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[MS] Taunton, Avid Genealogist

Former Mayor Taunton dies

By Joseph McCain
The Winston County Journal

Avid genealogist and former Louisville Mayor Louis Ray Taunton died July 24 due to a heart attack at age 65.

Taunton, who served three years in U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, spent 25 years as an educator at Louisville High School and was fascinated by History and genealogy. After retiring from the school system, he was elected to one term as an Alderman and then was elected to one term as the Louisville Mayor.

Since leaving public office, Taunton spent a majority of his time publishing History and genealogy books that covered his adopted home of Winston County. In that vein of work, Taunton also provided a weekly column to The Winston County Journal helping historians and genealogist. He had made contacts across the world aiding people in researching of their ancestry. He was a member of the Mississippi Genealogical Society and a charter member of Winston County Genealogical and Historical Society. He was the unofficial historian of Winston County and collected anything concerning the bygone days of Louisville and Winston County. He had published several books about Winston and Choctaw County history including Winston County and Its People, Choctaw County, Miss. Cemeteries, Early Records of Choctaw County, Winston County, Miss. Cemeteries, 1880 Winston County, Mississippi Census, Winston County Journal 1900-1905 excerpts, The Winston Signal:Excerpts from The Winston County Index and The Winston County Signal, and Excerpts from The Winston County Journal and Plattsburg Times 1892-1899.

Taunton graduated in 1959 from Strong High School in Strong, Ark. While serving in the military, he received the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Cold War Veterans Medal, and Korean Service Medal. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Louisville Post No. 4540 and American Legion of Louisville Post No. 62. Taunton graduated Mississippi State University in the class of 1974 during which time he used the GI Bill. He was Director of Student Affairs at MSU while a student and for a year after graduation from MSU.

Memorials may be made to Winston County Genealogical Room of Winston County Library in Louisville.

See full obituary page 3. See related Editorial and letter to the editor page 4.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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