School Namesakes

  • Bailey Middle School

    Edward Latta Bailey (1872-1934). Bailey, a Winona native, served as superintendent of Ӱ Public Schools for 32 years. A graduate of Mississippi College, he taught 10th grade at Ӱ Graded School and served as an assistant professor at Millsaps College from 1894 to 1900. He was elected superintendent of Ӱ Public Schools in 1900. He attended graduate schools at the University of Virginia, University of Chicago, Harvard, and New York University. MC conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws in 1926.

    Baker Elementary School

    Quintard Baker (1879-1956). The Hazlehurst native attended the University of Chicago and Millsaps College. In 1937, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Peabody College. She did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Colorado. She taught in the public schools of Cypremort, La., and in Hazlehurst and Wesson. She taught in Ӱ at Power and Barr and later became principal at Barr. The school closed in 2019.

    Barr Elementary School

    Thomas Palmer Barr (1857-1926). The Ӱ native served as a JPS trustee and became secretary of the Board in 1907. He was later postmaster of Ӱ.

    Bates Elementary School

    Gladys Noel Bates (1920-2010). A native of McComb, Mississippi, Bates is an African-American civil rights pioneer and educator who led legal action for salary equality for African American teachers and principals in the 1950s. The case was a landmark and forerunner for school desegregation cases of the 1950s. The fallout from her action forced Bates and her family to leave Mississippi. She and her husband moved to Denver, Colorado, where she received numerous awards for her achievements as an educator and community leader. She was the only living school namesake on opening day at Bates Elementary on September 14, 2010. She passed away one month later on Ӱ 15, 2010.

    Blackburn Middle School

    William W. Blackburn (1873-1957). A native of Port Gibson, Blackburn attended Natchez, Hampton and Benoit Colleges. He served as a teacher of mathematics at Alcorn and as teacher and principal in the public schools of Claiborne, Covington, and Grenada counties for more than 20 years. In 1918, he organized and served as principal for the first county training school for blacks in rural Mississippi near Mount Olive. In 1925, he was appointed the Rosenwald Agent in Mississippi by the state Department of Education. In the position he traveled widely, endeavoring to improve education opportunities for black pupils. As an organizer and president of the Mississippi Teachers Association, Blackburn devoted more than 30 years to the organization, as its executive secretary and editor of its official journal.

    Boyd Elementary School

    Mary Lee Boyd (1874-1949). The French Camp native graduated from Central Mississippi Institute and taught at Lenago, Madison County, Starkville, and Aberdeen. In 1913, she came to Central High School in Ӱ, where she taught history until 1945.

    Bradley Elementary School

    Ollie Mae Hemphill Bradley (1872-1948). The Byram native graduated from Shuqualak College and began her teaching career in Stone College, Meridian. In 1908, she became a sixth-grade teacher at Lee School in Ӱ. The school closed in 2012 and the building is currently being used to house JPS administrative offices.

    Brinkley Middle School

    Samuel Manual Brinkley (1878-1946). The Ӱ native attended Tougaloo College and Campbell College. He was principal at schools in Crystal Springs, Utica, and Collins. He taught at Alcorn and returned to Ӱ as assistant principal of Robertson. He later served as teaching principal of the first organized junior high school program for black pupils in the Ӱ Public Schools.

    Brown Elementary School

    Deva Lincoln Brown (1881-1952). A Lexington native, Brown graduated from Ӱ State in 1935. Her first teaching experience was in Holmes County. She began teaching in the Ӱ Public Schools as a first-grade teacher at Jim Hill, where she taught for 15 years. Later, she transferred to Reynolds Elementary. The school closed in 2018.

    Callaway High School

    Robert Moody Callaway (1902-1962). A Lafayette County native, he began his career teaching Choctaw Indians in the mountains of McCurtain County, Okla. He taught at Independence. Before assuming duties as principal of Liberty Grove School, later H.V. Watkins Elementary in Ӱ, he taught at Darling in Quitman County and Pocahontas in Hinds County. He was principal at Watkins from 1936-1956.

    Cardozo Middle School

    Thomas W. Cardozo (1838-1881). Cardozo was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to a freeborn African American and a Jewish Journalist. After he was married, he moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he became involved in building up the education, economics, and political power of African Americans in Mississippi. He was the first African American to serve as superintendent of education for the state of Mississippi. As state superintendent, he was interested in the education of all children even though the public schools were segregated. The statewide adoption of uniform textbooks was a reform that he supported. After serving as state superintendent, he moved to Massachusetts where he died in 1881.

    Casey Elementary School

    Hattie Aileen Casey (1894-1959). The Hollandale native was educated at Hillman and Mississippi Colleges and did graduate work at the University of Alabama, Millsaps, Peabody, Belhaven and Columbia University. She began her teaching career at Friar's Point. In 1921 she began teaching at Power, retiring in 1959.

    Chastain Middle School

    James Garvin Chastain Jr. (1892-1937). Chastain, the son of Baptist missionaries, spent his first 16 years in Matehuala, Mexico. He attended Mississippi Heights Academy at Blue Mountain. After graduating from Mississippi College in 1915, he became the superintendent of the high school in Derma. After World War I, he went to Eupora as superintendent and later became superintendent of Leland Consolidated School. In 1933, he became JPS superintendent. During his administration, the Ӱ Municipal Boys' Band was organized and the Reserve Officer Training Corps was established at Central.

    Clausell Elementary School

    Odel Clausell (1907-1952). A native of Hazlehurst, Clausell attended Tougaloo and received her bachelor's degree from Tuskegee Institute and her master's from Indiana University. She began her teaching career at the Smith Robertson School in Ӱ in 1929 and was later transferred to the Martin School.

    Dawson Elementary School

    Georgia Beatrice Dawson (1902-1962). Dawson, a native of Ӱ, graduated from Tougaloo Academy in 1924 and began her teaching career in the Canton Public Schools, moving to Lanier High in 1928. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tougaloo College in 1954. She taught at Smith Robertson School from 1934 until her retirement in 1961.

    Duling School

    Lorena Duling (1859-1949). Duling, a Tennessee native, taught in Paris, Texas, for five years before coming to teach grades one through eight in the present Central High building in Ӱ. In 1905, she became principal of Davis School and served there for 36 years. She was the first principal in Ӱ to provide free lunches for poor children. This she did with her own funds until the Board of Trustees approved a school lunch program. The school closed in 2006.

    Enochs School

    Isaac Columbus Enochs (1852-1919). Enochs was born near Crystal Springs, March 7, 1852, the oldest of ten children. He received his education in the rural schools by great personal sacrifice due to limited educational opportunities. Isaac C. Enochs' early business activities began with the operation of several sawmills in Copiah and Pike Counties. After moving to Ӱ in 1888, he acquired and operated Enochs Lumber Company and the Edwards Hotel. He became interested in the development of the Ӱ Public Schools. For sixteen years he was a member of the Board of Trustees, nine of which he served as president of the Board (1900-1901 and 1903-1911). In 1911, when he was no longer a patron of the schools, the Board requested him to continue his services one more year in an advisory capacity to assist in the building program authorized by the Board. The school closed in 1981 and the building is currently being used to house JPS administrative offices.

    Forest Hill High School

    No namesake.

    French Elementary School

    Emma French (1876-1928). French, a native of Ӱ, was one of five in the first graduating class of the Ӱ Graded School. She began 37 years of teaching in 1891 as an eighth-grade instructor for JPS. She taught first grade at Poindexter from 1900 to 1928. The school closed in 2018.

    Galloway Elementary School

    Charles Betts Galloway (1849-1909). A Kosciusko native, Galloway graduated from Ole Miss in 1868 and earned a doctor of divinity degree there in 1882. He served as pastor of several Methodist churches in Mississippi and was appointed a bishop at age 36. He raised $50,000 to match an equal amount offered by major R.W. Millsaps to establish a college for young men in Ӱ. He was made the president of the Board of Trustees of Millsaps College for life. At the time of his death, he was president of the Board of Trustees of Vanderbilt University.

    George Elementary School

    James Zachariah George (1826-1897). The Monroe County native studied law and by special act of the legislature was admitted to the bar prior to his 20th birthday. Following military service in the Mexican War, he was appointed in 1854 as a reporter of the U.S. High Court of Errors and Appeals. He was a member of the Secession Convention in 1861. In the Confederate Army, he attained the rank of Brigadier General. He chaired the Democratic Executive Committee from 1875-1876. In 1878, he was appointed a judge on the Mississippi Supreme Court and was Chief Justice from 1879 to 1881. In February 1881, he was elected to the U.S. Senate where he served until his death. The school closed in 2018.

    Green Elementary School

    Emma Gertrude Green (1877-1946). A native of Corinth, Green attended Millsaps, Alabama, Ole Miss, the University of Chicago, and State Teachers College at Memphis. Prior to employment in Ӱ as the first-grade teacher at the Poindexter School, 1913-1914, she taught in Corinth, Port Gibson and Greenwood. In 1915, she moved to Davis School, then switched to Power the next year, where she taught until retirement in 1945.

    Hardy Middle School

    John Crumpton Hardy (1864-1938). The Newton County native received A.B. and M.A. degrees from Mississippi College. In 1898 he received the LL.B. and in 1904 the LL.D. from Millsaps Law School. He taught at Carrollton before his appointment as Superintendent of the Ӱ Public Schools in 1891, where he served for 10 years. He later became president of Mississippi A&M, now Mississippi State. In 1912, he accepted the presidency of Baylor College for Women.

    Hughes Field

    James Hall Hughes (1926-1964). The Walthall County native was an outstanding football and track star in Crystal Springs. After serving two years in the Philippines during World War II, he re-enrolled at Copiah-Lincoln Junior College and later graduated from Mississippi College, now the University of Southern Mississippi. He taught at Meadville and was principal in Centreville before coming to Ӱ in 1960 as a teacher-coach at Central. Coach Hughes died of a heart attack during the Central-Murrah football game on Ӱ 6, 1964. Hughes Field is named in his honor.

    Isable Elementary School

    Emmalee Isable (1882-1939). The Vicksburg native attended Haven Institute (1912-1914) and the University of Chicago (1920). In 1934, she received a B.A. from Ӱ College. From 1902 to 1912 she taught fifth, sixth, and seventh grades in the public schools in Vicksburg. At Hill, she taught second and fourth grades from 1921-23 and third grade from 1923-36. She was transferred to the Reynolds School in 1936 and taught third grade until her death.

    Jim Hill High School

    James Hill died in 1901. He was born to slave parents, and little is known about his childhood. Prior to the Civil War, he lived in Holly Springs. In 1871, he was given a seat in the Mississippi Legislature. Two years later, he was elected Secretary of State of Mississippi. He also served as Collector of Internal Revenue in Mississippi and Registrar for the Land Office at Ӱ.

    John Hopkins Elementary School

    No namesake.

    Johnson Elementary School

    Mary Stewart Johnson (1871-1944). The Madison County native graduated from Ӱ College in 1891 and received a B.A. in 1935. She taught in Amite County, Holmes County, Pike County and C.M.&I. College in Ӱ. In 1920 she was employed by JPS as a first-grade teacher at Hill. She taught primary grades at Martin from 1922-1944.

    Key Elementary School

    Mary Belle Key (1878-1951). An Edwards native, Key was educated at Peabody, the University of Chicago, Millsaps and Mississippi Southern. She taught at Farr School in Hinds County, Bolton, Brownsville, and the Mississippi School for the Blind. In the Ӱ district, she taught at Central, Davis and Poindexter. She served as principal at Duling from 1941 to 1947.

    Kirksey Middle School

    Henry J. Kirksey 1915-2005). A native of Lee County, Mississippi, Kirksey was an outspoken civil rights activist and one of the first two African American men elected to the Mississippi Senate after the Reconstruction era in Mississippi’s history. The election of more than 600 African Americans to public office in the state can be credited in part to Senator Kirksey’s service as a plaintiff, expert witness, and community organizer. He was largely responsible for bringing the state of Mississippi into compliance with the 1965 Voting Rights Act. His work also led to the City of Ӱ changing its form of government and the adoption of single-member legislative districts in the state government of Mississippi. Later in his life, Kirksey continued his advocacy work and was an adjunct professor at Tougaloo College, where he lived on campus. He and his wife, Audrie Mann Kirksey, raised three children in Ӱ, Mississippi.

    Lake Elementary School

    Viola Ensminger Lake (1866-1947). A Monroe, La., native, Lake received her college degree from Minden, La. As a memorial to her husband, William Watts Lake, Lake presented to Poindexter-Enochs Junior High School the first well-equipped library in the Ӱ Public Schools. Prior to her death in 1947, she had established 11 W.W. Lake Memorial Libraries in the elementary schools of the system and had given a substantial fund, the income from which was to be used for obtaining a collection of Southern literature for Central. She bequeathed the major part of her estate of approximately $5 million to establish and maintain libraries in the elementary and junior high schools.

    Lanier High School

    William Henry Lanier (1851-1929). Lanier was born a slave in Huntsville, Alabama in 1851. He attended Tougaloo College, Oberlin College and Fisk University and received his B.A. degree from Roger Williams University. For six years, he was president of Alcorn A&M. He taught in Forest, Winona, Black Hawk, Carrollton, Yazoo City and Ӱ. He served as principal of the Robertson School from 1912-1929.

    Lester Elementary School

    Laura Rebecca Lester (1889-1944). The Ӱ native attended Industrial Institute and College for Women in Columbus (now Mississippi University for Women), Whitworth College in Brookhaven, the University of Chicago, Millsaps, Ole Miss, and Peabody. She taught at Poindexter and George schools and later served as principal of Poindexter.

    McLeod Elementary School

    Clara James McLeod (1903-1960). The native of Florence attended Millsaps, Belhaven and Mississippi State College for Women and did graduate work at Millsaps, Tulane, Peabody, Colorado, UCLA and MC. She taught in Picayune, Cleveland and Ackerman. In Ӱ, she taught at Barr, Duling and McWillie.

    McWillie Elementary School

    Nannie Compton McWillie (1857-1939). A native of Holly Springs, McWillie moved to Ӱ with her family when her father was appointed Superintendent of the Mississippi Insane Asylum. In 1875 she graduated as valedictorian of Central Female Institute, which later became Hillman College and then merged with Mississippi College. She married Dr. James McWillie, the son of Governor William McWillie, and gave birth to six children. In 1890 when her husband died, she began a 40-year teaching career in Ӱ. She first taught at the Central School, where she remained until 1907 when she was transferred to the Davis School. As a third grade teacher at Davis, she was a member of the school's first faculty. She taught there until her retirement in 1930.

    Marshall Elementary School

    Bessie Nelson Marshall (1885-1959). The Ӱ native attended Industrial Institute and Norman College, now MUW. She taught at Pisgah, Poindexter and Davis. In 1949, she taught sixth grade at Watkins. In 1955, she transferred to the office of elementary school librarians, where she worked until retirement in 1955.

    Morrison Center

    Mary Lottie Williams Morrison (1882-1956). The Forest native graduated from Ӱ College in 1936. She taught at Robertson and Reynolds and served as principal at Martin from 1941 until 1954.

    Murrah High School

    William Belton Murrah (1852-1925). The Pickensville, Alabama, native attended Southern University (now Birmingham-Southern) in Greensboro, Alabama. In 1887, he received a doctor of divinity degree at Centenary College in Ӱ, La., and in 1897 he received the LL.D. degree from Wofford College in South Carolina. He served as pastor of Methodist churches in Oxford, Winona and Aberdeen. From 1886 until 1890, he served as vice-president of Whitworth College at Brookhaven. He was first vice president of Millsaps from 1892 to 1910. In 1910, he was elected Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

    Newell Field

    Harvey Thornton Newell (1881-1955). The Camp Hill, Alabama native, founder of Ӱ Paper Company, was president of JPS Board of Trustees from 1933 to 1938. He served as president of the Ӱ Chamber of Commerce in 1930. He was instrumental in organizing the Ӱ Boys' Band and in promoting the work of the YMCA, Red Cross, and Boy Scouts. He was president of the Ӱ Kiwanis Club and a member of the Board of Stewards of Galloway Memorial Methodist Church. Newell Field was named in his honor.

    North Ӱ Elementary School

    No namesake.

    Northwest Ӱ Middle School

    No namesake.

    Obama Magnet Elementary School

    Barack Obama (1961-). A native of Hawaii, Barack Obama attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a political science degree in 1983. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate and served from 1997-2004. During his first year as a state senator, he co-sponsored a bill that restructured the Illinois welfare program. Later, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and served from 2005-2006. He won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for performing the narration for his 1995 memoir "Dreams From My Father." In 2009, Obama became the 44th President of the United States and the first African American elected to that office. He served for two terms, until 2017. In the first year of his presidency, Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.

    Oak Forest Elementary School

    No namesake.

    Pecan Park Elementary School

    No namesake.

    Peeples Middle School

    Pinckney Washington Peeples (1835-1896). The North Carolina native was a graduate of the literary department of the University of Virginia and studied at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pa. He practiced medicine in Carroll County. He helped to organize and served as president of the Ӱ State Bank. He owned the Edwards Hotel, served as a member and as president of the Board of Trustees of Belhaven, was president of the Ӱ Board of Trade, and served as a member of the first Board of Trustees of the school district.

    Poindexter Elementary School

    George Poindexter (1779-1855). The Virginia native was attorney general of the Mississippi Territory from 1803 to 1807, a member of the Territorial General Assembly in 1805 and a delegate to Congress from Mississippi Territory, 1818-1817. He was a member of the Mississippi Constitutional Convention and was appointed the state's first representative to Congress. He was the second governor of Mississippi (1820-1822) and served in the U.S. Senate (1830-1835). The school closed in 2017 and the building is currently being used to house JPS administrative offices.

    Powell Middle School

    John Henry Powell (1876-1964). Powell, a Summit native, graduated from Alcorn in 1899. He was principal in Edwards and taught math at Alcorn. He led the County Training School in Mound Bayou and taught at Lanier and Jones Elementary.

    Provine High School

    John William Provine (1866-1949). The Cole's Creek native graduated from Ole Miss in 1887 and took a degree in chemistry in 1888. He won his Ph.D. from the Universities of Munich and Goettingen in Germany in 1893. He taught chemistry at Mississippi College, and in 1895-1896 was elected chairman of the faculty, and in 1896-97 he served as acting president of MC and served until his retirement in 1932. He was mayor of Clinton 1902-1906.

    Raines Elementary School

    Mary Ida Raines (1861-1935). The Rankin County native attended Brandon Female College, Peabody and Tulane. She taught at the Engine House in Ӱ and was later transferred to a first-grade assignment at Central. From 1902 to 1908 she taught in the Hinds County Schools and at George School from 1908 until 1933.

    Rowan Middle School

    Levi John Rowan (1871-1934). The Rodney native graduated from Alcorn. Prior to his selection as English teacher at Alcorn, he taught five years in the public schools near his hometown. Later, in 1905, he became president of the college and remained in that capacity until 1911. For the following four years, he served as an English professor at his alma mater. From 1915 until his death in 1934, he served his second term as president of Alcorn. The middle school closed in 2017 and became home to one of the school district's special programs soon after.

    Shirley Elementary School

    Dr. Aaron Shirley (1933–2014), a native Mississippian, became the first African-American resident at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1965. He became a physician and served as an associate professor of pediatrics at the medical center. Dr. Ollye Shirley (1934–2016) was a long-serving member of the JPS Board of Trustees, including serving as President of the Board. She assisted in a significant School Board referendum that allowed the District to expand and improve its facilities. 

    Siwell Road Middle School

    No Namesake.

    Smith Elementary School

    Golden Nathaniel Smith (1881-1948). Smith, born in Terry, attended public schools in Hinds County and graduated from Tougaloo College in 1903. In that same year, he began teaching in the public schools of Hinds County, where he taught until 1917, with exception of two years (1909-1911) during which he served as principal of a school at Hazlehurst. He taught at Robertson School, Martin School and Lanier. He retired in 1947.

    Spann Elementary School

    Susie Pearl Spann (1888-1956). Spann, a native of Rankin County, graduated in the Central High class of 1905 and Millsaps in 1909. She did graduate work at the University of Chicago, Columbia, Ole Miss, Tulane and Millsaps. She taught at George, Poindexter, Central and Murrah.

    Sykes Elementary School

    Minnie Dameron Sykes (1886-1950). The Ӱ native graduated from Central in 1902 and attended Converse College in South Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee and the University of Chicago. She taught at Lee School and Central in Ӱ, and in Greenwood, Meridian and Gulfport.

    Timberlawn Elementary School

    No namesake.

    Van Winkle Elementary School

    No namesake.

    Walton Elementary School

    William Howard Walton (1897-1958). The Hinds County native earned his bachelor of arts degree from Ӱ State in 1927 and a second BA from Lane College in Ӱ, Tenn. He taught music and social studies for four years at Dyersburg, Tenn., high school. He then returned to Mississippi to serve as principal of a rural elementary school at Silver Creek. He also taught the fifth through the eighth grades. From there, he went to the JPS where he taught social studies at Jim Hill School, then situated at 1060 Lynch Street.

    Watkins Elementary School

    Henry Vaughn Watkins (1888-1944). Watkins, a Lorman native, was educated in the Ӱ Public School District, Millsaps and Ole Miss. He practiced law in Ӱ for over 30 years. He became a member of the Board of Trustees for Ӱ Public Schools in 1916 and served the Board as president from 1920-1933. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Hinds Junior College at Raymond. The school closed in 2021.

    Wells APAC Elementary

    Ida B. Wells (1862–1931). Wells, a native of Holly Springs, Mississippi, was an investigative journalist, educator, and early civil rights movement leader. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Throughout a lifetime dedicated to combating prejudice and violence and the fight for African-American equality, especially for women, Wells arguably became the most famous black woman in America.

    Whitten Middle School

    Alfred T. Whitten (1884-1959). Whitten, born near Blue Mountain, attended public schools in Tippah County and Mississippi Heights Academy of Blue Mountain. As early as 1903, Whitten began teaching in the rural schools of Union County. He served as a teacher and principal at the Mississippi Baptist Orphanage in Ӱ. He graduated from Mississippi College in 1915. He taught in Ӱ at Galloway, Enochs, and George schools, and in Adams, Lincoln and Sunflower counties.

    Wilkins Elementary School

    Iola Tapley Wilkins (1866-1951). She was born in Ӱ and attended Fair Lawn Institute for Girls. She began her teaching career at Central School in 1889 and transferred to Lee School in 1902. She was the first principal of Galloway and later taught at Duling and Lee. As principal of Galloway, she organized a parent-teacher association, thus becoming the founder of the first state-affiliated parent-teacher association in the Ӱ Municipal Separate School District.

    Wingfield High School

    Oscar Houseworth Wingfield (1871-1953). A Kentucky native, Wingfield attended Kentucky Wesley College. He taught in Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, before coming to Ӱ in 1908 as principal of Central High.

    Woodville Heights Elementary School

    No namesake. The school closed in 2018.

Last Modified on April 13, 2022