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Crystal Springs Cemetery tour

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05/31/14 was the last day I modified this page.

On Saturday, June 28th, after the festivities at the Tomato Festival, the Copiah County Historical and Genealogical Society will sponsor a guided tour of the new Crystal Springs Cemetery on S. Jackson St.

Some of those to be portrayed include Robert Elam Jones and wife, Elizabeth Ann McKey, Dr. J.M. Dampeer, Osias Osbourne, Rev. Oscar Newton and wife, Maria, and business partners Lotterhos and Huber and their wives, both named Magdalena.  They will each offer a fascinating look into their lives and the history of new Crystal Springs.

Robert E. Jones was in school at Mississippi College when the War Between the States began.  He joined the army as a lieutenant in Company K, 36th Mississippi Volunteers.  He was imprisoned twice, once at Vicksburg and once at Ship Island.  He wrote in his diary of the dreadful conditions he undertook.  As his troop traveled all over the State, fighting the enemy, he once wrote of making it to Crystal Springs where he camped near the site of the old Newton Institute.

At the end of the war, he studied medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans and became a doctor in 1869.  He would eventually partner with Dr. J. M. Dampeer.  He was married to Elizabeth Ann McKey and had a home on Pearl Street which still stands today.

Elizabeth Ann McKey organized the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Copiah Chapter, on March 18, 1909.  She was also the organizer of the Crystal Springs Floral Club.

Dr. J. M. Dampeer was a well-respected doctor who was partners with Robert E. Jones.  They had an office in the back of brother L.M.'s drugstore.  He studied medicine at Tulane University and married Lou Williams of Mount Carmel.  The Dampeer house is located across from Robert E. Jones' house.

Osias Osbourne was an early settler of Copiah County.  His house is the second oldest house in town and still stands on S. Jackson St.  In 1859, the Newtons purchased part of his land and part of Col. Willing's land on which to build a school.  Nine years later, Osbourne sold part of his land for the Presbyterian Church.

Rev. Oscar Newton and wife, Maria Colton, founded the Newton Institute, originally known as the Young Ladies' Institute, in 1860.  The school stood on the present site of the Crystal Springs High School.  Rev. Newton's father founded Hampstead Academy (now  Mississippi College).  The institute was destroyed by fire on Thanksgiving night, 1912.

The firm of Lotterhos and Huber, incorporated in 1905, gained prominence as the largest shppper of tomatoes in the U.S.  Lotterhos began the practice of warning farmers when there was a potential freeze which could harm crops.  He is responsible for the use of the "squeedunk" which was a steam horn connected to the town's powerhouse.  This saved the farmers' crops and allowed for early spring vegetables.  C.M. Huber was the nephew of Augustus.  He worked to develop more varieties of tomatoes and better packaging.  His house is still standing today.  

Should anyone have any pictures of the above-named individuals they would like to share, please contact Tricia Nelson at or 601-892-0195.  This information and more will appear in the sesquicentennial souvenir book which will be available at the CCHGS booth during the festival and at the cemetery tour.

Content Copyright Rob Crawford,, County Coordinator    All rights reserved.

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