Monday, November 9, 2009

Oral History Workshop

We are trying to get together an Oral History Workshop scheduled for Saturday, February 27, 2010 at the Lee County Library in the Helen Foster Auditorium. If anyone wants to volunteer to help or present a portion of the program, please let me hear from you. Susie Dent,

Holiday Meeting on Dec. 10, 2009

We won't have a November meeting because of Thanksgiving but will meet on Thursday, December 10 at 6 p.m. in the Lee County Library. "Aunt Patsy" will provide some homespun humour while we celebrate the holiday season. Please bring a festive appetizer or finger food to share with the group. Drinks will be provided. Email Susie Dent at for more information.

Monday, October 19, 2009

October Meeting of the Society

Just a friendly reminder that our October meeting is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009 at the Lee County Library, Tupelo, MS. Please bring some family history to share. IF you have a family "ghost" story to share, we would love to hear all about it. We won't have a November meeting because of Thanksgiving but will meet on Thursday, December 10 at 6 p.m. in the Lee County Library. "Aunt Patsy" will provide some homespun humour while we celebrate the holiday season.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NEMS Daily Journal -- Spain House


Historic preservationists this week won their battle to save the century-old Spain House; now they must determine what to do with it.

After a few congratulatory words among themselves, members of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday plotted their next step.

It was the commission that had nominated the three-story house for local historic designation, which the City Council on Tuesday approved.

And it did so against the wishes of Calvary Baptist Church, which owns it.

The church said it wants the house gone and will pursue plans to either demolish it or find someone to move it to another location.

The designation will make that task harder, but not impossible, said church member Greg Pirkle.

“The church cannot use the house,” he told the Daily Journal.

Either the building will continue to deteriorate, the commission will find someone to take it or the church will look for a legal way to have it demolished, he said.

Commission members, though, want to see the house renovated at its existing location on the corner of West Main and Madison streets.

“I feel bad for the church, but we just really had to take a stand,” said Ward 4 Councilwoman Nettie Davis, who voted for the designation and also attended the commission’s meeting at City Hall.

“The Historic Preservation Commission needs to do something now,” she said.

“If we’re going to establish these designations then we need to do something to help support the owners.”

Suggestions included helping the church get the house on the National Register of Historic Places to be eligible for tax credits, which the church could then sell to make money and restore the house.

Or the commission could help the church get federal grant money through the Save America’s Treasure program, said Brad Prewitt, a resident who also is renovating a historic downtown house.

According to the National Park Service Web site, nearly 20 Mississippi structures have won nearly $5 million from the grant in the past nine years.

Prewitt urged the commission to seek the grant and make constant progress toward renovating the house.

Estimates to restore the house – which over the years has served as a family dwelling, funeral home and office space – range from $300,000 to $500,000.

“People are going to make a judgment based on how this process works and whether the house is restored,” Prewitt told the group at its meeting Thursday.

“You don’t want to hang the house around the neck of the church.”

Commission Chairman Michael Jones said it will take time to form an appropriate plan.

He also stressed that the group must continue to work with the church to find a win-win solution, if at all possible.

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or

MS Department of Archives and History

MDAH Taking Popular Program to Corinth!

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History is taking one of its most popular programs to Corinth in October. Personal Treasures, like the PBS program Antiques Roadshow, gives the public a chance to bring items for identification and evaluation by specialists.

Experts will offer tips on the conservation and care of the items, and although they cannot offer monetary values of objects, a list of appraisers will be available. Personal Treasures is being held in conjunction with the MDAH Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, October 16, in Corinth. Personal Treasures will be held Thursday, October 15, from noon to 5 p.m. and Friday, October 16, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Corinth Public Library. There is no charge to participate.

Categories are household items, books, maps, photographs, textiles, architectural elements, and military items (excluding weapons). An expert on genealogical research will also be available for consultation. MDAH staff will be on hand to exhibit resources from the state archives relating to Corinth, Alcorn County, and northeast Mississippi.

The MDAH board meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center and is open to the public. A public reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, at the Coliseum Civic Center. Kane Ditto, president of the board of trustees, will present resolutions of commendation to local organizations and citizens for contributions to the preservation and interpretation of Mississippi history. Board members and MDAH staff will also tour sites associated with the Siege and Battle of Corinth and other preservation highlights in the area, such as the Civil War Contraband Camp Memorial and the Verandah Curlee House.

Members of the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History are president Kane Ditto, Jackson; vice president Rosemary Taylor Williams, Corinth; Reuben V. Anderson, Jackson; Lynn Crosby Gammill, Hattiesburg; E. Jackson Garner, Jackson; Duncan M. Morgan, Natchez; Hilda Cope Povall, Cleveland; Martis D. Ramage, Jr., Belden; and Roland Weeks, Biloxi.

Personal Treasures is funded in part by the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Friday, September 18, 2009


This is a test post.

September Meeting Information

The Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogical Society will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2009 at the Oren Dunn Museum at Ballard Park on West Main Street, Tupelo, MS. Kenneth McGehee, curator and director of the museum, will present a program and host a tour of the facility. The program will be presented in the meeting room at the Tupelo Parks and Recreation building adjacent to the museum. A tour of the Oren Dunn Museum and outside exhibits will follow. The public is invited to attend. Admission will be free but donations are appreciated. The Society usually meets at the Lee County Library for its monthly meeting, so please be mindful that this is a change of meeting sites. For more information, contact Susie Dent,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meeting at Tupelo Veterans Museum

The monthly meeting of the Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogical Society will be at 6 p.m., Thursday, August 27, at the Tupelo Veterans' Museum at Ballard Park on West Main Street, Tupelo, MS. Mr. Tony Lute, curator and founder of the museum, will provide a program and tour of the museum. The Tupelo Veterans Museum pays tribute to the men and women who dedicate their lives to the concept of ensuring freedom for all Americans. Donations for the museum will be accepted. For more information, contact Susie Dent, 662-844-2307 or

The following description of the Tupelo Veterans' Museum is posted at

Tupelo Veterans Museum
Located in the Oren Dunn City Museum is a wonderful collection of memorabilia honoring the men and women who dedicated their lives to the concept of ensuring freedom for all Americans. Founded by Tony Lute, who began collecting WWII artifacts since he was 16, he has continued to pursue his mission by opening the museum and is grateful to the many donors who have entrusted him with their treasures.
Among the collection you will find a display signed by one of the last surviving marine that raised the flag on Iwo Jima, a Nazi banner, a clock from a crashed Japanese zero made by Seiko and still runs, a German luger, .32 caliber officer’s dress pistol and a 9 mm German Radem. In addition a nice assortment of weapons representing Allied and Axis countries, a Kreigs Navy Flag, Nazi K98 Mausers used at the battle of Stalingrad, two rifles which were captured by the Russians at the end of WWII, and many exhibits that children will enjoy.
The artifact collection includes items from every country that participated in the war. There are thousands of artifacts on display with some of the most interesting objects including the flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol at the hour the D-Day invasion began and a functioning clock from a Japanese kamikaze plane.
Open Tuesday-Friday, 9am-4pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. Closed Sunday and Monday but will open for special groups by appointment.
Admission is by donations. For more information call 662-844-1515 or by email

Monday, July 20, 2009

Invitation to contribute to Quarterly

While Melissa is away, the mice will play. I am inviting you all to contribute articles, queries, photos, Bible pages, court records, genealogy, family trees and history for publication in our "Quarterly". You may submit your items to: or contact me at the same email address for more information. You may also mail items to: NEMH&G Society, P.O. Box 434, Tupelo, MS 38802-0434. Without contributions from people like you, our Quarterly could not be possible. Thanks ya'll, Susie Dent, president and editor.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I will be away from the Library for much of the month of July -- I will be taking time off for Carpal Tunnel Surgery and time to recover from the surgery. If anyone needs to meet with me for help with the library's genealogy resources, please give me a call at 662-841-9013 to set up a time, so I can be sure to catch up with you while I am there!

The Lee County Library staff is always willing to help, but some are not as familiar with the library's genealogy resources as I am. Also, the Reference department will be running short of staff due to my absence and will not have as much opportunity to provide one-on-one assistance. Please let me know if I can make plans to assist anyone during the times I will be available.

Otherwise, I look forward to being at work again full-time beginning in August!

Have a wonderful summer!

Melissa Holekamp

Genealogy/Reference Librarian

Lee County Library


219 N. Madison St.

Tupelo, MS 38804

Friday, June 5, 2009

ProQuest is providing the Lee-Itawamba Library with a free two week trial for three of its online products.

This is only a trial - and we will only have access from 05 Jun 2009 to 19 Jun 2009.

Here are the three online products.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers - Boston Globe
ProQuest Newsstand

To log in, go to:

The password is: welcome


June Meeting!

"Usually, the members of the Northeast Mississippi Historical & Genealogical Society get together for a "Meet and Eat" fun meeting in June of each year. However, this year, this dinner meeting will not be held in June due to the number of people who will be out of town or who will be otherwise obligated. Instead, the Society members are invited to bring their own personal genealogy research to the Lee County Library, 219 N. Madison, Tupelo, MS to join others for a group workday. Please meet at 6 p.m. June 25, on the second floor Genealogy Department where Society member volunteers Jennell Murphey and Sandra Knight and others will be available to guide and advise on searching for ancestors using the Library's resources. For more information, email Susie Dent," - Susie Dent

Chief Tishomingo Honored

Susie Dent has forwarded me the following:

Thanks, Susie!

"A very special event will take place this weekend. On Saturday, June 6, 2009, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the historic Chickasaw Chief Tishomingo will be honored at the site of his old homestead west of Guntown, MS. Representatives from the Chickasaw Nation, headquartered in Ada, OK, will be in attendance when a historic marker will be unveiled on the farm now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Edwards. Traditional Chickasaw songs, dance and games will be performed.
Chief Tishomingo was the last chief to serve in North Mississippi before the tribe was forced to cede their lands and be removed to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) to be placed on reservations. The removal of the Chickasaws took place in 1834-35 when the 5 "Civilized Tribes" were forced on a journey called "The Trail of Tears" to Indian Territory.
Many towns, counties, historic sites and properties in northern Mississippi and Oklahoma have Chickasaw names. There is Tishomingo, town and county, in Mississippi, for example.
The public is invited to attend the event. Directions to the site: travel NORTH from Tupelo, MS on Highway 45 north, go about 10 miles to Guntown, MS and exit on Highway 348 WEST toward New Albany, MS. Go between 2 and 4 miles, more or less, turn RIGHT onto County Road 503 near the Blair Community, go about 1 mile. The marker will be seen on the left of the road on the property of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Edwards' farm.
For more information, contact Susie Dent,"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gordons of Lochinvar

Annette McGregor of Pontotoc County Library has sent us the following announcement. If anyone needs additional information, please contact her at 662-489-3960!

Thanks for letting us know, Annette!

Lunching With Books
Pontotoc County Library
June 9, 2009



Dr. Forrest T. Tutor, M.D.

The Gordons of Lochinvar descend from a notable Scot family and later were successful landowners in Chickasaw Indian Territory, which became North Mississippi. The book describes the life of James Gordon and his parents Robert and Mary Elizabeth from mid-nineteenth century to turn of the twentieth century America. It describes Colonel James Gordon's experiences during the Civil War, and transcribes his noteworthy address to the United States Senate long after Reconstruction shattered his fortune. Included are many of James Gordon's own poetry and hunting short stories, and Robert Gordon’s diary entries from several years prior to the War Between the States.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May Meeting

The Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogical Society will meet Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 6 p.m. in the Helen Foster Auditorium, Lee County Library, 219 North Madison, Tupelo, MS. Edwina Carpenter, director of Brices Crossroads National Battlefield and Visitors Center, Baldwyn, MS, will present a program on the Civil War Battleground and the upcoming Civil War re-enactment planned in June. The public is invited. For additional information, call Susie Dent, 662-844-2307 or email

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April Society Meeting

Hello all!

Sorry to be a bit late in publishing details about the upcoming NMSHGS meeting!

Susie Dent sent me the following information:

" World War II veteran Eugene Spearman from Tupelo, MS will present the next program for the Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogical Society. Mr. Spearman served in the Air Force during World War II and has been a participant in the Society's oral history program. He will tell stories of his experiences in combat and also will entertain by singing. The public is invited to attend.
"The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 6 p.m. in the Helen Foster Auditorium, Lee County Library, 219 North Madison, Tupelo, MS. For additional information, call Susie Dent, 662-844-2307 or email

Hope to see you all there!

Bill Miles at Columbus-Lowndes Public Library

I just received the following email from Mona Vance, archivist at the Columbus-Lowndes Library. Sounds like a wonderful program for anyone who is able to attend!

If you are interested, please contact Brenda Durrett at (662) 329-5300!


Former State Representative, newspaper editor-publisher and political consultant Bill Miles will be discussing his recently published memoir, Scribe Among Pharisees on Monday the 27th from 2 until 3 p.m. at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library.

The book is a collection of first-hand stories and memories of by-gone days. Miles chronicles more than a half century of Mississippi politics and southern life. Scribe Among Pharisees documents the good and the bad about Mississippi as seen through this newspaperman-educator-public relations/advertising executive turned politician.

Former Mississippi Governor William F. Winter who wrote the Foreword said: “Writing out of his own personal knowledge, Bill Miles is able to frame events in a way that makes us feel a part of the story - as we identify with various unforgettable characters this book brings to life. Reading this book is like unlocking a vault where heretofore unknown tales are stored.”

Bobby Harrison, Capitol Bureau Chief for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, said: “As a journalist-private businessman and politician, Bill Miles has seen history made in Mississippi and in some instances helped make it. He compellingly puts his journalistic instincts to work in Scribe Among Pharisees whether talking about farm life and a three-legged cat in Itawamba County, covering crime in Northeast Mississippi and the integration of the University of Mississippi, consulting for some of the state’s most powerful politicians or serving in the Mississippi Legislature. Bill has an easy, enjoyable writing style that makes his recollections even the more memorable.”

Bill Miles grew up on a farm in Itawamba County as the youngest of five children. He attended Itawamba Junior College (now Itawamba Community College) and received his B.A. with a major in journalism from the University of Mississippi. He has worked for various newspapers including The Birmingham, AL News, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Press Scimitar and the Daily News (Jackson, MS). Later, he formed the magazine Mid-South Publications, Inc. and was instrumental in creating Bristow-Miles Associates, Inc., the region’s first advertising and public relations firm. In 1996, Miles was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives for District 21 where he served for the next twelve years.

For further information about Miles’ presentation at the library, contact Brenda Durrett at (662) 329-5300.

Hope to see you all there!

Mona K. Vance
Local History Room
Columbus-Lowndes Public Library
314 North Seventh Street
Columbus, MS 39701

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March Meeting - Women's History Month!

Susie Dent sent me the following information about our meeting for March. We'd love to have a good group for this meeting! Please plan to attend - visitors are welcome!

" This month's program is in observance of Women's History Month. We will meet at 6 p.m.
Thursday, March 26 in the Helen Foster Auditorium at the Lee County Library, Tupelo, MS.

Mrs. Alice Ruth Chastain will present a program on her life experiences and her memories of internment in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Manilla, Phillipines, during World War II. She has authored a book "Pioneer Girl" which will be available after the program and outside the library building. We aren't allowed to sell anything inside the library building.

Mrs. Chastain is a professor of nursing having earned her PhD in nursing from Union University School of Nursing in Jackson, TN. She was born of missionary parents in Manila, Philippines shortly before WWII and was interned with her family in Santa Tomas Internment Camp until liberated in 1945. She has four children and nine grandchildren. She lives in Saltillo, MS. (Note: she was my nursing instructor in 1980 at ICC). She recently made a trip to China to the sites where her parents were missionaries and to where her father is buried.

Just a little serendipity to mention here: one of our Historical Society's members Faye Moreland called me this morning. Her brother was one of the soldiers who opened the gates of Santo Tomas for General McArthur to enter and liberate the camp. It was likely that Mrs. Chastain saw him then since she remembers when McArthur entered the camp. She was around 4 years old at the time.

Ya'll come if you can make it. Susie Dent, Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogical Society ..."

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Please join us for our February Meeting! Here are details I received from Susie Dent, society President.

"The Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogical Society will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 in the Helen Foster Auditorium, Lee County Library, 219 N. Madison, Tupelo, MS.
In observance of Black History Month, Mrs. Margaret Baker will present a program on 'Look How Far We've Come', a brief narrative on the Mrs. Baker's Allen Family of Verona. The program will contain songs and stories about the family from her birth in 1938 to the present day in 2009.
Mrs. Baker states 'I am a proud resident of the city of Verona. I retired from Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1999 after 32 years of service. I was elected the first African-American female alderman in 2001. I am a community volunteer, a certified T'ia Chi Chih teacher, certified Municipal Official and owner of Hems 'N More Alteration Shop. My passion is working to make a difference in the lives of others.'
The public is invited to attend the meeting. For more information, contact Susie Dent, 844-2307."

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Susie Dent, President of the NMSHGS, sent me the following email regarding our January Meeting,

"As many of you 'history' buffs know, Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, MS. The Tupelo community and Elvis fans from around the world celebrate his birthday every January 8. We at the Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogical Society are joining in on the celebration by having a program on the 'Genealogy of Elvis'.

"Longtime Tupelo historian Julian Riley has been researching the family tree of Elvis for more than 11 years. He shares his discoveries on his personal website: (There is a fee to view the complete genealogy). Julian will be presenting a program on the 'Genealogy of Elvis' at 6 p.m., Thursday, January 22, 2009 at the Lee County Library for the Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogical Society. Julian has been a presenter of several programs for the Society and his topics and presentations are always very interesting and well received.

"The public is invited to attend. For more information, contact Susie Dent at"

Hope to see you there!