Blasts Rock Negro Church Home in Canton

(1965) “Explosions rocked a Negro church and a Negro home early Friday in this central Mississippi town which has been the target of increased civil rights activity in recent months. There were no injuries. Windows were shattered in both Pleasant […]

Bowman, Sister Thea

Sister Thea Bowman (1937-1990) was born in Canton. She was a nationally and internationally known evangelist, teacher, gospel singer, writer, lecturer and advocate for justice and peace. She was the first African American woman to receive a Doctorate in Theology […]

CORE of Madison Co.

Canton organized office for Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in 1963. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: Arcadia, 2002. Townsend Davis, Weary Feet, Rested […]

Canton Multicultural Center and Museum

The Canton Multicultural Center & Museum is a celebration of the diverse cultures and contributions of the citizens of Canton and Madison County to the history of the city, state, and nation. The permanent exhibit focuses on the history, family […]

Canton Ordered to Allow Negroes Use or Park

(1960s) “A federal judge Monday ordered officials at Canton, Miss. to permit Negroes the same use of a city park as that extended to white residents of the area. U.S. District Judge Harold Cox granted a temporary injunction sought by […]

Canton’s First Freedom Day

(Feb. 28, 1963) More than 350 African-American residents arrived at the Madison County Courthouse demanding their voting rights. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: […]

Carmichael, Dr. George

Dr. Carmichael was a native of Canton. He practiced medicine in Canton for 50 years. Upon graduating from Meharry Medical School in Nashville, Carmichael returned to Canton to practice in 1934. If he had to hospitalize his patients, he had […]

Chinn, C.O.

Chinn was born September 18, 1919 in Madison County. He is said to be “the last of the great frontiersmen”for his work and dedication to civil rights. Chinn is thought of as the “father”of the civil rights in Madison County. […]

Coney, Clarice Dillon

The wife of Eddie Coney, Clarice Coney is a retired educator. Mrs. Coney was a civil rights activist in Madison County where she assisted in voter education and registration. She was a member of CORE, COFO, and the NAACP. Sources: […]

Coney, Eddie E.

Coney was born January 8, 1923 in Magnolia, MS, and was a civil and human rights activist. After completing his education at Alcorn State University, he and his wife Clarece Dillon Coney managed the Flora Parish State 4-H Club Camp […]

Desegregation of Canton City Park

(1960’s) “Civil Rights workers and local Negroes desegregated the city park here Tuesday without incident except for a few jeers from whites. A Federal judge had directed city officials not to arrest or otherwise interfere with Negroes using the park […]

Devine, Annie

Annie Devine was one of Madison County’s leading women in civil rights. She and other civil rights leaders organized the Canton office for CORE in 1963. In 1964, Devine and other civil rights workers organized Canton’s first Freedom Day on […]

Fire Destroys Freedom School

(9/17/1964) “A Negro church used recently as a voter registration school was destroyed by fire early today. Authorities confirmed that the St. John’s Baptist church near the rural community of Valley View went up in flames shortly after midnight. The […]

First Case Tried in Madison Co. Court

(June 1832) The rights of slaves in early Madison County were stringently limited by law. A slave named Pegg was the central figure in the first case tried in Madison County court. Pegg was charged with assault and battery with […]

Freedom House of Madison

The Freedom House was used during the Civil Rights era to house Civil Rights workers who came to Madison County. Located on Lutz Street (now George Washington) in Canton, the house was donated to the freedom riders and other Civil […]

Freedom Summer and the Meredith March in Madison Co.

(6/23/1966) Freedom marchers tried to pitch tents to lodge women and children on the grounds of McNeal Elementary School during James Meredith’s March Against Fear. The marchers were not permitted to pitch the tents on the grounds, but they proceeded […]

Freedom Vote-Madison Co.

(1963) The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) organized mock elections in 1963. The unofficial elections helped determine voting strength and showed that blacks would vote if given the opportunity. The mock election, called the “Freedom Vote”, was an overwhelming success. […]

Holbert, Joe

Holbert was the first African American to deliver mail in rural Madison County. Holbert normally delivered mail twice a week on horseback. The photo was taken in the late 1880s. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: […]

House of Sister Thea Bowman

This traditional shotgun bungalow was home of Sister Thea Bowman, well-known author, evangelist, teacher and lecturer. It was built around 1900. The house is located at 136 Hill Street in Canton, MS. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead […]

Howcott Monument

This monument was created for slaves that went off to the Civil War with the Harvey Scouts from Madison. These slaves fought on the side of the Confederacy alongside their slave masters. They also served as servants on the battlefield. […]

Lindsey, Solomon

Solomon was born on September 1, 1878 in Canton. He received vocational training at Tuskegee, Alabama, and Piney Woods Country Life School. Solomon eventually became the owner of a 700-acre farm. Sixteen families- comprised of 120 men, women, and children- […]

Lynchings of Madison County

(1886-1965) There were seven reported lynchings in Madison County, over the span of 1886-1965. This list was comprised from A Partial List of Mississippi Lynchings compiled by the Tuskegee Institute. The list appears in Susan Orr- Klopfer’s Where Rebels Roost. […]

Madison County Data Dashboard

Demographic data that helps add context to many historical events.

Magee, Sylvester

Sylvester MageeĀ (May 29, 1841 – October 15, 1971), is believed to be the last surviving American slave. However, as there are no birth records, his actual date of birth cannot be proven. The oldest person ever on record lived to […]

Rimmer, U.S.

U.S. Rimmer was the first Black elected to a judgeship in Beat 5, Madison County. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: Arcadia, 2002. Townsend […]

Rosa Scott School

This school was named after Rosa Allie Scott, who was an advocate for civil and human rights. She is buried on the school grounds. The school is located on Crawford Street in Madison. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move […]

Scott, Rosa Allie Lee

Rosa Scott was born in 1874. She was one of very few African Americans who obtained higher education, attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Rosa Scott taught in several county schools, then became the principal of Madison Grade School. In […]

Slave Insurrection of Madison

(1835) Rumors of a slave insurrection led to the lynching of numerous slaves. “Investigations”revealed that the plan was to rob and kill all whites at their homes. A “Committee of Safety”, which was comprised of thirteen men, was organized to […]

The Klan of Madison Co.

During Reconstruction, President Andrew Johnson sent a militia of approximately 100 blacks with a white captain to Canton. While the soldiers were there, the city marshal found it necessary to jail several of the men for drunkenness. When the other […]

Voter Education Project in Madison

(1969) “Workshop Disruption in Madison Is Charged” “The Voter Education Project Thursday charged that a voter workshop in Canton, Miss. was disrupted by a Madison County, Miss. deputy sheriff. The Atlanta-based organization, which said the incidence occurred Wednesday, called on […]

Williams, Richard

Williams was born March 22, 1886, the grandson of a freed Virginia slave. He grew up on the Jim Smith farm between Canton and Flora. When he was sixteen years old, he used $18 he received from a county farmers […]