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Friday, October 24, 2014

Leonard Thompson

A bridge between black and white communities

Jack Mayfield dedicates this month’s column to the memory of the late Leonard Thompson who made a profound impact on the black community. (February 15, 2013, Page 2B)

Georgia church pays tribute to late Oxford man at ceremony

On Feb. 27, the Union Baptist Church of Buford, Ga. concluded its month-long celebration of Black History Month with a tribute to the late Leonard Thompson who died June 22, 2010 after going into anaphylactic shock from a wasp sting. (March 9, 2011, Page 2)

Losing invaluable muses during the past year

The community newspaper business is one where we try to serve our readers by giving them a snapshot of their lives and the lives of those around them. To accomplish this, we count on members of the community to help us with stories, story ideas, pictures, et cetera. Editor Don Whitten notes that some of his most valuable contacts – his “muses” – passed away in 2010 and will be missed. (January 3, 2011, Page 4)

Some early history of the Oxford School District

Oxford EAGLE Publisher Emeritus Jesse P. Phillips writes to relate some of the history of the local school district, including its separation from the University of Mississippi and local integration as he urges local residents to continue working for local students by voting for the upcoming bond issue. (September 16, 2010, Page 4)

Oxford mourns loss of community leader

From his work as a civil rights activist, who was instrumental in integrating Oxford public schools, to working with felons as a U.S. probation officer, to serving as a Lafayette County Planning Commissioner, Leonard Thompson’s death Monday has been called a major loss for the community as a whole.
Thompson died Monday at about 10:30 a.m. after going into anaphylactic shock when he was stung by a wasp while putting his lawnmower up in his garage at his Highway 334 home. (June 23, 2010, Page 1A)

Former principal, community leader dies after wasp sting

Leonard Thompson, 73, died this morning at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi after being stung by a wasp, according to Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy.

Kennedy said Thompson went outside to put away his lawn mower. He came back inside his home on Highway 334 and told his wife he had been stung by a wasp.

“He collapsed moments later,” Kennedy said.

Thompson, who was instrumental in integrating the Oxford School District, was the first minority to graduate from the University of Mississippi graduate program in 1967. He became a principal at Central High the year  the schools integrated and was given the vice-principal job at Oxford High School. Funeral arrangements are incomplete with Hodges-Freeman Funeral Home of Oxford.

Share your memories of Thompson with The EAGLE in our comment section. (June 22, 2010)

Relations revisited

On Monday, African-American community members shared their stories of integration of the Oxford K-12 school system at Second Baptist Church with a group of Colorado State University students. The students were visiting Oxford as part of an optional spring break trip through the South to learn about Civil Rights. (March 16, 2010, Page 1A)

Integration leader dies at 79

The woman who took the issue of Oxford schools’ integration to federal court died Saturday at her home in Oxford. Called “the Fannie Lou Hamer of Lafayette County,” Mildred Quarles was an outspoken leader during the local struggle for the integration of public schools — brought to a head when she placed her own son’s name on the federal lawsuit filed against Oxford city schools in 1969. (March 16, 2010, Page 2A)

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