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Sullivan's Hollow

Sullivan's Hollow

Chester Sullivan
Copyright Date: 1978
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  • Book Info
    Sullivan's Hollow
    Book Description:

    Written by a descendant of the Hollow, this book recounts graphic episodes of the feuds and fights that made this region in south Mississippi famous.

    eISBN: 978-1-60473-673-1
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-1)
  4. [Map]
    (pp. 2-2)
  5. 1 The Piney Woods
    (pp. 3-7)

    Hills, trees, and water characterize the piney woods, where for every hill there is a hollow with its spring of water and where every hollow descends into yet another hollow until finally, through the addition of spring to spring a branch develops, perhaps intermittent at first but then as it flows on down it becomes wider and deeper until finally it runs year round. It is a creek. That creek flows until it joins another creek, making it impossible to distinguish the water of one creek from the water of another. No matter. There is always the high ground to...

  6. 2 The Hollow
    (pp. 8-13)

    Sullivan’s Hollow lies south of Mize in a system of hills drained by Sullivan’s Hollow Creek from its headwaters near Thomas Sullivan’s house to where it joins Bunker Hill Mill Creek. Originally the Hollow was six miles long and three miles wide, running in a northerly crescent from west to east. But, as its reputation spread south and west and as the number of Sullivans dramatically increased, “Sullivan’s Hollow” in time expanded until it encompassed the southwest corner of Smith County and parts of Covington and Simpson counties. By the turn of the century what was generally known as Sullivan’s...

  7. 3 The Scotch-Irish Settlers
    (pp. 14-22)

    The Scotch-Irish settlers of the American frontier were vigorous people who in 1776 comprised roughly one-tenth of the population. Formed by their history, they were tough and ideally suited to the hardships of immigration. Around 1600 they had moved from the lowlands of Scotland to Ulster, in northern Ireland. Between 1717 and 1775, because of adverse economic conditions in Ulster, many of them had come to America, where they were known simply as Irish. Severely religious, they were also described as poor, Presbyterian, pertinacious, dour, and clannish. They were known as a people with limited outlook and abiding prejudices. An...

  8. 4 Mize, the Capital of Sullivan’s Hollow
    (pp. 23-26)

    The first post office, Clear Creek Post Office, opened in 1895 a few miles north of the main Hollow in Clear Creek. It was owned by a man named Hopkins, who later sold it to John Mize, the sheriff of Smith County. The mail was carried on horseback, and after a few years Mize’s post office was moved across the creek to the south side, near where it is today. When the branch line of the railroad came through, a couple of small stores were started alongside the post office, forming the town. Pauly Ainsworth owned the first store, which...

  9. 5 The Lawless Years
    (pp. 27-50)

    The fights and “rackets” and “trouble” in Sullivan’s Hollow tended to follow a random pattern, but one could place the violent period from the close of the War Between the States to the Battle of the Ball Game in 1922, which was the last notorious conflict.

    Six of Thomas Sullivan’s sons were directly involved in the War Between the States. Samuel was wounded; Mark was tried and convicted of desertion, but he was given a graveside pardon by Captain George Buchanan of Covington County. Tom’s grandson Stephen, serving in his father’s place, was killed at Shiloh. Tom’s grandson, John Wylie...

  10. 6 Aunt Puss and Fortune-telling Steave
    (pp. 51-57)

    Tall, prosperous, and independent, Aunt Puss (Louisa) lived from 1853 to 1934. Although she never married, she bore six children–Sarah Ann, Effie, Dick, Taylor, Chester, and Tootie–and it was said that none of them had the same father. People said that when springtime came Aunt Puss would go with her sheep stick to stand in the road and wait for a man to pass. When one did she would invite him to her house for dinner. She was a wealthy woman who owned land, had a lot of stock, especially sheep, and had fine crops. If the man...

  11. 7 Merry Hell
    (pp. 58-64)

    Merry Hell is an area about five miles square, which lies in the southwestern part of Sullivan’s Hollow–not the old Hollow, but what the Hollow had grown to encompass by the 1860s. Merry Hell is drained by McLaurin Mill Creek, named after an early settler who was one of the first to own Negro slaves. The creek was so heavily timbered that it was dangerous for anyone to go there, even during the daytime, but once two men decided to go fishing there. Late in the day they started home, but hadn’t walked through the thick woods long before...

  12. 8 Saratoga, the Railroad Town
    (pp. 65-75)

    In 1900 Captain Joseph T. Jones, a pioneer oil man and railroad builder from Buffalo, New York, sent S. S. Bullis to Mississippi to study the financial condition of the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad, which had gone bankrupt in its attempt to build a road from Gulfport to Chicago. Bullis contracted with the receiver to finish building the road, and with that contract a period of tremendous activity began. Construction work was done by the Bradford Construction Company, which Jones organized, and the road was built at the cost of $15,000 to $20,000 per mile.

    The line crossed a place...

  13. 9 Tent Pulls
    (pp. 76-81)

    Around 1913 the Holiness church came to the Hollow. Some people called it the Holiness church, and some called it the Holy Rollers’ church. A Holiness preacher set up a big tent in Mount Olive, right beside the railroad tracks, and started having an old-time meeting. Wild Bill and Neace were still alive, in their sixties, and some of the younger Sullivans wanted to maintain the old Hollow tradition of being mean and raising hell. A lot of them went to church just for the devilment they could stir up.

    The tent was near the depot, and every night a...

  14. Appendix A A Trip Through the Piney Woods
    (pp. 82-84)
  15. Appendix B
    (pp. 85-86)
  16. Notes
    (pp. 87-90)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 91-93)