Vaiden, Mississippi

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Where is Vaiden, Mississippi?

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Vaiden's Black Community

Note: Keep in mind that this is a Work-In-Progress and that 25 years have passed since this data was first complied. This information will be updated as soon as new data is available. The author encourages everyone to provide updates and additional information for this section.

Early Settlers of the Black Community

Mrs. Callie Myers, formerly of Vaiden, for 20 years, lived in Freeport, Illinois. She celebrated her 95th birthday March 10, 1975. She enjoyed good health and was able to do her own housework, shopping, reading, and listening to the radio. Mrs. Myers was a sister-in-law of 102-year old Noah Cain who lived in the Hudson Community.

Mr. Willie Harper was the father of ten children; six boys and four girls. Three graduated from college. They were B.T. Harper, Henry Harper, and Victoria Harper. Mr. Harper served as Superintendent of the Sunday School for 57 years. Mr. Tom Erve followed him as part-time teacher,

Mr. and Mrs. Elbert and Julie Polk Myers were the father and mother of ten children. Three of their children were barbers; Mr. Polk Myers, Mr. Homer Myers, and Mr. Arch Myers.

Mrs. Julie Myers, the mother of nine children, celebrated her 90th birthday July 31, 1975. She lived with her daughter, Mrs. Everlena Davis of Vaiden.

Mr. Tom Wood was one of the oldest deacons of Tuckerville Church.

Mr. John Coker, known by the citizens of the community as "Shonk," was thought of very highly because of the useful services that he rendered to everyone.

Mrs. Lucy Davis Vaughn was 96 years old in 1975, and lived with Mr. Frank Bailey of Vaiden. She did her own housework. Although her hearing was failing, she still read without glasses. She remembered and was able to perform the first school recitation she learned at age ten under Mrs. Laura Fullilove. Her family moved to Vaiden during her tenth year. She was baptized by the Rev. Elisha Harper at Friendship Baptist Church in 1891.

Aunt Kate Denman was one of the oldest members of Vaiden Friendship Church. She attended church regularly. She was loved by all and especially by children. They would always visit her and enjoy eating the tea cakes and baked potatoes she kept for them.

Black Businessmen

Mal Kendall was the first black man to own and operate the first grocery store, cafe, and blacksmith shop. They were all located on the back street that is now known as Lee Street. He also owned a great deal of property in and around Vaiden.

William Davis was the first to operate a grist mill and also operated a blacksmith shop. Mrs. Laura Ball was the first black woman to own and operate a restaurant in Vaiden.

Lonzo Fullilove was the first black barber, folowed by Edward Erve, R.J. Alexander, Doc Glover and Tom (Ellex) Lockhart. At one time, Tom Lockhart operated the only barbershop, which was located in the basement of the old Welfare Office, formerly known as Lee's Grocery. He was also well-known and appreciated as the Vaiden School Custodian -- a job where served many years. John Cade was the first to own and operate the first black pressing shop. He also was a tailor. He operated this pressing shop until it was destroyed by fire.

Henry Hughes was the first black water plumber in Vaiden.

Willie Burkhead was the first log hauler and lumber hauler. He also operated a cab during World War II and hung mail for I.C. Railroad until it was abandoned.

Bennie Davis (Buck) was the first mail hanger and freight carrier in Vaiden.

N.L. Ruffins was the first black to own and operate a bakery in the 60s.

During the U.S. Bicentennial, the businesses included two cafes owned and operated by Willie Taylor and Will Bailey. One pool room was owned and operated by Curtis Greer.

Beauty Shop

Mrs. Emma Hill was the first black beautician in Vaiden and was followed by Mrs. Lula Huston Ruffins. Mrs. Audrey Riley owned the beauty shop during the Bicentennial.


Former recreational activities in the Black Community included baseball. One of the first umpires was Mr. J. Brag. Players on the team were: Charlie Boyd Harrell, Sam Davis, Charlie Armistead, Wash Stoudmine, Emmit Stoudmine, and Sam Ball. The first team faded out and a second team was organized. The players were: John Cade (Umpire), H.B. Cross, James West, Arthur Merritt, Willie Merritt, Loyd West, Lankin Brook, Fred Lowery, Harry Davis, and B.T. Harper.

Vaiden Negro Baptist Church

The Vaiden Negro Baptist Church was organized between 1868 and 1869 by a white Baptist preacher by the name of Boothe, who was pastor of the white Baptist church at Vaiden. Edmund Boyd, of old Captain Kennedy's slaves, and Lee Cain, belonging to J.M. Cain, were the first preachers. First known deacons were Henry Harper and Harold Grayson. Deacon Jum Myers called a preacher from Canton named Jordan Williams who was followed by Abram Jones, also from Canton; then a church clerk was added by the name of Sam Edward.

Other pastors were: Gus Duren of Black Hawk; Harrison Young, slave of John Hamilton; Alex Bell from Winona; Will Jones from Carrollton; S.P. Martin from Water Valley; and leas Harper from Vaiden. Additional deacons were then added: jerry Myers, Bill Wilson, Dennis Carter, Jessie Anderson, and Andrew Myers.

Other deacons listed in the church's history are Tom Tucker, Jimmie Myers, Buster Myers, Jesie Anderson, Clinton Weeks, Willie Lee West, and Coleman Anderson. Some of the first members of this church were Henry Harper, Jim Myers, Edmund Boyd, and Lee Cain.

The first church was a little shanty, but this was only used one year. Gus Kaigler bought eighty feet of land from Dr. Vaiden west of the railroad. He then bought from Mr. Anderson one acre of land, and borrowed money from Mississippi Building and Loan Company for repairing and enlarging the church, thereby bringing the valuation up to $3,000. The membership at this time was about two hundred. The loan company failed after $1,500 had been paid to them to buy shares in the company and before the members received the loan, so they got busy and borrowed the money from Mr. Emmitt Briscoe to remodel the church.

Vaiden Friendship Church was rebuilt in 1930 under the pastorate of Rev. A.B. Woods. Deacons were: Jessie Anderson, Gloss Myers, Coleman Anderson, Jerry Myers, and Rev. A.B. Woods. The cornerstone was laid on October 21, 1945 under the leadership of Rev. W.C. Clay.

Friendship Church -- April, 2000


Rev. I.J. Turner; Rev. Jim Jordan; Rev. Sims; Rev. Elbert Todd; Rev. Willie Robertson; Rev. Albert Hall; Rev. Mal Kindall; Rev. A.B. Woods; Rev. Bostice; Rev. W.C. Clay; Rev. H.C. Harper; Rev. R.E. Willis; Rev. J.D. Collins; Rev. Ash; Rev. J.D. Dale; Rev. Wardell Sawyer.

Sunday School Superintendents

Jessie Anderson; J.W. Anderson, R.J. Alexander; Grant Jineghon; Everlena Davis; Wiley Watson; Hattie Lockhart; Francis W. Davis


Lewis Todds; Charley Anderson; Clinton Weeks; R.J. Alexander; Willie Lee West; Bufford Currey; Booker T. Curry; John Hull; Grant Jineghon; Paul Weeks; Wiley Watson


Mary Todd; Paulina Myers; Dora Myers; Callie Myers; Corrie Harper; Rebecca Anderson; Jannie Weeks; Ann Garland; Steveanna Hill; Mattie Ingram


Jessie Anderson; J.W. Anderson; Ruby Anderson; R.J. Alexander; Francis W. Davis; Susie Mae Kinny; Joequilla Weeks; Ruby Austin


Nellie West; Louise Alexander; Edna Gayden; Ben Hill; J.W. Anderson; Annie L. Weeks; Susie M. Kinny; M.E. Cunningham; Annie M. Pernell

Vaiden Methodist Church (Haven)

Another old church in the county is the Negro Methodist Church, located at Vaiden, and now known as Haven Methodist Church. On March 7, 1870, Dr. C.M. Vaiden sold the lot to the following trustees: A.J. marshall, Josh Keigler and Chat Fullilove. This church was under the pastoral charge of Fred Stewart and Ed Scarborough. They preached in a brush arbor for three years, then they moved up the hill where the present church is located and built a house worth two hundred dollars. Twenty years later they improved the property to valuation of five hundred dollars. In 1900, when the church needed repairing again. It was repaired under the pastoral charge of G.I. Young and Rev. Redmond, increasing the valuation to $1,500.

A few years later, a community hall was added, thus increasing the valuation to $2,000. Trustees have included: W.P. Harper, Tom Erve, John Cade, Hubert Cross, Phillip Cain, Bob Reed, and John Erve.

In 1925, the Vaiden Methodist Church (Haven) organized a women's Bible Class. The Ladies of the Presbyterian Church (white) sent Lela Cade, a black woman of good morale and an energetic church worker, to Louisiana to the Colored Conference. Mrs. Wynes Borrough organized the Colored Conference, and requested Lela Cade to organize a class in Vaiden. Mrs. S.P. Armstrong (white) taught the class for many years.

The following were pastors of Haven Methodist Church: L.I. Young -- 1920 -?, R.L. Sweeney -- 1945-1950, O.L. Rancher -- 1950-1958, E.I. Shannon, C.T. Allen -- 1958-1960, W.B. Spencer, M.J. Stalling, J.W. Campbell, J.W. Spann, Rev. B.F. Harper -- 1972-1976.

Mrs. Alberta Alexander was Recording Secretary.

The church was remodeled in 1968. Rev. J.W. Campbell was pastor. Trustees of Haven methodist Church, in 1976, were: Isom Davis, Chairman; Robert Berry, Jr., Secretary; James Alexander, Jr., Treasurer; J.I. Cain; R.B. Cain; H.B. Cross, Lay Leader; L. Fullilove; C. Davis; E. Davis; Evergreen Lodge 205; A. Roberts, W.M.

In December, 1990, Haven was destroyed by a tornado that swept through Vaiden.

Tuckerville Baptist Church

The Tuckerville Baptist Church was organized in 1889. The land was given by Mr. Thomas Tucker.

Pastors were: Jim Jordan; Coret Boyd; Rev. Grace; John Mock Anderson; Alber Wood; Rev. Titus; Rev. S.J. Jones; Rev. A.C. Cade; Rev. Ellis; Rev. Holmes; Rev. W.W. Walker; Rev. Jackson; A.R. Ross; J.D. Dale; H.L. Johnson

Deacons were: James Young; Tom Wood; Cesciss Young; Lennon Covington; C.M. Judson; Elder Williams; C.W. Hawthorne; Otis Fluker; Tom Lockhart; Alex Newman. Secretaries were: James YOung; Corine Hawthorne; Geneva Lockhart.

Vaiden Hill Baptist Church

In 1871, Dr. C.M. Vaiden gave the black community the land for the Vaiden Hill Baptist Church. Although two cosmetically-different deeds exist, both invoke the same intentions.

Deed 1, Part 1 -- Deed 1, Part 2 -- Deed 2

The original building was replaced by the present structure around 1910. It was built under the supervision of Matt Forrest with the help of other members: Fed Evertt, Anderson Spivey, Bob Ball, Allen Murdock, Steve Galloway, Jack Phillips, Rev. Walter Murphy and others. Rev. Walter Murphy served as pastor from time to time. Allen Murdock served as superintendent of the Sunday School. Jack Phillips served as secretary. Under these industrious members and their families, the work of the church has progressed. Worship has been continuous throughout the years, and two Sunday School rooms were added. The membership was less than 100, but the church work continued.

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church was organized in 1879. The land was given to the church by Mrs. F.A. Kennedy. Rev. H.C. McClain was pastor in the mid-1970s.

Acona Baptist Church

Some of the first pastors of Acona M.B. Baptist Church were: Rev. John Davis; Rev. Frank Simpson; Rev. John Green; Rev. Riley Young; Rev. H.E. Anderson; Rev. Jones; Rev. A.C. Cade; Rev. W.P. Randolph; Rev. E.W. Hawthorne.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Some of the first pastors of Mt. Zion Baptist Church were: Rev. Bartin; Rev. John Simpson; Rev. A.L. Hill; Rev. Bell; Rev. Hamond; Rev. P.L. Morgan; Rev. A.C. Cade

Teachers were: Callie Hill; Belzonia Rogers; Annie Hudson; Earlean Robinson; Georgia Wilson; Mattie Ramsson; Bust Moore; Johnnie L. Brown; Earlean Rogers

Deacons were: Lewis Mattox; Tom Moore; Church Bundley; Jake Moore; Eddie Bundley; Lewis Lofton; Jack Rogers; Henry Mattox; Huston Covington; Jack Watson; Gee Burkhead

In connection with their church work, the black community of Vaiden organized an Epworth league in 1926, both Junior and Senior. Sallie Pink was the founder of the organization, and N.F. Petty was President. This league trains the young people in church and community work.


The following professionals helped to contribute to the growth and improvement of our community: Geraldine Burkhead Mohammon; Barbara Burkhead Tate; Bernice Hawthorne Smith; Lena Lockhart Berry; Sarah Townsend; William E. Townsend; Cleve Edward Hawthorne, Minister -- Union Hill M.B. Church, Chicago [Cleve also worked in Cunningham's Barber Shop, Chicago, Ill.].

Melvin Hawthorne, was employed at Opoc Computing, Inc., as manager of Data Preparation in the National Product Diary.

Joann Sanders Burkhead; Shirley A. Kinney Horton; Emma J. Weeks Morgan; Sarah Lynn Alexander; Joyce Roberts Collins; Ruby Austin; Frances Davis; Annie Moore; Ester Moore; Mattie Anderson Jackson; Jessie Adams Petty; Hilton Anderson; Elma Anderson; Wilma Anderson; Q.V. Harper Roberts; Connie Harper; Vinnie L. Harper; Henry Harper; Rev. B.F. Harper; Rev. J.L. Roberts; Margret Lynn Roberts; Jenette Alexander; Ethel Garland (Minnie); Minnie B. Williams; Dorothy J. Weeks; Wilbert Week Upholstery Shop; Lee Roy Foster; Charlie McBride, Jr.; Frank Davis; Elizabeth W. Davis; Dock Ellis; Rev. H.E. Anderson; Rev. Bennie Cunningham; Rev. Wesley C. Holmes.

Home Extension

The story of Extension work among the Black people in Carroll County began June 1, 1936 when an extension worker was assigned to the couhty for three months ona strictly experimental basis. At the end of the initial period, the members of the Board of Supervisors employed Mrs. Hannah W. Waters on a permanent basis. Mrs. Waters began to organize the adults into clubs and the Youth into clubs as the 4-H Club. Some of the first adult club members were: Mrs. Julia Myers, Mrs. May Ellen Gillians, Mrs. Ida Mae Heffner, and Mrs. Rosie Murphy.

Some of the first 4-H Club members were: Rebecca Turner Pernell, Margret Forrest Roberts, Lula Ree Cain Roberts, Francis West Davis, Vera Cross Woods, and Ruby Anderson Austin. During the 1930s the adults and older 4-H members were taught to make cotton mattresses and conforters from cotton and yardage material made from cotton from the farmers by the government. The women were also taught to make their clothing and had fashion shows. The girls were taught to cook at an early age. The men who had beef to kill were furnished cans by the government to can the beef since freezers were unheard of at that time. The ladies would set a day aside to can beef and pork meat.

During the last few years the agent was working two projects that demanded a lot of the agent's time and work was one in which the women and girls were taught to raise garden vegetables by recommended practices and then to can and freeze those vegetables for later use in providing balanced meals during the winter months. The other project that the agent loved and worked so hard was the Nutritional aide. This project included five nutrition aides, one for each beat of the county. They worked with forty families each month teaching the homemakers and older girls how to prepare and serve the commodity foods which most people did not know how to prepare. Susie Mae McKinney who worked in Beat five in Vaiden, is shown teaching Annie B. Watson a new recipe, which was given each month by the agent. Each was taught how to prepare a balanced meal for their families.

As a result of the Cooperation Extension Service in Carroll County with an agent working with the Black people, the homemakers and girls improved in the preparation and serving of better meals to their family and also in growing year-round gardens. The Cooperation Extension Service furnished the seeds, fertilizer, and insecticide for the garden. The Community Garden, as it was called, had 35 members. The land was given by Mr. L.M. McDaniel. Approximately 246 bushels of different vegetables was gathered. As a result, families grew better year-round gardens, family orchards to supply their fruits, made their family clothing, and improved the care of the house and its surroundings.

Today, the 4-H Club is still profiting from the knowledge of its leaders. On the 1997 Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature, Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice signed House Concurrent Resolution 73, commending the Vaiden 4-H Stars for their accomplishments.

Vaiden Headstart

Headstart has played a great role in Carroll County for its people since 1965. Headstart had its beginnings in Haven United Methodist Church. There were 45 children enrolled at the time. The children were given three hot meals each day and treated by trained doctors and nurses. In 1970, the old Carroll County office building was repaired for Headstart use. The center consisted of two units: a clinic, office, storage, two bathrooms, and a kitchen. The center was inspected by the government twice a year. Thanks to the late Mr. B.F. Wiley, Mayor, and the community for its help and support, the program was successful. In 1975-1976, there were 12 persons employed at the Headstart Center: Cade Davis, Head Teacher; Mary E. Collins, Teacher; Minnie E. Cain, Head-Cook; Edna Dean Gayden, Teacher Aide; Carrie L. Moore, Teacher Aide; Mattie M. Alexander, Social Service Aide; James Alexander, Janitor; Lucy M. Phillips, Nutritional Coordinator; Hattie Pickens, Driver; Minnie Roberts, Driver; Rosie L. Givens, Driver, and Overa Watson, Cook Aide.

North Vaiden School (Percy Hathorn High School)

The Percy Hathorn High School was formerly known as Vaiden Jr. High School, Vaiden Negro High School, and then as North Vaiden High School. In the 1950s, it was located on the hill by the Vaiden Cemetery, but the students were later moved to a new location on the east side of Highway 51 North between Vaiden and the Roadside Park. Mr. Percy Hathorn was the Principal since 1955. The old building located by the cemetery was moved to the west side of Highway 51 North, on the same location as the softball field and across from the new school, and was used for many years as the Vaiden Community Center, where the author of this website and several of his friends spent many Saturday nights making music in our rock & roll band, Coldfire. Mr. Hathorn possessed a quality of leadership, dignity, and concern that is rare in today's society. In 1956, a certain 2 1/2 year-old, who shall remain nameless, lived several hundred yards from the old school when it was located by the Vaiden Cemetery. While his mother and father were busy in the garden, this little boy discovered that his favorite cat was missing. Convinced that the cat had headed toward the school, the child left home in a vain attempt to rescue the poor feline. While Mr. Hathorn was teaching school, he heard someone crying. The little boy had crawled under the schoolhouse looking for the cat. Not finding it there, he burst into the classroom, crying for his "kitty cat." Mr. Hathorn, sympathetic for the plight of the youngster decided that, rather to keep the screaming child, it would be best to take him home. As he put me, uh, the child into the car, he was met with stiff opposition. A truce was arranged only after Mr. Hathorn let the child sit in his lap and steer the car on the way home. The little boy never forgot Mr. Hathorn's concern and patience, especially with a 2 1/2 year-old behind the wheel. Thank You, Mr. Hathorn.

The following are teachers and teacher's aides who have worked under the administration of North Vaiden School.


Victoria Jackson, Irma Cunningham, Mary L. Hart, Lena Lockhart Berry, Millie Porter, Robert Berry, Henry Stephens, Frances Henry, Sue S, George, Katie M. Trotter, Barbara N. Gray, Christiana Smith, Ann Crawford, Willie E. Elliott, Lincoln Shields, George L. Murph, Benjamin Nichols, Mattie Pinkney, Mildred Ellis, Joyce Robert, Lucille Wingarde, James Nimox, Mattie M. Murff, Louise Holmes, Albert Cuomo, Deloise Parker, Bobby Hill, Tommie Arrington, Jerry O'Briant, J.O. Baskin, Ed Bowles, James Alford, James Hoskin, Omeria Hathorn, J. Mallett, Heanette Epps, Joe Richmond, C.C. Cummings, Bertha Williams, James G. George, Laura T. Reeves, Maxine Smith, Shirley Anderson, Margaret T. Elliott, R.V. Anderson, Charles Lyncy, Bill D. Williams, Laura Mattox, Ruthia Purnell McKenzie, Ollie M. Rush, Robert Williams, Dora D. Truss, Lillie Armstrong, Alice W. Brown, Sylena Jones, Maryland Franklin, LaDonna Hathorn, Clearance Hill, Minnie Arrington, Otis Morris, J.C. Morgan, Rossvelt Grantham, Lesly Johnson, Rosamary M. Malcou, James Bibbs, Johnnie Howard, Sammie Hemmingway, Alice Cox, Geneva Honeysucker, izzie Honeysucker, Wilma Ritcliff Mason, Corrine Cole, Gladys McCaskill, John Honeysucker, Charlotte McCarley.

Teachers employed in 1975-1976

Julia Adams, Alberta Alexander, Ruby Austin, Martha Bowie, Francis Davis, Omeria Hathorn, Dorothy Jenkins (Librarian), Henry Lewis, Alice Lipscomb, Mary Lloyd, Glossie Magee, Rosie Martin, Ella Murff, Shirley McAllister, Elizabeth Nimox, Earlean Rogers, Evelyn Ross, Jimmie M. Simmons, Catherine Trotter, Miriam Tuberville, Donnie Waller, Judy Waller, Jossie Young

Teacher's Aides employed in 1975-1976

Louise Huggins, Mary Jones, Anna Bibbs, Dorothy Wade, Arma Purnell, E.C. Pickens, Verlene Amos, Inez Rosamond, Laura Lofton, J. Rogers, Juanita Collins Rhine (mother of the aforementioned screaming, car-driving, 2 1/2 year-old), Maxine Jones, Catherine Pate, Overa Watson, Annie R. Kinney, Elva Roberts, Margie O'Briant, Beverly Burell

Principals of Vaiden Jr. High School/Vaiden Negro High School/
North Vaiden School/Percy Hathorn High School

Prof. Hurbert Cross, Prof. Jessie Anderson, Prof. Franklin, Prof. Brown, Prof. Wilson, Prof. William, Prof. Lynch, Prof Hilton Anderson, Prof. Dave Daniel, Prof. H.C. Redmond, Prof. Redmond, Rev. Jones, Rev. Joe Davis, Rev. O.L. Rancher, Rev. Austin, Prof. G. Wendell Davis, Prof. David Latham, Prof. Percy Hathorn

Family Photographs

Mrs. Carrie Lee Campbell (seated) with baby granddaughter Rosie Lee. She is surrounded by four of her six daughters: (L to R) ML, Nancy, Rosetta, and Florence. Mrs. Campbell lived in the Summerfield Community. Photos submitted by Rubye H. Miller, Florence's daughter.

Tragedy in Vaiden -- 1958

A railroad handcar was used to bring the bodies of five negroes back to the Vaiden depot after the City of New Orleans, IC Steamliner, hit their car at a grade crossing on Sunday, August 17, 1958. The dead were: Leon Pittman -- about 43, and driver of the car; Stella Pike, 52; Robert Johnson, 25; Jack Hughes, about 50; and Floyd Ellis, about 28. Ellis was from Chicago, Illinois. Deputy Sheriff H.R. Michie said the 22-coach train enroute from New Orleans to Chicago, was travelling almost 80 miles an hour.

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Site Design and Compilation Copyright © by Ron Collins. 2002.