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INDIANOLA BOARD OF ALDERMEN
Rolling Fork Mississippi Temple
INDIANOLA MAYOR SAM ROSENTHAL PUT ALL EMPLOYEES ON 60-DAY NOTICE AFTER HIS ELECTION SO THAT JOB PERFORMANCES COULD BE REVIEWED.
THE BOARD WILL MAKE INTERIM APPOINTMENTS TO FILL THE VACATED POSTS.
Willie Sklar was mayor of Louise for 25 years, while Sam Rosenthal served as mayor of Rolling Fork for 40 years.
In the late 1890s, two Russian immigrants named Charles and Alice Rosenthal gave birth to Sam Rosenthal in Brooklyn, New York.By age three, the Rosenthals moved to Natchez, where Sam enjoyed his childhood.After a short stint in New Orleans, Rosenthal moved to Rolling Fork in 1919 to join his brother's clothing store.An outspoken gentleman, Rosenthal found himself elected as an alderman by April 8, 1924.A few months later, the mayor of Rolling Fork resigned, as he moved outside the city limits.Although Rosenthal had no real interest in the position, future Governor Fielding Wright nominated him as a mayoral candidate.Sam Rosenthal was elected on July 3.From 1924 until 1969, Sam Rosenthal, nicknamed "Mr.Sam," served as mayor of Rolling Fork continuously in a place with few contested elections.As mayor, his first acts in the 1920s were to introduce a credit structure for the local lumber yard and to invest in a new generating motor in order to improve electricity in this rural Delta area.When the levee broke in the 1927 Great Mississippi River Flood, Rosenthal evacuated everyone on a train to Vicksburg before the town completely flooded, while Rosenthal stayed to watch over the city.Sources say that as much as seven feet of water flooded the town in the late 1920s.While the Great Depression caused most places to struggle, Rosenthal used the Works Progress Administration of the New Deal to pave the roads of Rolling Fork.With 100 men paid a dollar per day, the project was complete by the end of the 1930s.Even as the boll weevil hit Rolling Fork's cotton crop, Rosenthal's work to build a successful town did not end.He modernized Rolling Fork with schools and a library, while also bringing textile work to an area full of textile raw materials.After World War II, Rosenthal organized the Deer Creek National Gas District, which served five municipalities.He was chairman of the district for nearly fifteen years.During the 1960s, Rosenthal held community discussions to allay tensions during the civil rights movement.Rosenthal was also a city judge and a charter member of the Lions Club along with fellow Jews Sam Lamensdorf, Ed Danzig, and H.C. Glazier Jr.In 1969, Sam Rosenthal lost his reelection bid, causing him to retire as one of the longest consecutive termed mayors to ever serve.While Sam Rosenthal certainly dominated the twentieth century history of Rolling Fork and its surrounding areas, other Jewish businesses and institutions existed in the area as well.Sam Rosenthal owned a Furniture and Dry Goods store, which later became Mr. Sam's Clothing Store.
The structural creators were Jack and Ike Grundfest who built the temple in honor of their father, Morris, and their brother, Sam.Longtime Rolling Fork mayor Sam Rosenthal, for example, served as president of the congregation.
His name was Sam Rosenthal and he was Jewish.And he was the mayor of Rolling Fork for well over forty years which was very unusual in a small southern town when the, you know, South had a reputation for being anti-Jewish and anti-black and all of this, and Rolling Fork was somewhat different in that regard.