• A visit to Union 2013. If you grew up in Union, West Virginia and you have not been able to return to Monroe County recently, chances are you will enjoy a little tour of Union and the area.

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Tribute to Louise Boon Massey by Peggy Dillon Flouer


Louise Boon Massey

I am proud to say Mrs. Massey was my aunt and I have many very fond memories of her at Union High School and at home.   So my salute to her will seem a bit personal.

Louise Boon Massey was born in Lindside in1905 and, with her family, moved to Union when her father AW Boon moved the Ford agency he had in Lindside to Union.  The agency and garage was located in the building where Kittle Store is now.  She graduated from Union High School and Marshall College with a teaching degree in advanced mathematics.  She returned to Monroe County to teach, but with no job available at the high school, she spent several years at a one room school at Second Creek.   She married Karl Massey in 1932.  They owned and operated The Coffee Shop, a restaurant in the two story Nash building on the east side of Main Street in Union.  Dr. Richardson’s office was next door.  During the war when Karl was stationed in Italy and Africa with the US Army she operated The Coffee Shop with a couple of other local women, Kathleen Duncan and Virginia Ellison.    Before Karl returned she sold her part of the restaurant so she could concentrate on teaching.  She had one daughter, Karla Louise, born in 1949.

Mrs. Massey moved from the one room at Second Creek to Union High School to teach Chemistry and advanced math classes about 1940. She was a very popular but strict teacher.  She was always chosen by Juniors or Seniors as class sponsor.    She directed a number of junior or senior plays and coached the girls basketball team for many years.  Remember six players on half court and the short shorts?

I recall how she decorated her chemistry classroom during Christmas.   Probably not many noticed but the blinds on the huge East facing windows in her room were always pulled down to the same height.  I know this because that was my job at the end of the day before I rode home with her.  I remember, as we arrived in the morning checking the blinds and hoping they were perfect.    I was on the basketball team and rode to the games with her in the evenings.  We always stopped at the ESSO station on Main Street – which was owned by my father – to buy chocolate bars for the girls to share for extra energy.

I have always wondered since her training was in mathematics how she learned to teach chemistry.  I do remember how hard chemistry and algebra were for me and pleased to think how smart she must be to be able to teach them.

My sister Mary Lou (class of 1950) remembers when she was in the 7th or 8th grade –probably about 1947 – there was a basketball game between the basketball team and the faculty.  Mrs. Massey showed up at the game in costume.  She wore one of her father’s suits, a hat, and carried a black suitcase with HADACOL written in big letters on the side.  HADACOL was a very popular patient medicine at the time with a very high alcohol content!   She had a jug and ladle and when one of the faculty pretended to fall from exhaustion she would rush over and give them a dose of HADACOL to revive them.    No one could figure out who she was, even her best friend Miss Lynch.  It seemed so out of character for her but she was a huge hit.   And thinking about that story – can you imagine Miss Lynch, Miss McClung and the other faculty playing basketball?

I am sure she is remembered by many students as a teacher they could always turn to with problems and always felt like they were treated fairly in her classroom.    I am not sure the year she retired but know she was still there when my sister Julia graduated in 1961.  Louise Massey died in 1989.

By:  Peggy Dillon Flouer

UHS Class of 1955