From Richardson’s Landing, TN, to Greenville, MS, the sand and gravel bars of the Mississippi River cut through old sediments in the riverbed and along its banks, exposing fossil remains of ancient bison that roamed the Mid-South at least 10,000 years ago. These ancestors of modern bison stood almost seven feet tall at the shoulder, and weighed around 2,000 pounds.
James Winchester, one of the founders of Memphis, was born in Maryland in 1752. He served under George Washington in the American Revolution, endured capture by the British, and moved to Middle Tennessee after his release.
By 1785, Winchester had build a fortified home in this still untamed wilderness, survived Indian attacks, which killed his brother and several friends, and started a family with his young wife, Susan.
February 23rd is the birthday of Frances Dancy Hooks. In 1949, Mrs. Hooks, wife of the late Dr. Benjamin Hooks, began a career in education that would span 24 years.
She made a name for herself in the Memphis City School System. Among her many achievements was the co-founding of the Memphis Volunteer Placement Program, an effort to bring volunteer counselors to work with African American students.
In 1839, the invention of daguerreotype made it possible to capture and preserve a photographic image. The public was thrilled with the opportunity to be recorded for posterity, and the business of professional photography blossomed.
Memphis quickly embraced this new technology. Newspaper ads in the mid-1840s promoted itinerant daguerreotypists, but the earliest known advertisement for a permanent photo studio appeared in 1843 in the periodical American Eagle.
Founded two decades before the Civil War, Gray’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church is one of the oldest black congregations in the area. The church was organized as a congregation for freedmen and slaves and has continued to serve African Americans for more than 150 years.