2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Horhn, Simmons, Albritton, Burton, Frazier, Harden, Wilemon

Senate Resolution 33

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, Mrs. Emma Lee Williams Horhn was born in Holmes County, Mississippi, on March 12, 1903, to the late George Williams and Josephine Wade Williams; and

     WHEREAS, at the time of her birth, America was still in the horse-and-buggy days; trains were the fastest means of transportation; the telegraph was the quickest means of communication; radio and television did not exist; World Wars I & II and the Cold War were unimagined; atomic power was nonexistent; polio was the most devastating disease in America; electricity and indoor plumbing were luxuries; separate-but-equal was the law of the land; and travel to outer space was unheard of, except in science fiction novels; and

     WHEREAS, she was the youngest of nine children, seven girls and two boys, all of whom have preceded her in death; and

     WHEREAS, she and her siblings often walked five miles one way to attend Richland Elementary School to be taught reading and math, and she later finished grammar school at Union School in rural Holmes County; and

     WHEREAS, while Miz Emma Lee's (as she is often called) recollections of early life included much hardship and despair, she does remember the pride and love bestowed on all the Williams children by their parents.  Like most African-Americans of that time in the Deep South, the Williams family eked out a meager living as sharecroppers.  She recalls her father, George, explaining that he was 16 years old when slavery in America ended.  Her mother told of her father, Simon Wade, who served as a Private in the Union Army in North Carolina during the Civil War; and

     WHEREAS, Emma married Tommie Horhn in Pickens, Mississippi, in 1922 and began a family.  In addition to tending a family garden and raising livestock, the young family also began to sharecrop.  Tommie worked frequently as a logger and horse wrangler, where he showed great skill.  He and three of his brothers, Walter, James and Cary, entertained friends and neighbors throughout the countryside with minstrel shows, consisting of story-telling, comedy sketches, and song and dance routines.  Many also sought out Tommie for his knowledge of medicinal herbs; and

     WHEREAS, Tommie and Emma's union produced 10 children, six boys and four girls:  Fannie, Johnnie Will, Catherine, Tommie, Jr., Archie, Charlie, Curt, Louise, Julius and Sarah, who were well-known throughout the community; and

     WHEREAS, although Miz Emma Lee's husband and five of her children have preceded her in death and she has endured a lifetime of hard work, pain and sacrifice, her spirit of hopefulness and closeness to God have never wavered.  Upon moving to Jackson, Mississippi, in the late 1950s, she joined New Strangers' Home Missionary Baptist Church in Midtown and has been an active member for nearly a half century, including serving as a Mother of the Church; and

     WHEREAS, like her skill in nurturing ornamental flowers, for which she has had a lifelong passion, Miz Emma Lee is also well-known for her skill in nurturing people.  She has been an inspiration to her family, church and community for her longevity, wisdom, patience and love of God.  Today, she still lives independently in her home, and delights in receiving visits and calls from her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby recognize and commend the humanitarian contributions of Mrs. Emma Lee Williams Horhn on the occasion of her 103rd birthday and for her longevity, wisdom, patience, and service to God and community, and extend to her the best wishes of the Senate.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Miz Emma Lee and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.