Milk Once Important To Local Economy

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.
Last Thursday I had the honor of addressing the Yalobusha County Histori-cal Society for the second time.  I had the pleasure of meeting old friends as well as making new ones and I appreciated being invited.
Since Joy Tippit will write a detailed account of the meeting,  I’ll go on to another  subject. All of you know how I like to tell about small business owners, and this week is one I knew personally.  Mr. I. J. Marrs was a graduate of Peabody College in Tennessee and at one time was principal at the Water Valley grammar school and later social sciences teacher at the high school. He lived in a yellow two story stucco house on Market Street, across from where the high school is today.  He had several acres of pasture and a herd of dairy cows.  
In those days it was legal to sell raw milk door to door and to stores. Both Ed Baddley and Blackmur dairy did this and for  years. The Mechanics Bank had the imprint of a cow on their counter checks.  
Mr. Marrs chose to sell 10 ounce bottles of chocolate milk which he and Mrs. Marrs and his son, I. J. made up in their kitchen. They milked the cows twice a day and the morning milk would be chilled until night when it was used to make the chocolate milk.
They bottled the finished product and put it in cases to be cooled until morning.  They got up about three in the morning, did the morning milking, then loaded the cases of chocolate milk into the car and started the deliveries.  I remember as a kid seeing them making the rounds.  Then Mr. Marrs would head for school.  
Mr. Marrs and I.J. were also into photography and I.J. made it his life time career. This was a strong work ethic at its best, which made this country the envy of the world.  Even after Mr. Marrs retired from teaching he operated his own laundromat in Oxford until Mrs. Marrs health made him finally retire. I had social studies under him my junior and senior years. In addition to being a good teacher, he was a great individual as well and I’m proud to have known him.  
My email address is or write me at P.O. box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 and as always I welcome your input ad hope you have a great week.

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