Washington Addition/Gowdy Historical Marker Unveiling Ceremony
As one of the older segments of the city, West Jackson can always rely upon its abundance of history. More and more historical markers (and blues trail markers) are popping up on the west side to share this history with passers by.
The Washington Addition Neighborhood Association and the JSU Center for University-Based Development are hosting a ceremony to unveil a Mississippi historical marker for Gowdy, Mississippi. The event will take place on Thursday, December 9, at 11:00 a.m. at the corner of John R. Lynch Street and Valley Street.
The community of Gowdy was established in the early 20th century and was the predecessor of the area now referred to as Washington Addition. In 1915, this small township witnessed the opening of its very own post office–located in the office of the Delta Cotton Oil Mill. The president of this oil mill was W.B. Gowdy, for which the community received its name. In 1918, the post office outgrew its original location and was moved across the street to the grocery store of W.H. Humbles. The Gowdy Post Office staked its claim in history by hiring the first African American postmistress in the state of Mississippi, Mrs. Julia Humbles.
The streets of Gowdy were arranged in blocks with the northbound/southbound streets bearing the names of U.S. Presidents, and the eastbound/westbound streets bearing the names of local African American leaders. Major employers in this community included the Delta Cotton Oil Mill, Jackson Brick Yard, and the Faust Brothers Mill.
The Gowdy Post Office closed in 1941 and the community that surrounded it would become known less as Gowdy and more known as Washington Addition.
If you have time this Thursday, come by and take a part in this historical occasion.
For more information, contact Blonda Mack, President of the Washington Addition Neighborhood Association, at (601) 353-3054.
I was born in Gowdy, and my grandparents were pioneers. They were George and Mattie Cook Shirley. I now live in Clive, Iowa. There is another Gowdian native who live in Davenport, Iowa, Bishop Jimmie Horton.
That is awesome! Are you related to Willie Mae Shirley? She still lives in the neighborhood and was very instrumental in getting the historical marker.
Willie Mae Shirley was the wife of my Cousin Willie Shirley whose father was T G Shirley who was the brother of my mother Sadie Cornelius Shirley Vaughn,
Yes, I am Willie Mae Davis Shirley and I was married to Willie Shirley for 60 years before he died. April 3, 2002.