1926 Winoca, Yearbook of Wilson High School



1926 girls basketball team won every regular season game and defeated Ayden 53-0

Winoca page

One of the well designed pages from the yearbook. Girls almost universally had their hair cut short and many wore furs. The boys used buckets of pomade, and I’m sure it was Dapper Dan brand.


Ella Rachel Vick is my favorite student in the yearbook. She’s got old fashioned curls, her nickname is “Vanilla”, her quote is about how she will not dance, and she won the Carolina Laundry Medal in 1925.

One artifact of the Harper family collection was a 1926 Wilson High School Yearbook.  This yearbook is a beautiful creation: the pictures are sharp, the design is elegant, reflecting the dominant art deco style of the period, and it does an exceptional job of recording the life and times at the high school in 1926.  But this was an economically strong period in US history and the  money to make such a beautiful yearbook would not be available to a public school almost twenty years later during the war years and the quality of the yearbooks during that period reflects this.  The economy is also mirrored in the clothes that the students wore in their photographs which couldn’t be more obvious when you quickly notice that every other girl is wearing what looks to be a mink stole, which is about the fanciest accessory ever worn in a school picture. There’s a school picture of me wearing Mork suspenders, which is about the least fancy thing ever worn in a school picture (for people who are wee babes or out of the late 1970’s to early 1980’s tv loop, Mork was and alien played by Robin Williams on a show called Mork and Mindy, which oddly, was a spinoff from Happy Days).

This yearbook was the property of Miriam Brown an English Teacher at the school, who was also a granddaughter of Luby Alexander Harper.

This would be the last year that Wilson High School would go by that name, for the next year it would be renamed Charles L. Coon High School after the late principal and superintendent.


Digital Yearbooks


Yesterday I had the good fortune of touring UNC Chapel Hill’s Digital Heritage Center.  They have a great setup in a beautiful building.  I was really impressed with their Scribe system that they got from the Internet Archive.  It is the fastest way that I have seen to digitize a book.  It sure beats a flatbed scanner.  I was also there to deliver 33 high school yearbooks for their digital yearbook project and 329 pages of material for the ongoing Wilson County’s Greatest Generation digital project.

Also if anyone in Wilson County who is reading this has any yearbook, especially from any small schools and African American high schools, that they want to donate to the library or let us digitize, please let me know.