Allene Spurlock, the beauty of Barboursville Jr. High in 1940

Allene Spurlock, 1940, age 14

Allene Spurlock, 1940, age 14

I mean, this girl is just so pretty. She really must have been the “beautiful” one in the class. Her name was Allene Spurlock. While there were several possibilities of who she might be in Cabell county, West Virginia, I’m very certain it is the young woman below.

Allene was born on February 1, 1926 to Harry and Alice Spurlock. In both the 1930 and 1940 census Allene, her parents and her younger sister Virginia/Hope lived in Guyandot, Cabell, West Viriginia. Her father worked as a pipe fitter in the steam railroad repair shops. Based on census records her parents and grandparents were all from West Virginia. And Allene would be there for a good long while too.

On December 26, 1945, at the age of 19 she married Jack E. Jones in Cabell county. The couple lived in Cabell all their life. Allene passed away in April of 2010. From her obituary in The Hearld-Dispatch:

“Allene Spurlock Jones…was a lifelong resident of Cabell County. For 35 years she worked for several drugstores in Huntington, retiring from Budget Pharmacy in 1989. She was an active member of Faith United Methodist Church for 50 years.”*

Her husband preceded her in death. If the photo of her on Ancestry is the same woman 60-70 years from the date this one was take, the similarity is still amazing. What a smile!

*”Allene Spurlock Jones.” Herald-Dispatch (Huntington) April 2, 2010. Page 2. Print.

Thelma Donnally, a misfit in 1940 West Virginia

Thelma Donnally, age 18

Thelma Donnally, age 18

I love this picture of Thelma. Her smile looks so genuine and sweet. I hope Thelma’s story is happier than it appears. She was not quite a peer among the 1940 Jr. High class in Barboursville, West Virginia. Born in 1921, Thelma was several years older than her classmates. She wasn’t sporting the high maintenance curls that all the other girls wore to school that day, or the necklaces and pressed collars with dainty scarves. She looked like she just came in from the field – and maybe she did.

The only child of older parents, Thelma as born to Harry A. Donnally when he was 50 and wife Laura was 38. Harry was born in 1872 in Ohio and had a 6th grade education. When he did work he was a machinist helper at a steam RR shop. In 1940, close to when this picture would have been taken, he was out of work. Maybe Thelma had to leave school occasionally to make money to help her family. Laura, 12 years her husband’s junior, was born in 1884 in West Virginia.

I know little else, other than Harry Donnally died in 1944, Laura in 1963 and Thelma in 2003. To my knowledge Thelma never married. She is buried next to her mother in Hillcrest Cemetery in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma. I would love to know more about Thelma and her family, but that’s not likely. Given she appeared to have no children or siblings, there is no one in the online tree world searching for her.

1940 Jr. High class of Barboursville, West Virginia

1940 Jr. High class of Barboursville, West Virginia

Georgia May of West Virginia

Georgia May, Class of 1940 Barboursville Jr. HS

Georgia May is quite a popular lady on ancestry. There are already LOTS of great pictures of her in online family trees. Hopefully, this will be one more to add to the photo books. I won’t go into too much detail as so much seems to already be known. Georgia was born in West Virginia in 1925 and lived with her family in Cabell County, West Virginia (where this class picture was taken) for her youth. She was the youngest child to E. C. and Mollie May with older siblings Susie, Steve, Doug, Frank, Ruth, and Clint. Her father was a fireman for the Railroad yard and sister Ruth worked in a bicycle factory in 1940. According to the many family trees, Georgia passed away in 2006. She was a 15 year old in the 1940 Jr. High class of Barboursville, West Virginia in this great picture.