Posted in Early History, Graduating Class

Central’s First Graduating Class

Research by Charlie Sedman:

I’ve been disappointed at how many errors occur in the two editions of the Central Alumni Directory.  The list of grads after 1963 are only partial lists.  But as I compared the graduation announcements in the Chattanooga Times, the seniors shown in the Champions, and the Alumni Directory listings, I became compelled to clean up the record.   For starters I am going to list the early graduates, and eventually get to the rest, with one caveat:  I have access only to those who graduated in the spring of each year, as announced in the local papers; any mid-term grads may not be accounted for.

By the way, the 1912 grads listing in the Alumni Directory is completely bogus; most of that list actually graduated in 1911 and some didn’t ever graduate, at least in the spring.

Central’s first senior class in May 1908 graduated 19 as follows:

  • William Edgar Barr
  • Paul Marshall Beane
  • Blanche Church
  • Orva Cleveland
  • Nora Cowan
  • Katiebel Darrah
  • Ethel Madge Gray
  • Edith Berry Iler
  • Charles Mason Love
  • Gertrude May Kelley
  • Ruby Inez Krichbaum
  • Mary Malinda Harris
  • Elsie Hayes
  • Collye Mae Poe
  • Mary Ella Terry
  • Florence Lee Shehee
  • Pauline McDonald Wallace
  • Charles Alan Ward
  • Mattie Drummond Ward

I’ve tracked most of these folks down and have short bios in preparation. The last of Central’s first senior class, Katiebel Darrah, the principal’s daughter, lived to be 98 years old, passing away in November 1989 in Nashville.


Graduated from Central in 1965. Had the honor of being Mr. Central 1965. Started on the Central Basketball Team for three years and was a member of the Track Team in my senior year. Shared command with Bryant Millsaps of the Central JROTC unit in my senior year. Other activites at Central are documented in the 1963 -1965 Champions. Received an athletic scholarship and played Division I College Basketball for four years. When I graduated from Auburn in 1969, I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Adjutant General Corps and served 25 years on active duty, retiring in 1994. Some of the military awards I earned include the Legion of Merit, one Meritorious Service Medal for Achievement, six Meritorious Service Medals for Service, Joint Service Medal for Achievement, two Army Commendations Medals, and Viet Nam Service Medal. After retirement in 1994, I became a Real Estate Broker until my second retirement in 2010. I am passionate about Central History and am pleased to be Administrator of this Blog/Site.

4 thoughts on “Central’s First Graduating Class

  1. I am looking for a David F Tolliver who should have been in a Graduation class on or before 1909. It is my understinding he gave the Valedictorian Speech. Do you have something in writing indication this, and or a picture of him?

    Thnak you.


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