Over the course of the past two months, the original Chambliss Shoe Hospital mural has been restored. This project was spearheaded by Hope Credit Union, Milton Chambliss, and JSU.
Sabrina Howard, a local artist, was commissioned to bring the mural back to its original glory. The mural was completed this week and looks amazing. The mural is located on the 900 block of J.R. Lynch Street.
The Chambliss Building was constructed about 1936 for J.R. Chambliss, Sr., who owned and operated the Chambliss Shoe Hospital, which had previously been located at 119 North Farish Street. The builder was Charlie Robinson, J.R. Chambliss’s father-in-law. It was one of the first commercial buildings in the Lynch Street area to be built and owned by African Americans to house a black-owned business.
The Chambliss Shoe Hospital, a shoe repair shop, operated in the western half of the building. The eastern half of the building was rented for other businesses. (The Lynch Street Grocery and Market was located there through the 1940s and 50s, according to city directories.)
Jesse R. Chambliss, Sr., operated the Chambliss Shoe Hospital (later called the Chambliss Shoe Shop) at the Chambliss Building on Lynch Street from 1936 into the early 1970’s. He kept extensive personal and business records, which provide a detailed look into the life of a Southern black businessman and civic leader during those years.
Jesse R. Chambliss was born on July 6, 1885, in Claiborne County, Mississippi. His father was Marcus Chambliss, who had served with the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. JesseR. Chambliss attended Alcorn College from 1900 to 1905. He moved to Jackson in December 1905 and established himself in the shoe repair business. He became a leader of Jackson’s African American business community from the 1920s through the 1960s. He was a founder of the Jackson Negro Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of the State Mutual Savings & Loan and the Universal Life Insurance Company, which were established to provide financial and insurance services to black Mississippians. He was also very active in civic and fraternal activities, serving as state treasurer for the Eureka Grand Lodge of the (Colored) Knights of Pythias and serving several times as a delegate at the organization’s national convention.
J.R. Chambliss was a founder of the first African American Boy Scout troop in Jackson, Troop 51 (one of five chartered in the state in 1932, and the only one of those five that is still active). He was active as a Scout leader for many years and received numerous awards and recognition’s for his service. He was a longtime member of Pearl Street African Methodist Episcopal Church.