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Meeting Information
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History

Genealogy

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Meetings

Meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month at the Human Resources Building (satellite map) 14712 Highway 15 south of Decatur. The building's location is across the highway from the Dollar General store. Refreshments are available at 9:30am with the program beginning at 10:00.

NCHGS Programs for 2017
NCHGS Programs for 2016
NCHGS Programs for 2015
NCHGS Programs for 2014
NCHGS Programs for 2013
NCHGS Programs for 2012
NCHGS Programs for 2011
NCHGS Programs for 2010

NCHGS PROGRAMS FOR 2017

January 14

Ricky Harrison - Sherman’s march on Newton County

February 11

Rev. Michael Pickns:The History of Black Churches/Newon County

March 11

Mr. Robert Evans - Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek

April 8

FFA Chapter of NCHS opening/closing ceremony & importance of

May 13

FFA Chapter from Newton County High School: Opening/Closing ceremonies and history of FFA.

June 10

Brother Marion Felton: Christian music and Hymns

July 8

Dr. Toby Bates: Mississippi History professor from MSU

August 12

Mr. Brother Rogers: from MDAH

September 9

Mr. Ovid Vickers: Growing up in Southern Georgia

October 14

TBA

November 11

Thanksgiving Meal

December 9

Christmas Celebration

Meeting Notes

14 January 2017 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:05 AM.  President Glen Harrison welcomed members and visitors.  Jonathan Puckett was recognized and he told us of his upcoming trip to England to study History and English.

Devotion: Charles Massey gave the devotional thoughts from Philippians 4.  Mr. Dan Coit led the morning prayer.  President Harrison led the pledge to the flag of United States.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: President Harrison called for a motion to accept the minutes as printed by the secretary.  Charles Massey made motion to accept the minutes.  Dan Coit seconded the motion.  The membership voted to accept the minutes.

President Harrison reviewed the financial report.  He asked for a motion to accept the report as printed. Motion was made by Harold Graham and seconded by Charles Massey.  Members voted to accept the report as printed.

Old Business: There was no old business for discussion.

New Business: There was no new business for discussion.

Guest Speaker/Program: Past President, Ricky Harrison gave a detailed time-line of Sherman’s march through Newton County.  He presented charts and maps that he had prepared from his research on this event in earlier years.  He identified some significant houses in the area and also gave us information on the various stops Sherman made in the vicinity as he traveled into Lauderdale County from Newton County.  Harrison also had with him some artifacts from the Civil War that he has been able to locate in this area.  Everyone was invited to look at the displays that he had showing the route of this historical event.

Door Prize:  A door prize was given to the person who could answer the question: “What was Sherman’s occupation prior to his military career?”  Ruben Mabry answered this question.

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 10:55 AM.  Next meeting will be on February 11, 2017.  The guest speaker and program to be announced.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

11 February 2017 Meeting Notes

President Glen Harrison called meeting to order at 10:10 AM.  Members welcomed and visitors recognized.  Harrison led the pledge to the flag of the United States. 

Devotion: Charles Massey’s devotion was focused on thoughts of Valentine’s Day and Love, mentioning that King David’s heart was bent toward God and Jesus’ love for us led to His sacrifice for us.  Massey shared a humorous account of an elderly couple who demonstrated true love and loyalty for each other.  Glen Harrison led the morning’s prayer.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: President Harrison called for a motion to accept the minutes as prepared and printed by the secretary.  Charles Massey made motion to accept minutes; Hugh Eatmon seconded the motion.  Members voted to approve minutes as printed.

Harrison reviewed the financial report and called for motion to accept as prepared and printed by treasurer.  Hugh Eatmon made motion to accept; Margaret Mayes seconded the motion.  Members voted to approve the financial report.  Members were reminded to pay dues if this had not been done.

Old Business: There was no old business for discussion.

New Business: Bobby Caldwell called attention to the research on the Caldwell Family that had been prepared by Martha Waltman.  This completed book will be donated to the Newton County Archives.  There was no other new business presented.

Guest Speaker/Program: Michael Pickens, pastor of the Pleasant Grove MB church in Newton was introduced by President Harrison.  Pickens gave an interesting program on the history of the Black churches in Newton County.  He referenced the oldest church, Sand Ridge Church, which was founded in 1807.  Sand Ridge was a slave church where individuals were allowed to attend without the owners overseeing them. Pickens presented the Archives a copy of a booklet listing each Black church in the Newton area and giving a brief history of each church.

Door Prize: A gift certificate donated from Designs by Nikki was given to Martha Waltman who answered the trivia question on what year Saint Valentine was martyred.

Meeting Adjourned: Next meeting will be held on March 11, 2017 with Mr. Robert Evans bringing the history of the treaty of The Dancing Rabbit Creek.  Meeting adjourned at 10:50 AM.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

11 March 2017 Meeting Notes

NCHGS meeting was called to order at 10:00 AM by President Glen Harrison.  Members and visitors were welcomed and first time visitors were asked to stand and introduce themselves.  Harrison led the pledge to the flag of the United States.

Devotion: Charles Massey gave devotional thoughts on setting an example for others every day and not just one day a week.  Glen Harrison led the prayer.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Printed copies of the minutes from February were made available by the Secretary.  President asked for a motion to accept minutes as submitted.  Motion made by Bobby Caldwell to accept the minutes:  Hugh Eatmon seconded the motion.  Members voted to accept as printed.

Copies of the financial report were submitted by the Secretary.  President reviewed the report and asked for a motion to accept the report.  Motion was made by Charles Massey and seconded by Bobby Caldwell to accept the report.  Members voted to accept the financial report.

Old Business: There was no old business to be discussed.

New Business: President Harrison informed all regarding the fund raiser for 2017: A LA-Z-Boy chair which was donated by La-Z-Boy South in Newton, MS: a handmade wooden bowl from Magnolia wood by Mr. Billy Green and 3 free refills for 5 gallons of butane from Blossman Gas.  Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the summer and drawing to be held on September 9, 2017.

Jerry Willis from Pelahatchie addressed the membership about a book on Ethics that he is selling for the Mason’s organization.  He is interested in having the society selling some of these books.

Martha Waltman presented four books that she has researched and completed and she is donating these to Newton County Archives.

Guest Speaker/Program: President Harrison introduced Mr. Robert Evans, President of Dancing Rabbit Genealogical and Historical Society, Leake County, Mississippi.  He has studied and researched the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek and the famous Mississippi Indian Chief, Greenwood Leflore.  Leflore was positioned to draw the Choctaw Indians and the Anglo Americans together.  Leflore was a well-educated, wealthy and a shrewd man who was elected as a Mississippi Representative and a state Senator.  Leflore’s main goal was to reform and educate the Indians.  He met with Andrew Jackson who enunciated a policy which would give the Indians a choice to be removed to other territories west of the Mississippi river or to submit to the laws of the States.  Commissioners were selected to meet with the chiefs and negotiate a treaty.  The Indians and statesmen came together on September 15, 1830 and after days of talks; the treaty was signed on September 27, 1830.  This marked the first removal treaty between the Choctaw tribe and the United States Government.   The Indians gave up about 11 million acres in the Choctaw nation, which is now the State of Mississippi for 15 million acres in the Indian Territory, now the state of Oklahoma.

Door Prize: No door prize awarded.

Meeting Adjourned: Speaker and program for the April meeting will be announced later in the month. Meeting adjourned at 11:15 A. M.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

8 April 2017 Meeting Notes

Meeting was called to order at 10:00 AM by President Glen Harrison.   Members and visitors were welcomed and the visitors were asked to introduce themselves.  The pledge to the flag was led by President Harrison.  Brother Marion Felton was asked to lead the prayer.

Devotion: Charles Massey brought devotional thoughts centered around Easter and the importance of keeping the season focused on the resurrection of Christ and not the colored eggs and “Easter Bunny”.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: President Harrison asked for a motion to accept the minutes as presented and printed by the secretary.  Motion made by Patsy Gary and seconded by Bobby Caldwell to accept the minutes as printed.  Members voted to approve the minutes.

The financial report was reviewed by President Harrison and asked for motion to be made to accept the report as presented and printed by the treasurer.  Motion made by Bobby Caldwell and seconded by Patsy Gary.  Members voted to approve the report.

Old Business: Harrison reported that we would not be able to work the Loose Caboose activities due to the absence of  some who had planned to work the event.  The money for the booth will be reimbursed.  Raffle tickets are available.  Members asked to get their tickets to sell for this year’s fund raiser.

New Business: President Harrison invited anyone who would be willing to volunteer for the appointment of Chaplain to please see the officers.

Guest Speaker/Program: President Harrison introduced the special guest, Crossroads Band.  Members of the band: Homer Gross, Ted Alexander, Harry Beckham, Kenneth Graham, and Danny Graham.  Gross read from a list of the Mississippi born musicians who had become icons in the world of music and entertainment before the band entertained with various selections of Country music.

Door Prize: No door prize was awarded.

Meeting Adjourned: The next meeting is scheduled for May 13, 2017.  Guest for the meeting will be the FFA Chapter from Newton County High School.  Meeting was adjourned at 11:32AM.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

13 May 2017 Meeting Notes

Notes go here

10 June 2017 Meeting Notes

Meeting was called to order at 10:00 AM by President Glen Harrison.  Members and visitors welcomed.  Harrison led the pledge to the flag of the United States of America.

Devotion: Charles Massey brought devotional thoughts centered on Father’s Day.  He referenced scriptures from Luke 15:11 and the account of the prodigal son with emphasis on the father.  Mr. Bobby Caldwell led the morning’s prayer.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: President Harrison asked for motion to accept the printed minutes from the May meeting that was submitted by the secretary.  Motion was made by Jerry Willis to accept minutes and seconded by Hugh Eatmon.  Members voted to accept the minutes as submitted.  Approved.

Harrison reviewed the financial report as printed and submitted.  Asked for motion to accept the report.  Motion made to accept byCharles Massey and seconded by Jerry Willis.  Members voted to accept the report.  Approved.

Old Business: Harrison reminded members to get the raffle tickets to sell for the 2017 fund raiser.  Reminded members that we will be responsible for a booth at the Union Day celebration to sell the tickets.

New Business: There was no new business for discussion.

Guest Speaker/Program: Charles Massey introduced our guests.  “Marion Felton and Friends” ( Bro. Marion Felton,Steve Felton and Ricky Gibbs) entertained us with a diverse musical program of “clean country” as well as some Southern Gospel.  Artists Glen Campbell, John Denver, Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins and even some Chuck Berry were spotlighted. 

Door Prize: Mr. Ovid Vickers was recognized as the most mature and wisest father in our meeting and awarded with the door prize.

Meeting Adjourned: The next meeting will be on July 8, 2017 with Dr. Toby Bates of the MSU branch in Meridian, MS. Meeting adjourned at 11:20 AM

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

8 July 2017 Meeting Notes

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12 August 2017 Meeting Notes

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9 September 2017 Meeting Notes

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14 October 2017 Meeting Notes

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11 November 2017 Meeting Notes

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9 December 2017 Meeting Notes

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NCHGS PROGRAMS FOR 2016

January 9

Mr. Wilburt Easom in charge of program

February 13

Members brought item/artifacts & told stories about them

March 12

Reverend Bruce Taylor presented demo of pottery wheel/stories

April 9

Bill Briedinger (Magnolia State Archaeological Society) displayed his collection of Indian artifacts and tked about tools/utensils on display.

May 14

Reverend Glenn Shows spoke about an individual's legacy

June 11

Mr. Ovid Vickers shared memories of East Central Junior College

July 9

Ralph Gordon presentation on poetry he has written.

August 13

TBD

September 10

Teresa Blount “The History of Union, MS”

October 8

Dr. Sue Clifton on the findings of Elizabeth Bell Powell (Bell Witch Project in Yalobusha County, MS)

November 12

Thanksgiving meal plus special entertainment

December 10

Ada McGreavy “Iris Pellegrene Boggan: WWII Nurse”

Meeting Notes

9 January 2016 Meeting Notes

President Ricky Harrison called meeting to order at 10:00AM.  He welcomed members and recognized any first time visitors.

Devotion: Chaplain Charles Massey asked Melvin Tingle to give the invocation.  Massey led membership in pledge to flag of United States of America.  He quoted some interesting facts and superstitions about the month of January.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: President Harrison pointed out that there were some typos in the Secretary’s minutes; however these would be corrected before filing.  (These corrections were made on January 12, 2016 and e-mailed to Harrison and Dr. Harold Graham.)

President Harrison asked for a motion to accept the information printed in the minutes.  Ralph Gordon made motion to accept; Charles Massey seconded the motion.  Vote carried to accept minutes.

President Harrison reviewed the Treasurer’s report.  Harrison asked for motion to accept the report as printed.  Ann Burkes made motion to accept; Harold Graham seconded the motion to accept report.  Vote carried to accept report.

Old Business: President Harrison reminded members of the quilt project.  We will be selling chances on the quilt throughout the year and the quilt will be given away in December of 2016.  Harrison reminded members that membership dues could be paid now and asked for members to fill out a membership form even though the information has not changed.  This will help in keeping our records updated and correct.  President Harrison thanked Ralph Gordon for doing an exceptional job of securing guest for the last two years and his service as Vice-President of NCHGS.

New Business: There was no new business for discussion.

Guest Speaker/Program: Speaker for the day Wilburt Easom gave an informative and interesting presentation about Al and Fred Key of Meridian, Mississippi and their historic flight of 27 days that broke the endurance record for a flight.  The Keys along with A. D. Hunter, devised a plan to refuel the air-plane while in the air.  This method was known as air-to-air refueling and was later adopted by the military as the means to refuel their planes.  The airport in Meridian was renamed Key Field to honor the brothers after their flight.

Door Prize: Before awarding the door prize, Harrison asked all members to have a “positive” attitude and up lift each other this year.  In doing so, we can make this the best year ever for the NCHGS.  The door prize was awarded to Mickey Vance for answering the question asked by President Harrison. 

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 11:25 AM.  Next meeting will be held on February 13, 2016.  Speaker for this meeting has not been secured at this time.

13 February 2016 Meeting Notes

President, Harrison called meeting to order at 10:00 AM. Members and visitors were welcomed.

Devotion: Charles Massey came forward and led the membership in the pledged to our flag. Mr. Dan Coit gave the invocation. Chaplain Massey read from Proverbs 31 and gave inspirational thoughts on "love" in relation to Valentine's Day.

Minutes and Treasurer's Report: Harrison called attention to the minutes from January and stated that the errors had been corrected. Harrison asked for motion to accept the Secretary's minutes as printed. Melvin Tingle made motion to accept: Charles Massey seconded the motion. Members voted to accept. Treasurer's report reviewed and asked for motion to accept the report. Charles Massey made motion to accept and Greg Boggan seconded motion. Members voted to accept report.

Old Business: No old business for discussion.

New Business: President Harrison stated that the cost of making copies at the Archives office would be changed to $.25 per copy to keep in line with the Newton County Court House charges.

Guest Speaker/Program: Members brought items and artifacts and a story about each item to share. Each story explained how this had played a part in personal lives or in the history of our county and state. A different twist on the program was fun and informative.

Door Prize: A box of Valentine Chocolates was awarded after the drawing.

Meeting Adjourned: Next meeting will be held on March 12, 2016. Speaker and program to be announced later. Meeting adjourned at 11:35 AM

12 March 2016 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 A.M. President Harrison welcomed members. As opening thoughts, Harrison asked when anyone had heard about someone "setting hooks on the creek". This gave the opportunity for members to share their memories of a simpler time.

Devotion: Chaplain Charles Massey asked Lamar Bradley to lead prayer and Massey led the pledge to the flag of The United States. Massey presented secular and Christian facts regarding the history of Easter.

Minutes and Treasurer's Report: Printed copies of the minutes were made available for members. Harrison asked for motion to accept minutes as printed. Harold Graham made motion: Dan Coit seconded the motion. Members voted to accept minutes. Harrison reviewed the financial report and asked for motion to accept the report as printed. Harold Graham made motion to accept: Lamar Bradley seconded motion. Members voted to accept report.

Old Business: President Harrison reported that the memory board had been updated with names of the three (3) deceased members from 2015. Harrison talked about the upcoming quilt project that members of the society will be selling tickets to be given away in December. Harrison stated the tickets will sell for $1.00 each; 6 tickets for $5.00; 12 tickets for $10.00. The quilt top was displayed at this meeting.

New Business: There was no new business for discussion.

Guest Speaker/Program: Reverend Bruce Taylor was introduced by President Harrison. He presented a demonstration using the potter's wheel and making Spiritual and historical applications. Taylor referenced the early Native American's method of making pottery and displayed the materials used in present day. Taylor brought with him several pieces of pottery he had made.

Door Prize: Wilburt Easom was winner of the day's door prize.

Meeting Adjourned: Mr. Melvin Tingle was recognized for his induction into the Mississippi Outdoor Hall of Fame. Next meeting will be held on April 9, 2016. Meeting adjourned at 11 :35 A.M.

9 April 2016 Meeting Notes

Due to the absence of President Ricky Harrison, Vice-President Glen Harrison called meeting to order at 10:15 AM. Visitors and members were welcomed to meeting. A group from The Mississippi Family Research Association was in attendance.

Devotion: Chaplain Charles Massey was not present because of illness. Vice-President Glen Harrison led assembly in pledge to our flag. He shared spiritual thoughts from The Prayer of Jabez. Melvin Tingle led in prayer.

Minutes and Treasurer's Report: Harrison called for motion to accept the minutes as printed by the Secretary. Harold Graham made motion to accept. Bobby Caldwell seconded the motion. The vote of members carried to accept. Harrison called for motion to accept the Treasurer's report as printed. Harold Graham made motion to accept the report. Wilbert Eason seconded the motion. Vote of members carried to accept printed report.

Old Business: There was no old business for discussion.

New Business: There was no new business for discussion.

Guest Speaker/Program: Mr. Bill Briedinger from the Magnolia State Archaeological Society displayed his collection of Indian artifacts and talked about the different tools and utensils on display and described their uses by the early tribes. Pottery and arrow heads were on display. Briedinger named the period groups of the tribes and explained each had their own kind of tools for their needs.

Door Prize: Door prize was awarded to visitor Glen Shows.

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 11:50 AM. Next meeting will be May 14, 2016.

14 May 2016 Meeting Notes

The meeting was called to order by President Ricky Harrison at 10:00 AM. Members were welcome and visitor Tom Doyle, a Lifetime member from San Diego, CA was introduced and recognized.

Devotion: Chaplain Charles Massey asked Bobby Caldwell to lead in prayer. Massey Jed the pledge of allegiance and gave meaningful thoughts on the history of Memorial Day and read a poem written by his son which was a tribute to all soldiers.

Minutes and Treasurer's Report: President Harrison called for motion on the printed minutes. Ralph Gordon made motion to accept minutes as printed. Harold Graham seconded the motion. Vote carried to accept minutes. There was a small typo on the minutes which will be called to the treasurer's attention and corrected. Motion to accept the treasurer's submitted report was made by Harold Graham, seconded by Ralph Gordon. Vote carried to accept the submitted report.

Old Business: No old business for discussion.

New Business: No new business at this time.

Guest Speaker/Program: Vice-President Glen Harrison introduced Rev Glenn Shows from Madison, MS. Rev Shows is retired from the MS Baptist Conference; Present Chaplain for SAR and CSA and also works with the Family Research Association of MS. His presentation was focused on an individual's legacy; what is one's legacy and we how we can relaunch our legacy.

Door Prize: Mrs. Ann Burkes took home the door prize.

Meeting Adjourned: Before adjourning the meeting, President Harrison asked the members present to pick up books of the raffle tickets to sell on the quilt we will be giving away in December. Next month's meeting will be held on June 11, 2016 with Mr. Ovid Vickers as speaker. Meeting adjourned at 11 :45 AM.

11 June 2016 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order by Vice-President Glen Harrison due to absence of President Ricky Harrison. Membership and visitors were welcomed by Glen Harrison.

Devotion: Chaplain Charles Massey called on Melvin Tingle to lead the opening prayer. Massey led attendance in the pledge to the United States flag. His devotion thoughts were focused on Father's Day and the influence fathers have on their children's lives.

Minutes and Treasurer's Report: Vice-President asked for motion to accept the printed minutes from last month's meeting. Ralph Gordon made motion to accept minutes; Charles Massey seconded the motion. Member's vote carried to accept the minutes. Vice-President asked for motion to accept the printed financial report. Bobby Caldwell made motion to accept; Ralph Gordon seconded the motion. Member voted to accept the report.

Old Business: Members were reminded to pick up raffle tickets. No other old business for discussion.

New Business: No new business was presented for discussion.

Guest Speaker/Program: Our own Mr. Ovid Vickers needed no introduction. Vickers, who will tum 87 years soon, graciously shared memories of his 63 years of growing up on the campus of East Central Junior College. Vickers spoke of past presidents of the college and students who had their beginning in Decatur, MS and advanced to large universities and pursued diverse vocations throughout the United States.

Door Prize: Pat Gordon took home the door prize after answering the trivia question, "Who was said to be the greatest football coach in American history?"

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 10:50 AM. Next meeting will be on July 9, 2016. Ralph Gordon will be the speaker in charge of the program.

9 July 2016 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order by Vice-President Glen Harrison in the absence of President Ricky Harrison.  Vice -President Harrison welcomed members and visitors to the meeting.

Devotion: Chaplain Charles Massey spoke on Freedom.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Harrison asked for a motion to accept the minutes from last month’s meeting.  Motion made by Harold Graham: Seconded by Bobby Caldwell.  Member’s voted to accept minutes. The financial report was tabled until the August 13, 2016 meeting.

Old Business:  Harrison reminded members about the quilt raffle tickets to be sold for the fund raiser.

New Business: Harrison informed membership of the possibility of having a booth at Union Country Day in August, to promote the sales of the quilt raffle tickets.  Dr. Graham mentioned his upcoming interview with the Wall Street Journal about an article that will be published on NCHGS member Jonathan Puckett.  Puckett is starting at University of Southern Mississippi as a Sophomore with a full scholarship.

Guest Speaker/Program: Ralph Gordon gave an entertaining and informative program using poetry that he had written.  He has used his family situations and local history to make his writings more personal and entertaining.  One reference was about an ancestor whose horses were stolen and used in Grierson’s Raid.

Door Prize: Meeting Adjourned:  Meeting adjourned at 10:42 AM.  Next meeting will be on August 13, 2016.

In the absence of Secretary Susan Sibley, meeting notes were taken by Vice-President Glen Harrison

13 August 2016 Meeting Notes

President Ricky Harrison called meeting to order at 10:00 AM.  Members and visitors were welcomed and first time attendees were recognized.

Devotion: Chaplain Charles Massey asked Ricky Harrison to lead the morning’s prayer.  Massey led the pledge to the flag of the United States of America.  The devotional thoughts were from Psalms 91:4 speaking of God’s wings of protection shielding each of us.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Harrison asked for motion to accept the printed minutes from the July meeting.  Glen Harrison made motion to accept.  Bobby Caldwell seconded motion.  Member’s vote carried to accept as printed.

No treasurer report was presented at July meeting; therefore Harrison reviewed the printed report for June and asked for motion to accept the June financial report as presented by the treasurer.  Motion was made by Charles Massey to accept the June report.  Melvin Tingle seconded the motion.  Member’s vote carried to accept.  Harrison then reviewed the July printed report and asked for motion to accept as printed.  Motion made by Charles Massey and seconded by Wilburt Easom.  Vote carried to accept July‘s report.

Old Business: Harrison reminded members to turn in their ticket stubs and money for the raffle tickets.  Space has been secured at Union Day to sell quilt tickets on August 27, 2016.

New Business: President Harrison reported that after purchasing a new copier, Southern Agriculture Credit Association had donated their “like new” old copier to the Archives.  Mrs. Joyce Pearson was responsible for the transfer.  Information about the grave of the wife of a Revolutionary War Veteran was discussed with the membership.  The grave is located near the Bradley cemetery.

Guest Speaker/Program: Vice-President Glen Harrison was in charge of the program.   He presented historical facts from a book written by Brian Kilmead on the battles fought with Muslim pirates on the Barbary Coast of North Africa during the Revolutionary War.  Special emphasis was placed on Naval Officer, Stephen Decatur, for his outstanding contribution in these battles and President Thomas Jefferson.  Harrison made the point that history seems to repeat itself since we are dealing with similar situations today.

Door Prize: Sammy Nicholson answered the “Elvis” trivia question and took home the door prize.

Meeting Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned at 11:10 AM.  Next meeting will be held on September 10, 2016.  Mrs. Teresa Blount will be speaking on the history of Union, Mississippi.

10 September 2016 Meeting Notes

8 October 2016 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:05 AM by President Ricky Harrison.  Members were welcomed and visitors asked to stand and introduce themselves.

Devotion: Chaplain Charles Massey called on Mr. Dan Coit to lead the prayer.  Massey led the pledge to our flag.  Devotional thoughts were taken from Ephesians 2:10 stating that each of us is the masterpiece of God’s work.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: President Harrison asked for motion to accept the printed minutes from the Secretary.  Ralph Gordon made the motion: Lamar Bradley seconded the motion.  The members voted to accept the minutes.  Harrison reviewed the printed financial report and then asked for motion to accept the report.  Charles Massey made motion:  Hugh Eatmon seconded to accept financial report.  Members voted to accept the report as printed.

Old Business: President Harrison and Charles Massey displayed the finished quilt and reported that Mrs. Sally Green had quilted it and donated her time to the NCHGS.  Mrs. Sandra Amis had hemmed the quilt.  Harrison reminded anyone having outstanding money or tickets from the raffle, please turn it in to allow us to keep count of the money collected.

New Business: Mr. Billy Ray Alexander donated a copy of the history of the Alexander Family.  President Harrison asked Ann Burks to please process this book and add it to our archives.  Dr. Harold Graham told membership about the recently obtained copy of the history of the Jordan Family, which Dr. Graham had written.  This book was donated to archives by Janet Jordan Hawkins.

Guest Speaker/Program: Ralph Gordon introduced his friend, Dr. Sue Clifton, a retired teacher and published author.  Her hobby is paranormal investigations and her presentation was on the findings of Elizabeth ( Betsy) Bell Powell of the Bell Witch Project in Yalobusha County, Mississippi.

Door Prize: No presentation of door prize at this meeting.

Meeting Adjourned: Next meeting will be held on November 12, 2016.  This will be our Thanksgiving meal together with special entertainment.  Meeting adjourned at 11:55 A. M.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

12 November 2016 Meeting Notes

10 December 2016 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:10 AM by President Ricky Harrison.  Members and first timers were welcomed.  First time visitor, John Nicholson recognized as well as visitors, Mrs. Iris Boggan and Mrs. Ada Boggan McGreevy.

Devotion: Chaplain Charles Massey called on Mr. Bobby Caldwell to lead in prayer.  Massey led the pledge to the flag of the United States.   Massey read Luke 2: 1-7 followed by thoughts of the sacrifice Jesus was born to make.  Massey made reference to Pearl Harbor Day that has just passed and named several veterans who recently passed away and recognized the sacrifice they had made to keep us a free nation.  To pay honor to all military individuals who have given their time and some their lives, he read a variation of Clement Clarke Moore’s, “Twas The Night Before Christmas”.

Minutes and Treasurer's Report: President Harrison asked for a motion to accept the printed minutes from the month of October 2016.  Harold Graham made motion; Charles Massey seconded the motion.  Member’s vote carried to accept the minutes as submitted by the secretary.  Harrison asked for motion on the minutes from the November 2016 meeting.  Margaret Mayes made motion; Dan Coit seconded the motion.  Member’s vote carried to accept the minutes as submitted by secretary.  The financial report for October 2016 was reviewed and Harrison called for motion.  Charles Massey made motion and Harold Graham seconded the motion.  Members voted to accept the report as submitted.  The financial report for November 2016 was reviewed and Harrison asked for motion to accept report.  Glen Harrison made motion and Charles Massey seconded the motion.  Members voted to accept the report.

Old Business: No old business was discussed at this time.

New Business: No new business was discussed at this time.

Guest Speaker/Program: Harrison introduced Ada Boggan Mcgreevy who presented the story of Mrs. Ada Belle Pelegrene and her trials in rearing two daughters while serving as a nurse in the United States Army in WWII.  Mrs. Iris Boggan was the older of these two daughters.  This was a great inspirational account of a remarkable lady.

After reviewing the success of the “quilt project”, President Harrison asked Mrs. Iris Boggan to draw the name of the lucky winner which was SHERRY VANCE.

Election of Officers:  President Harrison presided over the election of the officers for NCHGS for the year 2017.  He brought to the attention of the membership that there was a need to combine the office of Secretary and Treasurer.  Harold Graham made the motion to amend the Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society’s constitution to reflect one office of Secretary-Treasurer. This motion was seconded and the members voted to amend the constitution.  In the absence of Ann Burks, the nominations chairman, Harrison presented the names of the proposed officers for the year 2017 and called for any other nominations from the membership.  Harold Graham made the motion that the slate of proposed officers be accepted by acclamation; this motion was seconded and the members voted to accept the following as officers for the year 2017.  Glen Harrison, President; Charles Massey, Vice-President; Susan Sibley, Secretary-Treasurer.  A committee of the officers and chosen members will secure the speakers and plan the programs for the New Year.

Meeting Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 AM.  Next meeting will be January 14, 2017.  At present the speaker for this meeting has not been confirmed.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

NCHGS PROGRAMS FOR 2015

January 10

Greg Cartmell, Professional Artist

February 14

Ward Calhoun, Lauderdale County Archives

March 14

Cheryl Hamby, Assistant Attorney General for Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

April 11

Special Program

May 9

The Rowzees ... Blue Grass Gospel Singing and History of “Long Book” Harmony

June 13

Jones County Mississippi Historian David McBride: Free State of Jones and Newt Knight

July 11

 

August 8

Commander Jim Hoskins, US Navy Retired (Flight instructor at NAS, Meridian, MS) Subject - Naval aviation in Mississippi

September 12

Charles Massey - Falgs of the United States and Mississippi

October 10

Dr. Sue Clifton - The Bell Witch Phenomenon

November 14

Thanksgiving Dinner

December 12

Wilbert Easom - The Key Brothers of Meridian, Mississippi

Meeting Notes

12 December 2015 Meeting Notes

President Ricky Harrison called meeting to order at 10:00 AM in the sanctuary of Beulah Baptist Church.

Devotion: Due to the special program for this meeting, devotion was waived.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Minutes from November 14, 2015 were presented to members in attendance.  President Harrison asked for motion to accept the minutes as printed.  Dr. Harold Graham made motion to accept the minutes; Lamar Bradley seconded the motion.  Members voted  to accept minutes.

Treasurer’s report was presented.  President asked for motion to accept report.  Lamar Bradley made motion to accept report from Treasurer Duett; Charles Massey seconded motion.  Vote of members carried to accept.

Old Business: No old business was discussed.

New Business: President Harrison asked the Nominating Committee to present the names being considered as officers for the year 2016.  Dr. Graham stated that the committee’s recommendation for officers was Ricky Harrison, President, Glen Harrison, Vice-President, Susan Sibley, Secretary and Gayle Duett, Treasurer.  Dr. Graham made motion for these four (4) to be accepted as officers for 2016.  The members voted to accept these officers for 2016.

Guest Speaker/Program: After the members assembled in the NEW sanctuary of Beulah Baptist Church, President Harrison welcomed all in attendance.  To begin the program, President Harrison shared how for years there had been a vision for a new building. Beginning with the demolition of their old church building, he shared the labors of the past year which has resulted in this great accomplishment.  Chaplain Glen Harrison presented the history of Beulah Church dating back to July 1850.  His historical facts covered the organization of Enon Baptist Church in 1836 and the events that led to building this present building.  After this presentation, members reassembled in the fellowship hall for the”pot-luck” Christmas meal. Thirty-five members of NCHGS met at Beulah Baptist for the December meeting.  This was the first  meeting to be held in the new sanctuary.  Great appreciation to the members of BBC for sharing this joyful occasion with us.

Door Prize: Candles from the table decorations were given to all members. 

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 11:00 AM.  Next meeting will be on January 9, 2016 at the Human Resources Building in Decatur.  Mr. Wilburt Easom will be in charge of the program.

14 November 2015 Meeting Notes

10 October 2015 Meeting Notes

President Ricky Harrison called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM.  He welcomed the membership and our visitor.

Devotion: Chaplain Glen Harrison led the pledge to the flag of the United States.   His devotion thoughts were taken from a New England Primer which was the first text book printed in America and used in schools.  Ricky Harrison led in prayer.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: August’s meeting minutes were presented and Harrison asked for motion for minutes to be accepted as printed.  Motion made by Ralph Gordon, seconded by Glen Harrison.  Vote on August minutes carried.  Minutes from September meeting were presented and President asked for motion to accept minutes as printed.  Ralph Gordon made motion, Linda Estes seconded motion.  Vote carried to accept minutes.

Treasurer’s report for August presented and reviewed by President Harrison.  Motion requested by President with Patsy Gary making motion to accept report as printed.  September report presented and reviewed by President.  After comments regarding the ending balance for both months, President Harrison asked for motion to be made to accept report.  Ralph Gordon made motion to accept report, Glen Harrison seconded.  Members voted to accept report.

Old Business: There was no old business carried over for discussion.

New Business: President Harrison called members attention back to the financial reports, focusing on our bank balance at this time. At this time President Harrison read a summary of yearly charges for printing the journal in the past and compared those charges to what we have spent over the last two years.  He explained that the cost of printing the quarterly publication, REMEMBERING, was more since we were using a local business.  Members asked if another source had been investigated and if a change in printers would be possible.  Information was presented on the process of having the journals printed and assembled if we changed vendors.  All were in agreement to continue with Nelsons in Newton.  Discussion regarding cutting back on the number of pages included in the publication and also that we would be omitting colored pictures within the journal and the format would be printed in black and white. Also, due to the increase in postage rates, we are spending more mailing journals than in previous years.   Suggestion was made to post the publication on our web site and let each individual print their copy; however, this has not proved successful in the past. President Harrison stated the only solution was to increase membership dues to possibly $30 to cover our operating expenses. There was no objection and President Harrison asked members to give this situation some thought and we would discuss this more and vote on a dues increase at our November 14 meeting.  Mr. Ovid Vickers commented on the importance of getting this printed history out to the members and to the public.

Guest Speaker/Program: Vice-President Ralph Gordon introduced the special guest, Demetrius Thompson, Editor of The Newton County Appeal.  Thompson is a native Mississippian and graduated from University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS.  He resides in Decatur, MS.  Thompson spoke on the history of the two local newspapers and the continued work being done in the area.

Door Prize: Door prize was won by Glen Harrison.

Meeting Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 AM.  The next meeting will be held on December 12, 2015 at the NEW Beulah Baptist Church.   Membership meal will be held in the fellowship hall and business meeting will be held in the new sanctuary with the program on the history of Enon Church.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

12 September 2015 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM by Vice President Ralph Gordon in the absence of President Ricky Harrison.

Welcome: The membership, visitors and first time attendees were recognized.

Pledge to the U.S. Flag and Devotion: Chaplain Glen Harrison led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and gave a short devotional incorporating some thoughts about flags as requested by Charles Massey.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Due to the absence of Secretary Susan Sibley, Vice President Gordon asked for the minutes to be provided at the October meeting. Hugh Eatmon made the motion and Wilbert Easom gave the second. The vote was taken and the motion passed.

Vice President Gordon asked to postpone the reading of the Treasurer’s Report until October. Hugh Eatmon made the motion and Charles Massey gave the second. The vote was taken and the motion passed.

Minutes for the September meeting taken by Glen Harrison.

Business: Due to the absence of President Harrison, no new business was discussed. Bobby Caldwell asked about meeting programs for the remainder of the year. Vice President Gordon stated the November program would be Dr. Sue Clifton speaking on the Bell Witch and Wilbert Easom would be presenting on the Key brothers in January.

Guest Speaker: Vice President Gordon introduced the guest speaker, NCHGS member Charles Massey. Mr. Massey gave an informative program on flags through the ages, beginning with the Christian flag. He spoke about the British flag containing the St. Andrew and St. George’s crosses, the Bedford, Pine Tree and Rattlesnake flags used during colonial times. Mr. Massey spoke on the controversy regarding Betsy Ross and her role in the design and creation of the U.S. flag. The program was concluded by two members of a local volunteer fire department demonstrating the proper folding a U.S. flag while Mr. Massey told what each fold meant. The meeting was adjourned following this presentation.

Minutes submitted by Glen Harrison.

8 August 2015 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM by President Ricky Harrison.  Membership and guest were welcomed at this time.  Linda Massey thanked for providing the refreshments for today’s meeting.

Devotion: In the absence of Chaplain Glen Harrison, Bobby Caldwell led the pledge to our flag of The United States of America.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Minutes from June 13, 2015 were presented and President asked for motion to accept minutes as printed.  Motion to accept from Bobby Caldwell; Second by Dan Coit. Membership vote carried to accept minutes as printed by Secretary, Sibley.   President noted that no minutes were available from the July 11, 2015 meeting due to the monthly meeting being cancelled in respect of, member,  Mr. J. P. Hurst who passed away.  Treasurer’s report for June presented.  Motion made by Hugh Eatmon to accept report; Second by Bobby Caldwell.  Report presented for July.  Motion made by Patsy Gary to accept the printed report; Second by Bobby Caldwell.  Membership vote carried to accept both reports as printed by Treasurer Duett.

Old Business: No old business for discussion at this time.

New Business: No new business for discussion at this time.

Guest Speaker/Program: President Harrison introduced the guest speaker due to Vice-President Ralph Gordon’s absence.  Retired Naval Commander James Hoskins spoke to the membership about the history of the United States Navy and the Navy’s part in establishing a sound, strong military system.  Hoskins told of the events in the 1800’s that made a war hero of Stephen Decatur Jr.  Many towns across the United States are named for this great leader.  Hoskins related the history of the Naval Air Station in Meridian from early construction in 1957 until present day’s training of pilots from throughout the US and Europe.

Door Prize: After a “difficult” trivia question, Faye Coit claimed the door prize.   

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting was adjourned at 11:00 AM.  Next meeting will be on September 12, 2015 with NCHGS member presenting the program on the history of our flags.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

11 July 2015 Meeting Notes

July Meeting cancelled due to death of Mr. J. P. Hurst

13 June 2015 Meeting Notes

In the absence of President Ricky Harrison, the meeting was called to order by Vice-President, Ralph Gordon.

Devotion: Pledge to the United States Flag was led by Chaplain Glen Harrison.  Devotional thoughts by Chaplain Harrison.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Printed copies of secretary’s minutes and also treasurer’s report were available for membership’s review.  Vice-President asked for motion to accept the minutes as printed.  Glen Harrison made motion.  Pat Gordon seconded the motion.  Vote to accept carried.

Vice-President asked for motion to accept the treasurer’s report as printed.  Harold Graham made motion; Pat Gordon seconded motion.  Vote carried to accept without discussion.

Old Business: No old business brought for discussion at this time.

New Business: Due to absence of President Harrison, there was no new business brought for discussion.

Guest Speaker/Program: Vice-President Gordon introduced the guest speaker, Mr. David McBride.  McBride, a historian who is knowledgeable of the history of Jones County, Mississippi, spoke on The Free State of Jones and Jones County native, Newt Knight.  Knight is well known for the stand he took during and after the Civil War.  

Door Prize: No door prize was awarded.

Meeting Adjourned: Next meeting will be July 11, 2015 with Charles Massey in charge of the program.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

9 May 2015 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM by President Ricky Harrison.  Membership and first time visitors were welcomed.  A word of thanks for refreshments provided by Patricia Butler and Patsy Gary.  Glen Harrison shared knowledge of contacts on our Facebook page from out-of-state persons.  President Harrison presented the brochure that has been printed as a tool to inform visitors to our area about our resources and contacts.  This was done due to requests about information about our Archives Office by businesses in our area.  Membership asked to inform us of places the brochure should be placed in the area.

Devotion: Chaplain Glen Harrison led the membership in pledge to the flag of The United States of America.  He gave devotional thoughts taken from President Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration speech.  Chaplain led in prayer.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Due to the special day in April, the March printed minuets were presented for vote to accept for records.  President Harrison asked for motion to accept minutes as printed.  Motion made by Charles Massey, seconded by Linda Estes.  Vote carried to accept.  A printed copy of the April meeting has been presented for records only and not for vote.

Treasurer’s report from March was reviewed from printed copies made available prior to meeting.  President Harrison asked for motion to accept Treasurer Gayle Duett’s report.  Motion made by Patsy Gary, seconded by Charles Massey.  Vote carried to accept.

Old Business: No old business to be presented at this time.

New Business: Membership informed that in the future, we will not be mailing out the journals to individuals having a Decatur and Hickory address.  Those are asked to pick up their journal at the Archive office unless they are unable to do so due to health issues.  This is being done to defray the cost of postage.

President Harrison asked for membership to approve his obtaining the cost for a table style microphone to be used in our meetings, replacing the floor style we now use.

Guest Speaker/Program: Due to the absence of Vice-President Ralph Gordon, Secretary Susan Sibley introduced the special guests for the day, The Rowzees a Blue Grass Gospel group.  The Rowzees entertained with an inspirational and informative program of singing and also giving the history of Christian Harmony: Sacred Harp music and giving demonstrations of that style music.

Door Prize: The door prize, a handmade charm bracelet, was presented to Mrs. Ann Burkes

Meeting Adjourned: The next meeting of the NCHGS will be on June 13, 2015 with Mr. David McBride presenting his program on “The Free State of Jones”. Meeting adjourned at 11:20 AM.

11 April 2015 Meeting Notes

President Ricky Harrison called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM and welcomed the membership and special guest.  President Harrison explained that the regular order of business would be postponed until the May 9, 2015 meeting since the April 11, 2015 meeting had been designated as “Melvin Tingle Day” to allow the NCHGS to pay honor and appreciation to Mr. Melvin Tingle for his influence and involvement in organization of the Newton County Archives and the Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society.

Chaplain Glen Harrison gave a brief history of Tingle’s activities and the integral part he played in forming the society and Archives work.  Chaplain Harrison led in prayer.

Vice-president Ralph Gordon presented the biography of Mr. Tingle.  Interesting information from the time of his birth, through his education years and his work with the State of Mississippi as wildlife conservationist was included in this well researched work.  Printed copies of the biography were on hand and were made available to members and guest to take home.

Dr. Harold Graham spoke regarding the similarity of his and Tingle’s lives, interests and their love for History.  Dr. Graham thanked Mr. Tingle for his steadfast encouragement and hard work in getting the Archives where it is today.

Mingo Tingle, son of the guest of honor, told the attendance how his father had impacted his life in developing his interest in History and in making choices that had led him to his work in the Mississippi State Archives Department.

Mayor of Decatur, MS, Pat O’Neill read a proclamation in appreciation for Tingle’s influence on the community and NCHGS and declared April 11, 2015 as Melvin Tingle Day.

At this time, President Harrison and Vice-President Gordon, unveiled the oil portrait of Melvin Tingle that had been painted by Meridian artist, Greg Cartmell.  President Harrison announced that the portrait would be displayed in the “Melvin Tingle – Mississippi Room” in the Newton County Archives building.

Mr. Tingle voiced his surprise and great appreciation for this day of honor he had been allowed to enjoy with his family and friends.

Refreshments and decorations for the event symbolized Mr. Tingle’s love for outdoors and wildlife.  Food was furnished by Sue Bradley and Pat Gordon.  A special “thank you” to Jessi Thaggard, Anna Sibley and Meredith Sibley for greeting the guest and passing out programs and also assisting with the refreshments table.

Next meeting will be held on May 9, 2015 at 10: 00 AM.  The Rowzees, a Bluegrass Gospel group from Newton, MS will be special guest for the day.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

14 March 2015 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00AM by President Ricky Harrison.  Membership and visitors welcomed.  Visitors asked to introduce themselves and encouraged to come again.

Devotion: Due to absence of Chaplain Glen Harrison, President offered devotional thoughts on each individual leaving a positive impact on others.  Stating that spring flowers soon fade and abandoned home sites are forgotten through time, but everyone can make an everlasting difference in someone’s life.  Prayer and pledge to our flag was led by President Harrison.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: The minutes of April’s meeting were made available to membership for review.  President asked for motion to accept minutes as printed.  Ralph Gordon made motion to accept minutes; Charles Massey seconded motion.  Vote of membership to accept minutes carried.

A typographical error in January’s treasurer’s report was corrected and the corrected report was reviewed by President Harrison and asked for motion to accept as corrected.  Motion was made by Hugh Eatman and seconded by Charles Massey.  Vote carried to accept as corrected.

February treasurer’s report reviewed by President Harrison and motion requested.  Motion made to accept report.  Charles Massey made motion to accept and Hugh Eatman seconded motion.  Vote by membership carried to accept report.

Old Business: There was no old business left over for discussion.

New Business: No new business discussed at this time.

Guest Speaker/Program: Vice-president Ralph Gordon introduced the speaker of the day, Cheryl Hamby.  Mrs. Hamby is the Assistant Attorney General for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.  She gave a historical account of how the Choctaws came to reside in Mississippi and also accounts of why other tribes settled in other states.  Sharing legends and truths gave a better understanding of the Choctaw people’s culture and of the Choctaw nation as well as their credibility with the Federal Government.  Before relocating to Philadelphia, Mississippi Hamby resided in Oklahoma where she also worked as Assistant Attorney General with the Cherokee Nation.

Vice-president presented Mrs. Hamby with a copy of The World War II Veterans of Newton County in appreciation for her being in our meeting today.

Door Prize: Melvin Tingle was winner of the door prize which had been donated by Wheeler’s Drug Store.

Meeting Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 AM.  The next meeting will be held on April 11, 2015.  A special program of appreciation and honoring one of our own is planned for that time.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

14 February 2015 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 O’clock AM by President Ricky Harrison.  Visitors and membership welcomed.

Devotion: Glen Harrison, Chaplain, spoke to assembly on unity and the importance of history in our everyday lives.  Chaplain Harrison led the pledge to the flag of the United States of America. 

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: President Harrison presented the minutes from the January 10, 2015 meeting which had been made available to membership prior to the meeting.  Harrison asked for motion to approve the minutes as printed.  Harold Graham made motion to accept the minutes; Charles Massey seconded the motion.  Membership vote approved minutes.

Due to an error found in the printed Treasurer’s report, the vote for approval was postponed until the report could be corrected.  Report will be voted on at March 14, 2015 meeting.

Old Business: There was no old business to be discussed at this time.

New Business: President Harrison asked that any name that should be added to the Memory Board for the year 2014 to be called to the attention of any of the officers.

Guest Speaker/Program: Vice-President Ralph Gordon introduced the guest speaker, Ward Calhoun Jr. who is the records manager from the Lauderdale County Archives in Meridian, MS.  Calhoun presented a historical outline of the life of Lieutenant Thomas Clayton Carter Jr. and his service to his country during WWI.  Calhoun shared the Purple Heart which was awarded to Lieutenant Carter and also the actual flag that had draped Lieutenant Carter’s coffin when his body was returned to the United States for burial.

Door Prize: After answering the trivia question, asked by Melvin Tingle regarding the origin of the term “OK”, Glen Harrison was given a jar of home-made molasses from Newton County grown sugar cane.

Meeting Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 AM.  The next meeting will be held on March 15, 2015.  Guest speaker will be Mrs. Cheryl Hamby, the Assistant Attorney General for the band of Mississippi Choctaw Indians in Philadelphia, MS.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

10 January 2015 Meeting Notes

In the absence of President Ricky Harrison, Vice-President Ralph Gordon called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM.  Membership and visitors welcomed and first time attendees were asked to stand and introduce themselves.

Devotion:   Newly appointed Chaplain Glen Harrison was absent due to illness.  Charles Massey led membership in prayer and pledge to American flag.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Minutes from December 2014 meeting was made available for membership prior the meeting.  Vice-President Gordon asked for motion to accept the Secretary’s minutes as printed.  Motion made by Dr. Harold Graham and seconded by Charles Massey.  Membership vote carried to accept minutes as written.

Financial report from out-going Treasurer Iva Dean Smith was made available to membership prior the meeting.  Vice-President asked for motion to accept the report as printed.  Motion made by Patsy Gary and seconded by Charles Massey.  Vote carried to accept report as presented.

Old Business: No old business discussed at this time.

New Business: No new business to be brought to membership at this time.

Secretary Susan Sibley made announcement regarding the refreshment sign-up list and also reminded membership to return the form for up –dating the membership information as soon as possible.

Guest Speaker/Program: Vice-President Gordon introduced the guest speaker, Greg Cartmell, a professional artist, art instructor, musician and craftsman from Meridian, MS. Cartmell is famous for creating a painting in less than one hour and demonstrated this by painting the portrait of Mr. Melvin Tingle, member of NCHGS.  While working on the painting, Cartmell shared technique tips and told his story of how he came to move from Pennsylvania, to Meridian, MS over 40 years ago.

Door Prize: No door prize for this meeting.

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 11:00 AM.  Next meeting will be February 14, 2014 with Ward Calhoun Jr. Records Manager for Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History, Meridian, MS

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

NCHGS PROGRAMS FOR 2014

January 11

 TBD

February 8

 Mark LaFrancis, writer, journalist, military historian, verteran’s rights advocate and retire from AF after 23 years.

March 8

Newton County Sheriff, Jackie Knight presenting.

April 12

Richelle Putnam, author, song writer and singer.

May 10

Mr. James Walker Harrison to tell the story of five generations of Harrisons in Newton County

June 14

Dianne Williams, author of Mississippi Folk and the Tales They Tel.l

July 12

Gayle Duett of Little Rock, MS and guest speaker, Mary Earle Eleuterius from Ocean Springs, MS will present the history of the Brand family.

August 9

June Davidson, Author of Country Stores in MS

September 13

Walt Grayson

October 11

Major General Erik Hearon, USAF Retired

November 8

 Thanksgiving meal.

December 13

Sid Salter

Meeting Notes

13 December 2014 Meeting Notes

The December 13, 2014 meeting was called to order by President Ricky Harrison at 10:00 AM.  The membership and visitors were welcomed and recognized.

Devotion: Ann Burkes gave meaningful thoughts regarding the meaning of Christmas taken from a special Christmas card. The pledge to our flag was presented by the membership of NCHGS.

Guest Speaker: Due to a scheduling conflict, the guest speaker was introduced by Vice-President Ralph Gordon and allowed to present his program at this time.

Syndicated columnist, Sid Salter, a Mississippi State Alumni and Officer of Public Affairs at Mississippi State University, spoke on the history of journalism in Mississippi.  Salter gave interesting facts regarding the evolution of journalism and newspapers in the state dating back to 1823 and the printing of the first newspaper in the state at Woodville, Ms.  Salter has seen the small enterprises being bought by large co-operations causing the number of newspapers in Mississippi to diminish.  He stated that the future of journalism and newspapers were in jeopardy due to the access of today’s news on electronic devices.  At the close of Salter’s program, he was presented with a Newton County Veterans of WWII   and the latest issue of Remembering.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: After review of the minutes, President Harrison asked for motion to accept minutes as printed and presented to membership.  Motion made by Harold Graham, seconded by Melvin Tingle.  Vote carried to accept minutes as written.

Treasurer’s report was presented and President Harrison asked for motion to accept report.  Melvin Tingle made motion, seconded by Harold Graham.  Vote carried to accept treasurer’s report.

At this time Iva Dean Smith was recognized for her tenure of seven (7) years as treasurer for NCHGS.  To thank her for her work and dedication, President Harrison presented her with a beautiful handmade, wooden cross.

Old Business: There was no old business for discussion at this time.

New Business: The business session was turned over to Dr. Harold Graham to conduct the election of new officers for the year 2015.  President Harrison and Secretary Sibley stepped outside during the discussion and election.  Vice-President Gordon was not present at that time. 

The result of the election of officers for 2015:     President----------Ricky Harrison

                                                                               Vice-President - Ralph Gordon

                                                                                Secretary--------Susan Sibley

                                                                                Treasurer -------Gayle Duett

President Harrison announced there would be a reception on December 18, 2014 to honor the elected officials of Newton County and to show our appreciation for their support and for the work that has been done to our Archives Building over the past year.

Harrison invited the membership who were present at the meeting to come by the Archives Building today and see the beautiful Christmas decorations provided by Sue Bradley and also to see the new carpet that has been installed in the main office of the building

    Guest Speaker/Program:

Door Prize:  No door prize was awarded at this meeting.

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 12:00PM.  Next meeting is January 10, 2015.  Professional artist Greg Cartmell of Meridian will be in charge of the program.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

8 November 2014 Meeting Notes

The November meeting of NCHGS was called to order at 10:00 o’clock AM by President Ricky Harrison.  The membership and visitors were welcomed.

Devotion: In the absence of Chaplain Jo Veenetra, Bobby Caldwell brought the devotion thoughts from Psalms 100:4.  Thanksgiving if the time to give thanks to God for all He has done for us.

Pledge to the United States flag was led by Bobby Caldwell.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Minutes were printed and made available to membership prior to the meeting.  President Harrison called attention to the minutes and asked for a motion to accept as printed.  Motion made and seconded to accept the minutes as printed.

Harrison recognized Mrs. Iva Dean Smith for the great job she does as treasurer.  Report was reviewed and asked for motion to accept report at presented.  Motion made and seconded to accept report from Treasurer Smith.

Old Business: There was no old business carried over to this meeting.

New Business: No new business was presented.

 Guest/Program: President Harrison offered a prayer of thanksgiving and also a blessing on the food for the meal to follow the program.

Mr. Charlie Harrison and Larry Blackburn were recognized as our guests for the day.  They gave an amazing concert of classic country music.  After the musical program, a traditional “pot-luck” Thanksgiving meal was enjoyed by the membership and guests.

Door Prize: The door prize was a fall door wreath and was won by Mr. J. P. Hurst for remembering the date the Grand Ole Opry broadcast their first radio program.

Meeting Adjourned: Next meeting will be held on 13 December, 2014 with Mr. Sid Salter our guest speaker.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

11 October 2014 Meeting Notes

The October meeting of NCHGS was called to order at 10:00 o’clock AM by President Ricky Harrison.

The membership and visitors were recognized. Appreciation expressed to Linda and Charles Massey for the morning’s refreshments.

Devotion: In the absence of the Chaplain, Jo Veenestra, the pledge to the United States Flag  was led by Bobby Caldwell and invocation led by Welbert Easom.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Printed copies of minutes were made available of the Secretary’s report.  After review by membership, President asked for motion to accept minutes as printed.  Ralph Gordon made motion and was seconded by Hugh Eatmon.  Membership voted to accept the minutes as written.

President Harrison asked for a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.  Motion made by Bobby Caldwell and seconded by Charles Massey.  Membership voted to accept the report.

Old Business: President Harrison’s update on the carpet for the Archives office:  Carpet has been ordered and plans for it to be installed in the front office within the month.  The Board of Supervisors also approved carpeting the back room, known as the Research Room, by next summer.

A reminder of the November 8, 2014 meeting and Thanksgiving meal was called to the membership’s attention.  The meat to be provided and the attending members are asked to bring a side dish to contribute to the meal.  The meeting and meal will be held at the pavilion on East Central’s campus, weather permitting.  In the event of inclement weather, meeting will be held at the Human Resources Building as usual.  All were asked to be prepared in sharing memories of past Thanksgiving holidays.

The cemetery project will began after the first frost and the weather is cooler.  Plans to locate and research cemeteries in this area will be open to anyone who would like to be involved and who might have information on a cemetery of interest.

New Business: Members were informed about the new membership form reflecting the dues change.  We will be mailing out the forms to all members and we need the information filled in and returned in order to update and correct records.

President Harrison appointed a nominating committee to choose candidates for 2015 officers of NCHGS: Terry Lange, Dr. Harold Graham, and Charles Massey.  This committee will have names ready for election of new officers at the December 13, 2014 meeting.  Membership voted to accept the names submitted for committee by President Harrison.

Guest Speaker: Vice-president, Ralph introduced guest speaker, Maj Gen Erik Hearon, United States Air Force Retired.  Hearon, a native of Jackson, MS has worked in the Pentagon; he served in the Antarctica, Afghanistan, Jackson and Meridian, MS over his 40 years of service.  He was commander of the 186th Air Re-fueling, MS Air National Guard in Meridian. His last station of duty was at the HQ of Air Guard in Jackson.  Hearon spoke about the history of the Air Guard and the important role the Guard plays in our national defense.  While working on Veteran affairs for improvement of the Veteran’s Hospital, he met and got to know Byron da la Beckwith Jr.  Finding his story interesting and a significant part of our state’s history, he decided to write a book on the da la Beckwith family.  At this time he is researching and gathering information for his book.  Ralph Gordon presented Maj Gen Hearon with a copy of the Newton County Veterans of WWII book.

Door Prize: The door prize this month was donated by L & M Detail Shop in Newton for a courtesy car wash and cleaning the inside of car.  Linda Estes was the recipient of the door prize.

Meeting Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned at 10:58 AM.  Next meeting will be held on November 8, 2014.  A Thanksgiving meal with members of the NCHGS is being planned for that meeting.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

13 September 2014 Meeting Notes

The September meeting of NCHGS was called to order at 10:00 AM by President Ricky Harrison.

The membership and first time visitors were welcomed and all visitors stood and introduced themselves.

Devotion: In the absence of Chaplain Jo Venestra, Bobby Caldwell shared thoughts based on Psalms 112:5.  Hayes McMahan led in prayer.  Bobby Caldwell led pledge to our flag.  Bobby recognized Emily Jordan and Rosa Clark for providing the refreshments of the morning.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Printed copies of minutes and financial report were made available for membership and after reviewing, President Harrison asked for motion to accept the Secretary’s report as printed.  Ralph Gordon made motion to accept as printed and a second was recognized.  Membership voted to accept the minutes.

President Harrison reviewed the Treasurer’s report and asked for motion to be made to accept as presented.  Ralph Gordon made motion to accept and a second was recognized.  Membership vote carried to accept report.

Old Business: Harrison informed membership that the new computer desk had been purchased and were in place in the Archives Office. 

The Board of Supervisors has approved that we can have carpet installed in one room of the building and a second room in the following year of 2015.

The November 8th Thanksgiving meal was confirmed to be held at the pavilion located on the East Central Community College campus.  Selections of meat are to be provided by the officers and other sides to be provided by the attending membership.

New Business: There was no new business for discussion at this time.

Door Prize: Emily Jordan was recipient of the door prize this month which was Walt Grayson’s book, Oh! That Reminds Me” More Mississippi Homegrown Stories. 

Guest Speaker: Ralph Gordon introduced the speaker, TV Host and Mississippi author, Walt Grayson.  Mr. Grayson is well known to residents of Central Mississippi from WLBT television and later as host of Mississippi Roads and Looking Around Mississipp, seen on Public Broadcasting Station.  In true form, Mr. Grayson entertained us with stories of his travels throughout Mississippi and adventures which led to his writing books.  Mr. Grayson’s recent book was made available for purchase and he graciously signed each one.

Meeting Adjourned: Ralph Gordon presented Walt Grayson with a World War II book.  Meeting was adjourned at 11:00 AM.

Next meeting will be held on October 11, 2014 with special guest Retired Air Force Maj Gen Erik Hearon

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

9 August 2014 Meeting Notes

Meeting was called to order by President Ricky Harrison at 10:00 A.M.

Welcome: The membership and visitors were welcomed.  First time attendees were asked to stand and introduce themselves.

Devotion: In keeping with the theme of “Country Stores”, the devotion was given by Chaplain Jo Veenstra on the topic of being a good storekeeper with the blessings God “abundantly showers on his children”.  Chaplain Veenstra led in prayer and also led the pledge to the flag.

At this time Melvin Tingle, who was introduced by President Harrison, presented an award of appreciation to Dr. Harold Graham for the research he had done on the Wroten – Crawford families. 

Minutes and Treasurer’s Reports: After the membership had time to read the printed minutes from the July meeting, President Harrison asked for a motion to be made to accept the report as printed.  Motion was made by Ralph Gordon to accept the minutes; Dr. Graham seconded the motion.  Membership vote carried to accept the Secretary’s report as printed.  President Harrison reviewed the financial report and asked for a motion to be made to accept the report as printed.  Motion made by Ralph Gordon; seconded by Melvin Tingle.  Membership vote carried to accept the report.

Old Business: There was no old business to be discussed.

New Business: President Harrison informed the membership of the need to buy two (2) computer desks for the Archives office.  Recently a $100 donation was made in memory of Neal Smith and donor asked that the money be used to purchase something for the office that would improve the working conditions there.  Harrison expressed the desire to be able to use the donation to purchase one (1) computer desk.  After a brief discussion from the membership, a motion was made by Melvin Tingle and seconded by Charles Massey to use that particular donation to buy one (1) desk and to make up the difference from the treasury to purchase the second desk.  Membership vote carried.

Guest Speaker: Ralph Gordon introduced the guest speaker, June Davis Davidson.  Mrs. Davidson a Mississippi author has had her work published and she also has co-authored other books.  Her latest book, Country Stores of Mississippi, takes a look back to the country stores that were once in operation in almost every small community.  Mrs. Davidson signed her book and greeted the members following her program.

Door Prize: Mrs. Margaret Smith was recipient of the door prize that had been donated by Nan Casciro from the Antique Alley in Meridian, MS.  The gift consisted of a bar of soap, a candle and a room atomizer which were made by Mrs. Casciro

After the presentation of the door prize, President Harrison spoke to the membership regarding a Thanksgiving lunch after our November 08, 2014 meeting.  The pavilion at East Central Community College will be reserved for the lunch.  Meat will be provided and the membership is asked to supply the side dishes and desserts.

Sandra Jones and Jo Veenstra were cordially thanked for providing refreshments today.

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 10:55 A.M.

Next meeting will be held on September13, 2014.  Noted television host and Mississippi author Walt Grayson will be our guest.

Minutes submitted by Susan Sibley, Secretary

12 July 2014 Meeting Notes

Meeting was called to order by President Ricky Harrison at 10:00 AM.

Welcome: The membership and visitors were welcomed to the meeting.  Due to the number of visitors attending the meeting, each was asked to introduce themselves.

Devotion: In the absence of Chaplain Jo Veenestra, Bobby Caldwell presented the devotional thoughts using Psalms 85:9.  Dan Coit led morning prayer.  Bobby Caldwell led the pledge of allegiance to the United States Flag.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Reports: President Harrison asked for motion to approve the Secretary’s report as written and printed.  Motion made by Harold Graham and seconded by Charles Massey.  Vote to accept minutes carried.

President Harrison reviewed the Treasurer’s report before asking for motion to accept report as written and printed.  Motion made by Harold Graham and seconded by Charles Massey.  Vote carried to accept report.

Business: There was no old business for discussion.

President Harrison gave membership information on the progress of the Policy and Procedures committee in developing a policy and procedure manual.  President Harrison also informed the membership of the recommendation to change the membership dues from $20 per person and $25 per family to actually, $24 a year.  This will allow the dues to be pro-rated at $2 per month making it easier to figure an individual’s cost for membership when he/she pays later in the year than January 01.  There will no longer be a “family” membership due.   Life-time membership remains the same.  President Harrison put this recommendation in the form of a motion and asked for second.  Motion seconded and vote carried to change dues to $24 beginning 01 January, 2015.

President Harrison explained the change recommended for the two positions of Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary to be combined having only one position: Secretary.  Harrison put this recommendation in the form of motion.  Second received.  Membership’s vote carried.

President Harrison expressed his appreciation to Terry Lange.  Terry has served as editor of the “Remembering”, a quarterly journal of the NCHGS.  Terry’s hard work and dedication in this area has not gone unnoticed.  The long hours put forth has produced some wonderful articles and pictures that allows us to hold on to the history of our county and state while preserving it for the future generations.  Terry is passing this job on to the capable hands of Dr. Harold Graham who will continue as the editor of this publication.

Guest Speaker: President Harrison introduced Gayle Duett of Little Rock, MS and guest speaker, Mary Earle Eleuterius from Ocean Springs, MS.  These two (2) have been an integral part in researching the Brand family.  Long hours, several years and a lot of hard work have gone into tracing their ancestors back to the 1600s.   Mrs. Eleuterius presented the history with facts, humor and impressive displays of photographs, documents, artifacts and even Civil War soldier’s uniforms. Documented information of marriages, births and deaths dating back to the 1700s had been obtained in the research.  Great appreciation for sharing this large endeavor goes to Eleuterius and Duett.

Door Prize: Leah Chatham from Rose Hill, MS received the door prize:  A free meal for two (2) donated from Los Parriellros Mexican restaurant in Newton, MS.

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting was adjourned at 11:15 AM.

Next month’s meeting will be held on August 09, 2014.  June Davis Davidson, Mississippi author of “Country Stores of MISSISSIPPI” will be guest speaker.

    Minutes submitted by Susan P Sibley, Secretary

14 June 2014 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM by Vice-President Ralph Gordon in the absence of President Ricky Harrison.

Welcome: The membership, visitors and first-time attendees were recognized.  Mrs. Shirley Evans, wife of the President of Leake County Historical and Genealogical Society, and Robert Evans and Mrs. Nan Stamper were in attendance. 

Devotion: Chaplain Venestra used as her devotional thoughts, the history of Father’s Day. Ones whose fathers are still living were asked to stand in their honor.  Those whose fathers were no longer living were asked to stand in memory of them.

Charles Massey was asked to lead the pledge to the American flag.  In reference to June 14, being Flag Day, Massey asked all to please display deep respect and devotion when saying the words of the pledge to the flag and reminded all of the sacrifices made, now and in the past, for our freedom.

Minutes and Treasure’s Reports: Vice-President Gordon asked for a motion to be made to accept the minutes as printed and presented to the membership.  Motion made by Patsy Gary and seconded by Lamar Bradley.  Vote carried to accept as written.

Vice-President Gordon asked for a motion to be made to accept the treasurer’s report as printed and presented to the membership.  Motion made by Jo Venestra and seconded by Charles Massey.  Vote carried to accept as written.

Business:Due to absence of President Harrison, no new business was discussed at this time.

Vice-President Gordon thanked Patsy Gary and Patricia Butler for the refreshments they served and asked anyone who had not signed up for an opportunity to serve as hostess to please do it today.

Guest Speaker: Vice-President Gordon introduced our guest speaker, Diane Williams.  Mrs. Williams’s program proved to be very entertaining and filled with stories she had collected from her travels throughout the state of MS.  Her expertise of storytelling brought forth what she described as the “juice joy”of laughter.  Not only is Mrs. Williams an enthusiastic speaker, but she has written three books of resources for teaching students the art and appreciation of story-telling.  She writes poetry and is also an artist of mixed medium fabric (she makes quilts). Her latest book, Mississippi Folk and the Tales They Tell-Myth, Ledgends and Bald-Faced Lies, if filled with Southern based stories.

Door Prize: Lamar Bradley was winner of the door-prize package of pocket knife, men’s cologne and a devotion book entitled, “Men’s Moments With God”.

Meeting Adjourned: Meeting was adjourned at 11:50 AM.

Next month’s meeting will be held on July 12, 2014.  Mary Earl Brand Eleuterius will present the history of the Brand family.

    Minutes submitted by Susan P Sibley, Secretary

10 May 2014 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM by President Ricky Harrison.

Devotional: In the absence of Chaplain Veenestra and Mr.Bobby Caldwell, the devotional thoughts were presented by President Harrison.  Emphasis was set on the importance of the family due to the following day being Mother’s Day.  Scripture from Proverbs 1:8 and also Mark 3:25 & 35 was referenced.  Mr. Harold Carrolton led prayer.  Pledge to the American Flag was led by President Harrison.

Welcome: President Harrison welcomed the membership and guests.  Janet Harrison Estes welcomed for her first time attending.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Reports: Motion made and seconded to accept the minutes as written and presented by the secretary.  Vote to accept report.   Treasurer’s report reviewed and motion made and seconded to accept report as presented by treasurer.  Vote carried to accept report.

Business: President Harrison reminded membership about the cemetery research forms and if anyone has information about an “old” cemetery to be sure to turn in the information.  Volunteers were informed about the work being done on the air conditioners in the Archives Building and assured the work would be completed soon.

There was no new business to be discussed at this time.

Guest Speaker: Vice-President Gordon introduced the guest speaker, Mr. James Walker Harrison.  Mr.Harrison welcomed the membership into his home and carried them back to Cambridge, England to begin his journey to Newton County.  Our special thanks to Glen Harrison for navigating this journey for his ancestor and assisting him in telling the story of   five generations of HARRISONS OF NEWTON COUNTY.

Vice-President Gordon reviewed the lists of speakers for the remaining year.

Door Prize: The winner of the door prize, a make-up bag with lotions and cosmetics, was Linda Massey.  President Harrison thanked the hostesses, Linda Estes and Nelda McMullan, for supplying the refreshments today.

Meeting adjourned: Motion made to adjourn meeting at 10:50 AM.  Next meeting will be held on June 14, 2014 with Dianne Williams, author of Mississippi Folk and the Tales They Tell, as the special guest.

    Minutes submitted by Susan P Sibley, Secretary

12 April 2014 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM by President Ricky Harrison

Devotional: Chaplain Jo Veenstra presented the devotional thoughts, referencing Easter, resurrection, and new life.  Chaplain Veenstra led in prayer.  Pledge to the American flag led by ChaplainVeenstra.

Welcome: President Harrison welcomed the membership and new members and recognized visitors.  Thanked hostess for the month, Sue Bradley for the refreshments.  In observance of National Volunteer Week, Harrison asked all volunteers to stand and recognized each for their contribution as volunteers in the Archives Building.  President Harrison reported on his opportunities to speak to civic organizations lately and voiced his appreciation of representing the NCHGS in these engagements.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Reports: Motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes as written.  Membership voted to approve. Treasurer’s report was presented.  Motion made and seconded to accept as written.  Voted to accept report.

Business: President Harrison commented on the work that has been done inside and outside the Archives Building, noting that a chime doorbell has been installed that will alert workers of someone entering the building if they are away from the front desk.

President Harrison introduced the Cemetery Research project, explaining the intent to locate and identify “lost” cemeteries in Newton County and to use this information to create an archive for these.  Committee to work on this project  is as follows:  Lamar and Sue Bradley, Glen Harrison, Charles Massey, Gregg Began, Ralph Gordon, Ricky Harrison and Susan Sibley.  Forms were present for anyone with knowledge of a cemetery to fill out and return to President Harrison.

President Harrison spoke of the need for a Policy and Procedures Manual listing job descriptions for the officers and volunteers which would allow knowledge and separation of each duty.  Appointed committee for Policy and Procedures Manual is:  Dr. Harold Graham, Ann Burks, Terry Lang, Linda Estes, Ralph Gordon, Ricky Harrison and Susan Sibley.

Guest Speaker: Vice President Gordon introduced our guest, Richelle Putman, founder of the Mississippi Writer’s Guild.  She is on the board of the writer’s guild; an author, singer and song writer.  Multi-talented Putnam is a native of Meridian, MS.  Her latest achievement is her book entitled, The Inspiring Life of Eudora Welty, written as a historical account of Mississippi writer Eudora Welty.  Putnam read excerpts from her book and shared some of the interesting facts about Ms. Welty.   She concluded the program with an emotional song co-written with Vice-President Gordon, How Many Can You Take Today from the stage play, Women of Potta Chitto, set in the Civil War era and also co-written by Putnam and Gordon.

Door Prize: An Easter basket made up of garden tools and supplies needed when planting a flower garden was presented to Mrs. Elsie Hagan.

Meeting adjourned: Motion was made and seconded to adjourn meeting at 11:50 AM.

Next meeting will be held on May 10, 2014 with Ron Searcy, NCHGS webmaster, researcher and member as the guest speaker.

    Minutes submitted by Susan P Sibley, Secretary

8 March 2014 Meeting Notes

In the absence of President Ricky Harrison, the Vice-President Ralph Gordon called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM. 

Devotional: Bobby Caldwell’s devotional thoughts on “Serving Others” were taken from Genesis 40:6.  He referenced the duties of our special guest, Sheriff Jackie Knight as his “servingthe patrons of Newton County.  Bill Jordon led in prayer and Bobby Caldwell led the membership in the pledge to our flag.

Minutes and Treasure Reports: The minutes of 08 February, 2014 meeting and also the treasurer’s report was printed and made available to the membership prior to the meeting.  Vice-President Gordon asked for a motion to accept these reports as printed.  Motion was made and seconded and vote carried to accept as printed.

Business: Dr. Harold Graham was asked to inform the members regarding the micro film reader that has been donated to the Archives.  Ron Searcy, the NCHGS webmaster, delivered the micro film reader and has already put many of the Newton Record dating back to the early 1950s on film.  He will be working on more documents in the near future.  Clean-up work day has been set for Monday, March l0, 2014 at 10:00 AM to trim shrubs and clean the yard around the Archives building.

Guest Speaker: Vice-President Gordon introduced Sheriff Jackie Knight and Deputy Mark Spence.  Sheriff Knight has been elected five (5) consecutive terms in Newton County and Deputy Spence has worked with Knight since before Knight was elected Sheriff.  Knight spoke on the preservation of county records.  He stated the records begin with logging into a docket book which contains the date, a person’s name, age and pertinent information regarding that particular person.  All records are stored on the grounds at the Sheriff’s Office until they are taken to the Justice Court Building in Decatur, MS for permanent storage.  Sheriff Knight asked for Mark Spence to address the membership on safety and how to avoid assault of an individual when shopping and at home.   His tips included illustrations such as parking cars in a lighted area where the store’s cameras will pick up any action; travel in groups; keeping hands free from packages; hold purse/wallet securely; carry keys in hands when exiting the store; avoid strangers.  The membership was informed of different kinds of scams that they could fall victim to and encouraged everyone to call 911 in the event of an assault or call the Sheriff’s Office if they are a victim of a scam.  Members encouraged inventorying weapons serial numbers and recording them and keeping all valuables in safety box outside of home.

Meeting Adjourned: Vice-President Gordon adjourned the meeting.

Next meeting will be on 12 April, 2014 beginning at 10:00 AM.  The special guest will be Richelle Putnam, author, song writer and singer.

      Minutes submitted by Susan P Sibley, Secretary

8 February 2014 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM by President Ricky Harrison.

Devotional: Jo Veenestra, Past-President recognized Valentine’s Day and called attention to scripture in 2 Timothy that speaks of a “good soldier”, referencing our program today.  A National Prayer by Thomas Jefferson was read and Bill Jordan led in prayer.  Jo Veenestra led pledge to our flag.

Visitors Recognition: Robert Evans, President of Historical and Genealogical Society in Carthage, MS and Leah Shepherd Chatham from Rose Hill, MS.  Both stated they will become members of NCHGS today.

Minutes and Treasurer Reports:Minutes for 11 January, 2014 made available to membership prior to meeting. President asked for motion to approve the minutes as printed Motion made and seconded and vote carried to approve. Treasurer report reviewed by President Harrison.  Asked for motion to approve as printed.  Motion made and seconded and vote carried to approve. 

Committee Report: Budget committee meeting was postponed until all members are able to attend. Tech committee reports on a computer that has been left for use in the archives building for trial period of three (3) weeks.  Computer available for purchase at $400 at end of that time

Business: After a brief discussion re the computer, motion was made and seconded to proceed and finalize purchase of this computer.

Terry Lange reminded all to renew membership dues and to pick up the journal to help cut postage cost.

President Harrison pointed out the “refreshment sign-up” sheet for those who wished to assist in furnishing refreshments for the social time at meetings.

Guest Speaker: Vice-President Ralph Gordon introduced Mark LaFrancis, writer, journalist, military historian, veteran’s rights advocate and retiree from Air Force after 23 years. He is recipient of a grant from the humanities council for the state of MS for a WWII veterans’ history project which allowed him interview and record stories of more than 20 veterans whose stories will be preserved at the University of MS Center of Oral History and Cultural Heritage.  He is the founder of Home With Heroes dedicated to helping veterans and their families focusing on those with PTSD.   His unique program was compiled from inspirational and heart-warming interviews of veterans and family members of Iraq and Afghanistan which Mark has converted to poetry entitled “In Their Boots:  Poems Inspired by Soldiers and Their Loved Ones”.  Mark, assisted by Ann Burkes, read selections from his publication.

Meeting Adjourned: Motion made and seconded to adjourn meeting at 12:05 PM.

Next meeting will be 8 March, 2014 beginning at 10:00 AM. Newton County sheriff, Jackie Knight will be special guest and in charge of the program.

             Minutes submitted by Susan P. Sibley, Secretary

11 January 2014 Meeting Notes

Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM by President Ricky Harrison.

Devotional: Bobby Caldwell introduced by President Harrison.  His devotional thoughts were taken from the book of Psalms and prayer led by Ricky Harrison.  William Savell was asked to lead the pledge to our flag.

Visitor and New Member Recognition: Nelda McMullan introduced and welcomed.

Agenda: President Harrison thanked the past officers for their work as well as encouraged more volunteers to become involved.

Minutes and Treasurer Reports: Minutes from previous meeting will be available next month for approval Treasury report presented.  Motion made and second to accept report.  Vote  carried.

Committee Reports: Budget committee to meet to review finances. Technology committee to continue work on purchasing a new copier for Archives building that will accommodate our needs.

Business:

Memory Board:  President Harrison asked that he be informed of names needed to update the memory board.

Refreshments:  Discussion regarding the refreshments that are provided each month before the meeting.  President thanked those who have been responsible for making these possible and voiced his appreciation for the time spent in our social interaction each month.  President will be contacting members who are

interested in insuring refreshments for future meetings.

Archives building:  President to meet with Board of Supervisors to personally thank them for the work done on the building to make this a better facility in which to work.  Training sessions are planned for future to increase the knowledge of the work required in Archives.

Update on the historical marker for the “train wreck” that stands on Hwy 80 near Hickory, MS stated that the marker had collapsed due to concrete deterioration but has been re-erected by MDOT.

Guest Speaker: Vice-president Ralph Gordon introduced Mr. Ovid Vickers, retired English Literature educator at ECCC for 58 years.  Mr. Vickers called attention to his book, “The East Central I Knew”, which was written and given to ECCC.  All gains from the book will go directly to the ECCC Foundation, not Mr. Vickers.  His informative and entertaining talk covered how he acquired his employment with East Central, how he came to write his book, the history of East Central, former presidents of East Central and special of the memories of East Central covered in his book.

Door Prize and Meeting Adjourned: President Harrison provided a jar of  home made sugar cane syrup as door prize which was won by Linda Massey. Motion made and carried to adjourn meeting. Next meeting  February 8, 2014 with guest speaker Retired Air Force veteran Mark LaFrancis.

                         Submitted by Susan P. Sibley, Recording Secretary

NCHGS PROGRAMS FOR 2013

January 12 2013

Dr. Harold Graham will lead the TEN PLUS meeting. This will be a time of celebration of the past 10 plus years and a commitment to set higher goals for the NCHGS.

February 9 2013

Donald Vance will present “The Antebellum Period”

March 9 2013

Anne McKee will present program

April 13 2013

Mr. Ovid Vickers “What makes Mississippians out of People”

May 11 2013

Bobby Caldwell “Old Home Remedies”

June 8 2013

Antiques “Show & Tell”

July 13 2013

William Savell on circuit riding in Newton County

August 10 2013

Pam Hillman, author of Christian fiction.

September 14 2013

Living History with the Manship Family with re-enactors portraying Charles Henry Manship and his wife, Adaline.

October 12 2013

Sandra Smith, Director of Human Services, Newton County.

November 9 2013

Hewit Clark will be the speaker

December 14 2013

 

Meeting Notes

14 December 2013 Meeting Notes

The December meeting was called to order by Jo Veenstra, President.  Bobby Cardwell gave the devotional and led us in the pledge to the flag. He asked

Wilburt Easom to lead us in prayer.

Copies of the November minutes and financial report were available and were approved as printed.

Jo called for old business and there was none. Jo reminded us that it is now time to pay our 2014 dues so we need to dig out our check books.

Jo asked for new business and Emily Jordan, Chairwoman of the Nominating Committee, presented the new slate of officers.  They are:

President Ricky Harrison, Vice President Ralph Gordon, Recording Secretary Sue Sibley, Corresponding Secretary Terry Lange, and Treasurer Iva Dean Smith.

Lou White asked that she be allowed to make an announcement about her granddaughter's upcoming wedding and she did so.

 It was stated that the Newton County Board of Supervisors do many things for the Society and as we have occasion we should thank them.

William  Savell had the program and it was about Christmas Time.  He talked about many of the traditions that we have, how they got started, trivia questions, etc. and he led the group in singing Christmas carols.

Jo asked that all officers, old and new, stay for a short meeting after the program.

Jean Easom, Recording Secretary

9 November 2013 Meeting Notes

Jo Veenstra, President, called the meeting to order.  She reminded us that it was Veterans' Week End and how proud she was of our vets and that we should thank them when we have an occasion to do so.

Several people shared the things for which they were thankful. Jo led in the pledge to the flag and prayer.

Jo asked for old business and there was none except Jo reported that the nominating committee had met once and would be meeting again. Jo asked for new business and there was none. The financial report and minutes were approved as printed.

Melvin Tingle introduced our speaker for the day who was Hewitt Clarke, author, who has written a new book entitled Wild Times at Meridian and DeKalb.   

Jean Easom, Secretary

12 October 2013 Meeting Notes

Minutes of the October, 2013 Meeting of Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society.  Jo Veenstra, President, called the meeting to order, lead the Pledge, a short devotional and lead in prayer.

Jo asked for old business and Glen Harrison reported that the computer equipment had been purchased and was installed and running although some were not happy with the new windows eight. Glen stated that when you buy new equipment it comes with the new updates and some of us are happier with the older version.

Jo called for new business and she stated that it was time for us to begin looking for officers for the coming year.  Jo asked the following to serve on the Nominating Committee:

Emily Jordan, Chairperson
Harold Graham
Ralph Gordon
Jo Veenstra

All were approved.

Emily Jordan introduced our speaker for the day, who is Sandra Smith, Director of Human Services of Newton County.  Sandra gave a very informative talk about the services that her organization provides for the needy of our county and was very appreciative of the help that some of the churches provide.

Hewit Clark will be our speaker for the November meeting which will be on the 9th. 

Jean Easom, Secretary

14 September 2013 Meeting Notes

Emily Jordan called the meeting to order and asked her husband, Bill Jordan, to lead the devotion and prayer.  Ann Burke led the pledge to the flag.  Emily asked for old business.  At the August meeting Jo Veenstra had appointed a committee of Glenn Harrison, Chairman, together with Harold Graham, Terry Lange and Ann Burkes to decide on the Society's computer needs, secure prices, and make a recommendation to the Society about what we should purchase. Glenn presented the committee's decision that we purchase a HP Desk Top, 4 gigabytes memory, for $400 plus the software that we need to go with it, for a total of  $700.  Harold seconded the motion and the motion was carried.  Glenn will set up everything for us and it will come to us ready to use.  The need for a legal size copier was discussed, and we decided to discuss it more at the October meeting.

Copies of the August minutes and the financial report were available and were approved.

Harold Graham has done the Hollingsworth family from England and it is available for $10 at the archives.

Our program was presented by Philip and Joyce Huskey.  They are part of the Newton County Hollingsworth-Wyatt-Mayes Families.  The re-enactors portrayed Charles Henry Manship and his wife Adaline.  The couple talked about life in Jackson during the Civil War.  Charles related the conditions in the city just before the Union troops arrived in May 1863.  Mrs. Manship took refuge in the swamp during the occupation and shared her memories of those conditions.  A great program!

Our next meeting will be October 12.                           Jean Easom, Secretary

10 August 2013 Meeting Notes

Jo Veenstra, President, called the meeting to order.  Bobby Caldwell gave the devotional and led us in the pledge to the flag.  Bobby asked Wilburt Easom to lead us in prayer.

In the minutes for July the names of several circuit riders in Newton County were named and Lorenzo Dow was among them.  Dr. Harold Graham indicated this was not correct as he died in 1836 and it is unlikely he ever travelled here. He was, however, a great influence over many of the early settlers who had heard him preach elsewhere or who had heard of others who had done so.  It is estimated that more than 10,000 babies were named after him; therefore, if you have someone born by or before 1836 with the name Lorenzo D. the middle initial usually stands for Dow. This correction was noted and the July minutes and financial report were approved.

Jo called for old business and there was none. She then asked for new business. Jo indicated that she had asked Glenn Harrison to go by the archives office and look at all of our computer equipment and give us his opinion of its status.  He did this and there was a general discussion of our problems and our needs. Jo asked that we appoint a committee to determine our needs, prices that are available and come back next month with a recommendation of exactly the model and price of what we should purchase.  She asked that Glenn Harrison chair that committee and Harold Graham, Terry Lange and Ann Burkes serve on that committee.

Ann Burkes reported that the county is "At Work" on our air conditioner problem.

George Searcy does our web site and he will be unavailable for a few weeks.

Jo introduced our speaker for the day, Pam Hilllman, who writes Christian fiction. Her first novel was STEALING JAKE and her second novel was CLAIMING MARIAH, available now on E-books.  CLAIMING MARIAH will be coming out in October in regular book form. Pam showed us how valuable information from the archives can be to writers. She showed us a picture from our files that contained an unnamed man and told us how the writer can take that picture, use true facts of the time and let that man be and do whatever the writer's imagination wants him to do--a great program, Pam.

Our September 14, 2013 ,the program will be Living History with the Manship Family. Re-enactors will portray  Charles Henry Manship and his wife, Adaline.  This covers the life in Jackson, Mississippi, during the civil war.          Jean Easom, Secretary

13 July 2013 Meeting Notes

President Jo Veenstra presided at the July meeting of NCHGS. Bobby Caldwell gave the devotion followed by prayer offered by William Savell. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Bobby Caldwell. Harold Graham asked for a moment of silence as a tribute to fallen firefighter, Mickey Yates.

There was no old business and the financial report and minutes were approved as presented. Jonathan Puckett announced that he had two family histories available for purchase. Appreciation was expressed to Terry Lange for her dedicated work in preparing the outstanding publication, “Remembering” each quarter.

William Savell presented the program on “The Circuit Riders Era.” The concept of circuit riders and the need for them was described. The difficult circumstances under which the dedicated individuals ministered to those in rural places were explained. Many of the circuit riders covered thousands of miles during their service to others. Several different denominations used the practice of circuit riders but the Methodist Church was one of the first to do so. Payment to the circuit riders was usually in the form of produce. The end of the practice of circuit riders is not easy to date but probably came about near the time of the Civil War. It was also pointed out that the practice of circuit riders is not totally extinct because some denominations still have ministers who serve more than one congregation.  The names of several circuit riders in Newton County were noted. These were: H. C. Bufkin, E. A. Breland, O. Swearington who served thirteen churches at once, J. L. Pennington, T. H. Rivers and Lorenzo Dow among others. The program ended with the reading of a hymn about circuit riders. 

The meeting was adjourned with the reminder that the program for August would be presented by Pam Hillman who will relate the value of research material provided by historical and genealogical societys as author-conducted research for a book.          Submitted by Ann Burkes, Acting Secretary

8 June 2013 Meeting Notes

Chaplain Bobby Caldwell read the lyrics to Holly Dunn’s song DADDY’S HANDS.  He then led the group in the pledge to our American flag.  Melvin Tingle was asked to pray.

President, Jo Veenstra, welcomed Bess Hollingsworth back.  She was welcomed with warm applause.  We welcomed as guest Evie Adams and Jan Shingleton.

Jo stated the book THE NEWTON RECORD 1929-1938 VOLUME 1 compiled by Ron Searcy was selling quickly.  She asked that this be an on-going project.  She suggested  that  we purchase 10 more books and make  them available for sale at the  Archives office.  Motion by Terry Lange, seconded by Bobby, carried.

We now have a small refrigerator donated by a friend of the NCHGS.  We thank her for providing this for the summer months we are now experiencing.

We received a nice letter of thanks from Price Miller for allowing him to hold the signing of his book THE HISTORY OF NEWTON COUNTY POST 89 AMERICAN LEGION   in the Archives building and to Ann Burkes for her time and help.

Glenn Harrison stated that since setting up the NCHGS Facebook account we are reaching upward of 1000 readers to our post.

Donations have been made to the NCHGS in memory of friends and relatives.  These donations are appreciated.

So many nice things are being done and we feel we need to have a designated volunteer to respond with a note of thanks when the Archives receives such generous support.  We also need a volunteer to announce the meetings each month in the Newton County Appeal. 

The antiques came rolling in and the stories were told.  Items:  1870’s trunk, straw brooms, electric steam iron, quilts, potato chip slicer, butter molds, quilt made from shirts from Rew & Company in Newton, cameo, purse, paddle churn, hand hewn wood from and old house, 1863 gold coin, Bible, shoe button hook, straight razor, tin picture, stone marbles, 1758 coin, 1928 MS Model A license plate, goofus glass vase, cane stripper, crumb scraper from the Sessums Hotel in Union, beaded Choctaw sash, 1956 train set, shingle from Dr. Gilmores office in Hickory and a collection of bottles and instruments found at the site of his home.

On June 20 and 21 a Christian Harmony Singing School will be held at Turkey Creek.  John Hollingsworth will be the leader.  Contact numbers 601-683-2340/706-789-3916. June 22, the Newton County Christian Harmony Singing, the oldest in the entire country, will be held at the Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church.

July meeting:  William Savell, CIRCUIT RIDER PREACHERS OF NEWTON COUNTY
                                                                                           Emily Jordan, Acting Secretary

11 May 2013 Meeting Notes

Jo Veenstra, President, called the meeting to order. William Savell led the group in prayer and Bobby Caldwell gave the devotional on "Things My Mother Taught Me" and led the pledge to the flag.

Jo stated that the Financial Report and the Minutes were printed and available and motion made that they be approved. Harold Graham seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Jo stated as new business that Ralph Gordon was working at the Archives on Thursday's when he can. She asked for a volunteer on the Thursdays when he cannot be there.

Jo stated that Mr. Vickers would be having a book signing for his book, THE EAST CENTRAL THAT I KNEW, on Sunday afternoon, June 2, 2013, at the Vickers Fine Arts Building on the campus at East Central at 2 PM.

Jo also announced that the Society has order blanks for Ron Searcy's book and the cost is $35 for members and $5 of each book sold will be given to the Society as a donation. If the book is to be shipped, there is an additional $5 charge for shipping. The regular price for the book will be $42. Ron will be driving through Decatur on June 7 and will drop off 30 books.

Jo also stated that a copier/printer has been donated to the Society to replace one that has malfunctioned.

Terry Lange suggested that we appoint a review committee to determine which donated items are appropriate for the Archives to accept, as our space is beginning to fill up. Jo Veenstra, Ann Burkes, Emily Jordan and Harold Graham were named to serve on that committee.

There were free filing cabinets available and volunteers with trucks were asked to help move them to the Archives Building.

A small refrigerator is needed for the Archives building if anyone has one they would like to donate.

Terry Lange suggested that the Book Study Committee be suspended as Ron Searcy is willing to start on Volume 2 of The Newton Record and no one on the Committee has the time to take on the project. This suggestion was approved.

Bobby Cardwell presented an interesting program on "Old Home Remedies." Several members shared remedies that their families used.

William Savell announced that next month's meeting would be June 8 and it will be "Antiques - Show and Tell." He invited everyone to bring small antiques and enjoy the fun and fellowship.

                     Jean Easom, Recording Secretary

13 April 2013 Meeting Notes

Jo Veenstra, President, called the meeting to order.  Bobby Caldwell gave our devotional and led us in the pledge to the flag.  He asked William Savell to lead us in prayer.

The minutes of the March meeting and the Treasurer's report were approved as presented.

Iva Dean Smith, Treasurer, stated that member Elvy Hammond had made a donation to NCHGS as a memorial in honor of Hansel Willis, recently deceased.

Jo asked for any old business and Terry Lange reported that while not chairperson of the committee appointed to discuss the feasibility of our publishing another book, the committee will continue to pursue the idea.

Jo stated that member Ron Searcy has asked that he be allowed to post the availability of his book on the Society's website.  It was approved that he be allowed to do so.

Ann Burke announced that Price Miller's book signing would be at the Archives on Sunday afternoon, April 21, 2013, and the book is about the history of the American Legion Hut in Decatur.

William Savell introduced our speaker for the day, Mr. Ovid Vickers, who actually needed no introduction for most of us, as he is a member and taught many of us at East Central.  He talked about "What Makes Mississippians Out of People".  His book, THE EAST CENTRAL THAT I KNEW, will be available soon.

Bobby Caldwell will present the program for May 11, 2013, on "Old Home Remedies" and asked that each member bring old remedies that we know about to the meeting.

                   Jean Easom, Recording Secretary

9 March 2013 Meeting Notes

In the absence of President, Jo Veenstra, and Vice President, William Savell, Bobby Caldwell called our meeting to order, led the devotional and asked Bill Jordan to lead us in prayer. Bobby led the pledge to the flag. The minutes and treasurer's report were approved as printed.

Ann Burkes announced that Price Miller would be having a book signing at the Archives Building sometime in April--date and time to be announced at our regular April meeting which will be held on April 13.

Emily Jordan introduced our speaker, Anne McKee.  Anne wears many "hats" but is known to many of us through her newspaper and magazine articles. She visits schools, libraries, community centers, civic clubs, historic societies and churches sharing her Mississippi inspired  stories and teaching Mississippi heritage and state pride. Anne dresses in period costumes and tells her stories in first person many times.

Harold Graham made a motion that we purchase one of each of Anne's books for the Archives. The motion was seconded and approved. Books added were:  Historic Photos of Mississippi and Remembering Mississippi.

Mr.  Ovid  Vickers volunteered to do April's program, "What makes Mississippians out of People."

9 February 2013 Meeting Notes

The meeting was called to order by the President, Jo Veenstra. Bobby Caldwell led our devotional and he asked William Savell to lead us in prayer. Bobby led the pledge to the flag. The finance report was approved as printed. The minutes were approved although there was not a copy at the meeting. Two books that had been purchased by the Society were in and they were:  Rednecks, Redeemers, and Race and Indians of Mississippi. Harold Graham donated a Mississippi History textbook to the Society and Terry Lange donated Wilkes County Papers.

Melvin Tingle had been nominated during the January meeting to chair the committee to determine if the Society wanted to publish another book. Melvin declined due to his health and other commitments. Another committee was named to decide what we are going to do. Those asked to serve on that committee were: Harold Graham, Terry Lange, Melvin Tingle, Jonathan Puckett, Emily Jordan and Wilburt Easom.

One of our Society members died, Mrs. Kate Graham Gray, and her name will be added to our memory board.

Donald Vance presented an interesting program on "The Antebellum Period." He entertained us with some funny Civil War stories and stories of his childhood in Conehatta.

Anne McKee will present our program for March.

              Jean Easom, Recording Secretary

More information about Anne McKee

2013 finds Annie B. McKee listed on the Mississippi Arts Commission Artist roster as Literary and Performing Artist and Teaching Artist. She is a storyteller, author, playwright, journalist, newspaper columnist, and creator of Mississippi historic projects--a HAPPY MISSISSIPPIAN!

"I like to laugh and giggle--have a good time with my family and true and good friends. My husband is a Music Director for a small Baptist church. We have two handsome sons, two precious daughters-in-law, and two GRAND children, plus a Beagle pup named Patty Cake and a b/w kitty named Ms. Sarah Belle. Recent additions are two solid white twin kitty cat throw-aways, George & Gracie. I visit public schools, libraries, community centers, civic clubs, historic societies, and churches telling my Mississippi inspired stories and teaching Mississippi heritage and Mississippi state pride with a power point presentation featuring historic photos. I am the Regent for Bobashela, Newton County, Mississippi Daughters of the American Revolution and Dist II President, Mississippi Federated Women's Clubs." © 2013 AOL Inc. All Rights Reserved

12 January 2013 Meeting Notes

The meeting was called to order by Vice President, William Savell. The devotional was led by Bobby Caldwell, Melvin Tingle led us in prayer and Bobby led the pledge to the flag. The minutes and finance reports were approved as presented.

2013 dues are now payable if you have not already paid 2013 dues.

Dr. Harold Graham led our meeting as he reminisced about the past ten years plus since the birth of NCHGS, the people involved and the progress the Society has made in those short years. He challenged us to be goal setters in the future as successful organizations are goal setters.

Harold announced that we now on facebook for all you interested facebookers. 

Harold also suggested that we are in need of possibly upgrading our computers or at least cleaning up some of the obsolete "stuff" on the ones we have and asked Glen Harrison, Josh Bradley, and Ann Burkes to determine what our needs are.

 There was a discussion about the people joining the Society late in the year and possibly charging them perhaps $2 per month for the remaining months rather than the full dues.

There was a discussion about the possibility of the Society publishing another book.  Those asked to serve on that committee are:  Melvin Tingle, Ann Burke, Terry Lang, and Harold Graham .

Donald Vance will be present our program in February, on "The Antebellum Period." 

Jean Easom, Recording Secretary

NCHGS PROGRAMS FOR 2012

January 14, 2012

Larry  Blackburn and the Slims. Larry presented a window into the first fifty years of the history of Country Music.

11 February 2012

Speaker will be Jack R. Tannehill, long-time former publisher of THE UNION APPEAL, now THE NEWTON COUNTY APPEAL

10 March 2012

Bess Hollingsworth will present Agricultural High School (AHS)

14 April 2012

The Ledlow Family by Wilbert Easom

12 May 2012

Hewitt Clark, Author who has written extensively regarding this geographical area.

9 June 2012

Van Lucas - Stories of Characters in and around Newton

14 July 2012

Jake and Jo Veenstra:  ‘The Escape’ a story of Jan Veenstra’s escape from occupied Holland after the German invasion of WWII

11 August 2012

Charles Massey - Fire Department and Equipment

8 September 2012

Jonathan Puckett and the Puckett Family

13 October 2012

General NCHGS business

10 November 2012

Newton County Veteran’s Day Salute

8 December 2012

Terry Burton: Newton and Forest Radio Days

Meeting Notes

8 December Meeting Notes

Bobby Caldwell called the meeting to order.  He asked Bill Jordan to open the meeting with prayer.  He then asked Vice President Jo Veenstra to introduce our guest first and have our business meeting after the program.  Jo thanked everyone for supporting her this past year as she put together the monthly programs.  She stated some suggestions had come from fellow members.  Today Senator Terry C. Burton is a guest of Emily Jordan.  Emily introduced Terry C. as a friend first.   Along with his many accomplishments that most members know about, there is even more to Terry C. that many may not know about – especially prior to his successful political career.

Senator Terry C. Burton entertained us with fascinating accounts of live AM radio.  His career began at age 14 when WBKN sponsored Little League Baseball, and the announcer, Billy Ray Strebeck, asked Terry if he would read the line-up.  HE WAS OFF. 

Terry gave hilarious accounts of live programs and the unbelievable ads written and presented by the live performers. Do you remember the hospital reports?  He even did a quick routine of his voice characters: Tyrone Shoelaces, The Senator (Stennis), and Red C (a character that grew out of family gatherings – although he said not from Charlie Harrison).  He created quite a traffic jam with his morning show as kids and adults drove by the station and he would greet them by name as they passed.

Terry presented a bit of his genealogy.  He spoke with so much respect for his mom and dad.  His roots are deep here in Newton County. He had a wonderful life growing up in Newton.  He told us how creative and suave he was trying to meet Darleen – now his sweet wife.  He was asked why not run for mayor.  He became mayor of Newton. Terry C. is now serving as our Mississippi State Senator. 

Terry C.  was appointed  chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and to the Energy Council Executive Committee by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.    This appointment came about after he committed to speak at Archives meeting.  We appreciate Terry shuffling his time to be with us.  We were entertained and learned so much about the good ole days of local radio.

We had 25 members and guest present.  Elsie Hagan gave a Christmas meditation and J.P. Hurst lead the pledge to our American Flag.

Bobby presented a note from the webmaster stating that he plans to enhance the website in 2013.  He is asking for volunteers to help with this project.

Thanks to Sandra Jones, Jo, and Emily for refreshments.

The October and November minutes were approved.  Iva Dean Smith gave an oral treasury report.  It was approved.  Dues of $20 for individuals and $25 for household membership for 2013 are now due.

Announced Price Miller will have a book signing at the Archives. The date will be announced soon.

Volunteers recognized for their dependable work.  Bess Hollingsworth, one of the eight in the original group that formed the NCHGS, worked each Monday.  She has now moved back to her home in Pearl, and  Linda Harris Estes will volunteer on Mondays;  Sandra Jones, Tuesday; Ann Burkes, Wednesday; Patsy Gary, Thursday; Bobby Caldwell, Friday.  Emily fills in.  Thanks to Elsie Hagan who served as Chaplain. Bobby is the new chaplain; Archivist, Ann Burkes; Ron Searcy, webmaster; Journal, “Remembering”, Terry Lange.  

The new slate of officers was approved by show of hands.  President, Jo Veenstra; Vice-President, William Savell, along with a program committee of Ann Burkes, Charles Massey, and Dr. Harold Graham; Treasurer, Iva Dean Smith; Recording Secretary, Jean Easom; Corresponding Secretary, Terry Lange.

 Dr. Harold Graham announced that he would lead the January 12, 2013, meeting, titled, TEN PLUS.  This will be a time of celebration of the past 10 plus years and a commitment to set higher goals for the NCHGS.   Visit our web site at www.nchgs.org, and if you are in the vicinity please stop by.

                              Emily Jordan, Recording Secretary

10 November 2012 Meeting Notes

Our regular monthly meeting was omitted.  We attended the Newton County Celebration of Freedom 2012.

I cannot adequately write about the veterans, volunteers, officers, or events.  I can just say my heart was stirred with pride, patriotism, emotions and thanks.  When the veterans passed by in the parade my eyes teared up.  I was thinking about the stories they have told and the stories that would never be told.  The soldiers want and need our support.  One speaker said more people should have read Tom Brokaw’s THE GREATEST GENERATION.   One speaker stated one percent of Americans are military.  The speakers really gave us a challenge as Americans and they gave us insight into the lives of our soldiers.  The Celebration of Freedom 2012 was a huge success.  A really special speaker ended by quoting this familiar prayer: 

God Bless America, land that I love, Stand beside her and guide her Through the night with a light from above.  From the mountains, to the prairies, To the oceans white with foam, God Bless America, My home sweet home.    

December 8, 2012, Terry C. Burton will be our guest speaker.  It will be a fun time about his radio days back when Red C. and the Senator were frequent guests.  Come reminisce with us.  There might even be refreshments!!!  

           Emily Jordan, Recording Secretary

13 October 2012 Meeting Notes

Bobby Caldwell, President, called the meeting to order.

Elsie Hagan lead the devotional about Christopher Columbus whom we honor on the second Monday of October each year. Elsie also lead the group in the Pledge to the Flag and Melvin Tingle lead the prayer.

The minutes of the September meeting were approved as printed except for a minor correction of a name.

Iva Dean, Treasurer, gave the financial report and it was approved as read.

Bobby Cardwell announced that the November 10, 2012 meeting will be at the Veteran's Celebration at Decatur near the court house square which will begin with the parade at 8:30 am. We will have a table set up to sell some of our inventory of World War II books.

Jo Veenstra announced that the World War II books were prepared and ready to be delivered to Doctor & Dentist's offices on loan to them with the hope that their clients will see the book and want to purchase one. Anyone going for an appointment was encouraged to pick up a book and deliver it. A list will be maintained of the books, the offices where they were delivered, etc.

Terry Lange announced that there were two additional books available that the Society might want to purchase to add to our collection. The cost would be a little less than $100 for the two books. There was a motion and second that we purchase the books.

Bobby Caldwell announced that the next formal meeting would be December 8, 2012, with Terry Burton in charge of the program which would be about "The Early Days of Radio."

Bobby Caldwell was in charge of the program, "Old Sayings of Times Past", which was hilarious.

The meeting was adjourned.    Jean Easom, Acting Secretary

8 September 2012 Meeting Notes

Bobby Caldwell, President, called the meeting to order at 10 o’clock in the NCHR building.  He related a funny incident to us about his jobs colliding last week.  Answering the phone with the wrong business name can become confusing to the caller, especially when Dr. Harold Graham is the caller to the Archives and Bobby’s other job is at Newton County Funeral Home!

Elsie Hagan lead the Devotion, Ann Burkes the Pledge, and Dan Coit the prayer.  There were 38 present, including nine guests.

Glenda Smith had a large number of old pictures that she was hoping to get identified.

The August minutes and Treasurers report were approved.

Ovid Vickers announced that in July of 2013 ECCC will host the Smithsonian exhibit THE WAY WE WERE.  One more letter of support is needed on file for this exhibit to be brought to ECCC.  He made the motion that the NCHGS support the exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute.  The motion was carried.

Glenda Graham announced The Art and Life of Mississippi artist, William Robert Hollingsworth, Jr., (1910-1944) will be on exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Art September 22, 2012 – January 13, 2013. Ovid Vickers shared a very interesting personal story about a portrait by William Robert Hollingsworth that he found at a junk store in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and donated to the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Jo Veenstra stated the October program is not firm, so she has asked Bobby Caldwell to present “old sayings” (idioms).  Please bring old family sayings to share at the meeting and we’ll have a good time with these.

Jo then asked Dr. Graham to introduce our guest speaker, Jonathan Puckett.  Dr. Graham met him about two years ago and was amazed with this young man, others were shocked.  He is a real Historian!

Jonathan started his presentation with Wyatt Wade Puckett in 1799 in Alabama.  He threw out these names and more:  McCord, Gibbon, Rainer, Fitzgerald, Thigpen, Wade, Smith, Day, Vance!  Jonathan made the Puckett genealogy come alive with his funny and interesting way of telling their history.  He knew family connections and stories.  He stated he wanted to go in chronological order but with the intermarriages, NOT possible! When he got to the double and double (What?)  Lonzo and Oscar’s song came to mind, I’M MY OWN GRANDPA!  I noticed Jonathan’s mom slowly shaking her head.

Shelia Smith Stamper was not sure where she fit in but at some point I heard her say, “Now I Got IT”.

One family saying came from Jesse Puckett Vance (Henry).  “All Pucketts live to be as old as mossed back snapping turtles and they all go blind in the end”.

As with most families they move away and do not get back.  A family funeral is a family reunion.  Jonathan presented the Archives with a copy of his book.  These books can be purchased at $25 each.

Okay are you ready for this?  Jonathan stated he has been researching his family history since August , 2006.  Someone asked if he would mind telling his age.  He is now 14!l

Yes, Glenda McMullan Smith and Shelia Smith Stamper, as well as Dr. Graham and his siblings, are……Puckett family connected.                                Emily Jordan, Recording Secretary

11 August 2012 Meeting Notes

President Bobby Caldwell called the Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society meeting to order at 10:00a.m in the NCHR building.  There were 24 present.  We welcomed Patsy Gary’s guest, Sue Peavey Sibley.  Elsie Hagan led the devotion and prayer.  Ann Burkes led the pledge to our American Flag.

Dr. Harold Graham announced an upcoming event in Meridian.  Anne McKee, facilitator for the Annual Historic Rose Hill Cemetery Tour, invites the public to attend the third tour, September 29.  Volunteers will dress and portray historic personalities buried in the cemetery.  This event draws a large crowd.

Bobby asked that the July Treasurer’s Report and the July meeting notes be approved.  Both were approved.

Jo Veenstra updated us on the World War II books sale.  A copy of the beautiful red leather bound books will be loaned/placed in various public offices.  Inside the cover will be information about the purchase of these books.    Individuals/Churches this has been done recently:  A book has been purchased in Memory or Honor of someone.  The book covers Newton County Veterans.  Pictures, documents, families, Etc.

Jo Veenstra introduced our speaker, Charles Massey, a member of NCHGS and a fire fighter with the Chunky Volunteer Fire Department since 1996.  Charles recognized his family, Linda, Damien, and Jennifer, as his support in putting this program together and as he volunteers as a fire fighter. 

Charles shared and commented on:  pictures of equipment through the years, the purpose of the uniform design, the colors and functions of the helmet, leather buckets used for firefighting, the Maltese Cross, the watchman rattle, and insurance.

He stated that Newton County has fire departments in Beulah Hubbard, Chunky, Conehatta, Decatur, Duffee, Gibbstown/Lawrence, Greenfield, Hickory, Newton, and Union.  All the departments are staffed with volunteers except Newton which is paid and volunteer.

Charles was very complimentary of all the fire departments, law enforcement and military personnel who work together when either one needs extra help.  They are volunteers, but they must have routine training to be able to handle multiple situations.  Andy Vance, with the Conehatta Fire Department was present and gave a perfect example of teamwork that we can all relate to – Katrina!

These volunteers spend many hours maintaining their equipment and buildings so that when a call comes in they are ready to roll.  Charles gave us lots of information about the operation of our local Fire Department.   These firefighters need their story told, otherwise, we would not even suspect the many jobs they do, and often , at their own expense!

The September meeting  will be presented by  Jonathan Puckett  on THE PUCKETT FAMILY

Emily Jordan, Recording Secretary

14 July 2012 Meeting Notes

President Bobby Caldwell welcomed 27 members as the meeting was called to order at 10:00 A.M. in the Newton County Resource Building in Decatur, Ms.  For the devotion, Elsie Hagan read an article written by Luke Horton, publisher of The Newton County Appeal, in celebration of America’s 236th Birthday.  Prayer was voiced by Wilburt Eason and the pledge to our American flag was lead by Ann Burkes.

The June Treasury Report and the June minutes were approved.

Terry Lange asked each person to look over the names of Newton County Civil War veterans on her list.

The Society has Quarterly Journals members receive. Extra Journals can be purchased at the price of $10 plus the cost of postage if mailed.  

Ann Burkes made the following announcements:

*Veterans Day Celebration, honoring all U.S. Veterans, will be Saturday, November 10, 2012, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on the ECCC Football Field. An application listing name, branch of service, and war in which the veteran served, if applicable. Memory/Honor Balloons may be purchased @ $10 each and released on the day of the event.

*The Society has been given permission to have a booth at the Veterans Day Celebration.  Beautiful red leather bound World War II books will be available for $45.

*World War II books, duplicate books, recipe books, and Journals are for sale at the Archive Building.

*The Archives is looking for pictures of elected officials, pictures of the courthouses, and any information gathered to compile a history of the Newton County Courthouse.

Various marketing strategies were discussed for selling books and promoting our great history of Newton County Mississippi.

Iva Dean Smith proposed the price of the World War II Books be set at $45, $55 if mailed.  Approved by show of raised hands.

Next month Charles Massey will present the History of Fire Departments and Fire Fighting.

Jo and Jake Veenstra presented the fascinating story of Jake’s father, Jan, as he and two friends planned their escape from German occupied Holland in 1941.  In 1993, Jan (American name Johnny) wrote his story of escape with his two buddies.

In the summer of 1941 Jan and his two friends, Wim and Jaap, aged 14 -16, saw German soldiers marching down the street of Zwolle, Holland.  These three young boys studied maps and planned their escape.  Their plans were to get to England and join the Dutch fighting forces.  If separated, their secret code was to whistle their secret code tune!  They had worked so they had money but not ID, travel papers, or passports.  They were arrested and put in a jail cell designed for two people but which contained eight people.  The cell was deplorable.  Jan was singing in his heart, “A Mighty Fortress is our God”.  He cried out “If God in heaven you are there get us out of this jail”.  Five minutes later the guard called for him and his two friends and got them out.  They were arrested a second time, imprisoned, then sent to a Forced Labor Camp.  The boys escaped the camp when they were being transported by train to another camp.  After this escape they made their way back to the Dutch Center in Toulouse France.  There they learned about Pearl Harbor and the Allied forces’ declaration of war.  Jan and Jaap eventually gained travel papers and had to leave.  Wim’s papers were not ready and he was left behind.  When they reached Cadiz, Spain they heard a Dutch whistled tune and Wim was already there!

Still teenagers, they made it across the Atlantic and into Mobile, Alabama. From there by train they traveled to Ontario, Canada where they joined the Royal Dutch Military, 1 year and 2 months after leaving Holland.  Jan and Wim were part of the Royal Netherlands Flying School 1942-1944.  Jaap became a secret agent parachuting back into occupied Holland.

Now for the love story.  Jan met Jake’s mom on a blind date.  She was working at Walgreens in Jackson, Ms in 1943.  Jan holds Dutch and American flying wings. Jake, Jan’s son, worked 32 years in Jackson at the same base where his Dad trained. Jake showed sweet emotion as he stated that his Dad missed Holland but he loved this country and said it was the greatest country on the face of earth.

Jan’s story, HIS JOURNEY OF ESCAPE, was presented to the Archives.  Bobby stated this is good movie material! 

Emily Jordan, Recording Secretary

9 June 2012 Meeting Notes

Elsie Hagan led the meditation about a Dad's best job is not to fail his children.  Emily Jordan led the prayer and Sue Garvin led the pledge to our American Flag.

The minutes for April and May were approved.

Bobby announced the Federation of Genealogical Societies will hold its national conference in Birmingham and registration forms were available.

Dr. Harold Graham stated the Archives had a number of World War II books available for sale from 4 years ago.  Rather than using flashing lights at the Archive office to inform the public of these books a committee was formed and approved to adopt a better plan.  The committee:  Dr. Graham, Ann Burkes, Jo Veenstra, Iva Dean Smith, and Bobby Caldwell. This committee will hold its first meeting June 13 at 11:30 in the Archives building.

Ann Burkes presented information about the Archives compiling history, photos, etc. to put together a History of the Newton County Courthouse.  Judge Gordon talked with Ann.  The sample journal and information will be reviewed and next month any questions and a time frame can be discussed.

Terry Lange is putting together a journal REMEMBERING THE CIVIL WAR.  She is asking anyone with photos, relics, stories, or anything they can share, to make copies for her to include in this December journal.

Dr. Graham stated the Treasurer's report needed approval.  Approved.

Jo Veenstra introduced her long time friend, Van Lucas, to entertain us with stories of Characters in and around Newton.  She stated he is probably the most interesting character of Newton. 

Van asked us to think about where we live.  Where we grew up as kids.  His kids grew up in the small town of Newton, MS.  When they moved to a larger school and city they realized the other kids did not know their neighbors or their friend's parents.  In Newton you knew all the kids, their parents, grandparents, and people around town.  These kids were entertained with the stories about the characters in Newton.

Van and Jimmy Mason loved to sit and talk about the characters of the Newton Area.  Van stated he did not talk about his mother.  Something about a will………!

Van related some colorful memories about these Legendary Characters:  Police department.  Max and Louie Connett, the drummer and dancer that owned the theater in Newton.  They were from Chicago.  She was a friend of Al Capone until she met Max, thus the move to a small town.  Leatha Wilson, the insurance lady that had lots of Garden Parties.  John Robert Henry served 10 cent greasy burgers.  F.D. Copeland, liked to play golf.  George Raines and family.  L.A. Walker.   Buck Payne with his old truck collecting garbage and his pristine wife riding with him.  PeeWee Bounds, Otha Tatum.  Mr. Clean. Terry Burton.  Ellliot McMullan, Mayor of Newton.  Elliot was early to bed and early to rise.  Got a call during the night from a lady.  She wanted to know what he was going to do about the barking dogs.  He said he would see about it in the morning.  At five A.M. he called the lady and asked if the dogs were still barking.  LOL.  Nox Bassett, Herman Trotter.  A number of other names were mentioned.  Many at the meeting chimed in with a quick comment.  They definitely new the characters and were thoroughly enjoying the stories.

No wife jokes (Kay I believe you can trust him not to use you in one of his stories).  

Van ended by saying:  In 1901 T. Roosevelt's saying was ”Speak softly and carry a big stick”.  Van Says speak softly and don't do anything that may put you in the Legendary Characters Hall of Fame.

Van, stay away from florescent light bulbs and keep those stories coming and alive.

Emily Jordan, Recording Secretary

12 May 2012 Meeting Notes

The meeting was called to order by President Bobby Caldwell at 10:00 A.M. in the Newton County Human Resource Building in Decatur, MS. We had 53 members and guests present! Elsie Hagan gave the devotion.  William Savell led our prayer.  Elsie led the pledge to our American Flag.  The treasurer’s report was approved.

Bobby asked Jo Veenstra to introduce our speaker.  He complimented Jo for the extraordinary programs she has secured for this year.  Melvin and Betty Tingle have hosted our guest over the years as he traveled and met with people in Newton County.  Jo asked Melvin to introduce our guest.

Melvin stated that Hewitt Clarke needed no introduction in Decatur, MS.  Hewitt has written and studied more about Newton County than most of us know.  He has written seven books about the Meridian area.  Melvin stated Hewitt did like to talk so the stories began!

Mr. Clarke stated he loved being in Newton County and he is impressed because we know our history and the Indian History.

MONEY AND BLOOD – On the Highway of Broken Dreams by Hewitt Clarke.  The North has its Route 66.  The South has its Dixie Highway, U.S. Highway 80.

Hewitt started researching to write about Larry Fisher who raped and killed in the Meridian area on old 80.  More stuff kept coming up.  He met with Lois Cooper and Louise Bailey to learn more about Georgia Tann, the baby stealer.  Then he realized all along Highway 80 there were more stories.  He was then asked by family members to look into the deaths of two young men in Meehan.  Hewitt asked Dr. Doug Huber, a pathologist from Phoenix City, Alabama, to study these deaths. The law officials had ruled the deaths as accidental but Dr. Huber was haunted by this case.  DR. DOUGLAS HUBER was with us today and gave further details.  Chapter 13.

Hewitt also met the grandson of Georgia Tann, Jack Watson.  They became good friends.  JACK WATSON was another guest with us today.  He talked of his grandmother (Georgia), his mother (June), and his sister (Cathy).  Growing up Jack remembers his grandmother’s house and has memories of his grandmother. Not all was bad about Georgia Tann. Jack and Cheryl named their son Tann.  Jack stated he had a warm welcome by the Newton County People.

Hewitt also went to Memphis to meet with Neil Loftiss, a researcher on Georgia Tann.  NEIL LOFTISS was also a guest today.

From O.J. Eidson, a minister at Good Hope Church, South of Hickory, Hewitt learned about Robert Johnson, the creator of BET (Black Entertainment Television).  But I believe Hewitt became more fascinated with his grandfather, Filmore Johnson.

 From Hickory, Joe Gibbon, pitcher for the Pirates, was also a guest. He was mentioned in Hewitt’s book.

Did Melvin mention Hewitt liked to talk?  Ms Lois Clarke, Hewitt’s classy wife was another guest.  From her table we heard a tap –tap- tap.

Hewitt also touched on Blue Springs, Sullivan’s Hollow, Embassy Club, Hide-a-Way, Ma Shoemates, Bobby Delaughter, Dickie Scruggs, Larry Tiffee, Richard Lutes, John’s Fish Camp, and more. Hewitt said all of his books can relate back to the same people and events.

Hewitt held the audience’s attention and this secretary wanted to toss the pen and take every story in.

Tap- tap- tap- tap-tap.

Hewitt quoted:  “While I nodded nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping”!!

Hewitt also covered how Mississippi and Texas had connections.  If a warrant went out to someone by the sheriff’s office it would come back stamped GTT (gone to Texas).  Lots of stories here.

Tap – Tap- Tap!

Hewitt then closed by SINGING this Peggy Lee chorus:  Is that all there is. If that’s all there is, then let’s keep dancing.  Let’s break out the booze and have a ball.  If that’s all there is.  

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society considers it a great privilege to have this quintessential author speak with us today. What a meeting!  GTT!

Van Lucas will be our guest speaker June 9. His topic is:  Stories of Characters in and around Newton.

This will be very educational!  You don’t want to miss this one.

Emily Jordan, Recording Secretary

14 April 2012 Meeting Notes

Bobby Caldwell, President, called the meeting to order at ten o’clock in the Newton County Human Resource Building in Decatur, MS.  We had 52 members and guests present!  Elsie Hagan led the devotion and the pledge to the American Flag.  The treasury report and the minutes were approved.

Bobby welcomed a large number of guests from out of state (the Clearman Family) plus a number of local guests.  Guests are always welcome!

Terry Lange presented a letter that can be seen at the Archives office.  This letter was mailed to Mr. J.H. Vance, Prospect Miss. in 1906, announcing a public speaking on the subject of creating two Circuit and Chancery Court Districts in Newton County. This piece of history was donated by Polly Hansford Thomason.  Terry also presented two photographs hoping someone could identify the people.  The member’s quarterly journal was available.  These journals are filled with lots of good reading; history, interesting stories, clips from the past, pictures, and more.

Bobby announced that Hewitt Clarke would be next month’s guest speaker reviewing and signing his newest book MONEY & BLOOD: Highway of Broken Dreams, which details happenings along old highway 80.  Two people from Hickory, will be covered--Georgia Tann, the lady who stole babies, and a black man, Robert Johnson, who created BET (Black Entertainment Television).

Bess Hollingsworth was very knowledgeable about our member speaker, Wilburt Easom, as she introduced him.  As he spoke about the Ledlow family history it was obvious that he and Bess closely shared the same relatives, and I learned I shared the same close relatives.  

Wilburt used pictures set up prior to meeting, genealogy listings on power point, and stories to convey the Ledlow Family history and good times.

He used the book LEDLOW-JONES FAMILY by Robert D. Pearcy to compile part of this presentation.  He stated that he learned there were more Hollingsworth’s than Ledlow’s.

As he continued his presentation these are names that are closely connected to the Ledlow’s :  Hollingsworth, Riser, Kelly Vance, Gressett, Valentine, Nelson, McKee, Mayes, Parks, Gibbs, Wyatt, and lots more. 

Wilburt picked up the Ledlow Family research with the year 1785 and focused on one descendant who settled in Newton County, James M Ledlow born in Tallapoosa, Alabama.

Wilburt’s grandfather and grandmother, Isom and Sally Ledlow lived in the Macedonia Community.  Wiburt related these stories about his grandfather Isom:  Horse Trainer, Overnight visit, coffee grinder, no electric power, watering hole, neighbor Noble Watson, Johnny’s move to Texas, Store, Stick ball and rabbit hunt, train ride to Memphis, 1940 Chevrolet.

Good stuff Wilburt!              Emily Jordan – Recording Secretary

10 March 2012 Meeting Notes

The meeting was called to order by President Bobby Caldwell at ten o’clock in The Newton County Human Resource Building in Decatur, MS.  There were 27 in attendance. Elsie Hagan led the devotion.  Sue Ezelle Garvin led us in prayer and the pledge to the American Flag.  The February minutes and the Treasurer’s report were approved.  Bobby stated we needed refreshment volunteers for April and May.

Bobby presented a letter stating that the 1940 US Census is due to be released.  Our organization is being asked to help edit the index.  A kit will be sent later.  This generated some discussion. We will look over the kit and determine if we wish to participate. Dr. Graham stated that the Archives has subscribed to ancestry.com.  He has encouraged the volunteers/members to learn to use this software for researching their family and helping others in research. The Newton County Archives Volunteers know the local names and places in this area better than anyone does.  Dr. Graham stated that some recorded information may have an error and when this is discovered the information is corrected. During this discussion, Glen Harrison volunteered to teach how to use Power Point.  The Archives office is a busy place with walk-ins, web site, phone calls, and emails. 

Vice President, Jo Veenstra, introduced Bess Hollingsworth to tell us about the NEWTON COUNTY AGRICULTURAL HIGH SCHOOL.  Bess has been part of the Archives since its inception and this is just one of many programs she has researched and presented.

In the early 1900’s Newton County was almost entirely a rural agricultural county whose children had little opportunity for education.  In 1908 the Mississippi legislature agreed to allow counties to establish agricultural high schools to teach agriculture and home economics in addition to the usual curriculum of academic courses.  These schools were to have dormitories for the boys and girls. In March, 1914, the Agricultural High School was established and opened for school in September, 1914, with 40 boarding students.  The purpose of the AHS was to promote agriculture with better methods of farming and to give the boys and girls of the county an education in academics.  The first year it was the basic principles of agriculture; the second year was more detailed with study of soils, field and forage crops, and fertilizers.  The third year included animal husbandry, including breeds, how to breed, feed and care for them and work in dairying.  The fourth year included lay-out of farms, care of equipment and bookkeeping.  They also studied the academics which was heavy in the sciences.  The girls got instruction in housekeeping, cooking and sewing.  They promoted both mental and physical recreation.  At the close of the 1917-1918 session, the boys oratorical contest was won by Marvin Wells.  Miss Laura Mae Butts was valedictorian, and she also won the medal for her essay on the prevention of typhoid fever. By the 1920’s the school was in financial trouble.  One solution to this problem was to offer college courses which was the beginning of ECJC.  Good info Bess!

Ross Collins  is researching his family history and has exhausted his efforts.  He threw out names Collins, Curry, Petty, Stephens, Trussel. Places like Lauderdale, Collinsville, Jasper County, Heidelberg, Texas.  On April 14, 2012 at 2:00 P.M., Ross and Charles Collins will plant a Texas Ranger Cross at the grave of Albert Godwin Collins at the Union Cemetery to pay tribute for his service.

Next month  Wilburt Easom will present his research on the Ledlow family.   Please feel free to join us.

Emily Jordan, Recording Secretary

11 February 2012 Meeting Notes

The meeting was called to order by President Bobby  Caldwell at 10:00 A.M. in the Newton County Human Resource Building in Decatur, Mississippi.  There were 35 members and guests present.  Elsie Hagan led the devotion, Sue Garvin led the pledge to our American Flag, and Wilbert Easom voiced our prayer.  The January minutes  were approved.

Please visit our web site:  www.nchgs.org      Bobby gave us some interesting info.  This site at year end 2011 had had 27,135 visits and 407,519 hits.

The Eagle Wing on our flag pole was broken and thanks to Jake Veenstra the wing is repaired and our eagle is  once again ready to soar.  Thanks Jake and Jo.

Dr. Harold Graham introduced our guest, Jack Tannehill, who sold his newspaper, THE NEWTON COUNTY APPEAL, last month and is retiring after 44 years in the family newspaper business. Jack  shared comments about some of the members present he had contact with through the years.   Lucy Vance, past tax assessor, Sue Bradley and her dough-nut shop near the office, Ovid Vickers wrote weekly articles for the paper, (but, Jack quickly pointed out the timing was not right and Mr. Vickers was not his teacher at ECCC), and Harold Carleton was always there on Wednesdaymorning putting his coin in the machine to retrieve a paper.

Jack has had thoughts about whether to sell or not to sell his newspaper business.  He started working when he was 12 years old.  He worked through the hot metal type years which required skill to the computer age of printing. He stated that his career coincides with industry and business – consolidate or liquidate.  He does not see this trend changing soon.

Jack said he was just “blind hog lucky” to be in the right place at the right time.   From age 12, then while at Ole Miss, and then with his dad, he was in the newspaper business.  In June and July of 1968 he and his dad were working out the details of Jack’s career and his dad’s newspaper business.  In August his dad died.  This left Jack and his mom.  Jack stayed to straighten out things and get things to going.  He stated that after 44 years he must be just now getting  things straightened out and going.

This past December, Jack and his wife, Judy, were invited by Governor Hailey Barbour to a Christmas Party at the Governor's Mansion.  Thirty minutes into the party he was greeted by the Governor and another friend, Wyatt Emmerich.  In small talk, Jack told the Governor, it was for sure next year the two of them would not be at the next Christmas Party because both of them were moving on.  After the Governor walked away, Wyatt asked Jack what he meant. It’s time to sell the newspaper he said.  Wyatt asked if he really wanted to sell and a few other questions.  Wyatt said okay and a hand shake sealed the deal.  The paper was sold January 10.  Thus a changed life for Jack.

Questions were taken from the floor.  Jack was very open and frank with answers. Is the next step on-line newspapers?  Jack chose not to put his newspaper on-line.  That is like giving away your newspaper.  Ads were carried in my paper and then Bill Graham got paid to report.  There are lots of sources for reading about sports, but local news, events, and happenings are not on line.  You must buy a piece of paper. Flora  Overstreet – you cannot get anywhere else. Dr. Graham noted you have to read Ruth Mill’s column to know what is going on in Union.  Jack said he read it every week.

Dr. Harold Graham requested that Jack write his story.  This is a part of our History and we need your story.  Well said Dr. Graham. Great program Jack Rhea Tannehill.                    Emily Jordan – Recording Secretary

14 January 2012 Meeting Notes

The meeting was held in the Newton County Human Resource Building in Decatur Mississippi. President, Bobby Caldwell, called the meeting to order.  There were thirty members present.  Elsie Hagan led the devotion, Sue Garvin led the salute to our American Flag, and Bill Jordan led us in prayer. ...  The December minutes and the financial report were approved.   We are reminded that it is time to pay our 2012 annual membership dues, 25$ household, 20$ individual.  Lifetime membership is $250. The quarterly journals are ready to be picked up. 

Recognized William Savell as a new member.  He has worked for fourteen years with area funeral homes.  He hopes to research the Savell and Roebuck genealogy.  Jet Johnson Bradley was welcomed as a guest.  She will be moving back to Decatur in the near future and hopes to research the Johnson and McElhenney families. Lamar and Sue Bradley are new members.

There was some discussion on the need in the near future for a new computer for the office.  Please give this consideration for a future meeting.

 Jo Veenstra  said that she did not have a February program at this time and she would welcome a volunteer or any suggestions. Please encourage family and friends to come.  The Ledlow family will be presented soon.  Jo thanked members Larry and Jo Blackburn for bailing her out this month. 

She introduced Larry  Blackburn and the Slims. Larry presented a window into the first fifty years of the history of Country Music. Larry does a great job of singing these old country classics.  He started out  alone and has played  with the best and the beginners.  Larry is a great entertainer in the Newton County area.

Larry introduced the band.  Charlie Harrison was present but he sat this one out.  He and Larry have a long history of playing together.  Lead guitar is Bill Jordan, A.K.A., Mr. Wichita.  Ronnie Blass is the bass player.  The “gurl” singer is Margaret Pierce Muse.

Some of Larry’s comments and songs the band played follow.

The first 50 years of Country Music had a lot of its beginnings in Mississippi and mostly the South.  In August of 1927, A.P. Carter and the Carter sisters along with Jimmy Rodgers from Meridian signed  contracts.  The band played WAITING FOR A TRAIN   with yodeling Larry singing.   A.P. Carter and the Carter sisters did WILDWOOD FLOWER in 1928.  It became the most played instrumental song and most beginning guitar players start with this song. Late 20’s.  As an athlete, he had 13 letters but was injured so no more sports.  He began to sing.  1938, Roy Acuff made GREAT SPECKLED BIRD a classic.  From then on he was THE GRAND OLE OPRY.  Bob Wills did western Swing.. Then in the late 40’s a guy raised in Georgiana, Alabama, went to the top.  Hiram King Williams.  We know him as Hank Williams, Sr.  YOUR CHEATIN HEART.   June 11, 1949  was a great moment in country music and at the Ryman Auditorium,  Hank did one encore after  another.  In 1952 – 60, women were getting into Country Music.  Patsy Cline and her friend Loretta Lynn were among the most popular.  COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER.  Margaret Muse did not let Loretta down as she sang this hit!  In 1957, in California, a 21 year old went to prison for 3 years .  He  learned a bit and went right.  He became maybe the best song writer and singer.  His third #1 was SING ME BACK HOME.  Merle Haggard.  Then came a long, tall boy in 1968.  He was pretty much on top and he went live to Folsom Prison with, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”.  His guitar player was Luther Perkins.   One more influence was a guy from Louisiana.  He, as many others did, got hooked on something to keep him going.  Willie Nelson.   His got his start in the church.  He wrote a wonderful song and needed money to keep going so he sold the song to Claude Grey for $50.  FAMILY BIBLE.

Thanks to Larry and the Slims, the members and guest had a swinging good time while getting an education.

In closing, Bobby, stated that, thanks to the Slims the 2012 year was off to a good start.

Emily Jordan --  Recording Secretary



NCHGS PROGRAMS FOR 2011

January 8, 2011

"A Pick-up Load of Pigs:  The Feral Swine Pandemic" presented by Rex Allan Jones of Natural Resources Media and Nature Videography

February 12, 2011

"The New Veterans Cemetery" presented by Ricky Horton and/or Timothy Lockey

March 12, 2011

"The Town of Decatur and Newton County - 175 Years" presented by Bess Hollingsworth and Ann Burke

April 9, 2011

"Heirloom Plants That We All Know and Grow" presented by Wayne Porter, Area Horticulturist

May 14, 2011

TBD

June 11, 2011

Field Trip to the "Doolittle Place" Newton, Mississippi hosted by Andy and Dottie Armstrong

July 9, 2011

“Decatur Telephone Company” by Bill & Louise Bailey

August 13, 2011

“The Hollingsworth Family” by Dr. Harold Graham

September 10, 2011

Field Trip to the “Castle” with presentations by Margaret Muse and Melvin Tingle.

October 8, 2011

NCHGS Archives tour.

November 12, 2011

“History of Garlandville” presented by Greg Boggan

December 10, 2011

“Old Christmas Traditions” presented by Ovid Vickers


 

Meeting Notes

10 December 2011 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular meeting (Christmas edition) in the Human Resources building in Decatur on Saturday, December 10, 2011. There were 21 members and guests present when President Terry Lange called the meeting to order at 10:00 A. M.. After Elsie Hagen’s devotional, the opening prayer, and the pledge to the flag, the minutes of the last meeting and the treasurer’s report were approved as presented.

  Even though Dr. Harold Graham couldn’t be present, Bill (his son) displayed two recent honors that Dr. Graham had received; the Decatur Man of the Year Award and the plaque declaring our Archives Building as the Dr. Harold Graham Archives Building. Commendations go to Dr. Graham for these two well-deserved awards.

  Next, Vice-president Jo Veenstra presented long-time teacher at ECCC, Ovid Vickers who gave a most interesting report of his “Thoughts on Christmas” which included Christmas traditions  in America (past and present). Most of these traditions came over with the first immigrants from Europe. Some of the traditions originating in European countries were Santa Claus and/or St. Nicholas(from Greece), Father Christmas ( from England), and Kris Kringle and the Christmas tree (from Germany). Other Christmas traditions mentioned were the yule log, fireworks, fruitcake, Christmas parades, mistletoe, and the Nativity Scene. Mr. Vickers included many human interest stories from his childhood in Georgia which made it even more interesting. We thank Mr. Vickers for presenting such a well-organized and interesting report.

  The January meeting of the new year will be at the Human Resources Building and will begin at the usual time (10:00 A. M.) on Saturday, the 14th. The program will be presented by a local country gospel group headed by Larry Blackburn. The name of the group is “Larry and the Slims”. This group is very entertaining so we hope you can make it to the meeting!

Bobby Caldwell – Recording Secretary

12 November 2011 Meeting Notes

  The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular monthly meeting in the Human Resource Building in Decatur on Saturday, November 12th . The President, Terry Lange, called the meeting to order at 10:00 A. M. After Elsie Hagen’s  devotional, the prayer, the pledge to the flag,  the treasurer’s report and minutes of the last meeting were approved as presented.

  The president next presented the slate of officers for the coming year as recommended by the nominating committee. The Society approved the following officers for the year 2012: President – Bobby Caldwell; Vice-president – Jo Veenstra; Recording Secretary – Emily Jordan; and Treasurer – Iva Dean Smith. Other positions appointed were: Chaplain _ Elsie Hagen; Archivist – Ann Burkes; Hospitality Manager – Annie Lee Gibbs; Web Manager – Ron Searcy; and continuing as corresponding secretary – Terry Lange. The new officers will assume their positions in January of 2012.

  Jo Veenstra introduced Greg Boggan as our speaker and reporter for the November meeting program to the 32 members and guests present.. Greg gave a well-researched, thorough, and extremely interesting report on the History of Garlandville.

  Garlandville began as the Choctaw Indian village of Chinakbi back in the 1700’s. Prior to the Revolutionary War, the British sent two Scotchmen, Isaac Pitchlyn and James Garland to the Choctaw nation to establish trade relations with them. Major James Garland settled in the area of the village of Chinakbi and married a Choctaw woman. It was his son, John Garland, who also married a Choctaw woman, who became one of the leaders in the Choctaw tribe. The name of the village later evolved into the name of Garlandville after the name of John Garland. The town prospered as a trading center up unto the days prior to the Civil War. The town began to decline as the residents did not want the rail line going through their town, so, many of the residents moved to Meridian and Newton. One prominent citizen who moved to Meridian was Abraham Threefoot who later built the Threefoot building in Meridian. The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson also had its beginnings in Garlandville. These are just a few of the interesting facts brought out during Greg’s report. We thank Greg for such an informative report.

  We are looking forward to the December meeting on the 10th when Mr. Ovid Vickers will present the program on Christmas Traditions.

8 October 2011 Meeting Notes

  The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular monthly meeting in the Newton County Archives Building on October 8th with 20 members and visitors present. President Terry Lange welcomed everyone. Elsie Hagen presented the devotion, which was followed by a prayer and the Pledge to the flag and country.

   The members were shown the new additional materials added to the archive collection and the visitors were given a brief overview of all the materials housed in the building. President Lange commended all the current and past volunteers who work (and have worked) in the Archives, for a job well done. The current volunteers are Bess Hollingsworth, Sandra Jones, Ann Burkes, Patsy Gary, Bobby Caldwell, and Emily Jordan. The volunteers see that the building is open Monday through Friday (9:00 A. M. – 1:00 P. M.) and help visitors with their research.

  The November meeting will be in our regular meeting place (Human Resource Building in Decatur) on the 12th at 10:00 A. M. with Greg Boggan presenting a program on the history of Garlandville. Greg is a thorough researcher so we can be sure of an interesting program. Members and visitors alike are welcome. Come early and enjoy refreshments with us!

                               Bobby Caldwell – Recording Secretary

10 September 2011 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its September meeting on Saturday, the 10th at Margaret Muse’s castle. This castle, which was completed in 2008, is a first in Newton County and is located about 5 miles southeast of Decatur on the banks of the Chunky Creek/Canal.

The first part of the meeting and the refreshments were down at the guest/gate house down at the entrance to the castle.

After President Terry Lange called the meeting to order, Melvin Tingle presented a short account of former Indian trails and towns in Newton County. Melvin used a map to illustrate the locations of these trails and towns.

After this, the members and guests trekked up the hill to the actual castle. After observing the immaculate grounds, the members could read the brief account at the entrance as to just how the castle came about being built and why it is on this spot. It seems that after World War II, Grover and Margaret Pierce, with their five daughters, became successful farmers on this acreage. One autumn day, after observing her husband's field white with cotton on the hill, Mrs. Pierce remarked that, “One day, we might just build a castle on top of that hill!” Even though she never saw her dream come true, her daughter Margaret Muse had the castle built in memory of her. This castle is the actual retirement home of Mrs. Muse. Even though Margaret couldn't be with us the day of the meeting, we thank her daughter, Holley Blalock, for giving us a most interesting tour of the inside of the castle.

The October meeting will be at 10:00 A. M. on Saturday, October 8th at the Archives in Decatur. Members and guests will be able to see all the wealth of materials we have there. The Archives is located on Highway 15 right south of the stop light in Decatur. See you there.

             Bobby Caldwell – Recording Secretary

13 August 2011 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its August meeting in the Human Resource Building in Decatur. This monthly meeting on the 13th  began at 10:00 A. M. when President Terry Lange called the meeting to order which was followed by Elsie Hagen’s devotional, prayer, and pledge to the flag. The minutes from the last meeting and the treasurer’s report were approved as presented.

The Society approved the purchase of the first five available books of the series “The New Heritage of Mississippi” for our Archives.

Dr. Harold Graham, using our new power point equipment , presented the program for this meeting which was a history of the Hollingsworth Family in Newton County. If you have ever wondered where all these Hollingsworths (and connections) in the Conehatta, Newton, and Decatur and their surrounding areas, came from, you should have been there to hear Dr. Graham’s report. He has traced their Hollingsworth forefathers all the way back to England. They arrived in Newton County (which was then a part of Neshoba County) in 1834, having come by way of Ireland, Delaware. Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and finally to Newton County, Mississippi.

We had welcomed many of the Hollingsworth descendants as guests at this meeting.

Our September meeting will be at “The Castle” on the 10th with Margaret Muse (owner) and Melvin Tingle presenting the story behind the building of this castle in Newton County. The location is southeast of Decatur (5.1 miles) on Chapel Hill Road.

       Recording Secretary – Bobby Caldwell

9 July 2011 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its July meeting in the Human Resources Building in Decatur. This monthly meeting on the 9th began at 10:00 A. M. with President Terry Lange calling the meeting to order which was followed by Elsie Hagen’s devotional, the pledge to the flag, and prayer. The minutes and treasurer’s report were both approved as presented. The society voted to use funds from the treasury to purchase all necessary equipment needed to present power point programs.

The program for this meeting, was presented by Mrs. Louise Bailey, who gave us a most interesting account of the history of the Decatur Telephone Company. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey had set up a display of some of the equipment used by the company in the past. One of the items was the actual switchboard used by Mrs. Bailey for years.

Bill and Louise Bailey purchased the company from a Mrs. Perkins in 1945 and changed the name from Perkins Telephone Company to the Decatur Telephone Company. In her narrative, Louise took us through many changes that have occurred in the company: the switchboard days; the party line days, the use of copper wire days; and the present fiber optic days. The company is still one of the few independently-owned telephone companies the United States.

We thank the Baileys for the presentation and thank Louise for presenting it in such an interesting and entertaining way.

Our August meeting will on Saturday, the 13th with Harold Graham presenting the history of the Hollingsworths in Newton County. He hopes to present this using the new power point equipment.

     Recording Secretary - Bobby Caldwell

11 June 2011 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular monthly meeting on June 11th at the Doolittle House in Newton. The current owners of the house and surroundings, Andy and Dottie Armstrong, welcomed the 20+ members of the Society and gave a brief history of the house along with a guided tour. The Doolittle house was once the center of the very large and successful Doolittle cotton plantation. The original house was built in 1891 by Thomas Irish Doolittle, who was a member of the very prominent Newton  Doolittle Family. Thomas’ brother was Newton Doolittle for whom the town of Newton derived its name. Thomas’ father was Roger Doolittle who once owned the land on which the town of Newton now stands. His mother was Permelia Ann Blalock who was a member of another prominent family and plantation owner near Newton.

Thomas also served in the House of Representatives of the Mississippi Legislature from 1912 to 1916, was director of the Patrons Union,  and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Cotton Cooperative Association.

The Society would like to say a special thanks to Andy and Dottie for such an interesting and informative meeting.

President Terry Lange postponed the business part of the meeting till the July meeting, which will be on the 9th at our regular meeting place in the Human Resource Building in Decatur. The program for the July Meeting will be presented by Bill and Louise Bailey who will be giving us a history of the unique Decatur Telephone Company.

     Recording Secretary – Bobby Caldwell (with the help of Patsy Gary)

14 May 2011 Meeting Notes

Bro. Bruce Taylor, pastor of the Decatur United Methodist Church, presented a most interesting program which he entitled “Churches that Were, but are No More”. There were 28 members and guests present at May 14th meeting. Bro. Taylor, assisted by Bess Hollingsworth, had done extensive research on this project using every tool available including his GPS device. Some of the church buildings were still standing, but most of the buildings were dismantled many years ago with hardly any evidence that a church ever was located at the site. A few church sites were not found including one that was named “Possum Trot Church”, so if anyone knows the site of this church, please let Bro. Bruce know. To make his presentation even more interesting, he had taken pictures of the church buildings or sites and showed the pictures to us by power-point. Also, he showed us a map of Newton County with the location of the churches marked on the map. We thank Bro. Taylor for such a well-researched and well-presented program.

Vice-president Jo Veenstra presided at the meeting as President Terry Lange could not attend. Jo introduced us to Trey Porter, the Director of Community Relations for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Mr. Porter wanted to inform us of the location of their facility in Jackson and invited everyone to come and see their new facility and check out what all they have there. They are there to give any help or assistance in any way that they can.

During the business session, Elsie Hagen presented a nice devotional on Mother’s Day.

The minutes of the last meeting and the Treasurer’s report were approved as presented.

The June meeting will be held June 11th and will be at the Doolittle Place in Newton. Andy and Dottie Armstrong will conduct us on a guided tour of the place. The meeting will begin at 10:00 A. M.. To get to the house, about a mile north of I-20, turn west off of Highway 15 onto Coliseum Drive (Drivers License Bureau Road), go to the first stop sign and turn left (south) on old highway 15, then go about 2 tenths of a mile and the house will be on the right side of the road. Hope to see you there.                

Bobby Caldwell, Recording Secretary

9 April 2011 Meeting Notes

Mr. Wayne Porter, an area horticulturist agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Meridian, presented a most interesting program on heirloom plants in this area. First, Mr. Porter explained to us that, in order for a plant to become an heirloom plant, it must have been introduced into an area at least fifty years ago. Other traits of heirloom plants are that the variety must be able to reproduce themselves through their seeds, are able to be rooted or grafted, and must be able to self pollinate or be open pollinated. Heirloom plants can include trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables. He showed slides of many of our beloved heirloom flowers, trees, and vegetables. We thank Mr. Porter for presenting such an interesting and informative program.

President Terry Lange presided at the business meeting, which included the monthly devotional, pledge to the flag, prayer, approval of the minutes of the last meeting, and approval of the treasurer’s report.

The next meeting will be at the Human Resource Building on May 14, 2011 and will include a program presented by Rev. Bruce Taylor entitled “Churches that are ‘no more’”. Refreshments will be offered at 9:30 with the meeting starting at 10:00 A. M. Come join us.

12 March 2011 Meeting Notes

One of the largest, if not the largest, crowds ever to attend one of our meetings, were present at the March meeting of the Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society. The occasion was to celebrate the 175th birthday of the town of Decatur. Bess Hollingsworth spearheaded this event in conjunction with the Decatur Progressive Club. Bess, in organizing this celebration, was ably assisted by Lois Cooper, Jeanette Thrash, Ann Burkes, and Melvin Tingle.

Lois Cooper, in her masterful way, presented the history of Decatur. Decatur was settled in 1836 and was named after Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr., an American Naval hero of the past. Along with these and all the other necessary facts and figures in the history of Decatur, Lois included many human interest and humorous stories that happened in and around the countryside throughout the town’s history. These accounts made the presentation even more interesting.

We thank Mrs. Cooper and all who had a part in presenting this wonderful program (the refreshments even included a birthday cake)!

The business meeting was moderated by President Terry Lange, which included the approval of the minutes of the last meeting and the treasurer’s report. The devotional was presented by Elsie Hagen.

The next regular meeting will be in the Human Resource Building at 10:00 a. m. on Saturday, April 9th. The program will be “Heirloom Plants we Know and Love” and the presenter will be Wayne Porter, an area horticulturalist. Come join us and be a part of our organization.

Bobby Caldwell, recording secretary

12 February 2011 Meeting Notes

Timothy Lockey, the director of Newton County's new veteran’s cemetery, spoke to the NCHGS on the progress in the construction of the cemetery which is located between Hickory and Newton. Entrance to the cemetery is from Highway 80 at the Mississippi State University's Coastal Plains Experiment Station. It is being built in three stages made up of ten years each, like the first stages will be the first ten years and so on. The first stage will open May 30, 2011 if all goes as planned. There will be a dedication of the Persian Gulf War Wall Memorial on April 18, 2011.

Mr. Lockey, a retired veteran himself, stated that this will be the first state veteran's cemetery in Mississippi. It will serve the area in the state from Hattiesburg north to Columbus and west to Jackson. Veterans and their spouses and, in some cases, their handicapped children will be eligible to be buried there. The cemetery will cover some 85 acres and will contain 56,000 burial plots when all stages are completed. 

We thank Mr. Lockey for such an interesting and informative report.

President Terry Lange moderated the business meeting which included the call to order, devotional, pledge to the flag, approval of the minutes from the last meeting, and the treasurer’s report. It was reported that that our web-site received 30,000 hits just in the month of January alone.

The program at our next meeting will be “ The 175th Birthday of the Town of Decatur” presented by Lois Cooper, Bess Hollingsworth, and Ann Burkes. This meeting will be in the Human Resources Building in Decatur on March 12th, and will begin at 10:00 A. M. with refreshments prior to the start of the meeting. We welcome you to come join us.

Recording Secretary                    Bobby Caldwell

8 January 2011 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its first meeting of the new year in the County Human Resource Building in Decatur. The meeting was on the regular second Saturday meeting date and began at 10:00 A. M. and was quite well-attended by members as well as a large number of guests.

President Terry Lange presided over the business part of the meeting, which included the devotional, the pledge, and the approving of the minutes of the last meeting as well as the treasurer’s report.

After the business was taken care of, Jo Veenstra introduced Rex Allan Jones as our guest speaker. Mr. Jones presented a video on the growing problem of the wild hogs in the United States, especially here in the southern states. These wild hogs can play havoc with the crops of peanut and corn farmers. The rapid spread of these animals is caused by hunters trapping the hogs and transporting them to their areas. So far, they haven’t become a major problem here in Newton County, even though they have been seen in a few areas of the county.

Intense interest was shown by the members and guests by the great number of questions asked at the close of his presentation. We thank Mr. Jones for sharing with us his knowledge of this growing problem.

We invite you to come to our next meeting on February 12th, and will be an up-date report on the Veteran’s Cemetery being built at the Experiment Station between Hickory and Newton on Highway 80. Giving this report will be Ricky Horton and/or Timothy Lockey.                                                                Bobby Caldwell, Recording Secretary


NCHGS PROGRAMS FOR 2010

January 8, 2010

Price Miller, Historic  American Legion Hut

February 13, 2010

Ricky Harrison, Boundaries of  MS, Fact and Fiction

March 13, 2010

George Smith, The A. J. Smith  Family

April 10, 2010

Angie Burks, A Visit to the  Historic Newton Depot
The meeting will take place at the Newton Deport, Newton, MS

May 8, 2010

Bill Graham, Early Newspapers in  Newton County

June 12, 2010

Earl Bryan, Boyhood Yarns

July 10, 2010

Choctaw dancers

August 14, 2010

Louis Cooper, The Blount  Family

September 11, 2010

Terry Lange, The Cleveland  Family

October 9, 2010

Mr. Breidinger presented his vast collection of Native-American artifacts.

November 13, 2010

Stacey Hollingsworth,  Founder’s Gym at ECCC

December 11, 2010

Pastor Frank Kirtley gave a report on the history of Methodism in Mississippi.
Jo Veenstra gave a report on the history of the Hickory Methodist Church (organized in 1860)

Meeting Notes

11 December 2010 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular monthly meeting December 11, 2010 in the Human Resources Building in Decatur. There were 20+ members and guests present at this meeting which began at 10:00 A. M..

After the devotional, pledge to the flag, and business meeting, President Terry Lange expressed her appreciation for the support shown to her this past year and for the confidence of the group to elect her to a second term.

Ann Burkes presented Jo Veenstra and Pastor Frank Kirtley who gave a very interesting report on the history of Methodism in Mississippi and specifically, the history of the Hickory Methodist Church, which just celebrated its 150th year in October.

Pastor Kirtley began the meeting with his portrayal of Tobias Gibson, who introduced Methodism to Mississippi in 1799 in and around Natchez. Pastor Kirtley was very effective in his portrayal and report in that he was dressed in the style of an itinerant preacher of that era.

Jo Veenstra gave a well-researched report on the history of the Hickory Methodist Church which was organized in October of 1860.  The church met in different homes for the first ten years and then constructed their first church building in 1870. The present building was built in 1922.

We thank Jo and Pastor Frank for such a detailed and interesting report.

The next NCHGS meeting will be at the usual time and place January 8, 2011, with Rex Alan Jones giving a report on wild hogs, which are becoming quite prevalent in parts of Newton County.

13 November 2010 Meeting Notes

The NCHGS held its monthly meeting on November 13, 2010, at the Human Resources Building in Decatur with 26 members and guests present.

After the devotional and the pledge to the flag, the nominating committee presented the slate of possible officers for the coming year of 2011. The members present voted to accept the committee’s slate who are as follows: president, Terry Lange; vice-president, Jo Veenstra; recording secretary, Bobby Caldwell; treasurer, Iva Dean Smith; and chaplain, Sue Garvin.

The Society voted to accept the treasurer’s and secretary’s reports as presented. At the recommendation of Bess Hollingsworth, it was voted to raise the cash allowed for postage to mail out the WWII Books to $10.00.

The president reminded the members that our yearly membership fees are due. These dues can be paid from now through February and are as follows: for individuals - $20.00; for households - $25.00; for a lifetime membership - $250.00.                  

Ann Burkes introduced Stacey Hollingsworth as our guest speaker and is the current Executive Director of Foundations and Alumni at ECCC. Stacey presented a most interesting report on the current status of the Founders Gymnasium at EC. The Founders Gym was so named in honor Dr. Benjamin Franklin Hunter and Mr. James McDonald Thames who were instrumental in the establishment of EC. It was built in 1930 at a cost of $33,505.00 and was one of the first brick gyms built in this area of Mississippi. It has gone though many changes and had many uses through the years. The Brackeen-Wood Gym was constructed in 1970. Since that year the Founders Gym has somewhat fallen into disrepair, but it’s now in the planning stage to have it rehabilitated which will cost from 4 to 5 million dollars! After rehabilitation, it will house an athletic museum and the administration offices for the college.

We thank Stacy for such an interesting and thorough report.

The next meeting will be Saturday, December 11, at 10:00 a. m. in the Human Resources Building in Decatur. Jo Veenstra and Dr. Frank Kirtley will report on the history of the Hickory Methodist Church.

                                                Bobby Caldwell, Recording Secretary

9 October 2010 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society met for its regular monthly meeting in the Human Resources Building at 10:00 a. m. Saturday, October 9, 2010, with 40+ members and guests present.

In the absence of the president, former president, Bess Hollingsworth, presided at this meeting. After the devotional and Pledge to our country’s flag, Bess announced that due to the lack of volunteers to work at the Newton County Archives, that the Archives would be closed on Saturdays until further notice except by appointment. To make an appointment, you would need to call Bess at 601 635-5131.

Melvin Tingle introduced the guest speaker, Bill Breidinger, and Mr. Breidinger, in turn introduced his assistant, his grandson, Parker Collins. Mr. Breidinger presented a program showing his vast collection of Native-American artifacts. These items had been collected from all over the United States and were beautifully displayed for this meeting. Mr. Breidinger captivated the interest of his audience by showing some of the tools and pottery and telling from what region they came and in what period in history they were used. The intense interest of the audience was reflected by the many questions asked during the “question/ answer” period at the end of his presentation. The Society would like to thank Mr. Breidinger and Parker for such an interesting program.

The Society meets every second Saturday of every month and welcome anyone interested in attending. The next program will be Saturday, November 13, at 10:00 a. m.

Stacey Hollingsworth of ECCC will present a program on the Founders’ Gym. The meeting will be held at the Human Resources Building on Highway 15 in Decatur.                                                                            Bobby Caldwell, Recording Secretary

11 September 2010 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular monthly meeting in the Newton County Human Resources Building on Saturday, September 11, 2010, with 25 members and guests present.

The president, Terry Lange, called the meeting to order and recognized visitors.  After the devotional, prayer, and short business meeting, Terry presented the program, which was a report on the Cleveland family of Newton County. 

The Cleveland Family has been traced back to seventeenth century England.  The report included the immigration to America.  Many Clevelands of this line settled in Elbert County, Georgia, and from there, some migrated to Mississippi and later, some moved on to Texas.

Terry related many handed down stories about the family—some humorous and some tragic.  She also told of the accomplishments of many of the Cleveland descendants.

The extensive research of the Cleveland family tree was printed out and displayed on the walls of the meeting room, along with many old photographs. 

The next meeting of the society will be held at the Human Resources Building in Decatur at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, October 9, 2010.  Bill Breidinger will present the program, which will be about the objects he has collected.  Visitors are welcome.

Bobby Caldwell, Secretary

14 August 2010 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held it regular meeting in the Newton County Human Resources Building on Saturday, August 14, 2010, with 36 members and guests present.

Lois Blount Cooper gave a presentation on the Blount family of Neshoba and Newton County.

John Thomas Blount and his wife Clarissa Ann Cartwright Blount were early settlers of the “four corners” area of Neshoba County, and although they would move on to Texas, they would leave many descendants in this area. Included among those descendants was a great-grandson, Pleas Clayton Blount, who with his wife, Nancy Amanda (Mandy) Breazeale, would later move to the Decatur area of Newton County.

Pleas Clayton Blount and a sister, Mary Jane (Mollie) Blount Barrett, were raised by their grandparents, William Peter and Eveline Johnson Blount, when their parents, John Thomas Blount and Mary Jane Burkes, died when Pleas was about age four.

The marriage of Pleas Clayton Blount produced twelve children who reached adulthood: Henry Clayton Blount, Sr., Lillie Annie Blount Gallaspy Wright, Jasper Monroe Blount, Sr., Hardy Edmond Blount, Sr., John Elzie Blount, Sr., Louella Blount Gordon Kennedy, Ida Mae Blount Foy, Minnie Lou Blount Wall, Emma Edna Blount Ware, Ruby Pearl Blount Robinson Mayberry, Clarence Malcolm Blount and Lloyd Lamar Blount.

The Blounts take pride in having made significant contributions to their community for more than three generations now, but they also know the importance of a large and loving family which has been taught that while one twig can be lost in a storm, many twigs bound together will survive.

The next meeting of NCHGS will be held at the Newton County Human Resources Building, Decatur, Mississippi, on Saturday, September 11, 2010, beginning at 10 a. m. Terry Lange will make a presentation on the Cleveland Family. Members and guests are invited.

10 July 2010 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular meeting on July 10, 2010 at the Newton County Human Resources Building in Decatur with 25 members and guests in attendance.

Ricky Harrison gave a presentation on the Survey of the Original Boundaries of Mississippi.

The boundaries of Mississippi that were set in 1817 include the states of Alabama and Tennessee, Bear River (extreme northeast), the Mississippi and Pearl Rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Although Mississippi received statehood in 1817, a complete survey could not be completed until after the Signing of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 since two Indian tribes, the Chickasaw and Choctaw, still occupied part of the land. In 1797-1798 a survey team under the direction of Andrew Ellicott was in what would become Newton County marking the 31st parallel which runs east and west near Stratton and which was what was then the boundary between Spanish Territory and the United States.

Many of the standards of measurement used in surveying during the pioneer days (and many still used today) were developed under the influence of master surveyor Andrew Ellicott (1754-1820) including the use of a 33 foot chain of brass representing two rods of 16 each. Mr. Harrison exhibited a replica of these Ellicott chains at the meeting.

The next meeting of the Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2010, beginning at 10:00 a. m. in the Newton County Human Resources Building in Decatur. Lois Blount Cooper will provide a history of the Blount family.

12 June 2010 Meeting Notes

Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular meeting on Saturday, June 12, 2010, at the Newton County Human Resources Building in Decatur with 35 members and guests attending.

In anticipation of Father’s Day on June 20, Bobby Caldwell presented a special tribute in recognition of fathers present.

Earl Bryan shared with the group many fond memories of his childhood which he has published in the book Born Wealthy. As Mr. Bryan related, his parents were both school teachers and of modest circumstances. The family wealth was not about material substance but of character development and wholesome values that were learned through the experiences of growing up. These experiences, sometimes humorous and other times quite sobering, led to a much better understanding of the demeanor he should practice as a mature adult.

The next meeting of NCHGS will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2010, beginning at 10 a. m. at the Newton County Human Resources Building in Decatur. Ricky Harrison will present the topic, “Survey of the Original Boundaries of the State of Mississippi.”

8 May 2010 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular monthly meeting on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at the Newton County Human Resources Building with 17 members and guests present.

On a day prior to Mother’s Day, Chaplain Bobby Caldwell delivered a special tribute to all mothers present.

Bill Graham, Managing Editor of The Newton County Appeal, gave a report on the history of newspapers in Newton County.

The first effort to publish a newspaper in the county was at Decatur in 1861; however, there was not enough business support to ever make the paper possible. The first newspaper in this area, founded in 1839, and also the largest newspaper in Mississippi at the time was the Eastern Clarion, operating at Paulding in Jasper County. When Jasper County failed to get a railroad in 1860, that instead going to Newton County, the newspaper moved first to Brandon and later to Jackson. In 1871, R. H. Henry established a newspaper at Newton known as the Newton Ledger. This newspaper was discontinued in a matter of a few years and Mr. Henry moved to Jackson where he combined the ledger with the clarion to found the Clarion-Ledger which since has remained Mississippi’s largest newspaper.

The towns of Hickory and Conehatta both had newspapers around the turn of the 20th century, but there was not enough advertising to keep the newspapers going. The newspapers with the greatest longevity in the county were the Newton Record (1901-January 2009) and The Union Appeal. The Union Appeal was first published in 1910; then in 2009 was converted to the Newton County Appeal to broaden its coverage following the demise of the Newton Record.

The Mississippi Baptist was a religious newspaper that had its beginning at Newton in the 1890’s, its editor the Rev. N. L. Clarke. This newspaper operated in a back room of the store of his grandson, William Harold Gallaspy of Newton. It was never successful from a commercial standpoint, but the idea caught on with the Mississippi Baptist Convention and they continued publishing the newspaper at the Baptist Record.

The next meeting will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2010, at the Newton County Human Resources Building in Decatur, beginning at 10 a. m. Earl Bryan will share stories from his new book, Born Rich—Boyhood Yarns.  Members and guests are invited.

10 April 2010 Meeting Notes

Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular meeting on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at the Newton Depot at Newton with 31 members and guests attending.

President Terry Lange reported the untimely death of NCHGS member Frank Cook of Hattiesburg. Leroy Gardner, a family representative, attended the meeting and announced that Frank’s family was donating the genealogical collection of Mr. Cook to the Newton County Archives. This collection includes information on the Gardner, Cook, Staton, Bartlett, and other families of Newton County.

Angie Burkes provided a history of the Newton Depot beginning with the construction of the first depot with the arrival of the Southern Railroad in 1860. That building was destroyed by Grierson in 1863, and rebuilt after the Civil War was over. The present depot was built in 1905, and although no longer used for railway purposes, serves the community in a variety of ways from weddings to the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce.

Frank Kirtley, dressed as Col. Benjamin Grierson, spoke of the 1863 raid by the Union forces. Starting at LaGrange, Tennessee, Grierson and his cavalry swept through much of the eastern portion of Mississippi as a diversionary tactic to attempt to draw the Confederacy’s attention away from Vicksburg and Gen. Grant’s effort to surround that city. Grierson tore up track from Lake to Chunky and burned the depot at Newton. According to local reports he spent the night at Walker plantation south of Newton, entered Garlandville the next day, then escaped to south Mississippi and Louisiana with Confederate forces in pursuit.

13 March 2010 Meeting Notes

Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular meeting on March 13, 2010 at the Newton County Human Resources Building with 37 members and guests present.

President Terry Lange gave a membership report and encouraged all to view our updated website at http://www.nchgs.org/.

George Smith gave a report on the Andrew Jackson (Jack) & Emily Phillips Smith Family of the Decatur area and shared many stories about family members.

Andrew Jackson Smith was born in 1828, Kymulga, Shelby County, Alabama, and following his marriage to Emily Phillips, migrated to Newton County in 1857. Emily was a native of Jasper County, Georgia, and the first of their children were born there. Emily and the children moved back to Monticello, Jasper County, Georgia for the duration of the Civil War. They were the parents of eleven children including nine sons and two daughters. These were: Edwin Phillips Smith, Jefferson Davis Smith, Charlie Briant/Bryant Smith, Wiley Andrew Smith, Mary Lucinda Smith, Rufus Clarence Smith, Elmira Virginia Smith, William Albert Smith, Manquis Velpeau Smith, Aquilla Sanders Smith, and Roscoe Singleton Smith. Mary Lucinda Smith died in infancy and Elmina Virginia Smith died as a young woman, unmarried.

Andrew Jackson Smith owned extensive land holdings immediately north and northeast of Decatur and donated land used for the building of Mt. Zion Congregational Methodist Church.

Andrew Jackson Smith served in Company D, 13th Mississippi Regiment, CSA, under the command of Capt. Montgomery Carleton, advancing to the rank of Lieutenant.

The next meeting of NCHGS will be held at the Newton Depot in Newton on Saturday, April 10, 2010, beginning at 10 A. M.  Angie Burks is in charge of the program. All members and guests are invited to attend.

13 February 2010 Meeting Notes (Canceled due to inclement weather)

8 January 2010 Meeting Notes

The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society held its regular meeting on January 8, 2010 at the Newton County Human Resources Meeting with 29 members present.

Price Miller provided a comprehensive history of American Legion Post #89 in Decatur.

As with most other chapters in the county, state and nation, American Legion Post #89 was created in the days following World War I as a support organization for military veterans returning home from the war.

In 1933, the post was able to build a hut and lake.  The hut was destroyed by fire in 1934, but was rebuilt in 1935.  Since that time, the hut has served as the base of operations for Post #89 and allowed for a wide variety of activities, including fellowship for veterans and their families.  In 2009, the post provided Christmas packages to all hospitalized member veterans, helped box and ship a large donation of books, provided through Ann Burkes, to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Renovations to the hut were made in the 1950’s and again in the 1980’s.  At peak operations, the post had 348 members, with the 2009 membership at 113.

The next meeting of NCHGS will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2010, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Newton County Resources Building with Ricky Harrison providing a report on “The Boundaries of the State of Mississippi”.  Members and guests are invited.

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