Freemantown

The area of Oxford between North 7th Street and 5th Street extending south from Price to Jackson Avenue was originally called Freemantown. Oral tradition says that the area was sold to freed slaves after the Civil War and thus became known as Freemantown. By the turn of the century, small houses dotted the area, each with a small garden and often livestock such as pigs, chickens and cows. Water was furnished from cisterns and wells. The original 7th Street was dirt, becoming gravel with the use of cars, then rough pavement about 1939. Freemantown became a small African-American community with churches, schools, stores and businesses. Second Baptist’s Church stands on the south edge near the site of former Mama Nance’s (Nancy Humphrey’s) grocery store. Bird Kirkland ran his blacksmith business nearby, shoeing horses and fixing wagon wheels. In 1974, Freemantown underwent Urban Renewal that created wider streets and new housing for many of the residents. On August 5, 1996, the historical marker for Freedmen Town was placed by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.”

Sources:

“We Cannot Walk Alone Exhibition” Olemiss.edu. 15 November 2006
<http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/files/archives/exhibits/civilrights/aa/burns.html>

Nelms, Chuck. “Thoughts and Recollections of Ole Miss Fall of 1962.” Feb 4 1991. Jun 2006 <http://www.llf.lib.ms.us/winnebago/LLF/Oral%20Histories/NELMS2.htm>

“Integrating Ole Miss.” Integrating Ole Miss: A Civil Rights Milestone. June 2002. John F. Kennedy Library. Jun 2006 <http://www.jfklibrary.org/meredith/home.html>

Sobotka, C. John Jr. A History of Lafayette County, Mississippi. Oxford, MS: Rebel Press, 1976.