Kemper County MS GenWeb

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DeKalb, MS

The Kemper County Courthouse (west side) soon after it was rebuilt in 1913-1914.

Hopper Brothers Store and Buggy Shop, located on Main Street in DeKalb. This was the first business established in DeKalb.

DeKalb Hotel, early 1900's.

Early stores in DeKalb, west side of the courthouse, Stennis Drug Store and John Gully Little's General Merchandise.

The general store of S.D. Stennis, located on the northwest corner of the courthouse square in DeKalb. The photo is probably in 1913 when the store opened. The store was founded by S.D. and his brother Hampton Howell Stennis, Sr. and operated over the years mostly by Thomas A., son of S.D. In the first floor and in 1972, Eddie J. Briggs, attorney, occupied the first floor and in 1974 he bought the building. Occupants upstairs have included the early John C. Stennis, attorney and U.S. Senator; John D. Henderson, an investigator/speculator (who also lived there); John McCulley, attorney; and the Beatrice Smith Beauty Shop.

DeKalb Motor Company, owned by Mr. Enos Prince, was located where the Baptist Fellowship Hall now stands. This building served as the first National Guard Armory in Kemper County. The building was torn down in the early 1960's.

Left to right: Lawrence McRae Sr., his brother Duncan McRae and two unknown mill workers. The McRae Gin and Sawmill was located on the Sucarnochee Creek west of DeKalb on what is now Highway 397. At this point the creek runs North.

The jail in DeKalb showing the enclosed gallows which was built for the hanging of Donahue. This was the last legal hanging in Kemper County. The automobile in the foreground is a Model T. Ford.

Inside view of Stennis Drug Company. Left to right: Bryant A. Little, Roscoe Harbour and owner Hardy Stennis.

Standard Oil Company in DeKalb, owned by James A. Craig. Left to right: Chandler Smith, Jeane Craig, Joyce Craig and James A. Craig. The Citizens Bank is now located on this sight. Note the old jail in the background.

Phillip Neal and Joe Ross operated this service station in DeKalb in 1936.

An interior view of Rosenbaum Mercantile, where Sunflower Grocery Store and parking lot are now located. Charlie Rosenbaum, owner, is seated in front. Clerks back to front are O. L. David, A. B. Tartt, unknown, Martin Monroe Oden and unknown. Martin Monroe Oden later built and opened Oden Mercantile on a portion of the Rosenbaum lot which is presently known as the Sunflower store. He served one term, 1920-1923, as sheriff of Kemper County.

Annie, John and Daisy Hopper in front of their home in the town of DeKalb.

Charlie Rosenbaum, land owner and businessman and the first president of the Commercial Bank in DeKalb, serving from 1914-1932.

Historical Background of DeKalb
Compiled by McRae Limerick, March 2002

"Back of the name DeKalb is a wealth of romance and historical material."In the past, I have wandered across some of the battlefields where Baron DeKalb let American troops to victory either by direct assault or by strategy. I have been on the battle field of Pine Tree Creek at Camden, South Carolina, where DeKalb was killed in charging Cornwallis's Army one morning before day (Baron Johnann de Kalb was was mortally wounded, having received 11 wounds. He was brought into Camden and died three days later, August 19, 1780. He was given a full Masonic military funeral by the British.), and I have been at DeKalb's grave under the steps of the old Revolutionary Court House on Main Street in Camden. I have leaned against the iron fence that surrounds the little red brick Presbyterian Church at Camden, inside of which Marquis de Lafayette, friend of Washington and French Revolutionary patriot, laid the cornerstone of the DeKalb Monument in 1829. I have also been in the tunnel tthat DeKalb supervised the Ninety Six South Carolina, and in the old Geiger home where a romance between the grizzled old war hero and a charming girl of nineteen had its beginning.
Emily, a famed Revolutionary War heroine, with whom the doughty old warrior carried on his romance is buried on the battlefield across the Congaree river near Cayses' west of Columbia, South Carolina.

The name of Emily Geiger will live in history and romance as long as the name of DeKalb is honored as a hero of the Revolutionary War. For it was she who carried DeKalb's important message from the Ninety Six to General Francis Marion somewhere on the Santee, that led to the retreat of Cornwallis to Yorktown where he surrendered. For a day and night, Emily urged Black Dan, her blooded Arabian horse, southward to Marion's rendezvous. At Cayeses, where the British officers were attending a dance, a drunken sentinel challenged Emily, but seeing she was a woman, let her pass. Emily's love for DeKalb and the neglect of a drunken British soldier contributed to Cornwallis' retreat from the Carolinas, a thing that led to his surrender and the recognition of America's independence.

This story appeared in the Kemper County Messenger, Aug 12, 1936 by Colonel Jim Walton.

From "Kemper County, Mississippi - A Pictorial History", placed here with permission by the Kemper County Historical Commission.

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