The Vaiden Gristmill
also sat behind – and slightly to the west of - the old Vaiden Bank.It was torn down around the time (give or
take a year or two) of the backstreet fire.
In 1860, the
Charter of the Town of Vaiden was adopted; the highlights as follows: The Mayor,
four Selectmen, one Assessor and Collector of Taxes and a Treasurer, shall
hold office for one year; then subsequent elections shall be on the first
Monday in February. The qualifications for electors for the offices shall be
the same as how provided for by law, namely; to entitle elector to vote for
members of the legislature with elections under inspection of Justice of
Peace and two Freeholders, who shall certify the results to Secretary of
State; whereon the elected Mayor shall be commissioned by Governor as Mayor
of said Town. Elected officers meet as soon as practicable, take and
subscribe oath required by Constitution; subsequent meetings regulated by
laws of Corporation, which is authorized to ordain and establish. A majority
of said Board shall constitute a quorum.
Powers of Mayor and
Selectmen include: Sue and be sued; plead and be impleaded; purchase and hold
real and personal estate, not exceeding $30,000; power to raise necessary
sums of money for town by taxes levied on real and personal estate; power to
establish and regulate patrols within corporate limits; open and repair
necessary streets; order owner or agents to make necessary improvements and
repairs on streets in front of lots or houses; power to prohibit sale of vinious and spirituous liquors, except for medical needs.
In absence of named officer, Mayor has the power to be Justice of Peace.
Vacancies occurring by
death or resignation or removal shall be filled by Board until time of
Treasurer of said
Corporation, Assessor and Collector, shall enter into bond, payable to Mayor,
and Selectmen, in such amounts as prescribed by said Board.
Ed. Note: When
the Vaiden Bank (1890) was in this location, there was a heavy, thickly-knit
wire mesh (bulletproof -- possibly gauge) "fence" about 4 feet tall, on the top of
the teller window frames. This fence was
topped with a row of very sharp spikes extending to within 8" to
12" from the ceiling. These spikes prevented anyone from climbing over
during a robbery. The wire mesh fence and spikes have disappeared since the
old Vaiden Bank became the City Hall in the 1970s. The gun portholes are
still beside the teller window. These were used in the old days by tellers
who decided to shoot back during a robbery.
? Sproles -- circa 1867 -- CLICK HERE for more information; James Trotter
– 1870 – James L. Cane - 1881; John E. McClurg -- 1885, 1934, 1936-38, 1946;
John J. Armstrong -- 1893-1914; J.L. Seale -- 1915, 1930-32, 1948-50; J.C.
Miley -- 1917-18; J.W. Conger -- 1919; J.N. Armstrong -- 1920-21; X.A. Brock
-- Short Term in 1930 to fill unexpired Term of E.L. Conger; C.G. Boyette -- 1932-34, 1936-38; Weldon Baskin -- 1946-48,
1957-65; H.G. Collins -- 1950-53; J.W. Armstrong -- 1953-57; B.F. Wiley --
1965-75; Claude Hatcher --
1975-77.RECENTLY DISCOVERED: James L.
Cane was Vaiden Mayor in 1870 (it is not known when his term started and
August 7, 1927 --
The Town of Vaiden contracted with Mississippi Power and Light Company to buy
electricity operating thirty-seven street lights for residential and
commercial lighting, covering a twenty-five year period.
May 10, 1929 -- The
issuance of $26,000 in bonds to establish and construct a
water works system, was authorized.
1938 -- A total of
thirty-six mills was fixed and levied against all taxable property to provide
the following funds: street, light, water bond, City and SeparateSchool Districts,
School Improvement, and General Fund.
1938 -- An ordinance was
authorized under Mayor C.G. Boyette, to adopt as
official, the map of the Town of Vaiden, which was made from an original 1885
Monroe McClurg map, with additions.
1939 -- A $3,000 bond
was issued to repair and extend the present water works facility, and to add
a filtration system. In 1957, a water softener was purchased.
1952 -- The Board voted
for "Garbage Pick-Up" in the Town, approved streets graded and
ditched under the Highway Dept. Supervision, voted to black-top a portion of
the Town streets at a $25,000 expense, with the bond issue approved. Mr. W.M. Caddess was appointed as Water Superintendent to read meters,
collect water bills, etc.
1953 -- Three fire alarm
boxes were purchased, and used until 1973, when a three-way telephone system
1954 -- A
"Volunteer Fire Department" and the purchase of a used Fire Truck
for $300 was approved.
1962 -- Mr. J.C. Patton,
a Professional Engineer from Lexington,
Mississippi, was hired as
Construction Supervisor for a limited time. Much was accomplished during this
period; $30,000 bond issue for street improvements, $12,000 bond for water
supply improvements, a new 12" well and new pump were installed by
Carlos Well Supply Company of Memphis,
Tennessee, at a cost of
1964 -- A lot on the
corner of Lee and Magnolia Streets was purchased from B.W. Holmes for $500. A
building to house the fire truck, City Hall,
and a warehouse area was erected.
1965 -- Municipal boundaries
of the Town of Vaiden were extended to include a total of 847 acres; another
extension in 1969 totaled 1,157 acres; with a final extension in 1973, making
a grand total of 1,343 acres included in the Corporate limits. This
incorporated one mile of Interstate 55, north and south.
1965 -- Barth and
Associated, Inc., of Jackson,
Mississippi, were employed as
Engineers for the Town of Vaiden.
1970 -- The one-story
brick building located on the southwest intersection of Lee and Mulberry
Streets was purchased from Holmes County Bank & Trust Co., the Bank's
former home, erected in 1890. As the present City Hall, including Mayor and Tax
Collector's Offices, it is unique with its bullet-proof plate-glass partition
and two gun ports in view, as well as the bulletproof mesh above the windows,
topped with needle-like spikes. The exterior brick walls were subsequently renovated.
1972 -- The Town
contracted with the Shongalo Rural Water
Association to furnish them Town water at a minimum rate of $220 monthly for
the first 440,000 gallons; 40 per M average.
1972 -- The Town
contracted with Herndon Well & Supply Company, Inc., at a cost of $24,800
for a new well , pumping 500 gallons a minute of
pure water, without treatment, into the water tank and mains.
1975 -- At a cost of
$15,035.99, a new Garbage Truck, a 13 yard Standard Packmaster
rear-end loader mounted on a 2 1/2 ton Chevrolet Truck, was purchased from
Bob Ellis Chevrolet of Winona, and Hall Supply & Equipment Co., Inc., of Jackson, Mississippi.
In 1975, the water and
sewer rates were: Minimum bill -- $3.50 for the first 3,000 gallons. Sewer
rates were 1/2 of the water bill. In the same year, the tax rate was set at
24 mills, and the assessed value of the Town was $775,865.
Hatcher, Mayor; V.F. Anderson, Alderman; Herman L. Johnson, Alderman; Charles
Huggins, Alderman; Henry S. Milner, Alderman; Dennis E. Welch, Alderman.
Employees: Mack L.
Boykin, Attorney; Lillie McDougal, City Clerk; W.M. Caddess, Water Superintendent; I.B. Griffin, Street Superintendent; James M.
Gerrish, Chief of Police; John W. (Jack) Fullilove, Policeman; Walter H. Browning, Policeman; Mrs.
Alton Parker, Radio Operator. At this time, the Town owned three Police Cars,
with Policeman on 24-hour duty.
The Cumberland Telephone
Company installed the first Telephone Exchange in Vaiden between 1898 and
1900. During this period, the employment roster listed many of Vaiden's prominent citizens, namely, Operators Misses
Nye, Cain, Boyette, and Eleanor Wright. Miss Evelyn
Eades was employed as Day Operator for twenty
years, with two assistants. Other dependable employees were Messrs Charlie Boyette, Charlie
King, and Craig and Ed Conger. Tom Clifford Vaiden had the distinction of
being the Telephone Exchange's first messenger boy.
Order of Commerce
The only Order of
Commerce in Vaiden was organized on March 18, 1922, by civic-minded Dr. P.T. Flowers, Dr,. C.D. Alexander,
and Mr. Cade Armstrong. Responding to the call for community togetherness and
unity for the Town's advancement, nearly 100 businessmen rapidly joined this
prestigious organization. The Chamber of Commerce was very active in securing
better roads for this section, and instrumental in inducing new industries to
locate here. Unfortunately, this once-spirited Chamber no longer exists.
The year 1930 witnessed
the first gravel highway through Vaiden, followed in 1936 with one of the
best paved highways in America,
which is known as Highway 51. Hugh White was Governor during this period.
This nationally-recognized highway first extended from Chicago to Gulfport, later to New Orleans, and introduced tourism to Mississippi on a large
Town Improvements – 1975
The 1975 Improvement
Program for Vaiden included better housing; renovated vacant lots; adequate
drainage; Control Program for livestock, animals, and poultry; Control
Program for rubbish; approved refuse storage, collection, and disposal;
effective insect and rodent control; approved sanitary sewage system; and an
improved water supply.
Supervisors -- Beat 5
"Supervisors," actually the CarrollCounty
Board of Police, met March
11, 1834, in the home of George W. Green. They were: Daniel W. McEachern, Thomas Matthews, Edmunds G. Whitehead,
Woodward Applewhite, and John Rodgers. These men appointed local planters,
businessmen, etc., as overseers to build the early roads of the country.
There is no record of how long these men kept their office, not of who
followed. The Mississippi
Constitution of 1890 fixed the term for CountyOfficials
at four years. Prior to that time, the terms had been set at two years.
Beginning in 1892, the following record exists for elected Supervisors: Rufe E. Hoge, 1892-1899 (two
terms); Henry W. Hill, 1900-1903; W.D. Morgan, 1904-1907; G.N. Michie, 1908-1911; W.D. Morgan, 1912-1915; W.P. Stuckey,
1916-1919 (died while in office, succeeded by John R. Heggie);
Charles G. Boyette, 1920-1927 (2 terms); James
Somerville, 1928-1935 (2 terms); Marion Ely, 1936-1948 (3 terms); Weldon Baskin,
Jr., 1948-1955 (2 terms); W.C. "Monkey" Welch, 1956-1971 (4 terms);
Vernon "Buddy" Welch, 1972 -present.
In 1874, CarrollCounty was divided into two districts.
The Chancery Clerk keeps an office in the 1st District (Carrollton), while the Circuit Clerk keeps
the 2nd District office in Vaiden. Each official serves as deputy to the
other. Circuit Clerks are as follows: James P. Nabors, 1892-1911; John C.
Allen, 1911-1919; Fred C. Smith, 1919-1940; Claude Hatcher, 1940-1955; G.W. Tuberville, Jr. (left in September, 1964, before his term
expired to take over the County Welfare Office, where is is
presently employed -- Mrs. Lynn P. (B.F.) Wiley, his deputy was appointed to
serve until a special election could be held); Ralph Self, 1964; Charles
Ellis, at present.
Assessors -- Vaiden Natives
W.C. "Lum" McDougal, first Tax Assessor; D.D. Fullilove, ???? (served part of a term).
-- Vaiden Natives
John McKenzie; James
Somerville, 1897-1900; W.C. "Lum" McDougal,
1904-1907 (killed while in office
-- His accused slayer's public execution was the last "hanging" in CarrollCounty). Mr. McDougal (11/19/1867 - 10/26/1907)
is buried at EvergreenCemetery in Carrollton, MS,
in Lot 106, with his wife Helen Brewer
Around 1914, a
Gentleman's Agreement gave the 2nd District the right to elect the Deputy
Sheriff to serve in Vaiden. Men who have served through the years are: Walter
P. Kennedy, L.M. Jones, Samuel R. Wright, William W. Milner -- Mr. Milner
left in February, 1935, to assume the office of Vaiden Postmaster and W.L.
Randle served the remainder of his term, Louis McDougal, H.R. "Charger" Michie,
R.W. "PeeWee" Miller.
R.S. Allen; R.H. Dulin, 1912-1924; T.P. Whisnant.
1924-1931; B.C. McDougal, 1932-1944; Kim Pollard, 1944-1947; George Crook,
1948-1952; Dudley Stewart, 1952 - (after Mr. Stewart's term, the office was
R.L. Rosamond (JP), Taylor Everette (Constable)
Homer Tucker (JP), Taylor Everette (Constable)
R.L. Rosamond (JP), Elton Williams (Constable)
J.H. Putman (JP), Ed Davis, Jr.(Constable)
Charles Ellis (JP), Ed Davis, Jr. (Constable)
Charles Ellis (JP), Ed Davis, Jr. (Constable)
Benjamin Kennedy (died while serving his term)
D.D. Fullilove, III
Dr. C.M. Vaiden
Dr. C.M. Vaiden
1897- -- MonroeMcClurg
C. Garland Hatcher
Grover G. Bennett
Mrs. Mable Wilson (J.B.) Bruce
1952- -- Clarence A.
Pierce, Jr. -- Mr. Pierce was the first representative from the 2nd District
to be re-elected. He was Chairman of the Highways and Highway Financing and
Chairman of Interstate Cooperation.
Joe Hirsh, left Vaiden
for Memphis, where he established a law firm.
Amos A. Armistead, born
in Vaiden in 1863. Spent childhood and a greater part of his life in Vaiden.
Law degree from University
Practiced in Vaiden until 1890.
Jr., was born in Vaiden on February 20, 1875. He graduated from Mt.HermonAcademy, Northfield, Massachusetts,
in 1895, and from BrownUniversity, Providence, Rhode
Island, in 1899, Ph.B., LL.B. He practiced law from
1902 until 1908. In 1909, he was appointed Consul at St. John'sQuebec.
He served as Consul as follows: Guadalahara, Mexico,
1924; Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, temporarily, 1928; Hull, England,
1929. He retired in 1936, and died in 1969 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Fred Glass, Sr.
Practiced in Vaiden and Winona for many years.
Simon Turner. A resudent of Carrollton,
came to Vaiden to practice. Married Miss Alice Tolbert.
Practiced in Vaiden for many years.
Frank Hawkins. Practiced
law for a short time and then was made Superintendent of Vaiden Public
A.J. Coleman. Son of
Calvin James and Aurelia Reeves Coleman. Born December 29, 1871, at Emory, Mississippi.
Educated in CarrollCounty schools, FrenchCampAcademy,
of Mississippi. Married
Lillian Louise Cearley of Oxfors.
They had three children: Mary Louise, who died in infancy, Mrs. Jerred Aurelia (J.J.) Huffman of Eupora,
and Alfred Jeremiah Coleman of Texas.
Elected to State House of Representatives in 1903, and again in 1927. I 1948, was a member of Democratic States' Rights Party or
"Dixiecrats." Went to Texas on "Dixiecrat
Special." He served as attorney for the Federal Land Bank and Illinois Central
Railroad. He was a Mason and a member of the Shongalo
Presbyterian Church. He died July
M.L. Boykin. Practiced
in Vaiden for many years. Served for many years as Attorney for the CarrollCounty Board of Supervisors and the
Town of Vaiden.
Practiced in Vaiden at two different times during the 1950s and 1960s. Mr. Shands was married to the former Virginia Alice Price and
had five children; Alice, Mark, Louisa
(died in infancy, and is buried in Tupelo,
MS), Rachel, and Morgan.
Luther Gilmer. Born in Clinchfield,
Virginia. Married Henrietta B.
Gilmer, B.S. Degree, University of
1948. LL.B. Degree, University
of Mississippi, Oxford, 1954. Practiced
law in Vaiden from 1955-1959, returned in 1975. Was the Mississippi Attorney for the Federal Land
Bank, New Orleans, 1959-1968. Employed for Disaster
Counsel, SBA, Jackson, Mississippi, 1973-1975.
Some of the lawyers who
were Vaiden natives but never practiced here are: Ike Stone, T.L. Haman,
David Sanderson, Pittman Stone.
J.Z. George. Born 1826.
Moved to the vicinity of Shongalo in 1834 and
attended RichlandAcademy there. Married
Miss Elizabeth Young of Carrollton.
Served in the Mexican War. Served as Reporter of the Mississippi Supreme Court (while living in
Vaiden). Member of 1861 convention which passed Ordinance of Secession.
Served in the Civil War. Served as Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court. Elected U.S.
Earl Brewer. Born six miles east of Vaiden.
Educated in Carroll County Schools and received his training in law at the University of Mississippi. Served one term as a
member of the State Senate. Served as District Attorney. He became the only
Mississippi Governor ever elected unopposed in 1911.
Born March 19, 1857,
near Vaiden. CountyRepresentative in 1897.
Member of the Mississippi
Constitutional Convention in 1890. Attorney General of Mississippi from 1900-1905. Chairman of
the Building Commission of the New Capitol. Represented Mississippi in Boundary dispute with the
State of Louisiana.
Married Ida Blanch Williams of Vaiden in 1881.
Dr. Larkin S. Rogers
(1859-1920) was born in CarrollCounty near Vaiden. He
attended the University of Oxford, Mississippi,
for two years, then took medical courses while
studying medicine under Dr. B.F. Kittrell at Black
Hawk. He taught school between terms when he was a student at the University
and while taking medical courses. Whle teaching
school at Blackmonton, one of his pupils was Earl
Brewer, who later became Governor of Mississippi.
Dr. Rogers was elected
to the legislature from HolmesCounty in 1907. While a
member of the legislature, he served on the Committee of Appropriations,
Banks and Banking, Benevolent Institutions, and was Chairman of the Committee
on Public Health and Quarrantine. During the
session of 1908, he introduced and had passed a bill giving equal rights and
privileges to all members of a family to mileage sold in the state. During
the session of 1910, he introduced a Joint Resolution which was adopted,
calling on members of congress from this state to ask for an appropriation to
survey the Big Black River with view of
draining low lands along this stream for agricultural purposes. He also
introduced, and carried through successfully, a bill for a StateCharityHospital at Jackson. In recognition
of his efforts to get this institution, the legislature voted unanimously to
name it the "L.S.RogersCharityHospital."
In 1919, Dr. Rogers was elected to
the office of State Treasurer and assumed the duties of this office in
January, 1920. Dr. Rogers
died suddenly on October 14, 1920. On October 15, the day of his funeral,
both capitol buildings were closed all day out of respect for his memory.
James Somerville, Jr.,
son of James Somerville, Sr., and Anna Liddell Somerville, was born in Vaiden on July 24,
1892. Mr. Somerville was tutored for seven years by his stepmother, Elizabeth
Liddell Somerville, his own mother's cousin. He furthered his education at VaidenHigh School, FrenchCampAcademy, military
school, and Washington
and LeeUniversity. He majored in Greek,
Latin, history and economics, receiving a B.A. in 1912, and an M.A. in 1913.
Phi Beta Kappa, 1912, Phi Delta Theta -- Editor Rimg
Tum Phi (University newspaper). Mr Somerville held
a principal University Fellowship at Washington & Lee and served three
years as an Assistant Professor of History. He taught at Marion Institute, Alabama, and was
Headmaster of Chamberlain-HuntAcademy at Port Gibson, Mississippi.
In April, 1917, Mr.
Somerville was turned down for active war duty because of his eyesight. He
volunteered for overseas service with the YMCA and was assigned to Russia. The
trip took five months through the Arctic Ocean
to Murmansk, Russia, and one week by freight
car to Moscow.
Thus began a six year (1918-1924) period of service organizing Russian famine
relief operations (four years with the YMCA, two years with the American
Relief Administration under Herbert Hoover).
While in Russia, he
met and married Olga Svetouchin in 1923. She died
1925 -- Entered the U.S.
Government service with the Bureau of Foreign Commerce as specialist in
Russian affairs. 1926 -- Appointed Trade Commissioner in the office of ComercialAttache in London. 18 years of
service in London Embassy, ending in 1944, included the following: Special
reporting 14 years on Soviet Russian economic trade policies and activities;
five years reporting on markets for U.S. agricultural products; seven years
on markets for U.S. forest products -- including three years assignment at
the request of the national Lumber Manufacturer's Association as Acting
Lumber Trade Commissioner. Also on request of the State Department, did
special reporting on British system of export credits and other forms of
foreign trade financing.
1939 -- Transferred to
State Department Foreign Service, continuing previous reporting as modified
by war conditions.
1940-1941 -- Appointed
Embassy Liason Officer with British Ministry on
Economic Warfare. ON entry of U.S.
in World War II, he was appointed Director of this division.
1943 -- Appointed First
Secretary with Embassies to the six exiled governments then established in London.
1944 -- Appointed as
Principal Economic Officer in American Embassy, Tehran, Iran.
1947-1948 -- Served as
Acting Chief of Mission,
1949-1952 -- Special
assignment to Department of Commerce in Washington as Director, Eastern European
Division and consultant on Middle Eastern Affairs.
1952 -- Retired from
State Department, July 31.
1954-1974 -- Foreign
representative for New York
engineering firm, active in field of electric power.
1954-1974 -- Established
own firm, James Somerville Associates, for purposes of acting as Washington
representative and overseas consultant for principal power engineering client
and other noncompetitive engineering firms. Missions included ten months in
three trips to Brazil in 1952 and 1953 and six months in 1954 and 1955 in
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Lebanon; also trips to Brazil, Argentina,
Uruguay and Peru in 1956.
In 1965, Mr. Somerville
married Marjorie Newcombe of London, England.
They redided in Arlington, Virginia.
It is interesting to
note how Mr. Somerville climbed the ladder of success from his first job at
Vaiden Brick Company, where his father was manager. He was paid five cents an
hour to haul bricks from the mold to the dryer. Later, he worked as Sexton of
Shingalo Presbyterian Church for 50 cents per week.
Fredrick M. Glass, Jr.
Born in Vaiden, he graduated from WinonaHigh School and the University of Mississippi. Mr. Glass is President of
Prudential Funds, Inc., of New York.
He has served in key capacities with airlines and as President of the Airport
Operator's Council. IN 1961, he served as Chairman of a task force on
national aviation goals and was with the New YorkPort
Authority for six years.