Lamar Smith memorial sign approved for courthouse placement


Lamar Smith memorial sign approved for courthouse placement

Posted at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2022

After much negotiation over wording, a state historic memorial marker honoring Lamar Smith was approved for installation at the Lincoln County Government Complex in Brookhaven, the site of Smith’s death in 1955.

County Attorney Will Allen told the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors that the Mississippi Department of Records and History approved the sign and would send it for casting.

MDAH, founded in 1902, collects, preserves, and provides access to the state’s archival resources, with a commitment to “preserving the diverse historical resources of Mississippi.” Since 1949, the State Historical Marker program has “identified and interpreted historic sites across Mississippi”. To date, more than 1,000 markers can be found near buildings, battlefields, cemeteries, churches, temples, forts, houses, schools, and even abandoned towns.

The MDAH reports that supply issues and a backlog mean new markers can take up to six months to launch.

Allen previously told the board — which had already approved the sign’s placement — that the only issue with the sign was getting the two groups working on the sign’s placement to agree on the wording.

“I think we finally have the wording that everyone wanted,” he said at a previous meeting.

On Monday he said, “I am very pleased to report that the Mississippi Department of Archives and Heritage has approved the panel. I sent a notice to [the parties involved].”

The wording of the state historical marker is as follows:

Murder of Lamar Smith

On August 13, 1955, Lamar Smith,

A 63-year-old African-American farmer

and World War I veteran, was assassinated

in broad daylight on the lawn of the courthouse

while encouraging African Americans

vote. Smith had been threatened for

organize black voters and was killed

in front of dozens of witnesses. A

the all-white grand jury failed to indict the

three white men arrested for murder

after witnesses refused to testify. Nobody

was never prosecuted for Smith’s murder.

No one from either group attended the meeting.

County Engineer Ryan Holmes briefed supervisors on the many projects underway in the county. He said repairs to the TL Wallace County-wide resealing project are complete, but for two and the relocation of utilities to Brignall Road is underway. He said the project is nearing completion on the courthouse roof and the civil defense roof; only trim and turn signal remain. He told the board he was working on dividing up the 36 roads being considered for US bailout (ARPA) funding and updating road mileage for the county after the redistricting.

In other news, the board also approved the following:

  • staff reports
  • meal tally sheets for week 4
  • advertisement in a half-page spot in the Christmas Wish Book 2022 22
  • release funds budgeted at the request of the MSU Extension Service for the 2022-22 annual programs
  • payment of railway branch bills for the AITX project
  • audit agreements with the Office of the Auditor General for the 2021 fiscal year audit
  • Veterans Services Officer Kimberly Bright’s travel expenses to attend VSO training in Biloxi Nov. 29-Dec. 2
  • a notice of retirement letter from Clerk Sharon Lofton
  • advertisement for the position of court clerk
  • a notice of management reports from the Lincoln Civic Center Commission of its October 22 meeting
  • payment of the invoice for the MS HOME rehabilitation project for 2022
  • inventory control and transfer
  • reimbursement of inmate pick-up costs
  • installation of culverts in several neighborhoods

The next meeting of the supervisory board is set for September 21 at 9 a.m. in the government complex.

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