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2004 Graduate – Bertha J. Clayton


Bertha J. ClaytonThe city of Bay Springs is located in the rolling hills of southwestern Jasper County, Mississippi and is home to more than 2,000 residents.

In the latter part of the 1800’s Joe Blankinship founded sawmills in the dense, virgin forests of western Jasper County. At the turn of the century, Blankenship’s son-in-law, L. L. Denson, through the Denson Trading Company, founded a village called “Bay Springs,” which encompassed an area of 173 acres. According to tradition, the village was named for an artesian spring flowing from the trunk of a bay.

Supported by the sawmills, Bay Springs quickly became a trade center for western Jasper and eastern Smith County. The town was incorporated, receiving its charter on March 10, 1904, for an area containing four sections that were home to 520 inhabitants. By late 1904, the Bay Springs Bank was formed and became one of the rare banking businesses to survive the Great Depression.

When the Mobile, Jackson, and Kansas City Railroad began operating about the year 1908, Bay Springs became a transportation center for the logging industry, as well as for other areas of industry and commerce. Even then, Bay Springs was a progressive community with no fewer than five churches. It soon boasted a mill for preparation of barrel staves and a cotton gin, in addition to its flourishing lumber industry. Throughout the twentieth century, Bay Springs has continued to be a beautiful, thriving city, expanding in territory and population.

Also beautiful and thriving is our Graduate of the Month. Please meet Ms. Bertha Clayton. Bertha graduated from Citizens’ High School last June. She chose Citizens’ High School in order to finish the requirements for a high School diploma after learning she was going to have a child. “I was going to Bay Springs High School until I knew I was going to be a mother at 18.” I wanted to finish school and homestudy seemed to be the only way.” “I liked homestudy better because I could work at my own.” “I am grateful that Citizens’ High School helped me to earn my diploma.”

Since Bertha graduated, she has continued to educate herself. She is pursuing the next goal of becoming a Dietary Manager through the distance learning programs offered by Auburn University in Alabama. “I want to provide optimum nutritional care through food service management”

The Dietary Manager program is designed primarily for those employed full time in health care facility food services. Good reading skills and the ability to follow instructions well are important. This is a correspondence study program which combines on-the-job work experience with course work. Assignments, tests, and the final examination are handled entirely by mail.

It’s no wonder Bertha wanted to enroll in another self-pace, homestudy program. We know she will do well in the endeavor and provide a good life for her child. We are proud of Bertha for overcoming a life altering obstacle and excelling with what life has dealt her. Bertha Clayton has earned the prestigious Graduate of the Month award for January 2004.

Bertha Clayton is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for January 2004.