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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.



Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1930 1,885 0
1940 2,034 0
1950 2,558 2
1960 2,776 1
1970 3,087 0
1990 3,777 3

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


Piggott’s 3 black residents as of 1990 were all

“Our railroad depot had separate waiting rooms and
bathrooms and when I was a child (born 1923) the
colored didn’t try to go into a restaurant in Piggott. My
dad told of going in to buy food for a family caught
here in traveling thru or some working on a road crew.
We lived north of town by the railroad and had a lot of
bums come to door for food. Mother always found
something for them. We had a peach orchard and men
came with trucks and occasionally they had black help.
But the colored were seldom seen in Clay County. I
don’t know if it was the influence of the early Klan or
the lack of industry that caused that. I’ve gone over
the minutes of the city up past the 30’s and have
found no ordinances to that effect. Even in the late
fifties, someone invited a railroad crew to come to our
church on Sunday, and there was an uproar with
people saying they would walk out if they came. Extra
policemen were on hand to quell upsets. They didn’t
“I hope it will get better and I think it has some.
We have two black children in our church now with a
white mother. who grew up in this community. She
married while in college. They were accepted pretty
well up until teen age. I know it has been hard on
them. One is now in college. I think some colored are
working here in a factory, driving from Kennett, Mo.
but we still don’t see many. So I guess we were a sun
down town. It’s not a subject you bring up.”
-resident of Piggott