Jesse L Yancy Sr & grandkids
Jesse L Yancy Jr and his maternal grandmother
Jesse L. Yancy, Jr. was an attorney, politician
and humanitarian who served the people of Bruce, Calhoun County and Mississippi
from 1956 until his death in 1970.
Born in Springville, Mississippi in 1926, Yancy
moved to Bruce ten years later, where his father, Jesse L. Yancy, Sr.
established a general store. He graduated from Bruce High School in 1944, joined
the Army Air Corps in 1945 and served overseas in the Pacific. He attended the
University of Mississippi School of Business and School of Law, earning his J.D.
in 1951. In 1952 he married Barbara Young. They had three children.
Yancy was first elected to office in 1960 as
district attorney for the Third Circuit Court District. During the Meredith
Crisis at the University of Mississippi, Yancy entered the national spotlight
when a Lafayette County grand jury issued an indictment against Chief United
States Marshall James P. McShane, Meredith's escort to registration at the
University, for inciting a riot. While serving as D.A., Yancy became president
of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association. Elected to the Senate in 1968,
during his first term Yancy, as chairman of the Senate Elections Committee,
guided the state's first Open Election Law to passage. A member of the Senate
Commission on Appropriations, he wrote and gained approval for the Idle Funds
Bill, which authorized the investment of in place funding for the state, a key
piece of legislation that has garnered Mississippi millions of much-needed
dollars for over four decades.
Yancy served as an attorney for the City of Bruce
for 17 years. His most influential act in that capacity came in 1961, when Bruce
had outgrown its fledgling infrastructure, and the city was badly in need of
repairs and updates to its streets, water and sewer systems. Yancy commandeered
a grant of $25,000 for the city to hire Cook Coggin, an engineering firm in
Tupelo, to conduct a survey of what repairs and improvements were needed. On
completion of this study, the city secured a loan of $500,000 to fund the
improvements. Yancy helped Bruce to grow into a clean, attractive town,
appealing both to current and potential citizens as well as businesses and
industry. He was a president of the Bruce Rotary Club, the Bruce Chamber of
Commerce, the Calhoun County Bar Association and a founder and commander of VFW
Post 5571. He served on the Pushmataha Council of the Boy Scouts of America and
taught Sunday school at the Bruce United Methodist Church.<br>
For all his accomplishments in the fields of law and politics, Yancy is best
remembered as a champion of the people. As an attorney, he ceaselessly fought
for the rights of citizens against the encroachments of unscrupulous businesses
and overweening government agencies. As an individual, his generosity is
legendary, encompassing all, regardless of race or creed. As a man, Jesse
Yancy's greatest legacy is a vision of community based on the dynamics of
service, unity and compassion.