Thursday, January 30, 2014
Remembering Miss Jean
We lost a very sweet soul last week with the passing of Jean Lafever. She was not your ordinary bank teller back in the day. She was one who always asked how everyone was, always smiled ear to ear and loved giving out lollipops through her window. It was not just a bank transaction with Miss Jean - it was talking with a friend. One time when I was really young, my Nonnie took me to the bank with her. I crawled over the seat so I could visit with Miss Jean, too. She was going to put a lollipop in the drawer and send it back. Little did she know, my fingers were in the drawer when she shut it. I screamed, she screamed and we all started crying! I will never ever forget the gentleness she had and the tears she cried for a small child whose fingers were hurt. Such a special lady - Heaven gained yet another one of our precious angels.
Susie Murphy, Tammy Cupp, Melissa Westbrook and Tiffany Babb went to visit Tammy’s sister and family, Ann, Lloyd and Alexis Waxman, in Dallas, Texas, over the weekend. The group was wined and dined and had a wonderful time. They were treated to the Dallas Market, as well as many great restaurants. They had a wonderful time.
JJ, Stephen, Mitch, Patsy and Grace Tudor, of Hattisburg, were the weekend guests of Martha Mitchell and Jamie Brigance.
Happy two decades of living to Neil Murphy! Cheers to many more for this outstanding young man.
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Sandor Viradi!
Thank you to the Holly Springs Police Department chief, two officers, Mayor Kelvin Buck, alderman-at-large Tim Liddy and aldermen Christy Owens and Mark Miller for hosting a Neighborhood Watch meeting Monday night. The room was packed with concerned citizens and the panel listened intently to the issues currently affecting our area.
Living in a small town, people tend to know everyone. If you don’t know someone, chances are someone else you know will. Never is it more handy to know your townsfolk than when a crisis arises.
Last week, we had a little emergency situation. Caitlyn had a severe allergic reaction in the middle of the afternoon. She called me in absolute panic mode, telling me to meet her at the emergency room (she was driving herself there). I told her to calm down and go straight to Tyson’s on the square, that Chad (Braddock) was working. I would meet her there. By the time I arrived, Chad and Amy had the situation under control. She had Benadryl in her system and had calmed down. Being around people she knew helped her tremendously to get a grip on the problem. They knew exactly what to do and I cannot thank them enough. That defines a small town to a tee!
Another fabulous place that is locally owned and operated is Potts Camp Family Medical in the heart of Potts Camp. Jennifer McMinn, Tina Joyner and their staff are always warm and friendly and can ease any type of panic one may have in going to the doctor. There has never been a time when I have needed something that they have not helped. No appointment is ever necessary, which is fabulous when a child is sick and needs to be seen. That really is not something you can foresee enough to make an appointment for. The staff is like family (some of them are) and make you feel right at home with them!
It is beyond comforting to know we have such a wonderful network of locals who care so deeply about us and more importantly, our community.
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B.J and Laken Thomas of Holly Springs are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Jorja Kate Thomas, born on November 21, 2013, at 8:16 a.m., delivered at Baptist Memorial Hospital in New Albany. She weighed eight pounds and one ounce and was 19 and 3/4 inches long.
Jorja Kate is welcomed home by many friends and family. Among them include her grandparents, Barry and Karen Thomas of Holly Springs, and Terry and Kim Cook of Hickory Flat, as well as her aunts and uncles, Colter and Kasie Teel with big cousins Maggie Lynn and Millie of Holly Springs, Justin and Paige McMullen of Holly Springs, and Tucker Cook from Hickory Flat.
She is the great-granddaughter of Charles and Juanita Thomas of Holly Springs, John Frank and Patsy Bolden of Holly Springs, Larry and Joan Cox of Potts Camp, and Barbara Knighton of Ashland.
Jorja Kate was named after her late big sister Anna Kate Thomas.
Oldest image known of Holly Springs
Henry Dancy, Nell Dancy, Hubert McAlexander and I all went to Holly Hi together back many years ago. Fast forward to 2008 and Hubert is involved in writing a history of Strawberry Plains. He and I were talking about his book and he mentioned he would like to have a copy of a picture he had seen at Henry’s house when we were in high school to use in his book.
Soon after that, I mentioned in an article in “The South Reporter” that we were looking for that old Holly Springs picture of Henry’s. One of Nell’s friends called her in Texas and told her that we were looking for the picture, Nell called Henry in N.C., Henry called me and thus we have the picture featured in today’s column.
The next problem was how to get a good copy without damaging the original. I mentioned to Chelius Carter that we needed a copy of an old picture. He was going to N.C. on business so he stopped by to visit Henry. While there they took the picture to the University of North Carolina to secure a copy using archival means which would protect the original image.
The picture is the oldest known image of Holly Springs, and likely will never be surpassed in age as photography was still in its infancy when this was made in March 1854. The photographer is unknown but the person who had the photo made was Samuel E. Carey. Henry had a letter written by Carey when he mailed the picture to his (Carey’s) parents in N.Y. He had come to Mississippi to work as a cashier at a local bank, and later worked as a ticket agent for the Mississippi Central Railroad. The “Annie” mentioned in the letter is his first wife, a sister of Col. Harvey Walter.
The text of the letter follows, with spelling and punctuation as in the letter:
“Holly Springs March 24/54
“Annie has written you all the news, so I will just give you a description of the daguerreotype or rather (f)errotype which I send by this mail. In the distance you will perceive the Methodist Church, the first building this side is the residence of Dr. Dougherty, our physician. In the right hand corner block of buildings, next to the corner is my store, occupied, as a confectionary. The building on the left, fronting you is the Union House, where I passed my first night in Holly Springs.
“The enclosure you see is the Courthouse square, which contains the Courthouse surrounded by trees. In the foreground, and perspective you see cotton waggons. At the waggon nearest the fence, you see, a man with his foot on the wheel is Mr. Ross, a cotton buyer, the other man, by the oxen, is Mr. Joe Farrell. You can see by this exactly how the cotton is put up, these bales, generally hold 500 lbs. You can see a great many little things about the picture that I have not time to specify. I thought it would be interesting to you. How natural these oxen look. The first you see, turning around, the mules too, standing half asleep.
“With much love, I am your affectionate Son, S. E. Carey”
The house just west of the Methodist Church only faintly visible in the picture, was owned by Dr. J.R. Dougherty, born near Lexington, Va., in 1802, moved to Holly Springs in 1846, and died in Holly Springs in 1886. There is a good picture of the Dr. Dougherty home on page 83 of Hubert McAlexander’s book, “A Southern Tapestry.”
The present day Tyson Corner was a vacant lot at that time in 1854.
Carey’s building, which was used as a confectionery, is now the location of JB’s.
Only barely discernible are the shadowy images of Ulysses Ross and Joe Farrell, both Holly Springs merchants. Other people who are visible are unidentified.
The Courthouse was surrounded by a wooden fence, five rails high, with the rails inserted into large wooden posts, which appear to be rectangular. Entrances to the courtyard were through gates at the corners, one of which is visible. A group of horse and buggies are parked adjacent to the fence, with several covered wagons in the street in front of Johnny Boone’s establishment, while closer to the camera are several wagons loaded with cotton pulled by either mules or oxen. Some of the mules are saddled. Whether the driver rode and drove from that position or not I don’t know or perhaps they were saddled in order for the drivers to unhitch and use them to ride in town.
The Union House Hotel occupied the corner that we now identify as the I.C. Levy Corner.
From the picture one cannot tell if the building is brick, but Mr. John Mickle in his writing, stated he thought that the only antebellum brick building on the east side of the square was the Masonic Hall.
The tavern and hotel known as the Union House had been purchased by three businessmen – John T. Finley, Alexander Caruthers and William Cain in 1838. By the spring of 1839, William Cain had sold his interest to William Craft, who in turn sold his plantation and mills east of Holly Springs on Chewalla Creek in order to take over the daily operation of the hotel.
An insertion in the local paper gives his qualifications for the position: UNION HOUSE, HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS. SUBCRIBER, successor to W.J. CAIN, is prepared, at all times, to give evidence of his long experience as an INN KEEPER. He having been 19 years in the business in Virginia. By indefatigable exertions in endeavoring to entertain, and accommodate all who may extend their patronage to him, he hopes to give entire satisfaction. His table shall be at all times furnished with the variety which our country affords, and his stables with all the necessaries required. WILLIAM CRAFT.
It was possibly William Craft who was in charge of the public dinner which feted Gen. Sam Houston on September 21, 1839, when he visited his relatives, the Caruthers. The dinners typically featured anywhere from 12 to 20 toasts along with their meals, so a good time would be had by all.
The building now on the Levy corner was built to replace the Union House which was destroyed during the Civil War, probably during Van Dorn’s Raid.
It was built by Capt. Sam Franck in 1866 and used by him for a number or years, before he sold it to another business group. Levy moved into the building sometime after 1878’s yellow fever epidemic. He had previously been located on the west side of the square where later Davis and Mize had a store. The 1858 date associated with the I.C. Levy business was the date of his inaugurating his business and not the date he acquired the building.
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