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Thu, 06.01.1876

T. J. Huddleston Sr., Entrepreneur born

T. J. Huddleston Sr.

*T. J. Huddleston Sr. was born on this date in 1876. He was a prominent Black entrepreneur and community leader. Thomas Jefferson Huddleston Sr was from Mississippi. He owned dozens of funeral homes in the state. In 1924, Huddleston founded the Afro-American Sons and Daughters, a fraternal organization in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Four years later, he built and operated the Afro-American Sons and Daughters Hospital in Yazoo. It was Mississippi's first hospital owned and operated by blacks. During the Great Depression, he loaned the Mississippi General Baptist Convention $50,000 to save it from bankruptcy.

He was the grandfather of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, former Mayor Henry Espy of Clarksdale, Mississippi, and current Clarksdale, Mississippi, the mayor and former Mississippi representative Chuck Espy (D - Clarksdale). T. J. Huddleston Sr. died in October 1959.

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