To the reader, if any there are, who have not met up with the subject of our sketch this week, we are pleased to introduce our friend, fellow-townsman and mayor, Mr. J.B. Alexander. Like many others, whom we have had the pleasure of writing up from time to time, Mr. Alexander was born and reared on the farm, having first seen the light of day back in 1868 on what is now known as the Gordon Plantation, four miles north of Baldwyn. His parents were Elisha and Gennary Whitley Alexander. He had seven brothers and sisters, six of whom are still living.
While he was still small, the family moved to the eastern part of the county, north of Marietta, where he grew to manhood. His youth was spent mainly in the fields. At that time high school terms were short and books were scarce. Two months' Summer term and two in the winter was all of the schooling to be had, and it was often impossible for him to take advantage of even these short courses as there were no uniform textbooks in those days, he studied from just any books he could get hold of, but in spite of all these handicaps he laid the foundation for an education, which coupled with practical experiences through later years, has suffered to prove that with a deter-mination one can succeed in life and in business, no matter how lowly the beginning, may be.
In December 1895, Mr. Alexander was united in
marriage to Miss Ed1na Walthall, to whom two charming daughters have been
born and have grown to womanhood. They are Mrs. R.B. Cunningham of this
city and Mrs. P. R. Cochran, of Terrell Texas.
Up to 1996 Mr. Alexander had remained on the farm, but in that year he engaged in the mercintile business at Marietta. Two years later he, with his family moved to Booneville, where he opened a general store. A short time later he sold out, accepting a position as traveling salesman which he followed for about twenty years. During this twenty years, however, he found time to serve in public office, having been elected as County Treasurer in 1903 and held that office until 1908, continuing at the same time his work on the road,. In 1919 he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to serve as U.S. Marshal for the northern district of Mississippi in which position he served until 1922.
After completing his term as marshal, Mr. Alexander again engaged in business in Booneville, this time opening a grocery store, which is conducting successfully at the present time. Last year he was elected Mayor of the city and is now serving in that capacity.Through all his years of public life, Mr. Alexander has shown a spirit of progressiveness, ever on the alert to aid in putting over any movement that would help to better conditions in his town and county.
He believes that Booneville and Prentiss County have great resources, which if properly developed, will make our section foremost in the ranks of the counties of the section and Nation. He has worked untiringly for the advancement of Good schools, good roads and better living conditions in general. He has implicit faith in the dairy industry as a harbringer of prosperity and looks forward confidently to the time when Prentiss County will take her place as one of the leading dairy counties of the South.
He is practical in the management of his own affairs and by this same token he is succeeding well as Mayor of the muni-cipality of Booneville. He is gentlemanly in all his dealings, considerate in speaking of others and thereby has gained the confidence of a large majority of the people.
Source: The Booneville Independent 2 August 1929
Who's Who in Prentiss County - and Why
Back in 1889, out in the famed 5th District -
near New Hope, in the home of Mr. & Mrs. J.A. Walden, there was consider-able
commotion one day over the arrival of a son. We don't know what his nickname
was, or whether he had any or not, but today this name "boy" is the subject
of our sketch, Mr. H. L. Walden, better known as Lee Walden.
Lee Walden was born on a farm and stuck pretty close to that occupation until he was thirty years of age. There were five boys and two girls in the family, and Lee was the oldest boy at home, so, in l9o7, when their mother was called by death, he took charge of the house and for several years served as " Chief cook, chambermaid and dishwasher", being ably assisted, however, by the younger members of the family.
It was while thus engaged in fighting the battle of Kettles and Pans that Lee got the notion he wanted to venture into the mercantile business. He had never had much experience in that line, and the limit of his education was the 8th grade, but he believed he had enough common "horse sense" to run a store and so, 3 August 1919. with G.J. Pounds of sole owner fame, he embarked in the business at the same spot where the firm of Bonds & Walden now does business.
With about three thousand dollars worth of stock, a rigid determination and a whole lot of energy, the firm swung open and business bagen to "pick up". A few months later Mr. Pounds sold out his interest to R.F. Bonds, who has since continued with Mr. Walden in the business. During the first year this firm turned over their stock nine times - in other words, did a $28,000 business. Since that time their business has increased until they now do between $125,000 and $150,00 each year.
In speaking of his successful ventures, we almost forgot to mention one of the most important and prably the most success-ful of all. In 1910, Mr. Walden was united in marriage to Miss Letha Pounds, who has been a faithful companion, all through the years. Two children have come to brighten the home, Myrl and Frances. Myrl finished high school this year and will enter the University in September. Frances is in the 10th grade.
As a senior member of the firm, Mr. Walden looks after a, large part of the buying, buys probably as much cotton as any other buyer in town. Of course, Mr. Walden doesn't take all the credit for the success of the business, as he has a live-wire partner who is always on the job, and of whom we will speak in a later article, but Mr. Walden makes a success of almost any-thing he undertakes - we say almost because we cannot vouch for any man, no matter how successful he may be, who has not made some mistakes. in business, and these name mistakes usually make for better success later on.
Mr. Walden is not only a good businessman. He has much more to recommend him. He is progressive in anything really worth while and has never been known to oppose any movement that he thought was for the best interest of his town and country. Whenever there is something of importance to be done, Lee is always one of the first to head the list. He believes in good churches, good schools, and good roads, is a staunch advocate of the dairy business and believes that these four institutions, if properly promoted, will build for Booneville, for Prentiss County, the State and the Nation, great prosperity and a lasting peace void of all discontentment.
We have endeavored to tell you "Who" Mr. Walden is, and if you will read again about his experiences, his efforts, and his successes - and if you will ask any one of the thousand of his neighbors and friends you will readily find out "Why" Lee deserves a place in this column. He has helped to build our county and town; he is a businessman and a friend all at the same time; and such men as Mr. Walden are as necessary in the affairs of a town and a county as the air we breathe and the water we drink, if we are to succeed in keeping step with our neighbors.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 7 June 1929
Who's Who in Prentiss County - and Why
Mrs. Jacob really holds her citizenship in Alabama,Mobile, but she spends so much time here with her daughter, Mrs. W.L. Newhouse, that we claim her for Booneville and Prentiss County. Today, June the 20th, she is seventy-seven years young, having been born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1852, the daughter of Col. Richard Felder, a planter, who gave up his training at West Point to enter the War of 1812. Her husband was four years in the Civil War under the Stars and Bars. He was cited for gallantry in the First Battle of Manassas and for four years he remained in the conflict.
Mrs. Jacob is a member of the D.A.R. She named the Chapter here, the Natchez Trace. She is the mother of 10 Children, 8 still living, who are dispersed pretty well over the United States and who are distinct and set apart in good citizenship. For gallantry, for military brilliancy, for endurance and for citizenship in peace the Confederate Soldier has not been surpassed. He is knightly in spirit and he has never faltered when duty called, But he did not fight alone in the bitter conflict and he has not labored by himself in building the New South with its industry and stalwart citizenship. The women of the Confederacy have been fast by his side. You may search the pages of history and you will not find a womanhood so queenly, so big of heart, so broad of mind, so strong in native intellect, so willing to bear burdens, so optimistic, so pure in life, such builders of home and country, such unselfish love for the elegant the noble and the pure, as the "Mother of the Confederacy", if the human mind can recall enough noble and divine attributes to make up the conception that she merits.
Mrs. Jacob is often referred to by many as Mother Jacob. By the side of the generals on Stone Mountain we should have for all " the Mother of the Confederacy". Should this conception be carried out., Mrs. Jacob could pose for the sculptor and Justice would be done.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 21 June 1929
Who's Who in Prentiss County - and Why
The subject of our who's who sketch this week needs no introduction to our many readers. Mr. Lacy has been closely connected with the history making of Prentiss County for nearly half a century. He is the son of William Carroll Lacy and wife, Elizabeth Riddle Lacy. His parents represented the best pioneer stock, whose lives have been closely identified with this section of Mississippi. He was born near Burtons in what is now Prentiss County. He attended the early public schools and later for five years was a student at the Jacinto Academy, which was taught for years by Professor E.W. Carmack. Later he attended several summer terms at the State University. He was always a close student and gained much knowledge by rich experiences. After reaching manhood, he studied law under the direction of Col. L.P. Reynolds at Jacinto and was admitted to the bar at Booneville in 1885; he was in the newspaper business for several years as editor of the Booneville Pleader; he was appointed county Superintendent of Education in 1886 and re-appointed in 1888; retiring from the newspaper business, he turnes to teaching in the schools of the county, but his main teaching was in the Osborne Creek School. During most of his teaching, he was ably assisted by his wife.
In 1907 he was elected to the office of Chancery
Clerk which position he held for 16 years, voluntarily retiring. Then in
1923 he was elected to the State Senate from the 27th district, composed
of Alcorn, Prentiss and Tishomingo Counties. After leaving the Clerk's
office he again turned to the Practice of law, and later formed a partnership
with his son, Eugene. They are now the attorneys for the Board of Supervisors.
He is a life-long member of the Baptist Church and has been active in its work, and is also a member of the Booneville Masonic Lodge no. 305.
In 1885 he was married to Miss Kate Petty, daughter of another pioneer. They have five children, William Wesley, Eugene Petty, Irving Calvin, Mrs. Frank D. Thomas and Mrs. Shelly G. Hughes.
Mr. & Mrs. Lacy have come into contact with and touched more lives in Prentiss County. Perhaps, than any couple who have ever lived in the county. The influences of this good couple can be measured only in eternity. No man has rendered more efficient service to the people of the county than Mr. Lacy. As an officer he never tired in being comodating to his friends and the public; he set a high official 6tandard;'he was scrupulously honest and pains-takingly; his public and official life has always been clean; he is a man of the highest deals; he has always been progressive, standing for all that is good, but has been conservative in trying to lay a safe foundation for movements of this kind; he is a man that never permitted himself to be swerved from a well-defined line of action by any public clamor; he has always been loyal to every trust committed to his care; he has been loyal to his church, his town, his county and state and though he is past three score and ten, he is active, alert, vigorous and takes the keenest interest in the political, social, economic and social questions of the day.
All honor to this worthy son and representative of the large Lacy and Riddle families, whose descendants have had much to do in shaping the destiny of Prentiss County.
SOURCE: The Booneville Independent 5 July 1929
Who's Who in Prentiss County - and Why
Back in 1888, Just as the year was drawing to a close - on December 30 to be exact - Fred W. Duckworth was born. He first saw the light at Bay Springs, down in Jasper County. His parents were Joseph and Mattie Holder Duckworth. Coming from another section of the State, we were unable to learn much of his early childhood. These men and women who are so prominently identified with the affairs of our town and County, are without exception, a bit timid about telling things on themselves, So we will pass over what was doubtless a most interesting period in the life of our friend.
At the age of 25, Mr. Duckworth received his diploma as a full-fledged pharmacist, from the University of Mississippi and the next day 1 June 1914, he accepted a position at the Booneville Drug Co., as prescription Clerk. He later purchased stock in this institution, with whom he remained for ten years. In 1924 he bought a half interest when the firm name was changed to the Duckworth Drug Co.
Two year previous to his coming here, Mr. Duckworth
was united in marriage to Miss Lona Jewel Welborn, of Laurel, Mississippi.They
have one son Joseph William.
Since his removal to Booneville Mr. Duckworth has made a wonderful success - not only as a businessman, but as a citizen as well. He has always taken an active part in the promotion of worthwhile activities. Whenever a forward movement is put on foot, Some one invariably calls in Mr. Duckworth to help put it over - and he never fails to respond. So well has he done his part, and so impartially, that the Booneville citizens chose him as one of the aldermen, which position he has already held for 4 years and doubtless will continue to hold for years to come. He was recently elected by the board as vice-mayor. For the past three years he has been president of the Parent -teachers Association, an exceptionally active organization that has done much for the promotion of education in Booneville. During the Whitfield Administration he served on the State Board of Pharmacy. He is a mason, an Eastern Star and an active member of the Baptist Church.
Fred W. Duckworth is imbued with the spirit of progress. He has been - and is - a faithful ally of the dairy industry. He believes the prosperity of Prentiss County depends largely on the Milch cow. He believes in good schools, a city beautiful, good roads to every farm house, good churches and a daily practice of the Golden Rule. If we were to express in a few words why Mr. Duckworth has earned a place in our who's who column, we would unhesitatingly say, his high batting average in good citizenship.
SOURCE: the Booneville Independent 12 July 1929
Submitted by: Ruby Rorie
©1999 Melvin V. Lambert