“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Natchez in Adams County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)

Natchez Civil Rights and Old D'Evereux Street

Natchez Trails

Natchez Civil Rights and Old D'Evereux Street Marker image. Click for full size.
July 8, 2017
1. Natchez Civil Rights and Old D'Evereux Street Marker
The Deacons for Defense and Justice armed themselves in self-defense as a response to the attempted murder of local NAACP president George Metcalfe, whose car was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan in 1965.

The first meeting of the Natchez Deacons was filmed by Ed Pincus, who shot a cinema verite documentary Black Natchez, on the Natchez movement.

Charles Evers and Paul Jones visit George Metcalfe in the hospital after the bombing.
Jet Magazine,

I believe in non-violence...On the other hand, I believe that our people should stop getting killed... It's time for us to do something.
James Jackson (above), President of Deacons for Defense, Black Natchez, 1965.

Civil Rights activist Rev. James Stokes resided at 17 Old D'Evereux Street in the 1960s when he served as spokesman for the Deacons for Defense and Justice. The house was one of several sites where secret meetings were held. In 2011 surviving Deacons Clifford Boxley, Otis Fleming, Richard Lewis, and Rev. James Stokes were recognized at a documentary film presentation on the unsolved murder of activist Wharlest Jackson.

The O'Brien House

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at 17 Old D'Evereux Street was built as the home of Frank O'Brien and Co., brick makers and builders, whose brickyard was located further east on St. Catherine Street. O'Brien died in 1900, but his widow Jessie lived in the house until her death in 1940.

About 1950 African American doctor Herman A. Stephens acquired the house and used it for a small hospital and clinic. Dr. Stephens left Natchez in the late 1950s after he and wife Thelma Stephens separated. She operated a school at 17 Old D'Evereux in the late 1950s and 60s.

The O'Brien House at 17 D'Evereux Street is today home to Wharlest Jackson Elks Lodge 1675, named for the Civil Rights activist and Korean War veteran (above) who was murdered in a truck: bombing (below) in 1967.

The Ku Klux Klan targeted Jackson because he was treasurer. of the Natchez chapter of the NAACP and because he was promoted to a position at Armstrong Tire and Rubber Company previously held only by whites.

The Murder of Wharlest Jackson, a family man with a wife and children, not only enraged African Americans, but it also incensed moderate whites who could no longer deny that vicious, racist terrorists lived among them.

A few Natchez moderates ventured forth after the bombing to support the hitherto-lonely peacekeeping efforts of Mayor John Nosser, 67, a Lebanese-born immigrant who has the distinction of having had his house bombed

Natchez Civil Rights and Old D'Evereux Street Marker image. Click for full size.
July 8, 2017
2. Natchez Civil Rights and Old D'Evereux Street Marker
by white racists and his small chain of dry-goods stores boycotted by Negroes. At week's end, Nosser, Police Chief J. T. Robinson and Sheriff Odell Anders appeared at a Negro protest rally and took part in a tableau the likes of which Mississippi had not seen before. Linking arms with Negro demonstrators, they sang “We Shall Overcome.”
Friday, March 10, 1967
Erected by City of Natchez.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Mississippi - Natchez Trails series list.
Location. 31° 33.507′ N, 91° 23.745′ W. Marker is in Natchez, Mississippi, in Adams County. Marker is on St. Catherine Street near Old D'Evereux Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Natchez MS 39120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Good Neighbors - Alexanders and Gonnellinis (here, next to this marker); The Stallone Family (here, next to this marker); Voss Family and A-B Motor Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Holy Family Church and School (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Holy Family Catholic Church
Natchez Civil Rights and Old D'Evereux Street Marker image. Click for full size.
July 8, 2017
3. Natchez Civil Rights and Old D'Evereux Street Marker
(about 400 feet away); Dr. John B. Banks House (about 400 feet away); Dr. John Banks House - 9 St. Catherine Street (about 400 feet away); 20-30 St. Catherine Street and Eduation (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Natchez.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 14, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 14, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 590 times since then and 146 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 14, 2018.

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Sep. 27, 2023