Canton News

PRST STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID CANTON, MS PERMIT NO. 3 Canton News P.O. Box 1163, Canton, MS 39046 Good News You Can Use • June 6, 2019 • Vol. 5, No. 6 • Canton, Mississippi 8:30-6:00 M-F 8:30-12:30 Sat Stace Cauthe Sander & Bil M b 1301 East Peace Street, Canton 39046 601-859-4212 LOCAL HOMETOWN SERVICE Chec ou our complet lin of CBD product . Cream , drop an capsule for patient wit pai , depressio an other condition ! The Old Madison County Jail, located a short walk from the Canton Square at 234 East Ful- ton Street, is not the first jail in the county, but it certainly served its purpose longer than any other on record. Madison County was established in 1828, and it is be- lieved that the plans for the origi- nal jail were created in 1834 by state architect John Lawrence. The structure was built just off the Square on Center Street in 1836, but ultimately burned down either during or shortly after the Civil War. In 1870, the jail was rebuilt, on East Ful- ton this time, using bricks from the former structure to build the cellblock of the newer structure. It was a fully functioning jail, in- cluding public executions, either inside by electric chair or hang- By Lori Lycette ings in the yard. The residence for the jailer and family was in the front section of the building, while the cellblock was in the back. It was in a rural setting and had farm animals and gardens which were tended to by the prisoners. The jail served its purpose until 1969, closing after the new, current jail was built on Highway 51 south of town, with only one inmate escaping during the ninety-nine years of opera- tion. Soon after closing the doors, the building was in such disrepair that it was in danger of being de- molished and the property devel- oped for housing. Several local citizens and organizations joined together to purchase the proper- ty and then began the restoration process. The Canton-Madison County Historical Society was formed for the purpose of restor- ing the old jail as a museum. The cell blocks have been restored to their original condition, and it is said to be one of the few penal structures of its period to be so well preserved. The maintenance is an ongoing process, as with any older structure, and depends on fundraisers, grants and gener- ous donations to keep it upright and in compliance with safety codes. The jail is adjacent to the oldest cemetery in Canton, with tomb- stones dating as far back as 1812. It contains the historic Howcott Monument, which was erected by William Howcott in honor of his slave, Willis Howcott, and is perhaps the only one of its kind in the South. The log cabin be- hind the jail is estimated to have Canton city beautification projects underway Historic jail preserved in Canton, Mississippi Photo by Lori Lycette (Above) Old Madison County Jail Special to The Canton News The City of Canton was recently chosen along with nine other cities in Mississippi and Illinois to re- ceive a community beautification grant from America in Bloom and Canadian Railroad. This beautifi- cation grant is helping to facilitate several projects in Canton and has had people talking positively about these improvements throughout the city. One of the first initiatives was carried out by the Canton Garden Club and Keep Canton Beauti- Special to The Canton News ful, which focused on the addi- tion of flower filled planters on the Square and in the Hollow. It was a community effort utilizing the help of volunteers belonging to both groups. David Bradberry, Tim Thrasher and Dave Grimmer all volunteered to build the plant- ers with donated wood, and the paint used was donated by Barnett Phillips Lumber in Canton. Time and labor were donated by Garden Club members and their spouses to get these planters placed in visible areas with a greater focus paid to Photo by Lori Lycette cont. on page 2 cont. on page 7 Volunteers helping with planter boxes