Tuesday, April 30, 2013


"Three soldiers with girl standing behind them. All are wearing leis. Photo made for Mrs Max [Cournast]. Last name not readable. No date." -- Lincoln, Lawrence, Franklin Library caption. 
Anyone out there recognize anyone in this photo?  If so, leave word here or on my Facebook page.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Operator, 7-7-7 Please!

From the Lincoln, Lawrence Franklin Library Digital Collection, no further information as to identity and date are available.  It is aptly titled, "Hello Kitty."

If anyone recognizes this photograph and knows the identity of the little boy and the approximate date taken, please leave word here or on my Facebook page.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brookhaven Country Club Vintage Postcard

This vintage postcard is for sale on eBay for $8.49.  I have seen a lot of linen postcards of Brookhaven, but this one is not frequently encountered.  If interested, here's the link.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Before McGrath's in Brookhaven, There Was This Store in Wesson

2012 Photo Courtesy of Bettie Hatcher Cox, a descendant of the Beckers and McGraths
Circa 1877, an enterprising young man from Brookhaven, Ferdinand Francis Becker, opened a "high class" general store in Wesson, which was booming thanks to Mississippi Mills, manufacturer of cotton and woolen textiles.  

Later, sometime in the 1880s, the store, a stock company, became Becker, Lyell and McGrath. 

Some ten years later, the Beckers turned their attention and business acumen toward Brookhaven, where they opened a commercial bank in 1887.  Mr. Lyell remained in Wesson to operate the store, which was rather large for the times and offered just about everything the townspeople of Wesson could need.

(The McGraths, who were related to the Beckers by marriage, started the largest department store between Memphis and New Orleans in 1878 in Brookhaven, which is ten miles south of Wesson.  Please see this Sippiana link for further reading.)

The old building as it appears today.
A more prosperous time ... From the Wesson Library

Today the Wesson store lives on as an antiques mall and the old sign is clearly visible on the rear of the building, as the above photograph shows.  The building's wooden floors creak and pop with each step and the second floor, which probably served as the warehouse for the display floor below is a monument to wood darkened with age, but the entire expanse is surprisingly light-filled.

My fellow blogger LindaRe, who hails from the area, recently featured this old store in her blog and has posted several interior photographs of the building.  Please see this link to view those.

A special thank you to Bettie Hatcher Cox for the history and for forwarding this picture, which I had failed to snap with my camera my last visit there.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Summer Reading Group ... August 1958

All photos from the John Holly Williams Collection, LLF Library
I see a number of familiar faces, but rather than name them, I'm throwing the floor open to those of you who are actually in these photos to identify yourselves and your compadres.  

And you KNOW who you are!

I do know that there's one beautiful little girl who just rocked her 60th birthday, and she makes 60 look good!

Let 'er rip, here or on Facebook!  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Western Union ... De de de de de Deh De de de de DEH (You Get the Idea)

From the MDAH Digital Archives ...

Western Union staff members,  Photographer: Luther M. Hamilton, Sr.

Crystal Springs, Mississippi
Copiah County

I don't know why, but every time I hear speak of a telegram, I immediately think of the old joke that goes like this:

"Mrs. Murphy. Mrs. Murphy! Telegram for Mrs. Murphy!

       Is this a singing telegram?

Well, ma'am. It's rather sad news.

      BUT ... I've always WANTED a singing telegram ...

Well ... Okay, here goes ...

Dada, dada, da, DAH (to the tune of Hooray for Hollywood)

Your sister ROSE is dead.
I'm here to tell you that she died in bed,
And even though the broad was feelin' great,
She'd just turned ninety-eight,
Your sister ROSE is dead!" 
And on a politically correct note: Apologies to anyone whose sensibilities were offended by the foregoing JOKE.   (To quote my favorite cartoon character, Foghorn Leghorn, "That's a Joke, Son, Doncha GET it?")

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Water Ballet with a Civil War Theme?

From the John Holly Williams Collection, 1954, LLF Library

The above article is courtesy of Bettie Hatcher Cox
Let's see -- a water ballet with a Civil War theme, topped off by clown divers, and narrated in dulcet tones by town attorney and history buff Henry Ware Hobbs, whose Southern drawl and diction neared perfection -- that had to be pinnacle of all water carnivals.

Unfortunately, we do not have photographs from that auspicious occasion, nor do we have video, so we will have to use our best imagination.

The photograph is from the 1954 carnival -- for those unfamiliar with the event, they are on a platform in the shallow end of the old city pool.  As always, if anyone recognizes either one of the two lovely young ladies in the photograph, please leave word here or on my Facebook page.  

A special thank you to Bettie Hatcher Cox for scanning and forwarding the Leader Times article.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Both Photos from the Lincoln, Lawrence, Franklin Library Archives

Unidentified Whitworth College students pose for the camera in an undated photograph.  Location and event unknown, but it is most likely from one of their many field trips in the US, Mexico, and Cuba.

Monday, April 22, 2013

We Wear Short Shorts ...

Colettes 1957, all photos by John Holly Williams, courtesy LLF Library

Clyde Wilson -- The Man Behind the Blue Wave and the Colettes
(from Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal; July 31, 2009)

ABERDEEN - Clyde Thompson Wilson, 78, died Thursday, July 30, 2009, at his home in Aberdeen. He was born Aug. 22, 1930, to Byron Wilson and Thelma Louise Hill Wilson in Aberdeen. He was a graduate of Aberdeen High School and a 1950 graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Wesson, where he was a member of the Blue Wave Show Band and played saxophone in the Stage Band. He earned a bachelor's degree in music at the University of Mississippi, where he was a member of the Pride of the South Band. He graduated with honors from Vandercook School of Music in Chicago with a master's degree. He served in the U.S. Army as a corporal in the 101st Infantry Division, the Screaming Eagles, at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

He was the band director at Copiah-Lincoln for 10 years. Under his leadership, the Co-Lin Band and Colettes became one of the most outstanding junior college show bands in the nation, performing at such events as the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In 1968 he returned to Aberdeen to take over the family-owned business, Wilson Grocery. He was also a successful artist. His oils were shown in six successful one-man shows throughout the state. He served for many years as a news reporter for the Aberdeen Examiner.

He was inducted into the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Band and Colette Alumni Hall of Fame during ceremonies at homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008. He was the owner, publisher and editor of the Tombigbee Country Magazine with distribution in all 50 states.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Tisdale-Lann Memorial Chapel in Aberdeen with the Rev. James Rutledge officiating. Burial will be in Beeks Cemetery.

Survivors include a number of cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Pallbearers will be J.W. Benson, Charles Luker, Randy Benson, Randy Perkins, Ron Witchman and James Hairston.

Honorary pallbearers will be Brent Coleman, Chris Rieves, Mike Hawkins, Thomas Young, Justin Hairston and Harvey Morrison III.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the Copiah-Lincoln Band and Colette Alumni will accept memorial grifts for band scholarships in his name.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

She Had a Date with Elvis and Got Col. Parker Instead

From the  John Holly Williams, via the LLF Library Collection

Margaret Ann McLemore Lofton was born to Alton and Mary McLemore on her grandmother's Franklin County plantation outside the tiny town of Meadville, in August 1939.

Times were tough then, but soon, the family moved to Meadville (pop. 550) where Alton McLemore, a college graduate, ran a general store.

Margaret Ann grew up to be beauty queen and head majorette, and it is said that she twirled fire batons while standing on a ladder enveloped in flames and never missed a beat.

Although she was accepted on scholarship to every major college in Mississippi, she opted to attend Copiah-Lincoln Junior College, which featured the high-stepping Collettes and a show-stopping marching band that was garnering a national profile, performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.

She was crowned Forestry Queen of the state of Mississippi and at one point was the guest of honor at a star-studded event in Chicago.  Her date was to be none other than the King of Rock 'n' Roll himself, Elvis, but at the last minute, he was forced to cancel.

He sent his manager, Col. Parker, in his place.  They danced the first dance while the celebrities and others looked on.  The next day, Elvis sent her flowers, candy and perfume and invited her to go to a night club.  Because of her hectic schedule as Forestry Queen and the pageant's morality clauses prohibiting her from night clubbing, she knew she couldn't go, so she declined and never looked back.

It was at Co-Lin that she met her future husband, coach Herman Lofton.  They married in college and he pursued his teaching degree, and she in turn changed her major to education.

The couple wound up in Florida as educators, and in a front page article in the Ledger in 2008, her story is told in greater detail than here.  For more, please see this link.  (The link takes you to the jump. To read the first part of the article, scroll to page A1.)

The above photographs are just three of the 30 taken by Mr. Williams in 1957.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Quick Service Laundry

From the John Holly Williams Collection -- LLF Library
Men in front of a laundry service business. The business is Quick Service Laundry. No names or date is noted. -- Library caption.
My money says this was taken in 1959 during the centennial celebration.  Recognize anyone?

UPDATE:  This from Monty Reed: Far left is L.P. Reed, owner of the laundry and Monty's uncle.  Thanks, Monty for the information!

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Cat's Meow

All photos from the MDAH online archives of the Luther Hamilton Collection out of Copiah County.  Dates unclear, but most likely early 1900s.

Please note the kitten with the brood hen in the second photo. The other two are pretty self-explanatory.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dogs Rule

From the MDAH Digital Archives, the Luther Hamilton Collection, Crystal Springs, MS

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stained Glass by Mildred Wolfe -- Hazlehurst, MS

MDAH Digital Archives ; Photographer: Hugh W. Shankle
"Mildred Wolfe's stained-glass window, First Baptist-Hazlehurst."196-,  Copiah County, Hazlehurst, Mississippi

Followers of this blog may remember a posting on Karl Wolfe, a Mississippi artist of note who was born in Brookhaven. 

Today's post is a tip of the hat to his wife, Mildred Nungester Wolfe, (Aug. 23, 1912 - Feb. 11, 2009), who spent much of her artistic career in the shadow of her husband. 

Mildred Nungester, the daughter of a pharmacist, was born in Celina, OH, but grew up in Decatur, AL.  She studied at Chicago Art Institute and the Art Students League of New York. During a summer trip to Kelly Fitzpatrick's Dixie Art Colony in 1937, she met her future husband.

She and Karl were married in 1944, and after the end of WWII, they settled in Jackson, MS, where they maintained a studio, which is still in existence today.  To read more, please see this post.   

Mildred painted mostly landscapes in oil or watercolor, but her portraits, including that of close friend Eudora Welty, which is displayed in the National Portrait Gallery, are not to be overlooked.

Both Wolfes worked in ceramics, sculpture and stained glass, and the above photograph is an example of Mildred Wolfe's work in stained glass.  

Sadly, it was not until Karl Wolfe died that Mildred Wolfe began to be recognized for her talent in her own right.

To quote Wikipedia: "After Karl's death in 1984, the art community of Mississippi began appreciateing Mildred for her own art, not for being Karl's wife."

Mildred Wolfe died on February 11, 2009, age 96, at her Jackson home. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Summit's Own Marie Atkinson Hull -- the Grande Dame of Mississippi Artists

From MDAH Digital Archives. Hugh W. Shankle, photographer
Marie Atkinson Hull, born in Summit, MS, Sept. 28, 1890, is often called the Grande Dame of Mississippi Artists.

Best known for her landscape, portraiture and still-life oils and watercolors, Marie Hull initially studied music at Belhaven College, but soon discovered her true love was painting.  She began her study in Jackson and then pursued her passion at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1912, over her parents' objections.

She returned to Mississippi to teach at Hillman College and in 1915 left academia to teach out of her home.  In 1917, she married Jackson architect Emmett Johnston Hull.  They resided in Jackson's Belhaven neighborhood for many years.

Marie Hull had a great desire to learn and she, along with her husband, traveled the country to study under some of the country's best artists.  In addition to David Barber and Hugh Breckinridge at the Pennsylvania Academy, her instructors included Frank Vincent Dumond at the Art Students' League in New York; Robert W. Vonnoh in Connecticut and John Carlson and Robert Reid at Colorado Springs Art Center.

Her work has been exhibited in Paris, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Memphis and, of course, her home state of Mississippi.

Marie Hull died on November 21, 1980, just past her 90th birthday.  For more details on her life and her influence on art in the state of Mississippi, please see this link.

Of note: if you think you or your parents or grandparents may own one of her originals, I would urge you to have it appraised.

Recently, Yellow Hill, one of her later works -- purchased for approximately $500 at a garage sale in Belhaven -- turned up on Antiques Road Show.  It appraised at between $10,000 to $15,000.  Click on the link to see that particular episode, featuring a lucky woman from Jackson.

To see more of her work, you can Google her name, but for those who are not so inclined, here is a link to a Jackson gallery which features her work in their Collectors' room, including the one she is painting in the above photograph in 196?.

Below is Red Parrots from the Johnson Collection, which, after viewing much of her work online, is among my favorites.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ruth Jones, a Much Beloved Third Grade Teacher in 1914

Photo Credit: FindaGrave,
Ruth Jones and Edmondson Jones - 1914, Posted by YCJ
Editor's Note: The above photograph was shamelessly lifted from FindaGrave.  I apologize if I have unwittingly violated any copyrights to the photo, but it was so charming I could not help myself and I present it here with full credit and the proclamation that I am including it here for educational purposes only.  If anyone with the rights to the photo objects, I will first flog myself and then promptly remove it.
Miss Ruth, as most of us Brookhavenites knew her, was born to P.Z. Jones and Maggie Edmondson Jones in 1894.  Four years later, sibling Robert Lee Jones was born, followed by Ella May Jones in 1900 and Sam Pendleton Jones in 1908, according to information on FindaGrave.  (There is no mention of Edmondson Jones on the site, pictured above, but I suspect it was an oversight, as information on file at the library indicates he grew up and married the "prettiest thing" Margaret Jennings, a teacher.)

Miss Ruth was educated at Whitworth College in town and later attended Millsaps College in Jackson.  She returned home to Brookhaven to serve in the public school system as a devoted third grade teacher, a position she held until retirement.  In adulthood, Miss Ruth, her sister Ella Mae and brother Sam lived in the family home, a landmark Queen Anne Victorian, facing the Illinois Central Railroad tracks.

Sam Jones, interviewed by Bob and Betsy Jones on Feb. 18, 1989, told many humorous stories about life in Brookhaven and living that beautiful old home, which sadly is now in a state of disrepair.

Here is but one of Sam Jones' stories about living so close to the railroad tracks that they knew every train by the time and its whistle:
"After my father died (in 1932) and nobody was home except my mother and Ruth and Ella Mae, one rainy night, night -- a dreary, scary, dark, dark night -- and Momma and Ruth and Ella Mae went home by themselves and the 11:00 No. 2 -- the fast train to Chicago came through -- and right after that train went by, my mother called my sister Ruth and said, “Ruth, go outside and go to the door and see what that is. I think the train has run over somebody.”  
So Ruth went to the door, stuck her head out, she heard somebody moaning and groaning, “O-o-o you good Christian people, don’t let me die out here in the rain. The train’s run over me and cut off my legs. Please somebody, come help me. Come help me.” 
And Ruth went back; she didn’t know what to do. It was pouring down rain so she went ... and did the only thing she could think of -- she called Hartman’s ambulance to come down for the man, and they came, and they charged twenty-five dollars a trip. 
They came down there to see what it was and ... it was a man (who) was drunk and he had fallen down on the sidewalk in front and his feet hung over to our yard -- our yard was about two feet below the street level -- and so he reached out and he couldn’t find his legs.  
So he decided the train had run over him.
The ambulance took him and they had to go all over the county trying to find a place, somebody to take him because none of his relatives would have him."

The tale ended there, and we never learn who the man was or where he wound up or, 
perhaps more importantly, who got stuck with that $25 ambulance charge.

Miss Ruth died in 1992, age 97.  Sam passed away in 2006, also at age 97.  Please click on the
turquoise link to see her obituary and read more about her civic activities.

Scherck-Jones House

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Play Ball!!

All three photos from John Holly Williams Collection, LLF Library

"This is a picture a little league baseball game played on 4th of July 1958. There are several pictures for 
this date so it looks like Mr. Williams was shooting an event." -- Library caption.

Since I am in a baseball frame of mind today, having seen 42 at the movies last night, I chose these photos, which depict a Babe Ruth League game in which my brother and his classmates were participants.  At first I suspected that the batter is my brother, but my husband the baseball fan, pointed out that my brother is a righty and this batter is a lefty, so that leaves him out.

At any rate, whoever this is, it looks like he got some wood on the ball.

To see pictures of the entire team, which was presented on April 24, 2012, please see the thumbnails on the right side of the page.  I have updated it to include the identities of all except on player on the front row.  Help needed to determine his name.

UPDATE: "This is actually Babe Ruth League baseball, not Little League, played at the Exchange Club Park field. BRL was for ages 13, 14, and 15. Little League, for the 10-12 age group, was played at the Little League field on North Jackson St, just south of what is now White Oak Dr. The Little League franchise was lost a few years later because blacks were excluded from playing. Changed to Dixie Youth Baseball which is still the franchise for the 10-12 age group today. Blacks have participated in Dixie Youth Baseball for over 40 years." -- from Jerry Case, who is pictured in the earlier posting.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Too Much Fun

Both photos from the John Holly Williams Collection, LLF Library
"This is a group of children from First Baptist Church. It may a Sunday School class or a Kindergarten class. The date is 7/17/1951." -- Library caption.
Note the triangle player in the back row mugging it, and the walrus tusk kid on the middle row, right.

Here's take two of the same group.  Mr. Williams must have cracked a funny ...

If these kids are around 6 years old, they were born in the mid 1940s.  Recognize anyone?  

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Portrait from the Early 1900s ...

From the John Holly Williams Collection -- LLF Library

Copy for Johnnie Richardson

"The original of this copy probably dates back to the early 1900s. It shows a single pose of a woman wearing all of her hair pulled back. This copy was made for Johnnie Richardson in 1945." -- Library caption.
Johnnie Richardson also had a copy of a photo made of a beauty on a front porch, posted on this blog a few days ago.  
If anyone recognizes this lady or the one from the front porch, feel free to post here on or my Facebook page.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Buttons 'n' Bows ...

From the John Holly Williams Collection -- LLF Library

Copy for Buttons 
"The only information for this photo is the word 'Buttons.' It is a copy of a young girl with very long hair combed over one shoulder." -- Library caption.

If anyone recognizes this young lady, please leave word here or on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Beauty on the Front Porch Steps

From John Holly Williams Collection -- LLF Library
"A lady is sitting on some steps outside. This copy was made for Johnnie Richardson in 1945." -- Library caption.

No clue as to her identity or location.  As always, if someone recognizes this lady or the home, please leave word here or my Facebook page.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Clark Company -- Cotton Processors

Don Jackson Collection -- LLF Library
"Martha Sinclair had this copy made of a cotton mill. The name of the business is Clark company. No date is noted." -- Library caption.

I cannot be certain, but I think the term in this case would be a cotton gin, since what I see what looks to be cotton bolls in the back of the old trucks and what looks like a couple of large bales on the back of the truck to the right. 

But, I am far from an expert and I defer to my friends and colleagues who know more of this stuff than I, and welcome comments here or on my Facebook page as to which term is correct.  And, of course, further information as to where this business may have been is welcomed.

UPDATE:  From my friend John Case: "That is the cotton gin owned by Mr. C.C. Clark. It was located at Ruth Ms.  Mr. C.C. was a brother to Veneble Clark who owned Brookhaven Equipment Co. They were an International Harvester dealer and may still be, on the road south of the Coffee Pot.  Last account I had that business was operated by my classmate Mike Clark."  

Another friend suggests that this picture may have been taken around 1935.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Jones Meat Market -- And a Few Memories

From the Don Jackson Collection at the LLF Library

These photos were taken in 1975 ... Not sure of the occasion, except perhaps a remodel?  Shelves look mighty empty for a once thriving store east of town.

Our family typically traded closer to home at Haley's Market for choice cuts of meat, wrapped neatly in butcher paper by Mr. "Hoe Haley" himself, but, whenever my brother killed a deer in the late 1950s, very early '60s, he took it across town to Jones' for processing and storage.  I, a mere kid back then, can remember accompanying my Momma to pick up packages of the deer meat whenever we had room in the home freezer. 

(Not that Mother ever liked deer meat, she would gag and turn all shades of green whenever she discovered that our housekeeper Carrie Lee had prepared it for lunch, artfully smothered in caramelized onions and cracked black pepper to disguise the inevitable gamey taste.)  

Beyond that, I can remember going to Jones' with my Momma and timidly asking for a pig's brain so I could put it in a jar of formaldehyde and offer it up as a paltry entry in the Lipsey Junior High Science Fair, which I knew I had NO HOPE of winning -- what with static electricity demonstrations, foaming volcanoes, and solar systems made to scale out of styrofoam balls.  

My more-than-lame entry was cringe-worthy in retrospect, but at least I didn't get a zero for failing to participate at all.  Hey, not all of us were cut out to be Future Scientists of America. I view it this way: sometimes it's wisest to realize you are outwitted and outflanked, admit defeat, surrender, eventually escape, and Move On.  
But I digress.  Anyone with further information on the time and place pictured above is invited to comment here or on my Facebook page.  I believe the building has fallen into disrepair and disuse these days, but I could be mistaken.  Tried to take a Google Streetview drive down Old Highway 84, but the MacBook wasn't cooperating this morning.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Inside a Typical Country Store

From the Don Jackson Collection, LLF Library

"Ray Laird had this copy made of a typical country store in the 40s and 50s." -- Library caption.

Not sure if the Lairds had a country store in the area, but if someone recognizes this interior, or the men behind the counter, please leave word here or on my Facebook page.