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Ask Rufus: A Walk Through 200 Years of History

Posted 3/28/2020 in Local Columns

One of the highlights to have been included in this year's Pilgrimage was an Architectural History Walking Tour of Southside by Ken P'Pool, retired deputy state historic preservation officer and longtime head of the Division of Historic Preservation for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.


Ask Rufus: An 1828 Choctaw Account of Creation

Posted 3/21/2020 in Local Columns

A fascinating article on the Choctaw account of creation was written by Rev Alfred Wright, a missionary at Mayhew, for the Missionary Herald and published in the July 2, 1828, Cherokee Phoenix of New Echota, Georgia.


Ask Rufus: 'All the Beauty and Innocence of Eden'

Posted 3/14/2020 in Local Columns

So often when we think of the grand beauty of nature, we think of impressive sights such as Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon. While those are truly world class wonders, the countryside around us is filled with wondrous beauty and fascinating sights only on a lesser scale.


Ask Rufus: The Presence of History

Posted 3/7/2020 in Local Columns

Sometimes when you are walking across a piece of property, the land seems to speak. There seems to be almost a spiritual presence as though it is a special or holy place. Often that piece of earth is the location of some historic event or of religious significance.


Ask Rufus: The Story of the Columbus Pilgrimage

Posted 2/29/2020 in Local Columns

In the mid-1930s, my grandfather, T.C. Billups, who was circulation manager for The Commercial Dispatch, was seeking ways to promote Columbus. He observed the success of Natchez and several other Southern towns in using a spring pilgrimage to attract tourists and promote community development.


Ask Rufus: Happy 200th Birthday to the Columbus Post Office

Posted 2/22/2020 in Local Columns

Last Dec. 6 was the bicentennial of the official recognition of the Town of Columbus. However, as the Mississippi-Alabama line had not been surveyed, it was believed Columbus was in Alabama and the act mentioning Columbus was passed by the Alabama Legislature.


Ask Rufus: Floods and Old Bridges

Posted 2/16/2020 in Local Columns

This past week we have seen another Tombigbee Flood and it appears a loose barge may have seriously damaged Columbus' 1928 River bridge. The current flood, though bad, does not compare with the catastrophic floods of 1847, 1892, 1948 and 1973. And if a barge did hit the 1928 bridge, that would not be the first time a vessel struck a Columbus bridge.


Ask Rufus: Snowdrops, Harbinger of Spring and Hope

Posted 2/1/2020 in Local Columns

Last week snowdrops began blooming in profusion from Columbus to West Point and all around.


Ask Rufus: A New City Hall and Fire Station

Posted 1/25/2020 in Local Columns

Last week Carol Brown took her fourth grade class from New Hope Elementary School on a walking tour of downtown Columbus to discover the history found in the buildings there. They had some questions about City Hall's history and the old bell that is displayed in front of the building.


Ask Rufus: A Town Called Mill Port

Posted 1/18/2020 in Local Columns

I have been asked about the history and story behind Millport, Alabama, which is located 24 miles up Highway 50 from Columbus.


Ask Rufus: The Land Pirates

Posted 1/11/2020 in Local Columns

The headline in Friday's Dispatch read "A Pirate Comes Ashore," referring to Mike Leach's arrival in Starkville on Jan. 9 to become Mississippi State's new football coach. Also, on Jan. 9 -- but in 1836 -- The Natchez Daily Courier ran a notice that "The Western Land Pirates" had arrived at the Natchez steamboat Landing.


Ask Rufus: The Year of Wonders

Posted 1/4/2020 in Local Columns

Recently I have had people ask me about an old Indian trail that crossed Tibbee Creek near the location of Highway 45 Alternate, about early steamboats and about the New Madrid earthquake.


Ask Rufus: A Sporting Heritage

Posted 12/28/2019 in Local Columns

With the holidays and the approaching new year, many friends have had to decide between watching ball games or going hunting. The Golden Triangle area has a grand and centuries-old heritage of both.


Ask Rufus: 'No Personal Antagonism'

Posted 12/21/2019 in Local Columns

At the South Side Christmas party last night, the subject of one of my earliest columns came up.


Ask Rufus: The Stars and Stripes

Posted 12/14/2019 in Local Columns

While the appearance of the United States flag having 13 alternating red and white stripes with a blue canton containing a white star for each state in a linear array is well settled, that was not always the case. In the early years of the Republic, the number and pattern of the stars varied as did the number of stripes.


Ask Rufus: A story of early Columbus

Posted 12/7/2019 in Local Columns

It is always interesting when different early accounts and stories merge into a single narrative.


Ask Rufus: Happy 200th Birthday, Columbus

Posted 11/30/2019 in Local Columns

This coming Friday, December 6, 2019, will mark the bicentennial of Columbus' official recognition as the Town of Columbus.


Ask Rufus: Thanksgiving

Posted 11/23/2019 in Local Columns

It was 400 years ago that a group of settlers from England landed in the New Word and with a ceremony of thanksgiving gave thanks to God for their safe arrival and their new settlement.


Ask Rufus: Charles Wilburn's 'Go Gettin Gal'

Posted 11/16/2019 in Local Columns

I remember Charles Wilburn of Artesia as a top notch bird dog trainer who had been a pilot in World War II. Like so many others of the greatest generation I had no idea of all he had done or his adventures in the "Go Gettin Gal."


Ask Rufus: A Seabee's Story

Posted 11/9/2019 in Local Columns

Over the almost 10 years I have been writing this column I've told stories of many local veterans.



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