Lamar County, Mississippi Genealogy and History


Pamela J. Gibbs County Coordinator

Everette Carr - State Coordinator     Bill White - Assistant State Coordinator


 Golden Anniversary Edition (1913-1964)

Submitted by Martin L. Varisco Jr.


Original County Jail Was Razed in 1941

The original jail of what is now Lamar County is being torn down after several years of usefulness.  Reported efforts have been made to remodel the old building into an office building, and at one time a WPA appropriation was made for about $6000 for this purpose, but before it was released for actual construction, the war and its priority program was calling for money and materials, so this project fell through.

            According to Forest K. Phillips, the good material in the old building will be salvaged and as soon as the county is in a financial position to begin, steps will be taken to use this salvaged material in an office building that the county hopes to build on to the courthouse square.

            Members of the county farm committee, M.C. Elliott, Ed Rutledge and Lee Hudson, have been before the board of supervisors asking for more space for the enlarged activities of the county farm agent, and Dr. Milne, state director of county health work, states that with the addition of a full time health nurse to the office of the county health officer, more space will be necessary for the office in order for the health unit to give the people of the county the best possible care and attention.  A new building, which could house these two offices, would be a blessing to great number of people in the county.

            The old jail was built in Purvis, when this area was still a part of Marion County.  Later on an addition was built onto the original structure, the jail for many years was just as it had been for more than 25 years, until the imposing new jail was built in 1940.

            Many of the interesting events that have taken place in Lamar County have some connection with the jail.  Will Purvis spent many months in a cell on the ground floor of the original building and the window where he sat for many a sunny day is now gone, but the memory of the time when he was released from its walls will never be forgotten.  Only once in its history according to old settlers, has the life of a man been taken within the wall of the old jail.  That man was “Boss” Weatherford.  The walls that could see and record but never tell the scenes of emotion, the despair, the desperation and the bravado of those who have been continued with the walls, are almost gone.

                                                                                                -----October 31, 1941




Copyright 2003 by Pamela J. Gibbs except where otherwise noted.


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