Friday, September 29, 2023

John Cofield's 'Oxford & Ole Miss –– The Depot

Photo from the Howorth Collection

Oxford, MS depot with the train leaving the station, ca. 1920.
“So there I was September the 16th ,1919, ready to take off for the big adventure to Oxford. You traveled by train in those days. Roads were gravel and ruddy and ill marked if they were marked at all, and there were few automobiles around. Students had no cars at all during the entire time I was at Ole Miss. The ideal way for me (to travel) was to catch the number four that left Jackson about noon. You got off at Grenada where the depot was a mass of laughing, shouting, horseplaying students. Everyone was waiting to board the number twenty-four, which got you to Oxford somewhere late in the afternoon.”
–Dean A. B. Lewis

 “The waiting room of the depot was heated by a hot pot-bellied stove. This stove would become very hot and make the air almost thick inside the building at times.”
–Thomas Ethridge
“What I remember of course was around 1941. According to my mother, my father and I took the last passenger train out of Oxford. We went north to Abbeville and met a friend and came back. She saved the ticket. I do have some vague recollection of the experience. My father and mother always had a sense of history. August 16, 1941 was the date of the last passenger train out of Oxford.”
–Will Lewis