Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's Election Time in Mississippi: The Old Time Candidate Speaking

It’s election time in Mississippi. With election year comes the candidate speakings. In Itawamba County , candidate speakings had their beginnings in the 19th Century. During that era, travel was slow, so each community had their own speaking.

Usually the speakings were held at a country store or school house. Pictured is an Itawamba County candidate speaking at Hall’s Store in the First Supervisor’s District at Fairview during 1907. At such speakings, hundreds of citizens from the countryside miles around would attend, where they could listen to political debates, visit with friends and relatives and refresh themselves with ice-cold lemonade in the shade of the oak trees, against the oppressive August Mississippi heat.

Photographed (larger view) among the candidates on the back row are Willis Harrison, who was running for County Treasurer; Dee Faulkner, a candidate for Justice of the Peace; Tee Hall seeking the Tax Assessor’s office; Ben Graham; and Sam Mayhall, also seeking the County Treasurer post. Also on the back row are: Gaines Crouch and Uncle Joe Sandlin both aspiring to be County Superintendent of Education; Bill Bullen who was seeking the Constable’s office; Tom Senter, for Chancery Clerk; and Babe Dulaney running for Supervisor. Jim Senter is in the middle and was seeking the education post too.

Political speakings are still held in Itawamba County. Just this year speakings were held in all parts of the county including Fulton, Mantachie, Houston, Ryans Well, Carolina, Friendship and Banner.

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