Name This Place 6.1.1

If you’re just joining us, you’ve picked a great time. We’re at the very start of our 6th Annual Name This Place contest, wherein MissPres readers battle for the much-coveted title of Mississippi Preservationist Extraordinaire. At the end of the week, maybe it will be you standing on that podium while the National Anthem plays and the whole world watches in awe.

Check out The Rules, and jump right in!

Categories: Contest

13 replies

  1. Quitman County courthouse in Marks, Mississippi.


  2. Yay Susan! You’re our first leader, with two points to everyone else’s zero points!


  3. I misspoke, Susan, you only have one point at this time, but you can add another point by adding information such as date of construction, architect/builder, historical events at the courthouse, etc.


  4. The Quitman County Courthouse in Marks was constructed in 1911 and designed by the Knoxville-based firm of Chamberlain & Company. Marks, Mississippi’s greatest “claim to fame” is that it was the starting point for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign, King’s last large campaign. King and the SCLC called for an economic Bill of Rights and traveled to the Delta to spotlight the worst conditions in the South. King took a hiatis from the Poor People’s Campaign to travel to Memphis. I cannot remember (the book I have about the campaign is in Alabama) but I believe King and the SCLC marched on the courthouse in Marks. Despite its architectural and historical significance, this courthouse is not on the National Register.


    • Walter Chamberlain & Company also designed the Holmes County Courthouse in Lexington. Chamberlain also designed six Georgia Courthouses and had a satellite office in Birmingham. Thomas Rosell might like that “Chamberlain was a pioneer in the use of concrete block construction.”


    • The Quitman County Courthouse is a Mississippi Landmark, the only one in Quitman County.

      I’m not sure King would agree in the 1960s that “Obedience to the Law is Liberty.”


  5. It is also similar in design to the Crittendon County Courthouse in Arkansas, also designed by Chamberlain. Leopold Marks donated the 10 acres to build the new courthouse after fire destroyed the one in Belen.

    Most recently in April 2010, the Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign also marched through the Delta, beginning in New Orleans and then up through Mississippi to Marks, to carry on the dream.


  6. i’m not in state so not in office and have no files to consult, however, i can add from memory that the courthouse in marks wasn’t built as the result of the destruction by fire of its predecessor, the quitman county courthouse in belen. it was built after the people voted to move the county seat from belen back to its original site marks (which was originally named belen). marks (the original belen) had become rejuvenated as a railroad town only a few years before the vote. as i recall, the courthouse in belen (i.e. the second belen) continued in use for some years after as a schoolhouse.

    a bit of nonsense floating around about the marks courthouse was that the marks family offered to build it out of their own pocket if quitman county would move it to the town of marks. the marks family had a good bit of money, but not that much. an examination of the quitman county board of supervisors minutes quickly shot down this tale.

    to clarify the above chronology, again from memory:

    1878 quitman county established. a county seat was established on the banks of the coldwater river in the area that is a residential section of marks (i.e. along riverside drive)

    quitman county was named after john anthony quitman of natchez, hero of the mexican war, and at various times governor of mexico city and mississippi. belen was named after mexico city’s belen gate where quitman won a noted victory against mexican forces. belen is the spanish word for bethlehem.

    ca 1890 the county seat was moved wnw to a newly founded town site on cassidy bayou. the new town took the name of the original county seat–belen. the original belen then took the name of marks after leopold marks, a merchant and postmaster in original belen. the name was subsequently changed from marks to riverside then back to marks.

    ca 1906 railroad is constructed on west side of original belen/marks/riverside/marks and the sleepy river town was rejuvenated as a growing railroad town. the growing prominence of marks was undoubtedly behind the vote that moved the courthouse back to the original townsite.



  7. The Yalobusha County Courthouse in Water Valley (original design from before the big fire in 1910’s which destroyed the roof and clock tower) was also designed by Chamberlain.



  1. Quitman County Courthouse « suzassippi

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