The ancestral roots of
The first recorded
Thomas son, Thomas Christian
Heidelberg, Jr., established his home on Beaver creek, between
the present location of
Around 1870, W.I. Heidelberg settled on a
In 1882, on his own land, he laid out the
present location of
The railroad accepted his offer and with
this key asset came enterprise and commerce. Farmers in the
surrounding areas were soon routing their goods through
It is recorded that
One of the four cotton gins
A post office was also built on
The Wilkens Hotel Post Office
The first school one-room was built during
the early 1900s. A second school, located on
As the public road system came into being,
the original Highway eleven was routed through
Photo of an excursion train at the Heidelberg Picnic Grounds
Three churches were built within the town, a
Baptist, a Methodist, and a Presbyterian. A large picnic area was
also constructed on the east end of town and was used by the
Brotherhood of Trainmen as the destination of an annual
excursion. Special trains were run from
The 1921 Ford Line
Abney Ford Dealership
Abney Service Station
In 1943, oil was discovered beneath
Click Here to Read About The Heidelberg Oil Boom
The Mary Weems Parker Memorial Library - Wife of Dr.W.H. Parker
Source: A Travel through Heidelberg Heritage History section compiled by Janette Kennedy, 1984.
At the end of WWII, I was discharged from the Army Air Corps and attended the University of Southern Mississippi on the GI Bill. The summer quarter of 1949, I completed the course work required to obtain a B.S. degree with majors in Math and in Chemistry. At the campus, I was interviewed and hired by Mr. Homes, the Superintendent of the Heidelberg School, to teach. I began in the fall of that year. It was also Mr. Homes first year. A friend of mine, Jim McCulloch, was also hired. Mr. Homes put both of us in contact with Miss Bessie Chancellor, who lived with her husband, Arthur, near Stafford Springs. They accepted borders and she provided us two bedrooms in the downstairs section of her home. She also fed us a daily breakfast and dinner for a total charge of $30 per month. We ate lunch in the school cafeteria as a part of our pay. Our salary was $1740 for the school year (8 months). Mr. Arthur Chancellor worked as a foreman on a dairy farm in Sugarloc MS and came home on the weekends. He also dabbled in antiques and old clocks. Miss Edna Chancellor, Arthurs sister, boarded with them, too. She taught 4th or 5th grade. Miss Bessie also worked in the school cafeteria.
I cant remember all of the stores that were in Heidelberg at that time, but I remember that the streets were not paved. Mr. Mixon had a large general mercantile store on the south side of Main (Ochs) Street. East of that was a grocery store run by B.C. Burns. At that time, Mr. Sinclair worked for Mr. Burns and, later, opened his own store out on Highway 11. A large grocery store and the Bryant Drug Store were located on the north side of Main (Ochs) Street. Dr. Parker was the town doctor and had an office out toward the high school.
There was a small movie theater located in Heidelberg. Early during my teaching career, I went there one evening to see a movie. When I attempted to leave, I discovered that some of my students had jacked up my car and placed blocks under the rear axle. When I attempted to back up, the rear wheels began to spin in mid-air. It was all in good fun and they emerged from their hiding places to help me fix the problem.
Out on Highway 11, the old Stafford Springs Hotel and the restaurant was still in operation. The motor lodge had not yet been built. They were still bottling and shipping the water, mostly by rail. Woodrow Martin ran a garage and a service station just up the hill at the intersection of the Vossburg Shubuta Road. He later built a restaurant across the road.
I taught at Heidelberg for two school years, 1949-50 and 1950-51. In 1950, I began to notice Mary Sue Eddins, a pretty blonde with perfect hair, come by the Chancellors home with Mrs. Bounds. Mrs. Bounds would stop to see Mrs. Chancellor on their way to church and Sunday school at Shady Grove Baptist. I wrote her a letter and asked her for a date. She accepted and we attended a church social held at Lake Waukaway. We were married on September 2nd, 1951, at Shady Grove. Later, I found out that Mrs. Bounds, Mrs. Chancellor and Mrs. Addie Allen had conspired to hook us up. (It worked.)
In February of 1951, we moved to Biloxi where I took a job teaching electronics at the Keesler Air Force Base.
- O.G. Wilkerson
These pages are a work in progress. While every attempt has been made to include accurate historical information, some error may be included. I invite corrections, additional information, additional photographs, and accounts of personal experience. Please contact me at the supplied address. Very little has been documented in regards to the dying towns and landmarks of east-central Mississippi. With your help, I hope to put together a few pages that we all can pass along to our grandchildren. Thanks!
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