--photo courtesy Lecil Brown

Letona Middle Room 1939:  (left to right) front row - Ocie Holleman, Robert Bogle, Harold Davis, Edwin Harshaw and Mary Lou Harshaw; second row – Dorothy Bevill (teacher), Irma Jean Bogle, Wilton Pate (partially hidden), Lecil Brown, Harold Bogle, Evelyn Rowland (?), Kathryn Booker, Willadene Lee and Mozelle Davis. Three students sitting on the bridge banister in the background are unidentifiable.

Graduating to the Big Room at Letona, 1939


Letona School in the 1930s was a three-room schoolhouse.  We students called them the “Little Room” (grades 1,2,3), the “Middle Room” (grades (4,5,6) and the “Big Room” (grades 7,8,9).

            The photo above shows the “Middle Room” on the last day of school in the spring of 1939.  We  

took a sack lunch and walked up the road toward Pickens Chapel.  The picture was made by a bridge that spans a small creek between Letona and Pickens Chapel.  A bridge, probably not this one, still spans this stream at this spot today.

            Our teacher that year was Dorothy Bevill.  She was from a large family of White Countians, many of them still living in the Searcy area.  Later, she went to Africa as a missionary and spent 23 years as a teacher and Christian worker.

            “Miss Bevill,” as we called her, died in Bethany, Oklahoma, on January 13, 1990.  She was married to Rev. Amos Eby for 12 years prior to her death. I attended a memorial service for her on Sunday, January 21, 1990.  Her obituary and a memorial poem may be found on the Historical Society’s website at www.rootsweb.com/~arwhite under “Obituaries & Misc.”  “Miss Lula May” (Copeland) Williams was the teacher of the “Middle Room” for two years prior to the 1938-39 school year.


(The author is a member of the White County Historical Society.)