Two descendants of Pennytown passed on traditions, stories and memories of the black settlement Wednesday night in the meeting room of the Marshall Public Library. Pennytown, which was inhabited during the late 1800s and early 1900s, was the birthplace of Virginia Huston of Marshall, who shared the presentation along with her brother, C. L. "Book" Lawrence. Located about eight miles southeast of Marshall, east of U.S. Highway 65, Pennytown has been largely uninhabited since the late 1970s. However, people will be visiting Pennytown this Saturday, June 8, for a celebration fund-raiser.
Beginning at 12:30 p.m., Ella B. Wright, the oldest living descendent of Pennytown, will share memories and help others remember the tales they have been told about the town. Huston, the last person born in Pennytown, will also share memories and information about her family members who lived there.
The events of the day will center around the Pennytown Freewill Baptist Church, which is all that remains of the town besides remnants, memories and broken-down buildings.
Huston, who is a member of the Pennytown Committee, wanted to share the presentation at the library before Saturday, to educate patrons about the historic site and invite them to join in on the celebrations. Her purpose was to share the history and memories of Pennytown with others, with hopes of continuing to restore the area.
Lawrence and his wife Tracy have also been strong supporters of Pennytown. Lawrence still remembers going to Pennytown to visit his Uncle Francis and Aunt Willa.
Huston and Lawrence said the only way they know everything they do about Pennytown is because of their mother, Josephine.
"Our family there goes back several generations," Lawrence said. "Some of the real history about Pennytown is due west of it, in Finnis Creek Cemetery." Residents of the town are buried there and descendants of Pennytown can be buried there for free still today.
Source: Unknown, 6 June 2002