Lillie Bolden Knight was a community nurse who served in Dr. Charles Smith’s office for many years, often making house calls. Her commitment to the African American community made her a neighborhood caretaker. She continued as a nurse at Methodist Hospital after Dr. Smith’s office closed.
Ellie J. Dahmer is a long-term educator and the wife of Vernon Dahmer, Sr. Dahmer contributed to the Civil Rights Movement alongside her husband and advocated for literacy and academic achievement. She and her husband facilitated voter registration drives and accepted poll tax monies at their family-owned grocery store to fight voter suppression and promote civil involvement throughout the area. Dahmer also served as the Election Commissioner for District 2 of Forrest County for 12 years and played a pivotal role in getting her husband’s murder case reopened. Mrs. Dahmer received an honorary doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2019.