McComb Legacies Blog

Mississippi Historical Society Announces 2013 Prize Winners

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The Mississippi Historical Society held its annual meeting February 28–March 2 in Vicksburg to honor its 2013 award winners and offer presentations on the meeting’s theme of the sesquicentennial of the Vicksburg Campaign. More than 125 participants attended the sessions, where topics included campaign commanders and battles, life on the homefront, war and memory, the history of the Vicksburg National Military Park, the historical architecture of Vicksburg, and local history projects.

Kenneth G. McCarty, Jr., professor of history emeritus, University of Southern Mississippi, received the Dunbar Rowland Award for his lifelong contributions to the preservation, study, and interpretation of Mississippi history. McCarty served as editor of the Journal of Mississippi History from 1993 to 2008 and president of the Mississippi Historical Society, 2003-2004.

The society’s award for the best Mississippi history book of 2012 went to Timothy B. Smith, University of Tennessee/Martin, for his work Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation, published by the University Press of Kansas.

Oxford High School history teacher John Mistilis received the John K. Bettersworth Award for outstanding history teacher.  Mistilis received his B.A. degree with a major in history and minor in English from the University of Mississippi and began teaching in 2002. He currently teaches United States history and Advanced Placement macroeconomics. The Bettersworth Award includes a $300 cash award.

Joyce Broussard, professor of history, California State University/Northridge, was awarded the Willie D. Halsell Prize for best article published in the Journal of Mississippi History. Her article, “Malvina Matthews: The Murderess Madam of Civil War-Era Natchez,” appears in the Spring 2011 issue.

The Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society received the Frank E. Everett, Jr. Award for its outstanding contributions to the preservation and interpretation of local history.

Awards of merit were presented to Paul Davis of Brandon and former director of the Mississippi Automated Resource Information System (MARIS) for his work in creating the Inventory of Historic Maps of Mississippi; Mississippi’s Lower Delta Partnership for its work in preserving and interpreting the rich cultural history and natural environment of the Lower Delta; the McComb Public School District for its McComb Legacies Project that has successfully engaged the district’s high school students in the study, preservation, and interpretation of the community’s civil rights history; and Warren County for its outstanding records management program that has been in existence for more than two decades.

Newly elected officers of the Mississippi Historical Society are Charles L. Sullivan, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, president; Ann Simmons, Columbia, vice president; and Elbert R. Hilliard, Madison, secretary-treasurer.

New members of the society’s board of directors for 2013–16 are Daphne R. Chamberlain, Jackson State University; Thomas Cockrell, Northeast Mississippi Community College; Marco Giardino, Stennis Space Center; Avery Rollins, Madison; Susannah Ural, University of Southern Mississippi; and Charles Westmoreland, Delta State University.

New members of the society’s Board of Publications for 2013–16 are Robert Fleegler, University of Mississippi/Desoto campus, and William Parrish, professor of history emeritus, Mississippi State University.

The Mississippi Historical Society, founded in 1858 and reorganized in 1953, encourages outstanding work in interpreting, teaching, and preserving Mississippi History. The society is a non-profit membership organization that works closely with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The society also publishes the online publication Mississippi History Now. It provides annual grants to support programs of the Junior Historical Society and publishes books, maps, and other materials aimed toward the education of the general public. Membership is open to anyone; benefits include receiving the quarterly Journal of Mississippi History and the quarterly Mississippi History Newsletter. For information on becoming a member, call 601-576-6849 or see the MHS Web site,

About is a collaborative effort of the McComb School District and community members of the Local History Advisory Committee who are committed to the research, documentation, and sharing of McComb’s history.

The website and this news blog are supported in part by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to Teaching for Change called “A Community of Promise: Building Strong Schools and Neighborhoods Through History, Activism, and Collaboration.”