Sunday, January 26, 2014

Forget Me Not: George H. Alford 1st Federal Agricultural Agent in the USA

‘Prominent Progress Citizen Buried Monday; 
Was Pioneer Farm Leader’

"Progress. Services for George Howard Alford, 83, prominent Pike county farmer, writer and community leader who died Sunday, were held at 2 p.m. Monday at Progress Baptist church. Mr. Alford died at 2:35 a. m. at St. Dominic Hospital at Jackson following a trip to Mississippi State College where he attended an alumni meeting. He was a veteran farm leader, editor and former Pike representative.

Excelled in Farm Work
He excelled in all these fields, and he was Pike County’s first county agent and was the first federal agent of agriculture in the United States. He was a Baptist, deacon and Mason. Mr. Alford was born January 28, 1875, at Progress community in southern Pike county – the eldest of 10 children of J. Dock and Laminda Fortenberry Alford. At the time of his death, he lived within 200 yards of his birth place in Progress. He was graduated from Mississippi State College in 1899 and later was graduated from George Washington University, Washington.

First Pike Agent
With the inauguration of farm demonstration work, Mr. Alford became Pike county’s first county agent. He also served as agent in Clairborne and Forrest counties and later was district agent for South Mississippi. He served as state agent in charge of agricultural work in Maryland and also was federal field agent for Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. He also was secretary – manager of the Texas Farm Bureau and superintendent of Magnolia Electric Assn. In the field of farm journalism Mr. Alford was editor of the Southern Farm Gazette, the Progressive Farmer and the Progress Enterprise.

Survivors Listed
In 1902, Mr. Alford married Mayme Simmons, daughter of Dr Willis Fleet and Annie Hall Simmons. They had five children. Survivors of Mr. Alford include two sons, Percy K. Alford, Washington, and George H. Alford Jr., Jackson; three daughters, Miss Ruth Alford, Houston, Tex., Mrs. Clyde E. Day, McComb, and Mrs. Lura W. Alford, Roseville, Calf.; four brothers, Delis C., Washington, Yarbor and Claud, both of Progress, and Dr. T. C. Alford, Mashulaville, Miss. Three sisters, Mrs. J. H. Ellzey, Progress, Mrs. Ethyl A. Byrne, Los Angeles, and Mrs. Effie A. Ball, Columbia; and 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. The Rev. Joe Hinton, pastor of Progress Baptist Church, and the Rev. Dr. Wyatt Hunter, pastor of First Baptist Church, McComb, officiated at the service. Masonic gravesite rites were conducted. Burial was in the church cemetery."

From: Magee, Zuma Fendlason. Selected Obituaries from Louisiana (Washington & Tangipahoa Parishes) and from Mississippi (Pike, Walthall & Marion Counties). Volume I. Franklinton, Louisiana: Privately printed, 1976. From Franklinton Library, LA.

1 George Howard Alford b: 28 Jan 1875 Pike, MS, d: 06 Apr 1958 Pike, MS
... + Mayme Indiana Simmons b: 11 Jul 1878 Pike, MS, m: 2 Nov 1902, d: 14 Mar 1949,Pike, MS
......2 Ruth Alford b: Abt. 1904
......2 Mildred Alford b: 03 Aug 1905 Progress,Pike County, MS, d: 17 Apr 1997 Pike, MS
...... + Clyde E. Day
......2 Lura Willet Alford b: 11 Aug 1908
......2 Percy Knapp Alford b: 25 Jun 1911

......2 George Howard Alford b: 1914


  1. Look at all those accomplishments!

  2. Not many of us have a 'first.' What a nice article.

  3. I was excited to read all of this info about my relative. wow!

  4. I heard a few things about GH over the years I did also know that he was on MSU then MS A&M first football team. I never heard much from dad about my Grandfather Percy. I also have my mothers side of the Alfords in McComb so My Dad was Geary Simmons Alford and Mom was Catherine Elizabeth Alford Alford and I’m pretty sure Seaborne John is my fathers side and John is my mothers side they always said they were 6th cousins. It’s complicated


Thanks for stopping by my blog & for leaving a comment. It is always good to hear from visitors, cousins & fellow bloggers. Note that I do not publish anonymous comments.