Posts Tagged ‘DeSoto County’


Ole Miss & Charlie Bowdre from Young Guns

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

One of my favorite movies in my youth was “Young Guns” featuring Emilio Estevez as Billy the Kid. This week I learned about a connection between one of the Regulators portrayed in that movie and the University of Mississippi.

Last year while on business in DeSoto County, I took the opportunity to swing by the county archives to do a little digging on an extended branch of my family tree for an interested distant cousin. The ladies at the archives were extremely helpful and when leaving, they asked me if I’d like to become a member of the Genealogical Society of DeSoto County. I did and I now receive their quarterly newsletter “DeSoto Descendants.” This week’s edition included an article: “The Life and Times of Mississippi’s Charles Meriwether Bowdre” by Ralph C. Kennedy.

If you saw Young Guns, you might remember Charlie as “the pugilist” member of John Tunstall’s Lincoln County Regulators. He married a young Mexican girl but died near the end of the movie during the Battle of Lincoln when the Regulators fought their way out of a house under siege by L.G. Murphy’s men and federal troops. Billy (Estevez), Josiah “Doc” Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland) and Chavez y Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips) escaped and appeared in the sequel, Young Guns 2.

"Did you know pigs is as smart as dogs? It's true. I knew this guy in El Capitan who taught his pig to bark at strangers." -Charlie in Young Guns

"Did you know pigs is as smart as dogs? It's true. I knew this guy in El Capitan who taught his pig to bark at strangers." -Charlie in Young Guns

It turns out, Charlie Bowdre was born in Georgia and moved to DeSoto County, Mississippi when he was three years old. The Bowdre family became one of the most prominent families in the area. Per the article:

On February 5, 1866, Charlie Bowdre and his first cousin, Stephen Pettus Bowdre (1848-1930), applied and were admitted to the freshman class at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). They were two of nine Bowdres to attend the University between the classes of 1859 and 1879. University of Mississippi records for the 1867 Sophomore Class indicated the Bowdre cousins took basic courses in Greek, Latin, Math, Logic, Rhetoric, Composition, and Declamation (theatrical style speech). The boys did reasonably well in all their classes; although, Stephen was a slightly better student. Both Charlie and Stephen were listed in the Class of 1870 as “not graduating.” “Not graduating” was a rather common status for young men studying at the University during this time period. Many young men only attended the university for a year or two. A later University of Mississippi survey listed both young men as “cotton factors” (brokers) in Memphis, Tennessee.

Charlie went west and opened a cheese factory in Arizona with his new business partner, Doc Scurlock. One of their employees was Henry “Kid” Antrium, an alias of who would later be known as Billy the Kid. The cheese factory failed and eventually the three made their way to Lincoln County, New Mexico and the events of the movie.

Unlike the movie, Doc also married a young Mexican girl, the half-sister of Charlie’s bride. And Charlie lived on into the events of Young Guns 2. In YG2, Doc is captured out east where he had become a teacher and was brought back to Lincoln for trial. He eventually died in an ambush by gunmen under leadership of Sheriff Pat Garrett. In reality, Doc moved to Texas where he lived until he was 80 and died a prominent member of the community. It was Charlie who died in the ambush, not Doc.

According to Wikipedia (sourced to Robert M. Utley’s “Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life”) “In the last seconds of his life he stumbled and fell towards Pat Garrett repeating the phrase, ‘I wish…I wish…’”

Charlie is buried in the Old Fort Sumner Cemetery along with Tom O’Folliard (also a character in YG2) and Billy the Kid. While the exact locations of the bodies is disputed, the three share a headstone and as told in the epilogue of Young Guns, above their names is chiseled “Pals.” But, according to an article by Mental Floss, it turns out this wasn’t an old Regulator inscribing a tribute. The headstone was likely devised by the local Chamber of Commerce in 1932 to take advantage of tourism following a 1930 movie about Billy the Kid.


MS Mayor Elections to Watch - Top 10 Cities

Monday, May 6th, 2013

I was a guest last night on WLBT’s Red Blue Review with Jere Nash to fill in for Andy Taggart and we talked mayor races around the state.  Here are the notes I put together before going on the air.  They look at the top 10 cities in the state; five races with sitting legislators; as well as a handful of other races.

Top Ten Cities by Population*

10) Clinton – Five-term incumbent Mary Rosemary Aultman is not seeking reelection. 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats are in the race. Republican city, likely determined in GOP primary between: former alderman and current Hinds County Supervisor Phil Fisher; alderman Tony Hisaw and former state College Board member (Fordice appointee) Ricki Garrett. Garrett, former ED of MS Nurses Association has an education, health care coalition and gender aside, seems most like the current mayor. I expect Garrett and Fisher in a run-off with the winner beating the Dem nominee in June.

9 ) Horn Lake – Two-term Republican Mayor Nat Baker is seeking reelection. He is being challenged by former DeSoto County Supervisor Allen Latimer and political newcomer Jerry Lee Porter. The Democratic primary (Hester McCray-Jackson) is uncontested. Likely the race is between Baker and Latimer.

8 ) Olive Branch – Four-term incumbent Sam Rikard is not seeking reelection. There are five candidates in the race – all Republicans: Republican activist Brian Hodges, Anthony Holland, six-term DeSoto Supervisor Jessie Medlin, assistant fire chief Scott Phillips and Art Shumway. Likely a run-off – Medlin has an advantage and barely lost to Rikard four years ago but the idea of additional costs for a special election (to fill his supervisor seat were he to win) has become an issue.

7) Tupelo – Incumbent Republican Jack Reed, Jr. not seeking reelection. This is one of two shots Democrats have at a pick-up in June. City Council President, Republican Fred Pitts (age 70) versus personal injury lawyer and Democrat Jason Shelton (age 36). Has become a partisan race with Pitts noting that Shelton is a liberal Democrat who attended President Obama’s inauguration and supported Hillary Clinton. As far as the age issue, Pitts said “70 is the new 50.”

6) Meridian – This is the top potential pickup for Democrats. Four years ago current mayor Cheri Barry won with 51% over Democrat Percy Bland – just 114 votes difference. Both Barry and Bland face challenges in the primary and both are expected to win their respective nominations – but there are three independents in the race on June 4 which could hurt Republican Barry. Bland is denying rumors that Noxubee County Democratic Party boss Ike Brown who was convicted of violating voting rights by the Justice Department is involved in his campaign. And the FBI is investigating the hanging of a stuffed animal in a noose outside Bland’s insurance agency.

5) Biloxi – Republican AJ Holloway is seeking his sixth term and faces a challenge in the GOP Primary and from a Democrat in the general but is expected to win reelection.

4) Hattiesburg – Democrat Johnny Dupree is seeking a fourth term as mayor. He should win in a walk over two challengers in the Democratic Primary. He will face four independents in the general election including perennial candidate Shawn O’Hara. His only real challenge in that race will be Dave Ware, a two term city councilman, but I expect Dupree to win reelection.

3) Southaven – Embattled incumbent Greg Davis, previously a Republican and now an Independent, will face the Republican and Democratic nominees in the general election. The race to watch is the Republican Primary featuring Josh Anderson, Gerald Clifton, Mark Gardner, Christopher Klass, Darren Musselwhite and Jerald Wheeler. I expect Gardner – a Desoto county supervisor – and Musselwhite will face in a run-off. There are still some powerful political forces supporting Davis in DeSoto County but I anticipate the winner of the Republican Primary winning the general there as well.

2) Gulfport – Incumbent Mayor George Schloegel isn’t running for reelection and former Senator Billy Hewes – who served as President Pro Tem of the Senate under then Lt Gov Phil Bryant and lost the Republican Primary for Lt Gov to Tate Reeves in 2011 is running unopposed.

1) Jackson – I try not to predict the outcome of Democratic primaries, but it seems to me the race for the run-off is between incumbent Mayor Harvey Johnson, businessman Jonathan Lee and City Councilman Chokwe Lumumba. Whoever wins the run-off will face three independents but essentially the primary is the race to win.

Top 10 Predictions – Current partisan standings: GOP 8; Dem 2 – after the elections, the Dems could pick up 1 possibly 2 seats but I’m hoping to hold steady. (When Southaven Mayor Greg Davis qualified for reelection as an Independent, the numbers are technically 7-2-1.) The GOP put a lot of effort into Tupelo and Meridian four years ago and I think they will need to do so again.

*Not counting Greenville which has its municipal elections off cycle.

Other Notes: (Primary – May 7 — Run-Off – May 21 — General – June 4)

–Three of the four Democratic candidates for Governor in 2013 are running for Mayor. Johnny Dupree for reelection in Hattiesburg; Bill Luckett in Clarksdale; and Bill Compton in Meridian.

–A number of supervisors and state representatives are running for mayor, any of which were to win would necessitate special elections to fill their seats.

Legislators Running For Mayor

Five Democratic state representatives are running for mayor of their home towns. Kelvin Buck (Dist 5) in Holly Springs; Chuck Espy (Dist 26) in Clarksdale; George Flaggs (Dist 55) in Vicksburg; Omeria Scott (Dist 80) in Laurel; and Billy Broomfield (Dist 110) in Moss Point.

Holly Springs – Democratic incumbent Mayor Andre DeBerry seeking fourth term, ten years as alderman before mayor. Kelvin Buck in his third term in House District 5.

Clarksdale – Three Democrats, one Republican, two independents running but the real race is in the Democratic Primary between Rep Chuck Espy and businessman/attorney Bill Luckett. Espy is the son of current Mayor Henry Espy; Luckett a business partner with Morgan Freeman.

Vicksburg – Decided in Democratic Primary: Rep George Flaggs in the legislature since 1988; incumbent Mayor Paul Winfield recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit and still faces a federal bribery indictment; businesswoman and former legal prostitute and Neveda brothel owner Linda Fondren; former Warren County supervisor John Ferguson; former alderwoman Gertrude Young; and David Day. Daryl Hollingsworth is running as an independent. Advantage goes to George Flaggs.

Laurel – Incumbent Democratic Mayor Melvin Mack not seeking reelection, instead running for Ward Seven Council seat. Democratic Primary: Rep Omeria Scott, Councilman Johnny Magee, Fire Chief Alfred Jordan. Independent Kevin Keyes, retired fireman.

Moss Point – Incumbent Mayor Aneice Liddell faces Elizabeth Irby and State Rep Billy Broomfield in Democratic Primary. The winner faces independents Dobbs Dennis and John Mosely Jr in June.

Note: We already have had (or will have) six special legislative elections this year so far; four in the House and two in the Senate. Could result in even greater turnover. The number of Dem reps running for mayor may demonstrate dissatisfaction with being in the minority in the legislature although some, like Espy and Flaggs, have worked well with Republicans.

Other Elections:

Madison – Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler has molded Madison by her vision for 32 years as mayor. During that time she has made lots of friends, and some enemies. She is being challenged by second term Madison Supervisor John Bell Crosby. Totally a referendum on Butler who I anticipate winning.

Byram – First city election – three running for mayor: Independent Richard White who served as a state Senator from the area as a Republican; Democrat Kevin Lavine and Republican Phil Rodgers. They will meet in the general election – no primary for mayor.

Brandon – Alderman Butch Lee was running without opposition for mayor of Brandon. In March, Mayor Tim Coulter resigned so the Board of Alderman could go ahead and appoint Lee mayor. So no primary there. But an interesting race for alderman-at-large with incumbent Republican James Morris and Vaughn Galloway facing Mississippi Tea Party State Chairman Roy Nicholson. Tea Party activists across the state have been helping him so this will be a measure of Tea Party strength on the local level.

Canton – Republican Primary: Chip Matthews and Lorriane Levy. Nominee will be hard pressed to defeat the Democratic nominee. That primary features: incumbent Dr. William Truly, insurance agent Arnel Bolden, former mayor Fred Esco jr and businessman Greg Green. At the request of Madison DA Michael Guest, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann will send monitors to Canton for the primary. Four years ago, Guest’s office indicted and convicted half a dozen individuals for fraud after receiving multiple complaints after the election. All pleaded guilty and the sentences varied from suspended sentence to over 10 years in prison.

Ocean Springs – Connie Moran squeaked out a victory four years ago in an election that had many Republicans suggesting fraudulent shenanigans, but she defeated a Republican opponent who outspent her significantly. This year she faces Republican Jackson County Supervisor John McKay. Moran has been working hard in the reelection campaign and had a fundraiser hosted by Attorney General Jim Hood.

Ridgeland – Republican Mayor Gene McGee is unopposed in the primary and general.

Starkville – Incumbent Mayor Parker Wiseman expected to win the Democratic Primary against former alderwoman Mary Lee Beal. He then faces a challenge by Republican Dan Moreland in the general election.

Oxford – Incumbent Mayor George Patterson expected to win the Democratic Primary against challenger Jason Plunk, but faces an organized campaign by former Ole Miss football standout and retired NFL player Todd Wade running as an independent.


Republicans, Coleman campaign in DeSoto

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Thursday in Hernando, the DeSoto County Republican Women hosted a meeting with speeches by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, U.S. Representative Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi Supreme Court candidate Josiah Coleman, three candidates running in the special election for Senate 19; three candidates in the special election for House 52; and a candidate each for DeSoto election commissioner and school board.

Wicker said about Mitt Romney, “We are winning this election.” He said just a few weeks ago he would have not been as confidant about saying that, but he is cautiously optimistic now. He lambasted Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada for failing to allow the Senate to move forward with a budget for the country for the past three years. He said while Democrats controlled the US Senate, the House under Republican leadership was getting things accomplished and praised/introduced Congressman Nunnelee.

US Senator Roger Wicker speaks to DeSoto County Republican Women

US Senator Roger Wicker speaks to DeSoto County Republican Women

Nunnelee said we have a choice in November whether we are “going to leave to successive generations more debt and less opportunity” or “a legacy of freedom. He said too many people believe that while they have a greater standard of living than their grandparents, they don’t think their own grandchildren will have a greater standard of living than they do. He said he will not tolerate such a future.

Senate 19 candidate David Parker and wife Ashleigh speak with Congressman Alan Nunnelee at lunch after the DCRW Meeting

Senate 19 candidate David Parker and wife Ashleigh speak with Congressman Alan Nunnelee at lunch after the DCRW Meeting

Coleman said he believes the Mississippi Supreme Court should be an unbiased judge of Mississippi’s laws. Coleman said some people believe the legal system exists to change society and to regulate and legislate from the bench. He said that is not the role of the Court and we can’t go back to a Court of activists. He reminded the group that judicial candidates are nonpartisan but enjoyed the opportunity to address the crowd and campaign in DeSoto County.

Josiah Coleman speaks to DeSoto County Republican Women

Josiah Coleman speaks to DeSoto County Republican Women


Baker in DeSoto: time to “flip the Hood”

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Last week I attended a meeting hosted by the DeSoto County Republican Women at the home of state Representative Wanda Jennings.  The event was packed. In addition to the Republican Women members and local elected Republican officials, candidates like Olive Branch eye doctor David Parker in the special Senate District 19 election, and candidate hopefuls in next year’s municipal elections were all on hand.  Josiah Coleman, a candidate for Northern District Supreme Court also made the rounds.

Speakers included Nathan Wells representing Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, House Republican Majority Leader Mark Baker and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

Wells discussed the Child Protection Act, redistricting and the budget rule change requiring off-set cuts to any spending increases to the budget process.

Baker covered a litany of issues including Voter-ID, sunshine legislation and the state Medicaid mandate in Obamacare tossed by the Supreme Court, but not - as Baker pointed out - pursued in Court on behalf of Mississippi by Attorney General Jim Hood. Baker spoke about Hood’s hiring of outside contingency fee lawyers like Joey Langston as one of the reasons the sunshine legislation was needed.  Hood is the only statewide elected Democrat in Mississippi.  “Four years ago, my goal as Republican Leader was to flip the House,” Baker said, “But now we all need to work to flip the Hood.”

Baker and Wells both addressed education reform and noted there was no animosity within House Republican Leadership toward the DeSoto Representatives who opposed charter school legislation during the previous session.  Baker and Wells both told the crowd, which included DeSoto County Schools Superintendent Milton Kurkendahl (an opponent of last year’s charter school bill) that education reform and charter schools will be a priority again next year.  Wells said DeSoto Countians can be proud of their schools, but not everyone in Mississippi is as fortunate as they are and the state needs to allow options for a better education.

Robert Lee Long at the DeSoto Times Tribune covered the meeting including the speech by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann: Voter ID Law solid: Hosemann

The next DeSoto County Republican Women meeting will be held on October 18 at the Hernando Public Library at 10:00am.

Mark Baker tells DeSoto County Republican Women it is time to "flip the Hood."

Mark Baker tells DeSoto County Republican Women it is time to "flip the Hood."

Olive Branch eye doctor David Parker, a candidate in Senate District 19, speaks to Mark Baker at the DeSoto County Republican Women meeting.

Olive Branch eye doctor David Parker, a candidate in Senate District 19, speaks to Mark Baker at the DeSoto County Republican Women meeting.

Supreme Court candidate Josiah Coleman talks to voters in DeSoto County.

Supreme Court candidate Josiah Coleman talks to voters in DeSoto County.

Representative Wanda Jennings introduces Delbert Hosemann.

Representative Wanda Jennings introduces Delbert Hosemann.


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