WHS Bulldogs

Walter M Williams High School
Class of 1961

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From Betty Cox Hess:

Carolyn Ray, Molly Wrape, Willard Ann Foster, Betty Ford, Betty Cox, Marguerite Laughon

Kay Lewis, Betty Cox


From Henry Somers:

Top row: Jimmy Coble, Tommy Newsome, Reggie Loy, Rodney Stewart

Click to view larger photo: VIEW SLIDE SHOW


How did the DOE-WAH-JACK get it’s name?

Recently, classmate, Connie Cates Hart, contacted Brenda King Graves. She said her mother is still living (89) and was a 1939 graduate of Burlington High School. They still have reunions although not many are living!!! She said she found the information that I’ve included below, and attached in her Mother’s things.. was given out at one of her Mother's reunions. She said she’d be happy to share with our class if I was interested in her doing so. Here it is:


 The DOE-WAH-Jack has annually chronicled life at Burlington High School (now Walter M. Williams High School) since it was first published in 1924. In these volumes are recorded the names of generations of best friends, prom dates, top athletes and chess club presidents. However, the one name most people know the least about is that of the annual itself.


DOE-WAH-JACK is the phonetic spelling of the name of a city in Michigan … Dowagiac. In fact, the city’s Chamber of Commerce letterhead features an Indian with that same phonetic spelling printed underneath. The name comes from a Potawatomi Indian word, Ndowagayuk, that means "foraging ground.’

Dowagiac was once the home of the Round Oak Stove Works, a company that began in the late 1800’s making wood-burning stoves and later expanded into cooking stoves and furnaces. As it happens, each of the company’s stoves bore the phonetic spelling of the city in which it was made.

What’s the connection with Burlington High School? According to Anderson R. "Buck" Thomas, a BHS sophomore in 1924, naming the school’s inaugural yearbook the "DOE-WAH-JACK" was the idea of Graves Holt, who worked part-time for his father, CT, At Burlington Hardware Company. Graves, who heard that a search was on for a suitable name for the annual, was apparently inspired by a Round Oak Stove displayed in the store.

 Interestingly, the Dowagiac connection was uncovered almost by accident by Betty Lynn Barnwell Cooler, BHS Class of 1944. Always curious about the DOE-WAH-JACK origin, she was reading a cable company proxy when she saw Dowagiac, Michigan, mentioned. When she sounded out the word, something clicked and so she wrote the city’s Chamber of Commerce. Their information about the city and Round Oak Stove Works, written on their distinctive stationery, confirmed she had made the connection.

The above was written in September 1994.



Sky Castle: (old WCOG 1320 radio station in the tower above the Sky Castle Grill on High Point Rd (Old US 70) (?))
Betty Cox, Janice Vaughn, Carol Talley, Nancy Covington, Judy Thompson
1958 (Freshmen or Sophomores at WHS)

Fisher St (3rd grade?): Sitting on ground: ?, ?
Front Row: Sue McAteer, ?, Geraldine Faucette, ?, ?, Sandra Saunders, Gayle Isley, ?, ?
2nd Row: ?, Terry Lowder, ?, Don Fonville, ?, Judy Thompson, Martha Lipsky, ?, ?
3rd Row: ?, ?, Sandra Perkins Robertson with ribbon in hair, ?, Sandra Woodell, Jenny Bivens, Nina Stanfield?
4th Row: Teacher (?), ?, Janice Murray, Ryland Donald, Richard Terrell, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?

Photo from Sandra Perkins Robertson: Nancy Jo Higgins Steele, Brenda Perkins, Perkin's Mom, photo from about 1956.
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