Perhaps these trees do talk back! In January 1971, Astronaut Stuart Roosa selected seeds from five different trees to take to the moon on Apollo 14. Upon their return to earth, some of the seeds were sent to Bill at the Harrison Experimental Forestry Station in Gulfport, Mississippi. The seeds were planted, celebrated and continue to share their story; “moon trees” and their direct descendents (baby moons) are planted across the world. Some trees were planted in 1976 to celebrate our Bicentennial. Another moon pine was planted in honor of Bill Mauldin in McHenry, Mississippi at the George Austin McHenry House and yet another in honor of Astronaut Fred Haise on the Perkinston Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College — his alma mater.
The “moon trees” continue to flourish, a living monument to our first visits to the Moon and a fitting memorial to Stuart Roosa, Bill Mauldin, and our space program.
“This story was told in its entirety as part of the Telling Treesstory gathering project in Stone County, MS with assistance from the MS Humanities Council and the National Humanities Council.” Kathryn Lewis, project director.
Dr. George Austin McHenry, who homesteaded in the area of South Stone County that now bears his name beginning in 1889, joined the United States Volunteers in 1898, as a contract surgeon with the rank of Captain. He served in the Spanish American War in Cuba, the Philippine insurrection, and in China. During his time in Cuba, Dr. McHenry directed the yellow fever hospital there. Since he was immune to the disease, he was able to help many others.
While serving in the Spanish American War, McHenry developed a close relationship with Leonard Wood, who later became Chief of Staff of the United States Army and was tasked with establishing military training sites throughout the United States. Because of this relationship, Dr. McHenry was instrumental in proposing the establishment of one of these training sites to be located south of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, because of the mild climate, available rail facilities, and geography. The site was selected, and in 1917 it became Camp Shelby, the largest state owned military training facility in the United States.
Bond-Harvinson Memorial Park, located on McGregor Road in Wiggins, is a peaceful place of a number of settlers of the area. Most lived when the area now known as Stone County was a part of first Jackson County and then Harrison County. Col. John Bond was a Revolutionary War hero. His sons, Lt. Col. John Bond, Jr. and Lt William Bond, served in the Mississippi Militia during the War of 1812. John Bond, Jr. represented the area in the Mississippi Legislature at one point and settled in the McHenry area (and is buried in Saucier). The Bonds, like the McHenrys, Batsons, Prices, Dales, and many others lives are tied together as the first families of this area.
It is noted in several records reviewed that the Cenotaph of Lt. William Bond that is in the Memorial Park contains a number of errors regarding his children. Other records reviewed show the same picture for John Bond Sr. and John Bond Jr. Regardless both were key to the development of the area.
“L.B. Goddard bought the old Perry Bond house about 24 years (1913) ago. The Old Gum Springs were there then and are yet. A little branch trickles along and the springs are under a little embankment. It was a favorite place for the Goddard children to play. There are also other springs in the vicinity. When Dr. Pafford owned the place, after the Goddards, his wife had an artificial pond made, fed by these springs, with the thought of making a recreational resort at the place. This pond can still be seen from the new U.S. 49 which is slightly east of the main town of McHenry.
The story of the Copeland gang camping at these springs, is a common tradition in McHenry. But there is some confusion of dates. If this house was built when they (camped there), it is older than 75 years, for Copeland was hanged in 1857. Only an exhaustive search of land records would reveal the exact date of the homesteading.”
Interview with Mrs. L.B. Goddard
For more information about the Copeland Gang, check out these links below:
Among those Stone County natives part of “The Greatest Generation” is Gordon S. McHenry. Better known for his medical practice for many many years, SGT McHenry was part a member of the Military Police in the Occupation Forces in Japan in 1946.
Floyd and Hazel McHenry had six children. All were involved in WWII in some way. In the article included in this post, Gordon is the “high school student at the Junior college (Perk)”. Floyd died in 1941 and did not see the involvement of his children in the war effort.
The McHenry Methodist Church stood for many years on the corner of McHenry Avenue and East McHenry Road. This beautiful old church suffered significant damage in Hurricane Camille and was not restored. Some church furnishings today are held in family collections of the members at the time the building was destroyed. Beautifully white on the outside, the interior was dark stained wood with high ceilings. It was a beautiful and worshipful place.
Cille McHenry (now Litchfield) played trombone in the Ole Miss Pride of the South band from 1973-1977. Did you know her grandfather also played the trombone in the Ole Miss orchestra in 1909-1910? Floyd W. McHenry, is pictured in the orchestra photo from the 1909-1910 Ole Miss annual. His trombone is still in the family (but is not the one Cille played at Ole Miss!).