Meridian Star

Editorials

November 20, 2008

The Four Crowns of Newton County Mississippi

Four crowns you ask? Yes, just think of four vital communities all clustered in Newton County Mississippi 

Decatur – Population 1426

The Newton County Courthouse is located at Decatur and was first constructed in 1840 – it burned and was reconstructed in 1845. It was destroyed again during The Civil War, February 1864, when General Sherman marched through the town.  Finally a brick courthouse was built at the cost of $7000.00 in 1877.  Today the Newton County Courthouse continues to serve the people.  

    As an educational leader for Newton County, East Central Community College located at Decatur, had its earliest beginnings in 1912. ECCC continues to be an academic leader for the entire region.

    On a personal note, I know very well the talented and community minded people living at Decatur.  The Woman’s Progressive Club of Decatur portrays the immense energy of community involvement and support that is prevalent throughout the area with such projects as recycling and town beautification. The Bobashela Chapter, Daughters of The American Revolution located at Decatur continues the tradition of upholding our rich historic legacy – along with this endeavor is the very active Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society under the leadership of Harold Graham.

    On a recent Saturday morning, I, along with my cousin Becky Chaney, and our good buddy Barry McMullan, toured the western edge of Newton County. It was an attempt to follow the track of General Sherman as he entered Newton County, February 1864.  The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society organized the tour and tour guide was Ricky Harrison.  Nearly forty eager people peered from the ECCC bus as Ricky explained the route that was followed so many years ago. We rambled along near Box Creek to see a high point where the soldiers encamped and some say that even today, and on many dark nights, the campfires can still be seen.  Yikes! Later we toured the Alex-Russell House, constructed in 1859, located on the Decatur-Conehatta Road. There is a book signing planned by The Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society on December 13, 10:00 am. The author is native Mississippian author, Hewitt Clark. Some of his books are:  “Bloody Kemper”, “The East End Tea Room”, and  “Thunder at Meridian”. For more information: (601) 635-2350 or necohigeso@gmail.com.

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