The photograph of the 1946 Brumfield High School Choral. Club, taken in the front yard of Brumfield, provides the best image of the Louis Winston House on the left. The house unfortunately burned in the 1990s. The house on the right, which still stands, was built for William Minor Davis and was the long-time home of Henry and Ida Page Dumas.
The envelope above has an 1891 postmark and identifies Louis J. Winston as the “Chief Manager” of the Mississippi Co-Operative and Benefit Association, the same title in the advertisement at right. The house depicted on the envelope was possibly a prototype design adapted for Winston’s house pictured above.
The Louis Winston House can be seen on the left in this view of St. Catherine Street. The hill on which it stood is still known as Winston Hill and the alley atop the hill as Winston Hill Alley.
We waive all interest in the crop of Thorton Singleton to be grown on Selma Plantation in Adams County Miss. for the year 1887 in the favor of Louis J. Winston to secure the payment of $62.50 to said Winston for supplies furnished by Winston to Thorton Singleton to enable him to makea crop for 1887.
Louis J. Winston, son of a prominent white planter and an enslaved mother, was born in 1844. After the Civil War, Winston served as a policeman, sheriff, tax assessor, and long-time clerk of court. He was also a practicing attorney and planter.
Winston founded the Colored Building and Loan Association, which financed the sales of new houses to African Americans. He was also the manager of the Mississippi Cooperative and Benefit Association. The Woodmen of the Union honored Winston as their founder by commissioning the bronze bust on his tombstone. Winston died in 1918.
Louis Winston participated in the financing of new homes in the Woodlawn neighborhood, advertised for development in The Daily Democrat in 1882.
Louis Winston’s tombstone is the only tombstone in the Natchez City Cemetery surmounted by a bronze bust. The bust was sculpted and signed in 1921 by Isaac Scott Hathaway (1872-1967), an African American sculptor born in Lexington, Kentucky.
Hathaway was the first African American to design a United States coin, a fifty-cent piece dated 1946 with the face of Booker T. Washington. His second coin was minted in 1951 in honor of George Washington Carver.
Hathaway is quoted as saying, “I am going to model busts of Negroes and put them where people can see them.” Each year hundreds of visitors to the Natchez City Cemetery view the bust of Louis Winston.