Officials are saying that 150 years looks good on Leflore County as 2021 arrives — thus marking the county’s sesquicentennial year.
“I am pleased to be where we are, and I know we will continue to move forward to make our county a better place to live,” said Anjuan Brown, the supervisor for District 3. “We have come a long way as a community, and we continue to do so.”
The county was established in 1871 during the Reconstruction era and was named for Greenwood Leflore, the Choctaw chief and state senator.
Like the rest of the nation, the county has seen drastic changes, conflicts and challenges that pushed the American people. But these trials, said Danielle Morgan, executive director of the Greenwood Convention and Visitors Bureau, made Leflore County what it is.
“This is certainly a great milestone for Leflore County. We have had our share of challenges but have also had many triumphs throughout the last 150 years,” said Morgan. “The spirit and resolve of our people is undeniable. We look forward to working together with community partners to continue to grow and prosper Leflore County for future generations.”
Perhaps one of the more interesting events of the coming year will be the unearthing of a time capsule that is buried on the grounds of the Leflore County Courthouse.
The capsule, which was one of two buried canisters, was placed there in 1971 and holds items put in there by county residents. One is meant to be opened in April and the second in 2071, when the county’s 200th birthday will be celebrated.
An article in the April 14, 1971, edition of the Commonwealth says that for $1, people could buy large envelopes into which they could put mementoes for a capsule. This project was one of many events put on by the county to honor the centennial anniversary.
According to local historian Allan Hammons, some of the other occasions held during what he called an “elaborate celebration” included parades, pageants, displays of old cars and more. He added that citizens were also encouraged to dress in period clothing of the late 1800s, and many of the men grew out beards to give themselves a more pioneer-like look.
Hammons said the opening of the capsule should be a fascinating experience.
“I think (people), and especially those who remember when it was buried, will be very interested to see what is in there,” he said.
Some other observers say they agree.
“I was there, but I didn’t put anything in there,” said another local historian, Donny Whitehead. “I also don’t recall what exactly was put in there, but I am excited to see what there is.”
“Oh, yeah, I’m interested to see what is in it for sure,” said District 5 Supervisor Robert Collins, president of the Board of Supervisors.
“We’re talking about history,” Brown said. “It is always good to look at those things and build a better future from there.
As of now, there are no official plans in place to mark the anniversary or open the capsule, but Sam Abraham, District 1 supervisor, said he will be doing some research and looking at archived meeting minutes to see if there were any listed instructions put in place.
“I definitely think there will be some plans for this,” he said.
•Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter at @AdamBakst_GWCW.