Mattie Robertson, Dr. Frank E. Jones and Carrie & Clarence Magee

Mattie Robertson

Mattie Robertson, a graduate of the Haven Teachers College in Meridian, was an educator in Forrest County Schools, which included teaching in the Kelly Settlement area. After witnessing a large number of black students being systemically held back, she established the first academically structured kindergarten for African American children. The Mattie Robertson Kindergarten opened on September 1, 1958 near the Mobile Street commercial district.  In addition to educating kindergartners, Ms. Robertson was a talented musician and established the Hattiesburg Music and Audition Guild with other musicians.

Dr. Frank E. Jones, MD

Dr. Frank E. Jones, MD, a graduate of Alcorn A&M College and Meharry Medical College, was a longtime partner at the Katie Avenue Medical Clinic.  The establishment of this medical facility was especially important for African American women who were now able to deliver their babies at the clinic since often they could not afford to access to the local hospitals.  Though the clinic was the first specific medical facility for African Americans in Hattiesburg, Dr. Jones routinely made house calls to his patients in rural areas.

Carrie & Clarence Magee

Carrie and Clarence Magee are pillars in the Hattiesburg community. Both started out as educators, a profession they maintained for many years, with Mr. Magee teaching at several schools in the Hattiesburg area and Mrs. Magee teaching in Marion County as well as at Hattiesburg Public Schools. Their education careers were adversely impacted by their activism, but they did not let this deter them.  The Magee’s were among the few African American registered voters in Hattiesburg during the 1960’s, having paid their poll taxes consecutively for ten years.  This caused them to be subpoenaed in the federal court case against the Forrest County Circuit Clerk for denying African Americans the right to vote.  They both have served on numerous professional and community organizations over the years and are life members of the NACCP.  Mr. Magee served as president of the NACCP Forrest County Branch from 1970 – 1974 and was re-elected to serve in 2001 and has been serving in that role since then.