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Prentiss Institute

Prentiss Institute, one of the oldest educational institutions for African Americans in the State of Mississippi, was established in Jefferson Davis County in 1907. The founders, Jonas Edward “J.E.” Johnson (1873‐1953) and his wife, Bertha LaBranche Johnson (1882‐1971), both natives of Pike County, Mississippi, borrowed funds to purchase the 40‐acre site upon which this institution originated. The initial location was on the property’s entrance road which led east from the Mississippi River town of Natchez into Alabama. Constructed as an early homestead, and perhaps serving as a tavern and an inn for travelers, the property still included a log cabin and the remnants of slave quarters at the time of purchase.

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