By Laurence Hilliard

Kemper County Messenger



One new historical marker and one replacement marker are goals of the Kemper County Historical Association.

“There are two that we are planning on putting up,” said Historical Association president Cheryl Sparkman. “One is in honor of Reuben Kemper, who Kemper County is named for. We are in the process of making application for that one. Plus, we are planning on replacing the one that was somehow removed from the Electric Mills site.”

The Historical Association will be hosting iHeritage Day Saturday, October 28 at the county's historical museum in a building that once housed S.D. Stennis and Company mercantile store's warehouse in DeKalb. The annual fundraiser is set for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. with live musical entertainment provided. Barbecue sandwiches and drinks are available for $6. For advance tickets see a member of the historical association. Meals can also be purchased the day of event while supplies last.

In regards to the historical markers, the county will make application to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for the markers. Approval from Archives and History is needed for the markers and the wording.

The Reuben Kemper marker would be placed at the northeast corner of the courthouse square.

Reuben Kemper (1770-1829) led an early nineteenth century revolt against Spanish control over territories in the Southeast that included what is now Mississippi. The rebellion resulted in the Republic of West Florida which was annexed by the United States. He was also an officer under Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, then settled in Natchez.

It would be the second marker at the courthouse, joining a marker celebrating Kemper County native John C. Stennis, who served in the U.S. Senate for 41 years.

The Electric Mills marker stood at the site of a lumber mill built and operated by Sumter Lumber Company from 1913 until it ceased operations in 1941. The marker, which has disappeared, noted that the site was home to “a self contained mill and town which were among the first to be completely powered by electricity.”

Other historical markers in Kemper County are at Giles-Neville Cemetery, Old Scooba Cemetery, Chapel Hill Church and Spring, Mt. Olive Cemetery and Zion Baptist Church. There is also a marker for DeKalb on Highway 16 near the Highway 39 intersection.