In 1877, W.I. Mitchell became the first black principal of Union Academy, the first African-American school. Prior to becoming principal, he was also a teacher. From 1907 to 1913, he served as president of The Penny-Savings Bank, the first African-American bank in Columbus.
Feature: Driving Tour
Built by Isaac Williams and his brother, Thomas, both of whom, were “free men of color” from South Carolina. Isaac as a laborer and Thomas was a blacksmith; both were considered prosperous and had their own blacksmith shop on the corner of the property. This raised cottage is reinforced with handmade bricks, and its chimneys … Continued
The Penny-Savings Bank, founded in the early 1900s, was Columbus’ first African-American bank. W.I. Mitchell served as the president of the bank from 1907 to 1913. In addition to the Penny-Savings Bank, there are several other significant historical facts about this location.nnAccording to an 1873 Business Directory of downtown, the site was the location of … Continued
One of the oldest churches in Columbus, Concord was an African-American church established in Lowndes County in 1867. Prior to the construction of a wooden structure, the congregation met in what was called a “brush arbor,” a collection of limbs and bushes gathered under a large tree in an open grove. The first wooden structure … Continued
Dr. James (believed to have been Columbus’ first African-American doctor) built this home between 1906 and 1912. It is a nice example of the Queen Anne Free Classic style in domestic architecture and is still owned by his descendants.
Born as a slave of African, European, and Native American (Catawba) ancestry in Chesterfield District, South Carolina, Horace King was the most respected bridge builder in west Georgia, Alabama, and northeast Mississippi from the 1830s until the 1880s. King moved with his master, John Godwin (1798-1859), a contractor, to Girard, Alabama, a suburb of Columbus, … Continued
The Missionary Union Baptist Church, organized in 1833, is the oldest African-American church in Northeast Mississippi. Organized during the days of slavery, services were held in the afternoons on Sundays and Wednesdays in the basement of the First Baptist Church. Some of the first deacons and pastors of this church after it was organized and … Continued
Sandfield Cemetery is the late nineteenth century burial site of several African-American leaders and businessmen which include the following: Robert Gleed, Mississippi State Senator (1870-1876); Richard D. Littlejohn, publisher and businessman; W. I. Mitchell, Educator, first black principal of Union Academy School, and president of the “Penny-Savings Bank”; Jack Rabb, Businessman, who also bought his … Continued
Queen City Hotel was the center of the African-American business district in the mid-twentieth century. It was also the focus of lodging and entertainment for the African-American community. It was constructed, owned and operated in 1909 by Robert Walker, who was once a slave. The hotel played host to such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Pearl … Continued
Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church originated under a brush arbor by a few determined and devoted Christian slaves. In 1821, the land for the church was chartered. It has been determined, however, that the original church was demolished and re-erected at its present location in 1886. It was later remodeled in 1942.