Marshall

Wells, Ida B.

Ida B. Wells was a precursor to Rosa Parks, as she refused to give up her seat on a train. Her father was on the school board at Shaw University (later renamed Rust College in 1890), where she attended. Today Ida B. Wells is memorialized by the Ida B. Wells Art Museum. Sources: Wells, Ida. […]

Rust College

Rust’s curriculum spanned from elementary education to normal school training for teachers

Mississippi Industrial College

Opened in 1905, the college now lies in disrepair. Many of the civil rights leaders attended this school. The school’s objectives were to provide literary and industrial training to black youth, to train young men and women in Christian ideals, and to furnish a practical education. Sources: http://micaai.org/

Desegregation in Marshall County

(1960s) Wazir Peacock was a SNCC field secretary in Mississippi and Alabama who attended Rust College. He describes the desegregation movement and its origins in Holly Springs: “I went to Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi. I was in college when the sit-ins started in North Carolina, so we started right there on the campus. […]

Revels, Hiram Rhodes

Hiram Revels was Mississippi’s first black senator. He is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery. He moved to Holly Springs in 1870 and later became the first African-American United States Senator. It has been said of Revels: “The most accomplished black who was connected to Holly Springs was Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first black to hold the […]

Freedom Schools in Marshall County

Holly Springs Freedom School Project was located at the corner of 100 Rust Avenue and North Memphis Street and was referred to as Freedom House. It was the headquarters for the voter registration movement in north Mississippi and the headquarters of the local Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). It was also called the COFO (Council […]

Civil Rights Marches and a Federal Lawsuit

(5/15/1968) Following the death of Martin Luther King, citizens in Holly Springs conducted a peaceful march from Rust College, proceeding through town to the courthouse. About 500 marchers attended and were entirely peaceful. No incidents were recorded. However, the march led a Holly Springs alderman to pass a law mandating notice of such marches. The […]

Hill, James

“One of the slaves of Holly Springs, James Hill became Secretary of State of Mississippi from 1874-1878. He had served the family of James W. Hill, one of the town’s leading citizens. After his emancipation, Hill continued to maintain a cordial relationship with the family of his former owner with whom he shared both first […]

Farmer Jr., James

Civil rights leader James Farmer, Jr. founded CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality). Farmer was one of thirteen Americans who received the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Bill Clinton in a White House ceremony on Jan. 15 1996. Farmer was raised in Holly Springs where his father served on faculty […]