1  Jessie Hidgon and Howard Wilkie, summer 1935
2  Jessie Higdon, Neal's dog 1934-35
3  Ruth Byrd, teacher 1934-35
4  Kenneth Neal and Ruth Byrd, Wesser Bald Fire      Tower 1934-35                                                  
5  Kenneth Neal  Wesser Bald Fire Tower 1934-1935
6  Vaughan Neal 1934-35 
7  Burt Neal and Nora Wikle Chastain*, Wesser           Bald Fire Tower        1934-35
8 Mildred Hoyle, Wesser Bald Fire Tower 1934-35
9 Mildred Hoyle 1934-35
10  Quentin Roper, Wesser Bald Fire Tower 193435 11* Van Buren Owenby, Wesser Bald Fire Tower 1934-35
12 Wesser Bald Fire Warden 1934-35

Otter Creek School

Here are photos that my mother, Jessie Higdon Wilkie, had in her
album from the year she was principal and teacher at the Otter Creek School.
As well as being principal, she taught all subjects in grades 8-10.  She had
graduated that spring (1934) from Western Carolina Teachers College with
high honors.
She and Ruth Byrd, a fellow teacher, boarded on Otter Mountain at
the Mays' home and at the Wilsons' home  and walked to school. 
(Ruth's brother Clinton married Mary Strain, Jessie's first cousin.) 
Vaughan Neal (with the dog in the photo) was the brother of two of Mother's students in the photos--Kenneth and Burt. 
The photos at the Wesser Bald Fire Tower were taken when she, Ruth, and their students went up there for an outing in 1934-35.
Jessie spent only that one year at Otter Creek.  In the summer of
1935, she married William Howard Wilkie, from Franklin, who graduated from Western Carolina in 1935 and took a job teaching and coaching at Marshall High School in Madison County, NC.  Mother grew up in Higdonville, Macon County, the daughter of James Leonard and Lavada Strain Higdon.  She attended Higdonville School and Sylva Collegiate Institute, and graduated from Franklin High School.  (Her dates: September 10, 1912-December 17,2004)
The photo of Jessie and Howard Wilkie was taken on a camping trip in the Nantahalas in the summer of 1935.
Barbara Wilkie Tedford
The Elementary Building on the right.
The High School on the left
The picture was taken from the Gymnasium site..
Otter Creek School Gymnasium and Lunch Room.
Jessie and Howard
Burt Neal and Nora Wikle Chastain
at Wesser Bald Fire Tower 1934-35
Kenneth Neal and Ruth Byrd, Wesser Bald Fire Tower 1934-35
Mildred Hoyle, Wesser Bald Fire Tower 1934-35
Mildred Hoyle
Wesser Bald Fire Warden 1934-35.
Quentin Roper, Wesser Bald Fire Tower 1934-35
Vaughan Neal 1934-35
Kenneth Neal, Wesser Bald Fire Tower 1934-35
Jessie Higdon, Neals' dog 1934-35
Ruth Byrd, teacher 1934-35
  Van Buren Owenby, Wesser Bald Fire Tower 1934-35
Thanks to Barbara Wilkie Tedford (Jessie's daughter)
for pictures and information
Nantahala North Carolina
     Photo Courtesy of
Shirley Owenby Postell
Built about 1936 by  the "CCC's".
(Civilian Conservation Corps)
Front row:L-R.
Sue Wood
Arnold Wilson
Julie Owenby

Back row:L-R
Ralph Cochram
Reno Wilson
Lucille Owenby
DL Owenby
Newel Owenby

Otter Creek High School
  Class of 1941-42
Front Row:L-R
Eliose Morgan
Bill Wood
Ruth Roper

Back row:L-R
Ethel Bateman
Frank Hembree
Irene Roper

Lef to Right:
Ralph Wishon,
Anna Jane Douthit, Billy May,
Charles Cross, 
Susie Douthit,
Carl May,
Joan Nelson,
Vester May
Otter Creek High School             Class 1951
Otter Creek High School
Class of  1943--44
  Photo courtesy of
Burdell Bryant Church
Class of 1957-1958

    Front Row
Nancy Chastain
Reva Morgan
Jessie Jacobs
Frella Dills
Joan Solesbee
Judith Shields

     Back Row
Doyce Waters
Jackie Solesbee
Dover Roper
Billy Dills
    High School
High School
Class of  1958-59
Photo Courtesy of
Jessie Joan Jacobs Owenby
Front row L-R:Mildred Haney, Susie Douthit, Anna Jane Douthit, Evelyn Morgan, Anna Laure Moses.
Back row:Joan Nelson, Billy May, George Lambert, T.A. Bateman, Margaet Day, Carl May, Vester May,
Carl Moses (Teacher)
Otter Creek High School
     10th Grade 1949
Photo courtesy of
Oscar Douthit
Back Row; Mr Shope(teacher)
Alba Younce,Howard Douthit,
Lillian Jacobs,Emit Dills,
Dillard Passmore,Ruth Cross,
Artlissa Waters.

2nd.Row;Roerta Roper,Ruth May,Katherine Cross,Wayne Dewesse,Hazel Trammel,
Evelyn Morgan,Genva  Bateman,
Paukine Smith.

Front Row;Roy Roper, Willard Haney,Dillard McManhan,
Nell Younce,Mildred Bateman,Doralea Bateman,
Bob Denny, Carl Passmore,
Edith Wills,Ruth Owenby.
Otter Creek High School...1946-47
Photo courtesy of Willard J Haney
1st row: Joan Jones, Juanita Passmore, Sheiva Jean Cochran, Margaret Sue May,  Carlene Passmore, Beth Morgan, Beulah Grant, J D Owenby, Croff Denny, (Teacher) Miss Ester Seay.

2nd. row: Delmar Cope, Gerald Grant, Barbara Boone, Pauline Morgan, Mary Lackey, (Mary Beth Mac------?) Jimmy Cochran, James McMahan, Elmer May, Peggy Jean Morgan.

  3rd.row: Carl Smith, Ray Morgan, Bonnie Douthit, Nancy Cable, Wanda Sue Gregory, Geraldine Haney, Dale Roper, Harold Morgan, Sanford Grant, Allen Grant.
Otter Creek School
       3rd. Grade
Back row;  Dan Boone,  Creed May ,(? ?),  Vestel Morgan Cochran,
Belle Wilson,  Grace Jones,  Frank
May,   Glen Shields,(? ?),
2nd.row;   Cleo Douthet, (? Day),
Hazel Cochran,  Vonnie Mason,,
Amanda Deweese,   Clint Dalrymple,  Oscar Cross, OlsenGrant,  Wade Grant,  Monroe Boone,  Clyde Morgan...
Front row; Ernest Cross,  Hellen Dalrymple Grant,  Eulene Grant,
Howard Cross,  Bernice Deweese
Cochran,  Blanch Cochran,Nelle Boone, Anna Boone, Ora Jones
Otter Creek School
Photo courtesy of
Oscar Douthit
Photo courtesy of      J D Ouenby
Otter Creek School
Nantahala  School
Photo courtesy of
Oscar Douthit
Nantahala School  6th & 7th grade
          1955. Field Trip.
1 Eula Gregory,
2 Eloise Morgan (teacher),
3 ?,4 ?,5 ?,6 ?,
7 Mary Guffy,
8 Louise Shields,
9 Libby Cope,
10 Merry Ruth Dills,
11 Margaret Allen,
12 Jackie Haney,
13 Henry Solesbee,
14 Edward Hicks,
15 ?,
16 Janice Grant,
17 Willa Jean Dills,
18 Lula Bell Dills,
19 Mary Lambert,
20 Beverly Cochran,
21 Larry Morgan,
22 ?,
23 Marice Bateman,
24 ?,
25 Gene Bryant

1st.Row;Henry Solesbee,
Edward Hicks,Larry Morgan,
Morris Bateman,Robert Hicks,(??),Ralph May..

2ndRow;Hubert Morgan,
Gene Bryant ,Daniel Prince,Tommy Maynard,
Golman Passmore..

3rdRow;Mary Guffey,Eula Mae Gregory,Margart Mason,MayRichard,
Wilma Morgan,
Bernice Roper,Cora dills,Patricia Passmore,
Louise Shields,Josephine Morgan..

4th Row; Lula Bell Dills,
Mary Ruth Dills,Bevely Cockran,(??),Libby Cope,
Gay Richard...
Nantahala School
Photo Courtesyof,
Larry & Peggy Morgan
Photo courtesy of
Gene Bryant
* Rodney Chastain recognized the girl in picture # 7 as his Mother  (Nora Wikle Chastain)....
* Larry Owenby recognized the man in picture 11
Photo Curtesy of
Sera Brewer
  Anna Laura Moses, Ruth May, Margarit Day Jacobs,  Hazel Trammel Roper, Ollie Jacobs Lunsford,  
                                   (in front)  Evelyn Morgan Wood,  Louise Owenby Day