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100 Years Ago!

Extracts from the

Fayette, Jefferson County, Mississippi Chronicle

Friday 20-Feb-1903.

100 Years Ago: Fayette Road Rage


Extracts from the Fayette, Jefferson County, Mississippi Chronicle Friday 20-Feb-1903.

Transcriber’s comments in [brackets.]  Bold emphasis by transcriber’s odd sense of humor.


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“The Grand Jury Report


“Severe Arraignment of the Board of Supervisors For the Condition of the Public Roads


“The grand jury begs leave to report that it has been in session four days, and that its labors have resulted as follows:  Witnesses examined, 125; true bills, 7; cases ignored, 8; case continued, 1.


“We have examined all county officers' books, through a committee appointed by our foreman, and find them all correct.


“We have examined the jail in a body, and find same unsafe and very much in need of repairs.  There is no separate apartment for the keeping of male and female prisoners comfortable and warm, and we recommend that the attention of the Board of Supervisors be called to same.


“Your Grand Jury further reports that they investigated the condition of the public roads of the county, and they [find] and report that the public roads are in a most horrible condition.  The fact is, we are unable to convey our idea of how bad they are in this report.  They are simply impassable, even on horseback, in some places.  We have been delayed in getting witnesses on account of the impassibility [impossibility] of passage over the public roads.  The condition of the roads in the eastern part of the county is simply horrible and a disgrace to the people of the county, and a standing shame on the Board of Supervisors.  We have found great difficulty in locating the blame - whether on the Board of Supervisors or on the contractors - that is, we mean, and say, criminal responsibility.  We have no hesitation, from the evidence before us, in charging the Board of Supervisors with dereliction of duty in the matter of public roads.  We are advised that the Board of Supervisors has ample authority to force them to perform their contract, but it certainly has failed to do so.  We recommend to the Court that the Board be notified, by service of a copy of this report, that the public roads must be improved and worked; that we hold the Board of Supervisors responsible for the horrible condition in which the roads are, and we also recommend that unless the Board takes immediate action to rectify this condition of affairs, the District Attorney be requested to look after the Board of Supervisors in the most efficient way possible, and as in his judgment may seem best.  There is no excuse for the condition of the public roads, and we want the Board of Supervisors to understand that it is elected for the purpose of looking after the public roads, and that it is a part of its duty to do so.  We feel that we ought, in the interest of the public, to make this recommendation strong and demand that the Board see that the roads are improved.


“We wish to tender our thanks to your Honor and the District Attorney as well as other officers of this Court for their valuable assistance rendered us during the session of the Grand Jury.


“There being no urgent business which deem it necessary to examine into, we respectfully ask your Honor for our final discharge.


“R. R. Liddell, Foreman.”


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The Fayette Chronicle, B. C. Knapp, manager, leased by Schober Printery.  One sheet, four pages.


In six separate fillers, the editor waxes wroth over the lack of sidewalks.  “If the Federal government could be interested in the work to the extent of sending a dredge-boat here we might have the sidewalks(?) made navigable and the town converted into a modern Venice.”  Italics in original.


Two $1 donations by E. Konke and Dr, Konke brought the Confederate Memorial Fund up to $304.  A monument would be erected in front of the courthouse two years later.


District Attorney Ratcliff arrested 3 white men and Judge Truly issued warrants for 22 others, for “white-cap outrages” or Ku Klux Klan activities in other counties.  The editor applauds the D.A. and the judge, and condemned this “ignorant and anarchistic ... class of people.”  However, the editor chose discretion over valor by not naming the accused, giving no details of the “outrages,” or even mentioning the KKK by name.


The newspaper reported no other crimes.  The paper does report two dozen or more social visits among friends and families. There are about 50 ads for retail businesses and services, ¾ from Fayette and ¼ from Natchez.  There are a dozen or more ads for patent medicines, most masquerading as news items.  Since Fayette is the county seat, ten professionals placed business-card ads.  Real estate for sale consisted of five small farms, two large farms, and one “nice frame dwelling” in Fayette.  One store in town was up for rent, and a 230 acre plantation was available for four 425lb cotton bales annually.  The Illinois Central, the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley, and the Gulf & Ship Island railroads advertised their passenger services and connections.  A single “white woman cook wanted” ad comprised the entire help-wanted section.


Announced candidates for public office.  Steve D. McNair “for twelve years the efficient chancery clerk of Jefferson county,” candidate for Railroad Commissioner. J. S. Hicks, Floater Representative.  M. P. McGary and C. W. Whitney Jr., Representative.  J. O. Davenport, T. L. Darden and Felix R. Noble, Sheriff.  J. C. Shelton, Chancery Clerk.  C. C. Coffey, J. S. McCallum and Geo. V. D. Schober, Circuit Clerk.  Jas. F. McCaleb, J. Rives Wade and W. Boles Johnson, Treasurer.  T. B. Hammett and W. P. Sanders, Tax Assessor.  Capt. D. S. Burch and J. Edgar Torrey, Supt. of Education.  Allen Nevels and I. O. Segrest, Supervisor Dist 1.  James Stowers, C. M. Mardis and W. M. Geoghegan, Supervisor Dist 3.  F. W. Wilkinson, Magistrate Dist 1.


Social columns mention the F. Krause family; Mrs. (Dr.) J. C. McNair and Miss Sallie McNair; Rev. W. H. Saunders; Miss Gussie Guilminot; Misses Frances and Alma Gordon; Mrs. B. Straas and children; L. B. Harris, former Y&MV agent; Miss Mamie Coffey who broke her arm jumping rope; all of Fayette.  Mrs. S. K. Ellis of Lorman.  T. Y. Calhoun of Red Lick.  Capt. C. B. Richardson of Church Hill.  C. C. Kelley “one of Mizpah’s most promising young men.”  J. S. O’Quin of Mizpah.  Misses Carrie Jones and Lizzie Foster of McBride.  Miss Annie Brown and Mrs. J. S. Brown of Mizpah.  Master B. H. Wade Jr. born at Prospect Hill. Bulard Wade of Red Lick “kicked the marriage ball” [engaged?]


The editor reprinted an item from the New Orleans Times-Democrat, advocating local option voting instead of statewide liquor prohibition.  In the editor's view, “a vast majority of the thinking people of this good old State will endorse” local option. 


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Front page four-column-inch display ads.  Nalty & Larsen, Plumbers. Geo. V. D. Schober, Fayette Oil Works. Whitney’s Drug Store. McGinty’s Café, J. P. Darden, manager. L. W. Carradine, general mdse. W. A. Dent, livestock.


Front page one-column-inch business card ads. J. E. Torrey, attorney. J. S. Hicks & T. M. Shelton, attorneys. Will R. Easterling, attorney. A. C. McNair & J. A. Ramsay, attorneys. R. L. [Robert] Corbin, attorney. L. B. McLaurin, D.D.S. dentist. J. J. Watts dentist. W. H. H. Lewis, M.D. physician and surgeon. J. H. Carradine, M.D. physician and surgeon. L. R. Harrison & J. C. McNair, physicians and surgeons.


Other ads. Geo. R. Hurley, manager Southside Plantation at Rodney, sells “First-class Boards and Shingles.”  J. M. Coffey has two dozen Poland China pigs for sale.  Mrs. J. C. Flemins has a store for rent.  A. Seligman & Bro. General Store, Harriston.  Jefferson County Bank “Capital Stock $25,000 / Surplus $2,000”; L. Cohn, president; S. Hirsch, vice pres.; Geo. V. D. Schober, cashier; D. Holder, asst. cashier; L. Cohn, S. Hirsch, Geo. V. D. Schober, Jeff Truly, B. Straus, J. H. McBride, J. J. Ledden, directors.  R. R. Liddell, general mdse.  Jenkins Brothers, painters and paper hangers.  Noble & Smith, lumber and shingles.  Sam Phillips “The People’s Friend and Price-Cutter,” not clear what he sells.  Attorney W. R. Easterling offers to lend money on “improved, productive farms” at 8% for five years.


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Fayette, two petitions for liquor license renewal, Thomas Bradford McGinty at “Devenport Corner” west side of Main St. and Albert Jonas Weibel at “Guilminot Corner” east side of Main, received by Geo. V. D. Schobel, Fayette town clerk.  Identical lists of signers, all residents of Fayette.  James Alfred Ramsay, Noel Anapias Killingsworth, Eugene Hamilton Reber, Bennett A. Truly, Frederick Louis Schober, Joseph Houston Nelson, James Mathew Jenkins, Robert Thomas Christian, Joseph Perry Case, Marshall Washington Smith, Albert Isaac Krause, Jake Simon Krause, Bernhard Straas, Whitefield Martin Geoghegan, Marx Netter, Sam Phillips, Perry Jefferson Case, John Valentine Arnold, Clyde DeWitt Culley, Leonard Francis Huber, Turner Punkston Blackwell, John Fletcher Day, William Stewart Gordon, Richard Daniels, Willie Faulkner, Louis Keys, Sidney Rowan Wells, Ben McRee, Sumner Daniels, Nelson Reed, James Madison Gibson, John Crone, Ed Chaney, Surry White, Louis Bunley, Clarence Simpson, Sam Hill, John Whitney Howard, Henry McCoy, Caman Taylor, William Butler, Anderson Reed, Willson White, Clinton Harrison, Mike Howard, Johny Rollins, Willie Lomax, Elzar Anderson, George Monroe Harrell, Thomas Crone, Monroe Cheeks, Lal Gant, Henry Anderson, Mike Hall, John Doyle, William Jones, Ira Arthur King, Charley Clark, Thomas Mode Shelton, David Hunt Reed, Merriman Thomas, Stiles Coleman, Louis Rucker, Louis Adolphus Robinson, Floyd Wallace, John Williams, Davin Claiborne Weston, Alcibiade Louis Boutin, Henry Clay Rucker, Benjamin Doyle, Clarence Stanly Fairly, Edmond Rodgers Edmunds, Pat Darden, Kinsman Devine Dennis, Louis Hobbs Freeman, Dumont Sidney Freeman, Arthur Sherry, Joe Johnson Watts.


Rodney, one petition for liquor license renewal, Joseph Lorenzo Burkley, received by Dan. E. Moran, Rodney town clerk.  Signers all residents of Rodney.  Daniel Edward Moran, John Ernest Paul, Percy Gaines Alston, Otto Ferdnand Pape, William Louis Schwartz, Abe Flonacher, Fritz Miller, George Schober, Aug Reitze, Luke Thomas Moran, Henry Louis Mackie, Edward Alluoious [Aloysius?] Winkler, Alexander Winkler, Claude Blunt Stuart, Peter Turner, Robert Harris Smith, James Prosser, Abe Jonathan Lomax, William Clarence Demby, William Douglas Smith, Leonard Shields, Edward Lee Heckler, James Watson, John Thomas, Newman Jackson, Richard Agnest Jr., Stanley Burkley, Allen Wheatly, Richard Soloman Agnest, Horace Wheatly, John Francis O’Brien, George Fitzgerald Agnest, Henry Haacks, William Wilson, Alex Clarence Williams, Thomas Howard Agnest, Isaac Turner, Frank McAllen, Frank Hall, Turner Sullivan, Thomas Hubbard Beck, Jack Willis, Lisle Almer Trimble, John Winkler.


Delinquent tax sale by J. C. Shelton, Sheriff, listing about 55 real properties to be sold in Fayette 02-Mar-1903 for delinquent f.y. 1902 taxes.  Over half were owned by "estate of" or "unknown."  Most were farms from 20 up to 400 acres, and all but five owed less than $10; the largest, 1460 acres for $116.63; the smallest, a vacant lot in the Town of Rodney, owner unknown, to be sold for 6¢ state tax, 9¢ county, 1¢ penalty, and 20¢ printer's fee, total 36¢.  Van Belton, estate N. D. Buckley, Mrs. H. D. Fairly, Wm. F. Hardie, W. D. Galbreath, Mrs. M. A. McCormick, est. P. W. Weeks, S. S. Martin, Mrs. J. R. Osborne, Essex Reed, Charlott Scott, Nannie A. Benard, L. O. Andrews, est. Brister Claiborne, Allen Stampley, B. D. Tickle, W. G. McNair, Susan Reed, S. Stampley, Ike Turner, Hy. Washington, A. B. Horton, H. & C. Newman, Dave Currie, W. B. Taylor, A. H. Carraway, Mrs. Alma Carraway, Edward Fields and wife, Mary Cole, Cunningham Jones, O. H. McGinty, F. A. Fulton, Rebecca Ballard, Simpson Solsby, Jno. Tolls, Joe Tolls, Gelena Watson, Miss L. R. Fletcher, Junkin bros., Arthur Russell, Lizzie Bush, Miss Ella Fletcher, est. Levy Elsy, Port Payne, Annie Bailey, est. Dr. F. W. Coleman, James Stewart heirs, Emily Gray, Mrs. T. O. Smith, Clarrissa Bradford.


Rodney, in the case of E. L. Bolls v. C. M. Bolls et al, court-ordered sale of two tracts somehow involving Mrs. Cora M. Bolls, Clara E. Bolls, Willie E. Bolls, Frankie A. Bolls, Sarah Leighton, Wm. B. Griffing.


Contributed by: Bruce D. Liddell

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