Molly Levin Beck, who provided most of the information about the Watson Avenue photos last week, strikes again. She posted a comment suggesting that the RJR teacher who was the recipient of the dedication of the 1924 RJR High School Black & Gold might have had the first name Ione, rather than Jone or Joan. Well, Molly, you are right again.

Ione Mebane was born in Raleigh, NC in 1898. Her father, Charles Harden Mebane, was state superintendent of education at the time.


The family moved to Newton in 1903, where her father was publisher/editor of the semi-weekly local newspaper, Catawba County News. He was also on the board of directors for the State Normal and Industrial College (later UNCG) in Greensboro.

Ione entered the State Normal and Industrial College (UNCG) 1915, graduated 1919. Her three sisters also attended SNIC

She began teaching at Winston-Salem High School in the fall of 1919. The high school burned during the Christmas holidays in 1922 and Reynolds opened in January, 1923. She was head of the social science department. She taught 6 years, one of those after her marriage.


Ione married George Weaver Mann, 1924. They lived at 603 Irving St. in Ardmore. He was also a teacher, then went into real estate with the Lloyd Realty Co. He was offered a teaching position at Duke, which he turned down.

Ione’s father died in 1926. She and George moved to Newton to take care of her mother and George took over the newspaper and ran it until his death in 1946. Ione & one of her sisters ran the paper for a few years, then sold it in the early 1950s.

Ione taught third grade for 13 years in Chapel Hill. She died in 1988

How do I know all this? Ione was interviewed for the UNCG Centenary Project Oral History Collection in 1981. You can find the whole thing at


Charles Hardin Mebane’s biography is here

So as a byproduct of something else, we get a rare insight into an early Reynolds High School teacher. But the task of identifying the folks in the Central School picture remains.