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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Marshall County Data Dashboard

Demographic data that helps add context to many historical events.

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, […]

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 […]

Rust College

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

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 […]