The Real Story of Chas. B. Murphy
Hi Jon. I enjoyed the posting about Larry Randall. Thank heaven for individuals who, even amidst their own adversity, have stepped up to the service of others.
I do want to correct one detail. Charles B. Murphy School was built on (I think) 16th Section Land. It was named for Charles B. Murphy, not because he donated the land - he didn't - but because he had dedicated his life to serving his community, first as a County supervisor, and, later, as a school board member, finally serving as that school board's president.
Charles Murphy was my grandfather and father of Margaret Ladner, whose home is being rebuilt in Pearlington by volunteers. He was not a weathly man in the sense that he had a lot of land and money, but he was wealthy in the sense that he had vision. He had the vision to know that education was the key to a better life and to a thriving community. He had the vision to know the value of working together to achieve a common good. He had compassion for others and a desire to rebuild and re-establish his community.
As I think about him now, I am struck by the thought that many residents of
Pearlington have, in a sense, come full circle. In the 1960s, the
communities of Logtown and Napolean were dismantled. The land was taken by the government for what is now known as Stennis Space Center (The Test Site).
Everyone was forced to either sell their land to the government (or give them a perpetual lease)...and leave. It was very traumatic for those who had lived in their homes for generations (many of them being born right there in those homes). Yet...what happens, happens...and these people found themselves as Pearlington does now...bravely making the most of it, grieving what was lost...but looking to the future and wanting to make it bright and better. My grandfather had that same pioneering spirit that I see in the residents of Pearlington today...the desire to survive, and the desire to rebuild his community. The desire on the deepest of levels to reach out to others and to not go down with the storm life has sent their way....but to rebuild and make even better.
I salute all those in Pearlington who have that same selflessness and desire
to survive, help others survive, and promote the common good. I think I
have, all my life, taken that for granted. It is so visible and bright and
Claudia Ladner Park
Claudia is the daughter of George and Margaret Ladner of Pearlington. Thanks, Claudia, for your information and beautiful writing.