Speaking with relatives about family history, I am often told to keep this piece of information between you, me and the gate post. Respecting sensibilities, I will share my family stories entwine with historical events from Copiah, Jefferson and Lincoln Counties, Mississippi, from gate post to gate post.
James Pearly Scott, Jr., with mule in Caseyville, MS 1900-1992
Benjamin Durr, fellow researcher of Caseyville, MS, shared with me the names and notes of people who were tenants on his father's farm in Caseyville during the 1930s and 1940s. To my surprise, most were related to me.
Walter Scott- moved to purchase his own farm. Walter married Susie Mae Smith. Walter was a 1st cousin once removed of my mother. James Pearly, in the above photograph, was Walter's brother.
Perry and Kathaleen Thomas - Kathaleen was the farm's doctor. She delivered me (Benjamin Durr). Perry married Kathaleen Sartin.
Walter and Pinky Henderson-moved to purchase a home in Brookhaven. Walter married Pinkie Markham who was my mother's 1st cousin once removed.
Stanley Tyler and wife Willie Mae Thomas, daughter of Perry and Kathaleen Thomas
Gilmore Banks married Ada Beth Henderson, daughter of Walter and Pinky Henderson. Gilmore Banks was a second cousin of my mother. Ada Beth Henderson was a second cousin of my mother.
E.L. Holloway and Ethyl - E.L. had the first black gospel quartet on radio in Brookhaven
Buster and Christine Markham – Jeannette Coleman, the lady you met in Brookhaven having breakfast with us was their daughter. Virgil "Buster" Markham married Christine Holloway. Virgil was my mother's 1st cousin.
Anthony Washington and wife ? From the 1920 and 1930 census, Lincoln County, MS, Anthony's wife name was Lula.
Walter Ransfer and wife? From the 1930 census, Lincoln County, MS, Walter's wife name was Alice.
Uncle Scott was my favorite uncle. He was loving and kind, and my siblings and I loved being with him. It didn't matter if we were helping him to pull weeds from his garden or going to the store to buy two for a penny cookies we knew he would share, his company was golden. He was our ticket to the outside world, outside of Subdivision Number Two. He was a pentecostal preacher married to my Aunt Rosie. He loved singing and telling people about Jesus. Everyone, church goers and juke joint goers, enjoyed being in his presence.
If Uncle Scott invited us to go with him, we gladly went no matter where he was going. Glaucoma and diabetes slowly began to erode his vision but he continue to drive. I don't think the adults knew how bad his vision was, we children knew but didn't realize we were in danger riding with him.
As we would approach traffic lights, Uncle Scott would ask, is the light red. We would tell him the color of the traffic light and he would obey. Aunt Rosie finally realized his vision was too bad to be driving. She talked with our mother and told her not to allow us to ride with Uncle Scott. We were disappointed.
Between our mother saying no to his offers and Aunt Rosie telling him he shouldn't drive, he realized our days of riding with him were over. His feelings were hurt. We continued to spend time with him just not in the car. Shortly after we stopped riding with him, Uncle Scott stopped driving, Aunt Rosie learned how to drive or in her case, she learned to dodge ditches.
On August 13, 1955, civil rights activist Lamar Smith was murdered on the crowded lawn of the Lincoln County courthouse in Brookhaven, Mississippi, at close range. Lamar Smith campaigned against one of two candidates for the county Board of Supervisors. He encouraged African Americans to vote by absentee ballot. Lamar was warned several weeks before that he was too political. He was told to quit or be killed. He was shot by a .38 caliber pistol under his right arm, died instantly.
When District Attorney E. C. Barlow reached the scene of the murder, he first spoke with Sheriff Robert E. Case who told him that he saw Noah Smith leave the scene of the murder with blood all over him. Noah Smith and two other men, Charles Falvey and Mack Smith, were arrested. The men were each released on a $20,000 bond.
Not one witness appeared before the grand jury. The case was dropped and the three men went free. District Attorney Barlow called the lack of cooperation "a gross miscarriage of justice."
Lamar "Ditney" Smith was born March 1893 to Levi Smith and Harriet Humphrey in Lincoln County, MS. He served in World War I and was a local farmer in rural Lincoln County. He was the husband of Annie Clark, father of Earline Smith Thomas.
Lamar Smith's sister Susie Mae Smith married Walter Scott, my mother's first cousin once removed.
See a picture of youthful Lamar and wife here, see a picture of older couple here