On May 31, 1889 a newspaper from Memphis published a story on Friars Point, Mississippi. This is an excellent snap shot of life in Coahoma County at this point in time. The second part of “Friars Point, A Prosperous Little Town 1889” focuses on the people of Friars Point and their lives. Farming and industry are also discussed.
Much honor and credit for getting the railroad here is due to Mr. D. A. Scott, a prominent attorney, who has been indefatigable in his efforts to defeat several counter efforts and who finally won. Mr Scott has for years been the leading spirit in everything to benefit and advance the interests of Friars Point and of the county at large, and his fellow citizens greatly appreciate his course. He is a man of brains, spirit, energy and will power, and he would be a credit to any community.
The city has an excellent government and no debt. The city officials are Mayor John A. Suddoth; Board of Aldermen, D.A. Scott, Dr. J.A. Cooper, S.B. Chism, S.N. Allen, J.E. Rodgers, Campbell Flagg and David Moore.
The Methodist pastor is Rev. C.H. Owen, the Baptist pastor is the Rev. W. L. Slack. The Catholics have for some time had no pastor, but expect to get one in the future.
The bar is composed of the following excellent gentlemen: D.A. Scott, Rucks Yerger and Fitzgerald & Maynard. The physicians are Drs. J.A. Cooper, J.J. Slack, and J. Dexter Shinkle. Friars Point is also the residence of the Honorable George Wilson, Judge of the Circuit Court in the district.
The town does a splendid business as it has a rich back country, trade comes from far off, because the river freight rates are low, and after the railroad gets here this rate will be still reduced. Cotton shipments average at least 10,000 bales per annum, the annual business $300,000 to $400,000, but a great deal more could be done if more capital was brought here. The merchants are noted for their integrity and financial good standing. For about five years no failures have occurred, and consequently the credit of the merchants is good and their custom much sought. Several of the stores are of brick, and a number of new large brick stores have been contemplated.
Among the many enterprising business men I will mention Chism Brothers, Robinson Brothers, J.A. Cooper, J.J Slack, John A. Suddoth, J.E. Rodgers, E.M. Suddoth, T.F. Logan, T.L. Aderholdt, who is a contractor, and others. In the confines of the town is a public gin and gristmill belonging to A.B. Rozell. Last season it ginned over 800 bales. This is quite an enterprise. Mr. Rozell also runs a sawmill and owns a stock farm. A town with such enterprise and fine prospects for the future, and being the county site of a rich county, could not do without a good newspaper to set forth the interests of county and town to the world, and giving to the people the news of general and official interest, and in this respect Coahoma is especially fortunate in being represented by the New Coahomian, a neat and newsy seven column weekly, edited by Frank C. Johnson, proprietor, who is also a fluent and pointed writer, and Freeland Chew, associate editor, who was formerly connected with the Memphis Avalanche, and who is very popular. Mr. Johnson started this paper, which succeeded a former weekly, in September 1888, and who has already made it a success not only financially, but by doing much good for town and county, and he has been encouraged by the appreciation of his efforts that he contemplates in the near future to give the paper a new dress, as well as to make it a try-weekly.
Coahoma County is one of the most fertile and best cultivated counties on the globe. Anything will grow here, and the forests contain timber of every description. Among the many lakes and streams is the magnificent Long Lake, a large sheet of water bordered with fine plantations and Moon Lake, both are only a few miles from Friars Point, and the latter especially offers fine fishing in season for the people in the vicinity.
The plantations in the county are all in excellent state of cultivation and well improved. Among the many plantations along the Mississippi River are those belonging to T. B. Hooker, E.M. Yerger, Dillard & Coffin, J.A. Cooper, E.M Suddoth and others. Along Long Lake can be found the plantations belonging to Chism & Sons, T.F. Logan and the Long Lake Place, belonging to W.H. Dickerson. Then there are the Prairie Place, the West End Place, and the Belmont Place. The later beings to Colonel W.H. Stovall, a distinguished Mississippian who is president of the Yazoo & Mississippi Delta Levee Board, and who at one time was prominently mentioned as a candidate for Governor. His place is on Oak Ridge. The Green Grove plantation, thirteen miles from Friars Point is owned by John P. Richardson. Among other large planters in the county are King & Anderson, who owns a large body of land; then Governor Alcorn of Eagle’s Nest. This distinguished gentleman was formerly a resident of Friars Point and he is much appreciated by the people here. W.H. Dickerson, who also has large property in town, owns a number of fine plantations, among which specially deserve mention. Elk Horn Place, his home place, and one of the finest and best improved plantations in the county, with over 2,500 acres in cultivation. A striking feature of the Elk Horn Place is the magnificent gin house. It is very high, and from the top, which is run up into a tower, a large and beautiful landscape is presented to view.
The county officials are Sheriff E. M. Yerger; Chancery Clerk, A.J. Wimberly; Circuit Clerk, G.W. Wise; Assessor, George Gilliam; Superintendent of Education, N.W. Lea. Board of Supervisors, president Joseph Carson; members, E.A. Lindlsley, J.H. Sherrard, W.R. Sadler, S.D. Chaires.
References: The Memphis Daily Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee. Friday May 31, 1889 – Page 2.