Dundee was founded around 1885 in Southern Tunica County along the Yazoo and Missouri Valley Railroad. Since J.B. Carnes owned most of the land in this area, the community was named Carnesille. He gave land for the site of the first depot. The name was changed though because there was confusion with another community named Cornsville. Citizens of the area were given a choice of new names for the town. From the list, they chose Dundee. Dundee began to slowly grow. Old 61 Highway ran along the tracks and soon a main street developed lined with brick and wooden stores.
Picture of Main Street Dundee from a face book posting in the 1980s. The entire row of buildings have been torn down now.
When a new 61 Highway was constructed, a number of businesses located there. They are all closed now. Only one of the buildings remain, but the post office has been relocated to Highway 61.
John Barnet Carnes was born in 1833 in Hardeman County, Tennessee. He is listed on the 1860 U.S. Census living with the following people: Mary Carnes, age 62 from North Carolina; Mary M. Carnes, age 26 from Tennessee; and Martha J. Carnes, age 20 from Tennessee. By the 1880 U.S. Census, he was living in Tunica County with his nephew named John Hamlin. John B. Carnes passed away on June 21, 1884 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis.
In the Civil War, J.B. Carnes is listed as Captain A.C.S. Jackson’s Cavalry Division, Department of Mississippi and E. Louisiana. The form was dated Jan. 6, 1864. Not much else can be found about his Civil War Record, but he continued to be called Captain for the rest of his life.
There was a depot established at Dundee. The depot stayed there for years until it was moved to Robinsonville where it became a section of a Blues Museum.
Dundee was an important depot for Southern Tunica County. Hundreds of families moving into Tunica got off there to start a new life. One of those was the family of James Douglas Dean, who was my Great Grandfather. He moved there from Claiborne County to start a new life with his wife and children around 1915. James Dean bought an axe that I still have today and we have been here ever since.
Dundee Depot – circa 1917 taken from internet
Dundee first appears with a post office on October 1, 1891 with George W. Gorham as master; C.C. West as master on Dec. 12, 1891; John W. Fulton on Nov. 25, 1892; M.C. Scott on Jan. 23, 1894; M.C. Scott Jan. 23, 1894; Robert S. Alexander Dec. 24, 1895; Martha West June 18, 1898; Esther Turner March 14,1903; Irvin F. Brownlee March 1, 1907; Clayton Terry Feb 5 1920; Lee Blankston Jan 1, 1921 and Feb. 7, 1922; Starling L. Palse 3/3/1923 and 12/31/1922; Della Finch 5/1/1924. William D. Fisher takes over on March 21, 1931 until retiring on Sept. 24, 1971.
Railroad Map- taken from internet
The WPA did an investigation into the churches and school at Dundee in the late 1930s. Here is the description and listing of churches.
“At Dundee, we have two small red brick churches, of Gothic architecture. The Baptist is the oldest by about a year. It is a very impressive little building, has two front entrances, four Sunday school rooms, a huge auditorium, with elevated rostrum and curtained baptismal behind the pulpit. The Methodist church, having one front entrance, with two side entrances, leading into the Sunday school rooms, of which there are five. there is also a large auditorium with a slightly raised rostrum. Both preachers lived in Lula and shared churches with both towns. W.T. Phillips was the Methodist minister at the time of the WPA recording. They had services every 2nd and 4th Sundays. There were about 75 members. J.F. Kensie was the Baptist minister and they had services every 1st Sunday. There were about 60 members. W.B. Burnett was minister at St. Lukes Baptist Church. Services were held every 4th Sunday and had about 96 members. ”
Further description of churches from the WPA:
In the town of Dundee we have two lovely modern churches.
The little ivy covered brick, built in 1924 is the Baptist Church. It is of English architecture, with two attractively arched front entrances. The building is fitted with beautiful stained windows, one especially handsome, is the large window across the front, a memorial to Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Lake, donated by the W.M.U. of the church. This couple were pioneer Baptist, outstanding christians, and it was largely through their efforts this church was organized. Rev. J.F. Kensie, who is the present pastor, has tow charges, Dundee and Lula Baptists churches. The latter being the largest charge maintains the pastor’s home in the town of Lula. The Dundee Baptists church has a small membership of about 50 to 60 members. and a well organized Sunday school of 30 to 35 members, both very active. the ladies of the church have a W.M.U that has been successfully functioning sine the church was built. There is a wide awake Y.W.A. composed of 25 or more young members, under the leadership of Miss Mildred Wilkins. Regular services are held every first Sunday, both morning and evening, with an occasional fifth Sunday morning service. One very outstanding pastor of previous years is Rev. Ira D. Eavenson who was with them in 1919 – 1920. he left the charge to go to China as a missionary, remaining over six years. His work while there was outstanding and at Cleveland, Miss., where he is now located, he is still doing a wonderful work among the local Chinese. During Brother Ira D.Eavenson’s stay in China, quite a few of his old members kept in close touch with him, corresponding with him regularly. This church has also helped educated two girls, children of foreign missionaries, one girl was educated at Woman’s College, Hattiesburg, MS, the other at Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain, MS. The members paid a year’s tuition at Mississippi College, Clinton, MS for one of their former pastor’s Rev. J.G. Cook. Among the charter members of this little Baptist Church, who worked so faithfully and surmounted so many difficulties were the late Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Lake, Mrs Spencer Hamond, and Mr. Will Taylor.
The present Methodist Church of Dundee was built in 1926-27, after the old now was blown down by a storm. It is a small brick building, beautifully finished inside with high painted walnut beamed ceiling and handsome stained glass Gothic memorial windows. Rev. W.T. Phillips the present pastor has two charges, at Dundee and Lula. He lives in the pastor’s home at Lula, but both churches contribute to the upkeep of this home, and it is owned jointly by them. The Dundee Methodist church has a membership of about 75 or 80 members, and a splendidly organized Sunday school of 55 to 60 members, both very wide awake. The W.M.S. has been organized for 25 years or more and the ladies are to be commended for their splendid work in this organization alone. There is an active Epworth League consisting of about 25 members. Regular services are held every second and fourth Sundays, both morning and evening. There are only a few of the first members of this little church, living in Dundee now, Mrs Nannie Alexander and Mrs J.R. Terry are the oldest ones. There are quite a few of the younger members, however, who have done some very outstanding work in both the church, and Sunday school. We have one Sunday school pupil, Raymond Myers, who has not missed a single Sunday school service in nine years.
Both of these churches are a great asset to the little town of Dundee, and a credit to their loyal membership. Both have been torn down.
Picture of one of the brick churches before it was demolished:
There were two cotton gins operating at Dundee. The Bush and Taylor Gin was owned and operated by Mr. Jim Bush and Mr. W.W. Taylor. The Martin and West Gin was owned and operated by Mr. B.M. Martin and Mr. C.R. West.
There was a Dundee Community House. It was heated by a coal heater, but the lighting fixtures are very unique. The wiring was done through rough natural cypress knees, stationary to the ceiling and having the bulbs in the the ends. There is a large living room with a kitchen. It is used as a school cafeteria during the 9 months of school, plus for any community meetings. Like the Dubbs Community House, it was made of cypress stained wood on the outside and natural cypress wood on the inside. It was built for $1,350.00.
The Dundee Consolidated Grammar school is of brick Spanish Mission Architecture. Its a one story building of five large class rooms, two small offices, a nice size auditorium with adequate stage and two toilet rooms. The building is steam heated, electrically lighted, modern and up to date in every way. It was built for a price of $17,000.00. Around the building are clustered grassy areas with a circular drive. The playgrounds have quite a bit of playground equipment.
Dundee Elementary School still exists today. Several new additions have been added, but the main part of the building is the same. It is one of the top schools in Tunica County.
Dundee 1940 Census Dundee, MS. There are other names, just focused on the pages where the most non farmers were.
- Harry Weiss. Store manager. retail grocery
- Ella B. Weiss. Merchant retail grocery
- John R. Terry
- Lillian C. Terry
- John R. Terry Jr. laborer school bus driver
- Harold J. Terry Merchant retail grocery
- Alex A. France
- Hal G. Johnson Physician
- Jennie Johnson
- Nannie C. Alexander
- John M. Scaife Store Clerk
- Nell P. Scaife Cafe manager
- John M. Scaife Jr. Store Clerk
- Norman C. Scaife
- Conrad R. West Farmer
- Dick F. West Superintendent of Education
- Janet C. Green
- Robert F. Lackey laborer mechanic
- Nettie Lacky
- Eugene M. Lackey
- Norma S. Lackey
- Charlie S. Boyd operator/salesman. retail grocery
- Addie Boyd
- Charlene Boyd sales lady retail grocery
- Christine Boyd
- John Boyd
- Charlie Boyd, Jr.
- Abe Krischer merchant. retail dry goods
- Marie Krischer
- Harriett Krischer
- William D. Fisher merchant. retail grocery
- Vernon Fisher
- Ellen Lee Fisher
- William Fisher, Jr.
- Willis Prince merchant. retail grocery
- Buford Prince
- James Green
- Robert Alexander electrician. radio shop
- Jean Alexander
- Bobby Joyce Alexander
- Fred P. Scaife school bus driver. public school
- Evelyn Scaife
- Bell Scaife
- Virginia Scaife
- Tom Shepherd
- Lydia Shepherd
- Byron Shepehrd
- Ufala Shepherd
- Donald Shepherd
- Bettie Jean Shepherd
- Anne Shepherd
- Elizabeth Shepherd
Map of Tunica County, 1911