Whitworth descendants visit Brookhaven

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

“We had the pleasure of a visit from descendants of one of the most influential families in early Brookhaven history,” said Joe Brown of the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society.

Jennifer “Jenna” Whitworth Sykes came to town on the train tracks that were originally laid on land donated by her great-great-great-grandfather Milton Jacob Whitworth.

This is the same family that Whitworth Avenue, the Inn on Whitworth and Whitworth College are named for. Jenna and her family stayed at the Whitworth Inn, toured the campus and visited the local history museum. They were in search of additional information about Whitworth ancestors. One new find was a photo of the Milton Whitworth House, with students from the college included the postcard photograph, probably early 1900s.

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Her interest was sparked by the book “Theatre of War,” written by local historian and writer Brianna Moore-Christa, documenting early Brookhaven history. Her husband, Jeremy, and children Eden and Reid explored downtown Brookhaven, all former Whitworth property. 

Moore-Christa gave the family a tour of the former Whitworth College campus. The family said they appreciated the fact that Milton Whitworth began the school as a female-only institution and that even today at Mississippi School of the Arts, many young women continue to get their education here.

“The family boarded the train going home to Fayette County, Tennessee, having learned a greater appreciation for their ancestors,” Brown said.