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Plans underway for 40th reunion of Bob Jones Class of 1974

Members of the Class of 1974 from Bob Jones High School planning their 40th reunion are Cindi Sanderson, front from left, Chris Jefferson and Theresia Nelson, and Beverly Van Wagner, back from left, Buddy Graves, John Harris, Flora Grant, James Sanderson and Gary Brazelton. (CONTRIBUTED)
Members of the Class of 1974 from Bob Jones High School planning their 40th reunion are Cindi Sanderson, front from left, Chris Jefferson and Theresia Nelson, and Beverly Van Wagner, back from left, Buddy Graves, John Harris, Flora Grant, James Sanderson and Gary Brazelton. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – When these folks graduated from high school, gasoline shortages caused traffic jams, bell bottoms and halters were fashionable and The Jackson 5 topped the charts with “Dancing Machine.”

The Class of 1974 of Bob Jones High School is planning its 40th reunion.

“The 1974 Charter Class of Bob Jones will have our 40-year class reunion on Nov. 1 at the Best Western Plus in Madison,” Cindi Whitworth Sanderson said. The planning committee has mailed invitations and reservation information.

“We’re still trying to locate a few members. A total of 86 students were in the class,” Sanderson said. “Sadly, we know of 11 that are deceased.”

The origins of Bob Jones High School started at 17 College St., now home to Madison Elementary School. In 1936, the Madison County Board of Education built a new school to house grades 1-12 and named it Madison High School.

The building had 11 classrooms, including a “domestic science and banquet room, gymnasium/auditorium (now Madison elementary’s library) and two restrooms,” Sanderson said.

The Madison High School district extended from the West Huntsville district to the Limestone County line and from the Lee Highway to the Tennessee River. Enrollment in 1936 was 307, with 224 in elementary grades and 83 in high school.

During 1951, the high school enrollment decreased and “it was decided that the 10th, 11th and 12th grades would attend Butler High School,” Sanderson said. The Madison location converted to a junior high school, called ‘Madison School.’

“On Dec. 7, 1972, grades 9-11 at Madison were officially named ‘Bob Jones High School,'” Sanderson said. “The group remained at Madison School until the new Bob Jones building was ready for occupancy. The building was completed in 1974.”

Bob Jones’ charter class of 1974 held their graduating ceremonies in the new building (now home to Discovery Middle School), Sanderson said.

Members of the Class of 1974 can get more information by email to Beverly Stanley Van Wagner at bs11@knology.net, Theresa Binford Nelson at mrsnel01@aol.com or Sanderson at cws56@aol.com.

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