EXPLORE THE DECADES: 1940's | 1950's | 1960's | 1970's | 1980's | 1990's | 2000's
The Community Development Foundation was not a simple idea that came to fruition over night, but a series of events, projects, and programs, put into motion by community leaders with a common goal of excellence for a then average small rural area in Mississippi.
In 1946, George McLean, editor and publisher of the Tupelo Daily Journal, raised $40,000 from local merchants during World War II to fund a strategy to promote Tupelo. He contracted with True D. Morse of Doane Agricultural Services in St. Louis, MO, to develop “The Tupelo Plan.” The Plan promoted economic development by attracting industry and emphasized the mutual interests of town and country. The Tupelo Plan was truly a program of development and renewal of community resources following World War II and the Great Depression, and insisted that it would take rural leaders, business leaders, and community leaders alike to prove successful. Sam Marshall was hired as the first manager of the program.
During the same year, community leaders received sound advice from officials with GM&O Railroad that led to the location of Daybrite Lighting in Tupelo. A modern company, Daybrite Lighting was the first local industry to employ women.
Still an agrarian society in 1947, Rex F. Reed was among the owners of Jersey Cattle imported from the Isle of Jersey in 1928. During World War II, German invaders wiped out the remaining stock on the Isle of Jersey. Following the end of the War, Reed willingly gave a start from his stock to replenish the Isle of Jersey’s cattle. His Jersey heifers were responsible for starting a major dairy income improvement program. This program also included incorporating artificial insemination as a way to improve cattle, thereby improving farm income.