An attempted history of Quitman County would fall far short of its work were some account of its organizations not given; various types of groups have banded themselves together to make a concerted effort in the interest of moral, mental, and spiritual development and they have been amply rewarded in the present up-and-doing status of the entire community.
In self-culture and civic improvement the Riverside Culture Club of Marks, the Sylvan Book Club of Belen, and the Tuesday Book Club of Lambert, were active in the 1900-1920 period, and it may truly be said that they are responsible for many of the things which we enjoy today.
The county library is the result of combined efforts of the Riverside and Coterie clubs of Marks which two merged into the Riverside-Coterie Club; this is a fitting monument to the women who gave much time, love, and devotion to its cause.
The Tuesday Club of Lambert fostered the cemetery movement, in addition to many other helpful things for the town.
Each of those clubs has co-operated individually and collectively in many beneficent enterprises, taking active part with the Red Cross, Good Fellows, and The Rotarians.
The missionary societies of the various churches have done and are still doing valiant service toward furthering the Kingdom of God. They are valuable assets to their pastors in their work.
At least two garden clubs have labored in bringing about beautification of streets, parks, and home yards. They sponsor rose garden contests in the spring and summer and Christmas decorations in season, providing prizes for winner.
The San Souci Club was originally organized as a part of the WPA Recreation Project but evolved into an independent club, its members now (1937) being many popular maids and matrons of the county. Its activities are largely social but it identifies itself with many benevolent purposes.
Home Demonstration clubs afford an outlet of talent and also bring about a pride in accomplishment which might otherwise lie dormant. Several of these in the county really “demonstrate”.
Listed among men’s clubs existing during past and present years are: The Exchange Club of Marks, and the Rotary Club of Marks, the Jimmie Johnson Post, American Legion, while located at Marks is a county organization. The membership of each of these drawn from all over the county and many enjoyable meetings are held. The Boy Scouts are well organized under the able leadership of Eugene Thompson, local attorney.
The Masonic Lodge
The only Masonic Lodge in the county is now located at Marks and is the consolidation of those in Belen and Marks. When J. H. Lamar installed the officers of the Belen Lodge in 1904, Judge M. E. Denton was master. The officers elected and installed for the year 1938 are: C. S. Grantham, master; E. H. Anderson, senior warden; C. R. Berryhill, junior warden; P. L. Lamar, treasurer; J. H. Rosenberry, secretary; T. W. Dickens, tyler.
The Masons, fifty-three in number, own their own building which is worth about $15,000.
In connection with the Masonic organization here, a tribute to J. H. Lamar is fitting and proper, he having been an important part and parcel of the whole and having been a dependable member and supporter for almost thirty-five years.
“Uncle John” as he is lovingly called by his numerous friends, was born in 1860, has been a Mason fifty-two years and has served in the capacity of master in the four different lodges to which he has belonged. He came from Calhoun County, locating in Belen in 1904, where he operated a machine shop for the manufacture of plows. In 1916, he was elected circuit clerk of the county and served in that capacity for sixteen years. He was clerk of the Draft Board during the World War, at which time 702 men were drafted into service.1
Denton, Mrs. Blanche, Jackson, Mississippi
1Blanche Denton, Jackson, Mississippi
Works Progress Administration for Mississippi, Source Material for Mississippi History, Quitman County, Vol. LX, Compiled by State-Line Historical Research Project, Susie V. Powell, State Supervisor, Illustrated 1936-1938, pages 263-264.
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