From Stone County Enterprise, February 15, 1928 (An announcement)
We have examined and considered the America Pickle and Canning Company proposition to the farmers in the Wiggins Territory and give it our endorsement and support.
We urge every farmer in the Wiggins territory to put in some cucumbers for the factory
KENNEDY & COMPANY, KEW MERCANTILE, CO-OPERATIVE COMPANY, WIGGINS DRY GOODS CO., E.A. BOND GROCERY, JITNEY CAFE, BANK OF WIGGINS, BRELAND MERCANTILE CO., WIGGINS DRUG STORE, DUGGAN’S RESTAURANT, FARMER’S DRUG STORE, JOES THE TAYLOR, MARTIN BROTHERS, L.A. WALLER, JEWELER, E.R. SMITH HARDWARE, STONE CO. ENTERPRISE
A History of Towns & Communities in Harrison & Stone Counties Mississippi
Compiled by LeRoy F. Eastes
In January , 1910 , there was a serious fire in the business district of Wiggins. Three city blocks were consumed, while other buildings were dynamited to prevent the fire from spreading. At 11 o’clock in the morning, a raging wind from the northwest swept the fire through the business center of the town, causing a property loss between $100,000 and $150,000.
The Gulf Island Ship Island depot and Peoples Bank were destroyed. Other businesses wiped out included, but were not limited to: Wiggins Mercantile Co., Foote & Bond Mercantile Co., W.W. Burnette & Co. (mercantile), The Burnette Hotel, the Schwartz Dry Goods Company store, two livery stables (owned by L.W. Davis and D.J O’Neal), and several small grocery stores including Lindsay & Co. and Wiggins Grocery Co.
Three box cars were sent to Wiggins to be used as a temporary depot following the fire.
We are the collective histories of our families. David Cunningham provided these photos of a business card that his Grandfather, Cicero E. Cunningham, made for his shoe store. that was located at the bottom of Pine Hill. Cicero Cunningham also wrote the poem on the back of the card.
The other photo is of his shoe collection. It has nicknacks of shoes, and baby shoes of different family members and of Ms. Belle Ingersoll, who played piano as background for silent movies. The case with the shoes was always in the store and in his cobbler shop that was across from the store, next to the theater. Many of you will remember this, from going into the Cunningham Shoe Store during your childhood.
The following is an excerpt from “The Story of Stone County Industrial Board” written by Brax H. Batson (July, 2009):
The Stone County Industrial Board
The Stone County Industrial Board, which had a brief life of about 12 years from 1957 to 1969, but had a profound effect on the Wiggins and Stone county we know today. It is a story of what can be done with good leadership and a group of civic-minded citizens, working as a team for the greater good.
The Board composed of ordinary business and professional men of the community, all volunteers, at times using their own money, facilitated the following projects between 1957-69:
Wiggins Lumber Co. — employing 70 persons at the plant
Neely Lumber Co. — employing 30 persons at the plant
Brown – Miller Pickle plant expansion — saving 200 jobs for 30 years
Southern Paper Co. –employing 180 persons (changed to Coastal Paper)
Kuttnauer Enterprises, a sewing plant – employing 30 – 50 persons
International Plywood Mill (Now Hood Industries)
International Wood Treating Plant
Wiggins- Stone Airport
Flint Creek Water Park
New Post Office Building
Finkbine was known for being innovative in the use of technology to improve production. Skidders were huge winches with long cables. These cables were attached to logs, and the winches dragged them to the railhead. Innovations like these cut logging costs and allowed for year-round operations.
Photo: Personal archives of Brax H. Batson
Did you know that Stone County has a comprehensive plan for economic development that takes into account our history? The plan includes many interesting details about us.
Another find in the USM McCain Library digital archives. This photo is undated but based on the look of the trucks and cars in the photos, it could be the 1940s. What do you know about this?
Another timber related industry important to Stone County was the Newton Naval Stores. Naval stores is all products derived from pine sap, which are used to manufacture soap, paint, varnish, shoe polish, lubricants, linoleum, and roofing materials. For many years, Newton Naval Stores was a vital part of the Stone County industrial base and the Newton family a part of the community and social structure. Did you know that Senator John C. Stennis visited the Newton Naval Stores on November 22, 1955. J.B. Newton, Dad to current local residents Benny Newton and Joy Newton Jennings and to Dover, Deleware, resident Carol Newton, Burcham, is pictured in this photo that is part of the John C. Stennis Collection at Mississippi State University.
The Bank of Wiggins, opened in 1916, was originally located on First Street in the building that the Stone County Enterprise now occupies. Today the Bank has three branches in Stone County.