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Stone County Enterprise
Wiggins , Mississippi
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March 25, 2015     Stone County Enterprise
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March 25, 2015
 

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March 25, 2015 STONE COUNTY ENTERPRISE PAGE 11 LOCAL Story and Photos by Jody O'Hara The rain held off, the crowds showed up and a rol- licking good time was had by an estimated 8,000 attendees at last weekend's Pine Hill Festival. With the addition of Sunday for the first time, fes- tival goers had an opportunity to enjoy worship music in addition to the regular lineup of popular music acts. "I would not have given you a nickel for the rain not having washed out any of the three days," said Stone County Economic Development Partnership Executive Director Betsy Rowell. Radar actually showed Saturday's rains parting south of Wiggins before once again converging north of town. It was a great year for vendors as well as atten- dees. There were 121 vendors, an increase of eight over last year and those vendors generated 33 percent more sales tax than last year. "My hat is off to the Pine Hill Festival committee," Rowell said. "They are a group of young profession'- als and they love this festival and they did an incredible job of putting it On." SCEDP Board of Directors President Ike Harbuek wanted to give special recognition to O'Nears of McHenry for having fed the great number of first responders on hand. Restaurant manager Stephanie Cameron said it was a way for the company to sponsor the commu- nity festival. Organizers will meet today to begin discussing this year's event and begin making plans for the 9o16 festival. Contributed Dr. Ben Earl Kitchens, portraying Governor John Marshall Stone, made an appearance at the Pine Hill Festival in Wiggins Saturday. As Governor Stone, he celebrated the 1898 open- ing of the Wiggins, Mississippi post office with remarks to the crowd about agriculture, timber, education, and industrial growth in rural north Harrison County, which had not yet been divided to form Stone County. John Marshall Stone served the State of Mississippi during one of its most critical and tumultuous times following the Reconstruction era and utilized his leadership skills and business acu- men to help pull Mississippi out of the depths of social and financial mire. He was inaugurated as governor on three separate occasions, and served as governor longer than any other person to hold the office. After he left office in 1896, Stone was named pres- ident of the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College at Starkville which had been established during his first administration in 1878. At times he encouraged the State Legislature to pass laws that would improve the condition of the former slaves. Stone was a figure in Mississippi history in whom the people of this state can well take pride. He served until his death on March 26, 19oo. Stone County was named in his honor. Kitchens, a local historian, chronicles Stone from his early life to his death in his new Mississippi his- tory book, Governor John Marshall Stone - Mississippi's Honorable and Longest Serving Governor. Although the primary purpose of this book was to write a biography of Stone, the writer's coverage of political maneuvering during the post-reconstruc- tion period and the history of Stone's three admin- istrations can be used as a text for a high school and college history of Mississippi. All of the proceeds of the sale of the book supports the Old Tishomingo County Courthouse Museum in Iuka, which holds an extensive amount of research 6n Stone, as well as a many of his personal objects. Purchases may be made on-line at http: / / fishomingohistory.com/museum_store/view item.php?productid=3o8 or by sending a check or money order to TCHGS, P.O. Box 273, Iuka, MS 38852. The cost of the book, including shipping is $35.95. Be sure to follow Kitchens' activities as Stone on face book at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Governor-John- Marshall-Stone/451o422317o3721.