Mississippi Heights Academy was founded in 1904 by several concerned citizens in Blue Mountain, including Dr. B. G. Lowrey, who owned the nearby Blue Mountain Women’s College. A tall brick building, with a central tower with cupola, was built on the tallest hill in Blue Mountain, and Professor J. E. Brown (1866-1947) was hired to become the Superintendent of the new boys school. The school opened in the fall of 1904 with 34 students. In 1914 Professor Brown purchased the school and he and his wife ran the school independently for the next thirty years.
Over forty years, 4,000 boys were educated at the Mississippi Heights Academy. Subjects taught at the school included biology, physics, mathematics, and classical languages. There were seven faculty members who taught an average enrollment of 200 students. There were no class distinctions at the Academy.
In 1943 Professor Brown became ill and unable to maintain the school, and the Academy was forced to close. Brown died in 1947. The Academy building itself survived for another ten years, before it was destroyed in 1957. In 1961, a monument to the Academy and to the memory of Professor Brown was constructed on the exact spot where the Academy once stood. The old school bell, the last surviving piece of the Academy, is located on the monument.
Professor J.E. Brown was my maternal great grandfather. I was born in 1951 and didn’t know him but remember visiting Addie Garrow “Dulcina”Brown, my great grandmother, and staying in their home which was located across from MS Heights school. I dreamed I would look out the windows of the home and see a blue mountain. My great aunt, Natalie Brown Watson, who last lived in Blue Mountain, was renting the Brown home when it caught fire and burned about 1969. Randall Corban of Oxford, MS