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Greenville, Mississippi’s City and Telephone Directories

City directories, filled with names, businesses, addresses, and other information, are important resources for historians and genealogists. Directories are also a record of the town’s growth from a small county seat of under 1,000 people in 1865 to a city of over 40,000 in 1960.

Greenville, Mississippi has a solid run of city directories from 1913-2001, with 1918-1926 as the most significant gap. As we move into the digital age of doing history, accessing these directories had never been easier. Ancestry.com has Greenville’s city directories (1913-1960) in its U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 database. Ancestry requires a monthly fee to access its databases, but many local libraries and LDS Family History Centers offer access to patrons.

Ancestry’s database is part of a microfilm collection offered by the Library of Congress & the Gale Group. The microfilm copies of the Greenville’s directories, 1913-1960 can be found in a number of libraries including the William Alexander Percy Library in Greenville.

The oldest directories that include Greenville are business directories along the Mississippi River. Having been rebuilt after the Civil War, Greenville was just a few years old in 1871, when the James’ River Guide wrote: “county seat of Washington co., Miss., is a small village. Population about 300.” While across the river, Chicot County’s more established seat, Columbia, seemed to be thriving: “IT is a very pleasant place, containing a number of stores, a court-house, and a population of about 400. Here commences the great cotton growing region, and the banks of the river are almost one succession of plantation. Just below this commences the growth of the Spanish moss.”

Map No. 12 shows Columbia and Greenville along the Mississippi River in James' River Guide (1871)

Map No. 12 shows Columbia and Greenville along the Mississippi River in James’ River Guide (1871)

Two business directories centered around Vicksburg published in 1877 and 1879  also lists Greenville as a stop along the river just above “La Grange, Miss.”

Business Directory of Vicksburg, Jackson, Meridian, and Stations on the Vicksburg & Meridian R.R. (Abel C. Tuttle, Vicksburg, Miss, 1879). Microfilm in Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Jackson.

The telegraph arrived in Greenville in 1877 and railroads crossed the town in all cardinal directions by the 1880s. Electricity came in 1888. In 1900, when the city’s population had grown to 7,642, a network of two electric streetcars was unveiled. A telephone directory from 1900 in the Lakeport Plantation collection contains 347 individual listings. Published by the Cumberland Telephone & Telegraph Company,  the company, in 1906, claimed their “Long distance lines and telephone enable you to talk almost any where in Southern Indiana, Southern Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.”

Greenville Daily Democrat, July 5, 1906.

click to downolad the 1900 Greenville MS telephone directory

In 1961, the Delta-Democrat Times (March 1, 1961) chronicled “Greenville’s 40 year evolution from town to city” by comparing a 1961 directory to a newly discovered 1920 directory. Unearthed in a demolition of an old house, the 1920 directory was in the possession of Dean Loyd of 838 Bolivar St in 1961; today its location isn’t known and no copy of a 1920 Greenville directory can be found in any archive. According to the DDT, the 1920 directory had 1,428 listings compared to more than 11,000 in the 1961 directory. In that 40 year period, Greenville’s population grew from 11,560 to 41,502.

If you have Greenville city directory or telephone directory not in any archive, tell us about it.

“Old Phone Directory Recalls Bygone Era of ‘Old Greenville’,” Delta Democrat-Times, March 1, 1961 (read the full article)

 


Where to access Greenville City Directories:

Ancestry.com ($): 1913, 1916, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1946, 1950, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960
Delta State University/McCormick Collection: 1960-2001
Greenville History Museum:

  • city directories: 1927 [photocopy], 1929, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1946, 1950, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1976-1993, 1996, 1998, 2000
  • telephone directories: 1938, 1939, 1942, 1947, 1950, 1953

Lakeport Plantation: 1900 telephone directory
Library of Congress: 1913-1917, 1927-1940, 1946-1960 [1913, 1916, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1946, 1950, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960]

Mississippi Department of Archives & History:

  • city directories: 1946, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2003
  • telephone directories: 19721975, 1977, 19781979

St. Louis County Library: 1913-14, 1916-17, 1927-32
University of Memphis:  1918, 1975
University of Mississippi:  ca.1913, 1918, 1975
University of Southern Mississippi:  1946, 1950-51, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971-79, 1987, 1989
Washington County Courthouse:

  • Greenville: 1981, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998
  • Leland: 1973, 1978, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995

William Alexander Percy Library/Washington County: 1913-1932, 1936-1951 [microfilm]; 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 [4 others with no date in catalog]


Works consulted:

Keating, Bern. A History of Washington County. Greenville, MS: The Greenville Junior Auxiliary, 1976.

Willis, John C. Forgotton Time: The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta after the Civil War. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2000.

 



Lakeport Legacies · A Case Study in Diversity: Southeast Arkansas Legislators, 1868-Jim Crow · Rodney Harris (University of Arkansas)

A Case Study in Diversity: Southeast Arkansas Legislators, 1868-Jim Crow

presented by

Rodney Harris (University of Arkansas and Williams Baptist College) 

Thursday, June 29

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

William H. Grey (left) and James T. White (right) superimposed on an 1873 roster of Arkansas State Senators. Grey, born free in Washington, D.C., came to Helena in 1865. He served in the 1868 Arkansas State Constitutional Convention and as a representative in the Arkansas House in 1869. James T. White, native of Indiana, represented Phillips County in the Arkansas House in 1868 and the Senate in 1871 and 1873.

During Reconstruction (1867-1874), Republicans, including the first African American office holders, controlled most political positions in Arkansas. Many people assume that African American office holding ended with Democrats’ political “Redemption” in 1874. Despite Redemption, office holding on the local and legislative level remained quite diverse until 1893. Southeast Arkansas continued to elect Republicans, both black and white, along with Democrats at the county level and to the general assembly. This electoral diversity makes Southeast Arkansas unique and worthy of further examination.

 

Rodney holds a B.A. in Political Science from Arkansas State University, and a M.A. in History from the University of Central Arkansas. Rodney spent 10 years as a real estate broker, ran for State Representative in 2004, and was named one of the 25 Outstanding Young Executives in Northeast Arkansas.  Rodney wrote his Dissertation, “Divided Saints: Democratic Factions in the 1874 Arkansas Constitutional Convention” under the direction of Dr. Patrick Williams at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Rodney specializes in Political History and Southern History. He will join the faculty at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas this fall.

 

RSVP to this FREE Event
(by phone, email or online)
870.265.6031 · lakeport.ar@gmail.com

601 Hwy 142 · Lake Village, AR 71653

 



Lakeport Legacies · From Mosaic Templars to Royal Circle of Friends: Identifying Arkansas’s African American Fraternal Headstones

From Mosaic Templars to Royal Circle of Friends: Identifying Arkansas’s African American Fraternal Headstones

presented by

Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation) 

Thursday, May 25

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

Organizations like the Knights and Daughters of Tabor (above), Mosaic Templars, and Supreme Royal Circle of Friends issued standard monuments to deceased members.

Arkansas’s African American cemeteries are dotted with monuments from fraternal organizations founded in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Membership was often social, but also came with desirable sickness and death benefits. Several Arkansas-based fraternal organizations, like the Mosaic Templars, Supreme Royal Circle of Friends, and Knights and Daughters of Tabor, provided standardized monuments as part of their benefits.

In this presentation you will learn about the rise and decline of these organizations and see examples African American fraternal monuments throughout Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta.

 

RSVP to this FREE Event
(by phone, email or online)
870.265.6031 · lakeport.ar@gmail.com

601 Hwy 142 · Lake Village, AR 71653



Summer Hour at Lakeport 2017 — Extra Saturday Hours

In addition to Lakeport’s regular weekday schedule, Lakeport will add Saturday hours (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) from May 20 until July 29.

Summer Hours 2017
May 20 – July 29
Monday-Friday Tours 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Tours begin on the hour at the Lakeport Education Center.

Open Saturdays to visitors 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Last tour will start at 2 p.m.)
Closed Sundays
Closed Memorial Day, Monday, May 29
Closed Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4

 

Lakeport Plantation is open year round; summer hours add extra Saturday tours to our regular Monday through Friday schedule.

For group tours and other questions, please call us 870.265.6031.



April 21, 1927

April 21, 1917 — Ninety years ago today, levees broke on the Arkansas River at Pendleton (about 60 miles north of Lakeport) and at Mound Landing in southern Bolivar County (about 17 miles north of Greenville).

Victor Johnson, the last Johnson resident at Lakeport, had moved to Greenville in 1917 and built a house on Fairview Extended. Victor wrote in 1939, “we had everything destroyed in the overflow of 1927.” While not everything of the Johnson’s was destroyed, the flood did extensive damage to homes, businesses, and lives in Greenville.

Victor Johnson’s house on Fairview Extended, Greevnille, MS (1927)

 

While there was plenty of damage in Arkansas, the Johnson’s property would have been safer in their Lakeport home in Arkansas. With the levee on the Arkansas River breaking 60 miles away at Pendleton, the flooding was likely less intense at Lakeport. Built on a slight elevation, the home was probably flooded only in the crawl space.

April 22, 1927 shows the flood fight at Lakeport. The U.S. ArmyCorps  of Engineers marshalled barges, sandbags, revetments made of timbers, and local labor in an attempt to reinforce the levees that held the Mississippi River’s floodwaters. Lakeport, which can be seen in the distance, suffered no direct flood damage. (Courtesy of the Library of
Congress.)

 

Also see:

“The Flood of 1927 and Its Impact in Greenville, Mississippi” By Princella W. Nowell
http://www.mshistorynow.mdah.ms.gov/articles/230/the-flood-of-1927-and-its-impact-in-greenville-mississippi



Lakeport Legacies · Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas

Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas

presented by

Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation) 

Thursday, March 30

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

The architectural similarities between Belmont, Willoughby, and Lakeport are not a coincidence.

 

The first Lakeport Legacies of 2017 will feature Dr. Blake Wintory, director of the Lakeport Plantation on March 30. Dr. Wintory will present, “Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi and Chicot County, Arkansas.”

Although the Mississippi River divides Washington County, Mississippi and Chicot County, Arkansas, their histories are intertwined. Kentuckians like the Johnsons, Wards and Worthingtons, settled in both counties in the 1820s and 1830s. Decades later, the families displayed the optimism and prosperity of Antebellum plantation life with the construction of large plantation houses. The Johnson and Worthington families built stylish Italianate and Greek Revival homes in this era: Mount Holly (ca. 1856), Belmont (1857); Willoughby (1858), and Lakeport (1859). A careful restoration of Lakeport by Arkansas State University and thorough research of neighboring plantations suggests a group of carpenters from Madison, Indiana constructed several homes for the Johnsons and Worthingtons. This research thus reveals that Kentucky planters in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta reached back to the Ohio Valley (Kentucky and Indiana) for materials and builders of their iconic “Southern” homes.

 

Click to RSVP to this FREE Event
(by phone, email or online)
870.265.6031 · lakeport.ar@gmail.com

601 Hwy 142 · Lake Village, AR 71653

Lakeport Legacies (LL) meets in the Dining Room of the Lakeport Plantation house. LL, held on one of the last Thursdays of the month at the Lakeport Plantation, features a history topic from the Delta. For more information, call 870.265.6031.



Press Release Lakeport Plantation releases schedule for 2017 Lakeport Legacies and Information on March 30 Talk

For immediate release 3/13/2017

 

The Lakeport Plantation is pleased to announce its 2017 schedule for Lakeport Legacies, a monthly history talk focusing on history in the Delta. Speakers this year will discuss a wide-range of Delta topics including, a history of one of Arkansas’s oldest African American churches, the Civil War in the Mississippi Delta, and a look at the Polk family’s plantations and investments from Tennessee to the Delta. Lakeport Legacies meets on the last Thursday from March through October at 5:30 p.m. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. Note exceptions in the schedule. All events are free and open to the public. The Lakeport Plantation is located at 601 Hwy 142, Lake Village, Arkansas. For more information call 870.265.6031 or visit http://lakeport.astate.edu.

2017 Lakeport Legacies Schedule

Lakeport Legacies, a monthly history talk, is free and open to the public.
Refreshments and conversation at 5:30 pm · Program at 6:00 pm

March 30 · Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas  · Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

April 28-29 ·  In leiu of Lakeport Legacies · Behind the Big House w/ Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project (Joint Program of Preserve Arkansas & Lakeport Plantation)

May 25 · An Unconventional Conveyance: Rev. Jim Kelly and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church · Reverend Demetria L. Edwards, M.Div., J.D. (New Hope Missionary Baptist Church) and Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

June 29 · A Case Study in Diversity: Southeast Arkansas Legislators, 1868-Jim Crow · Rodney Harris (University of Arkansas)

July 27 · Ironclads, Cotton and Corn: The Civil War in the Mississippi Delta · Jim Woodrick (Mississippi Department of Archives and History)

August 31 · Grasping Shadows: Evolution of the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum · Emily Jones (Delta State University Archives & Museum)

September 28 · The Polks’ Plantations and the Creation of Cotton Kingdom in the Old South · Dr. Kelly Jones (Austin Peay State University)

October 19 ·  Influence of Southeast Arkansas in the Arkansas Historical Association · Maylon Rice (Arkansas Historical Association) [program on Third Thursday and will start at 5:30 due to DST/Standard Time change]

The first Lakeport Legacies of 2017 will feature Dr. Blake Wintory, director of the Lakeport Plantation on March 30. Dr. Wintory will present, “Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas.”.

 

Although the Mississippi River divides Washington County, Mississippi and Chicot County, Arkansas, their histories are intertwined. Kentuckians like the Johnsons, Wards and Worthingtons, settled in both counties in the 1820s and 1830s. Decades later, the families displayed the optimism and prosperity of Antebellum plantation life with the construction of large plantation house. The Johnson and Worthington families built stylish Italianate and Greek Revival homes in this era: Mount Holly (ca. 1856), Belmont (1857); Willoughby (1858), and Lakeport (1859). A careful restoration of Lakeport by Arkansas State University and thorough research of neighboring plantations suggests a group of carpenters from Madison, Indiana constructed several homes for the Johnsons and Worthingtons. This research thus reveals that Kentucky planters in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta reached back to the Ohio Valley (Kentucky and Indiana) for materials and builders of their iconic “Southern” homes.

 

For more information and to RSVP, contact Blake Wintory 870.265.6031



Press Release: Preserve Arkansas to Present “Behind the Big House” Program at Lakeport Plantation

Contact: Rachel Silva Patton
501-372-4757
rsilva@preservearkansas.org

For Immediate Release – March 9, 2017

Preserve Arkansas to Present “Behind the Big House” Program at Lakeport Plantation

LITTLE ROCK—Preserve Arkansas, in partnership with the Arkansas Humanities Council, Arkansas State University Heritage Sites, Black History Commission of Arkansas, and Lakeport Plantation, is proud to present “Behind the Big House” on April 28-29 at Lakeport Plantation in Lake Village, Arkansas. The Behind the Big House program moves beyond the “Big Houses,” or stately historic homes, to explore extant slave dwellings and interpret the experiences of the enslaved people who inhabited them. This workshop will include live historical interpretations and lectures to highlight the important contributions African Americans made to Arkansas’s history and provide a broad understanding of the importance of slave dwellings and their role in heritage tourism.

Registration is free, but space is limited. Register at www.preservearkansas.org by April 14. Registration does not include lunch. An optional box lunch may be pre-ordered for $12. For more information and the full schedule of events, call 501-372-4757 or visit www.preservearkansas.org.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Preserve Arkansas works to build stronger communities by reconnecting Arkansans to our heritage and empowering people to save and rehabilitate historic places. For more information about Preserve Arkansas or to become a member, contact Rachel at 501-372-4757, rsilva@preservearkansas.org, or visit www.preservearkansas.org.

### 



Book Signing · Mike Jordan’s The Freedom Song · March 4, 2017

Join us at the Lakeport Plantation for a book signing with Mike Jordan. Jordan’s The Freedom Song is an epic historical novel set at the Lakeport Plantation in the 1850s.

The Freedom Song is the second novel in the five-book Lost Heroes Series. The novels have their roots in the author’s Ozark family stories. The tale winds through the hills of Tennessee, the Arkansas Ozarks, the Lakeport Plantation in Arkansas Delta, and to the California Gold Rush.

Saturday, March 4, 2017
Noon – 2 p.m.
Lakeport Plantation
601 Hwy 142
Lake Village, AR 71653

Noon – 12:30 p.m. — Presentation by author Mike Jordan
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. — Jordan will sign your book

Cash or check only:
The Freedom Song • $18.00 each + tax (2nd in Lost Heroes Series)
Crockett’s Coin • $23.00 each + tax (1st in Lost Heroes Series)
Your Heart of Gold • $10.00 each + tax (Lovequest Series)

If you plan to buy a book, please call to reserve a copy, 870.265.6031

The Lakeport Plantation is located at 601 Hwy 142, Lake Village, Arkansas. For more information call 870.265.6031 or visit http://lakeport.astate.edu.



Lakeport Legacies Schedule for 2017

March 30 · Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas  · Dr. Blake Wintory

April 28-29 ·  In leiu of Lakeport Legacies · Behind the Big House w/ Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project (Joint Program of Preserve Arkansas & Lakeport Plantation)

May 25 · From Mosaic Templars to Royal Circle of Friends: Identifying Arkansas’s African American Fraternal Headstones · Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)
An Unconventional Conveyance: Rev. Jim Kelly and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church · Reverend Demetria L. Edwards, M.Div., J.D. (New Hope Missionary Baptist Church) and Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

June 29 · A Case Study in Diversity: Southeast Arkansas Legislators, 1868-Jim Crow · Rodney Harris (University of Arkansas)

July 27 · Ironclads, Cotton and Corn: The Civil War in the Mississippi Delta · Jim Woodrick (Mississippi Department of Archives and History)

August 31 · Grasping Shadows: Evolution of the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum · Emily Jones (Delta State University Archives & Museum)

September 28 · The Polks’ Plantations and the Creation of Cotton Kingdom in the Old South · Dr. Kelly Jones (Austin Peay State University)

October 19 ·  Influence of Southeast Arkansas in the Arkansas Historical Association · Maylon Rice (Arkansas Historical Association) [program on Third Thursday and will start at 5:30 due to DST/Standard Time change]

Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held at the Lakeport Plantation focusing on history in the Delta. Lakeport Legacies meets on the last Thursday from March through October at 5:30 p.m. Note exceptions in the schedule. All events are free and open to the public. Guests are asked to RSVP. The Lakeport Plantation is located at 601 Hwy 142, Lake Village, Arkansas. For more information call 870.265.6031 or visit http://lakeport.astate.edu.



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