Thursday, January 20, 2005


City Personals
By Mary Clay Brooks

Locals attend concert at new FedEx Forum

Sara Love Swanee, daughter of Dr. Walker and Melissa Swanee of Oxford, and granddaughter of Lois Swanee, has gone to Washington, DC, to help with the innauguration of President George W. Bush. She is staying in the Mayfair Hotel during her stay. Sara Love currently lives in Dallas, Texas, and plans to move to Washington, DC.

Tammy Cupp and Susie Murphy attended the concert of Martina McBride and Alan Jackson Friday night at the FedEx Forum.

Jean Ann Jones is recovering beautifully at home after back surgery last week.

Well wishes go out to Ann Carpenter after a freak accident last week.

Congratulations to all who contributed to the opening of The Service Station—the new bar and grill behind the VFW. Friday night was a soft opening and it was very well received by the community. A huge big screen TV dominates the wall in view of the bar and scattered throughout the bar are smaller televisions. Pool tables and dart boards offer entertainment for those who have the ability to play, as well as for those, like myself, who are still in the “newbie” stage of the games! If you are hungry, the Fly by Nite chefs will serve you up wonderful appetizers or, even better, very filling and tasty po-boy sandwiches. The Service Station is going to be a very valuable asset to Holly Springs in many ways, so be sure to stop in for some fun!

(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 La’Toye Sullivan to wed Eric Zinn at Wesley UMC Feb. 12

Mrs. Janice Tolbert and Mr. Herman Sullivan of Greenwood announce the engagement and upcoming marriage of their daughter La’Toye Kareen Sullivan of Greenwood to Eric Lemonte Zinn of Holly Springs.

Eric is the son of Mrs. Katherine D. Zinn and Mr. Johnny Zinn of Holly Springs.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Carrie H. Outlaw of Greenwood and the late Solomon N. Outlaw and the late Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Sullivan of Greenwood. She is the great-granddaughter of Jessie Peoples of Newport News, Va. and the late Alonzo Peoples.

She is a 1997 graduate of Amanda Elzy High School and a 2001 graduate of Rust College. She received a master in environmental health from Mississippi Valley State University. She is presently employed with the Florida State Department of Health in Naples, Fla.

The prospective groom is a 1993 graduate of Holly Springs High School. He is currently employed with Federal Express.

The couple will exchange wedding vows at 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 12, 2005 at Wesley United Methodist Church.

A reception will immediately follow at the Confederate Memorial Building.

Miss Kristin Dennis and Greg Horton to wed Feb. 19 at First Assembly of God

Mr. and Mrs. James Dennis of Olive Branch announce the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Kristin Elaine Dennis, of Olive Branch, to Greg Horton of Horn Lake. He is the son of Linda Horton of Knoxville and the late Adrian L. Horton.

Kristin is the granddaughter of Mildred Davis of Red Banks and the late Don Davis and Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Dennis of Bartlett, Tenn.

She is a graduate of Germantown High School and attended Northwest Community College. She is employed with Southeast Urology in Southaven.

Greg is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. James R. Scott of Blytheville, Ark.

He is a graduate of First Assembly of God Christian School in Memphis and attended the University of Memphis. He is employed with the DeSoto County Sheriff’s office.

The wedding will be held at 5 p.m. on February 19, 2005 at First Assembly of God in Cordova, Tenn.

All family and friends are cordially invited to attend.

By Loise Swanee

Depot...the social center of Holly Springs

When I wrote about the depot, there was a lot I didn’t know. Some new information has emerged. The depot used to be the social center of the town. People did a lot of walking in those bygone days. Imagine having to catch the horse, hitch him to the buggy or wagon, to go a few blocks. It was much easier to walk, besides, no telling who all you might see on the way. Of course, there were dirt paths, maybe a few boardwalks, but no concrete walks like we have today.

Remember Oliver Crocker? He lived on the east side of the railroad and his house is still there. God made Oliver a natural basketball player as he was tall and slim and still is until this day. The Depot was his domain since it was on his turf. Billy, Nellie Mae, and Edward Jones also lived at the depot in the big building that was built for a hotel decades earlier and burned about 1939, which was located on the southeast corner. It was used as a boarding house when the Joneses lived there.

Oliver lives in Colorado now and he and his wife, Sadie, come to see me from time to time. (Incidentally, Sadie’s twin is named Radie). Oliver says that there was a street (now named “Treasure”) that went from East Boundary to Mr. Lester’s coal yard. It was just south of Salem Bridge. Mr. Lester’s coal yard also had a grist mill. They ground your corn and kept one-fourth to sell to other people and only charged you for three-fourths to grind it.

When the Frisco Railroad was built in 1886, they built a humpbacked bridge over the railroad tracks. One day the engineer had to stop his train as a body was hanging from the humpbacked bridge. Someone had hanged a person from the bridge. That was such a grisly memory but times were grisly. Later, the bridge was torn away. The Frisco Railroad went out of business in 1958; the railway station was then torn down, too. It was a one-story rectangular structure of red brick and tile. Sounds in it echoed off the walls as the acoustics in it were so terrible. It wasn’t even similar to the grand edifice of the Illinois Central Railroad Station, which was the queen of all depots. There were about 16 trains daily, eight for the Frisco and eight for the Illinois Central. All the boys in town, black and white, would meet the trains to carry suitcases for tips from people that had to change trains. The McDermott family owned and ran the Illinois Central Railroad hotel. She’s the one who would board the train in the morning with a bag of gold pieces, go to Memphis and shop and be home for supper. What a life!

Oliver remembers the circus coming to town on the train. He watched them unload the animals. This left a wonderful indelible memory.

In 1932, two days after President Roosevelt’s inauguration, he declared that gold would no longer be the medium of payment. He banned gold’s private ownership and demanded that Americans turn in their gold coins or face criminal charges. The United States was in the grip of a terrible depression and hemorrhaging gold and it had to stop to save the nation. I remember the day the Federal Gold Group came to our house to pick up the gold. It was impressing me. Americans gave it up willingly to help save the country.

After the Frisco building was built in 1886, Depot Avenue came to a close at the door of the new station. Then the street was rerouted to East Boundary. Those beautiful woods there used to be called the hanging woods as it was where people were hanged. However, it was also used as a campground for the gypsies (they were fascinating but now they are dissolved). Oliver remembers several big picnics on July 4 that were held there. He said he used to find Civil War miniballs and relics in the woods. Yankee troops probably camped there.

The big house by the tracks where my friend Juanita Wages lived was antebellum and owned by the Frisco. It had been used as a Civil War hospital. There were other houses that were built as boarding houses by the railroad for their Irish workers when the railroad was being built. The houses are all gone now. Oliver said the big house had a yard full of beautiful holly, pine and cedar trees.

Where Phillips Grocery is now, used to be Leo Leibson’s grocery store, then it was the C.B. Moore Store, then when I was small, it was Mr. Oliphant’s store. (Mr. Oliphant had a shock of snow white hair.) After that it was the Phillips’ turn and they added the hamburgers. Now Larry Davis (no kin to Jeff) has it. National newspaper USA Today says it’s the best place in the world to eat hamburgers. People come from everywhere for a “Phillips Burger.”

Adrain Rose says he remembers slot machines in the store. They sat on the counter and I guess were legal. Boys used to go in there after school to play the slot machines that were called “one armed bandits.”

Next door was the West fruit grocery store. It’s gone now. Then there was David Williams’ store that had been the Skelton store and the Williams lived in the Skelton house.

Most of this information was sent to me by Oliver. He worked at the South Reporter during his senior year when C.H. Curd was owner. Red Brown and Opal Whitten also worked there at the same time. Opal later became owner of the paper.

Corrections to last week’s article: Bricks were made of the hill, not on the hill. It wasn’t a student rider standing on the airplane wings, it was a stunt rider.

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