 

Rodora — Rufus Long 

Yankc— John Irby McDonald 

Serga — Gertie Smith 

Mayra — Mary Penn Lindsay 

Sybil — Nancy Stafford 

Juna — Grace Coppedge 

Stranger — Howard Beshears 

Miltra — Johnnie Burgin 

Fortune Teller — Charles Starling 

Chieftain — John Cole McCrirrmon 

Testator — Thelma Robards 

Class Poet — Grace Cayton 

Grammar Grades' Programs 

Instead of having one evening devoted to a music recital and another to a 
program by the primary and grammar grades, this was altered in 19^0. Part of an 
exercise on April 12th was a music recital and part was an operetta presented by the 
primary department. On the following Friday night, April 19th, others in the music 
department gave a recital and the grammar grades offered an operetta for the 
entertainment of the large family and other friends here. 

These preliminary events to the 1 9**0 commencement are as follows: 

Friday, April 19, 19*40 

The Fountain, Bohm — Myrtle Mills. 

La donna e 1 Mobile, Verdi — Annie Sue Wilson. 

Evening, Low — Betty Coffey and Pat Hooten. 

Warbl ings at Eve, Richards — Billie Ammons . 

Humoreske, Dvorak — Margaret Jarvis. 

To A Wild Rose, McDowell — Marie Morgan 

At the Donny-Brook Fair, Scott — Evelyn Coppedge and Margaret Jarvis. 

Second Mazurka, Godard — Elizabeth Robards. 



An Operetta in three acts, based on Mark Twain's story, Tom Sawyer; dramatized 
and adapted by Theodosia Paynter and presented by the grammar grades: 

Cast of Characters: 

Aunt Polly, Lille Belle Smith; Tom Sawyer, Hervey Stricklin; Joe Harper, Wilbur 
Coats; Amy Lawrence, Jacie Newnam 


Joe Ben Gibbs and Jack McCall 

Robert Erwin Jackins came to Barium as a nine year old boy on November 11, 
1918. It was Armistice Day, the day when the tragic First World War finally 
ended in Europe. Not long before, his father, James G. Jackins, had died from 
the great flu epidemic of 1917. He was only 37 years old. His mother, Sarah 
E. Jackins, found it necessary to place Robert in the orphanage at Barium 
Springs, along with his brother Sam and sister Edna. 

"Buck" Jackins, as he soon came to be called, participated in the athletic pro- 
grams which the new superintendent, Joseph, B. Johnston, initiated soon after 
his arrival in 1922. He recalls that Mr. Johnston had brought a football when 
he first came and the boys quickly took up this game. It became the most 
popular sport among the several that were introduced by Mr. Johnston. Of 
course, it took several years before a full schedule could be developed with 
nearby towns. But before long, the Barium teams were a serious contender for 
championships. Buck was among the first to stand out in football and he was 
elected captain of the team during his senior year. 

His leadership ability prompted Mr. Johnston to ask if he would stay a few 
months after his high school graduation in 1927. He wanted Buck to supervise 
the high school boys who lived in the Virginia Gilmer Cottage and to take 
charge of the dairy crew that milked cows twice each day. Mr. Johnston 
insisted that the boys not call him by his former nickname, Buck. But they 
quickly attached a new nickname, which was more acceptable. It was "Cap", a 
recognition for his leadership in sports. As it turned out, this "temporary" 
position turned into a full-time career as dean of boys, dairy boss, and athletic 

"Cap" Jackins is remembered by hundreds of boys as their coach in football 
and wrestling. He coached Barium teams from 1927 until his retirement in 
1953. During the first year, when he assisted head coach Rosey McMillan, Mr. 
Johnston sent the two of them to a coaching school in Tennessee to learn the 
fundamentals. "Cap" became head coach within a few years and he organized 
several lightweight football teams which quickly established themselves as 
winners. The varsity teams also managed to win more than their share of 
victories. Perhaps even more remarkable were the Barium wrestling teams 
which "Cap" coached. They oftentimes wrestled college freshmen teams just to 
get enough competition. One string of state high school championships lasted 
five years, from 1934 to 1938. Much of the credit for these successes should 


go to "Cap" Jackins for his ability to teach basic fundamentals and his skill 
with encouraging each bov to do his best. 

As the dean of boys, "Cap" Jackins had authority without being authoritarian. 
He was actually a very mild mannered person who spoke softly and wise- 
cracked often. He had very few rules and he optimistically assumed that most 
of them were followed. Few of us will forget his famous "court" sessions when 
he announced changes in certain rules or reported complaints by other staff 
members. Once in a while, he tried to find out who had committed some act 
of petty theft. We sguirmed when he announced that none of us could go to 
town to see a movie until the missing article was returned. He could be very 

We Barium children knew "Cap" Jackins as a family man. We were all excited 
when he married one of the prettiest teachers, Laura Northrup, and set up 
housekeeping. In time, they had three children, Beth, Joan, and Danny. Much 
of the time they lived in an apartment in the Virginia Gilmer cottage, along 
with about 50 high school boys. We recall the numerous summer evenings 
when the Jackins family would sit outside on lawn chairs to watch Softball 
games or to simply enjoy the cool evening air. These were the days before 
air-conditioning and t.v. Happily, that left much more time for visiting 
together. The Jackins talked with us about many subjects, including future 
plans. We were all part of the larger Barium family who cared about each 

After resigning from Barium, "Cap" worked for several years in nearby 
Statesville. He continued to follow Barium activities and after he retired, he 
moved closer to Barium. His wife, Laura, died and after several years he 
married another pretty lady: Sarah H. Smith. Living so close to Barium, they 
both continue to take an active interest in everything there. They look forward 
each year to meeting alumni who return for the Barium Homecoming. 



Being a Presbyterian Home, it was expected that Barium would give consid- 
erable emphasis to the church, its beliefs, doctrines, etc. That was true; one 
of the stated and practiced objectives of the Home was to bring children up 
in the Christian faith. What was not true, again the orphanage myth, was that 
we were "hounded to death" by religious zealots. 

From the Baby Cottage on up, having prayer services was a normal and ac- 
cepted event. A part of those services was Bible reading. A blessing was 
asked at any event where food was to be eaten, that included picnics and 
cookouts at the river camp. Pre-bedtime services in the cottages for smaller 
children included each child taking a turn to recite a verse of scripture. (The 
first child to give "Jesus Wept", precluded any other child from using that one.) 
The cottage service might conclude with the children standing in their under- 
shorts and, in unison, praying the "Lord's Prayer", or reciting the "23rd 
Psalm", or offering the "Mizpah Benediction". (The latter, briefer, conclusion 
was used frequently after a hard day and the matron was eager to get the 
children into bed so that she could have some rest.) 

There were three organized church services each week—Sunday Morning 
worship, Wednesday evening prayer meeting, and Sunday evening vespers. 
In addition to those, we had our morning Sunday School classes, and youth 
groups, which met on Sunday afternoon, prior to vespers. (This is probably 
not the place to include this, but there is a group of male alumni who claimed 
membership in the "Second Presbyterian Church." That "congregation" as- 
sembled around the pump house behind the office or down at the boiler room 
during periods when others were at Little Joe's. The "service" consisted of 
that 1930's rite-of-passage for high school boys, smoking cigarettes. The most 
popular brand was "Sensations," which could be purchased at "Doodlum's" for 
10 cents a pack.) 

The children fully participated in the church life. We sang in the choirs, taught 
Sunday School, played the piano for certain services-even Sunday morning 
services during the summer months and when Miss Green could not be there 
during school months. For the summer vacation Bible School, I recall that the 
majority of the activities were student directed. Even in the financial support 
of the church we participated. Each of us was taught to pledge, and we were 
given boxes of numbered envelopes to put the contributions into. 

One of the "fixtures" of the Sunday morning worship, I recall with special 
warmth, was the weekly presentation by Mr. S. A. Grier. He was a gentle, 
Lincolnesque man in appearance, with the large hands of a workman. He 
would bring us up to date on the mission work of the church, giving special 


attention to Mr. and Mrs. Zin, Chinese missionaries in their native country and 
supported by Concord Presbytery. He closed his presentation with a prayer. 
Mr. Grier did not offer those "Presbyterian-Gothic" prayers which had a lot of 
"beseeches," nor did he seek "richest blessings" (typical Presbyterian- 
Episcopal request). He simply stood there and talked to his friend named God 
in the direct language that reflected his dignity. He talked to God about giving 
guidance and expressed gratitude for previous guidance. He thanked God for 
simple things like a needed rainfall and for love and friends, and the earth's 
beauty: The kind of praying a child could understand. I don't recall that he 
spent much time asking God for forgiveness. I think he and God knew it would 
be superfluous. As much as anything else, it was from the examples of S. 
A. Grier and others like him that we learned Christian character and behavior. 

(It is quite obvious that I did not close my eyes in all the prayers. I was also 
frequently pinched by a "Big Girl" for my irreverence.) 

A part of the scholarly in our church life was the memorization of the two 
catechisms, the "Child's" and the "Shorter"--which was longer. Children who 
memorized the "Child's" were recognized and given a certificate and a New 
Testament; those who memorized the "Shorter" were similarly recognized but 
given the Bible. 

In the school, the Old and New Testaments were required courses of study. 
In the study of those courses, there was considerable memory work. Each 
child memorized the 13th Chapter of First Corinthians, the 12th Chapter of 
Romans, several of the Psalms, the Apostle's Creed, portions of the book of 
Isaiah, the names of the prophets, the authors of the synoptic gospels, the 
books of the Bible in correct sequence, etc. 

The ministers at Little Joe's during this era were Rev. W.C. Brown and Rev. 
Tom Cook. Reverend Brown I remember as a large, bald man--and that 
more from photographs than from working memory. Tom Cook, however, I 
remember as an excellent minister. If I recall, he had experienced a poisonous 
gas attack from the Germans in World War I and continued to suffer in some 
way as a result of it. 

He had multiple talents in addition to being an effective speaker. He sang and 
he also was a very clever cartoonist. Using colored charcoal, he could 
graphically make a humorous point for a sermon that children readily caught. 
There was always a stir of eager anticipation when his easel was seen stand- 
ing on the altar prior to a service. 

Mr. Johnston along with S.A. Grier, by personal example taught and lived 
Christianity. When you saw that large man standing in front of a Sunday 


School class of boys and saw tears come to his eyes when he talked about 
God's love or God's forgiveness and mercy, you knew that he was a man of 
God; you knew that he cared for you, so you knew that was the right way to 

Barium may not have produced a proportionate number of full-time church 
workers from the children of that era. However, I venture to say that the great 
majority left there having fully integrated Christian thinking and behavior into 
their lives, and that was the objective. 


Until the depression, Barium Springs was a private school. During the de- 
pression it, like all of the county systems, came under the state. Prior to the 
depression, counties operated their own school systems. When the depression 
came, counties could not pay their teachers and turned to the state for relief; 
Barium was no different. (Mr. Johnston did not want this, but had little 
choice-there simply was no money.) 

The school actually went on the state "schedule" in the fall of 1934, even 
though it was designated a "public" school in 1932. Hence, the graduates of 
this decade were all public school graduates. 

The curriculum of the schools was very basic and very good. Its major 
weaknesses were in the sciences because we had no well-equipped laboratory. 

The secret of the quality of the school-as with any good school-was in its 
teaching staff. Barium Springs, with exceptions only in the pure sciences, had 
the very best. (How many of you, as I, have wished that your own children 
could have been students of those teachers?) 

To name their names brings a certain awe and respect now. When I think of 
them, I sit up straighter, I get organized; I begin to concentrate and think! 
Those people were TEACHERS! They were not K-12 employees; they were 
TEACHERS! Unlike too many of the fluff charlatans in the classrooms of today, 
that crowd knew their subject matter; beyond that, they knew they knew it! 
They were sure of themselves and knew their roles in relationship to you, and 
it was not their responsibility-thank heavens-to massage our tender psyches 
for "communication". They knew that their role was to get some knowledge 
through that head, regardless of its thickness. To their immense credit, for 
most of us, they succeeded. 


The fact of the matter is that a majority of the teachers at Barium during that 
era would have qualified then-and certainly today— as college level instruc- 
tors, regardless of academic credentials. 

Reba Thompson and Irene McDade both had master's degrees. How many 
county schools at that time had teachers holding M.A.'s? Faye Stevenson 
could have been a full professor in any university giving teacher education. 

In the early 1930's, Miss Holton was the principal of the elementary school. I 
remember her as an elderly woman in severe black dresses and those black, 
no-nonsense shoes. She had a handbell that she rang to summon children in 
to begin class and from recess. 

The classrooms in the elementary school building fronted the basketball court. 
Each room had a set of the Palmer Method lettering system above the black- 
board in it. (We were required to take penmanship then, remember?) In most 
rooms there was a print of some classic painting. In Gladys Burroughs' fifth 
grade room, I recall that there were the prints of Millet's "The Gleaners" and 
"The Angelus." Several rooms had prints of Gainsborough's "Blue Boy" and 
Lawrence's "The Girl in Pink." Some rooms had Peal's "Washington" and 
"Crossing the Delaware." 

Gladys Burroughs was a remarkable woman. She was small and always 
cheerful. I never saw her frown. A Georgian, she had lost the tip of her little 
finger on her right hand, and if I ever heard how, I have forgotten. Gladys- 
what a name-taught penmanship. Push-pulls and ovals. "Ready, ready, 
swing; ready, ready, write 1, 2, 3, 4; 1, 2, 3, 4, was her chant in class." The 
word "Penmanship" at the top of the page, name to the right, date to the left. 

"The 'I' floats backwards on down the line. 

He floats forever in his boat fine. 

Won't I look nice tonight in my sailboat? 

When the sun comes up and the moon 

goes down, 

I'll still be afloat." 

That sung while a classroom of students makes "I's." 

In the windows of Gladys Burroughs' fifth grade room were scientific mys- 
teries. There were large gallon jars of tadpoles which would sprout legs and 
become frogs; there were gallon jars of carrot tops which would sprout 
greenery. She tolerated the most outrageous in youthful behavior. "Spud" 
Mundy had tied a shoestring across the desk row--those old Singer-sewing 
machine styled desks. He created a disturbance that caused Miss Burroughs 
to rush back to control. She tripped over the string and fell. "Stingo" Baldwin, 


who weighed all of 50 pounds soaking wet, started to laugh. Miss Burroughs 
calmly picked herself up, looked at "Stingo" and said, "I don't know why you're 
laughing, had it been you, you'd have broken every bone in your body." I am 
sure that up there in Heaven, Gladys is telling God that had He used better 
penmanship on those Commandments He gave Moses, they might be better 

Elizabeth McKeithan was the movie star. None of us had ever seen a teacher 
with her beauty. She was beautiful. Beyond that, she sang with equal beauty. 
She taught me how to sketch. She taught Barium girls about style. Once in 
a while we were favored in church with a solo by her. "How Beautiful Upon 
the Mountain" I remember and another that sounded like "Ciribiribin." 

Sadie Brandon was the salt-of-the-earth type. She took classes on walks on 
those warm fall days, down the railroad track to the trestle, or over to the old 
pear orchard to fill up a waste basket with ripe pears. You got to go outside 
to play after you recited the "9 times" tables correctly. 

Margaret Bell was a disciplinarian. No cutting up in that lady's classroom. 
My most vivid memory of her is that, for whatever infraction, I had to sing 
"South of the Border" in front of the class. Sinatra made more on the tune 
than I. I must admit, in vanity, that I enjoyed it. 

Faye Stevenson taught sixth grade. Organization was the word for Miss 
Stevenson's classes. By the time you got there, rather when you left there, 
you knew outlines. You knew sequence. You knew that there was an order 
to learning which when followed made it understandable. She was a re- 
markable teacher. 

Harry Barkley replaced Miss Holton as principal of the elementary school in 
the mid-thirties. An Erskine College graduate, and a local man, he brought 
his own style to the position. He was girls' and later boys' basketball coach 
and assistant football coach and camp director. It is in those roles that I re- 
member him more clearly than at the elementary school. He was, along with 
his wife, a good addition the Barium family, and I have been privileged to be 
in contact with him in the latter years of his career. 

Irene McDade taught Latin, algebra, trigonometry, calculus. Show me a 
teacher today who can do that? What a brain! She was a Barium girl. 
However, we did not expect sympathy. She had standards that you met or you 
didn't make it. Thank goodness! "Neat as a pin" -- never a hair out of place. 
Organized to the teeth. 


Reba Thompson! a literal bastion of learning. The lady knew language, his- 
tory, government, sociology, and more psychology than she was willing to 
admit. I have had many college professors who could not "hold a candle" to 
either her or Irene McDade. ( I would include Ruth Troutman Clark here, but 
she did not come to Barium until 1944. In terms of the quality of education 
and concern for us, I will recount this. When Ruth Troutman learned that I 
was going to Davidson College, she took me "in hand" and led me to the back 
room of the library where she required that I read Eugene O'Neill' plays and 
samples of other writers whose works were not on the "Presbyterian" shelves. 
Beyond that, she had me to write summaries of what I read and discuss them 
with her. The result was that when I got to Davidson, I was right up with all 
those wealthy kids from McCallie and Darlington and Episcopal High in 
Virginia. She became a lifelong friend to me, my wife and my children.) 

R. G. Calhoun was principal and coach at the high school. He remained, to 
me, a man of mystery. He was a strong, forceful man with a large command 
voice. A Davidson graduate from a family of brothers in Scotland County, he 
had one brother who was, I believe, a missionary. He apparently lived a rather 
spartan, monastic life, never married, even though rumors of his love interests 
were frequent among the children during those years. He taught Bible, Old 
and New Testament. After World War II, he had another brother, Archie (A.M.) 
Calhoun to join him on the faculty at Barium. 

Repeat their names: Irene McDade, Reba Thompson, Faye Stevenson, Sadie 
Brandon, Gladys Burroughs; now, is that not a list of solid school teachers? 
No cream puffs there. Those ladies knew content! They were great teachers 
and their names and their results reflect it. God bless the memories of ev- 
eryone of them. 

As a postscript, I must give an account of something that happened several 
years ago at a homecoming. It emphasizes what I have already said about 
those ladies being total teachers-even into retirement. 

I was President of the Alumni Association and had presided over the meeting. 
Reba Thompson and Faye Stevenson had honored us with their presence. (At 
the time I was approximately 44 and had completed a lot of graduate work.) 
After the meeting, Miss Thompson approached the podium. I expected 
something like, "We're glad we could be here, etc." No. What she said was, 
"I know that you have more degrees than I. However, I notice that you used 
the term "different than"; I think if you will check that, you will find the correct 
form to be "different from." I did check. Expectedly, she was right. I don't 
know why I bothered to check: she always was! God bless her memory. 



Barium Springs in the 1940's looked exactly like what it was, an institution. 
In that, it resembled any number of other such institutions which were con- 
structed during the last decade of the nineteenth century and the early dec- 
ades of the twentieth century. However, there was something about this 
campus that seemed to soften that rigid institutional exterior. Perhaps it was 
its pastoral setting in the rolling countryside of the piedmont, away from any 

The campus was dominated by Rumple Hall and its bell tower; the building 
was located on high ground in the very center of all other buildings. Like a 
very proper Victorian dowager, she maternally loomed over two similarly 
constructed Victorian buildings which flanked her on the north and south, 
Annie Louise and Synods, respectively. This trio made an interesting family, 
for Rumple Hall was constructed with a lighter, more orange-colored brick, 
whereas the two other buildings were darker, more red. (Perhaps one of those 
Victorian indiscretions.) All three buildings fronted due east, the main en- 
trances to Synods and Annie Louise seldom were used because the traffic flow 
came from side doors that opened onto large concrete porches connected to 
concrete sidewalks to Rumple Hall. 

Rumple Hall functioned somewhat in the manner of an English manor house. 
There was the large kitchen and delivery area in the back, the boiler room 
with its large mound of black coke. There was a constant activity there with 
trucks and wagons delivering produce, milk, canned supplies, whatever needs 
to keep things going. I stated that the building faced east; therefore, when the 
sun would set in the west, it would turn the large glass window panes into 
golden-orange reflectors, making the building literally glow. 

To the rear of, and across the road from Rumple Hall, stood the Alexander 
Building. Built as a combination dormitory and industrial building (it housed 
the print and shoe shops), it was, to me, the most "institutional" looking of all 
the buildings. There was nothing attractive about it. It was set on a bleak knoll 
and its architecture matched its setting. It was a soiled-looking place. On a 
cold, gray winter's day, it looked as though it housed the secrets of an 18th 
century horror story. 

On down the dirt road that circled the campus and moving north, one ap- 
proached the Infirmary. It was pleasant enough and functional. Its entrance 
was softened by a small circular drive with a large American boxwood in it. 
Like most of the other buildings, it was basically a brick box with a center 
entrance. Once through that entrance, the nostrils were assaulted with the 
combined odors of Lysol and sulpher-thiazole salve. 


The Infirmary was diagonally across from the Baby Cottage, a pleasant look- 
ing building for an institution. It was constructed with twin entrances on the 
left and right wings; the middle portion was bayed, which softened the two 
story brick structure. The half-moon flower bed between the entrances picked 
up the lines of the bayed front and added attractiveness. The most prominent 
feature in the front of the building-and the best play area a child could 
have-was a giant magnolia tree. 

Lee's and Howard Cottages completed the group on the inner circle of the 
campus. One, Howard, to the left of the Baby Cottage; and the other, Lee's 
to the right of Synod's and fronting it. These two buildings were quite similar, 
brick, two-storied boxes with single, central entrances and back porches. Both 
were of the orange-yellow brick. 

Jennie Gilmer, of dark brick, was similar, but no rear porch. It was set off to 
itself on a hill overlooking the track and baseball fields and a good view of the 
orchards and dairy from the second floor. 

U.S. Highway 21 divided the east and west sides of the campus. The highway 
had been paved in the 1920's and at that time, the North Carolina Highway 
Department installed chain-link fences on either side for the length of the 
campus. They constructed concrete underpasses on the north and south ends 
of the campus, and planted "institutional" roses along the fences. 

The eastern half of the campus was anchored by the two school buildings-the 
elementary on the north, the high school on the south. A long, concrete 
roller-skating area connected them. 

The elementary school was a single story, H-shaped structure that housed the 
basketball court-stage-auditorium. Four, large, wooden, doric columns com- 
manded its entrance. The building was surrounded by a large grassy play 
area, and beyond that cultivated fields stretched to the horizon. Just to the 
rear of the building was a potato shed which played an important role for more 
than one Barium couple in learning about the opposite sex. 

The Woman's Building neighbored the elementary school. It looked very much 
like any dormitory to be found on a college campus. Dark brick, there were 
three entrances: a center doric columned entrance, and twin, covered en- 
trances on either end. Behind it were a pecan orchard and clay tennis courts. 
The Ernest Milton residence was about 100 yards south from the Woman's 
Building. It was named Boyd Cottage, but it was not called that. It was a 
typical, two storied brick Victorian dwelling with large, high windows and a 
latticed back porch. 


The office building came next. A brick building with a stubby little porch on 
the front, large windows. 

Behind the office was the laundry, a large two-story building with industrial 
type push-out windows. Upstairs was the sewing room where Barium girls 
practiced their "domestic" skills at garment making. The laundry was also a 
trysting place for many a Barium boy and girl. 

Adjacent to the laundry and to the rear of the office was a garage for seven 
or eight vehicles. Behind that was a make-shift collection of cages and wired 
enclosures where boys kept chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits, pigeons. Paral- 
leled to the garage was a pump house. On an early summer morning, that 
pump could be heard clearly anywhere on campus. (I remember waiting for 
a bus one morning at 4:00 A.M. I was going to Asheville on vacation. I was 
standing at the extreme south end of the campus near the train station-post 
office. It was August and everything was very quiet, except that pump which 
provided a curious symphony in that early dawn.) 

The church, Little Joe's, had a simple charm about it. There was nothing ex- 
traordinary about its architecture. The windows, the glass of which was a 
mass of little half-circular designs-a decorative touch, were country "gothic". 
(It has always been of interest to me to observe that within the Protestant de- 
nominations, that as they have become wealthier over the years since the 
Depression, their churches have become much more "Catholic" in their 
ornateness—carved wood, stained glassed windows, deep carpet, velvet, brass, 

Little Joe's was clearly a Protestant church; it was Puritan in its simplicity and 
humility: it was a House of Worship. The interior consisted of straight-backed, 
uncushioned wooden pews that thoroughly tested the patience and endurance 
of the back sides of small boys. Many lessons of patience were learned in that 
church as the minister measuredly went through those three, Presbyterian- 
required, points of each sermon. The ceiling was made of an old-fashioned 
tongue-in-groove style wood; each piece was counted countless times. 

The chair loft was simple with a green cover hung on a rail in front up behind 
the three altar chairs. That cover was later changed to reddish-purple. 

The high school building was an unimaginative pile of bricks. It had a sort 
of "oral" entrance: a Roman arch effect that covered wooden steps leading 
up to the entrance doors. Inside, the odor of floor oil and dust met you. The 
ceilings were high and the building noisy. In any classroom one could hear 
someone walking in nearly any part of the building. There were twin stairways 


left and right, and a small non-equipped laboratory on the first floor. On the 
second floor was a very seldom used auditorium. (I always felt that I was in 
an attic when in there.) 

Beyond the high school building was Sloan Field, a beautifully designed 
football field, and the train station. 


"Matron" is one of those institutional titles which, I believe, has even been 
rejected by the prison system, especially since that system has become "cor- 
rections." I am not sure why the term was thought of in such a pejorative 
sense, but it was. Barium, during the 1930s, had "matrons", and it did not 
go unnoticed by many of us that the colleges~and even our own relatives and 
ourselves, when away from Barium, would euphemistically refer to similar in- 
dividuals as "housemothers." The term essentially means a married woman 
with great dignity and secondarily, such a woman who is in charge of 
children-extended to incarcerated or immured. (In that, it was consistent, for 
we were officially recorded in the office as "inmates"- with numbers. If there 
were more than one child at Barium from the same family, then that family 
had one number. My sister and I were number 875. My discovery of that a 
few years ago caused me to have my first urge to obtain a personalized li- 
cense plate. I resisted the urge.) 

The role these women played was quite basic. It would not be at all accurate 
to refer to them as surrogate mothers; they were not. It was not intended that 
they be; and, except for the woman at the Baby Cottage, where the need for 
that surrogate role was quite obvious, none ever attempted it. It -- surrogate 
parenting -- simply would not work in an institution. (1) There were too many 
children, (2) The potential for emotional damage to those "not chosen" was too 
great, (3) There was not any support system to maintain such a relationship 
in the long run. (Don't misunderstand me; I am not saying that the children 
and matrons did not form friendships. Many did and, I suppose they have 
lasted over the years. What I am saying is that such was not in the assigned 
role of the matron.) 

The assigned role was to maintain a clean environment in the building des- 
ignated to each as her responsibility. That meant, in addition to the building, 
specifically children at Synod's and Annie Louise Cottages, the bodies of the 
children, their clothes and bed clothes. It included the maintenance of a 
schedule in the building, consistent with the rest of the Home-getting the 
children to meals, to school, to church, etc. The role most remembered by 
children who were at Synod's or Annie Louise, and girls through graduation, 
was that of disciplinarian. There were boundaries to be observed, schedules 


to be kept, "behaving" to be done. Infractions to any of those areas brought 
swift consequences. Corporal punishment was accepted and practiced by all 
of society back then, and there was a lot of spanking and switching going on, 
but probably no more nor less than in the average community of that day. (It 
is definitely a masochistic memory, but Kate Taylor's hairless hairbrush and 
radiator brush-both instruments of terror then-bring a smile to me now. She 
kept them in a box on top of the radiator in front of which was her straight- 
backed chair: a seat-of-justice. Requiring you to stand in the floor was an- 
other of her favorites. And, I should add that "licks" from the hairless 
hairbrush were aimed at your backside, after you had "assumed the position," 
with your hands in the seat of her chair. It was a sort of "scale" of justice.* 

The stories of how these women happened to come to Barium is not known 
to me. A few were local, a few had been at Barium as children; Kate Taylor 
had come from Scotland in 1922, probably taking advantage of an opportunity 
to come to America to escape the poverty of post World War I in Scotland. 
(It was through Miss Taylor that I confirmed to myself that surrogate parenting 
was strictly discouraged at Barium. She told me, on a visit to her Charlotte 
retirement home, that a definite negative in an interview with a prospective 
matron was an effusive, "I just love children.") 

To the "Psychologically aware" people of today that sounds terribly cold and 
cruel. Certainly it is completely desirable that someone who works with chil- 
dren have the capacity to love them. Who is to say that those women did not? 
I believe they did. Furthermore, I believe that the majority of the boys and 
girls who grew up at Barium during that decade fully understand what Kate 
meant. She and the other matrons had to deal with the reality of an institution 
in the same sense that we did. One-to-one relationships simply are quite un- 
workable in an institution. Think about that and the importance of such re- 
lationships to human growth and happiness when you question why Barium 
Springs and all other institutions-even including prisons-moved away from 
the institutional model and toward the community-based model. 

Reverse the emotional demand to their side for a moment. To my knowledge, 
with the exception of Mrs. Purdy and her Frank, and possibly Mrs. McGirt; 
these were all childless women. Is it not possible that many of them perhaps 
felt sorrow that they could not take this or that child to herself? I know the 
answer is "yes" because I was the object of fleeting attempts at it. Some of 
today's "Donahue-type" mothers whine that they need "space"; they need to 
"actualized and develop personhood"--"goals" they cannot accomplish around 
their children; they need a cocktail party or a seminar on "growth". 

"This is the part of my writing, I assume, to which Keith-Lucas refers when he says I fondly long for corporal punishment. (Ed ) 


Beansprouts! they need to develop the same backbone and patience those 
women at Barium had. Those women spent twenty-four hours a day looking 
after us. They did not complain, and as adults they did not feel any great need 
for "growth —they were grown. 

I go back to Kate Taylor. After the growing-up years under her guidance, of 
hearing that Scottish voice fully sound the "arl" in "Charles," of standing in the 
floor, feeling a sting on my hand or rump, of being taught to stand when a lady 
enters a room, of table manners, of hospital corners on beds, of cleanliness 
-- "elbow grease, Charles"; after all of that and the passage of many years, 
I visited her in her retirement apartment in Charlotte. She was still "Miss 
Taylor" and I, still "Charles". She maintained her role, being very hospitable. 
Not long after my visit she returned to her native Scotland for her final visit, 
for soon after her return, she died. From Scotland, I received a picture post 
card on which she expressed thanks for my visit. She signed it, "Love, Kate." 
She didn't have to say it; I knew it all along. 

Something should be said, too, about R. E. "Buck", "CAP" Jackins and Ralph 
Spencer who, respectively, ran Jennie Gilmer and Alexander Cottages. After 
the Quadrangle was built and Alexander razed, Buck moved to the "Quads," 
and Ralph to Jennie Gilmer. 

Their relationship to the older boys was more work and athletically related 
than in the building maintenance, daily supervisory capacity. Oh, they 
checked on you, and you had to go to them for toothpaste, tooth-brushes, 
shoes, socks, etc. but there was a woman and younger boys assigned to clean 
the building. (Miss Overcash, "my yo, like I say" was assigned to Jennie 
Gilmer. I can see that petite, straight-haired lady now, walking crisply towork 
with that bulging black pocketbook on her shoulder.) Back to my point, which 
was that the older boys did have a lot of freedom-much more than did the 
older girls. 

If a boy's room got too unsanitary, Ralph or Buck would suggest and/or de- 
mand a cleaning up, but generally the roommates monitored each other. 
Occasionally, there would be two guys of the "l-don't-believe-in-taking-a-bath" 
school who would room together. If the stench got too great, the other boys 
stepped in to "help". 

The "judicial" roles these two men played are well remembered by all boys 
who passed through during their era. 

Ralph held "court" to investigate minor theft-someone's personal belongings 
or someone skimming the cream off the milk in the cold storage. He also 


came down hard on smokers. A typical punishment was so many Saturday 
afternoon work assignments. 

One memorable "court" session, Judge Ralph Spencer presiding, that I recall 
was the time the Honorable decided to be a handwriting expert. 

In telling this, it must be understood that young boys ridicule their elders from 
a sense of insecurity moreso than malice. 

"Mrs. Brown" who worked at Alexander had rather prominent front teeth. The 
young boys there tagged her "sawtooth". One day someone wrote "Sawtooth 
'Brown' is a baboon." Ralph held "court" to reveal the author. 

We were each given a piece of paper and told to write the offending statement. 
A boy next to me leaned over and whispered to me, "How do you spell ba- 
boon?" "B-A-B-double O-N," I responded in a whisper. A few seconds 
passed, and he nudged me again. "How do you make a double?" he whis- 
pered. It was a learning experience in more ways than one. 

Back to the mystery. I had heard the nickname given to "Mrs. Brown", but 
had never really understood it. Therefore, on my paper, I wrote "Salttooth." 
Ralph had the culprit. An obvious cover-up, a blatant, clumsy attempt to throw 
him off the trail. Somehow, however, I managed to plead my case successfully 
and convinced him that I was not the guilty party. 

Buck's courtroom was more rowdy than Ralph's. The boys were older and 
participated more in the proceedings. Buck dealt with misdemeanors such 
as leaving the dining hall before the bell was tapped or felonies such as rob- 
bing the fruit basement beneath the kitchen. (I never robbed the fruit base- 
ment, but I have it on good authority that the access was from the front of 
Rumple Hall with a crawl to the center, "about where Mrs. Purdy stood, 
"where you dropped down.) I don't recall any serious crime--a few thefts, boys 
getting caught trying to steal chickens or eggs from locals, vandalism of a 
mild sort of disruptive behavior around the Woman's Building. 

Buck had a temper and it could flare. Once Jerry Young and I left the dining 
room and walked down to the fence, jumped it and started "bumming" -we 
didn't call it "thumbing" -- to Statesville to go to the "show"-- again, not the 
"movies", but the "show." Buck was having court that night. He had come 
out of his apartment and saw us. He yelled over to us that we were to come 
there. By the time we got there, the others had come from the dining room 
and were in the room for court. Buck angrily confronted me with the question, 
"How many times have I told you boys not to leave the dining room early and 
not to jump that fence?" With the most innocent face I could manage, I pre- 


tended to give the question serious thought; then I answered, "I don't think 
you ever have." My pretense was immediately shattered and my body on the 
floor just as quickly from a sharp whack across the chops. Buck was forgiv- 
ing. He came to my room later that night and told me he was sorry he had 
hit me so hard. Not sorry that he hit me, I deserved that, but he hadn't meant 
to K. O. me. 

Both Buck and Ralph had to deal with fights between boys every now and 
again. Barium was no different from any other institution, or society for that 
matter. Another of the rite-of-passage for boys, moreso then than now was 
learning how to defend yourself~or crudely put-to fight. The institutional 
environment simply forced it more; furthermore, it was entertaining to the 
other boys. A "pecking order" or such was established as early as Synod's 
Cottage. That order changed as certain boys grew larger and/or gained more 
confidence in themselves, but the order was tested all through high school. 

There were really four kinds of fights: (1) A spontaneous fight resulting from 
an immediate disagreement, (2) A grudge fight-two boys who just didn't like 
each other, the cause could be one was trying to date the other's girl, (3) The 
structured fight. This frequently involved a new boy in forcing him into his 
place in the order. The process was that a group of boys would decide on the 
combatants. Then the pressure would be applied to one. "Jim Smith says he 
can whip your tail." "Jim Smith says you're a sissy," etc. Meanwhile, the 
other is being set up. "Joe Brown is nothing. Don't you think you can whip 
his tail-sure you can." Finally, Joe agrees-with his "friends"--to challenge 
Jim. Back to Jim, "Joe Brown is waiting outside, and he "O-Double' dares you 
to come out there and knock that stick off his shoulder-or step across a line." 
The fight was on. The single challenge fight: This would be a guy who felt 
that another assumed one place in the "pecking order" and that everyone else 
seemed to agree, but the challenger didn't think so and wanted to prove it. 
In that case, he would on his own approach the 'incumbent" and very straight 
forwardly tell him he wanted to fight. They usually did. 

Gang warfare took two forms: (1) Younger boys ganging up on an older 
bully-Synod's boys jumping a Jennie Gilmer or Lee's boy. (2) Intra-cottage 
warfare-Lee's versus Alexander-in an apple, coke, or snowball fight behind 
Rumple Hall. Several men I know still carry little pieces of coke under the skin 
of their faces: battle scars. 















Emma Eudy 
Russell McKenzie 
Stand ish McKenzie 
Sally Farmer 
Billy Brock 
Mary Adams 
Gerald ine Blue 
Rol and Hooten 
Glenn Lindsay 
A. G. Norris 
Henry Pittman 
Louise Martin 
Arthur Roach 
Mary Ann McCormick 
Lilly McDonald 
Ceci 1 Starl ing 
James Shroyer 
Flora Mae Newman 
Mascot: Montague Cook 
Ace Medal: Henry Pittman 



One afternoon while I was in the library making a report on certain famous 
histories, I came upon the history of the senior class of Barium Springs school of 


Reading on, I found that this class had entered high school in the year 1937 
with thirty members. They were introduced to new subjects they had never heard 
before, such as algebra, Latin, and many sciences. Although it was hard, all but 
four pulled through. 

The following year in 193$ we began to get used to the new subjects and found 
out that they were not so bad after all. Only two were dropped this year. 

During the junior year everything became smooth sailing. We all came through 
to become proud seniors. 

During our last year we picked up several post graduates. Also some of our 
class stayed to take the twelfth grade. We had reached the final goal of our high 
school education. Eighteen boys and girls were now ready to go out ion their own. 
Some will go to college, while others will enter different fields of work. But 
wherever we may be we will always have the memories of our school days here at 
Bar i urn. 



We, the Senior Class of 19^1, do hereby will and bequeath: 

To Mr. Johnston, anything that we may accomplish after leaving Barium, for we 
are sure it will be a result of his love and care, with which he has so carefully 
shaped our character. 

To the Faculty, our thanks and appreciation for having had patience with us and 
helping us through high school. 

To the Juniors, our place as Seniors at Barium, hoping they will make a better 
go at it t h an we did. 

To the Sophomores, our ability to make passing grades in school. 

To the Freshmen, our ability to have fun in school and still get along with the 

Next, we as individuals, do will and bequeath to our friends the following 

I, James Shroyer, will to Lacy Beshears, Ed Williamson and Vance Smith, my part 
in the room. To Lacy and Ed, all my civilian clothes. To Richard Shoaf my pocket 

I, Roland Hooten , do hereby will and bequeath to Lacy, Ed and Vance, my part of 
the room, and anything they can find after I leave. To my brother and sisters my 
ability to finish high school. 

I, Flora Mae Newnam, do hereby will and bequeath to my little sister, Jackie, 
my radio she has wanted so long and my housecoat she ran off with months ago. To my 
pal, Betty Adams, my position as leader of the gang. To Paul Home, all the "S's" 
on French and English that I kept him from getting in the past year. The last of my 
possessions are my ole shoes, which they forgot to mend and I shall leave them to 
David Burney, in hopes he will some day have the opportunity of throwing them at me 
along with some rice. 


I, Gerald ine Blue, do hereby will and bequeath to my twin brothers my good 
times at Barium; to Ruth Cole my weekend bag that I didn't get, and to Mary Parks 
Allen the honor seat in our white limousine. (Don't forget to lock the door and 
crawl out over the sides.) 

I, A. G. Norris, do hereby will and bequeath to my brother, Marshall, my old 
radio and to Jack Weeks my place as boss of the room. 

I, Mary Ann McCormick, do hereby will and bequeath to Sarah Parcel 1 my place on 
the basketball bench for which I paid rent three years, and to Lorena Brown, the 
honor of being the "smallest" girl in the Senior Class. 

I, Russell McKenzie, do hereby will and bequeath to Clifford Barefoot my place 
in my room and my knife he has cherished so long, and to Earl Adams my strong box, 
and to anyone who wants them, all my old work clothes and other things they can 
find . 

I, Cecil Starling, do hereby will and bequeath to Gwyn Fletcher my athletic 
ability; to Pleas Norman my ability to sing; to Bill Lindsey my acting ability, and 
to Jimmy Stafford my sense of humor. Ernest can have my place in room two. 

I, Louise Martin, do hereby will and bequeath to Betty Dorton and Betty 
Williamson my ability to finish high school, and to Mary Lynn Jones my place at the 
Woman's Building. 

I, Emma Eudy, do hereby will and bequeath to Sarah Parcel 1 all my old 
fingernail polish bottles (which I have already emptied) and to all the newcomers, 
the good times I have had while here. 

I, Glenn Linsday, do hereby will and bequeath to Margaret Jarvis my machine in 
the sewing room; here's hoping that you will make a better seamstress than I did. 
To Sarah Jane Parcel 1 my little wine jacket she wore so faithfully all winter. And 
to Tommy my ability to finish school. 

I, Li Hie McDonald, do hereby will and bequeath to my sisters, Ann and Jean, 
everything that they can find in my room. To Elizabeth Robards my machine in the 


sewing room. I hope you work more than I did, Elizabeth. To Jarvy all my old shoes 
and the half of the room on the corner, if she wants it. 

I, Arthur Roach, do hereby will and bequeath to Mott Price my place of setting 
fire to the log; to David Burney my ability to ride the horses; and to all, my good 
times at Barium. 

I, Mary Adams, do hereby will and bequeath to my sis Betty, my ability to get 
along with other people and to Sarah Parcell, all my clothes I have outgrown. (Hey, 
Sarah, I hope they fit.) 

I, Standish McKenzie, being in my sure and rightful mind, I hope, do hereby 
will and bequeath to Jimmy Dorton all my old pants that I've been wearing faithfully 
for three years. 

I, Henry Pittman, do hereby will and bequeath to Mott Price my bed and to David 
Burney my trunk. 

I, Bill Brock, being of sound mind (I hope), do hereby will and bequeath to my 
sister, Louise, my best wishes for future happiness; to Paul Home my position as 
chauffeur of the maids; to Marshall Norris my bunk and box, and to Mr. Johnston my 
thanks for his watchfulness over my welfare while at Barium and best wishes to him 
for the future. 


April 19l»1 

An appreciative audience was kept in an uproar at Barium on the night of April 
11th, when the public speaking department of the high school presented a three-act 
farce "Breezy Money" under the direction of W. A. Hethcox. This could be considered 
the initial event of the 19^1 graduation program, since this class annually delights 
the Barium family and other visitors with an excellent presentation. 

The boys had spent only about three weeks in preparation for the presentation, 
but onlookers thought they had been working for a much longer period. The crowd 
laughed long and heartily at two of the boys who took the parts of ladies in the 
play — Cecil Starling, who had one of the leading roles, and Grover Ingram, who 
impersonated a lady during a portion of the play. They appreciated, too, the sound 
effects which were under the direction of Billy Lindsey. 

Characters in the play were William Billings as "Breezy," a press agent de 
luxe; Standish McKenzie, as "Hoedown," the world's laziest bellboy; Russell 
McKenzie, "Cunmin," owner of Cummin Inn; Jack McCall, "Carter Maxton, Jr.," a 
millionaire; Tom McCall, as "Dick Land is," almost dead broke; Cecil Starling, as 
"Jimmy Gale" completely dead broke; Hugh Norman, as "Colonel Southern," the Old 
South with a young daughter; Billy McCall, "Herbert West," Dick's rival; Grover 
Ingram, as "Mops" good on impersonations; and James Shroyer, "Lonnie," sheriff and 
handyman . 


April 19^1 

(Brick work finished on cottages and roofs are on. — Print shop started.) 

Visitors to Barium Springs nowadays are seeing a lot of activity in progress as 
five buildings are under construction. The quadrangle of cottages is contracted to 
be completed by August 1st, but with the progress made, they will be finished long 
before that time. Ground was broken on April 21st for the printing office and shoe 
shop building, and by the time this copy of The Messenger is placed in the mails, 
the walls of the building will be rapidly climbing. 

All of the brick work has been laid and the tops are on the roofs of the four 
cottages, which means that rainy days in the future will not interfere with work, as 
the men will have inside work to keep them busy. Delegations nowadays to the Home 
are toured through one of the cottages to give them a picture of the floor plan and 
are not taken into the dormitory side of Alexander, unless a particular desire is 
expressed to see what is going to be replaced. Visitors are taken in the printing 
office which is currently housed in Alexander, but which will have a new building 
all its own within a couple of months. 

The printing office and shoe shop building er^. on the administrative side of the 
campus, close to the office. This will be an ideal arrangement, for its former 
location on the opposite side of the highway and the back part of the campus has 
been inconvenient and caused delay as conferences were necessary between individuals 
in the office and printing establishment. 




(Hon. Clyde R. Hoe y ) made commencement speech on educational theme; Sunday 
sermons; Rev. S. H. Fulton and Rev. Earl Thompson preached at services on Sunday, 
April 20th.) 

"Youth should be thoroughly indoctrinated with the principles of free and just 
government, and properly advised as to the dangers of subversive doctrines and 
anti-American ideals," declared Hon. Clyde R. Hoey of Shelby in delivering the 
annual comnencement address to the 19^1 graduates of the high school located at the 
Presbyterian Orphan's Home. The final exercises were held on Monday night, April 

This statement by the former Governor of North Carolina followed an earlier 
assertion that "education is still the prime necessity for North Carolina youth" and 
the conclusion that "it is our responsibility to see to it that we have the broad 
basis for education laid upon an enduring foundation with proper emphasis upon the 
real values of life, and with a correct appreciation of the spirit of our democratic 
form of government." 

In speaking of education as a vital necessity to North Carolina's youth, the 
speaker said that much had been accomplished, but contended that education was a 
continuous process and should receive the continuous interest and support of all 
people, with ever advancing progress along all lines. 

"The need of today," went on Mr. Hoey, "is educated, trained, skilled workers. 
We do not wish to limit the scale of education or circumscribe the basic foundation 
of cultural training, but the imperative demand is for capable and trained men and 
women who know how to do work of high grade and who are themselves willing to work. 
Education is not a means to enable us to make a living without work," he maintained, 
"but the method by which we may be prepared to do better work in a superior way." 

Mr. Hoey said that "by reason of wage and hour laws it is difficult to train or 
develop apprentices in industry or the trades." In view of that fact, he asserted 


that "it is now all the more important to train and equip young people in our school 
so that they may become more intelligently efficient with a shorter period of 
apprent icesh i p ." 

Guests at the final exercises heard a salutatory address given by Emma Eudy, 
second honor student of the graduates, and the valedictory by Mary Adams, highest 
ranking of the seniors in scholarship. Henry Pittman was announced winner of the 
Ace medal for all-around improvement during his stay at Barium Springs; the Brown 
Bible medal went to Ruth Cole, and the music improvement medal to Sarah Parcel 1 . 

The high school scholarship awards went to Jack McCall, Grover Ingram, Ben 
Lewis, Mott Price, Wootson Davis and George Norris. Grammar school scholastic 
prizes were presented to Betty Lou Davis, Esau Davis, Billy Everett, Herbert Good 
and Betty Jo Smith. The Fred W. Sherrill prizes for scholastic improvement went to 
Janie Smith and Gertrude Bryant among the girls and to Dick Parrish and Hugh Norman 
among the boys. In addition to their diplomas each graduate was also presented with 
a Bible. 

The Baccul aureate Service 
Two helpful and beneficial sermons were delivered at Barium Springs on Sunday, 
April 20th by Rev. S. H. Fulton, pastor of the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, and 
Rev. Earl Thompson, pastor of the Front Street Presbyterian Church in Statesville. 
The former spoke at the baccalaureate service and the Statesville minister preached 
to the Young People's Societies in the evening, both services being well-attended. 




"Statesville Landmark" 

(New self-service store to include five departments; all food needs under one 

A new type of self-service food store, representing the latest developments in 
food merchandising and operated by The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea 
Company, opened in Statesville Thursday, June 19, 1941, at 121-123 West 
Broad Street. 

"(I have included the announcement of Statesville's first A&P Food Store as a peep hole at history. That was the beginning in 
Statesville of the supermarkets we know today. Ed.) 



September 8, 1941 

Statesville-Charlie Chaplin was in town last night. People about the bus sta- 
tion saw him, spoke to him and report him very affable, quite distinguished 

This was a second appearance in our town but the first time, Wednesday or 
Thursday of last week, he got by without direct identification though a few 
wondered, noting him as he walked about before the station, waiting for his 
bus. Later some passengers on the bus wrote back to friends here that the 
man they all noticed as a bit distinctive and remarkably like his personality 
was Charlie himself done up in civilian style. 

(Last week he was en route to Asheville; last night he was en route from 
Asheville. Ed.) 

(This piece on Charlie Chaplin's supposed visit to Statesville is included 
to illustrate the innocence and gullibilty of the times. Charlie Chaplin 
was not at the peak of his career in 1941, but he was still a huge star, 
probably the most recognized in the world at that time. According to this 
news story, the Statesville paper as well as some bus-station eye witnesses 
believed that one of the nation's wealthiest men was reduced to riding a 
Trailways bus between Asheville and Statesville. In another place in this 
book an alumna tells that Miss Mona Clark, who oversaw the sewing room, and 
owned a rooming house in Statesville, kept the girls' attention with tales 
of all the movie stars who would come and spend the night at her rooming 
house. I have to think, had Charlie Chaplin had as many impersonators as 
Elvis, Miss Clark would have had to put two Charlies to a room. Ed.) 



June 16, 1941 

Charlotte, June 1 3 - - I t was Avon Avenue today instead of 
Lindbergh Drive. 

The city council by unanimous vote, changed the name upon 
the recommendation of City Manager James W. Armstrong. 

Mrs. Sidney As tor, property owner of the street, wrote to 
the city manager, requesting the change. She said in her letter 
that "judging from the man's (Charles A. Lindbergh) stand in 
regard to his country he does not deserve to have a street in 
Charlotte named for him." 

(I included this piece on Charles Lindbergh as an illustration of the times, and 
also to show the public can turn on a national hero. Lindbergh had made a trip to 
Nazi Germany in the pre-war years. He returned and spoke knowingly, almost admiringly, 
of the German Luftwaffe. Many accused him of being a Nazi sympathizer. Ed.) 


August 22, 19A1 

Raleigh, Aug. 28 — After reaffirming his faith in the Christian way of life, 
Hubert Y. Cash of Durham went quietly to his death in the Central Prison gas chamber 
yesterday morning for the murder of his wife last September. 

The 41-year-old plumber, dressed in the customary white shorts, entered the 
chamber at 10 o'clock and waved to the crowded witness chamber before being strapped 
in the death chair. He nodded again and gave one frightened smile before the mask 
was placed over his face. 

Luther A. Wilson, Raleigh minister who preaches to the men on Death Row 
regularly, placed his hand on Cash's head and uttered a brief prayer. Cyanide 
pellets were dropped into the pot of acid underneath the chair at 10:05 and Cash was 
pronounced dead nine minutes and 25 seconds later, to become the 195th man executed 
in North Carolina for murder since 1910, when the State took over capital 
pun? shment . 

Twenty-six curious witnesses packed the tiny witness chamber and when the 
switch was thrown surged closer to the double-plated window for a better look at the 
man's dying throes. Seventeen of the spectators were from Durham but there were no 
relatives present. 

In a last statement shortly before the execution. Cash repeated his belief that 
"the only people who have peace and joy in life are those who live the Christian 
life." Prison Chaplain Lawrence A. Watts said, "He states that he slept well during 
the night, that he feels that he is a Christian and ready to face death. He states 
that he has no other statement to make except to say when the crime was committed, 
he was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics and did not know that he had 
committed the crime until several days later." 

Two British sailors, who are part of a group of 200 British seamen resting at 

Crab tree Recreational Park, were among the execution witnesses. They refused to say 


which they thought was the most humane — England's hanging of capital felons or North 
Carolina's asphyx i at ions . 

Cash was convicted in Durham Superior Court of fatally wounding his wife on the 
morning of September 17, 19^0, by firing three shots into her as she ran down the 
street near their home screaming for help. 

(This description of a 1941 execution I included for the same reason I included the 
prisoner whipping piece; namely, to contrast attitudes and times. As we prepare this, 
there is a condemed man in Central Prison who has requested that his execution be shown 
"live" on the Phil Donahue TV show. Donahue, having been denied access by the State 
is seeking access through the courts. In 1941 some British sailors were invited to witness 
an execution: a \/ery strange way to entertain visiting navy men. The sailors accepted 
the invitation, but at least declined to chit-chat as to how England's handling of these 
macabre proceedings differed from ours. In the 1994 case, Donahue's effort went for 
naught, and the remorseless, cold-bloodied killer died in the gas chamber on schedule. 


August 25, 1 9^1 

Barium Springs. Aug. 22. — Magazine solicitors are again obtaining subscriptions 
from North Carolina people under false pretenses, for it has been called to the 
attention of the authorities of the Presbyterian Orphans' home that a group of five 
girls in Gastonia and Mount Holly have been claiming to be graduates of the home 

"Such claims are absolutely false," said Joseph B. Johnston, superintendent of 
the home here, who went on to say that no graduate of the Presbyterian Orphans' home 
has ever been given permission to use the name of the institution in obtaining 
magazine subscriptions. No graduate has ever been known to be in the field as a 
magazine solicitor, he said. 

The Mount Holly group of five girls also stated that they were expecting to 
enter training at the Presbyterian hospital in Charlotte. In refuting this, Mr. 
Johnston stated that not a single graduate of the 19^1 class expected to enter 

Recent happenings in Gastonia and Mount Holly are an annual occurrence, for 
about each time this year a denial of such claims has to be made shortly before the 
schools are ready to open. 


September 1 9M 

(Copies given to members of Synod. — Will be used as auxiliary program.) 

A 32-page illustrated history of the Presbyterian Orphans' Home at Barium 
Springs is now off the press, and each commissioner to the Synod of North Carolina 
is being given a copy as- a souvenir of the 50th anniversary of the Home and of the 
12Rth stated session of the North Carolina Synod. Absentee ministers will be sent a 
copy, and every local Orphanage secretary will later receive it for use as the fall 
program on Barium Springs in the Auxiliary. 

The front cover of the history is a photograph of the central memorial window 
given to the Home this spring and shows "Christ Blessing Little Children." The 
center spread of the book is a photograph of a map of the "heart" of Barium Springs, 
with miniature pictures of the buildings superimposed at the proper points according 
to the way these are arranged on the central part of the campus. 

Throughout the book are 28 other pictures, with insets upon some of them. 
Pictures were obtained of the four superintendents of the 50-year existence of the 
Home — Rev. R. W. Boyd, Rev. John Wakefield, Rev. W. T. Walker, and Mr. Jos. B. 
Johnston. There is an interior view of the church, with an inset of the present 
pastor. Rev. T. C. Cook. 

Except for a picture of Rumple Hall and one of the new cottages as contrasts, 
little attention was devoted to the buildings at Barium Springs. The only other 
photo of a building nature was an interior view of one of the living rooms in the 
new cottages. The other pictures deal entirely with the children and their daily 
1 ives here . 

Woven in and out among these pictures is the historical sketch of the Home, 

with emphasis again being placed upon the human side of it. Sections deal with the 

establishment of it and the years in which the buildings were constructed. Other 

sections are topically headed, "The Superintendents," "Little Joe's Church," "The 

Children at Barium," "Acceptance of Children," "Financial," "The Girls' Work," 


"Tasks Performed by the Boys," "Church Life at Barium," "The Schools," "The Health 
of the Children ," "Recreation," "Book on Departments Recommended ," and the final 
section on "The Word 'Home' Is Emphasized." 

On the final page are the names of the ministers, elders and ladies who have 
played an important part in the life of the Home through having served as members of 

the Board of Regents since the beginning in 1891. On one page is the official form 


to be used when* individual placesthe Home in their last will and testament and on 

another*will be found some of the future building needs. 

No great amount of time is ever available for the presentation of the Home in 
the Auxiliaries prior to the Thanksgiving season, but it is suggested that the book 
be used as a study course in whatever time is allowed. Possibly a list of pertinent 
questions will be sent to the secretaries to be asked their individual members after 
a study is made of it. 

Ten thousand of these histories have been printed, it being the plan to use 
these in the future for the new Orphanage Secretaries who are elected from time to 
time so that they might become familiar with the Home which they are advocating 
before their organizations. A booklet on the 12 departments at Barium Springs will 
also be sent all secretaries who have assumed their posts for the first time in 

r (I have not seen a copy of this History, and have not found anyone else who has. 

Earle Frazier told me that he had never heard of it and did not have 
a copy Ed. ) 



November I9M 

From the Statesville Record. 

Carnation Ormsby Pietertje, one of the most royal blooded Holstein calves in 
the United States, is owned by Barium Springs Orphan's Home through the efforts of 
J. R. Kimbrough of Statesville in securing the calf as a gift to Barium from Odel 1 
Lindsey, owner of Lindale Farm, High Point. 

The young bull's grandfather is the champion grand sire of the world on the 
Carnation Farm at Seattle, Washington. Natodor Segis Ormsby is the grand sire of 
Carnation Price who is the sire of Carnation Ormsby Pietertje. 

His mother is the daughter to the sister of Butter King, champion milk cow of 
the world on the Carnation Farm for both milk and butter production in one year. 
She gave 38,606 pounds of milk, and 1,^02 pounds of butterfat in 365 days. 

The calf, born December 17, 19^0, will be used to establish one of the South's 
finest herds at Barium Springs. Mr. Lindsey bought his calves from the Carnation 

Mr. Kimbrough, who is a Baptist sat in Methodist Lindsey' s home and secured the 
calf for a Presbyterian Orphan's home. This was accomplished on last Thanksgiving 


Ry Bill Lindsey 


There comes most always in everyone's life a departure of old companions and 
classmates. In the past month, the graduating class of 19^1 has passed successfully 
through the long hall of their stay here and passed out the door of graduation into 
the world. In the time of their lives here, they have added no misery nor sorrow to 
us, but have sought, found and passed out goodness through their kindly hearts to 
everyone, and delightful smiles have erased the sad mystery of our small world here. 
Their stay here has been a great success and an inspiration to us behind them. 

About this time next month, your ole Barium Messenger will be originating from 
the presses situated in a new building. This modern printing office will be a great 
deal roomier and much quicker on The Messenger's "Coming Out." 

There's not much news coming in from the "personal" department, but what is 
here seems to be rather classy. "Blackie" Strickland seems to be on the rampage; 
she's none other than Dot Gibbs, Dot Johnston's assistant. There seems to be a rush 
on Betty Whittle since Roland Hooten has enlisted. The race is between a certain W. 
W. and Lacy Beshears. That seems to be all the personal news; must be the cold 
weather that's keeping the romance down. 

It takes a great poet or writer to tell you about the beauty of Nature and a 
better one to tell of our life here. Knowing that we have no one who can really 
tell you what you would see, we only ask you to pay us a visit sometime. The campus 
is really beautiful, and we know you will enjoy your visit. 

And so: Until the heat withers our brow, and our spine tickles with joy in the 
ole swimming hole, I bid you all pleasant dreams. 


December 8, 1941 

Barium Springs climaxed their most remarkable year in 
athletics at their banquet Friday night. Conference 
Championships in Boys'* basketbal 1 and football, State Championship 
in wrestling, the Tournament Champion of 125-pound boys basketball 
teams, the runner-up in Eighth Grade Girl s^ Basketball, and a 
summer championship in Softball, were all garnered by the remark- 
able group of athletes that are at Barium this year. 

The banquet was a clebration of the football season and its 
most important Championship. Seventeen seniors were awarded 
letters and four juniors. These four will form the nucleus of 
next year's team. Donald Bolton will captain the 1942 football 
team. Hugh Norman, the captain of this year's team was voted 
the most valuable member of the team. Lacy Beshears was voted 
the best blocker, Bolton the best tackier, Ed Cole, a graduate 
of Barium and a member of its most famous 100-pound team 
delivered the letters to the 85-pound players, whose names are as 
fol 1 ows : 

Dallas Ammons , Malcolm Rogers, George Landrum, Rufus Clark, 
Dwight Spencer, Jack Jones, Billy Everett, Earl Adams, Grady Mundy, 
Jerry Young, Herman Smith, Charles Barrett, Jack Clark. 

The 100-pound letters were presented by Frank Purdy, a member 
of the famous 125-pound team that was acclaimed the National 
Champions. The letters were awarded to the following: 

Scott Blue, Roscoe Smith, Earl Allen, Ed Blake, Earl 
Adams, Eugene Dunn, Horace Denton, Herman Blue, Wilbur Coates, 
Howard Clark, Stanley Smith, John Ammons, Bennett Baldwin ,. Bi 1 ly 
Everett, Thad Stevens, and Fred Cole. 


The 125-pound letters were presented by Frank Purdy, a member 
of the famous 125-pound team that was acclaimed the National 
Champions. The letters were awarded to the following: 

Bobby Whittle, Jack Weeks, Richard Shoaf, Paul Burney, Leland 
Rogers, Cecil Shepherd, Bill Tyce, Harvey Stricklin, John Hawley, 
Amos Hardy, Walter Zeigler, Clifton Barefoot, Raymond Good, Pleas 
Norman, Charles Hooten, Paul Reid, James Shepherd, CI i f ford Barefoot, 
Marshal 1 Norri s . 

The Varsity letters were presented by Jim Johnston, who was 
also a member of that famous National Champion team, afterwards 
playing on Davidson's team, being mentioned in the 1936 Grantland 
Rice Al 1 -Ameri can . In presenting the letters, he likened the 
precision with which our team operated to the precision being taught 
the various Army units in their maneuvers in the Carol inas and 
elsewhere. The letters were presented to the following: 

William Billings, Lacy Beshears, David Burney, Gwyn Fletcher, 
Joe Ben Gibbs, Grover Ingram, Ernest Stricklin, Ben Lewis, George 
Lewis, Jack McCall, Tom McCall, Ed Williamson, Donald Bolton, Hugh 
Norman, Dixson Parrish, William Wadsworth, Mott Price, Jack 
Weeks, William Lindsey, Wootson Davis. 

Bolton, Parrish, and Fletcher have been picked on at least 
one all-state team, and Norman, Fletcher, Parrish, and Bolton 
picked on one South Piedmont all-conference team. The official 
al 1 -conference team has not been chosen yet. 

There were many Barium Alumni present, some whose names made 

headl i nes just a few years ago. Their loyalty to Barium and their 

presence at the celebration are the things that keep the spark 

alive in the younger generation, which accounts for Barium's 

wi nni ng teams . 


Other guests present were Sta tes vi 1 1 e ' s coaches and captains, 
Mr. Kelly, Mr. Carson, Lee Keller, and Jim Moore. Dr. Wallace 
Hoffman and son, Dr. and Mrs. Kiser, Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Bunch, Mr. 
F. L. Jackson, Captain Marsh, Professor Blythe and Professor 
Currie from Davidson College. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Spearman from 
Davidson, Rev. R. S. Carson from Mooresville, Mr. Gerald of Davis 
Hospital, Glenn Stewart and Mr. Orren from East Monbe, Mr. W. J. 
Ervin from Troutman, Mr. John Kimbrough from Statesville, Mr. Jim 
Morrow from Mooresville, Mr. Buford Guy, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Gray of 
Statesvi lie. 

Tribute was paid to the coaches, cheering sections and the 
working staff at Barium, as well as to the players themselves. 
Cooperation on the part of all made the 1941 football season at 
Barium one long to be remembered. 

"(Barium's claim to the 1941 State Championship in Wrestling is as good as 
anyone's. Records for State Championships are spottu past 1952 I was told 
by Rick Strunk, Associate Director of The North Carolina High School Association, 
which keeps records of high school championships in the State. The>r records 
do show Barium to be the State wrestling Champion in 1938. Since we have 
credibility with that championship, I am sending him a written record out of 
the "Messenger" inMr. Johnston's own words - our claim to the. Championship for 
1941. That pleases me. Barium also cl£»»«e6the State Football championship 
for 1941. The Association does have records for that year. Class AAA, Tie: 
Raleigh Broughton and High Point; Class AA Laurinburg; 6-Man, Bessemer City. 
However, years later, the son of twoBarium alumni - Paul Barnes and Elsie Vest - 
coached his Richmond County footbaH. squads to three successive State Championships. 
Paul said that son Daryl had a lot of help from his brother , also a coach 
and from an excellent staff. Ed.) 




(No deaths since June, 1933, and only one since July, 1926, is the 
record . ) 

It might be said that July is something of an anniversary 
health period; or, it might be argued that June is more 
appropriately such. Anyway, another year has gone by without a 
fatality, either by accident or illness, occurring in the family 
at Barium Springs and that means that there has been only one death 
since July of 1926 and no deaths at all since June of 19 33. You 
can take your choice as to whether July or June should be looked 
upon as the anniversary period. Above is the record, whatever you 
choose . 

A recounting of this in The Barium Messenger is not done with 
an attitude of braggadocio, but it is being recorded because it is 
felt that the supporters of this Home will be glad to know that another 
year has passed in which the Heavenly Father has kindly and tenderly 
watched over the health of these boys and girls at Barium. This 
record is one to prompt thankfulness to God. 


Class of 1941 

People often ask me what was it like to grow up in an orphanage and I try to 
answer in a few words, but how can you condense six years into a few words, 
so I am going to write a little story of my years at Barium Springs. 

There were four cottages used to house the girls. The first one was the Annie 
Louise Cottage where the first through the third grade girls lived. The second 
was the Howard Cottage where the fourth through the fifth grade girls lived. 
They were called the "Bean Stringers as they were responsible for stringing 
the beans that were canned by the older girls in our own cannery. The next 
was Rumple Hall where the sixth through the seventh grade girls lived and 
worked. The dining room was located on the first floor as well as the kitchen. 
The girls lived on the second floor and the third floor was for some of the 
faculty and staff. The Rumple Hall girls were responsible for setting up the 
tables, clearing the tables and washing the dishes. If you did something to 
be punished for, you had to "kill the flies." Some of us worked out a plan 
where we all used the same flies, until Mrs. Purdy discovered our scheme, and 
then she made us flush them down the commode. Of course, the boys out 
back working in the milk house would help us meet our quota. The last 
dormitory, Woman's Building, housed the high school girls. The eighth and 
ninth grades occupied the upper floor and the tenth and eleventh grades were 
downstairs. Our tasks were many and varied. We "womanned" the laundry, 
worked in the sewing room, the kitchen, cannery, and some of us worked as 
"big girls" in the other cottages. 

When school was in session, the hours in the laundry were from 3 p.m. to 5 
p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The girls who played basketball 
were exempt during the weekdays when we had to practice, but had to work 
on Saturdays. During the summer months, the laundry and sewing rooms 
were humming from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m., then "dinner." (We were not aware 
that dinner would later be changed to mean the evening meal instead of 
"supper" as we called in then.) Then back to work until 5 p.m. We had time 
to go swimming during the summer. 

Vacations-those children who had relatives to visit in the summer were given 
a two-week vacation and one week at camp. Those who did not go on vacation 
spent two weeks at the camp on the Catawba River. What fun we had riding 
the rapids, staying up late, not too many chores, and enjoying the great out- 
doors. We took lots of walks through the woods. 


High School students were allowed to go to Statesville to a movie on Satur- 
days. Remember those magic words "Barium Springs" as we laid a dime in 
the movie booth? We rode to Statesville in an open-bed truck with sides and 
it truly is a wonder we all survived those highway curves on the way to town. 
In winter, we all wrapped in quilts to keep warm. ..those of us who had dates 
enjoyed the ride. Lots of fun... In the summertime, we went to the show at 

Out dating was done in the big room in Woman's Building, under the watchful 
eye of Miss Maggie Adams. ..The bewitching hour was 9:30 p.m. We did lots 
of walking up and down the sidewalks and through the underpass. Seems it 
took some of us 30 minutes to go through the underpass, which was 35 to 40 
feet long. 

We purchased our own makeup which was usually just lipstick. We all used 
bobbypins to put our hair "up" every night. Most of the time, we would take 
turns rolling each other's hair. 

Senior girls were given $7.50 a month and the boys were given $10.00. 
(Women were discriminated against even then. ..but the girls shared the $10.00 
the boys got, anyway. The boys would go to the hamburger place (Doodlum 
Brown's, Ed.) in Troutman and bring us something to eat on Saturday nights. 
Remember the "Big Orange?") 

"Sack Lunches". ..bring back memories.. .every Saturday and Sunday night we 
were given our peanut butter sandwiches, oatmeal cookie or moon pie and 

The farm and orchard crews would bring watermelons, apples, or peaches to 
the dormitories for us to enjoy. Remember how we used to carve our initials 
on the watermelons? 

Very few of us had radios and those who did usually had a room full of friends 
listening to "Glenn Miller" play our favorites, such as "In The Mood"; or, we 
would wait for the creaking door sound of "The Shadow." 

Woman's Building had a very talented storyteller, Gladys Cayton. We would 
all gather in one room, usually rolling our hair and listen to Gladys tell us love 
stories that she made up as she went along. (Naturally, we weren't allowed 
to have magazines, such as "True Confessions.") 

Every Christmas we were allowed to write "Santa" a letter and ask for one gift 
not exceeding a certain amount. The gifts were provided by the different or- 


ganizations within the Presbyterian churches in the Synod of North Carolina. 
Christmas was always such a big event. We received lots of candy and fruit 
from very generous benefactors. 

The high school girls took turns cooking breakfast. Two girls would take a 
month at a time and we would sleep at Rumple Hall, arising at 4:30 a.m. to 
prepare the morning meal. Corn flakes were flying into bowls, milk was being 
poured in the pitchers for each table, or oatmeal was being cooked in a big 
steam kettle and stirred with a large paddle. Sometimes we would have eggs, 
which were cracked the night before; and when the toast was put in the big 
oven, we had to be extra careful not to burn it. Our old standby GRITS were 
prepared either for breakfast or supper. 

The high school students were the "blood bank" for Davis Hospital and those 
of us that gave blood enjoyed being off campus for a few hours and did not 
have to go back to school or work when we returned. 

Some of the high school girls worked at the infirmary, taking care of the pa- 
tients. We were very healthy children; there was very little serious illness. 

Much excitement was built around the sports program. Every Friday during 
football season, we l