Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wesson -- Long About 100 Years or So Ago

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Click HERE to see this and other Wesson vintage photos featured on the 'Wesson - Long About 100 Years or So Ago' post at

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jefferson County Postal Service in the 1800s

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...a post excerpt from

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Western Union - Crystal Springs, MS

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From the MDAH Digital Archives ...

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

Crystal Springs, Mississippi
Copiah County
(Photo and caption via

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Unionist Naming of Mississippi Children

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"In 2010, I published on Renegade South a study of the naming of white male Mississippi children during the period from 1861 through 1880, wondering if certain names might provide evidence of Civil War or post-Civil War Unionist sentiments.  Hundreds of African-American sons born during this period were given names reflective of the Union trinity of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and William Tecumseh Sherman.  As might be expected, similar naming among white Mississippians was rare.  My initial inquiry produced a list of 54 persons.

After posting those results, I came across several more names, all associated with Ulysses S. Grant.  Why had these individuals been missed?  The answer lay in my failure to consider the many spelling permutations possible for ‘Ulysses.’  Parents and census enumerators proved highly inventive in rendering the name as Ulepes, Ulissus, Euilas, etc.  So..."

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

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

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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..."

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When Wesson Was a Boomtown ...

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From the Don Jackson Collection, Lincoln, Lawrence, Franklin Library
"Main street in Wesson Mississippi. This was a copy that Mr Jackson made for a Mr Kern. Scanned from a 4 x 5 hard copy." -- Library caption.

Here's one I've not seen before.  This old postcard appears to be from the late 1800s, depicting the engine driving the economy, Mississippi Mills in the tall buildings.  Try as I may, I still cannot get my bearings in relation to today's town landscape.  If someone can turn me around and orient me, I would appreciate it.  I think some of the buildings on the left are still in existence today, but I could be wrong.
Complete post, including image, obtained from

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jackson Burning

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"One-hundred and fifty years ago today, May 14, 1863, the city of Jackson, MS was captured in the First Battle of Jackson. Upon learning that Union soldiers were advancing on the capital city, the Confederate leader General Johnston evacuated the city while Brigadier General Gregg held off the enemy.

On May 14, 1863, General Sherman began the bombardment of the city of Jackson... I recall the terror-stricken flight of thousands of women and children as we streamed along the roads that hot day, with everything we could carry. I had two suits of clothes on, and mother was wearing her furs-for we did not know whether we would ever come back to the house or whether the house would escape the fire. We camped in tents on the Pearl River for several weeks.
--Thomas Frank Gailor, six-year-old child, future Episcopal Bishop of Tennessee

Over 1,000 soldiers died..."
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