Calling All Dolls – 2nd Annual Doll Show March 7, 2015


The Old Firehouse Museum is holding its 2nd Annual Doll Show and Tea Party on Saturday, March 7, 2015, at the Ferris O’Neal Senior Center, 1240 South Magnolia Drive, Wiggins. There is no admission fee and dolls are not judged.

This special Museum event for girls of all ages recognizes the contributions of the Stapp Sisters–Emilie and Marie–to Wiggins and Stone County. Young girls are welcome to bring their favorite doll and come to the Tea Party any time between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Anyone wanting to display dolls may bring them on Friday Afternoon, March 6, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., or Saturday morning from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. Doll Show viewing is open to the public on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

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Fun Fact: Cupid Missing in Stone County

From the Stone County Enterprise:


Stone County has the least number of marriages of any county in Mississippi.  It comes in at the bottom of the state with only 72 marriages.  Bolivar County led in the number of marriages with 1,100.

Fun Fact: Jed O’Neal

Jed O’neal came from a long line of Stone Countians. His grandfather Van O’neal donated 40 acres of land to help establish the Harrison County Agricultural High School (HCAHS). Over the years. HCAHS became first Perkinston Junior College and later the Perk Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Jed’s parents, Ford and Jewel O’neal were well known Stone County folks. Mom Jewel for years taught in the Wiggins and Stone County Schools.

Perhaps one of the best examples of the initiative within Stone County folks is the story of how Jed got the new steeple for the Little Creek Baptist Church in the Ramsey Springs Community from the manufacturer to the church.  Smile as you read the story here.

Jed Oneal Obit

Fun Fact: Wiggins Fire of 1910

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.

Fun Fact: “Schools of Yesterday”

From: W.P.A.  for Mississippi Research Project, July 7th , 1936

By Marshall Taylor and H.V. Redfield

Subject:  EDUCATION  “Schools of Yesterday”

The early school days of Stone County date back to the early part of the nineteenth century.  Schools in those days were organized by citizens residing in their respective communities.  The buildings were of logs, an the benches of hewn timbers and there were no desks at all.  The patrons financed these schools, paying $1.00 per month for each pupil attending and usually taking turns among them, boarding the teachers.

One of the first schools of Stone County was located in the western part of the county on Griffin’s Branch, eleven miles northeast of Wiggins.  This school was known as the Davis-Perkins School, named after two of its founders.  It was a private pay school and was founded about 1871 by William Davis, Ben Perkins, Calvin Griffin, and others.  Some of the early teachers of this school were Luther Cox, Mr. Reynolds, John Davis, and James Carpenter.  This school operated at this location for four years; then it was reorganized and moved to a new location, five miles southwest of Bond.  It continued at this location for several years and was known as the Eureka Public School.

Fun Fact: G.A. McHenry in Cuba

Captain George A McHenry in Cuba
Captain George A McHenry in Cuba

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.

Fun Fact: Local News from August 5, 1916

Another Fun Fact from the August 5, 1916 edition of Stone County Enterprise:


“C.H. Lindsey, representing X.A. Kromer, Architect of Magnolia, was here Tuesday for the purpose of showing plans and specifications for a new courthouse.

W.R. Smith, member of the county board from beat 5 was in town Tuesday.

Miss Roberta Simmons will return to Purvis today after a week here with Miss May Boone.  Miss Boone will return to Purvis with Miss Simmons to visit friends.for several days.

B.T. Price is nursing a bad hand caused by sticking a splinter in it a few days ago.”

Fun Fact: The Stone County Industrial Board

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

Fun Fact: Bethlehem Baptist Church

Fun Fact: The following article was printed in April 1, 2004 edition of the Stone County Enterprise as an an insert Celebrating 100 Years of Progress.



Bethlehem Baptist Church of Wiggins was organized around 1896  by Brother John Moore and Sister Mary Moore and a few other individuals.  The first preacher was Reverend Ford from Alabama.  The first church was built above the Pickle Canning Factory,  (became the Pickle Factory).  Some time after its constructions, the building burned.  The church members then held church services in the Methodist Church (located between  what is now Danzey Tire Service and First National Bank.  )

In 1903 the church called Rev. R.G. Gray as pastor.  He served until April, 1947.  During that time he and the congregation built three churches.  Today the church  building and family life center is located on Magnolia Drive in Wiggins.

“     Through the years, Bethlehem Baptist Church has remained a steady beacon to Wiggins and the surrounding communities.”