The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Burton (Jackie Yelverton) Papers
Volume: 0.9 cu. ft.
The Demonstration School of Mississippi Southern College was founded in 1912 as a practice laboratory for students of the Normal College. Although it began as a one room, one teacher school of the first three grades, by the fall of 1928 The Training School (as it was earlier called) had expanded into a twelve grade demonstration school.
Mary Jacqueline Yelverton was a student of this demonstration school, attending for all twelve years of her primary and secondary education. She was born February 22, 1934 to Darrell and Ruth Yelverton and entered the first grade at the Demonstration School in the fall of 1940. She was an intelligent and involved student belonging to such clubs as the chorus, the Speech Club, Y-Teens, and the Student Council during her high school years. She was also a cheerleader, editor of the Annual (Lil' Miss Sou), and a Girls' State delegate. Yelverton seems to have been well-liked by all. Her boyfriend, for at least two of her four high school years, was Roy McBride (nicknamed "Sambo"). He was the captain of the football team and Yelverton regularly attended the Demon High games.
Yelverton, nicknamed "Jackie," graduated from the Demonstration School on May 23, 1952. Her only sibling, Betty Ruth Yelverton (born 1936), also attended the School from the first grade on and appears to have continued her education there after the graduation of her sister. While the details of Jackie Yelverton's life after graduation are unknown, it is possible that she went on to obtain additional education at East Central Junior College (Decatur, Mississippi) and / or Texas State College for Women. Yelverton apparently married later in life, as the collection was donated under the name of "Burton."
The Jackie Yelverton Burton Papers are a diverse collection based on Yelverton's experiences at the Demonstration School of Mississippi Southern College. The collection consists primarily of three scrapbooks assembled by Yelverton, which span the years from 1944 to 1950. The original scrapbooks had deteriorated, so copies were made of the original pages, and the salvageable attached items were removed and placed between the copied pages. The scrapbooks contain such articles as football programs, dance cards, corsages, ticket stubs, and birthday cards. Notations explaining the various items are found on most of the pages. One rather unique entry is a cigarette stub labeled, "One of Sambo's cigarettes."
While the main body of the collection is the scrapbook series, also included is a series of photographs and items of Demonstration School memorabilia. This varied series is arranged in chronological order following the scrapbooks. The first portion of the materials are representative of Yelverton's grammar school years at the Demonstration School. The series consists of a first grade workbook (1940-41); a composition book (1943) in which Yelverton copied poems for an "Expression" class; and a copy of the student newspaper, Elm Leaves (1943-44), containing a short article by Yelverton. There is also a folder containing items removed from Yelverton's 1947 yearbook, such as newspaper clippings and a note from Roy McBride.
A "slam book" (1947-48) is the next item in the series. The "slam book" was a fad of the era in which the names of various individual's would be written at the top of each page in a notebook. Comments about each person were then entered below the names and signed by initials only. In order to determine the author of a particular remark, one had to consult a list at the back of the book. The full names of the authors of the comments could be found on the last page. Equally unique is the following item in the series -- a wooden paddle. The significance of the paddle is unclear. It was identified in a brief note by Yelverton which said: "wooden paddle -- used on freshman football players."
The items Yelverton collected during her high school years begin with six issues of the student newspaper, Lil' Southerner (1947-1951). This newspaper, through feature articles, school news bulletins, and class gossip, effectively represents the interests of the students of Demon High during the period. Class notes also provide insight into the interests of the students. The next folder contains notes taken at class meetings (1948-49 and 1950-51) by Yelverton, as she was the class secretary in both her freshman and junior years. Following these notebooks is a collection of theater programs (1951), Yelverton's perfect attendance awards (1949-51), a Girl's State bulletin (1951), and various sports' team rosters (1951-52). Also found in this series is the Demonstration High School handbook (1950-51).
Both Yelverton and her sister, Betty, were interested in the high school band. Three of their band books are located in this series. As football was also one of Yelverton's interests, numerous football programs from games played by Demonstration High School and Mississippi Southern College teams have been
This collection contains a wealth of information on the types of extra-curricular activities common to the era of the 1940s and 1950s, and particularly those activities that were prevalent at the Demonstration School during that period. Much can also be learned about the personality of Jackie Yelverton and the teen culture of the time through the examination of the activities and organizations in which Yelverton chose to participate, as well as the items she chose to preserve.
Unfortunately, the collection is deficient in information concerning Yelverton's Scholastic achievements, such as report cards or information on the types of courses taken. Also lacking is information concerning the academic structure of the Demonstration School. Further information on the Demonstration School is available in Record Group 54 of the University Archives.
Several items were removed from the collection to other record groups of the University Archives: one issue of the Student Printz (RG32), a "Southern Drawl" handbook (RG32), six Lil' Miss Sou yearbooks (RG54), and loose papers and programs (RG70). See the case file for more detailed information on these removed items.
University of Southern Mississippi Archives, Record Group 54, Demonstration School.
University of Southern Mississippi Archives, Record Group 70, College of the Arts.