The people who shaped Mound Bayou


Isaiah T. Montgomery

  • Screened settlers, who came to this new town, carefully to encourage men and women who were good farmers and managers to inspire the best for the community. 
  • Promoted the "sanctuary" concept inspiring a beacon of hope. 
  • During the first year, built a church and a school for inspiration to the developing community. 
  • Founded Campbell College in 1887, affiliated with AME church, inspiring desire for advanced education. 
  • Gave oration at Mississippi State Constitutional Convention in 1890 entitled "Our Great State Mississippi" to inspire racial peace. 

Booker T. Washington

  • Visited Mound Bayou, October 10, 1908, and called the town "the capstone of his Mississippi tour...the only place where a band of music met us", thus inspiring community and racial pride. 
  • Endorsed Mound Bayou nationally as an example of African American progress via the Tuskegee Machine. 
  • Collaborated with I.T. Montgomery and Charles Banks in the social, economic, and political arenas. 

Charles Banks 

  • Organized the Booker T. Washington tours that inspired national exposure of the city of Mound Bayou

  • Chief Lieutenant of the Tuskegee Machine 

  • Opened the Bank of Mound Bayou in 1904 

  • When the bank closed in 1914 by state regulators, Mr. Banks opened the Mound Bayou State Bank in 1915.


P.m. Smith 

  • Followed his father as Chief Grand Mentor of KDT in 1926. 

  • Enrolled 40,000 members in the Mississippi benevolent organization (KDT). 

  • Spearheaded 12 years of fundraising activities among farmers and sharecroppers to accumulate capital of $100,000 to build a hospital. 

  • Built and opened the Taborian Hospital in 1924 fully staffed by trained Black physicians, nurses and administrators. The hospital became the single greatest employer in Mound Bayou.

Dr. Matthew Walker_perspective.jpg

Matthew Walker

  • Collaborated with KDT to expand healthcare in the Delta 

  • Orator and lecturer at Meharry Medical School, focusing on creating Black surgeons. 

  • Developed the site that provided 22 years of new training opportunity for Black surgical residents. 

  • Recommended Dr. T.R.M. Howard as Chief Surgeon at the Taborian Hospital. 

  • Developed model for Comprehensive Care Clinics across America from which the Delta Health Center in Mound Bayou has grown.


T.R.M. Howard 

  • Encourage entrepreneurship 

  • Established the Regional Council of Negro Leadership 

  • Introduced Medgar Evers