In 1904 he was made Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School, which office he has filled ever since. He married Miss Minnie Hamilton, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Tommie Hamilton, honored citizens of Booneville. Mr. & Mrs. Taylor have two daughters, Mrs. Ruth Michel, Richmond, Va. and Mrs. Ted Rees, Meridian and 2 grandchildren.
Mr. "Jake" as so many call him is the son of Col. C. A. Taylor. He is a typical mental type who has great endurance for volume and big capacity, accurate for details, where brain work is required. His towering intellect is braced with poise, fortified with honesty, kept healthy with a storehouse of general information and activated with the characteristic Taylor dignity and southern courtesy. Mr. Jake Taylor is the type of citizen that builds and sustains and makes strong, a town, a county, a state and a nation. All honors to the citizen who does honest work, makes an honest living, pays his honest bills, lives an upright life and extends human sympathy to his fellow man - honor and appreciation to Mr. Jake Taylor.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent December
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
It is with much pleasure that we present this popular and well-known citizen and businessman of Booneville. Doubtless most of our readers know him personally and appreciate the acquaintance.
Roy F. Bonds came into the home of Mr & Mrs Wright Bonds in the hills of the Fifth District, about nine miles east of Booneville on 31 June 1894, being the sixth of a family of eight children in this home. His Mother and all the brothers and sisters are still living; the father passed into the beyond about 28 years ago. His boyhood days were spent in about the same manner as most of the boys back in the rural districts in those days.
Roy is a descendant of two of the oldest families of the county, the Bonds and the Holleys. Wright W. Bonds, the great-grandfather, came to old Tishomingo County in 1837, one year after the first settlements were made by the whites. He was Justice of Peace, Tax Collector, Deputy Sheriff, and for more than ten years preceding the Civil War was Circuit Clerk and Chancery Clerk of the county. In 1860 he was chosen as one of the delegates from Tishomingo County to the Secession Conven-tion of Mississippi. He had served with credit in some of the early Indian Wars and the family prizes the honorable discharge given to him and now in their possession. Roy's grandfather Bonds was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Roy's first schooling was obtained at the "old Bucksnort" school, and after a few years in this small country school he entered school at Jacinto. In a few years he began teaching in the rural schools and followed that for about five years. He never had the opportunity to go to college. After this he entered the U.S. Railway Mail Service and worked there about two years/ when he resigned and purchased the interest of G.J. Pounds in the firm of Pounds and Walden, when the name of the firm was changed to Bonds and Walden. During the ten years this firm has run, they have served and served well, the peopl of Booneville and the Booneville trade territory. They are now one of the outstanding firms in Booneville, carrying a full and complete line of dry goods and groceries. They buy much of the cotton marketed here.
About fifteen years ago
Mr Bonds was united in marriage to Miss Nettie Smith, daughter of the late
A.J. Smith of the Burton community. To them has been born one child, Sara,
a charming little lady, now attending the Booneville School where she is
Mr Bonds always takes an active part in the affairs of town and county, being greatly interesed in such progressive movement as will better the conditions of the general citizen-ship. He numers his friends by his acquaintances and always has a hearty greeting for everyone he meets.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 17 January 1930
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
One of the outstanding men of Prentiss County is the subject of this sketch. Homer William Parker firs saw the light of day in Prentiss County on 31 July 1895. He is the son of Charley W. and Lula Bolt Parker. He came up in the ordinary surroundings of the youth of his time. He attended the public schools of the county, and helped in the work in the fields and around the home. After getting all the education that the common schools afforded at that time, he entered the Agricultural High School of Alcon County, at Kossuth, where he stayed for two years. He then went to the A & M College of Mississippi, where he finished his course in 1921. He made a special study of the Agricultural courses with especial attention to vocational agriculture.
He joined the U.S. Army
in 1918 and was in the service for six months, being stationed at Camp
Pike. Returning from the Army he went back to A & M College and resumed
The first year after leaving College, he taught literary work in a Louisiana School. He then came to the Pisgah High School, when it became a Smith- Hughes School, and was placed at the head of this department. He made a success of his work there, and did a great deal to instill into its pupils practical Knowledge of orcharding, terracing and dairying,
This department placed Pisgah at the head of the Smith - Hughes Schools of this section. At the end of the last session he resigned his work there and took up the work at Wheeler, which had become a Smith - Hughes school. He hpoes that his opportunity will be greater there and that much good may be done in the promoting of agricultural interests. He is a strong believer in the possibilities of dairying, When the organization of the dairy interests was made last winter he was unanimously elected President of the Dairy Association. He is co-operating with the county agent in every possible way to develop Prentiss County along all the lines of its wonderful possibilities.
About 4 years ago he was united in marriage with Miss Bonnie Robertson, only daughter of Mr. & Mrs. 0. B. Robertson, of near Booneville. They have one child, Raymond, now about three years old.
Mr. Parker is quiet and unassuming. He is a close student and observer, well fitted to put into practice the knowledge he has gained. He believes in Prentiss County and hopes to see the day when this section will blossom as the rose
Source: The Booneville Independent, 16 Aug 1929
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
We hear a great deal these days about dairying, farming diversified and intensified, living at home and such like. We believe that in Edgar L. Marshall is exemplified a pretty good combination of the man so often pictured but so rarely found. Mr Marsha is not a wealthy man, in fact he has never owned a home. Fourteen years ago he moved to the farm of Mr W.T. Barnett of Booneville. This farm is one of the best in the county, located near Wheeler on Highway 45.
Mr. Marshall worked in different ways, as tenant, as over seer and farm manager. A little more than two years ago, he rented this farm on the "srd and 4th", as the custom is. There are about 150 acres in this particular farm. We are going to give an account of his record for the past season. He sub-rented a part of this land to tenants on the "Halves". In his own individual operations he had about 50 acres. of this he had 20 acres in cotton, gathering from this crop 18 bales, and after ginning, wrapping and rent was paid he had $1159.42 to his part and the seed brought him another $225.00. He planted the Delta Pine Land Seed and sold his crop for a premium of one to one and one-half cents per pound and the yield was fully equal to the half and half variety so generally planted. He raised 800 bushels of corn to his part on 25 acres. From the share tenants he received as his share $829.45 for cotton; $210.00 for cottonseed and 135 bushels of corn. He raised and killed 8 hogs for his own use and sold $132.65 worth of hogs. He also chickens and eggs to the amount of $25.00.
On 1 November 1927, he began to sell milk to the plant at Baldwyn and has not missed a day since. He has milked 6 cows, 5 of which are registered Jerseys, and after keeping back plenty for home use, sold last year $626.00 worth. Last year he also raised heifers worth $150.00. He and his son hav done the milk-ing and the best part of it, he raised his feed at home and was not out over $25.00 in cash for any sort of feed. He had four acres in alfalfa and Johnson grass hay, and soybeans were planted in his corn. He swapped cottonseed for cottonseed meal and crushed his own corn.
He has a tractor, disc harrows, two-row planter, cultivator, mowing machine and other necessary farm tools. He uses the tractor to furnish power for crushing his corn. He says he could not farm without the tractor; he first flat breaks his land with a two-horse plow and then uses the tractor and disc to get it in shape for planting; following these with his two-row planter. He and his tenants work through and through during the breaking and planting season; the tenants are given the full use and benefit of the improved machinery, with no extra expenses/ except to pay for gas and oil for the tractor in their part of the breaking. The milk checks received enabled him to pay "spot-cash" for the necessary supplies during the year.
The Marshalss home is located in a beautiful grove near Highway 45, about seven miles from Booneville. It is ideally situated with reference to school, trucks from two schools passing the home each school day. Edgar was born near Dumas, about 43 years ago, son of Mr. & Mrs. J.L. Marshall; he married Miss. Sally Lou Covington. There are now four bright children in the home, Russell, 19; Harold,14; Mildred, 9 and W.T. 7. The oldest daughter Miss Anna was married to Mr J.B. Smith of Baldwyn a year ago and only lived a few months after her marriage. Her death brought much and lasting sorrow to this happy home.
They are giving their children every advantage possible in the way of education. Russell, the oldest boy, is a member of the 4-H Calf Club, organized last year and is very proud of his splendid Jersey Heifer, due to freshen in May. He will be heard from when the time for the annual show comes around.
Mr. Marshall has seen the light and succeeded by grit and determination; there are hundreds of others in the county who may do as well; he is given as a worthy example of the wonderful possibilities in Prentiss County; his success can be duplicated for there are many not so heavily handicapped as he when he began to look to the future. With him the dairy business has been mainly a side-line, but the income has been him on easy street during the times when money is scarce. He has only kept the cows he could well attend to without extra expense.
He has kept an accurate set of books on what he did for the past year and the figures speak for themselves. We hope to be able to give figures from others soon and a year hence many more. When Prentiss County is fully developed along these lines we can truly say that we have the best County in the South. We entend hearty congratulations to Mr. Marshall and his splendid wife and children and wish for them the greatest success in the years to come.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 7 February 1930
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
Nearly three score years ago, J. B. Howser first looked upon the world, near Shelby, North Carolina, and when about twoyears of age, his parents , Lorenzo C. and Sarah Logan Howser, came to Prentiss County and settled near Booneville. Here it was that Baxter grew up into manhood, attending the county's best schools. of the children, only Baxter and a sister, Mrs. Georgia McClamroch, survive. The Father, L.C. Howser, became a prominent citizen, noted for his unswerving honesty and integrity, and fedility to every duty as a honored citizen.
In young manhood, Baxter wooed and won the heat of Miss Fannie Walthall, with whom he was united in marriage. Mrs. Howser was a daughter of Mr & Mrs R.P. Walthall, honored pioneers of this section. To their union was born three children, of whom two sons survive, Miss Sadie their daughter, passed away just as she was entering the threshold of beautiful young womanhood, leaving a lasting sorrow in this household.
Mr & Mrs Howser have lived on the farm, in a sububban home, beautifully located, where they are surrounded with many things that make life worth living. Here they have the things that usually go with a well managed farm and close enough to town to enjoy its privileges. They are devoted members of the Baptist Church, doing their bit in its activities. Mrs. Howser has been a member of the Eastern Star for a long time and has been quite prominent in its work. She is also a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and of the Women's Missionary Society of the Baptist Church.
Mr. Howser is one of the original boosters for the breeding of dairy cattle, and is glad to see the interest now being taken along that line. He has been a breeder and booster of pure high-bred Jersey cattle for nearly 40 years. In former years he won several prizes for his cattle that were exhibited at local fairs. He paid some attention to breeding hogs, but has done very little along that line of late.
His main attention has been directed to the breeding of high class Brown Leghorn Chickens, When he first started this line he catered to the strickly fresh egg trade, and sold his output to hotels, where he obtained fancy prices the year round.
He has one of the best bred flocks of single comb Brown Leghorn chickens in the country, and has taken the most of the Blue Ribbons wherever his birds were exhibited. He has never taken up with the hatchery business, devoting his attentions exclusively to raising stock for breeding purposes and the production of eggs for hatching. He ships his products all over the country especially the South. He has advertised extensively and wherever Brown Leghorns are known, he is known. He is always on the alert to get the best blood possible for his flocks.
This work keeps him constantly on the alert, but he finds time to enjoy life, has earned quite a competency, and feels assured of a good income, as the result of his close attention to his work. He takes a pleasure in serving his friends and patrons , He and his splendid wife richly deserve the success they have achieved. They are good examples of what may be accomplished where there is a determination to succeed coupled with goods.ense and the proper energy.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
Mrs. Robert E. Greene, Mrs. Fannie, as so many call her, was born at Blackland, daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. Tom Dalton, and granddaughter of Col. Terry Dalton, one of the early settlers of this county. She was reared north of town. In 1898 she was united in marriage to Mr Robert E. Greene. To this union four children have been born all living and married. R. E Jr., is engaged in business at Henderson, Tenn. Roy G. is employed by the Booneville Brick and Tile Company. Mrs. W. H. Yarber lives at Belmont and Mrs. C.E. Harring in Natchez.
About 11 years ago the doctors of Booneville bagan to have need of guinea pigs, at this time they had to be ordered from New Orleans and other places7 Mrs. Greene had a keen insight for service and for business. She was encouraged by the medical profession, which used the pigs. She began with 6 pigs. She did not go on the theory that a pig is a pig but she was sure that a guinea pig was distinct and a part and that it would take pig knowledge to succeed in the industry. Mrs. Greene studied the guinea pig in all his likes, dislikes, tastes, and weaknesses.
She learned by reading and
by observation. She knows the guinea pig and the guinea pig industry. Where
10 years ago 6 guinea pigs grewas she now makes 600 grow, and without doubt
she is a benefactor to industry in Prentiss County. Mrs. Greene is an example
of just what we need in Booneville and Prentiss County. A thousand women
would never have seen the opportunity and they would never have done the
job. She had the vision. She created a business.
It has grown now to a thousand dollars a year income. The chances are that the half has not yet been told. She has shown the way to others. She helps others by handling some pigs for them. Where tis guinea Pig business will stop no one know. It may become an outstanding industry to scores of people in Prentiss County. Our county may be known for its guinea pig industry. Thousands of the little animals are used in laboratory work every day throughout the country, some are wanted for pets. They are used for making certain blood tests and for testing out certain infections, making the diagnosis and also measuring the dosage of vaccines. To their use in medicine there is hardly an end. We have not had a person who more richly deserves a place in our "Who's Who" column than does Mrs. Greene. She has proven herself to be a woman of insight and industry, a creator of a fine business. We may depend upon her type, to solve more economical problems than an army of governors or United States Senators. If the average farmer had half the ingenuity and industry that Mrs. Greene has, his creditors would already be relieved. We congratulate Mrs. Greene and it gives us pleasure to place her in our column.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 23 August 1929
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
Mr. Gifford's name, Sterling is very applicable to the man. He has many sterling qualities. He is and has been one of the cornerstones of the Blackland Community for many years. Mr. Gifford is a native of Tennessee/ but came with his parents to Mississippi when about ten years old, and has remained here ever since. He came into the world in 1846, making him now about 84 years young. His father was one of the brave boys in gray and served the entire four years of the bitter conflict. Sterling was the "Handy)' boy in his family and for the neighbors. He no doubt saw quite as hard service as the boys in actual conflict. It was this to do and that to try to produce enough to keep body and soul together. No people ever endured more during and after the War Between the States. During this war when there had been some fighting between the Yankees and Confederates near Pisgah, two pretty, fat, sleek, gray Yankee horses came dashing by without riders. Young Sterling succeeded in catching them and carrying them away to the woods. He kept them for awhile, but had to give them up later for the Grays to use in the war. This all but broke his heart.
No one knows more of the actual conditions that existed better than does Mr. Gifford. He became an expert in operating "Salt Hoppers". There was no salt to be had. It was his business to dig up the dirt of all the old smokehouses and put it in the hopper, a big barrel usually, and keep water in it until all the salt was leached out and then this brine was boiled down until all the salt obtained. He was also the mill boy for the community. The old water mills were several miles away, often on Hatchie. He would get a wagon, jog along and the good women along the road would hail him down with their sacks of corn. He would get so many at times that he would have to stay a day or two, to get all his corn ground into meal. He would sleep in the wagon, but no provision had been made for his meals and many times he got mighty hungry, when on these trips.
He has been a substantial farmer for forty years or more on the spot where he now resides. He does business on the square. He believes in making an honest living and paying his debts promptly. This he has done for all these years. He was d strong friend and a great admirer of the late John B. Sanders. He felt great pride in the wonderful record of this able and progressive citizen.
Mr. Gifford was married
to Miss Emma Mauldin, who is a year or two older than he is, and who has
been a faithful helpmate all these years. To this union were born seven
children, two sons and five daughters, four of whom survive: Otis, who
lives nearby; John of Houston, Texas; Mrs. Gertie Busby of New Albany and
Mrs. Hester Stokes of Memphis.
The couple have been substantial community builders, the type that build and sustain a nation. They have many friends who wish for them many years yet. Mr. Gifford is active. He drives his buggy mule into town every few days and looks after his farm. The Independent offers congratulations and best wishes.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 20 June 1930
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
We present here Monroe C. Plunk although he has been a citizen here but a few years. He is a railroad man, being the Section Foreman, and has made good in his work.
Mr. Plunk saw the light of day on 14 July 1890, at Ham-burg, Hardin County, Tennessee. He began his work as a rail-roader at the age of 19, as a trackman at Verona. He soon became assistant foreman, and was then given the Okolona Section as foreman. From there he became yard Forman at Jackson, Tennessee, and later was at the head of the steel gang for a few years.
In1926 he came to Booneville as foreman of the local Section. Several months ago he was appointed to fill a vacancy as general chairman for the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees of the Mobile & Ohio and Columbus & Greenville Railways. His services were so satisfactory that he was recently elected for a full three-year term in this position.
This Organization has to do with the fair and equitable rates of wages, for those employed in truck, bridge and building departments of railroad work. Mr. Plunk is striving at all times to make better labor conditions for those so employed. It is to the efficiency and care of these humble employees that we are enabled to ride the rails with safety and security.
This position carries with it much responsibility and Plink devotes much of his time to his work with the organization, and is called to various cities where many conferences are held with the higher railroad officials of the various depart-ments. When away from home he is glad to boost his hometown, telling of the splendid little city.
All honor to these employees
who hold themselves in read-iness for any emergency; no matter how hot
the sun, how cold the wintery winds, how hard it rains, how deep the snow,
how high the waters, how great the dangers from accident and exposure nor
how long the hours, they are ready to render their services that the wheels
of commerce may roll and business go ahead.
In 1911 Mr. Plunk married Miss Julie Ann Ivey of Tupelo; to them has been born two sons and a daughter. Mr. & Mrs. Plunk are members of the Baptist Church and take part in all its activities, they are good citizens and always ready to do their part in making Booneville a good town.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 3 January 1930
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
Thirty - eight years isn't a bery long time, but plenty long enough for a man to make good.
Back in 1891 J. Alvin Bolton was born over in the south-eastern part of the county, near Marietta, the youngest of ten children. He received a grammar school education in the Booneville School and spent a year in college at Henderson, Tenn. At the end of that time in 1908, his father, Mr. J.H. Bolton, one of the hardy and well-loved pioneers, passed away and Alvin was forced to quit college. His schooling, however, had done him good and he accepted a position with the Tays Gin as a bookkeeper, serving in that capacity for 11 Years.
In 1925 Mr. Bolton, with his brother, R.L., established the Bolton Brothers electric cotton gin in east Booneville, and since that time has been in active charge of this business. During the five seasons they have been operating they have ginned a total of approximately 17,000 bales. Besides the cotton business, Mr. Bolton has the local Whippet Agency and conducts a garage and service station in connection. Since taking over this Agency he has sold a great many whippets, although he has not been pushing the sales and very strenuously for the past several months on account of other business occupying his time.
In 1911 Mr. Bolton was united
in marriage to Miss Anna Jameison, of Henderson, Tenn., who has been a
faithful helpmeet. To them have been born 4 children, 3 of whom are living.
They have a fine home near his place of business, which makes it convenient
for him in his work.
He has recently erected several other business places next to his garage, including a grocery store, lunchroom and barbershop. These he has rented out to active, wide-awake men who are doing fine business.
During the years Mr. Bolton has been in contact with the public he has met practically every man, woman and child, in Prentiss County, and having a knack for remembering names and faces, he seldom has to ask a man who he is or where he resides.
It is needless for us to
say Mr. Bolton has made good. Judging from his well-established business
connections he has made a financial success, and every citizen of the county
will agree with us that he has made a host of true friends. If he were
to list his tangible assets he would doubtless make an attractive showing,
but besides this he has something perhaps more valuable - the friendship
of hundreds who believe in him and who patronize him, not alone because
of the service he gives his customers, but also because he has won, through
honesty and fair dealings, the highest esteem of those with whom he comes
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 29 November 1929
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
We take pleasure in presenting Herbert L. Green of New Site
to our readers this week. Herbert was reared in the rural district the son of Mr. and Mrs. Dalton Green, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Green, nephew of Baxter and Sidney Green of Booneville. He is now nearly 23 years of age; he attended his home school until he entered high school at Wheeler High School where he completed the prescribed high school course; then deciding that he must have a college education and degree entered the State Teachers' College at Hattisburg. He will be in the Junior class of the 1930-1931 session.
The decision made to enter college, he came face to face with the fact he would be thrown on his own resources. He went ahead and applied for work; later finding that the little work he had been able to secure would not provide the bare necessities he made a direct appeal to the president of the college and laid his cards on the table! President Bennett after a careful investigation, directed that Herbert be given sustaining work, which was done and this was carefully performed on time, without any neglict to his studies. Blessed with a strong mind, a pleasing personality and a grim determination he has made good from the start, no student in the college, being more popular or depen-dable. He was a member of the varsity debating team this season where he made a splendid record and was almost unanimously elected President of the Debating Council for the next session. He was elected president of the college Y.M.C.A. for 1930-31 and as its president was given a six weeks course in Y.M.C.A. work at Blue Ridge,N.C. with all expenses paid; he is there now putting in hard work to master the course. He is also a member of the College Quartette and is easily one of the outstanding students in the S.T.C.
His many friends scattered
over this section are congratulating him on the success achieved and hope
that his fondest dreams and desires may be fully realized.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 27 June 1930
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
(Booneville and Prentiss County has several outstanding characters who have been influential in the building and maintaining of the great empire of Prentiss, among them are, farmers, merchants, dairymen, and men and women in oractically all walks of life. From week to week we will endeavor to call attention to these builders who have wrought well.in their various avocations.)
This week we are writing a short sketch on the life of Mr. J. F. Milton, local ford dealer. Mr. Milton, when interviewed, insted that we write up those of "more prominence", as he expressed it, but probably there is no other one person in the county who, during an equal number of years, has done more to work for and build, both individually and in co-operation with other progressive citizens, than this Boonevillian.
Mr. Milton was born in Albemarle, Stanley County, North Carolina in 1878. He moved to Texas with his parents in 1882, where he grew to manhood. In 1899 he was united in marriage to Miss Dora E. Welborn, of Palestine, Texas. For eight years he was a locomotive engineer in that state, quitting that occupa-tion to work for the Texas Company, by whom he was employed for six years. Twelve years ago he came to Booneville, where he embarked in the Ford business with Mr. Hill under the name of the Milton - Hill Motor Company, and a few months later he purchased the interest of Mr. Hill, since which time the title of the firm has been the Milton Mortor Company.
While Mr. Milton has applied himself faithfully to the up building of his business, which today is one of the largest of its kind in the state, he has always found time to take a hand in the development of any progressive movement that would tend to advance his town and county. He was the first president of the Booneville Chamber of Commerce and is still a director of that organization. He has been active in the promotion of the dairy business, believing that prosperity of our section depends largely on the dairy cow. He was the instigator of the Goodfellows organization here in 1917. He is a member of the First Christian Church, a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Knights of Pythias, and Elks and a staunch probitionist.
Mr. & Mrs. Milton have
reared three children, all of whom were education in the Booneville Schools
and the colleges of
the state and are now married. They are : Mrs. J.D. Hunnicutt of Memphis, whose husband is a contractor there; Mrs. Edward Greene of Henderson, Tennessee, whose husband is the Ford dealer of that place; and J.F. Milton Jr., who is associated with his father in the Ford business here.
Mr. Milton believes in Booneville and Prentiss County, and has shown his faith by the purchase of a nice farm near town and the erection of a beautiful home in the Stanley addition. His activities during the dozen years of his residence here should be an inspiration to others, for while he has been a builder for his Community, he has also built well his own business and today hundreds of Fords of both the old and new models are being driven over Prentiss County roads - automobiles that have been bought from and serviced by the Milton Motor Company. In helping bring prosperity to his neighbors, Mr. Milton has brought prosperity unto himself.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 17 May 1929
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
Practically everyone of our readers know T. A. Cook, automobile dealer, banker and department store manager, but doubtless many of you are not acquainted with his early life, and so we herewith give a brief sketch of his career.
Thomas A. Cook was born in Lauderdale County, Alabama in 1878, and six weeks later his parents came to Prentiss County. They settled on a farm near what was then known as Moore's Church, now better known as Robertson Schoolhouse.
Adversity seemed to be the lot of this youth, and at the age of 14 his parents died, leaving him to look out for himself."Tom" as he was then known, and as he is still called by those who love him most, had never been inside a school room, could neither read nor write his own name, and to the average individual, his future would have looked gloomy indeed; but not so with Tom.Seeing that it was up to him to make the best of his predicament, he went to Kossuth when 15 years old and engaged in farming at the home of a sister. Two years later he returned to his old home in Prentiss County and made another crop.
During these 3 years he had no clearly defined course of action as regared his future, but while at work making his third crop, Tom also made a decision - one that proved to be the turning point in his life. He was already 18 years of age and did not lnow even the alphabet but he resolved that before he had passed another birthday he would have at least mastered the fundamental elements of the "three R'", and so when his crop was harvested, he came to Booneville to inv.estigate the possabilities of attending school. His one piece of property consisted of an old blue mare, which he traded to John True, since deceased, for 7 months board, and thus he entered school.
We will not attempt to describe
the difficulties he encountered and overcome during those 7 months, but
sufficient to say that he faithfully applied himself during this time,
and the education he received then, together with 2 months schooling later
under the tutorship of our good friend, R.L. Bolton, lifted Tom out of
the down -and - out class and gave him a vision of bigger and better things,
and while those 9 months have constituted his entire "book lerning", he
studying in the "college of experience" and each weekday finds him at his task of learnig to serve better his friends and patrons.
Following his preparatory
schooling Mr. Coot went to Texas where he worked in a store for 14 months
then accepted a traveling job, which he followed for some time.
In February 1904, Mr. Cook was united in marriage to Miss Willie D. Fugitt of this place. To this union was born four children : Miss Maxine Cook who has graduated from MSCW and is now teaching at Moorhead, Miss, Miss Eva Cook now a student at MSCW; William Thomas Cook, associated with his father in business here and T. A. Cook Jr. who is attending the Booneville Schools.
In 1916 Mr Cook embarked in the Automobile business here, his first car sold being one of the famous "490" Chevrolets. His place of business was located where Moore's New Style Store now is, since that time Mr. Cook has sold enough Chevrolets to "Transport the American Army", as one man put it.
One year during the war he sold more cars than any other Chevrolet dealer in the state of Mississippi for which he won a premium of $900.00 from the company. In 1928 the T A Cook Auto Auto Co won the silver cup for the largest sales according to quota, of any dealer in the Memphis Zone.
Mr Cook is the owner of
the T A Cook Auto Co, Vice-pre-sident and General Manager of Phillips -
Rinehart-Taylor Co and
Vice-president and director of Booneville Banking Co. He is very active in church and Sunday School work, having been a member ot the Methodist church for the past 22 years. He is a member of the Elks, Moose and 32nd Mason and a Shriner.
We could go on telling of Mr Cook's achievements almost indefinately, but what we are trying to impress on the reader is the fact that he is a builder. When a thing has to be done, its time to do it; Tom needed an education, and, though many under the circumstances would have become discouraged, he got it. In order to succeed in business, Mr Cook went into the Automobile busines with that determination uppermost in his mind and he won. He has won in practically every underta'-ing and through his efforts he has also won the love and esteem of his fellowman. Profit by the example of T A Cook, the conqueror of difficulties.
SOURCE : The Booneville Independent 24 May 1929"If the day looks kinder gloomy, an' the chances kinder slim;
If the situation's puzzlin' an' the prospects awful grim, An' preplexities keep pressin' 'Till all hope is nealy gone -
Just bristle up and grit your teeth An' keep on keepin' on !"
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
On 7 Jul 1898, in the hills east of Brown's Creek, there arrived into the world a tiny infant, the youngest of sevn children that came to bless the home of John & Della Thompson Walden. He was given the name of Clinton Robert and has grown into a fine specimen of physical manhood. While still a mere lad, his mother was taken away by death and he was brought up by a devoted father and a loving sister.
His education is somewhat limited, because the school of that time was not as attractive as now. He decided to take unto himself a wife, and at the age of 18 won the heart and hand of Miss Esta Massey. They were the proud parents of two fine boys, Carmon and J.D., aged 11 and 8 years, respectively. In Casting around for a home, he settled on the Booneville and Burton road east of Liberty Church and about 4 miles from Booneville. He has been adding to his place there, so that now he has a general merchandise store, a sawmill, gristmill, blacksmith shop filling station and barber shop. His place is the community center, and in the last few years there has been a wonderful transformation in and around there.
Several years ago they realized
their need for better educational facilities and some of this territory
was added to the Booneville Separate School District, and -Clint" as he
is familiarly called, began the transportation of the pupils to Booneville,
and has been steadily on the job since. He has seen the route grow until
he now rus a large truck, which is filled with school children. He gives
this truck his personal attention, being on time rain or shine, always
careful and considerate, looking after the interests and deportment of
the children entrusted to his care. He has the pleasure of driving over
a rock road now, where it was a "mudhole" when he began.
Mr. Walden is a member of the Candler's Chapel Baptist Church and takes a part in its activities. There has recently been erected a community church near his home and he took a leading part in its erection, realizing the great influence of the church. This church is open to any orthodox denomination that may wish to hold services there.
"Clint" is fast becoming one of the leading community builders of the county and its to men with a vision like this that we must look in the future for our real rural development. Of course he wishes to lay a competency for himself and his loved ones, and has built up a fine business. He has chosen to make his home in the country and is surrounding himself with things that go to make living conditions better for those in his community. He has instilled into many of these people a desire for all-round improvement. With a fine school in reach, with churches, with good homes, with better moral conditions; this will soon be one of the best rural communities in the country, as a result of the right sort of co-operation. With the right view of life and conditions, with his life mostly before him, you may expect to see "Clint" a leader, not only in his own community but one of the leaders of the County, in things that stand for right living in every way. With such leaders a great future for our county lies before us.
The writer appreciates the warm personal friendship of Mr. Walden, having known him since he was an infant in swaddling clothes and most heartily congratulates him on the success he is achieving.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 30 August
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
John T., subject of this sketch, is living quietly in the village of Wheeler, where he is selling good and taking life easy. He is the Mayor of the village and has been for several years. He is already past three score and ten, having been born 29 January 1859. He tells us that important event in his life took place in what was then called "Ash-hopper", whose name was afterwards changed to Marietta. His parents came to Prentiss County from North Alabama. He had several brothers and sisters. A brother Jerry lived near Baldwyn and three sisters, Mrs. McSwinney, Mrs. Richard Kistler and Mrs. Bob Maxwell still live in the county.
In early manhood he was united in marriage to Miss Roxanna Bettis, daughters of that pioneer settler, Wyatt Bettis. She has been a true helpmeet and companion through shadow as well as sunshine. To this union there came three sons, Wyatt pf Jackson/Tenn., Otho of Wheeler and Jase of Aberdeen, all of whom have made splendid citizens.
One of the outstanding features of Mr Miller's life is his love for music, especially vocal music. He has been known far and wide as "Singing John Miller". He taught "Singing Schools' for 35 years, mostly during the summer months, two years of which was in Texas. When the Lee and Prentiss County Singing Convention was organized he was the president and later when the Prentiss County Convention withdrew and was organized, he became the president and has had this position ever since. Thousands have enjoyed songs led by him and remember the Old Harp and Christian Harmony all-day singing of the long ago.
He formerly lived at Hopewell, and 15 years ago, moved over to Wheeler. He is an active member of the Primitive Baptist Church at Wheeler. He is affable and pleasant, a friend and benefactor to all. His many friends regret that he has not been good for the past two years.
The outstanding feature of his life is his service as a member of the County Board of Supervisors. He went into office in January 1904, and served until January 1920, and from 1912 to 1920 he was president of the Board. He presided with a firm hand, courteous to all, but doing what he thought and believed was right and to the best interest of his district and the county at large.
Looking back over the quarter of a century since 1904, we can see many changes. We can see the wonderful progress that has been made and see the beginning of still greater progress.
One of the first things done, was the breaking away from the old overseer system of working roads, and the adoption of the contract system and the working out of the present system. Our road system is not perfect yet, but. our: worst roads now -are better than our best experiment with gravel roads. The first gravel put down in the county was furnished by the board to Uncle Bobbie Smith and Uncle A. Spain, and a small section is still in use on Highway 45. This was long before the idea of a bonded road district had crystallized into law.
Back then our bottom lands were not drained, and much of the lands were still in "the Woods", the first drainage district in the county came in 1911 and since then almost every little bottom has its canal . The drainage system has probably worked hardships in many places/ but these were mainly faults of administration, rather than in the principle of drainage. Then came the eradication of the cattle tick, paving the way for the dairy industry that is now being worked out. With the tick present it would be folly to bring in the fine cattle that are today being brought into the county.
Another thing is the passing of the old-time school and in its place the consolidated school, and the further development of the idea is for super-consolidation, thereby making one of the finest public school systems in the county. Wheeler was one of the first experiments along this line. Along about this time came the extra mills for the rural school and this is still called for, and will perhaps be increased.
Prentiss County led the way in the experiments of the County Agent and Home Economics, the County Agent has recently been reinstated Prentiss County led the-way-with the all-time County Health Officer arid many of the teachings promulgated by Dr. Boswell are still being practiced and remembered.
John Miller had a hand in these things. His sixteen years service made him the storm center of many hard fought political battles. He found many of his old-time friends estranged because of his stand for the things that have proved for good. This is proving that John Miller had a cision and forethought more than was dreamed of at the time. Who now would go back to the old order of things; the narrow rutty roads, poorly worked under the old overseer system; the old-time school term; the ticky cattle, and many other things?
John Miller bore the brunt of many of the fights along these lines of progress. The Third District had faith in his integrity and re-elected him from time to time. Other districts changed the members so Mr. Miller served with almost a new board each 4 years.
Times have changed and all will agree that Mr Miller builded wisely for the future and now it seems we are just on the Cireshold of bigger and better things for our county to the point where it will soon adjust itself to enjoy the prosperity that will come with good roads, good schools, diversified farm-ing, a growing dairy industry and better living conditions. Among those who wrought well for Prentiss County, we believe all will accord John Miller a place as one of those who saw his part and did it well.
May he live many more years
to see the results of his wise building and have the plaudit of "Well done,
good and faithful servant."
SOURCE : The Booneville Independent 14 June
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