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Early city and county founding Fathers work for a better community

June 18, 2011

For Starkville Daily News

The term “City and County Fathers” is used to include the first families, first commissioners, first legislators, first board of police (supervisors), first circuit clerk, first assessor and collector of taxes, first sheriff, etc.  This information is taken from The 1897 East Mississippi Times Historical Edition.
These pioneers worked diligently to organize and build a foundation for shaping the County of Oktibbeha and the City of Starkville.  Today, we pay respect and remember these “city and county fathers” and touch upon some of the county’s notable events of history.
Notable Events included the following.
u The officials of the town of Starkville in October 1897 were David A. Bardwell, Mayor and J. D. Beattie, Clerk.   Aldermen were: W. Norment, W. H. Montgomery, J. O. Gunn, and J. T. Chiles. J. J. Henry was city marshal.  C. P. Bell was Street Commissioner.  The newspaper stated that Mr. Bardwell was serving his second term in the capacity of mayor and with the able and intelligent board, the city was most admirably governed.
u Our public roads all over the county have been greatly improved this year under the new road law.  Nothing builds up a county and its towns more rapidly than good roads kept in good condition.
u Starkville is not yet lighted with electricity.  We are behind in this respect, but who knows but what another year may bring forth light.
u Starkville must have a $15,000 public school building, and we might as well begin to “negotiate” at once.  There is no getting around this.
u The country immediately around Starkville is the finest dairy country in the State, and Mississippi will in a few years from now lead the world in the butter and cheese industry.
u The creameries in and around Starkville have done more than any one thing toward making our farmers independent.  Hundreds of pounds of butter are shipped from Starkville every week.
u Ordinarily Starkville has four passenger trains daily on two lines, but at present travel and traffic is slightly curtailed on account of yellow fever, which exists down on the coast.
u In this section of the State, the growing of grasses and the raising of fine cattle, horses and hogs are fast becoming the leading features.
u Among the early settlers of the town and adjacent country were the Copeland, Skinner, Halbert, Brooks, Bell, Thompson, Reed, Davis and Quinn families.  William R. Cannon, Simon C. Muldrow, W. S. Barry, Hugh Montgomery, Thos. W. Dillard, Stephen E. Nash, Hampton Gay, J. W. Ervin, C. F. Miller, C. T. Montgomery, R. A. Lampkin and others.  Many of the descendents of these old pioneers are still living in Starkville.
u Among the first lawyers of Starkville was Major Livingston Mims, brother of the late Col. Mims of this county; Charles F. Miller, father of County Superintendent W. H. Miller, Stephen E. Nash, father of Hon. Wiley N. Nash, now Attorney General; Hampton H. Gay, father of Chancery Clerk Chas. E. Gay, Mr. Clark,  Judge Flourney, Richard L. Graves and David Ames. 
u The first sheriff of the county was Robert A. Lampkin.  Charles Debrell was the first clerk of the court and M. A. Reese was probate judge.  The first circuit court was held under a large hichory tree about four miles north of town and it is said that Sheriff Lampkin carried all of the court papers in his hat without inconvenience.  The late Gen. Reuben Davis, a famous lawyer, statesman and author was the district attorney at this time. 
u The first commissioners of the county were John Billington, Abney Hogan, Richard Hester, Calvin Cushman and J. Norton.  They were appointed by an act of the Legislature approved December 25, 1833, and it was this board who organized Oktibbeha and Choctaw counties.
u The following is a list of senators and representatives in the State Legislature who have represented Oktibbeha from the time of its organization up to the present 1897): 
Representatives – Henry Gibson, H. W. Norton, A. S. Bayley, John G. Skinner, John P. Thompson, Richard Ellett, Spencer O. Harrington, Wm. R. Cannon, W. S. Barry, E. R. Burt, Robert Muldrow, Samuel S. Daniel, W. H. Merrinar, Charles Merrinar, Charles F. Miller, B. L. Cromwell, George H. Holland, George D. Holland, D. Higgins, Randle Nettles (col.), A. Boyd, Henry L. Muldrow, J. S. Montgomery, W. R. Rainey, Thomas J. Wood, Wiley N. Nash, T. B. Carroll. J. H. Askew, S. O. Muldrow, R. P. Washington, C. B. Hannah, A. H. Rice, J. G. Carroll, J. W. Crumpton.
Senators – James Walton, Littlebery Gillum, John H. Williams, W. R. Cannon, R. G. Steele, J. W. Rice, C. R. Jordon, J. V. Harris, Mose Jordon, Charles F. Miller, C. A. Sullivan, Robert Gleed, N. B. Bridges, W. H. Sims, F. G. Barry, John L. Crigler, H. L. Burkett, J. W. Barron, A. A. Montgomery, R. L. Love and N. Q. Adams.
u At the first county election in the early part of 1834 there were three voting precincts in the county, Starkville, Mayhew, and Folsom.  R. A. Lampkin was elected sheriff; Chas, Dibrell, probate clerk; Robert Bell, treasurer; David Reese, probate judge.  The following were elected members of the Board of Police (supervisors), to wit:  Elijah Hogan, J. G. Skinner,  D. A. Outlaw, Grabel Lincecum and Howell Peeden.  The first named was the president of the board.  The name of the first circuit clerk could not be found but it was said that he died a short while after going into office and he was succeeded by Joseph Yeates, the father of Dr. John Yeates.  Elijah Bardwell was the next circuit clerk.  Asa Reed was the first county surveyor and John Wiseman was the first assessor and collector of taxes.
u The followig names in 1834-35 appear as justices of the peace.  Squire Clark and H. B. Vaughn, north district; Calvin Cushman and Josiah Skinner, southern district; W. N. Valentine and James Copeland, Mayhew district; William Cabaniss and David Ames.
u Sheriff Lampkin was succeeded by J. W. Eastland in 1835 and he in turn in 1837 was succeeded by John M. Moore.  It is said this sheriff was called on officially to whip a white man who had been convicted of theft, whipping being the legal punishment at that time.In 1839.  Moore was succeeded by J. W. Eastland as sheriff.  Reese was in 1835 succeeded as probate judge by J. G. Skinner, who in turn in 1837 was succeeded by David Ames, who held that office continuously till 1866, a period of nearly 30 years.
u In 1837 Asa Reed resigned as surveyor and was succeeded by Richard L. Graves.  Graves was a lawyer and was afterwards elected treasurer of the State, and defaulted and fled to Canada.  It is said that, growing tired of living in Canada, he offered to pay the State every cent for which he was in default if he would be permitted to return to Mississippi without being prosecuted.  But his offer was not accepted.  The first circuit court held in the county was organized under a tree about 2 miles northwest of Starkville near the Dr. Meriner old place, for Starkville was not selected as the county seat for about a year later. 
u The first homicide trial was that of J. W. Eastland for killing one Holly.  This killing occurred about 100 yards of the Methodist Church.  Eastland was discharged. 
u About the same time or a little earlier an Indian killed a white man in the road near Odd Fellows Cemetery and this was the first person to be interred there.
u The first white person born in Starkville was Charles Eastland.  He was born the day before Holly was killed. 
Notable Events in June 2011
The U. S. Census Bureau Facts for Features for Father’s Day, June 19, 2011 provide the following information.
The idea of Father’s Day was conceived slightly more than a century ago by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm. A day in June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration — 101 years ago, June 19, 1910, proclaimed by Spokane’s mayor because it was the month of Smart’s birth. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.
How Many Fathers?
u 70.1 million Estimated number of fathers across the nation.
Source: Unpublished data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation
u 25.3 million Number of fathers who were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2010.
u 22 percent were raising three or more children younger than 18 (among married-couple family households only).
u 3 percent lived in someone else’s home.
Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements
u 1.8 million Number of single fathers in 2010; 15 percent of single parents were men.
u Nine percent were raising three or more children younger than 18.
u About 46 percent were divorced, 30 percent were never married, 19 percent were separated, and 6 percent were widowed.
u 39 percent had an annual family income of $50,000 or more.
Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements
Thinking of You, Dad  8,111
The number of men’s clothing stores around the country (as of 2008), a good place to buy dad a tie or shirt.
Source: County Business Patterns
u 16,010 The number of hardware stores (as of 2008), a place to buy hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers and other items high on the list of Father’s Day gifts. Additionally, there were 7,009 home centers across the country in 2008.
Source: County Business Patterns
u 22,116  Number of sporting goods stores in 2008. These stores are good places to purchase traditional gifts for dad, such as fishing rods and golf clubs.
Source: County Business Patterns
u 81.5 million  The number of Americans who participated in a barbecue in the last year — it’s probably safe to assume many of these barbecues took place on Father’s Day.
Source: Mediamark Research & Intelligence, as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011
Mr. Mom  154,000
Estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2010. These married fathers with children younger than 15 have remained out of the labor force for at least one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home. These fathers cared for 287,000 children.
Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements
16 percent  In spring 2005, the percentage of preschoolers regularly cared for by their father during their mother’s working hours.
Source: Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2005/Summer 2006
Child-Support Payments  $2.8 billion
Amount of child support received by custodial fathers in 2007; they were due
u $4.3 billion. In contrast, custodial mothers received $18.6 billion of the $29.8 billion in support that was due.
Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support 
u 45% Percentage of custodial fathers who received all child support that was due in 2007, not significantly different from the corresponding percentage for custodial mothers.
Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support
u 67% Percentage of custodial fathers receiving noncash support, such as gifts or coverage of expenses, on behalf of their children. The corresponding proportion for mothers was 56 percent.
Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support
Time with Daddy 53% and 71%
u Percentages of children younger than 6 who ate breakfast and dinner, respectively, with their father every day in 2006. The corresponding percentages who ate with their mother were 58 percent and 80 percent. (The percentages of children who ate breakfast with their mother or father, respectively, were not significantly different from each another.)
Source: A Child’s Day: 2006 
u 36% Percentage of children younger than 6 who had 15 or more outings with their father in the last month, as of 2006.
Source: A Child’s Day: 2006
u 6 Average times children ages 3 to 5 were read to by their fathers in the past week, as of 2006.
Source: A Child’s Day: 2006
u 66% Percentage of children younger than 6 who were praised three or more times a day by their fathers.

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