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Ask Rufus: The Beginning of a Town, June 1819

Posted 6/15/2019 in Local Columns

The founding of Columbus involved a series of settlements and events stretching from 1810 to 1819.


Ask Rufus: Allison's Wells, A Grand Mississippi Resort

Posted 6/8/2019 in Local Columns

On Friday I was at the Duncan Gray Episcopal Conference Center for a Gray Center board meeting. Located at Way, Mississippi, nine miles north of Canton, it is not only a beautiful setting but a historic one as well.


Ask Rufus: Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944

Posted 6/1/2019 in Local Columns

This week marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. It is a week that reminds us that the generation of World War II was not just the greatest generation but a generation of heroes.


Ask Rufus: Remembering Memorial Day

Posted 5/25/2019 in Local Columns

Columbus has long claimed to be the inspiration if not the birthplace of Memorial Day.


Ask Rufus: Sergeant, not General, James Doolittle

Posted 5/18/2019 in Local Columns

Working on the column about my father's World War II experience last week, I came across a newspaper clipping that reminded me of one of the stories he had told me about Stalag Luft IV, the POW camp he was in.


Ask Rufus: May 12, 1944, Smoky Stover Jr's Last Mission

Posted 5/11/2019 in Local Columns

Seventy-five years ago today my father, Rufus Ward Sr., then a tail gunner on a B-17 in the 337th Squadron of the 96th Bomb Group based at Snetterton Heath, England, flew his last combat mission.


Ask Rufus: Col. Alva Temple, Red-Tailed Hero of the Sky

Posted 5/4/2019 in Local Columns

I just remember Lt. Col. Alva Temple (USAF ret.) as the owner of a Gulf service station on Highway 69 just below its intersection with Yorkville Road. I wish I had known then what I know now, for I would have loved to have talked with him.


Ask Rufus: Springtime Strawberries

Posted 4/27/2019 in Local Columns

Last week Karen bought a flat of fresh strawberries at the Mayhew Tomato Farm. Besides enjoying the strawberries in a pie, on pound cake and with a scoop of ice cream, I reflected on the relationship of strawberries to local history and to Mayhew in particular.


Ask Rufus: A Reflection of Sainte-Chapelle

Posted 4/20/2019 in Local Columns

Annunciation Catholic Church in Columbus is an example of a type of Gothic form rarely found in the South and is one of the most architecturally significant religious structures in Mississippi.


Ask Rufus: An Evening with Heroes

Posted 4/13/2019 in Local Columns

In late January, Steve Wallace, Danny Coggins and I went with Brad Freeman to the German POW Museum in Aliceville, Alabama.


Ask Rufus: Southern Scenery

Posted 4/6/2019 in Local Columns

When researching southern history, it is always interesting to find first-person accounts of earlier times but it is most fascinating to find early images. It is surprising just how many of those early images are around and how they can relate to the present.


Ask Rufus: Walking through South Side

Posted 3/30/2019 in Local Columns

The South Side Historic District in Columbus is a real gem. It provides a place where, in a less than an hour's walk, you are carried through almost 200 years of architectural history.


Ask Rufus: Was Kubla Khan's Sacred River the Tombigbee?

Posted 3/23/2019 in Local Columns

Connections are always interesting. With the recent blooming of daffodils and jonquils I could not help but think of one of my favorite poems.


Ask Rufus: The Grave in the Woods

Posted 3/16/2019 in Local Columns

Last fall I was on an outing with friends in Clay County to visit an old cemetery in the Kilgore Hills northwest of West Point.


Ask Rufus: The Masterpieces of Gee's Bend

Posted 3/9/2019 in Local Columns

It began with a box of scraps of fabric, a prayer and the blessing of hands, and resulted in the creation of beautiful works of art in the form of unique quilts.


Ask Rufus: Palmer Home: In the Beginning

Posted 3/2/2019 in Local Columns

Newspaper accounts from the summer of 1898 tell of the successful efforts of Rev. W.S. Jacobs and the Presbyterian Church in Columbus to raise the funds necessary to establish an orphanage.


Ask Rufus: The Benchmark Floods of 1847 and 1892

Posted 2/24/2019 in Local Columns

The flooding caused by last week's rains brings to mind high water of past times. The Tombigbee Valley has a long history of high water and floods. Some of the Tombigbee floods have been devastating, even washing away almost entire towns.


Ask Rufus: The Passing of the Tombigbee Steamboats

Posted 2/16/2019 in Local Columns

The first steamboat arrived at Columbus in 1823. For almost 100 years they were the principal means of shipping and passenger service along the Upper Tombigbee River.


Ask Rufus: A Forgotten Aviation Milestone

Posted 2/9/2019 in Local Columns

The centennial of an aviation milestone that was connected to our area passed unnoticed 11 days ago. It was the first transcontinental round-trip airplane flight and only the fourth transcontinental flight.


Ask Rufus: The 'Bold Feat' of Simon, a Free Black French Captain

Posted 2/3/2019 in Local Columns

In the 1730s, conflict in Europe between England and France spread to the Tombigbee River Valley between the Choctaw-French alliance and the Chickasaw-English alliance. It was a North American extension of a European conflict with a local twist.



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