What an assortment of names young people had that we grew up with in Minden!
J. R. and J. P. became Baptist preachers. L. G. had a beautiful voice. O. H. and J. Y. were brothers. However, J. T. was J. C.’s brother’s best friend. T. J. and H. W. were in the Class of 1939. C. R. played the piano for the Class of 1940. They grew up with the CCC, WPA, ERA, and became aware of the OPA, the CD, the USAF, USN, USA and the USMC.
No, these are not formulas or is it a code. They are just the initials that boys were given for names, and the abbreviations for agencies that were in operation back then. J. R. Hearron and J. P. Allen were Baptist preachers.
O. H. and J. Y. Haynes were brothers. J. T. Jones was a close friend of Emerson Agan as well as his brother, J. C. Agan. T. J. Mims and H.W. Cox did graduate in 1939. C. R. Nugent was an accomplished pianist.
At graduation, we discovered that the “C. R.” stood for “Cicero Rufus” and we did not blame him for using just the initials. L. G. Johnson did sing solos.
Minden had a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and during the depression there were agencies known as the Works Project Administration (WPA), and the Emergency Relief Administration (ERA). We tried the National Recovery Act (NRA). During the war years we dealt with the Office of Price Administration (OPA) and the Civilian Defense (CD).
Meanwhile our boys were serving with the U. S. Air Force (USAF), the United States Navy (USN), the United States Army (USA), and the United States Marine Corps (USMC).
In addition, during the thirties we had a governor named “0. K. Allen”.
Then there were the double names that all the girls seemed to be tagged with. We had Dannie Rae, Mary Belle, Freddie Louise, Mary Olive, Mary Grace, Sue Willie, Mary Louise, Virginia Lil, Sara Lee, Dorothy Jean, Linda Lee, Bertha Mae, Mary Helen,: Edna Ruth, Eddie Mae, Eddy Jane, Alma Mae, Annie Mae, Edna Mae, Julia Faye, Ann Elizabeth, Betty Sue, Monty Bill, Sarah Mae, Annie Faye, Mary Alice, Peggy Ann and lots more.
Most of the girls just hated their middle names. A large percentage of them dropped that middle name as soon as they got away from home. We call them just plain “Mary” or “Sue” or “Sarah”, and they hope that we will not remember that other name and that it is permanently forgotten.
I will not tell you the family names of these girls, because most of them don’t want you to know. Some families liked alliteration in their names.
The Hearron family named the first five sons: Houston, Hosston, Hiram, Herman and Herbert, and then when two more sons came along they were Ed and J. R. Finally a girl came to finish out the family and she was called Edna Ruth. Or consider the Freeman Rogers family who liked rhyming endings and gave us: Imogene, Josephine, Maxine and Eugene. Imogene (Mrs. W. R. Conkright), Josephine (Mrs. Cecil Campbell), Maxine (Mrs. Tom Alley), and Dr. Eugene Rogers.
A young girl came to live in their home and they considered her a sister. Her name - “Irene”, and that also rhymed.
Twenty years before my birth, my uncle was principal of a small rural school. He wrote my mother to send their mother to see him, and to buy the railroad ticket to the nearest town, which was “Juanita.”
She had never heard that name and vowed that if she ever had a baby girl she would name it Juanita. Just before her 40th birthday, the only child that she ever had was born and named “Juanita.” So I am named for a railroad depot.
Some of our young men were given nicknames that have stuck with them until today. We had “Sonny Boy” Jeter, “Buddy” Moreland, “Dime” Rogers, “Bud” Agan, “Red” Turner, “Papaw” Maddry, “Coondog” Talton, ‘’Tony’’ Elzen, “Tuck” Fuller, “Jake” Agan, “Shorty” Baugh, and later a boy was nicknamed “Birdbrain” Bradford.
I bet you grew up with someone that just uses initials or has a double name, or is tagged with a nickname. Well, if that is the case, you have just “dated” yourself and have let me know that you are old just like me!
Juanita Agan passed away in October, 2008 at the age of 85. She had been a Minden resident since 1935 and a columnist for the Press-Herald since 1995. A constant writer, Mrs. Agan had many stories written but unpublished. The Press-Herald will continue to publish these articles as long as they are submitted.