A MDAH Publication | Volume 44 No. 11 | November 2002
Stennis Portrait to Enter Hall of Fame November 17
The portrait of the Honorable John C. Stennis will be dedicated to the Mississippi Hall of Fame on Sunday, November 17, at 3:00 p.m. in the House of Representatives Chamber at the Old Capitol Museum, Jackson. The ceremonies will include a video presentation on the life of Senator Stennis. The public is cordially invited to attend.
John C. Stennis's career in elective office spanned sixty-one years, from 1928 to 1989. He was Mississippi's longest-serving United States senator, holding office from 1947 until 1988, and serving as chairman of the Armed Services Committee and later the powerful Appropriations Committee. Known as "a senator's senator," Stennis was respected on both sides of the aisle. His reputation for integrity was borne out in 1954 when he became the first member of his party to challenge the actions of Senator Joseph McCarthy on the Senate floor. Stennis also wrote the first code of ethics for the Senate. Back home the senator championed various improvement causes, including the Rural Electrification Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, one of the senator's proudest achievements, employs more than 4,500 people, and the four forestry research labs he helped establish support the state's huge timber production industries.
John C. Stennis died April 23, 1995. His body lay in state in the Old Capitol on April 25 and he was buried at Pine Crest Cemetery in his native DeKalb.
Sherwood W. Wise, 1910-2002 Sherwood Wise, a member of the MDAH Board of Trustees for over thirty years (1964-1998), died October 15 at the age of 92. He was an active member of the board, serving as vice-president and on many special committees over the years. A Hazlehurst native, Wise was a graduate of Washington and Lee University, where he was president of the student body and where he earned both B.A. and law degrees. He began a fifty-year law career in Jackson in 1934 (interrupted by four years' service in the U.S. Navy 1942-46). Following the war he organized a merger of law firms that practices today as Wise Carter Child & Caraway, P.A. He served as president of both the Mississippi Bar and the Hinds County Bar. After President John Kennedy invited him to participate in a conference of lawyers regarding civil rights unrest, Wise was asked to serve as a member of the ABA Committee on Civil Rights and Racial Unrest. In 1947 Sherwood Wise, an active member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral, was a cofounder of St. Andrew's Episcopal Day School in Jackson. "In the passing of Sherwood Wise," said William F. Winter, president, MDAH Board of Trustees, "Mississippi lost one of its ablest citizen leaders. A distinguished lawyer, a dedicated churchman, an educator, writer, and historian, a man devoted to his family, he represented the best that our society has to offer. He made a special contribution as my longtime colleague on the Board of Trustees of the Department of Archives and History."
Kenneth Haxton, 1920-2002
Kenneth Haxton, one of the few remaining leaders of a remarkable arts community in Greenville, died September 17 at 82. He was a prolific composer of works including two symphonies, two piano concerti, and an oratorio. He was also a gifted pianist and cellist. Much of his music was inspired by literature-works by Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, and others-and Haxton himself wrote six novels and one play. He was instrumental in the founding of the Greenville Symphony Association and the Twin City Theatre Guild; he went on to direct plays. Haxton was a mentor to the many young people who worked at his Greenville store, Nelms and Blum, over the years, and many of them went on to become artists, writers, and musicians themselves. With the late Hodding Carter and Ben Wasson, Haxton founded the Levee Press, which published limited editions of works by Welty and Faulkner, and he was married for many years to writer Josephine Ayres Haxton (Ellen Douglas). Their sons are musician Richard Haxton, Los Angeles; attorney and former state legislator Ayres Haxton, Jackson; and poet Brooks Haxton, Syracuse University, N.Y.
by the Mississippi Department of Archives
and History Elbert R. Hilliard, director Chrissy Wilson, editor