Mound Bayou Mississippi Connection The history and background of Mound Bayou
Deep in the Delta of Mississippi • During Reconstruction approximately 50 Black townships were founded by freed slaves • Tragically, few remain • Mound Bayou was founded in July of 1887 • Mound Bayou is described as the “ultimate paradise”.
Isaiah Montgomery was born into slavery at Davis Bend, the plantation of Joseph Davis, the brother of Jefferson Davis who was the president of the Southern Confederacy.
His father, Benjamin, had managed the plantation for Davis until the end of the Civil War and was able to purchase it after the war.
Ben Montgomery established a prosperous colony of fellow freedmen for several years, but agricultural prices fell and severe winter flooding ruined their levees.
When his loan fell overdue, the property was sold back to the Davis family. Ben Montgomery died in 1877, but his dream of establishing an independent Black colony was taken up by his son Isaiah, who later founded the settlement of Mound Bayou.
Isaiah Montgomery Isaiah Montgomery served as a slave on a plantation owned by Joseph Davis (Jefferson Davis' brother). After the Civil War, Isaiah's father purchased the Davis plantation which was located near Vicksburg.
Isaiah Montgomery Isaiah Montgomery became well-educated and a good businessman. He attracted wealthy American businessmen to invest in Mound Bayou.
Founding Mound Bayou Like his cousin Isaiah Montgomery, Benjamin Green was also a slave from Davis Bend. Both shared a dream of freedom and independence for African Americans in Mississippi.
Mound Bayou's first city hall and mayor's office. The people of Mound Bayou have a rich history. This picture shows an early town lot behind the Bank of Mound Bayou. This site was also the location of Mound Bayou's first city hall and mayor's office.
Founding of Mound Bayou • This shows the Bank of Mound Bayou established in 1905 by Charles Banks, • A prominent black businessman who was drawn to Mound Bayou because of its prosperity.
Founding Mound Bayou • Mound Bayou was home to a : • sawmill • mercantile firm • a post office • a one room school. • By 1907, the town had flourished.
Founding Mound Bayou The Louisville, New Orleans, and Texas railroads provided jobs and a place to rest for the early workers of Mound Bayou. At this point there were about 800 families living on an area of close to thirty thousand acres.
Founding Mound Bayou By 1911, the population reached eight thousand and there were thirteen stores and several small shops to cater to the residents. Three cotton mills opened up alongside the sawmill, which was still pumping a good amount of money into the economy. There were a total of ten churches in the area and Mound Bayou even began to publish its own newspaper, The Demonstrator. *
Founding Of Mound Bayou • Mound Bayou also had its own bank, which was founded in 1904. • The Mound Bayou Loan and Investment Company was started in order to ensure black ownership of all the land in Mound Bayou. • The village of Mound Bayou also had its own government where all the members were African American and were elected by the members of the community.