Thursday, June 9, 2005


City Personals
Mary Clay Brooks

A host of Ole Miss fans attend baseball tournament

Memorial Day weekend guests in the home of Susan, Jimmy and Rob Warren were Susan’s mother, Ellen Stegall of Carlsbad, Calif., and her sister, Stacey Pace of Hattiesburg.

Fred Belk III and his son, Frederick, of Middletown, Delaware, spent the week visiting his parents, Fred M. and Linda Belk. While here all the “Belk boys,” Fred M., Fred III, Fielding and Jonathan enjoyed a camping and fishing outing. Also while visiting, everyone enjoyed dinner with Fred, Fielding and Jonathan’s sister, Tish Summerlin, and her husband Jim, and children, Anna and Wil.

Joyce Summerlin of Gallatin, Tenn., visited her son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Tish, and their children, Anna and Wil.

Phillip Leonard, son of Gene and Martha Ruth Leonard, visited in Holly Springs recently and enjoyed day trips to Oxford, Tupelo, Clarksdale and Memphis during his stay. He returned to his home in Fredericksburg, Va., on May 25.

Gene and Martha Ruth Leonard and Dr. Hosea Young, brother of Martha Ruth, returned on Tuesday from a week’s vacation together in Rockland, Maine.

Those who attended the Ole Miss baseball tournament over the weekend are John and Susan Jones, Ki Jones, Pat Ellis Stubbs, Bob Lomenick, Charlie and Jane Farris,  Bo Bonds, Buddy Farris, Harris Gholson, Thomas Carlisle, Frannie Farris, Johnny and John Austin Valentine, Tim and Tyler Cook and Ed Bounds.

The following attended the wedding of Lauren Strider in Phillip, on Saturday night: Denise Gholson, Diane Greer, Linda McKinney, Dianene Fant, Margaret Brown, Elizabeth Butler, Becky Hollingsworth, Martha McAlexander and Jane Farris. The wedding was held in the backyard of the bride’s grandparents.

(To put your news in City Personals, please e-mail; mail to City Personals, The South Reporter, P.O. Box 278, Holly Springs, MS 38635 or call 662-252-4261. You may also e-mail your City Personal news to

Miss Erica Sherrill and Kevin Burke will exchange vows June 25

Mrs. Bertha Ann Walls Williams of Holly Springs and Fredrick Sherrill of Detroit, Mich., would like to announce the forthcoming wedding of their daughter, Erica Termaine Sherrill to Kevin Antonio Burke, son of Jack and Gloria Burke of Holly Springs.

Erica is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Walls Jr. of Ashland and Annie F. Mitchell of Covington, Tenn.

Kevin is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Willie M. Jones and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Burke, all of Holly Springs.

The lovely couple will exchange vows in a lavish outdoor ceremony at the home of the bride’s mother at 447 North Road in Ashland on June 25, 2005 at 4:30 in the afternoon. In case of rain, the ceremony will take place at True Vine MB Church in Holly Springs.

All family and friends are invited to attend.

Miss Kara Wright and Adam Rushing will exchange vows June 18 at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church

Mr. and Mrs. Perry Wright of Dumas announce the engagement of their daughter, Kara Nan Wright, to Adam Rushing, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Rushing of Potts Camp.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Doxey Davis of Dumas and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wright of New Albany.

The prospective groom is the grandson of Lina Mae Rhea and the late Vida Rhea of Potts Camp and Minnie and the late Tom Rushing of Waterford.

The bride-elect is a 2000 graduate of Pine Grove High School, where she was salutatorian. She attended Northeast Mississippi Community College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at Mississippi University for Women in 2004. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau, and the Mississippi Nurses’ Association. She is a registered nurse at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

The prospective groom is a 1997 graduate of Potts Camp High School. He received an associate’s degree in civil engineering technology from Northeast Mississippi Community College in 1999. He is an employee of Foley Engineering in New Albany.

The couple will exchange vows on June 18, 2005 at 2 p.m. at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Dumas. A reception will follow in the family life center.

Friends and family are invited.

Miss Monica Jeffries and Sammie Lee Walton Jr. to wed Saturday at Dreamland

Mrs. Lela Jeffries of Waterford and Bill Wicks (brother) of Waterford announce the engagement of Monica Latrice Jeffries of Waterford to Sammie Lee Walton Jr. of Holly Springs.

Monica is the daughter of Maurice Martin of Waterford and the mother of LaVonte’ Howell. She is the granddaughter of Laura Turnage of Waterford. She is an honor graduate of Potts Camp High School. She attended the University of Mississippi for a year. She is now attending LPN school at Northwest Community College.

Sammie Lee Walton Jr. is the son of Sammie Lee Walton Sr. of Nashville, Tenn., and Michelle Walton of Holly Springs. His grandparents are Clayton and James Eaner Falkner of Holly Springs. He is a graduate of Holly Springs High School. He is employed with Louisiana Pacific.

Monica and Sammie will be married at 4 p.m. on June 11, 2005 at Dreamland. Family and friends are cordially invited to attend.


Denorris and Angela Howell of Waterford are pleased to announce the birth of a daughter, La’Kyrah Alyse Howell, born May 4, 2005 at Baptist Hospital in Oxford. She weighed six pounds, two ounces and was 19 inches long.

She is welcomed home by two brothers, La’Marcus Faulkner and La’Norris Howell.

Grandparents are William and Lorine Marion of Waterford and Janice Wilkins of Laws Hill.

Also welcoming the infant are aunts Ashley Marion and Marnika Howell and uncles Preston Wilkins and Scottie Malone.

Lois Swanee
Museum Curator

History of the Courthouse

The Marshall County Courthouse has a personality of its own. It has brooded over its people in their arrogance, pride, humility, joy and sorrow. It has witnessed riots of lawlessness, and dramas of love and devotion. Progressive people have imported intangible qualities to the Courthouse and set it apart from any other building in the county.

Marshall County was incorporated in 1836 and Holly Springs on May 12, 1837. Owners of the land where the courthouse was to be built gave the 50 acres to the city and it was to include a space for the public school, a jail and the cemetery. The first courthouse was a two-story frame structure surrounded by a wooden fence and hitching posts. The Courthouse was burned in December of 1864 when Federal prisoners, under General Sooey Smith, set fire to the cupola. General Smith was so infuriated that they did the mischief, shouted, “Chunk the prisoners back in the fire!” Of course, he didn’t mean it; they were not chunked in the fire. Some of the early records burned, but not all, thank goodness.

In 1865, Congress refused to rebuild the Courthouse (remember, they were mad at us and felt no mercy, just revenge). Finally, in 1872, the contract was let to erect a new courthouse by a tax levy of $25,000, and this is the one we have now. However, changes have been made, wings have been added plus modern amenities.

The saddest chapter in the history of the Courthouse began in September 1878. At that time the courthouse was used for a yellow fever hospital. The Catholic nuns were the nurses. The doctor was Dr. Swearington from Texas. All the patients were on cots inside the courthouse and when they died, were moved to the lawn so the yard was covered in dead bodies. All the nuns caught the disease and died of it. Dr. Swearington wrote a tribute to them on the plaster wall of the courthouse. When the courthouse was renovated in 1926, Kernon McDermott cut the eulogy of the wall and put it in a frame and sent it to a nunnery in Kentucky. They kept it there until 1970 when we started the Museum. One of the Kentucky nuns put it on the back seat of her car and brought it to the Museum. It was one of our first artifacts. You should see it.

In times past, the Courthouse has seen one woman sheriff, Mrs. C.A. Jones, and one woman deputy sheriff, Mrs. Jamie McWilliams Lyon.

Before the days of motorized lawn mowers, grass grew tall and keeping it low was a chore. Some people used goats to take care of the grass. Vadah Cochran Sr. was the chancery clerk and he acquired a herd of Nubian goats to graze on the courthouse lawn to keep the grass short. When anyone approached these goats, they fell over in a dead-like faint. Everyone was shocked when they thought they had killed the goats. But in a few minutes the goats would rise again to graze again.

Back to the courthouse, once in the teens, the sheriff’s integrity was being scrutinized in the courtroom. The sheriff excused himself, went up into the clock and shot himself. The first the court knew of it was when blood started dripping down into the courtroom. Miraculously, he lived! He was later exonerated.

Once someone was hanged on the courthouse lawn. Collins Tidwell took a photo of it from the upstairs of Rather’s Drug Store on the square. We missed getting this photo, too, here at the Museum.

In 1946, the only execution that I knew of to take place here was held with the state’s new portable electric chair. They brought that thing up here to electrocute a young white man who was a habitual criminal. The deputies “drafted” some of the town’s curious young veterans who were to see the event and used them to carry out the drastic details. Those boys (in their 80s now) still remember that horrible scenario down to the last detail and all of them couldn’t sleep for months without having nightmares about it. (All of this after fighting World War!) To my knowledge that was the only person from here ever electrocuted from Marshall County. One of the veterans said the criminal was given a last cigarette and after smoking it, handed the half smoked cigarette to him and the electrodes were placed on his body and he was gone forever. Moral of this story, clean up your act!

When I was young, the courthouse was very much a part of our lives. We went there to get a drink of water plus other things. The Sheriff had one corner, chancery clerk had one corner, circuit had one corner and tax assessor had one corner. The town clock had four faces with one to tell the time of day to the county and the town. Until 1970 the office of sheriff was combined with the tax collector. I guess the idea was the sheriff could make everybody pay, but imagine that today! That year, Mrs. Jerry Hill ran for tax collector and became the first elected tax collector in Marshall County.

They began the county library in the southwest upstairs corner of the courthouse and all the children in town were going there to check out books. I think Ellen Pinkston was the first librarian. It was a great thing that they conceived here. I heard recently of some other town closing their library and I thought, “I’d hate to live there.” A nearby town had a wonderful museum but the townspeople weren’t interested enough to support it so the whole museum was given to the archives in Jackson where people appreciate such things. One thing they had that I was envious of was a Nazi officer’s complete uniform. The local soldier of World War II found himself in a foxhole in Germany eyeball to eyeball with a Nazi officer. The American killed the officer quickly as the Nazi was trying to shoot him first. Then the American took his complete uniform, even his boots, gun, etc. and brought it home and gave it to the museum in his hometown and now it’s in Jackson, where they have many treasures like this. The American’s last name was Moore (not kin of ours).

In 1878, some heavy comedy came in the courtroom when Judge Howry, who elected in the last election, entered the Circuit Court in Holly Springs to take the bench. Judge Huling refused to deliver it. The two esteemed judges adjourned the court and took turns ordering each other to jail, to the amusement of the Marshall County Bar.

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