Sansing’s History of Calhoun County, Mississippi

David G. Sansing was—and remains—a towering figure among Mississippi historians. A native of Greenville, Sansing served in the Army during the Korean War. Upon his return, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mississippi College and his PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was hired at Ole Miss in 1970. He wrote about various aspects of the state’s history in eleven books.

Sansing wrote this history of Calhoun County in 1959 as his master’s thesis at MC. Why Sansing, a Delta native (and of Greenville at that) chose Calhoun County, which is in the hill country of the state, for his thesis study presents something of a mystery to those of us familiar with Delta/hill contention, but he provides a clue when he writes that “Calhoun County has changed very little in the last fifty years.” Perhaps for Sansing, Calhoun County presented an opportunity to document a place frozen in time before the winds of change he saw coming swept through. Then again, it’s worth pointing out that Sansing’s wife, Elizabeth (neé Hawkins) was a native of Vardaman, Mississippi.

We natives of Calhoun County should take a great degree of pride in having our past documented by this giant of Mississippi history.

Photo by Robert Jordan

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