Abandoned: Vaughan, Mississippi

Vaughan, Mississippi, with an older aerial image showing the depot/museum just to the right of the intersection and along the railroad bed.

Recently I decided to take the Vaughan exit off I-55 to see how this little hamlet was doing. It’s been a while since I was through, maybe 2004 or 2005, but even then it seemed like things were slipping away. Vaughan was never a big town–maybe it would have qualified as a “village” back when that designation was still an official one. Vaughan’s primary claim to fame was the train wreck that killed engineer Casey Jones and that was made famous in “The Ballad of Casey Jones.” The wreck, which happened in 1900, occurred about a mile north of the Vaughan downtown.

Wikipedia actually has a detailed account of the accident and its aftermath.

Downtown Vaughan, once the home of the Casey Jones Museum (located to the left of this picture)

After the wreck, Vaughan continued as a small-time railroad stop and later Highway 51 hamlet, but it was the opening of a museum dedicated to Casey Jones that kept it as a going concern until the twenty-first century.

According to Elmo Howell’s helpful Mississippi Home-Places: Notes on Literature and History, 

In 1980, near the site of Casey Jones’s wreck in 1900, the state Bureau of Recreation and Parks opened a museum in a restored train depot moved to the Vaughan site from Pickens, Mississippi. Vaughan itself is a ghost town with only a store, post office, and a few vacant buildings. The state has restored a large commercial building across from the museum.

Howell’s book was published in 1988, so obviously the museum wasn’t even enough to keep the few “downtown” buildings going if he was already describing it as a “ghost town.” I’m not sure how successful the museum was, since Casey Jones’ hometown, Jackson, Tennessee, has its own Casey Jones Museum. Not to be left out, Water Valley, up the mainline, has a Casey Jones Museum too, housed in a reconstructed railroad building on the old railroad line in downtown.

The Vaughan museum, like several other historical state parks such as Florewood, was closed in 2004, and whatever chance Vaughan’s few buildings had withered away. In 2008, the town of West got a grant to have the depot moved up the tracks to its downtown, where it stands today as a visitor center. By my count, this little intrepid depot is now in its third location–is that a record? You can see a picture of the depot when it was at Vaughan here.

While the two-story building in downtown Vaughan is clearly too far gone for realistic hopes, the one-story old post office may still have a few years of life left in it, and at least two older homes still stand in varying stages of abandonment within a few steps of downtown.

Abandoned nineteenth century house in "downtown" Vaughan still could be fixed up.

Another abandoned house in downtown Vaughan

From my brief observation, it seems that the recycling bins across from the downtown buildings are probably the main draw for people to stop here anymore.

Usually I end posts in the “Abandoned Mississippi” series with a call to action. This post may be more of a remembrance and an elegy. Vaughan, like many many Mississippi places once full of life–a particular kind of agricultural and railroad life–is slipping away. But its passing should not go unnoticed; it should be pondered. We can’t stop moving toward the future, but Mississippi will be different when all the places like Vaughan and Hot Coffee and Rodney have rotted away and disappeared back into the forest.



Categories: Abandoned Mississippi, Demolition/Abandonment, Depots, Historic Preservation, Urban/Rural Issues

76 replies

  1. The old hotel is owned by West, Ms. as well. I’m sure there are some material in it worth salvaging. If nothing else, but to say where it came from.

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  2. I think these losses are SO SAD–

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  3. I was there with my girlfriend about a year ago . We stopped and wandered as you did. I thought at the time that there was a lot of ‘energy’ in that area , who owned the buildings and what someone could do with the salvaged wood. It was kind of ‘weird’ at the time , all the feelings that seem to persist. thanks

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  4. I remember well as a young boy, attending the big celebration and bar-b-que at Vaughan when the historical plaque commemorating Casey Jones’ wreck was installed. Jones’ fireman, Sims, was in attendance. It was a big day in little Vaughan! Every time I visited the town after that more deterioration was evident. Even the historical plaque disappeared. The loss of the Vaughan Post Office and the closing of the Illinois Central main line were the end of the town. The town was named after my great, great grandfather, Major Henry Vaughan, one of the largest landowners in the area and a signer of the Mississippi Succession Ordinance.

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  5. :(( So Sad to See Houses that once had Life, people, children, Love, Gone. But that is what is need to bring it back !
    LIFE, PEOPLE,LOVE,AND CHRIST !

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  6. Do you know how much Florewood brought at auction?

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  7. Wonderful job that your doing!

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  8. Henry A Vaughan is the son of Henry Clader/Braford Vaughan, plantation owner of Cherryvale Plantation in Sumter, SC. He was born on that plantation on 31 Mar 1800, Cherry Vale Plantation, Stateburg, Sumter County, South Carolina and died on 13 Dec 1870, Madley, Yazoo County, South Carolina. Family oral history says I am a direct descendant through the slave Thisby and Henry Clader/Bradford Vaughan.

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  9. Has anyone ever visited Ellison Methodist Church, which according to googlemaps is located near the intersection of Vaughn and Brown. The picture on googlemaps shows a cemetery. I have old photos from my grandmother, who was one of the daughters of James Anderson Ewing, which show a stained glass window that they donated to Ellison Methodist Church. I’d love to go and see it.

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    • Tori..Ellison church is a beautiful church less than 10 min off I-55..you should go see those windows..you’ll probably run in to someone you’re related to!…Its still a great community….my family is from there and I pass it often…Dave Deason

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      • Thank you so much, Dave!! I plan to visit this summer.

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      • Dave,

        My Aunt Lizzie Dixon Pepper was my father`s oldest Dixon sister. I grew up in Ellison Methodist church.You and i are related . Who are your parents, Doug Deason ? Lessel Deason and I were first cousins.

        Best ,

        John Robert Dixon

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  10. I lived in Vaughan from 1959 to 1961. My father, Clint Cummins, was section foreman for the Illinois Central Railroad there and we lived in the section house (now demolished) located not far from where these photos were taken. The “abandoned nineteenth century house” photo is a picture of “Rose Hill” the home of Ms. Nineta Brewster and Ms. Virgin Reed. These sisters were little girls at the time of Casey Jones wreck and were the resident historians on the wreck at the time we lived there. Ms. Nineta was a poet and Ms. Reed was an artist (as I recall). They said that they actually carried food to the workers who cleared the wreck. Their mother ran Rose Hill as a boarding house for railroad men in 1900. Their story can be found in the book “The Choo-Choo Stopped at Vaughan” written by former postmaster Massana Jones. The second house is I believe the home of Mr. and Ms. “Tot” Dixon. I may have this confused with the former home of Mr. Sam Phillips. Mr. Tot ran the Dixon grocery store in Vaughan which was the town center for all practical purposes. I remember his store well and how good the cheddar cheese smelled when he cut it from the cheese “round” in his store. Vaughan was indeed a busy place in 1960. Dad leased land and grew cotton (hiring many in the neighborhood to help him) and had it ginned at the cotton gin located and operating in Vaughan at the time. Passenger trains travelled through Vaughan (although stopping only at Canton and Pickens) several times a day and you couldn’t keep count of the freight trains that passed through. I remember well the Wilson family, the Dixons, Clarence, Mary Ester, Joe Louis, and many others who were good friends to us while we were there. Thank you for a wonderful online surprise and bringing all these memories to me. Bill Cummins

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    • Bill, there is just one correction I’d like to make, the house that Ninetta and VIrgie lived in and ran as a boarding house, is called “ROSE REST.”
      These ladies were cousins to my grandfather, John Henry Fowler, who lived just a few miles past the Vaughan Road Ellison Church, off of Fowler Road. John Henry Fowler was my mother’s father.
      I spent the night once or twice in the old house, ROSE REST, while there I heard delightful stories from my cousins, who delighted in showing me and all my cousins, their albums filled with pictures, letters, and articles pertaining to Casey Jones and his wife, and the ‘accident’…the sisters did walk right up the road to see the results and I am pretty sure they told me that they saw Casey’s body. There were, after all, just a few steps away. My grandfather also went to the scene to see the aftermath. This story has long haunted me, being brought up and raised in Canton, to which Casey was racing with the mail, when the accident occurred. He had almost made up the 95 minutes of lost time, when the tragic accident took place. He had been filling in for another engineer who was SUPPOSED to taken that mail run to Canton, but the other engineer became ill and Casey got called in. I firmly believe that in the foggy mist and darkness, that Casey did miss that signal to stop the train! I have a signed copy of Massena Jones’ book, The Choo-Choo stopped at Vaughan…given me by my aunt the late Susie Maie Fowler Wilson, who was a resident of Vaughan all her life.
      What always intrigues me, is Casey’s Whistle–which he could make sound just like a whippoorwill…they said that even when he was miles away, everyone that heard that moanful sound knew when Casey Jones was at the throttle!
      There has been a stamp made for the USPS with his likeness on it. If you ever were in the museum you would have seen his portrait, that the stamp was patterned from.

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      • Thank you for the correction Nina. I think you are correct that the name of the house was “Rose Rest.” I believe an article in the Illinois Central Historical Magazine has helped me understand how the accident could have happened at all. According to that article, Casey knew when he left Goodman, MS of the congestion on the rail lines at Vaughan because he received train orders telling him that there would be what was known as a “saw by” at Vaughan allowing him to pass three trains all of which were too long and obstructed the main line. Casey was travelling southbound and would have assumed that the trains were arranged so that he could pass the northern most switch without difficulty and then “saw by” the obstructing trains at the southern most switch. This assumption is not without merit because I believe that railroad rules and procedure would have dictated such an arrangement in order to save time in accomplishing the manuver. However, due to a malfunction in one of the trains Westinghouse brakes, it was the northern switch that was obstructed, shortening the distance of Casey’s scheduled stop considerably. As you indicated, he had been running fast and had made up most of his time by the time he reached Vaughan. However, he had slowed to about 35 miles per hour at the time of the impact. I think he was able to accomplish this because he was already slowing down as he approached Vaughan for the “saw by.” If he heard the torpedo at all, he could have reasonably mistaken it as a warning of the obstruction at the south switch (which he anticipated) rather than the north switch (which would have come as a tragic surprise). The follow up report of course placed all of the blame on Casey Jones and the railroad made certain in its report to note that Casey had been cited about 10 times in his career for various infractions, several involving speed. They did not, however, indicate that he had also been promoted to the Cannonball for that very reason, his ability to make up time and bring in his trains on the “scheduled.”

        Thank you again Nina for your comments on what to me is a cherished footnote in personal and local history. I enjoy the dialogue.

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    • Hi Bill, I know it has been at least a year since your post was written, but just wanted to ask you about any old grave sites or cemetaries in Vaughn. I am the gr gr granddaughter of Norman Birmingham and his wife Mildred Davenport Birmingham. Norman was the owner of the stage line that ran from Vaughan’s Station to Yazoo City and up to Rolling Fork. His wife died in 1870 and he died in 1882. I have read in his obituary that he was laid to rest in Vaughan next to his wife. From your experience living there all of those years, do you know of any cemetaries in the area? I have explored one on some property that is now a horse farm just down the road from “downtown”, but other than that do not know where else to search for their graves. Thanks for any info! oh yes. One of Norman and Mildred Birmingham’s granddaughters was named Ida Norma Tucker, ( my great aunt) remembered the night of the Casey Jones wreck and used to tell me about it when I was a little girl. She was 15 years old at the time and I found it fascinating to hear her stories! Lourene Stebbins Johnson

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  11. Looks like an awesome place to metal detect. I would love to get out there and use my F75 to locate some lost history. I live in New Albany and donate all my finds to the Union County Haritage Museum. If I found anything it would be donated to a museum as well. I don’t care for the value of my finds, I just enjoy finding stuff and learning about our history.

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    • Please remember to always ask for written permission of a landowner before visiting an archaeological site on private property. Never take anything from a site or disturb it in any way unless the landowner has given permission and you know how to keep a careful record of what is removed. It can be a trespassing violation to gather artifacts on private property without the written permission of the landowner.

      Digging disturbs evidence and destroys part of the scientific value of a site and its artifacts. Refrain from digging at archaeological sites. The locations of artifacts and other fragile archaeological remains are evidence of the behavior of the people who made them. Only through careful, scientific excavation can the archaeologist recover and interpret this evidence. Archaeological sites are considered “non-renewable resources”: once a site is excavated or disturbed in any way, the information the site contained is no longer available and cannot be gained from another source.

      If you are going to dig it is very important to keep good records. You should mark each of your sites on an accurate map, such as a USGS 7.5’ topographic map, USDA soil maps, or a highway map. Keep artifacts from different sites separated. Label each of your pieces in a way that will tell you from which site they came. For example, mark your own site name or number on artifacts with indelible ink.

      It might be worth contacting the archaeology division at MDAH before visiting a site.

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  12. I spent every summer in Vaughn from 1973-1986. My Grandparents, Grady and Clora Kuhn spent their entire lives there farming cotton. I can still remember the amazing smell from Mr. Tot’s store and have told my family about that store many times. Vaughn Mississippi holds the best memories of my childhood. It truly hurts to see it slip away. I have many pictures tucked away I need to pull out now.

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  13. I spent every summer in Vaughn Mississippi from 1972-1986. My Grandparents, Grady and Clora Kuhn spent their entire lives there farming cotton. I remember Mr. Tot’s store well and can still remember the amazing smell of his store. Vaughn holds the happiest memories of my childhood and it truly saddens me to see it slip away. I have so many pictures tucked away I need to pull out. Thanks for this article!

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    • wow, just found this; Clora and Grady Kuhn was my aunt and uncle………… I spent my childhood years here. Sad to see it disappear, but very happy years spent here.

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  14. Major Henry Vaughan was my 4 or 5X grandfather. I find all this stuff very interesting and know many things about my familys history but would always like to know more! Are there pictures, that anyone knows of, of Maj Henry Vaughan or Madely (Madley) Plantation? Or any pictures of my ancestors? My dad is Reece Vaughan, my papaw was William Lee (Bill) Vaughan.

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    • Would you share info with me? Henry Vaughan was also my 4x great grandfather. Very interested.
      Thanks –
      Leslye Lyles Anderson

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    • Hi Josh. Major Henry Vaughan is also my 5x grandfather..my great grandmother was Charlie Vaughan..have researched a bit on family..found grave site and some pictures I’d be happy to share..you can email me at maandpaws@comcast.net

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    • Hey Cuz! I have a picture of the Major and his wife Emma Rees on my mantle at home. They were my 3X grandparents. I’d be glad to get you a copy if you like. My Dad has done some extensive research and has a ton of info on our family. He found where Cherryvale plantation was in Sumter Co SC. I wish we had a picture of the home at Madley. If anyone has one please let me know. Dad described it in detail to me and I also have a letter that talks about it. Sounds like it was an amazing place.

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      • Hugh (& others!),
        I feel like I just hit the lotto with some info on Major Henry Vaughan. I believe my husband is a possible descendent (which makes my son a possible descendent too). I’ve been trying to find when he moved from SC to Mississippi. But I’m very interested in all that exists to help fill in some gaps of family history. would you be so kind as to email me the photos/letter/stories you referenced above? we would so appreciate it!! thanks!
        Email: lkgeneology(at)gmail.com
        Ps: @ = (at)…trying to avoid spammers ;)

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        • Hi,

          This is related to your recent post regarding the Vaughans, I just thought I’d relay to you some information about my own family at Vaughan! My mother was born and raised there, later married my father and moved to Canton, raised four daughters, of which I am one.
          My grandfather was John Henry Fowler–if you have ever noticed Fowler Road (off the Vaughan Road and just a few miles from Linwood) …just off that road named for him he had land and the family raised their own crops, cattle, hogs, etc, and I spent many years of my youth there visiting my grandmother, Perrye Brister Fowler and my grandfather John Henry Fowler, and my aunts, uncles, and cousins!
          John Henry Fowler was born in 1874, Died in 1960. (Married my grandmother Perrye Lee Brister in Holmes County in 1908.)
          His father, Henry H. Fowler was born in Georgia …came to MS at some point –I am presuming early 1900s–and died on the family farm in 1913. (Married Sarah L. Jefferson cCormack in 1867.)
          Many of my family members are buried in Ellison churchyard–including the Hargons–you may recall the murders (which occurred in 2005) of Michael, Rebecca, and their little son–James Patrick Hargon. (Michael was my second cousin–he was my mother’s sister’s grandson.) And my first cousin, Dan Haywood Fowler–also murdered, in 1995 in his store that later became Michael’s house. These tribulations can not be expressed in a mere email so I won’t try, but suffice it to say those deeds really took a toll on everyone in the family, and the community.
          I just thought I would share some of my history and Vaughan background, because the community out there was basically my second home–after Canton.
          When you are in Ellison cemetery–you might note the tombstone of my uncle–Dan Haywood Fowler, he was my mother’s youngest brother who sadly was killed in April of 1945 on the USS HANCOCK while serving in the Navy, he was buried at sea but I often visit his gravestone there to pay honors to him.

          Nina

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          • Know this well. Grew up in Ellison Methodist Church and know the Hargon family well, and Fowler road . John R. dixon

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            • Hi, John R., bless you for writing. this comment. I remember many of the Dixon family although it’s been a long time ago since I was able to visit the Vaughan area. I think of all my loved ones every single day, my Aunt Perrye Fowler Hargon, my aunt Susie Maie Fowler Wilson–they used to speak of your family members a lot when I would visit them. Your name is a well-known one in the region. My Uncle Buddy (J.B.) Fowler and his wife Mary lived in Aunt Perry’s home for many years. We lost Uncle Dan Haywood Fowler in World War II, sadly, I wrote his life story and it is on the USS HANCOCK web site along with some family pictures I uploaded, I try hard to keep his memory alive. He was their younger brother and was killed April 7 of 1945. His gravestone stands in Ellison cemetery–although he is buried at sea..I used to visit the cemetery any chance I got, I would put a flag alongside his stone…I am sure that little flag is long gone now…I wish I could come back down and see ‘him’ again. I have photos of him all around my apartment along with his mother, my grandmother–Perry Brister Fowler–I used to stay out at Vaughan with her and my grandfather a lot. I sadly have lost most all of my Vaughan relatives now except for my dear cousin Katherine Hargon Alexander, and her husband Bill, and their sons and families. I truly do miss everyone there! I hope one day to be able to come back to Mississippi for a visit. Thank you again for letting me know your relationship with the Hargon and Fowler family. Vaughan folks are the best foiks in the world! My best to you.
              Nina Cresap

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      • Hi Hugh,
        Henry Clader Vaughan 1738-1810, Major Henry A. Vaughan grandfather, was my Great
        Grandfather X4. My mother was a Vaughan and I have been doing family history research
        on the Vaughan. If it would be too much of a bother, I would love to a copy of the picture of
        the Major and his wife.

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        • Hello Terrell. Not a problem at all. Can you provide me an email address to send them to?

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          • Hey cuz email me that photo as well please. To joshvaughan@kw.com.

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          • Hugh. Hello. I too am a descendant of Major Vaughan. Could you please e-mail me the photos of Major Henry Vaughan and Emma? I understand that there is a family member who has an oil portrait of Henry, but I do not know who that is and I have not seen it. I have done research on Henry when I visited Yazoo City, and have been told that no photos of Madely exist. Have you ever seen any? It is hard to believe that there seemingly are no photos, paintings, or drawings of the house, especially considering that it was a 32 room brick mansion. I have been to the site where the house stood, but virtually nothing remains except several cisterns. It is not too far from the cemetery where he and Emma are buried. Do you know when Madely burned and whether Henry owned it at that time? I would appreciate any other info. on Henry and Emma that you might have. Thank you.

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          • https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsHugh. I am also a descendant of Henry Vaughan. Jack and Effie Hicks are my great great grandparents. Frances Elizabeth in my great grandmother who is still alive in Vaughan, Ms. Would you mind emailing the picture you have of Henry and Emma please. I would love to see it! Thank you so much. My email is tcm181@msstate.edu

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            • Hugh, do you know who to contact to go see the old cemetery? I think a hunting club has it leased. There’s now a gate up where I believe the cemetery entrance is. You can text me at my cell number below.

              Josh Vaughan The McDowell Team of Keller Williams Realty 601-664-8219

              >

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            • Josh and Hugh,
              Do either of you know who owns the oil portraits of Major Henry Vaughan and his wife Emma? I would be delighted to see them in person and learn something about the artist, if known. Thank you.

              Henry Frierson

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      • Would love to see the picture you have. My dad is 87 and has never seen a picture of the Major. He is my dad’s 3X great grandfather. Would love any information on the family.

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      • Hugh, I am also a descendant of Major Vaughan. He is my 4x great grandfather. My line goes Major Vaughan – Mary Smith Vaughan – Hugh Reece Guion – Fannie Guion – Thomas Moore Campbell – Charles Thomas Campbell – Erin Campbell Pope.

        I’m on ancestry and have done the DNA tests as well. I would love a copy of the photos you have. Please email to erinpope27@yahoo.com . I’m on ancestry as EECPope if you’d like to look at the Vaughan / Guion / Frierson info I have.

        Being a member of the DAR has given me a lot of access to some great genealogy records, seminars, and researchers. I would like to share a story about Major Vaughan that was related to me from one of his great grandchildren in possession of the oil portraits.

        The story goes that during the Civil War that a Union Calvalry group came upon the plantation at Vaughan. The family was not there (possibly in South Carolina or New Orleans at this time)
        However, the Union soldiers were angered when they realized they wouldn’t be capturing Major Vaughan. (They knew he supported secession and had represented Yazoo Co as the largest slave holder in the state of Mississippi in 1861)

        Being angered, one Union cavalryman rode his horse onto the plantation porch and into the home. He dismounted and took his sword to the oil portrait of Major Vaughan. He sliced it down the front.

        Now, as this story is related to me via email – the oil portrait is still in possession by a Vaughan descendant and has been repaired. However, you can see the seam on the portrait where the sword sliced it.

        Anyway, it’s a neat story and I thought I would share it.

        -Erin

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        • Erin, since my grandmother Sue Dixon was a Campbell, it would be interesting to see how we tie in. I have quite alot of information available .

          Thanks,

          John

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          • John my Campbell line goes from me to my father, Charles Campbell, gf Thomas Moore Campbell of Benton, ggf Clem Campbell, gggf William Edward Campbell, and then ggggf Marcus Lafayette Campbell. I can’t trace beyond him but they all lived in Yazoo County. Interesting detail – Marcus Campbell (ML) is buried at Vaughan Cemetery so I’m guessing my lines knew each other before they were related. I know for sure my Campbell’s are not related to the Bull Campbell’s is Yazoo.

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  15. Just to clarify, the email is Lkgeneology (sometimes the L is mistaken for an i). thanks!

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  16. Would love pictures or any information on Vaughn family. Also looking for information on Charlie Vaughns husband Taylor.Charlie was my great grandmother.
    Thank you for any and all info.
    Maandpaws@comcast.net
    April

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    • To Lauren: Trying to send a personal email, but gmail keeps changing the spelling of the word ‘genealogy,’ so can you please reply to this Email for some information I would like to share with you regarding my ancestors and family residing at Vaughan, beginning in the mid-1800s era. Thank you! ninacres@gmail.com

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  17. The perfect Segway to raise an alarm as to the possible loss of another Mississippi landmark in Crawford; not by neglect, but by deliberate design to accommodate the wishes of the Lapeyrouse Grain Corporation, which operates a grain elevator near the M&O RR section house. In the past two years, Crawford has lost two historic landmarks: Both The Wayside Inn and the old George Hairston Commissary Building were destroyed by arsonist(s). The identity of the Wayside Inn arsonist is known to the Lowndes county DA, but he walks the streets of Crawford, today. In January of this year, by happenchance, I discovered that two parcels of property were deeded to the Town of Crawford by Wells Fargo after a foreclosure. One parcel consists of the section house located on 1.9 acres. I inquired as to the future of the section house and was told that the Mayor of Crawford had already concluded a “done deal” with Lapeyrouse to convey the 1.9 acres in swap for “something of equal value.” The intent of Lapeyrouse was to demolish the section house. I appeared before the Crawford Town Council at its May meeting and told the mayor that certain protocols–Notice of Intent– that must be followed before public property can be conveyed to private ownership. The mayor said that he would “list it in classifieds.” The board members sat there and said nothing. I cannot say if they were aware of the “done deal swap.” A member of the Commercial-Dispatch staff was present at the May town hall meeting–Slim Smith.. as was the town council legal advisor from a Columbus law firm. She offered no comments. I followed the advice of Mulvaney(not his real name) and filed a Notice of Intent with the MDAH. At the June town hall meeting, I informed the Mayor that I had filed a Notice of Intent with MDAH. His only comment was to say, “It’s time to move on.” I pushed a copy of the MDAH form towards him at the table; he, nor any board member, reached out to examine the form.
    I have been all through the section house and even into the attic. IMO, it is in pristine condition, in part because the exterior was covered in vinyl siding that had protected it from the elements. An asphalt shingle roof protected the roof framework. The original floor plan is intact. The family that occupied the house–my in-laws– lived a Spartan-like lifestyle. I will post photos this coming week.

    http://www.msrailroads.com/Towns/Crawford.htm

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  18. I awoke this morning realizing that I had misspelled segue. It’s a word I hardly ever use and I cannot explain the error.

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  19. My grandfather is Jessie James vaugh out of Statesville Mississippi my sister is trying to put the piece together my name is Kenneth Vaughn and my sister is Brenda Vaughn my rmail is mr.kvaughn@yahoo

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  20. Well, everyone above should gather and compare photos and have a movie or documentary made about this area and its relationship to the Rail Road. I’m a northerner living in Texas and I would really enjoy hearing and seeing more about southern history. We often have illusions about the South. It would be really wonderful to hear more about real people’s lives at the turn of the century in rural southern communities and about the people who worked and worshiped there. I found this site by searching photos of Canton, Mississippi because of a folk artist from there, Lisa Cain. Her charming folk art illustrates a depth and breadth of rural southern life that most folks I know aren’t aware of but would be enriched by. It looked like a real and vital life in a slower moving time. With corporations owning everything we use today, separating us farther and farther from landlords, store owners, even ministers in mega churches, it is soul lifting to hear about these kinds of communities, of the past, owned and operated and enjoyed by the people who lived in them.

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    • I loved your comments. I would love to share one of my true stories about the early years of Vaughan, MS. Our closest town for home needs was Canton, Ms.

      Best ,

      John R. Dixon

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  21. Spent summers from 1955 to1965 in Vaughn with my grandparents. John P and Maggie Rainer. Kin to Ewings, Peppers,Chesters and God only knows who else. Trying to finish a song about my home place called Rosedale Plantation.’

    Mike Rainer
    Mrain240@gmail.com

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  22. i did a video for the rememerance of john luthar aka casey jones with the music end of the line would love to post it

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  23. These buildings are declining fast. I just posted a picture on my facebook page I took a year ago. My father was born in Pickens just north of Vaughn. My facebook address is https://www.facebook.com/britt.maxwell1

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  24. I never received pictures of any of my relatives…I just did a DNA from ancestry..Has anyone else done this or are you on any ancestry sites…Would love to connect..Email is Maandpaws@comcast.net..

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  25. My names is John Robert Dixon,born in 1950,youngest child and only son to Jim and Sadie Dixon. and I grew up in Possum Bend comminity, “suburb” of Vaughan, Mississippi.I have retired and as of this August my wife and I will be returning to live at my old home site at 41 Jim Dixon road, Vaughan, MS,My home site began as a wedding present to my Grandmother Susan Campbell when she married John Tackett Dixon in 1881. There are four cedar trees still standing in the yard today that were planted by Grandma Sue in 1882,which she dug up from the surrounding woods. Granddaddy`s old barn still stands but has my tractor under it instead of filled with horses and mules.I have recently toured Vaughan, and it is really bad shape, except the old Rose Rest hotel, which can still be salvaged.

    I too grew up in Tot Dixon`s store , and have watched thousands of trains pass through as well as actually riding backwards through Vaugnan on AMTRAC one time to a MSU football game in Louisisna. ( Was on my bucket list to do)

    My father, Jim Campbell Dixon was born the middle child of JT and Susie Dixon in 1895.He told me the first thing he remembered in detail was rididng to Vaughan with Poppa in their buggy to see the train wreck and Casey aka James Luther Jones, covered with a sheet and lying on the train depot.Daddy would have been 5 years old in 1900.

    One of my hobbies is writing short stories about growing up in Possum Bend as well as just beginning to enjoy a much slower pace in retirement after 45 years in our food industry. Being a part of processing millions of pounds of food daily versus being a part of slaughtering two or three hogs after the second killing frost each fall on our farm was a great expansion for me.

    I could go on for hours about stories and my love of that community and Ellison Methodist Church .I have throughly enjoyed reading all of your comments posted ahead of mine, and I have definitely learned alot from them. I have also seen many names pop up that I know from distant past.

    I used to go with my Aunt Alice Dixon up to visit Cousin Virga and Ninetta Brister when they lived in the Rose Rest hotel and explored many corners of it, inside and out, as a youngster.

    If anyone would like to discuss Vaughan , etc anymore, give me a call at 919 344 3342 , jrdixon701@aol.com or come by and visit me at 41 Jim Dixon road in this September. I always have an extra hammer available or a cold drink and a huge porch with rocking chairs, where we can sit, tell stories, and watch the grass grow.

    A very large number of people in that area will trace their lineage back to my grandparents, JT and Susie Dixon. ( I actually grew up in the OLD and Original Dixon home that had been increased from an original one room log cabin .

    With the help from a very aged cousin, I am actually doing a pencil drawing now of the way Vaughan was laid out pre 1950. Have already framed one of our old home place and the way it was laid out pre 1950 which will hanf on my outside porch . I always use barn wood from the original homesite for my frames.

    Best to all out there who love Vaughan, Mississippi. I look forward to hearing back from you and sharing our stories.

    John R. Dixon.

    Like

    • John,

      Your grandfather was the brother of my great grandmother, Margaret V. Dixon. I still have many relatives in the Yazoo City area. Do you have any more information about the Dixon family?

      Thanks,
      Ken Monk

      Like

      • Yes, Ken, I do have quite a bit of information on the Dixon family since their arrival in the New World in 1640 in the North Carolina area. We migrated down to and thru New Bern, North Carolina.

        Currently, I am not close to those records back in Mississippi, as I am in Scotland , where we have a second home. While here, I plan to do more research on the Dixons on this side of the pond. My hope is to trace us back to Richard Keith. Keith Clan originator, from who history says the Dixons came being interepted as Dick-son of Dick being short for Richard “Keith.” .

        I will be back in Vaughan, Mississippi at 41 Jim Dixon Road the very end of November.

        I look forward to connecting and sharing information.

        John

        Like

  26. Nina, thank you for your quick and informative response., Katherine Alexander has been a close life long friend of mine and still is. Bill and I are related since his Grandmother Mable Moore Dixon was one of my Dad`s older sister.

    I have always held Dan Haywood Fowler`s grave site in Ellison Methodist Church cemetery in awe, not only because of his dedicated service to our country in WW II, but his burial at sea.

    My son, Cooper Dixon,is a Marine, with tremendous respect for all military service members.Your comment about no American flag at Dan Haywood Fowler`s grave has spurred an idea we will present to the decisison makers at Ellison.

    Cooper and I will propose creating a data base of all military personnel buried at Ellison which captures history as well as becomes a perpetual record going forward. He and I also will propose purchasing and giving to the church a large enough quantity of American flags to permantely honor every service member buried there now, as well as extra for those military members to follow. (Yesterday, I quickly listed, just from memory, about 20 Military members who are already buried at Ellison.).

    If the Church will approve our plan, since I will be returning to 41 Jim Dixon Road this September, I anticipate executing this plan and placing a new Flag at the gravesite of all present service personnel interned there.

    Any thoughts from you or anyone else will be appreciated.

    Regards,

    John R, Dixon

    Liked by 1 person

    • God Bless the Marines…and God bless Cooper for his service! I will say prayers for him. What you are planning to do for the military members at Ellison is the most wonderful thing! I am very excited about it, and please keep me posted as things go along. What a beautiful idea! My first cousin James Patrick Hargon, Jr. is an Air Force veteran, he is buried at Ellison Cemetery as you are aware. I was not aware of the number of military veterans buried there, but now that I know I will be rooting for you and the board members to make the right decision to honor all military members who made those sacrifices for their patriotism, for love of country and family. All family members of my mother, the late Lillie Belle Fowler Cresap (although she is buried in the Canton Cemetery) all others of her family are buried at Ellison–all the way back to my great-grandparents (Brister & Fowler names), Hargons, Wilsons, Westbrooks, and others–who are all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I know that you knew all or many of them, and I appreciate your letting me know of your relationship and friendship will my family members. Vaughan, MS was my favorite ‘stomping ground’ as I was growing up, I am sure I must have seen you you at Ellison church services when I was young. I miss Vaughan! I’m praying for your success in the military project planned.
      Fond regards,
      Nina

      Liked by 1 person

      • We already have the proposed plan on paper and ready to send down to the preacher and committee. I say down, since I am still residing in Montgomery, Illinois, 40 miles west of Chicago . But homeward bound to 41 Jim Dixon Road the end of this August. Once they have approved it, I will share it on this web site.

        Take care ,

        John Robert

        Liked by 1 person

  27. I was back in Vaughan last weekend for the funeral of John Kelly Moore, my oldest first cousin.101 years old. His Mother, Mable was one of my Dad`s older sisters.

    The Minister there at Ellison ,Pastor Frank, assured me that it appears that our plan for the flags is a “Go”

    I anticipate executing this plan for American flags at each service members grave in September,when I will be there for a whole month.Now, one more will be added to the list already of 20 plus, since JK Moore was a WWII veteran..

    I will post pictures once this is achieved.

    John Robert Dixon

    Like

    • Thank you, John, for all your caring compassion and diligent work towards the flags for the veterans buried at Ellison. On behalf of my families–the Fowlers, Wilsons, Westbrooks, and Hargons–we are all appreciative of these efforts by yourself and Pastor Frank. I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the family of John Kelly Moore, and to all the Vaughan community. I fondly remember John Kelly as the dearest man–he always graciously welcomed all us of the Cresap family any time we saw him at Ellison. Again, many thanks and much success with the project of honoring our beloved veterans.
      Nina Cresap .

      Like

  28. The John Kelly Moore Veterans Memorial has been approved for honoring all veterans buried at Ellison Methodist Church Cemetery, We are in the process of gathering specific information about each veteran .Flags are on order, and will be placed at the head stone of each veteran for 7 consceutive days for Veterans Day and Memorial day recognition.

    Anyone knowing of or having any information about any veteran buried at Ellison please contact me at JRDixon701@aol.com.

    Thanks and God bless our veterans,

    John R, Dixon

    Like

  29. Update on John Kelly Moore Veterans Memorial at Ellison Methodist church, :

    The JKM is in full force now. Cooper and I explained its origin and purpose to the Ellison Church body last Sunday.Since I will be in the UK through the month of November, Cooper has agreed to be the person responsible

    Thank you,

    John Robert Dixon

    Like

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