My grandparents were Thomas Jefferson and Alice Caroline (Smith) Frederick. They were both born in Piedmont, MO. Tom in 1874 and Alice in 1881. Tom died in San Diego, CA in 1942 and Alice died in La Mesa, CA in 1948. My grandfather was day shift foreman at the mill and my grandmother was a homemaker. Their children were:
- - Raymond Lee Frederick, born Piedmont, Mo. in 1900 and died as a result of electrocution at the mill in Electric Mills in 1923.
- - Herbert Paul Frederick, born possibly 1903, but unsure of the location. He was employed at the mill as a machinist.
- - William Thomas Frederick, born 1908, in Malvern, AR and died in La Mesa, CA in 1991. He was employed at the mill as a saw operator and graduated in 1927 from Kemper County Agricultural High School and attended East MS Junior College. Bill married Nannie Virginia Cherry in May of 1931. Nan was employed as a nurse at the hospital in Electric Mills. She received her training at the George C. Hixon Memorial Hospital Training School.
In 1940 when the mill closed, Bill and Nan and their son, Thomas, moved to La Mesa, CA where Bill found work at Solar Aircraft which later became Solar Turbines. He retired in 1969 after 29 years of service as a supervisor. Nan was employed as a nurse at Mercy Hospital in the Pediatric Ward in San Diego, CA and also retired in 1969.
Bill and Nan had two children:
William Thomas Frederick, Jr. born Electric Mills, MS in September of 1937 and Raymond Alan Frederick born in National City, CA in September of 1943.
Tom graduated Helix High School in La Mesa, CA. In 1955 during a hitch in the U.S. Navy, Tom met Farris Foresman in the hold of a ship while unloading cargo in Kodiak, AK. Farris was the grandson of the plant manager in Electric Mills. After Tom's service in the Navy he returned to La Mesa, CA and enrolled at San Diego State College. He then hired on as a machinist with Rohr Aircraft Company in Chula Visa, CA. While temporarily assigned to Rohr's factory in Winder, GA Tom met Nancy Clydette Fagan. They married in Athens, GA and returned to La Mesa, CA in July, 1981. Tom retired in August, 1994 as Production Manager and he, Clydette and their two daughters, Rebecca and Laura moved to Athens, GA. We are now enjoying our 40th year of marriage and have added a son-in-law, Justin, and a grandson, Kellen.
Raymond, named after his uncle, is retired from the FAA after a career in Aviation and now resides in Oklahoma with his wife, Sarah. Raymond has two sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren.
I remember Mr. Wilson, Mrs. May, Mrs. Temple and “Gee Gee.” She was the post mistress. My grandfather, C. M. Raleigh ran the store there from the early 60s until he passed away in 1983. Mrs. Ann McConnell was my great aunt if you ever knew her. Mr. Shorty McDade ran the saw mill.
As a little girl, I loved Paula Kay! She was a big girl who took the time to play with us. I am blessed to still have my parents, Billy and Deam, and they are looking forward to your documentary. Thank you for helping us remember.
Sandra Raleigh Hergert
I grew up in Wahalak and visited your grandparent’s store many times. I still remember the well-occupied loafers bench in front of the store. I attended grammar school a Scooba with Carol Lynn Bridges. I went to high school at Schuqualak. I rode to school with Ruth Francis and she was my tenth grade English teacher. She was a very nice lady. Please send a DVD of the Electric Mills story.
I have very much enjoyed your website and documentary. I grew up just outside Electric Mills, MS and have written a children\'s book set in the ghost town. The story of Electric Mills is a great one and I'd love to share it with a new generation of readers. I'm happy to send you a copy of my book when it is available. Many thanks and best regards,
Jo, I loved the book and thanks for sending me a copy....Lee Thompson
My grandfather, Ernest White, born in 1905 in Kemper County, worked at Electric Mills in his teens. His parents and some siblings moved there later to find work also.
On a trip to MS in 2006, I had the opportunity to drive around what remains of Electric Mills.
Mostly cement sidewalks and half a dozen houses.
Was amazing to be there and get a sense of how it might have been when they lived and worked there.
Spent time in Electric Mills in early 70s. I Knew Mrs. Temple and Mr. Wilson well. My father Jim Phillips and I started White Stag Hunting Club there. Born in Jackson, MS. Now I live in Jackson, CA
My grandfather, Robert Clayton Holaday was a clerk in the Sumter Lumber Co. in 1907 to ~1914, I believe. My grandfather met my grandmother Effie M. Hooks Holaday in the Livingston, AL post office in 1907. While he lived in Sumter and she lived in Livingston and then Linden, he wrote to her, and I have over 200 of those letters. In some letters RCH tells of his interactions with Mr. Hughes trying to get him to build a house for his bride to be and him.
The letters are a great insight into the middle-class society of Livingston in the early 1900s. RCH and Effie were married in 1909 in Linden and stayed in Sumter until they moved to Electric Mills. I have a picture that appears to be of the front of their house in Electric Mills. My uncle who died in June of 1912 at the age of 2 appears to be the child on the front walk. The house strongly resembles but is not exactly like the ones for the workers shown in this web site.
In 1947and 1948 my aunt and uncle author and Izola Burkes and kids Bob and Betty live there. They would catch the train from Meridian to Electric Mills - cost .50 cents. We had a lot of fun there. The McDades ran the saw mill. I remember Sony Temple and the Darnells. Spent most of the summers up there. Will have to go by there next time in Kemper. A lot of good times - will always remember.
Many, many great memories of swimming in the creek, fishing at the lake, hunting with my dad Sonny Temple and brother Al Temple, being at Mahoney's and Aunt GiGi's, and drinking chocolate sodas from the cooler at the "store".
My grandparents, Percy Wingate Cobb and Georgia Ann Hopper Cobb, raised their children Victor Audley Cobb, Vernon Osborn Cobb, Kathleen Elizabeth Cobb LaBelle, John Henry Cobb, Percy Bell Cobb, and their youngest and feistiest daughter, my mother, Vivian Hopper Cobb Hopper Dawes Harrison!!!!
My Uncle Vic worked in the mill (he cut off two fingers while working there) and Uncle Vernon worked in the meat market. My Uncle Bell, named for Dr Bell, played on the baseball team. My grandfather was a night watchman at the mill. When the town cut out, my grandfather returned to his family home Rt 4, DeKalb, MS. My grandmother and rest of family moved to Meridian. I have heard my mother talk about the Temples lovingly...how Mrs. Temple took her to Sunday School and church...I somehow connect the name Carolyn Temple to that, but that may not be correct. I did meet Ms. Virginia as the town was truly cutting out and my Uncle Vic and I went to where their house once stood and gathered some brick...which I cherish!! I, of course, met Mrs. May as she visited weekly with my Grandmother in Meridian.
As a small child, I remember sitting on a porch in the "black section" as Mama introduced me to "Aunt Savannah." She told stories about Kid Washington and Uncle Granville. My grandmother was not a warm loving person, but Aunt Savannah would wrap Mama in her apron, give her a cookie and sing spirituals to her as they sat in the porch swing. My Uncle Vic always made it to the reunions...he was very close to Aaron and Hazel Briggs, as was I. I have many memories of Uncle Aaron and Aunt Hazel, their restaurant, etc. My Mother's best friend was Mildred Douglas Hull and we frequently visited with Ruth Dotson Murphy in Atlanta. (Ruth was the sister of Gladys Persons).
Way too much disorganized rambling....but the memories are so precious and dear!!!
Thank you, again, for your kindness!!!
Dinah Harrison Watson
Victor and Kathlen Cobb
Greetings! I was born in Electric Mill in July of 1925. My mother's name was Melba Edwards Barnes and my father's name was Harry Hawthorne Barnes SR. Jimmy Jones was my best friend and also Pat Cahoon was very close friend. I was the bell ringer for several years. My father played 2nd baseball on the Electric Mills baseball team and ran the Men's Club where the major attraction was dominoes. The playground was right next to the men's club. He also ran the laundry and dry-cleaning business for town. Charlie Fitts was a good friend...! I remember Sarah Briggs and Carolyn Temple with two older sisters who were REALLY good looking! Ben Briggs was also a friend.
There were also Briggs in Scuba, to the East. The wooded area was called "Flatwoods," going toward the swimming hole. I don't ever remember swimming in the "Big Pond", I think maybe because the men like to fish there....I'm thinking. My grandparents Andrew Jackson Edwards and Annie B Edwards came to Electric Mills in 1915 with their daughters Melba Nell and Jewell. My grandfather was one of the three power plant operators. Mr. Brantley was also an operator. Miss Harris was my favorite teacher. She was beautiful and was responsible for me getting to start school when I was BARELY 5 years old!!! Everybody was a ONE year older and ONE head taller!!!
I was always on the very end of the far right! SHORTEST! 🙂 When the mill closed, we moved to Meridian, MS. I was 13 years old. Life was changed forever! I loved growing up in Electric Mills!
Harry Hawthone Barnes, Jr.
I live in Dekalb, MS. Have been here since 1973. My family is from the Townsend Community area on the edge of the "flatwoods". Have heard stories of Electric Mills from family. My father told of the flatwoods burning as result of fires started by sparks from the engines running on the "dummy line". He said the smoke would settle to around six feet high at times and saturated the area. The old D&W railroad right of way runs through property our family owns today. My mother was treated for osteoporosis at the hospital in EM when she was approx. 10 yrs. old.
Sincerely, Larry Brown
At three months of age I caught whooping caught. Back then nobody knew what it was, even Dr. Morris in Macon. He wrapped me in a blanket, telling Dad and Mom that nothing could be done for me. But he had heard of a modern hospital in Electric Mills so they loaded me in an old milk truck (dad ran the only milk route in that area) and carried me there. Dr. McCarthy and a young doctor had heard of but not seen or used of a fluid that was being developed that showed the inside of the body (we now refer to as, dye).
They asked Dad and Mom if they could acquire this fluid, could they use it on me. They agreed. Dr. McCarthy found that my Aorta diaphragm, due to the coughing, was broken and my intestines had moved up to where the heart and other organs were supposed to be. He then did a surgery that at time was unheard of. I do not know what he used, whether pig intestines or whatever to repair or replace the broken diaphragm.
My grandfather was John C. Cole and my grandmother was Eloise Wilson Cole. My grandfather worked for the Sumter Lumber Co. from the early to mid-20s until the mill closed in 1940. My mother, Marjorie Cole Deal was born in Hixon Hospital in Electric Mills in 1928. I visited Electric Mills several times in my childhood and have fond memories of a town reunion our family attended there in about 1963 when I was about 5 or 6. In 1947 my grandparents moved to Warren, Arkansas. Helen and Dewey Richmond who also lived in Electric Mills and lifelong friends of my grandparents moved to Warren shortly after my grandparents. Dewey worked in the mill and I believe Helen worked in the commissary. My grandfather became the plant superintendent for the Southern Lumber Company in 1947 (later Potlatch) until his death in 1965 at a young 64. My grandmother Eloise passed away in 1990 at age 84 and my mother Marjorie passed away last year at age 85 and both shared many cherished memories of Electric Mills.
The sales manager's home is the only original residential structure that is still standing today, September, 5, 2015.
My family (particularly) my grandmother Sally Lynch ran the dairy. My father Marion Spurgeon Lynch was born in Electric Mills, as were his siblings Barksdale, Katherine, Ruth and Bob.
My cousins, Gay Lynch and Peggy Keyes Brown were also born in the town.
I have only seen the ghost town but have long wanted to learn more about it and understand why such a \"complete and functioning\" establishment disappeared without American ingenuity taking over after the trees were gone.
My grandfather E. A. Temple served as accountant and auditor for the company.
This was the Dalton Mechanical Calculator that he used.
My grandfather's name was William Winford Hayes. He was married to Ella Florence Johnston Hayes. My father's name was Jerold Preston Hayes. My grandfather died in 1937. He was a foreman or manager at the lumber company.
My father was only 8 years old when his father died. The other children were, Eula Bernice Hayes, Genevieve Hayes, William Winford Hayes Jr (Bill), John Carter Hayes (JC), David Foreman Hayes, Walter Hayes, Blair Hayes, and Jerold Preston Hayes.
The mercantile department was a general store that stocked groceries, feed, hardware, drugs, undertaking supplies, mill supplies, dry goods, and a jewelry department.
The commissary sold dry goods, groceries, and hardware. It also housed the post office, pharmacy, and sandwich shop.
Picture provided by Mr. H. T. Jarvis
Mr. Grady May reported that the company used U. S. money called "main line"; company brass called doo-ga-loo; company time cards, and sales tax tokens.
Mrs. E. A. Temple said that the doo-ga-loo was used instead of real money because of safety precautions due to the large volume of money that would have to be handled in the mill. Every two weeks the employees could cash their “doogs” in on silver dollars which were brought in on the trains by armed guards.”
Thanks to Mr. Richard Barge of Macon, MS who provided the doo-ga-loo for the picture.