What: Spring City High School 100th anniversary banquet
When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Spring City Middle School, 751 Wassom Memorial Highway
Admission: $14 per ticket for alumni and guests
Information: Contact Loretta Masterson at 423-365-4392 or Becky Woods at 423-365-0581.
SPRING CITY, Tenn. -- For Tim Wilson, the "last graduating" student of Spring City High School, fond memories will accompany his nearly two-hour drive to his former school's centennial banquet.
"It means a lot to all of us" to celebrate Spring City High School, Wilson said.
Spring City High School was built around 1908 and marked its first graduating class in May 1912.
The high school merged with what had been Rhea Central High School in Dayton, Tenn., in fall 1974 to become Rhea County High School in Evensville.
Wilson chuckled when he shared how receiving his diploma and his "last graduate" title had met with delays because fellow students' summer school test scores could have changed that status.
He left his former hometown years ago and now lives in Rickman, Tenn., in Overton County, where he serves as pastor of Bible Baptist Church.
Wilson said the school holds "a very special place" in its students' hearts, and it is important for them to keep its memory alive for future generations.
He said the school's closure in Spring City "took the heart out the town."
Alumni committee member Becky Woods said extensive mailing was required to contact as many alumni as possible for the banquet.
Anna Trentham claimed the honor as the first and only graduate of the class of 1912, fellow alumna and Spring City Mayor Mary Sue Garrison said in an email.
Woods said her aunt Ruth Huskins holds the current title as the oldest living graduate and will turn 100 years old in September at the Golden Years retirement home in Spring City.
Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.