Friday, September 12, 2008

Itawamba County Courthouse on an Early September Day

Yesterday I had an email request for photographs of the current Itawamba County Courthouse. I photographed several scenes around the courthouse square. One scene I photographed is the east entrance to the building. When the building was renovated during the early 1970's the east side was made into the main entrance to the building. Although this entrance includes nice shade-producing trees and a large covered porch, most folks still consider the north side of the courthouse as the main entrance - as it has been since at least 1852.


Anonymous said...

As my husband and I approach our 57th wedding anniversary following our marriage in Fulton, MS on Oct. 8, 1951, I would love to share the experience of entering the courthouse on that cold fall day. My memory fades when I try to remember if we acquired our license in the same room where the ceremony would be performed by a JP or if we had to enter another room; all I can remember is this steamy warm room filled with witnesses and or couples intending to complete their elopement plans. What I really remember about this small ante room was "knee deep" in standing room only!, that says all available chairs were taken and the rest were beginning to stack up against the wall - oh, yes that room was crowded on this cold Mon. afternoon. One must remember in those days a couple could go to the Itawamba Co. courthouse and get the license and be married immediately when there was a blood test and a 3 day waiting period just across the state line in Alabama so this courthouse was a place of convenience during the period of WWII and the Korean conflict as well. My eyes darted around this room when I observed an authentic "shot gun wedding" just about to begin! I had often heard this expression, but I really didn't believe it to be true. On this day, the father of the bride who would soon become a grandfather as well, actually sat in a corner with his chin resting in the cup of his hand while grasping the barrel of the rifle. My husband to be was in his Air Force Blues with orders to Korea soon, but when I observed this expectant mother to be nervously waiting to be married, well, I turned "chicken" and said there was no way I could follow that. The minister of the First Baptist Church happened to be one of the occupants of the chairs who volunteered to lead us across the street where he would open his church sanctuary to perform our marriage in the church. We are forever indebted to his generosity. We happened to be passing through Fulton in the fall of 2002 and drove by the courthouse, but we must have missed this side of the bldg. as this certainly doesn't resemble the photo we took as a memento of those 51 years ago! bettye

Bob Franks said...

That is an interesting story Bettye. Thanks for writing! It is amazing the number of marriage records in those big bound volumes pertaining to Alabama folks.