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Collection Title: Jones (Boaz) Oral History

Collection Number: M312

Dates: Spring 1992

Volume: .10 cubic ft.

Provenance: This collection was donated on May 5, 1992 by Deborah Lindner, a USM student researching Mississippi history.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Boaz Jones was born in Logtown, Mississippi (now the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] test site in Hancock County) on December 7, 1923. Mr. Jones lived in Caesar, which was later incorporated into Picayune, where he lived and worked as a repairman for Quick and Grice Gas and Propane Company. Jones also was a retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant.

Jones died of a heart attack on March 4, 1992 at the age of 68, and is interred at the Pearson Cemetery in Picayune, Mississippi. He was survived by his wife, Mabel, and three children: Dana L. Jones, Annida K. Sanders, and Beth Jones Stephenson.

Scope and Content:

This collection contains an audio cassette and transcript of an oral history taken during the 1992 spring semester by Deborah Lindner, a member of Dr. John Gonzales' Mississippi History course at the University of Southern Mississippi. These items contain recollections of Picayune resident, Boaz Jones.

Folder 1 contains a cassette in which Boaz Jones provides information concerning some aspects of his community's culture during a time span which includes the early 1900's, the Great Depression, and the post-WWII period. He discusses schooling, childhood games, church activities, and family events. Jones briefly furnishes information about the economic activities of the Picayune area by discussing subsistence farming, animal husbandry, the local lumber industry, and WPA projects.

Mr. Jones recalls his family's traditional lifestyle and how the day-to-day lives of his family and community were affected by the advancing technology of the 20th century. He recounts his family's experiences with the construction of Highway 43 South, the railroad, the temporary logging camp once located in Caesar, Mississippi (now Picayune), and the advent of electricity.

Mr. Jones also includes his recollections of Choctaw (Chatta) Indian fairs, tribal councils, and rituals. Another interesting description provides information about Hillcrest Farms near Anchor Lake, which was once utilized as a prisoner of war camp for WWII German and Italian soldiers.

The accompanying transcript in Folder 2 contains only portions of the oral history recorded to cassette.

This collection would be of interest to any student studying the cultural and economic history of the Pearl River County region or Mississippi's prisoner of war camps.

Related Collections:

Goodyear Yellow Pine Company Photographs, M 134

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