St. Catherine Street - John Nosser and Nosser City
John J. Nosser, Mayor of Natchez from 1962 to 1968, was born in Lebanon in 1899 and immigrated to the United States in 1919. Mississippi welcomed a number of Lebanese immigrants who became some of the most successful businessmen in their communities. Nosser opened his first Natchez grocery store, the Natchez Super Store, in 1940.
By the mid-1960s John Nosser was operating three grocery stores and had developed a shopping complex known as Nosser City between St. Catherine and Franklin Streets.
2 John Nosser was mayor during the turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement. The African American community did not trust him and the Ku Klux Klan bombed his home and stores due to his hiring of blacks and his willingness to negotiate with the NAACP.
Nosser always remained upbeat about Natchez., despite political disappointment and personal tragedies. In a newspaper interview when he was 85 he stated, "The past is not as important as the future." John Nosser died in 1989.
Pictured above is the 1940 grand opening of John Nosser's Natchez Super Store in the 600 block of Main Street. The photographer stood across the street in Memorial Park.
On September 25, 1964, Klansmen bombed and damaged the home (above) of Mayor John Nosser at 207 Linton Avenue. Shortly afterwards, a second bomb exploded in the front yard of Willie Washington,
On December 3, 1965, Mayor John J. Nosser of Natchez, Miss., and Charles Evers, NAACP Field Director for Mississippi, jointly announced the.... settlement of a three-month boycott of downtown merchants....The agreement represents an upgrading of the status of the Negro community unparalleled in the settlement of any similar protest in a southern city.
"The Natchez Agreement," as it was titled, was published in its entirety in the January 1966 issue of The Crisis, the official magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In 1965 the Ku Klux Klan bombed John Nosser's Giant Discount Center (above and below right) that stood on North Martin Luther King Street.
Before we lacked the courage to speak out. Now we don't care. We have to.
John J. Nosser, Eulogy for Wharlest Jackson, murdered Civil Rights activist, Life Magazine, March 17, 1967.
Mayor John Nosser and his family (above) celebrate the grand opening of the Jitney Jungle #1 grocery store at Nosser City (clipping below). Left to right are Pete Nosser, Sr., Frances Nosser, George Nosser, Sr., John J. Nosser, LaWare Nosser, Josephine Nosser Thompson, and C. H. Thompson.
The Nosser City Shopping Center occupied a tract of land bordered by St. Catherine Street on the north and East Franklin Street on the south.
Over time the complex included the Jitney Jungle #1 grocery store, Sterlings variety store, Value Mart Dollar Store, Allen Furniture Company, CIT Financial Services, Grand Prize Redemption Center, Fashionaire Beauty Shop, a branch bank of City Bank and Trust Company, and the doctor's office of Dr. Homer Whittington.
The development of new strip malls with chain anchor stores, a large enclosed mall, chain grocery stores, and new residential development in the suburbs caused the demise of Nosser City and Nosser's Natchez Super Store in downtown Natchez.
Erected by City of Natchez.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Natchez Trails marker series.
Location. 31° 33.434′ N, 91° 23.439′ W. Marker is in Natchez, Mississippi, in Adams County. Marker is on St. Catherine Street west of Auburn Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 St. Catherine Street, Natchez MS 39120, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Natchez Civil Rights Movement - 1965 - Pivotal Year (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 156-166 St. Catherine Street (about 400 feet away); John R. Lynch - St. Catherine Street Land Speculator (about 400 feet away); Louis J. Winston - St. Catherine Entrepreneur (about 500 feet away); Davis-Miller-Dumas House - 69 St. Catherine Street (about 500 feet away); African American Public Education (about 600 feet away); The Barlands - A Study in Black and White (about 700 feet away); Wheaton-McGuire House - 125 St. Catherine Street (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Natchez.
Categories. • African Americans • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 27, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 160 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 27, 2018.