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Yalobusha Historical Society Minutes – July 16, 2009

Woody Jones

The Yalobusha Historical Society held its monthly meeting July 16 in its headquarters in Coffeeville. There were 45 members and guests present, representing five counties. .

  Vice-president (and Chaplain) John Moorman opened the meeting with prayer. He welcomed everyone, especially the speaker, Woody Jones, his wife, Fran, her mother, Martha Spears Parker, his parents, Mr. & Mrs. W. W. Jones, Sr. and his sister, Gerry Jones Marshall. Other visitors were Stephanie Monroe, James Boatman, Monroe Perry and Barbara B. Perry  We were happy to have all of them, and invite everyone to attend any or all meetings.There was no business

to discuss. Membership in the Society is $20.00 per calendar year. The YHS address is: Box 258, Coffeeville, MS 38922.

  The August 20 program will be brought by Dr. Bryant Boswell of Jackson. He will speak on “The Lewis and Clark Expedition” and will be dressed in period costume. (1804-1806) He is related to the Boswells who used to live in Coffeeville. This will be a unique program, and everyone is invited to come out and hear Dr. Boswell. The September and October programs will be given by Robert Owen “Red” Riddick and Julia York Fernandez, respectively.

   Program Chairman Opal Wright introduced this day’s speaker, William Woodrow “Woody” Jones, Jr. of Calhoun City. Woody was born in Grenada in 1950 but grew up in Coffeeville, graduating from Coffeeville High School in 1968. He married Fran Parker, of Coffeeville, in 1972. That same year, he graduated from Miss. State with a degree in Agricultural Engineering Technology and Business. He began his career with the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture in 1971. He has 38 years service with the Farmer’s Home Administration and Farm Service Agencies. He and Fran have two sons, Hunter, who is married to the former Emily Hicks, and Parker, who is married to the former Allison Vaughn. He and Fran have a grandson, William.  They attend First Baptist Church in Calhoun City, where Woody is Chairman of the Board of Deacons.

  Woody’s program was entitled “Arrowheads and Artifacts,” based on his long-time hobby of collecting Native American arrowheads, pottery shards, etc. around Coffeeville and in the dry lake bed when Grenada Lake was low, when it was possible to do so. (I believe that practice is now prohibited) His father was an avid crappie fisherman, and would take Woody with him in the boat, but when the fish were not biting good, Woody said he didn’t have the patience to just sit in the boat, so his father would let him roam around on the land.  That is how he started searching for arrowheads. He has amassed quite a collection through the years, and brought along part of it. He gave credit to his Dad for part of it, however, as he, too, got the collecting bug many years ago. In fact, one of Woody’s most prized arrowheads was found by his father. It is called a Clovis  point, and is one of only 120 in the whole state.  It is called a ‘Clovis point’ because it was made by Indians in the Clovis, New Mexico area. Woody said there were others in Coffeeville who have large collections of arrowheads – Owen Riddick,  David Arrington, Hilly Griffin, and Charles Jones. I believe he referred to the latter as “the King of Collectors.”

  Woody talked about the various sizes of the arrowheads, some of which were very small, some quite large. The smaller ones, of course, were used on arrows, the larger ones on spears. They were quite effective weapons, proof of which was evident in a skeleton found on the L. D. Clements place by a team of archeology students from Ole Miss, some years ago. One of the small arrowheads was lodged in the spinal bone.

   Woody explained how the age of the artifacts is determined. They are tested by specialists in the carbon-dating process which can tell the approximate age of very old objects. His collection spans hundreds of years, even thousands.

  One reason there are so many Indian relics, arrowheads, etc. found in this area is that it was between the lands claimed by the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. They were constantly at war, thus the abundance of ‘weapons.’ The Indians were relocated in the 1830s, opening this area to settlers who came in from all parts of the country.

  In closing, Woody gave credit for some of the information he used to Linda Crawford Culberson and her book, A Guide to Understanding Cultural Artifacts and to Sam McGahey and his Archaeological Report, “Mississippi Projectile Points Guide”.  

 Thanks, Woody, for a wonderful program. We appreciate the time you took to share your story with us, and invite you and your family back any time.

ATTENDING: (other than those previously mentioned) Nancy Floyd, Mary Floyd, Vida Corley, Betty R. Miller, Tom and Alma Moorman, Ray Cox, Bill Upchurch, Martha Short, Bill Adams, Pauline L. Hughes, Ruth Richmond, Herb Hayward, Helen Jones, Dot Criss, Dorothy St. John, Jimmie and Francine Pinnix, Thelma Roberts,   Hugh Bill McGuire, Joe Moorman, Pat Brooks, Sarah H. Williams, B. B. Billingsley, Kay McCulley, Jean Fly, Mike Ayers, Sue Fly,  Alice G. Landreth, Lena Jones, Charles Stribling,  Dave Hovey and James Persons.

Betty R. Miller

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